Camille Flammarion, who investigated nearly one thousand people about post mortem phenomena, wrote:
“Wars are, alas, privileged fields of experimentation for those who study the problems of the immediate After-Life. During the course of these massacres, most of the people who are killed – civil or military – enter into death in a brutal fashion and without being prepared for it. So the messages that we have been able to obtain from these defunct people, either by automatic writing, or by tables, generally show the state of deep astonishment that they feel in learning that they are dead. The passage is so sudden that certain ‘subjects’ firmly believe that they continue to live. Therefore, this provides a field of study for the researcher which is totally exceptional.”
Maurice Maeterlinck wrote:
“The victims of violent death (due to an accident or a war) who find themselves brutally projected from Life into the After-Life where they have some trouble getting used to their new state, seem, according to witness statements from reliable sources, more disposed and more apt than others to enter into communication with the living. Ties still bind them to this side of reality, which appears to facilitate the dialogue.”
During World War II, numerous spiritist centres entered into contact with soldiers who had died in combat. The most important centre was the one previously created by Colonel Gascoigne. This British officer, a hero of the Battle of Khartoum and former companion of Cecil Rhodes during the first years of Rhodesia, was passionate about spiritism. He had studied everything touching on relations between the dead and the living in ancient civilizations, possessed on these subjects a library of extraordinary richness and was the inventor of a means of communicating with defunct people.
After his death, his widow and his daughter, using the method that he had taught them, regularly dialogued with him. Then came 1940. When Hitler began to attack England, the two women received from the Colonel some messages inciting them to “call” soldiers who had been killed by the enemy and question them. They obeyed. The answers that they obtained then – and for five years – were astounding. Here are a few of them:
[Before delivering these texts to the reader, Guy Breton wishes to underline that Mrs Gascoigne and her daughter were very honourably known in London High Society and that they belonged to an austere milieu where even the idea of trickery was unthinkable… I wish to add that I do not possess the original English version of what follows, so have translated it from French.]
Message from a sailor
I was on an oil tanker. When our boat was sunk, we all drowned very fast. I didn’t suffer, but I was extremely surprised to find myself in possession of a marvellous force which allowed me to push away all sorts of wreckage. I progressed like this among the debris and after a moment, I realized that we were in deep water. Everything was motionless like in a dream. I remember the great facility with which we were moving and breathing (if we were really breathing, for, in thinking about it, I believe that it was another type of breathing). Anyway, I freed myself, just like a few of my friends, and we went away, without really knowing what we were doing. Then we discovered that there was a stranger amongst us. His clothes were totally dry and he was walking as if the water surrounding us didn’t exist. A little after observing this phenomenon, I mentioned it to him.
All this was so strange. After having walked straight ahead for a very long time, I saw that we were heading towards what seemed to me to be a sunrise; I had never seen a more beautiful one. I was looking back, in the direction from which we had come, when the stranger put his hand on my shoulder and said:
“Not yet, you have to continue to the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Only there can you turn back, if you so desire.”
“Oh, I don’t care”,
and continued on my way, a bit shaken, until we arrived at a sort of garden. I say a sort, for it was neither enclosed, nor well-defined. On a hillside, it was filled with flowers, with beautiful flowers. Even before arriving at this place, I had “realized” that we were no longer moving in water. I was tired, I wanted to sleep and my feet were refusing to carry me. The stranger suggested that we rest. I sat down on the grass and immediately went to sleep.
You can imagine my surprise when, upon waking, I found myself in an unknown place. At first, I couldn’t remember how I’d got there; but, little by little, everything came back to me. With the help of my comrades who were still with me, I was able to piece together the whole story. For all this time, the stranger had remained with us, listening to us without saying anything. Finally, I asked him where he came from, and why he had brought us here. He answered:
“Oh, I’m a simple sailor, like you, but having been here for some time now, I thought that I could help you.”
It took us a certain time to admit that we were “dead”; but everything was so different from what I expected that I couldn’t believe it.
It’s magnificent, really magnificent. If only my mother knew! This “land” is much better than the one that we’ve left, and all is well. I would like her to be able to see me. Dad came to join me shortly after this realization; and we spent some marvellous moments together. Calling him Dad seems strange to me for he is younger than I am now; he looks it anyway. We are soon going to work together, but I’m not in a hurry.
To be continued.