Another one of J. B. Rhine’s correspondents that I came to like was writer and ESP researcher Harold Sherman. He came across as such a sweet, sweet guy in his letters. The scientists at the lab gave a lot of thought to how ESP worked, what was behind it, and Harold Sherman’s take was similar to Eileen Garrett’s, a medium who helped fund the lab and who worked with Rhine from time to time.
Harold wrote that feeling “generates the power behind thought, and whatever effects you emotionally, you broadcast, automatically, with greater feeling intensity. This explains why men and women get more impressions of tragic happenings from the minds of friends and loved ones, because they carry more â€˜feeling impact’ behind them.”
Harold Sherman appears in a chapter about psychics trying to help a California family find a missing boy in 1960. The father of the child wrote Rhine asking him to refer him to psychics. Rhine didn’t like to give out the names of psychics because “We do not know enough about the abilities we are studying to be able to apply them reliably … The worst part of it is that there is no adequate assurance that the impressions that come to the mind are due to ESP and are reliable even when they actually are.”
But the boy had been missing for months and Rhine didn’t want to take away what this father felt was his only hope. So Rhine gave him the names of three psychics, and one of them was Harold Sherman. I think this is my favorite chapter in the book, but it was also painful and sad to research. Not because of Harold, though. Harold was the only psychic in this case to show enormous compassion for the family, and he was also the only one to get anything right. Unfortunately what he saw was not what the family wanted to hear and so they didn’t listen to him. They went with the other psychic who had a prettier vision. Which made a horrible situation worse.
Harold actually got it even righter than I thought when this book went to press. Information came out too late to include in the book, but witness descriptions of the man who was last seen with the boy fit Sherman’s description pretty much exactly. I hope to get that into the paperback!