Wednesday, July 01, 2020

A Tribute To Maurice Grosse

(I'll be citing Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair's Enfield tapes. "MG" will refer to tapes from Grosse's collection, and "GP" will refer to those from Playfair's. MG28A is Grosse's tape 28A, GP11A is Playfair's tape 11A, etc.)

In the mid 1990s, Maurice Grosse appeared on a BBC television program, Video Diaries, to tell his life story. You can watch the program here and here. He discusses his background as an artist, his military service in World War II, meeting his wife, his Judaism, how the premature death of his daughter led to his work on paranormal issues, and his work as an inventor and businessman. But I know him mainly from his work on the Enfield Poltergeist. I want to say more about him from that perspective.

Hugh Pincott, who was Honorary Secretary of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) at the time when Grosse started on the Enfield case, was one of the contributors to Melvyn Willin's recent book on Enfield. Pincott recalls how Grosse became involved in the case and comments on the controversy surrounding his involvement. Grosse was a new member of the SPR and had been asking them to assign him to a case. After the Daily Mirror started going to the Hodgsons' house to report on the poltergeist that was occurring there, one of their reporters contacted the SPR to send somebody out to help the family:

Our most experienced member with poltergeists was Brian Nisbet at Croydon. A long way from Enfield, and he had been ill recently. Then I had an idea: "Let's send Maurice Grosse: that will get him off our back for a bit!". Eleanor [O'Keefe, Secretary of the SPR] smiled broadly as she dialled the Mirror's number. Hardly had they answered before a gleaming red E-type Jaguar drew up outside a house in Enfield….

Alas, at the time, there was a conviction among some senior members [of the SPR] that only academics were capable of competent investigation (and that they alone should govern the Society): clearly Guy and Maurice were "trade". Furthermore there was an unfortunate tendency for some members to refuse cases because "I am too busy now, but will take it over when it gets interesting". (The Enfield Poltergeist Tapes [United States: White Crow Books, 2019], 121, 123-24)

On one of his tapes, Grosse commented on the unwillingness of others to get involved in the Enfield case in a substantive way. In the middle of November of 1977, he remarked that Playfair was the only other person he could get to put any significant time into the case. "Everybody's busy. They've all got excuses. But I'm also a very busy man, but I've found time to do it, and so have you [Playfair].…It's like all sorts of things in this life, Guy. I've lived a little bit longer than you, and I can tell you that it's always the same bloody story. Whenever you get involved in something like this, everybody's going bloody mad to get in on the act, but when it comes to doing the hard work, you've got to really get around and find them. They're very few and far between. I've done enough charity work in my time - I still do a lot of charity work - and it's always the same problem. You always get the bloody talkers and the doers." (MG20Bi, 36:58)

Around the time Grosse made those comments, the BBC filmed a story on Enfield that aired later in November. You can watch a clip here in which Grosse is shown driving up to the Hodgsons' house in his Jaguar, gets out, and walks to the front door with his tape recorder in his hand. That clip encapsulates so much of his involvement in the case. In a later documentary, Mary Rose Barrington of the SPR would comment on how Grosse and Playfair had spent far more time at the Hodgsons' house than investigators usually do and how "extraordinary" the amount of time they put into the case was. Grosse was a doer. You had to be in order to handle a case as large and complicated as Enfield as well as he did. I want to repeat a passage I've often quoted from Playfair's book:

"Incredible things had happened, and Maurice Grosse and I knew they had happened, some right in front of our eyes. But what did it all mean? The sad part of it was that so few people seemed to be interested in finding out, and how fortunate it was that Grosse had seized upon the case with such enthusiasm, and kept going despite all obstacles. Had he not done so, I hated to think what state the [Hodgsons] might be in by now." (This House Is Haunted [United States: White Crow Books, 2011], 175)

The Hodgsons would have been much worse off if the average investigator had been assigned to the case rather than one as unusual as Grosse. Even his biggest critic, Anita Gregory, acknowledged, "she [Peggy Nottingham, the Hodgsons' next-door neighbor] stressed over and over again Maurice Grosse's marvellous kindness to the family, to which I also can testify….I never attributed to Mr. Grosse any but the most kindly concern for the family's welfare….Nobody doubts Maurice's good faith and kind intentions, certainly not I" (Journal Of The Society For Psychical Research, vol. 50, 1979-80, p. 541; vol. 51, 1981-82, p. 115; vol. 52, 1983-84, p. 95) Stewart Lamont, who covered the Enfield case for the BBC, wrote, "Fear has never been allowed to get an upper hand, perhaps because of the calming attitude of the researcher." (Is Anybody There? [Great Britain: Mainstream Publishing, 1980], 28) During Lamont's famous interview of the Hodgson girls, Margaret comments on "learning to accept" the phenomena. Go here for an example of Grosse using similar terminology ("start to accept") to counsel a woman involved in another paranormal case. His influence on Margaret in the previous video is evident. Go here to see Margaret commenting in a 1995 television program, with tears, about how much Grosse helped the family. After John Beloff and Tony Cornell made some public comments about how Grosse and Playfair supposedly were keeping the case going too long, Peggy Hodgson signed a statement saying she didn't think she could have survived the case without Grosse and Playfair's help (GP39A, 35:17). In a discussion about the case in 1979, Peggy Nottingham commented on how frightened the Hodgson children were when the phenomena began (MG98A, 5:47). She mentions how she would try to be brave for the sake of the children, to encourage them. Her husband, Vic (with his wife expressing agreement), goes on to comment on how Grosse was the one who calmed everybody down and enabled them to be brave in facing what they had to go through (6:33).

To get some idea of what state the Hodgsons were in when the case began, watch Douglas Bence, a journalist who visited the house in the opening days, commenting on the subject here and here. And here's both Graham Morris and Bence commenting on the condition of the family. Go here to listen to Peggy Nottingham, in a 1978 documentary, recounting how the children were frightened when phenomena occurred and were "screaming and screaming". People often comment on how unafraid the family seems to be in Lamont's video linked above. But that video was filmed about six months into the case. It doesn't depict the initial condition of the family. Their improved state six months later was largely a result of Grosse's influence.

We often compartmentalize too much and, therefore, underestimate how a person's traits in one context affect his involvement in another. Despite his lack of experience as a paranormal investigator, Grosse's background in other fields contributed a lot to his role in the Enfield case. He was an unusually good communicator, in a variety of ways. He was often a spokesman for the Hodgson family and others involved in the case, and he frequently interacted with the media. His loud and clear voice substantially improves the quality of his tapes and Playfair's. That's important, given how much audio is involved and the significance of what the audio is about. We could trace out many influences that his experiences as a soldier, an inventor, and a businessman, for example, had on his Enfield work. Traits like these are often overlooked or underestimated, but they go a long way in improving the quality of the Enfield case. They're traits that made him more helpful to the Hodgsons and others involved in the original events and better at interacting with his colleagues and the public.

People often refer to how he was a father figure to the children. There's some truth to that. His experience raising a few children of his own would have influenced his interactions with the Hodgson children. How could it be otherwise? I've referred in previous posts to how he would joke with the children at times or discuss subjects other than the poltergeist with them (e.g., discussing dogs with Janet). And he must have made some kind of agreement with Peggy Hodgson early on in the case, or there must have been some kind of unspoken understanding between them, because he frequently raises his voice with the children and threatens to smack them if they don't behave. I don't recall a single occasion when Peggy objected to any of it. But as David Robertson commented to me a couple of years ago, "I asked Maurice if it wouldn't be possible to take the family out, as he was almost a member of [the family] by now. He answered this quite carefully, that he wanted to keep some distance from the family, as his role was investigator. If he got too close, then he would no longer be seen as being objective." The tapes corroborate Robertson's comments. Grosse was somewhat close to the family, but he also kept some distance. I don't remember anything on the tapes or elsewhere that I would consider inappropriate. He continued to visit the family from time to time in later years, after he and Playfair had stopped going to the house to carry out their investigation. He was "helping with both their practical and emotional problems" (page 262 in Playfair's book). Johnny Hodgson died of cancer as a teenager in 1981, and Melvyn Willin's book that I cited earlier mentions that Grosse attended Johnny's funeral (98). I don't see anything wrong with that. Playfair commented to Hans Bender that he (Playfair) considers Frederic Myers the greatest paranormal researcher in history, and Myers often had a strong emotional involvement in what he was studying (GP39B, 39:06). Bender seemed to agree with Playfair's sentiment.

Much has been made of how the death of Grosse's daughter, also named Janet (like Janet Hodgson), was a large factor in furthering his interest in the paranormal and getting him involved in working as an investigator. If you watch the clip here from the television show I linked at the beginning of this post, you can see how emotional he was about his daughter's death even two decades after it happened. Janet Grosse did come up as a topic of conversation at times during the Enfield case. But not often, as far as I can tell from Playfair's book, the tapes, and other sources. You can't expect Grosse or any other investigator to not be influenced by something like the premature death of a child, nor can you expect any investigator to have never had such an experience. Every investigator is going to be biased, emotional, and such to some extent. To whatever extent Grosse can be faulted in this context, it falls well short of overturning his credibility as an investigator and a witness.

We know about factors like his daughter's death and how supportive he was of the Hodgsons because he was so open about those matters. He wasn't doing much to conceal them. A lot of the details we know about him in this context are details he took the initiative to make known. It's to his credit that he was as open and honest as he was, including when that made him more susceptible to criticism.

As the case developed and became increasingly large and complicated, Grosse spent a vast amount of time at the house, often after being called over late at night, often weary and sometimes sick. He had to provide guidance and make important decisions not only for the Hodgsons, but also for their neighbors and others involved. Because of the nature of poltergeists, the circumstances were disturbing, dangerous, and highly unpredictable, often taking up a lot of time and attention and causing loss of sleep, grief, disruptions in relationships, and other hardships. To get some idea of the misery often involved, read my article on the trance states Janet went through and another article I wrote on some choking incidents. As I noted in a previous post, Grosse referred to how deliberate and calculating the poltergeist was and compared their interactions with it to a game of chess, in which the poltergeist makes a move and they make a countermove (MG19A, 17:38). While leading the family through these difficulties, Grosse was gathering and sorting through an enormous amount of documentation, interacting with the media, and responding to critics, including some within the SPR, among other work. Go here to watch Mary Rose Barrington and others talking about how little support Grosse and Playfair initially got from the SPR. Grosse would later write:

"Our case rests on our efforts. History will judge whether our evidence, gathered over months of hard and often tedious work, will endure, or whether the opinions of occasional visitors (even those labelled experts) will predominate." (Journal Of The Society For Psychical Research, vol. 51, 1981-82, p. 195)

He refers to months of work. He could have referred to years.

I've said a lot in previous posts about Grosse's critics, the occasional visitors he refers to above, like Anita Gregory and John Beloff. I don't need to add much here, but I will make a few points. Hugh Pincott's comments that I quoted near the beginning of this post should be reiterated. Enfield was Grosse's first case as an SPR investigator. There were people with more academic and other credentials who never got a case even half as significant as Enfield after working in the field much longer. In that kind of situation, you can expect there to be some degree of envy and resentment. Being critical of Grosse's lack of credentials and his work is valid up to a point. I've discussed some of my objections to how Grosse handled the Enfield case in other posts. But some critics, like Gregory and Beloff, seem to have had their thumb heavy on the scale for some bad reasons, even though some of their objections to Grosse's work have merit. As I mentioned in a previous post, something that stands out about their responses to Grosse is how much they didn't interact with. They didn't even attempt to explain what most needed to be explained about the Enfield case. The same is true of more recent critics, like Joe Nickell and Deborah Hyde. That's an unintended tribute to the quality of Grosse's work.

Since the initial investigation, the case has gotten a lot of attention, but much less than it deserves. Grosse and Playfair wrote an article in 1988 that discusses some examples of that neglect in the earliest years ("Enfield Revisited: The Evaporation Of Positive Evidence", Journal Of The Society For Psychical Research, vol. 55, 1988-89, pp. 208-19). That sort of neglect is an ongoing problem. The case is widely discussed, but with a lot of repetition and not much depth. There have been some positive developments: some documentaries that are flawed, but significantly good; further editions of Playfair's book; Barrie Colvin's work on the acoustic properties of the poltergeist's knocking; the digitizing of Grosse and Playfair's tapes; the publication of Melvyn Willin's book; etc. But far more could and should be done. However much Grosse was to blame for some of the neglect that's occurred, I don't think you can blame him for most of it. That had to be difficult for him to live through. He knew the case deserved far more attention than it was getting. It still does. I've discussed how unreasonable recent critics, like Joe Nickell and Deborah Hyde, have been in responding to the Enfield case in general and Grosse's work on it in particular. Go to YouTube and take a look at a few Enfield threads to get an idea of how much apathy and contempt there is for the case and his work on it among many people at a popular level.

This is the second of four tribute posts I've planned. The previous one was for Peggy Hodgson, and the next two are for Guy Playfair and John Burcombe. I don't know if I'll post any others in the future, but I intend to address some other Enfield topics after the next two tribute posts. There are enough of those other posts to likely last for the remainder of the year. Every time I work on one of these tribute posts, I struggle with whether to say more about the significance of the case as a whole. I've decided to set that subject aside and address it in a post of its own, probably sometime in 2021 or later. But I'm still concerned that by not saying more about that subject in these tribute posts, the tributes are diminished to some extent. Whatever you think of Grosse as an individual, he was the chief investigator of an epic poltergeist case, what I consider the most significant one in history, the kind we could easily not see matched or surpassed for multiple generations. If you're the chief investigator of so important a case, that larger context enlarges your importance as an individual. If you haven't read many or any of my previous posts on Enfield, I hope you'll go to the page just linked and read one or more of them. The one here on dreams and trances, for example, will give you some idea of how numerous and varied the phenomena in the case were and how much Grosse went through, though that post addresses such a small portion of what he experienced.

There's an aspect of his character that doesn't get much attention in the context of Enfield, but ought to. Playfair referred to how Grosse was "an inventor, with a vested interest in discovering new ways of [doing] things whether they are 'possible' or not in terms of existing know-how" (page 261 in his book). The television program I linked at the beginning of this post provides some examples of Grosse's work as an inventor. In his interactions with the poltergeist, he would often try to get information from it about how it operates: how it makes objects materialize, how it levitates objects, etc. But, as Playfair notes, the large majority of what the poltergeist voice said was "trivial rubbish" (164), and "it was clear that the Voice would not, and probably could not, give us a lecture on interdimensional physics." (168) Grosse didn't get the answers he was looking for.

But he did get a lot of information from the poltergeist, whether it intended to provide so much information or not. Much of that information has been recorded in hundreds of hours of audio tapes, video tapes, notes, signed witness statements, and other documentation. It will be studied for generations to come and may provide some of the answers Grosse wanted. That documentation reflects well on the people who produced it and what it cost them to produce it.

On a more personal note, I have another concern. I am now in my 83rd year, and I suspect that when I am no longer here to refute the sometimes vicious criticisms of my investigations, particularly of the Enfield Case, the floodgates of uninformed scepticism will be opened and the bigots will have a field day….

Let us stop playing the sceptics' game. Let us stop falling into the trap of qualifying our positive results with an air of apology. It sends the wrong message to those who wish to listen. Let us admit openly and positively that there are such things as inexplicable phenomena. We do believe that our research is legitimate and of great importance. Let us stop apologising for the fact that we still cannot explain the phenomena, and may very well never reach that happy stage. We [the SPR] are not just a scientific society, but a society that leads a quest that is as important to humanity as any of the physical discoveries that dominate our lives today. (Maurice Grosse, The Paranormal Review, Issue 24, October 2002, "After 120 Years Of Psychical Research — Confusion Abounds!", p. 9)


  1. I know one is often waving the pompoms in praise of your work on Enfield, Jason, but one is truly appreciative of the amount of work you have done on this. It's outstanding. It seems it is no exaggeration to say you must have produced a good book's worth of material. It is one's continued wish that you would gather all your material in appropriate order and see if it can be published. It's that good.

  2. An interesting and moving tribute, and I look forward to reading the others you have planned. I regard Grosse as a man of probity and commonsense and I completely agree that the Enfield case does not receive the serious attention it deserves. Some of the coincidences concerning Grosse's involvement in the Enfield case are curious indeed. I remember the birthday card that Richard Grosse sent to his sister shortly before her death. One wonders to what degree Grosse was interested in the paranormal before his daughter's death and to what extent her death caused him to become so attached and emotionally invested in the Enfield case. There is also the fascinating episode involving the Dutch medium's visit to the Hodgson home, as the tumult was subsiding. It appears that the medium may even have made contact with Janet Grosse. It would be interesting to know more about that medium, incidentally, but an internet search of his name I made some time ago didn't prove fruitful.

    1. Thanks, Anthony!

      In Playfair's book, he comments that Grosse "had read widely on the subject of psychical research for forty years" in the timeframe just after his daughter's death (16). I've seen some people, like Anita Gregory, imply or state that Grosse was highly ignorant of paranormal matters before beginning the Enfield case, but that doesn't seem to be true.

      I think the motivation behind Grosse's commitment to Enfield was multifaceted. His daughter's death was part of it, but so were other factors, such as the quality of the case and the likeability of the Hodgsons.

      Regarding the Dutch medium, Dono Gmelig-Meyling, he's on the tapes, and I expect to be saying more about him in the future. But it's one of those issues I probably won't get to until 2021 or later. The conclusion of the Enfield case is large and complicated, and too little work has been done on it. Gmelig-Meyling does seem to have had some paranormal abilities, and, like other mediums, he does seem to have diminished the poltergeist's activities to some extent. But the later activity, after his visit, is much more substantial than is typically suggested. There's a lot of evidence of a lot of ongoing activity on Grosse's 1979 tapes, long after Gmelig-Meyling's October 1978 visit. The last 1979 tape, recorded in August, refers to quite a bit of activity around that time. The Warrens are problematic, but they reported paranormal activity when they visited in 1981. (The Burcombes reported that some of what happened when the Warrens visited in 1979 seemed genuine, which supports the notion that Ed Warren and his team witnessed some degree of genuine activity during that 1979 visit, at least.) Janet told Will Storr that activity continued in the house until the time of her mother's death, though apparently far less activity than when the poltergeist was at its height. The Bennetts, who moved in after Peggy Hodgson's death, reported further activity. Much more information needs to be gotten about what happened between the time Margaret saw an apparition when using a Ouija board, apparently in 1974, and the traditional starting dates for the case in late August of 1977. And much more information is needed on what happened after August of 1979. The focus on the two years from August of 1977 to August of 1979 makes some sense, but the timeframes before and after those two years have been far too neglected. I'm doing some work on that, but I wish other people with far better resources would get to it.

      Melvyn Willin mentioned in his book that he couldn't find any contact information for Gmelig-Meyling (117). Willin has been working with the SPR for a long time, he has contact information for a lot of other Enfield witnesses, and I suspect he got a lot of that information from Playfair. So, it looks to me like neither Playfair nor Willin has had contact information for Gmelig-Meyling, at least in recent years.

  3. Thanks Jason. It is curious how difficult it seems to be able to track down some of the participants. I'm surprised that Carolyn Heeps proved so elusive. One wonders if she doesn't *want* to be found for some reason. I'm also assuming that the Nottinghams and the Burcombes are now deceased? And what has become of Billy? As far as I know, he has not given any retrospective interviews? I seem to recall reading that he essentially wants to forget about the whole affair. I agree also that we need to know more about events prior to the outbreak and exactly what happened in the home during the years Peggy Hodgson lived there alone. I seem to recall Janet telling Will Storr that doors would open of their own accord and footsteps would be heard. Are you also satisfied that the source for the reports of the phenomena experienced by the Bennetts is substantial?

    1. It's commonplace for witnesses to be so uninvolved. A lot of people don't want that kind of attention, scrutiny, complicating of their lives, and so on. They haven't thought much about paranormal issues, and they're often ignorant of the significance of certain aspects of their testimony, the value of making themselves available for further questioning, and so forth. If they hear that somebody like Guy Playfair has written a book on the case or that multiple documentaries have been produced, for example, they'd tend to think that those things must be sufficient. We need to remember that these people largely weren't asking to get involved in the first place and that their everyday lives were, and generally continue to be, distant from the concerns of paranormal research.

      And I wouldn't assume that the people involved in documentaries about Enfield, radio programs on the subject, books that address it, etc. have made much of an effort to find and contact people like Carolyn Heeps. The vast majority of Enfield coverage doesn't go much beyond reinventing the wheel, if it goes beyond that at all. I suspect that many people involved in such contexts either never have it even cross their minds to contact somebody like Heeps or don't do much to act on the thought if it does occur to them. Even if they found her, what's the chance that they'd know much about what to ask her and would get anything from her worth reporting? (The fact that we don't hear of such contact with a witness doesn't mean that the witness wasn't contacted.) My impression is that people often get assigned to covering something like Enfield, for a documentary or a radio program or whatever, without knowing much about the topic or having much interest in it. That's one of the reasons why something like a documentary on Enfield will get some of the facts wrong, even ones that are easy to get right.

      The fact that we aren't hearing much from some of the witnesses makes Enfield similar to other areas of life and diminishes the chance that the witnesses were lying for attention or money. For those who are interested, here's a post I wrote discussing some of the principles involved in evaluating the testimony of witnesses.

      The lack of involvement of some witnesses should make us more appreciative of those who have been significantly more involved (e.g., Graham Morris, David Robertson).

      I haven't gotten around to looking further into the situation with the Bennetts. I intend to do it eventually. I'm not aware of any reason to reject their testimony, but there isn't much to go by that I'm aware of. I have one source in mind that I want to check up on in that context, but I haven't gotten to that yet.

      I do have further information on some of the issues you've brought up, but there are some things I shouldn't say at this point. I want to say more in the future if I can.

  4. I want to add that during the April 21, 2018 edition of the Coast To Coast AM radio program, it was reported that Richard Grosse, the son of Maurice, wants to publish a memoir of his father. It was said that the memoir would include some material on Enfield, as you'd expect. I haven't gotten any updates since then. But I don't recall seeing anybody else discuss the topic, and I wanted to leave a record of it here. I hope the memoir does eventually get published.

  5. Thanks Jason, endlessly fascinating as always. Your reasoning about witness availability and the other factors to consider make sense. I think I was just surprised that Melvyn Willin was not able to locate Heeps, since one assumes he did make quite an effort given her significance as a witness. But then, I've never tried to locate someone in this fashion and wouldn't quite know where to start either - so I make no judgements. It would be interesting simply to get a retrospective view from Heeps about her amazing experience, along with a number of other witnesses. For my own part, I very much need to reread Playfair and read Melvyn Willin for the first time. And of course, I then need to systematically read your own voluminous writings on this case - something which I will soon be able to do as I have now largely compiled them all as an EPUB book.

    Keep up the excellent work!

    1. Thanks, Anthony!

      Some complicating factors with Heeps are that she's a woman and was young at the start of the Enfield case and could easily have gotten married or divorced, with a last name change, or changed career fields later in life. I suspect some people, such as journalists who specialize in police issues, could track her down. I think the bigger issue is getting the relevant people to have enough motivation to carry out what they're capable of doing.

  6. Yes, and indeed for all we know she may even be deceased. I would be very surprised to learn that the 2007 and Paranormal Channel programmes either did not attempt to locate her at all or, if they did, they couldn't find her. So one suspects that she's either dead or flatly refused to engage again with the subject. One sympathises with the teasing she must have received at her local police station following her TV interview.

    I hate to waylay you further, but I have also been wondering about the Enfield Poltergeist Investigation Committee Report. I seem to recall that you have not been able to read it, no doubt because for some reason it has not been digitized. Do you know why this is? Moreover, given the fact that Barrington says that EPIC partly concluded that a lot of the phenomena was 'at best unproved', do you feel that the report could contain revelations that could cause you to significantly revise some of your views on the case?

    1. There's only so much I can say. The SPR's Enfield report was digitized. I read it in March of this year. It has some significant content, and it changed my mind on some issues, but not on anything of major significance.

      You can get a lot of information about the report, including quite a few quotes from it, in Anita Gregory's doctoral thesis and Melvyn Willin's book on Enfield. Mary Rose Barrington and others who contributed to the report (committee members and others) commented publicly on some of their reasons for not accepting some or all of the phenomena, and I've interacted with many such comments. On Barrington's objections to the December 15, 1977 events, for example, go here and do a Ctrl F search for her name. And search for her name here to get my response to an objection she raised to the voice phenomena. My response to Gregory's doctoral thesis interacts with much of what she cited from the SPR's report. Other posts (see here and here) interact with some of what Willin's book says about the report.

      Keep in mind that the two sources I've cited on the report above, Gregory and Willin, aren't writing from a pro-Enfield perspective. Though Willin accepts the authenticity of the case, he didn't write his book to argue for that view. So, you can ask yourself how likely it is that there's some sort of major evidence against Enfield in the SPR's report that neither Gregory nor Willin mentioned.

      In her thesis (178-79), Gregory makes an issue of John Burcombe's failure to remember a couch levitation that's supposed to have occurred on November 10, 1977. She cites the SPR's report on the subject. I'll be addressing that couch levitation and Burcombe's not remembering it in my tribute to Burcombe later this year, which should be posted in September.