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Remembering Dr. William Roll


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#1 Jeff Belanger

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 12:02 PM

Dear Ghostvillagers,

This past week the paranormal community lost a great researcher. This month’s Ghostvillage.com Theme of the Month was going to be something different until we noticed how little attention the passing of Dr. William Roll has received. No, Dr. Roll never starred in his own reality show (though he was interviewed on plenty of television shows related to the paranormal during his career), but he did do something that is sometimes forgotten in today’s ghost community: research. Tons of it.

William George Roll II was born July 3, 1926 in Bremen, Germany. He studied at the University of Berkeley, Oxford University, and received his Ph.D. from Lund University. In 1957, Bill and his family moved to Durham, North Carolina for a position at the Parapsychology Lab at Duke University. This is the group that would go on to form the Rhine Center under the direction of J.B. Rhine. During his time at Duke, Dr. Roll researched the poltergeist phenomenon.

Many of you may have read about the story of Tina Resch. This photo is arguably more well-known than the facts of the case. In 1984, then-teenager Tina Resch was allegedly exhibiting telekinesis events around her. This phone flying across her lap picture was taken by newspaper photojournalist Fred Shannon of The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio. Tina’s story is tragic. The media wanted more, and Bill Roll wanted to study her. Tina said she couldn’t make the telekinesis happen on-demand, nor could she control it. Dr. Roll set out to document Tina’s abilities as best he could. As with any big claim, controversy followed. Tina was caught on video camera knocking over a lamp, though she later said she did it so the reporters would leave. Tina’s life only got worse. In 1992, she was jailed along with her boyfriend for the death of her three-year-old daughter. She is currently serving a life sentence for the crime.

Between 1964 and 1985, Bill served as director of the Psychical Research Foundation where he continued lab testing on ESP, out-of-body phenomenon, and RSPK – Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis. He also tested psychics and mediums.

Dr. Roll did the research. He went on the investigations, and he published his theories. No, not everyone accepted his theories. Unexplained powers of the mind have not been accepted by mainstream science yet. But perhaps Dr. Roll moved us all one step closer by documenting his work. He never stopped pursuing the research or studying the field, right up until his death on January 9th. We could all learn something from him. This month, Ghostvillage.com will remember him and his work.

Supernaturally yours,

Jeff Belanger
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com
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#2 barb_s13

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:49 AM

Dear Ghostvillagers,

This past week the paranormal community lost a great researcher. This month’s Ghostvillage.com Theme of the Month was going to be something different until we noticed how little attention the passing of Dr. William Roll has received. No, Dr. Roll never starred in his own reality show (though he was interviewed on plenty of television shows related to the paranormal during his career), but he did do something that is sometimes forgotten in today’s ghost community: research. Tons of it.

William George Roll II was born July 3, 1926 in Bremen, Germany. He studied at the University of Berkeley, Oxford University, and received his Ph.D. from Lund University. In 1957, Bill and his family moved to Durham, North Carolina for a position at the Parapsychology Lab at Duke University. This is the group that would go on to form the Rhine Center under the direction of J.B. Rhine. During his time at Duke, Dr. Roll researched the poltergeist phenomenon.

Many of you may have read about the story of Tina Resch. This photo is arguably more well-known than the facts of the case. In 1984, then-teenager Tina Resch was allegedly exhibiting telekinesis events around her. This phone flying across her lap picture was taken by newspaper photojournalist Fred Shannon of The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio. Tina’s story is tragic. The media wanted more, and Bill Roll wanted to study her. Tina said she couldn’t make the telekinesis happen on-demand, nor could she control it. Dr. Roll set out to document Tina’s abilities as best he could. As with any big claim, controversy followed. Tina was caught on video camera knocking over a lamp, though she later said she did it so the reporters would leave. Tina’s life only got worse. In 1992, she was jailed along with her boyfriend for the death of her three-year-old daughter. She is currently serving a life sentence for the crime.

Between 1964 and 1985, Bill served as director of the Psychical Research Foundation where he continued lab testing on ESP, out-of-body phenomenon, and RSPK – Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis. He also tested psychics and mediums.

Dr. Roll did the research. He went on the investigations, and he published his theories. No, not everyone accepted his theories. Unexplained powers of the mind have not been accepted by mainstream science yet. But perhaps Dr. Roll moved us all one step closer by documenting his work. He never stopped pursuing the research or studying the field, right up until his death on January 9th. We could all learn something from him. This month, Ghostvillage.com will remember him and his work.

Supernaturally yours,

Jeff Belanger
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com


Apparitions are often confused with hauntings. The difference is that apparitions are "live" (intelligent consciousness) and hauntings are "recordings."- LOYD AUERBACH, interview

#3 barb_s13

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:56 AM

I'm sorry - I think I duplicated Jeff's original post by accident. I was trying to reply with a link to Dr. Roll's obituary: http://www.parapsych...iam_g_roll.aspx

It is beautifully written. This man was a genius with a library of works, but, even so, was soft spoken and humble.
Apparitions are often confused with hauntings. The difference is that apparitions are "live" (intelligent consciousness) and hauntings are "recordings."- LOYD AUERBACH, interview




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