Before I get started, I notice that a HUGE number of people are downloading the article about "James, the Submarine Man." I keyed in that entire book, and offered it as a download in Word format, until the author's son sent me a "cease and desist" letter. However, if anyone wants the entire book on which this article is based (it is very rare and difficult to come by), e-mail me, and I'll provide a link, privately. It's a very strong case, albeit based on hypnosis--though, I would say, not stronger than mine is, when all is said and done. To date, almost 1,500 people have downloaded this article from my website, in a very short time. Odd that they aren't interested in my book. But I am trying to advance the field as a whole, not just feather my own nest.
Whereas, for years, I might revise my e-book, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words" on a daily basis, or even 2-3 times per day, it has been six days since my last revision. Sometimes I would stumble upon new evidence; but just as often, I would wake up seeing another cross-reference, another connection, which either needed to be tied together with foreshadowing, or referred back to. Or, I might see something I'd missed, while digitizing an article by Mathew, or even when proofreading. This last occurred a couple of days ago, and I woke up this morning with yet another. But when such a cross-correspondence doesn't provide evidence for a past-life memory that I'd documented earlier, it is primarily of value either to substantiate my claims of Mathew's authorship (especially where a piece was claimed by or for another author), or simply to fill in the picture of Mathew's life.
Usually, I would fight the urge to make the revision, out of laziness, but then, finally, acquiesce. What my astral wife Abby's part in all this was, I don't know. Last night, for the first time, I watched most of the film, "Harvey," with James Stewart, about Elmer P. Dowd. To almost everyone who reads this blog, if I mention anything that Abby did, I will instantly be perceived as a modern-day Elmer. But realities which Society refuses to accept are driven down, in diluted form, into fiction, where they are provisionally accepted by suspending disbelief for the sake of entertainment. The movie "Ghostbusters" is one such example, while "Ghost" retained accurate occult depictions. Another film, "To Gillian on her 37th Birthday," addresses my particular claim in this regard, but ends safely with a reductionistic twist. There, it turns out that the man was imagining his late wife walking and talking with him, out of unresolved grief, all-along. But why make the movie in the first place, if it wasn't addressing something that was going on, but which Society refused to admit as being real and actual? The film was there to discredit something which had come to the public consciousness, because enough people were doing it to become a nuisance.
Rather than to insert my latest insight into my book, I'll just touch on it, here. A couple of entries back, I presented a longish humorous sketch written by Mathew, under the pseudonym "C.F.B.," for the 1831 New York "Constellation." In it, he lampooned himself, or his less admirable qualities, in the person of the villain, "Count Schleppel," nicknamed "Grosnas," who had a comically large nose. I mentioned, without giving examples, that Mathew had often identified himself, in his sketches, by poking fun at his nose, or making other references to it.
The following day, I proofread another of his sketches, an account of a used book auction. Here, he inserts himself, in a cameo, as the long-nosed fellow who buys a particular book:
Auct. Done--they are yours, brother Jonathan, as sure as guns. Now comes an odd volume of Waverly--set your price, gentlemen--don't be scared--will no one bid--I'll start it myself--six-pence, I offer for Waverly, does no body go nigher--here's another odd volume, by the same author, The second volume of the Antiquary--just as good as new--I bid that in for the same price--don't be going, gentlemen, don't leave the temple of the Muses--stop a moment, I've something that will touch your ideas--the Confessions of Gibbs--that tremendous pirate--killed more men than Bonaparte--what for the Confessions? Don't all speak at once.
1st Bid. One shilling.
2d Bid. One and six.
3d Bid. Two shillings.
Auct. Two shillings for the dying words of Gibbs, gentlemen--hope I shall get more for your dying speeches--hard case for a dying speech to go off at this rate. However, it can't be helped. You're the man, Mr. Snipenose.
3d Bid. Don't reflect on my nose, if you please, sir--take your money and have done with--
Auct. Oh, don't be angry,--didn't mean to offend--beg your nose's pardon--'tis a very decent nose, only lengthy, like many other bills--tailors' bills, and bills in chancery--but here's the life of Baron Munchausen--a rare traveller in his day--how much for Munchausen?
Mathew often wrote of his own personal experiences as though it was someone else he had observed, in addition to disguising himself and others by changing up one or two details, and writing under a variety of pseudonyms. Elsewhere he has written two different parodies on the book that he has purchased at this auction, the confessions of Gibbs the pirate. That Gibbs has "killed more people than Bonaparte," (put in the mouth of the auctioneer), is Mathew the anti-war Quaker. The pseudonym for this piece is "D.," which appears peppered throughout the paper. One would naturally assume it is the editor, Asa Greene--but it is Mathew, the junior editor. That means that all the D-signed pieces in the New York "Constellation" can be attributed to him--and some of them are quite revealing.
This also tells us something that I find confirmed by past-life emotional memory, that Mathew liked to attend sales and auctions--particularly, as a source of books. This is not so unusual, and in fact, by itself, it would be too generic to use for evidential purposes. But it comes up elsewhere in Mathew's work. Awhile back, I presented an essay on "Scepticism" signed "P." for another newspaper, which I believe was originally written by Abby, Mathew's first wife. It was published posthumously; but a little online searching indicated that it had been claimed by the people who put together the memoir for a minister who died in 1845. However, there were two other "P."-signed pieces in that same paper, published around the same time, which to my eye, were clearly collaborations between Mathew and Abby. One of them had to do with the purchase of a used high-back chair, which was thought to be a valuable antique, but which turned out, upon closer examination, to be a potty-chair with the contents still inside. This one, also, hints at Mathew and Abby's love of auctions, sales, etc.
This morning I remembered that there was a third example. It's a story which is claimed by another humorous writer of the period--he even inserted his own character, rather arbitrarily, into it as a way of "marking" it. But when I had come across it, emotionally and intuitively (as well as simply by style), I immediately recognized it as Mathew's writing, poking fun, per usual, at a real event. Mathew and Abby had lost a child in a local scarlet fever epidemic. They had moved to the big city of Portland, Maine, and Abby was waiting for Mathew to get established, before she dared get pregnant again. Besides, she was still grieving. Mathew would attend auctions and sales, to buy things that would make Abby more comfortable, since she came from an upper-class family. This way, he could afford to buy high-end furniture, etc. On this occasion, he ended up bidding on a cradle, just because it was cheap, and he won it because no-one else bid on it. Abby, believing in synchronicity, probably thought it was a sign that she could go ahead and conceive. But in the humorous sketch, a bachelor buys a cradle at an auction because it's such a good deal, and then, in order to save face, must find a girl and get married.
So you can see that I often sense the deep back-story of each of these sketches, before I have the evidence for it--and then, the evidence has slowly emerged in subsequent "finds." This is complicated to keep track of, in a large book--I did my best. But if I were to keep on adding such cross-references as they occurred to me, the book would literally never be finishied.
Mathew also made a joking reference to his long nose as "Quails," writing a travelogue for the Boston "Weekly Museum" of the late 1840's and early 1850's. But "Quails" is claimed--and was claimed at the time--for an entertainer named "Ossian Dodge." It put Dodge on the map as a "man of letters," in addition to his slapstick musical performances, and immensely helped his popularity. The reason is that Dodge was a con-artist, but claiming the travelogue gave him moral credibility, so that people looked upon his scams as good-natured pranks. Mathew loved innocent pranks, but Dodge's were of a more selfish character.
Let me see if I can find the segment I'm remembering--Mathew, a.k.a. "Quails," is seated on the train behind a young couple, when the boy proposes. Here, the girl cautions him to hush:
"Don't speak so loud, Stephen, don't," replied the young lady, "this long nosed, big eyed feller behind us is listening."
Mathew has on more than one occasion given a character the name, "Stephen." I have no idea if he liked it and arranged to have it in my current incarnation (my half sister Susan, 16 years old at the time, is the one who is credited with suggesting the name, and I am pretty sure she was psychic); or whether it is sheer coincidence.
"Quails" directly mentions his nose as a teasing clue as to his identity, in another entry:
We noticed in your paper a communication over the signature of H. M. S., wherein the writer threatens to establish another "flying correspondence;" all we have to say on that point, is, it will require a person who nose more'n a few to compete with your devoted
Here, he is referring to a writer named H. Marion Stephens, a conservative, who, upon seeing Frederick Douglass speak, stubbornly remained unimpressed and called him the "Prince of Darkies." So as Mathew was a secret Abolitionist, working undercover for (as I gather) William Lloyd Garrison, she was a threat to him. Should she ever discover his identity, the game would be up. So when she started hinting that "Quails" was entertainer Ossian Dodge, Mathew actually went along with it. But as he does so, he leaves his "signature," in the description of his nose. Whether he did this for posterity, or for me, or for those in-the-nose (know), I don't know.
It might seem fanciful that Mathew left this clue for me, i.e., his future self. But in middle age, he began taking reincarnation seriously (he had scoffed at it, as a young man, before Abby introduced him to mysticism). Some four years after he ceased writing "Quails" for the Boston "Weekly Museum," he resurrected the travelogue under the name "J.O.B." for the Portland "Transcript." There, as he introduces the series, he takes on, not "Quails'" persona of an old man who worked for the government, but that of a student who is taking a break from his studies. He leaves a broad hint that he is the writer of the former series, by using the same identifying catch-phrase (now, out of context), "On The Wing." Then, he makes another out-of-context reference to the "Lethean stream." The River Lethe, in Greek mythology, is the river of forgetfulness, into which souls are bathed before incarnating. Mathew frequently referenced the myths and philosophers of ancient Greece, which subject Abby had tutored him in. But whenever he inserts a reference out-of-context like this, nine times out of ten, it is code. So Mathew is saying to his future incarnation, "I also wrote 'Quails'."
And that would be me.
Just how realistic Mathew deemed the chances that this "passing forward" would hit its target, I have no way of knowing. My sense is it was a hail-Mary pass. But he underestimated himself--and the help that Abby would provide in bringing evidence to my attention. I had already figured it out by the time I came upon this coded reference.
Each of these cross-correspondences in the evidence might be brushed aside as coincidence, with my interpretation being "magical thinking." But not if you read the book. Because they are all interconnected, this being the tapestry of my past life as Mathew. And they are legion. The book is crammed with them, one after the other, after the other. Literally hundreds of points support each other--and the whole is undeniable proof of my past life, and of reincarnation, itself.
I used the word, "undeniable." There is no such thing, because people can deny anything. I once saw a news exposé featuring two workers in a facility which housed people who had low IQ's (I don't know what the correct term is, today). They had hit some poor fellow over the head with a notebook, or a book, and had been caught on tape. When shown the video, they denied that the people in the scene were them.
So I could produce any amount of evidence, and you can still deny it. I tried to present my case to Dr. Jim Tucker, and he would only take time to listen to three of my strongest pieces of evidence. He then went into denial as to how strong my case is, based on the limited evidence he would permit me to present to him. He dismissed two of the pieces of evidence out-of-hand, while grudgingly admitting the third might have validity, but had no interest in pursuing the matter further.
Meanwhile, it was his mentor, Dr. Ian Stevenson, who had given the analogy of the stubborn old New England farmer, who, coming upon a camel at the zoo in the big city, stood and stared in silence for some minutes. Finally, he was heard to remark, as he turned away, "Tain't no such beast."
I have heard that story many times--but suddenly the thought occurs to me--that is precisely the type of teaching story that Mathew loved to tell, garnered from real life. Could Mathew have been the original source for Dr. Stevenson's analogy?*
Unlike the elements I introduce in my book, there is no evidence for this one. But such an instructive joke might, indeed, get passed down. I don't want you to think that all of my evidence is as flimsy. I know when something is flimsy, and when it isn't. Although it wouldn't be quite as random as it seems, at first glance. Mathew was a Spiritualist, and an Abolitionist, and on both counts, he lampooned stubborn New Englanders--especially farmers, because he, himself, had grown up on a farm, and he knew them well. (Mathew wrote an entire series of faux letters to the editor, under the name of "Enoch Timbertoes," a Massachusetts hayseed in New York City.) His jokes were all meaningful, and in particular, he was fascinated with the dynamics of human denial, for the same reasons that I am, today. So Mathew would have used it in precisely the same context that Dr. Ian Stevenson used it--and I can point to dozens and dozens of just such pithy observations that Mathew made in similar contexts. The question then revolves around where Dr. Stevenson first saw it--and you can bet he probably saw it in the literature of paranormal research--perhaps, 19th century paranormal research. Mathew was an officer in the Portland Spiritualist Association, and ghost-wrote a sophisticated rebuttal of a local anti-Spiritualist preacher, for the head of that organization, in 1857.
As for Dr. Stevenson's successor ignoring the principle, while dismissing my own study, there are cosmic jokes, as God loves a good laugh--and this one wouldn't entirely surprise me.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*Someone apparently has asked this question before, as there is a bulletin board in which it is addressed, where the question gives the animal as a giraffe instead of a camel. The poster, one Suzanne Watkins, says that the earliest version she found appears in the "Proceedings of the New England Railroad Club, Boston, 8 January 1907 Page 60." She says it was re-published several times later in that same year, and she cites in particular, "Gateway Magazine, vol. 10, August 1907," and "Everybody's Magazine, July to December 1907 page 22." She also indicates that a version is found in a 1907 book, "Caleb Conover, Railroader by Albert Payson Terhune, page 60." She further indicates that it was published in several newspapers, including the Washington Post, all of which credited "Everybody's Magazine." That version featured a "Jersey farmer standing in front of a camel on his first visit to a circus." I also found, online, instances from 1908 and 1909, and 1911, before I found this post. One might conclude that the writer of "Everybody's" was the original author. But because some writers would routinely go through old volumes to get ideas, it's just as plausible that he or she came across a piece originally written by Mathew. If so, all of these writers lost the original point (this being a teaching metaphor), until Dr. Stevenson intuitively picked it up, again. Typically, Mathew's sketches would contain a philosophical pre-amble, which would be excised by the editors who reprinted them. I can point to dozens and dozens of similar sketches by Mathew, most of them involving rural farmers, deacons and preachers. There is also this clue: In 1907, it would be extremely unlikely to find a rural farmer who had never seen a camel, or a photograph of a camel. In short, it was general knowledge, even in rural areas. But in, say, the early 1830's when Mathew was writing "Enoch Timbertoes," this could easily have been a literal account--told as an anecdote (however much embellished), which was Mathew's style. Thus, whoever originated this tale was probably writing in the earlier era; and given Mathew's known productions, he is a very likely candidate.
Music opening this page: theme from Antiques Roadshow