In my book, "Mathew Franklin Whittier in his own words," when subsequent research proves me wrong, I admit it. So here in these Updates, I will follow the same policy. In the Update of 8/12/17 (accessible through the Archives link at the bottom of the page), I presented an example of historians-in-error--no less an authority than the New York Museum. This was a postcard of a scene in Bowling Green, New York City, dated 1831, which appeared to be a photograph of the first omnibus used in the area. I reasoned that it couldn't have been 1831, however, since photography wasn't invented, yet; and also because there is a two-wheel bicycle depicted in the scene, and they hadn't been invented yet, either.
I must now report that I was right; and I was wrong. I found another, clearer example of this same card on Ebay, and it is a photograph of a model. We don't know when the model was constructed, but obviously, after the age of photography had commenced. So that objection is defeated. However, there still remains the matter of the bicycle; and this might be explained as a historical error committed by the builder of the model. Somebody must have assumed that they had two-wheelers in 1831, and stuck it in there as a nice touch.
This sort of trueing, or fine-tuning, went on continuously in my research. This is because I have precious few full, cognitive memories of being Mathew Franklin Whittier in the 19th century. I have, more-or-less, what anyone else would have, having first identified a genuine past-life match--mostly feelings, intuitions, and emotional reactions. These things are legitimate scientific data, as I have many times pointed out. If a psychologist sets up a test wherein he shows volunteers a series of scary vs. pleasant images, and records their emotional reactions, those reactions, as recorded under controlled conditions, are legitimate scientific data. So are my reactions, so long as I can record them in a scientific manner.
I continue to read through my lengthy evidence chapters one final time (as I say, now). I am struck by how well I am proving my suppositions, and validating my past-life impressions. It takes a very long book to do this, going primarily on hitherto undiscovered published essays, humorous sketches, reports, travelogues, and poems. I had over 800 of Mathew's published works--most of which were disguised under various pseudonyms--to pull from.
When I published the first draft of this book, my evidence was a lot sparser. At that time, I could say that my evidence suggested that my theories, including the past-life match, were correct. But over a period of eight years, I have added to the evidence. Now that I go back and see all of it in place, I can see just how well I have proven the case. Of course, one has to actually read it. You can't skim this work and make a sage pronouncement on it. This case is established by a preponderance of the evidence--but when I say "established," I mean established. In my estimation (if not in the estimation of Dr. Jim Tucker--who declined to read the book), it is as strong as any of the cases that Dr. Ian Stevenson uncovered. Only, I don't have the kind of stellar past-life recall that his typical cases had. I have, as said, more-or-less the same degree of recall that you (or you, or you) would have. But if you had 800 of your past-life published works as evidence, which could not possibly have been seen before setting down your impressions, you, also, could prove a past-life match to the same degree (assuming, of course, the match was also genuine).
I note, once again, how entertaining this book is, for one so large. I read all three of the books in paranormal author Chris Carter's trilogy. It's written at a college level, it can be quite dense at times, though it is powerful and insightful. You have to be prepared to get through some quantum physics, and some history, and some philosophy of science. I didn't mind--it was a good exercise for my mind, and I wanted to have it under my belt, as a public advocate for paranormal studies, myself.
But my book is nothing like that. My book is a thrilling detective story, where I offer the most outrageous theories, and proceed to prove them. The evidence, itself, is fascinating. I've shared bits and pieces in this blog--but if you read my book, you get the cumulative effect. Right now, as I am writing this, the 2017 U.S. Open tennis tournament is underway. Encountering this or that piece of evidence, in this blog, would be like catching a brief clip of one or two points in a promo; whereas immersing oneself, in my book, would be like becoming absorbed in a full match.
And there is something else I take way from watching the U.S. Open. Do you see the grit and determination displayed by these players, as they battle out a close five-set match? I have that kind of grit. You see me write a competent essay every other day, here, for weeks and months on end, with no feedback from the public; you see me conducting my research, with no funding and no interest from either academia or the media; you see me fine-tuning my book endlessly, with no sales.
But I know the worth of what I'm accomplishing, and whatever happens to me, personally, I will get the job done.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page, "Battle We Have Won" by Eric Johnson, from the album, "Venus Isle"