Owen, A.R.G. (George)

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Owen, A.R.G. (George)

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Alan Robert George Owen, known to his friends as George Owen, was a British immigrant to Canada who made significant contributions to the field of psychical research, particularly concerning table tilting and group psychokinesis (PK). Owen was born in Bristol, England in 1919 and was educated in the fields of mathematics, physics and genetics. Dr. Owen obtained a B.A. in mathematics and physics in 1940, an M.A. in 1945 and his doctorate in mathematical genetics in 1948. During the Second World War, Dr. Owen played a large part in the development of Radar technology. Following the war, Dr. Owen became a research fellow and lecturer in mathematics and genetics at Trinity College. He married his wife, Iris May Pepper, in 1952 and had a son, Robin, in 1955. Both George and Iris were interested in researching psychical phenomena, particularly concerning psychokinesis and poltergeists. In 1964, Dr. Owen published “Can we Explain the Poltergeist”, which was a collection of his research into poltergeist phenomena that attempted to separate hoaxes from cases he believed to be genuine. One case in particular featured prominently in his research: that of the “Sauchi” poltergeist, which manifested around 11 year old Virginia Campbell in 1960-61, leading Dr. Owen to conclude that some poltergeist phenomena were indeed real. A second case that began in 1966 would occupy Dr. Owen on and off again for several years: that of 11 year old Matthew Manning, who later visited Dr. and Mrs. Owen in Canada in 1974. Research such as this led in 1969 to the Owens being offered the job of directing parapsychology research for the Toronto based New Horizons Research Foundation (NHRF) for five years. They accepted the offer and came to Canada the following year. The New Horizons Research Foundation was a non-profit organization that dealt in psychical research and Dr. Owen came on as the Foundation’s Vice President as well as the editor of its journal, “New Horizons: Journal of the New Horizons Research Foundation”, published from 1972-1978 and incorporated the “Transactions of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research”. The Toronto Society for Psychical Research (TSPR) was another organization dedicated to psychical research with Iris Owen as its Secretary-Treasurer. It was under the TSPR’s auspices that the Owens’ famous Philip experiment was conducted. Headed by Iris, the Philip experiment sought to recreate the table tilting experiments of British psychical researchers such as Kenneth J. Batcheldor, who determined that group psychokinesis was possible. To do so, an imaginary ghost named Philip was created as a way to guide and focus the sitter group’s psychical energy as questions were posed to and responses sought from the imaginary Philip. Dr. Owen continued researching and writing papers for the NHRF right up until his and Iris’ retirement in 1994, when they moved to Calgary. Dr. Owen passed away in 2003.


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Henwood, Diana Andrienne (1933-2012)

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Members of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research (TSPR) and participants in the

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