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Centurione Scotto, Marquis Carlo (ca. 1928)

Centurione Scotto, Marquis Carlo (ca. 1928)

A famous medium who was a member of the Italian nobility. His family was one of the oldest in Italy, one of the titles of the marquis being Principe del Sacro Romano Impero. He was a member of Parliament for eleven years and undertook research work in the hope of communicating with his deceased son, the Marquis Vittorio dei Principi Centurione, captain of the Aerial Army, who, while flying over Lake Varese in testing a new machine for the Schneider Cup Race in America was killed on September 21, 1926.

The grief-stricken father was advised to seek comfort in reading H. Dennis Bradley 's Towards the Stars (1924), which had been translated into Italian. He found hope, and with letters of introduction from Ernesto Bozzano, he went to London and participated in séances with the medium George Valian-tine in Bradley's home. During one séance, he believed that his son spoke to him in a voice that he recognized and gave other evidential information. A trumpet also produced the particular noise of an airplane engine and then the sound of the plane falling. The performance was an imitation of the airplane of Vittorio Centurione, of whose tragic death neither Valiantine nor Bradley knew.

In séances held in New York a similarly noisy manifestation, apparently for identification, was noted in the spring of 1928. After the London séances, Valiantine had presented the marquis with an aluminum trumpet and begged him to sit for direct voice mediumship in his own house. Whether this acted as a suggestion to awaken latent faculties or not, the marquis obtained much success from subsequent séances.

However, it was not his dead son who communicated but one named Cristo d'Angelo, who said he had been a Sicilian shepherd. This spirit control took charge of the manifestations from the other side. Direct voice was the main feature, but many other supernormal manifestations were also witnessed direct writing, unusual apports (for the production of which the presence of another medium, Fabienne Rossi, was involved), a wide range of lesser physical phenomena, materialization, and once his own teleportation from the locked séance room.

The direct voice usually issued from a corner of the ceiling, but sometimes it came from inside one of the trumpets standing upright. The voices spoke Latin, Spanish, and German, as well five dialects unknown to the medium: Piedmontese, Romagnolo, Neapolitan, Venetian, and Sicilian.

The scientific side of the experiments or the question of propaganda did not interest Centurione Scotto at all. To suggest test conditions was an extremely delicate matter for his chief investigator, Ernesto Bozzano. In the absence of these, strong criticisms of the phenomena were brought forward in Germany by Baron Albert von Schrenck-Notzing and Rudolf Lambert. In England, for similar reasons, the phenomena were questioned by Theodore Besterman of the Society for Psychical Research in a manner that the noted champion of Spiritualism Sir Arthur Conan Doyle found derogatory to Bozzano's reputation as a competent psychical investigator. As a result Conan Doyle resigned his membership from the society.

Sources:

Huck, Gwendolyn K. Modern Psychic Mysteries: Millesimo Castle, Italy. London, 1929.

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