Munnings, Frederick T(ansley) (ca. 1928)
British fake trumpet medium and former bugler. Writer H.
Dennis Bradley, who held several experimental sittings with
Munnings in his home, dismissed his claims to direct voice
mediumship. Bradley stated that the sittings were entirely valueless
and, in February 1926 a public warning against Munnings
was issued in the press by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Abraham
Wallace, R. H. Saunders, and H. D. Bradley.
For publication of the warning, Munnings brought an action
for libel against the Daily Sketch and the Sunday Herald in 1928.
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However, he did not face the issue before the court and judgment
was entered for the defendants. Thereupon Munnings
sold his ‘‘Confessions’’ to The People newspaper. It appeared in
installments for several weeks, written by journalist Sydney A.
Moseley, branding Munnings’s whole psychic career as an incident
of fraud. The understanding between Moseley and Munnings,
however, was not perfect and in an interview to the International
Psychic Gazette, Munnings entered a mild protest
against his own sensational disclosures.
Psychical researcher Harry Price was instrumental in the
exposure of Munnings, who claimed to produce the independent
voices of ‘‘Julius Caesar,’’ ‘‘Dan Leno’’ (famous nineteenth-century
comedian), ‘‘Dr. Crippen’’ (a murderer), and
‘‘King Henry VIII.’’ Price had invented a voice control recorder
and ultimately proved that all the voices were those of Munnings.
Sources
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
‘‘The Cases of Mr. Moss and Mr. Munnings.’’ Journal of the
Society for Psychical Research 23 (1926).