Tyrrell, G(eorge) N(ugent) M(erle)
Mathematician and parapsychologist. He was a member of
the council of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), London
(1940–52), and was elected its president in 1945. Born in
1879, he was educated at Haileybury School, Seafield Engineering
College, and London University (where he attained
degrees in physics and mathematics). A pioneer in the study of
wireless telegraphy, Tyrrell worked under Guglielmo Marconi.
He served in the British Army during World War I.
Tyrrell joined the SPR in 1908. After conducting a series of
experiments in telepathy and precognition with Gertrude
Johnson, he devoted himself exclusively to psychical research.
He undertook further experiments with Johnson in 1924,
using quantitative methods, and invented mechanical devices
to randomize selection and scoring. His apparatus, unfortunately,
was destroyed during an air raid in World War II, and
in the years after the war he concentrated on the theoretical
and philosophical aspects of extrasensory perception. Out of
this period came possibly his single most important volume,
Apparitions (1953), cited for its clarity in integrating data. He
died October 29, 1952.
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology.
New York Helix Press, 1964.
Salter, W. H., G. W. Fisk, and Harry H. Price. ‘‘G. N. M. Tyrrell
and His Contributions to Psychical Research.’’ Journal of
the Society for Psychical Research 37 (1953).