Sunday, 11 August 2013

P.I. : Past & Present: Dr William G Roll

Dr William Roll

William Roll was born 3rd of July 1926 in Bremen, Germany, where his Father was an American vice-Consul. His Mother was of Danish origins, and due to this, he attended Holte Gymnasium in Denmark. Later he received a BA from the University of Berkley, a B. Litt and M. Litt from Oxford University and a PhD from Lund University.

In his time William became a President of the Parapsychological Association and also a lifetime member.
Dr Roll had a lifelong infatuation with his work, in 1957, he moved to Durham in North Carolina USA to a position working at the Parapsychology Laboratory at Duke University, under J.B Rhine, who is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Parapsychology”.
It was under Rhine that Dr Roll began his extensive research into poltergeist phenomena, which would soon become one of the most studied parapsychology subjects, and one in which Dr Roll contributed the most of his talent and work.
Between 1964 and 1985, Dr William Roll conducted countless experiments as the Director of the Psychical Research Foundation, testing numerous psychics and the effects of extra-sensory perception, it was also during this time he coined the phrase RSPK or, “Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis”
Some of my readers here may recognise Dr Roll from his appearances on Unsolved Mysteries and the Discovery Channel series “A Haunting”, he also appeared on various other TV documentaries and specials.

Dr William “Bill” Roll was truly dedicated to his research, and during his time he contributed over one hundred scientific papers, edited eleven volumes of “Research in Parapsychology”, contributed articles to anthologies and wrote four books:

  1. The Poltergeist
  2. Theory and Experiment in Psychical Research
  3. Unleashed: Of Poltergeists and Murder: The Curious Story of Tina Resch
  4. Psychic Connections (with Lois Duncan)

Dr Roll also received the Outstanding Career Award from the Parapsychological Association and in 2002 he received the Tim Dinsdale Memorial Award from the Society for Scientific Exploration. 

Dr William Roll died on the 9th of January 2012, he is survived by his wife Lydia, his daughter Lise and sons Leif and William G Role III, plus 7 grandchildren

Many in the parapsychology world speak positive things of Dr William G. Roll, he was known as a devoted and loving Father (and Grandfather) and a man who enjoyed the great outdoors, hiking, sailing and travelling the world.
Forever known as a lover of animals and to everyone who met him as a man full of warmth and kindness...may his work and memory live on...

© 2013 Allen Tiller

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