Description: This quirky and unusual item dates from June 2, 1938 - more than a decade after the Spiritualism movement had begun to wane, but there were still many believers. On that evening, William G. H. Gerke held a séance at his home, facilitated by Mr. A. De Chard, a trumpet medium.
During such a séance, it was believed that a spirit would withdraw ectoplasm from the medium and use it to create a 'voicebox.' The spirit would speak from that voicebox, amplified by a metal cone called a trumpet, so the audience could hear more clearly. Gerke's neighbor, Louis Leiffer, was in the audience that night, and reported that after hearing "a loud rumbling noise from the motor of an airoplane," "a young woman, apparently about the age of twenty five" spoke through the medium with the following message:
"My name is Amelia Earhart and I want to reach my husband George Putnam, a publisher in New York with a message of love. Will someone in the audience deliver it to him? The gas gave out about 150 miles off Holland [sic] Island, a small island in the Pacific. Our plane went down and floated three days on the pontoons until they gave way. Our bodies were devoured by sharks. I shall try to be with you again at the next seance, ...Good night."
Leiffer, an author and investigator of spiritual phenomena, stated that "95 per-cent of the Spiritualism practiced to-day... is an absolute fraud," but believed Mr. De Chard to be "the first honest medium encountered in the last twenty years." Leiffer took the Gerke/De Chard séance so seriously that he had his account and the background typed up the following day, and went to the trouble of swearing to it and signing the account in front of a notary public.
On three sheets of plain white typing paper measuring approximately 8.5" x 11" - one sheet with the account of the séance, one sheet with Leiffer's signature, and the signature and seal of the notary, and one sheet of background information on Leiffer and De Chard. Item #AM00187
Aviatrix Amelia Earhart (b. 1897, disappeared 1937), became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928. The holder of numerous awards and records, she embarked on another first for a woman - a near-equatorial circumnavigation of the globe with navigator Fred Noonan, in 1937. They had flown more than 20,000 miles and were on the last leg of the flight when they disappeared after missing a planned refueling stop on Howland Island in the Pacific.
Condition: Toning, light soil, light stain from a paper clip. Previously held together at the top by two staples, the third page has become completely detached and the right staple is missing; the left, still holding pages 1 & 2, is thoroughly rusted; there is staining and staple-sized paper loss. A 1-2" tear at the right edge has been repaired on the verso of all three sheets with archival tissue/tape. In good condition overall, and easy to display nicely. A fun addition to any number of collections!