Apports, Asports and JOTT

23rd February 2021. Reading Time: 9 minutes General, Paranormal Theories, Stuff paranormal investigators need to know. 911 page views. 0 comments.

Apports and Asports are two different sets of paranormal phenomena which are the opposite of one another.  Both are considered to be a form of paranormal teleportation which were usually demonstrated during spiritualist seances and are a part of physical mediumship demonstrations.  Is it an act of the medium or can spirits make items appear or disappear? Could this be related to what we know as the JOTT phenomena?

Apports and Asports are two different sets of paranormal phenomena which are the opposite of one another.  Both are considered to be a form of paranormal teleportation which were usually demonstrated during spiritualist seances and are a part of physical mediumship demonstrations.  Is it an act of the medium or can spirits make items appear or disappear?  Could this be related to what we know as the JOTT phenomena?

Apports

An apport is an item that seemingly appears from nowhere.  It was the commonplace practice in the spiritualist era for a medium to be able to produce an object out of what seemed like thin air during a seance.  While many were convinced by some of the abilities of physical mediums, many were caught manifesting these items not by supernatural means but by fraud.  Small items were often concealed in a medium's pocket and then revealed to appear under a cloth in a trick by sleight of hand.  One person who was fascinated with the apport phenomena was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

There is no more curious and dramatic phase of psychic phenomenon than the apport. It is so startling that it is difficult to persuade the sceptic as to its possibility, and even the Spiritualist can hardly credit it until examples actually come his way. The author's first introduction to occult knowledge was due largely to the late General Drayson, who at that time-nearly forty years ago-was receiving through an amateur medium a constant succession of apports of the most curious description-Indian lamps, amulets, fresh fruit, and other things. So amazing a phenomenon, and one so easily simulated, was too much for a beginner, and it retarded rather than helped progress. Since then, however, the author has met the editor of a well-known paper who used the same medium after General Drayson's death, and he continued, under rigid conditions, to get similar apports. The author has been forced, therefore, to reconsider his view and to believe that he has underrated both the honesty of the medium and the intelligence of her sitter.

Arthur Conan Doyle History of spiritualism Vol II

The term Apports was coined by parapsychologist Nandor Fodor whose main area of focus was poltergeists, hauntings, and paranormal phenomena that were connected with mediumship.  In 1934 he published the Encyclopedia of Psychic Science which referenced 900 different phenomena including that of Apports.  Many mediums were exposed as fraudulent when tested in controlled circumstances often concealing the items or unable to produce them with the controls in place.  

Apport medium Lajos Pap      Image Source: Public Domain

The Scole Experiment was a 5 year exercise in the 1990s by a group based in Norfolk designed to prove under Scientific conditions that afterlife communication and mediumship was genuine.

They claimed to produce apport phenomena during the trials:

One of the phenomena which occurred during the Scole Experiment was the arrival of 'apports' into the cellar. An apport (from the French apporter, ‘to bring’), is a physical object which appears in a room or other enclosed space into which orthodox entry is impossible. This implies that the apport has had to pass through matter. The Scole Group reported that the arrival of an apport was announced by the sound of a loud thud, either on the floor or on the table.

The first apport was a Churchill Crown in October 1993. In November 1993, a collection of apports were received as gifts for the Group. These were: a silver thimble; two small silver lockets; a silver chain bracelet; a St Christopher medallion; an ornate miniature spoon with spiral metal handle, decorated bowl and inscription in French on the reverse and a tiny gold medallion with hieroglyphics. More than 70 apports were received in total during the Scole Experimental sessions. 

One apport which initiated a great deal of discussion was the seemingly original copy of the Daily Express newspaper, dated Monday 28th May 1945. The apported Daily Express was printed on paper of the type used in the early- and mid-1940s, but it was in almost mint condition. There was no sign of the usual yellowing which would have occurred if it was an original from the end of wartime Britain. 

Interestingly, just a few weeks later, the apported newspaper, although carefully stored away from light and air, had turned yellow!
https://www.thescoleexperiment.com/paranormal-apports-phenomena.html

Image Source: https://www.thescoleexperiment.com/paranormal-apports-phenomena.html

While this was observed by paranormal investigators at the time who advocated for the phenomena they claimed they witnessed, the results have caused a lot of controversy namely given what do we define as 'scientific evidence'?  The lack of true scientific controls means that the experiment was not taken seriously by many and it was claimed the investigators were more of an audience rather than investigating the phenomenon under the scientific method.

With this aside, we have to ask if mediums can really materialize items from thin air or is there something else happening beyond deception?  

Asports

An asport is the opposite of an apport.  Instead of making an object appear, a medium is able to make it disappear ... almost like magic.  Others believe it is a spirit that is teleporting the item and moving it to a new location.  It is not as well known nor discussed as prominently as an Apport.  Maybe many class it to be under the same phenomena?  Maybe instead it is something that could instead fall under the JOTT phenomena - Just One Of Those Things. 

Are Apports and Asports related to JOTT?

Apports or Asports are not as commonly reported today.  While physical mediumship sessions may still work with this phenomenon, it is not something that is commonly reported among the paranormal community.  What you do hear about however on a more widespread level by the general community is a phenomenon called JOTT: Just One Of Those Things.  Paranormal researcher Mary Rose Barrington coined this term otherwise referred to as the disappearing object phenomenon. Barrington classified this weird occurrence into two different categories:

  • Jottles:  This is the more common of the two where objects are displaced either via teleportation, poltergeist phenomena or an apport (a spirit moving an object).  
  • Oddjott:  Miscellaneous weird episodes that have no rational explanation 

Jottles are then further broken down into subcategories:

  • Walkabout. This is the most common jottle, where an item disappears from a known location and is found later in another and often bizarre location, without any sort of explanation as to how it got there.
  • Comeback. An item disappears from a known location and anywhere from minutes to years, reappears in this very same location. 
  • Flyaway. An item disappears from a known location and never reappears. 
  • Turnup. An item that appears in a location that it couldn’t have been in before. 
  • Windfall. An unknown item to you randomly appears.
  • Trade-in. An item that disappears and never comes back, but a similar item appears instead

It seems there are comparisons here that could be made to both apports or asports as you have items either disappearing or appearing from nowhere.  Another thing they have in common is that just like apports or asports people generally seem to think that it is spirits behind this activity. 

So can spirits make objects appear or disappear from other realms or other rooms or could it be something else?

A connection with PSI?

One of the many theories behind both JOTT, Asports, and even Apports could be connected to extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis or PSI.  Could it be a physical manifestation stemming from the human mind?  This is something that Barrington explores in her book as well as the paper From JOTT to Cosmic Control and the Normalization of the Paranormal: Does ‘Just One of Those Things’ Solve the Problem of Psi? (2017)

Taking it further, quite a lot further, I posit that the primary purpose of our
telepathic circuits, to use the handy language of radio, is to receive
instructions from the cosmic mind as to how to imagine and model the
environment; and those instructions will always be to maintain consensus
causality, to ensure that our environment is consistent, makes sense to us and
can be controlled in a rational manner. I further posit that as human minds
have become more powerful, the implementation of modelling our ever more
complex environment has been increasingly delegated to subconscious human
minds.
To complete the preliminary sketch, I see life-forms as dissociated fragments
of the universal mind, the instructions rolling out from its autonomic system,
which like ours continues to function when the conscious mind is effectively
dormant, as is the case with a highly dissociated personality.
So when humans set out to disrupt causality, as by experimenting with
physical mediumship, it is not a case of mind pitted directly against what you
might loosely call the forces of nature; it is minds set on deviant causation,
side-lining their duty to comply with the instructions emanating from the
central control, instructions that other people not involved in the deviant
behaviour will continue to observe. The effects of deviance are strictly local
and they can briefly prevail against more remote signals upholding the norms.
Both forms of reality construction are implemented by our subconscious
minds. 

Barrington, M.R., From JOTT to Cosmic Control and the Normalization of the
Paranormal: Does ‘Just One of Those Things’ Solve the Problem of Psi? Psi
Encyclopedia, 2017. First published in Paranormal Review 81, Winter 2017.

If a medium can indeed do these things intentionally, of course, it is possible that others unaware of the potentials of the human mind themselves could trigger these random events.  As Barrington states, our subconscious can play a significant role here.  Others put it down to poltergeists or hauntings.  When we look at poltergeist phenomena, it is often associated with a person again unknowingly manifesting their own activity through an unintended act of psychokinesis.  Others believe however it is spirits leaving us signs they are with us or helping us find our lost treasured items. 

While Apports are strongly associated with mediumship and fraud, the phenomena behind them tie in nicely with that of JOTT.  It is these unintended acts from everyday people that I find most fascinating.  We all know weird things happen, so much so that it is thought to be Just One Of Those Things!  What do you think?  Do you think mediums can really make items appear and disappear?  Are our loved ones in spirit giving us messages from the other side or are we creating our own ghosts with our mind?

The JOTT Phenomena is one that I have been researching and taking accounts from people all over the World with their own stories.  Below is a link to an article with some of these experiences, click the picture to read on:

Experiences of JOTT

https://llifs.com.au/blog/experiences-of-jott/

References

A magician among the spirits Harry Houdini (1924)

JOTT: When things disappear ... and come back Mary Rose Barrington (2018)

The History of Spiritualism Vol II Arthur Conan Doyle (1926)

https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/jott-phenomena-spatial-discontinuities

Barrington, M.R., From JOTT to Cosmic Control and the Normalization of the
Paranormal: Does ‘Just One of Those Things’ Solve the Problem of Psi? Psi
Encyclopedia, 2017. First published in Paranormal Review 81, Winter 2017.

https://www.thescoleexperiment.com/paranormal-apports-phenomena.html

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