From FATE MAGAZINE DECEMBER 1979
THE SEARCH FOR AN IRISH MARTYR: PART TWO
True to the psychic's predictions there was a skull in the northeast corner of the basement, but somebody didn't want the investigators to know whose it was. . . .
By Ann Druffel
ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1803, an English judge in a Dublin court sentenced Irish patriot Robert Emmet to die for treason. In his final statement the bitter young man, who had heard his good name maligned repeatedly throughout the trial, demanded that his body he buried in an unmarked grave and that his epitaph remain unwritten until Ireland became a free nation.
The next day Emmet was hanged and then beheaded in front of St. Catherine's Church. As his body lay unclaimed and unguarded in the entry hail of Kilmainham Jail, an Irish historian named Petrie stole the head and made a death mask. When he returned with the head an hour later, the body had been removed for burial. Petrie then disposed of Emmet's head but future historians have not known what he did with it.
Emmet's body was buried in Bully's Acre, a potter's field, but disappeared soon afterwards. A century and three-quarters later the people of Ireland have forgotten neither 'the martyred hero nor the mystery of his missing remains.
In 1975 Ann Druffel, an American of Irish extraction, decided to see if she could solve it by psychic means After a series of possibly prophetic dreams she contacted psychic Aron Abrahamsen. Studying maps and pictures Mrs. Druffel provided, Abrahamsen concluded that Emmet's body still lay in Bully's Acre, in a different grave from the one in which he first was buried, secretly reburied by English agents.
Hypnotized as part of a "remote-viewing" experiment, the author attempted to put herself in Emmet's place during his last two days as well as in his "spirit's" place after his death. She "saw" an unevenly-shaped "boulder" at the site of the second unknown grave. In her mind she pictured Petrie carrying Emmet's head into a beautiful church, talking with a caretaker and entering a 9x10-foot basement room through a door behind a gilded altar.
Mrs. Druffel "saw" metal shelves in one corner. The caretaker dug into the soil with a flat stick and buried the head behind a stone in the wall.
In order to pursue her investigations Mrs. Druffel flew to Dublin and with effort secured permission to enter the locked-up, long-abandoned Bully's Acre. The scene was just as she had "seen" it in her remote viewing. The "boulder" proved to a broken tombstone. But she and her friends Malcolm and Doreen Farmer were refused permission to excavate,
When the three entered the ground floor of St. Catherine's Church, Mrs. Druffel found it as she had seen it psychically. But the door to the basement Petrie and the caretaker had entered was bricked up, accessible only by tearing down the tightly fitted outside seal. A junior executive gave them permission to break the seal, which Mrs. Druffel and Mr. Farmer did on July 14, 1978.
They found a small empty room. In an adjacent room were two large coffins on a ledge. On the west wall was a bricked-in doorway. Farmer removed bricks from the west and east walls but found nothing. Neither remembered Aron Abrahamsen's prediction that the head was hidden in the northeast section of the basement.
As they worked Mrs. Druffel recognized her surroundings because she had "seen" them psychically.
LATE IN THE afternoon Doreen Farmer and I went to a nearby pub for lunch. When we returned to the vault, Malcolm devoured the sandwich we brought him as if he were starving. Then he said, "While you were gone, I put myself in the caretaker's place and asked, 'What would I do if I had just been given a hot potato, the head of an executed criminal, and asked to hide it?' "
We stared at him.
"I wouldn't take time to remove stones from a wall, would I now?" Malcolm continued. "I'd hide it in the quickest place I could find! Let me show you what I found," he said, grinning.
The yellow glow from his Tilley lamp revealed a rounded, dirt-encrusted object about the size of a human skull. It was tucked behind the ledge at the side of the bottom casket.
"My God," I said. "Is that it?"
"I haven't the least idea," Malcolm replied in his typically calm manner. "I haven't moved it yet."
After photographing the scene from all angles, Malcolm lifted the object from its hiding place. It was indeed a human cranium of considerable age. The eyebrow ridges were intact but the jaw and facial bones were missing (Figure One). It was in the northeast sector of the basement.
Investigator Malcolm Farmer found this human cranium, obviously of considerable age,
behind the ledge at the side of broken casket in St. Catherine's Church
Are these the remains of Robert Emmet?
As a metallurgist Malcolm recognized that the two lowest coffins in the nearby stack were definitely lead liners from ancient caskets. Though partially collapsed from the weight of a third lead-lined coffin, dated 1819, which lay on top of them, they were unbroken. The intact cranium could not have fallen out of them. The outer wooden shells of these coffins had broken off (Figure Two). But the coffin on top had an intact wooden exterior. Malcolm checked all of the other coffins in the vault. They were, without exception, intact.
Three lead-lined coffins, the top one dated 1819, lay atop the shattered
of an even older wooden one, near which dirt-encrusted cranium was discovered.
Beneath the stack of caskets near the skull were remnants of an older wooden coffin of great age. This casket had been crushed completely into the soft earth. Some fragments — a small piece of long bone, a tiny portion of a skull— lay nearby. These were probably from the crushed wooden coffin, for they were clean white bones, in sharp contrast to the intact, dirt-encrusted cranium.
Our find, the beautifully preserved cranium, could not have come from this smashed coffin. It would have been ground to bits.
The news spread quickly. Exactly how we never knew. Within an hour a public relations official, a museum anatomist and newsmen joined us in the vault.
The Tilley lamp was sputtering now. Malcolm pumped it up. By its glow the anatomist examined the skull. He expressed interest in taking it for further study to determine its age and sex. But the public relations official would have none of it. No bones could be removed from a burial vault. It was against the law.
We pleaded with him, pointing out that this was an extra skull hidden exactly where our sources had predicted. Politely he remained firm.
It was now 4:45 on Friday afternoon. In 15 minutes Dublin's vast bureaucracy would shut down until Monday morning and on Monday morning my charter flight was returning to the United States. There was no way I could stay to complete the search.
I sped from the church. Dublin's wild motorists streamed by, taking advantage of a stuck control light. In desperation I waded through the traffic.
I called our brave young executive. He was unavailable, probably aware he had made a dreadful mistake. With successive five-pence pieces I struggled up the bureaucratic ladder, but everyone was unavailable.
At the stroke of 5:00 P.M. a male voice stated firmly that the only person who could make the decision to remove the skull from the vault was Dublin's city manager (mayor)— also, of course, unavailable. "Call back Monday," the voice said.
Dazed, I returned to the vault. Malcolm took more photographs of the skull (Figure Three). I gently wrapped it up and Malcolm, Doreen and I signed and dated it.
Author Ann Druffel holds what may be part of the missing skull of an Irish
hero. The skull was found to the left of the stack of coffins directly behind her.
Malcolm began carefully to reseal the vault.
"Why are you taking so much care to do it perfectly?" I grumbled.
"Well, we won't be afraid to come back then, will we?" he replied.
Assured that he and Doreen would carry on the uncompleted task, I helped him gladly. True to our promise, we left the place as we had found it but in much better condition.
BACK HOME IN California I learned that our precious find still lay in the vault, untouched. De spite Malcolm's requests no one in official Dublin had done anything to have it removed and examined.
The. Irish officials publicly denied that anyone had given us permission to enter the vault. Our brave young executive had nothing to say.
Several individuals who know something about Ireland's delicate political situation said they thought they understood the government's unwillingness to act.
"The Irish government doesn't want the remains of Emmet found," one said. "His grave, if known, would be come a rallying point for Irish Republican Army extremists."
I do not pretend to understand Irish politics and do not care to become involved. My aims were and are scientific, not political. To the extent that I. am emotionally involved, it is only because I hope to see the remains of Robert Emmet returned to his countrymen.
I am disappointed, however, that the Irish Republic government has not acted with the kind of courage that Emmet himself displayed many years ago.
At home I had time to compare the findings in the vault, with Aron's reading and my own remote viewing. The correlations are astonishing.
In the accompanying photograph of the vault (Figure Two) the camera is facing east. When you compare it with my sketch, remember that in remote viewing a right-left reversal often occurs, even for persons adept at the process. It occurred in this case (Figure Four).
Author's sketch of St. Catherine's Church basement as "seen" psychically is
strikingly accurate except for right-left reversal, a frequent effect in remote-viewing.
The doorway which the caretaker entered corresponded exactly to the bricked-up door in the west wall. The "something metal, shelves or something in one corner," was probably the pile of lead-lined coffins. The "flat stick which seemed associated with the metal "shelves" was undoubtedly a piece of wood fallen off the bottom lead casket. The caretaker dug into the earth with this stick on the left-hand side of the coffins and buried the head in the northeast section of the basement.
In remote viewing, particularly for inexperienced subjects, the conscious mind attempts to make logical inferences from what it is perceiving psychically.
I received information that the head was buried behind a stone and that the
wall was left precisely as it had been before. In addition I sensed that the stone was three feet from the floor.
My conscious mind arranged these bits logically. I concluded that the caretaker had removed a stone from the basement wall three feet from the floor, dug into earth behind the stone and hid the head. But what actually occurred, as proved on the site, was that the caretaker dug into the earth directly behind a stone ledge three feet high find buried the head. For an amateur remote viewer the sketch depicted the eventual on-the-spot findings remarkably well.
The skull, when first found, contained a quantity of soil inside and was encrusted with dirt. That it was initially buried is beyond question. But how had the head surfaced?
The lead-lined caskets near it weighed about 800 pounds each. Probably over the years, as the caskets collapsed (especially under the added weight of the 1819 casket) the lowest (wooden) coffin sank completely into the earth, pulling the shallow soil cover off the skull.
I sent photographs to anthropologists at a California university. They reported that the skull could well be that of an individual who died as long ago as 175 years and whose head was buried in earth. They agreed the jaw and other facial bones should be found n the earth directly under the spot at which the cranium was first seen.
I also spoke with Aron Abrahamsen who said he was sure the skull was Emmet's. "It could not be anything else but Emmet's head," he said. He warned me that persons opposed to the recovery of Emmet's remains might try to destroy them and urged me to bring the situation to the attention of Irish-American groups which could support the research.
Eventually, when the skull is retrieved, anatomists can tell us whether or not it could be that of a 25-year-old man who died 175 years ago and whose head was hacked off with a crude kitchen knife. The small round bone through which the top of the spine entered in life is partially missing and it should be possible to tell whether or not this bone was broken by a sharp blow. When the jaw and facial bones are found, they can be fitted onto the cranium; then the complete skull can be measured and compared with Emmet's death mask.
When the skull is authenticated, excavations in Bully's Acre surely will follow soon after and the skull can be matched to the rest of the skeleton With this and other delicate scientific tests researchers can verify the identity of the individual whose remains these represent.
Eventually, I am certain, the remains of Robert Emmet will be restored to their proper owners: the people of Ireland.