Friday, October 28, 2011

Edward Dimond, Marblehead Psychic

In my thriller,  When Two Women Dieduring Elizabeth Treadwell’s dramatic and frightening day in 1690, she advises a friend to seek solace in the wisdom of the old seer and psychic, Edward Dimond, who lived at the foot of Burial Hill, where all the ancient Marbleheaders were laid to rest. Edward Dimond was an old man in this story, much admired for his ability to help townspeople find lost items or discover who had committed a crime. He was also feared for his strange way of climbing Burial Hill in the midst of raging storms to “speak” to Marblehead’s sailors caught in a gale over 500 miles away in Newfoundland. And, I’m sure, he was held in awe for his superior sailing prowess, which made it possible for him to take over in an emergency and guide experienced sailors in how to regain control of their own ship. His intelligence is obvious. He needed to clearly “see” what was happening on board and quickly figure out how to reverse the dangerous situation.
What exactly did our old psychic Edward Dimond do? That’s the question I asked myself. I set out to find the answer.
First, here is the information we have on the psychic Edward Dimond. According to Thomas E. Gray’s The Founding of Marblehead, a woman named Rebecca Norman (born 1655 or 1656) married an Edward Dimond from Marblehead. We know that his house was supposedly “built” in 1720. I have always been of the belief that there is another, more simple house, probably built much earlier, inside the house we see today, which is clearly of 18th Century style. The original Dimond house was knick-named the “Old Brig” because it was reportedly constructed of remnants of a beached ship, possibly a brig, a two-masted, square-rigged vessel. In When Two Women Die, I described Ed’s house as a simple fisherman’s shack more dramatically suited to the solitary, independent lifestyle of the sailor and seer I portrayed.
According to legend, here’s what Ed Dimond did: Edward Dimond climbed Burial Hill and projected his voice hundreds of miles in raging storms to help ships in trouble. The men on board, again, according to legend, heard Ed’s voice shouting instructions to them, probably recognizing his voice as that of a wise and trusted neighbor, jumped to, and following his every command, saved themselves and their vessel.
But, how did the sailors “hear” Ed’s voice in all horrible turmoil being raised by the storm’s energy, by the pounding thunder and crashing lightning? In When Two Women Die, I imagined Ed’s voice to be like that of a friend’s spoken directly into the sailors’ ears. I imagined that Ed’s voice is eerily quiet, whispering at times, yet heard distinctly through the storm’s chaos.
Did the sailor’s “see” Ed too? Did he physically appear to them? From the legend as we know it, Ed did not appear physically, so we must go with that information in this essay.
In my search, I began with the phenomenon of astral projection, described thusly by Crystalinks: “In astral projection the conscious mind leaves the physical body and moves into the astral body to experience. In astral projection you remain attached to your physical body by a 'silver umbilical type cord'. Some people are able to see the cord when astral projecting. People who say they experience astral projection often say that their spirit or astral body has left their physical body and moves in another dimension known as the spirit world or astral plane. The concept of astral projection has been around and practiced for thousands of years, dating back to ancient China.”
Once more, going on legend, the sailors did not see Ed Dimond; they heard him. If someone is astral projecting, word-on-the-ether is that they are on a different plane. Most likely, the physical body can’t be seen. Now, I know better than to define any psychic phenomenon. Everyone’s astral projection is probably different, and many might argue with me right now about being “seen”. That’s fine. Please let me know if you have astral projected and have been seen and heard. I'm sincerely interested, and can be reached through the comments below or through my website. Meanwhile, we don’t have any stories about Ed Dimond’s being seen on board the floundering ships. We do know that he was seen here on Burial Hill. So, his body remained standing on the hill during a violent storm. Can a body do that during astral projection? Usually, the physical body remains somewhat inert during the astral projection process, waiting for the spirit to return. Ed was extremely active and very strong to be able to stand there and hold his ground in high winds, especially at his advanced age.
Ok, so it wasn’t exactly astral projection. How about remote viewing? According to the International Remote Viewing Association, remote viewing “is a novel perceptual discipline for gaining information not available to the ordinary physical senses. Used extensively by so-called ‘psychic spies’ during the Cold War for classified military projects, it has a long history both as an intelligence gathering tool and as the subject of research and applications in the civilian world.” The IRVA teaches remote viewing; it is a skill that can be developed through practice. However, without true psychic ability, most taught remote viewing is fuzzy and ineffective. Ed Dimond was neither fuzzy nor ineffective. Also, the ability to communicate remotely was something not even the CIA could accomplish by the time they ended their “Stargate” remote viewing efforts in 1995. (Not that I believe the CIA ever ends anything. They probably just call it by a different name.)
I found an interesting example of psychic remote viewing on the website of the psychic Lynnne Olson who, while watching the Ghost Adventures’ “Las Vegas, La Palazza” house episode on television, actually interacted with the ghosts. The “La Palazza” house was a particularly nasty example of the ghosts of Las Vegas organized crime. Lynne Olson spoke to the ghosts during the show, asking questions and receiving answers. The most evil ghost told her that he stayed in the house because, “There is no heaven for the likes of me.” In this case, the psychic used the television as a conduit. Like us, and the physical world around us, which is constantly vibrating with atoms, spirits are made up of energy. The television channels energy. The idea that spirits could communicate through the television is almost too rudimentary to mention. Ghosts have been known to appear on televisions, even sets that are turned off. However, the idea of a conduit is interesting. Perhaps Ed Dimond used the storm as a conduit? Storms have plenty of energy crashing about. Not only energy but also water. We know that spirits gain a great deal of energy from water. Perhaps Ed Dimond also knew how to siphon the power of water, not only of the storm itself, but also of the powerful ocean.
I was still researching remote viewing and reading PSI Spies by Jim Marrs when I came across this passage: “In one study of native North American spirituality, the story was repeated of a Penobscot Indian (Penobscot tribe, Maine) who went on a hunting trip with his wife, son and daughter-in-law. The women stayed behind at the hunting camp, while the men went off, promising to return within three days. After four or five days, the women became anxious about the men’s safety. One night the Penobscot wife told the daughter-in-law that she was going to sleep and would dream about the men. After a long time, during which the younger woman believed she saw a ‘ball of fire’ exit and enter the wife’s body, the wife stirred and said, ‘Don’t worry, they’ll be back tomorrow. They had good luck and are bringing lots of game. I just saw them sitting by their fire eating supper.’ The next day, the hunters returned loaded with an abundance of game.”
I have never seen the fireball. But, I have heard about it now three times. Once, in a story told by Nostradamus expert, Erika Cheetham: she was attempting to film (with a film crew) the grave of Nostradamus when a fireball ripped through the church and destroyed their equipment. Another time, a practicing herbalist to whom I was telling the Nostradamus story told me she had seen the fireball. And, now, I am hearing about the fireball in a Native American story. There is no mention of the fireball in the Ed Dimond legend. But that doesn’t mean the fireball is not a part of the story, just that we don’t know about it. However, that psychic tale about the Penobscots got me wondering. Could Ed Dimond have learned to develop this psychic ability through contact with Native Americans?
I decided to write to the author of PSI Spies, Jim Marrs. I filled out his online contact form asking about Native American psychic ability. I really didn’t expect an answer, but there it was, in my inbox a couple of days later: “Howdy Patricia, (He’s from Texas.) Thank you for the most interesting e-mail.  It sounds like Ed Dimond was a Whooper, a vocal communication method used by the Appalachian mountain people and probably derivative from Native Americans.”
I was stunned. Could Whooping be heard physically? Was Whooping like yodeling; did it rely on the echoing of mountains? I had to ask the Appalachian Native Americans. 
Ironically, I turned to the internet to find out more about Native American tribes in Appalachia. I discovered a website of Native American Communities (tribes, as such, no longer exist) of West Virginia and wrote to one of their spokespeople. I received a reluctant answer.  Again, in true irony, modern Native Americans are sometimes squeamish about being publicly spiritual. However, my respectful tone had won this person over to at least answer my questions. I never got an answer about Whooping. But here is what I was told: that what I had described Edward Dimond doing was called “far-seeing” and “far-speaking” by the Native Americans of Appalachia, and that by any account, Edward Dimond’s ability was rare.
Rare. I knew it!
I’ve been studying paranormal stories for a long time, and I have never heard a story like Ed’s that did not involve God-like beings, like Jesus or angels. Jesus appeared to his disciples and angels also appeared, whether in life or in dreams. Spirits of departed loved ones also appear to us and communicate sometimes in our minds without words. Other spirits have been known to show up and interact with the living. But Ed was not dead and Ed was not a god. Ed Dimond had to overcome the limitations of the physical body and the physical world in order to call out over hundreds of miles during a storm and be heard.
I believe our ancestors and Native Americans were closer to nature’s forces than we are and more able to get in touch with these forces and use them than we are, even if we, modern man and woman, are psychic. Why? Lots of reasons. First and foremost, the earth’s power is unspiralling. The energy of heaven and earth was more powerful in the past. Second, the soil, water and air were more pure. Third, the food had more nutritional value. That last statement is almost a joke. Our food is nowhere near as powerful as it was in the 17th Century. No comparison. Our food has deteriorated since the end of World War II, when fast foods and processed foods became the norm.  When I think of the real food I saw growing up Italian, and what I see on the supermarket shelves now, I shudder. My mother, who is traditional Italian, does not touch 90% of the packages in the store. Most people in the United States do not even know what food is. They’ve never seen it or tasted it, and they certainly have never felt the effects of it. The power of human beings has never been realized. Now, add to that equation a psychic human being eating powerful food and drinking powerful water and breathing powerful air, in a more powerfully energized time.
        I believe the Native Americans, by living in nature and understanding and using natural forces every day, were able to remote view and astral project with much more ease. Now, I also believe there were ordinary Native Americans, not every one was spiritually powerful. Psychics stood out even then. But, even ordinary Native Americans were stronger and healthier than the Europeans who came to America, unless, of course, they had bad habits that made them weak or unhealthy. Much of what the Native Americans were able to accomplish came to them naturally because they were strong and healthy and able to channel spiritual and physical energy in an efficient way. Much of what they did probably seemed normal to them.
        I believe in psychic ability. I don’t need any of its phenomena proven to me. I think skeptics are a waste of my time. Skeptics are arrogant enough to believe that only what they understand can be real. From the first moment I heard of Edward Dimond, I knew that his psychic ability was a natural and rare talent of unusual power and control. I now believe this talent was probably developed to its legendary level through contact with Native Americans. It’s possible that Native Americans used fasting and walking out to a spiritual place; music and drumming; chanting, herbs and water to reach a crescendo of concentration. We don’t know if Ed Dimond had time to use any of these methods in an emergency, but he may have developed his concentration using any of these practices. 
According to the Marblehead Reporter’s Marblehead 101 feature, “The Naumkeags, part of the Algonquin nation of woodland tribes, came to Marblehead for the same reason that people come today, fishing and living by the shore in a relaxed and healthful way. For the Naumkeags, Marblehead in the summer was part of their route. They used the time to fish, clam and collect shells; particularly prized were mussel shells with beautiful iridescent purple insides. They also collected salt from the ocean shores.”
Many Native Americans came and went from this area. In early colonial times, there was much more moving about, picking up and starting new elsewhere, than we probably realize, for Native Americans as well as the colonists. People followed opportunities to improve their lives. Ed Dimond and everyone else had the chance to meet and learn from folks from far away countries and from far away areas of this new country.
The Naumkeags lived beside Edward Dimond in Marblehead, an area, which, I believe, is enchanted. The energy here is rare, powerful and vibrating with life’s forces. The architecture has remained straight and simple, standing solidly on ground, made of natural materials, perfect for channeling heaven and earth’s forces. The ocean freely rushes and leaves the shore. Men make their living from the sea and sail for pleasure. The massive granite under every structure both channels and receives energy. Water streams underground and forms ponds above. I can only imagine what life in Marblehead was like when our amazing ancestors lived here making their living from the powerful ocean with psychics, pirates and natives as neighbors.
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©Patricia Goodwin 2011

Patricia Goodwin is the author of When Two Women Die, about Marblehead legends and true crime and its sequel, Dreamwater, about the Salem witch trials and the vicious 11-year-old pirate Ned Low. Holy Days is her third novel, about the sexual, psychological seduction of Gloria Wisher and her subsequent transformation. Her newest poetry books are Telling Time By Apples, And Other Poems About Life On The Remnants of Olde Humphrey Farme, illustrated by the author, and Java Love: Poems of a Coffeehouse.