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Who is William G. Roll?

William Roll was born July 3, 1926 in Bremen, Germany, where his father was American Vice-Consul. His mother was Danish and Roll attended Holte Gymnasium in Denmark. He enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley in 1947, and received the BA in 1949, majoring in philosophy and psychology. After a year of graduate work in sociology, Roll went to Oxford University, to do research in parapsychology under Professor H.H. rice until 1957. He received the M. Litt. degree for a thesis entitled "Theory and Experiment in Psychical Research," and was president of the Oxford University Society for Psychical Research. In 1957, Roll joined the staff of the Parapsychology Laboratory, Duke University, working under Dr. J.B. Rhine until 1964. During this period he made his first RSPK and haunt investigations, was appointed project director of the Psychical Research Foundation (PRF), and elected president of the Parapsychological Association.

After Rhine's retirement from Duke in 1964, the PRF became a sponsored program at the Department of Electrical Engineering. In 1986, Roll was appointed Professor of Psychical Research and Psychology at West Georgia College (now the State University of West Georgia) with funding from the PRF. In 1989, he received the Ph.D. from Lund University, Sweden, for a thesis entitled "This World or That: An Examination of Parapsychological Findings Suggestive of the Survival of Human Personality After Death." Since 1990, Roll has been teaching parapsychology at the University as an adjunct professor.

Roll has written more than 100 scientific papers, several articles for anthologies, edited 11 volumes of Research in Parapsychology, and written four books, The Poltergeist (1972), Theory and Experiment in Psychical Research (1975, his M.Litt. thesis), Psychic Connections (1995, with Lois Duncan), and Unleashed (2004, with Valerie Storey). In 1996 he received the Parapsychological Association's award for a Distinguished Career in Parapsychology. In 2002 he was awarded the Dinsdale Memorial Award by the Society for Scientific Investigation for his RSPK studies.

Selected Publications
Roll, W. G. (1968). Some physical and psychological aspects of a series of poltergeist phenomena. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 62, 263-308.

Roll, W.G. (1969). The Newark disturbances. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 63, 123-174.

Roll, W.G. (1970). Poltergeist phenomena and interpersonal relations. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 64, 66-99.

Roll, W.G. (2003). Poltergeists, electromagnetism and consciousness. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 17, 75-86.

Roll, W.G. (2004). The Poltergeist. New York: Paraview (reprint of 1979 edition).

Roll, W.G. (1993). The question of RSPK vs. fraud in the case of Tina Resch. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 36th Annual Convention, 456-482.

Roll, W.G. (2000). Poltergeist and space-time: A contemplation on Hans Bender's Ideas

About RSPK. The Parapsychological Association, 43rd Annual Convention, Proceedings of Presented Papers, August 17-20, 316-332.

Roll, W.G., Burdick, D., & Joines, W.T. (1973). Radial and tangential forces in the Miami poltergeist. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 67, 267-281.

Roll, W.G., Burdick, D., & Joines, W.T. (1974). The rotating beam theory and the Olive Hill poltergeist. In W.G. Roll, RL. Morris & J. Morris (Eds.), Research in Parapsychology, 1973, (pp. 64-67). Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow.

Roll, W.G., & Gearhart, L. (1974). Geomagnetic perturbations and RSPK. In W.G. Roll, RL. Morris & J. Morris (Eds.), Research in Parapsychology, 1973, (pp. 44-46). Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow.

Roll, W.G., Maher, M., & Brown, B. (1992). An investigation of reported haunting occurrences in a Japanese restaurant in Georgia. The Parapsychological Association 35th Annual Convention, Proceedings of Presented Papers, August 9-13, 151-168.

Roll, W.G., Moody, R, & Radin, D. (1996). Reports of hauntings at Dragsholm Castle, Denmark, and Engso Castle, Sweden. The Parapsychological Association, 39th Annual Convention, Proceedings of Presented Papers, August 17-19, 253-270.

Roll, W.G. & Nichols, A. (1999). A haunting at an Army post. The Parapsychological Association 42nd Annual Convention, Proceedings of Presented Papers, August 4-8, 253-270.

Roll, W.G. & Nichols, A. (2000). Psychological and electromagnetic aspects of haunts. The Parapsychological Association 43rd Annual Convention, Proceedings of Presented Papers, August 17-20, 364-378.

Roll, W.G. & Persinger, M.A. (1998). Poltergeist and nonlocality: Energetic aspects of RSPK. Proceedings of Presented Papers: The Parapsychological Association 41st Annual Convention, August 6-9, 1998, 184-198.

Roll, W.G., & Pratt, J.G. (1971). The Miami disturbances. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 65, 409-454.

Roll, W.G., Sheehan, L.C., Persinger, M.A., & Glass, A.Y. (1996). The haunting of White Ranch. The Parapsychological Association Annual Convention, Proceedings of Presented Papers, August, 17-20, 279-294.

Roll, W.G., & Stump, J. (1969). The Olive Hill poltergeist. Proceedings of the Parapsychological Association 6, 57-58.

Stewart, J.L., Roll, W.G., & Baumann, S. (1987). Hypnotic suggestion and RSPK. In D.H. Weiner & RD. Nelson (Eds.), Research in Parapsychology, 1986, (pp. 30-35). Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow.

 

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