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Have Magicians Helped Or Hindered Paranormal Research? Experts or Hypocrites?

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  • Originally posted by Searcher View Post
    I am researching the Day/Levy tree as part of my friend’s family tree and am having ‘fun’ trying to decipher the truths from myths about Harry Levy’s life.
    Searcher, check your forum private mail and I will send you a link to someone who claims to have recently found a document on Harry Day's lifestory ...apparently drafted by the somewhat elusive (or illusive?) Harry Day himself!

    I have found Harry Levy MP as a passenger on the Normandie in 1936. It states he was born in San Francisco. I haven’t found a positive lead to his father David John Levy/Day yet but I was assuming he was American too so I’ll have another search. Do you know who claimed his parents were British?
    It is apparently in the document I will give you a link to via mail. However it is worth checking various different sources too if the information holds up because Harry Day's close friend Harry Houdini gave wrong date of birth on his marriage certificate for some odd reason..... as did a magician both Houdini/Day knew called Harry Price lie about numerous details of his early life

    Information from the family was his parents came from Russia/Poland to England and Edward Lewis Levy was born in San Franscisco while his parents were visiting relatives there.
    I have also found his naturalisation from the National Archives from 1925.
    Nationality and Naturalisation HO 144/5009 1925 Levy, Ed Lewis (known as Harry Day), from the United States of America.
    San Francisco matches document but the Russia/Poland doesn't... but you might be right, American born Harry Day as British MP would certainly want to present himself as British back in the 1930s

    Thank you for the lead to a possible second wife Kitty Colyer/Katie Edgar. I can’t find a marriage record to confirm this.
    According to this webpage ....

    ' Harry Day who controls the revue productions at the Palladium has been assigned the responsibility for all the entertainments at Murray’s for the next two years. His first attraction is called ‘Harry Day’s Crystal Cabaret’ and is derived from his show Crystals that is running at the Palladium ........ The principals include the comedian Jimmy Leslie and Harry Day’s wife Kitty Colyer

    No.17 London, April 1923 Fynes Harte-Harrington's Blog
    I am fairly sure that the marriage in 1901 Edward Lewis Levy and Katherine Amelia Rea (although she calls herself Rea-Fox on the certificate) is correct
    How many names does she have? You might want to check if Kathleen (or Katherine) Amelia Rae was also known as actress Kitty Colyer and Katie Edger ( or Kayie Edger or Katie Edgar printing mistake makes it hard to know which)

    I have found a probate record for 1939 showing a Harry Day who died in Quebec leaving wife Katherine Amelia and son which would suggest just one marriage.
    Yes I think Quebec and date is possibly correct... so is Katherine Amelia the same person as Kitty Colyer (stage name) ?

    Or is Kitty Colyer the first wife? That might make more sense.

    I have found two sons of this marriage – Edward Lewis Levy born and died in 1903 and Harry David Levy born in 1902. I know the son Harry changed his name to Harry Day when he was about 5 and his father used Harry Day about this time too so that all suggests I have the right marriage. Also it must have been his first marriage as he was only 21 at the time.
    Could be correct .... even if am totally confused it is like two different jigsaws but too many pieces fit both.

    Best of luck solving it.
    Last edited by Open Mind; March 11th, 2011, 10:54 PM.

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    • Some sucess

      Harry Day's wife was indeed Katherine Rea who used the stage name Kitty Colyer. Although he claimed to be a bachelor on their wedding certificate in 1901 I have found a possible first marriage for him in 1899 to Rebecca Morris. Is she the first wife who divorced him I wonder?
      One mystery solved many others to sort out especially who his mother was and what nationality his mother and father were.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Searcher View Post
        Harry Day's wife was indeed Katherine Rea who used the stage name Kitty Colyer. Although he claimed to be a bachelor on their wedding certificate in 1901 I have found a possible first marriage for him in 1899 to Rebecca Morris. Is she the first wife who divorced him I wonder?
        One mystery solved many others to sort out especially who his mother was and what nationality his mother and father were.
        OC68 posted this earlier in topic ... just in case you missed it ...

        This is from Andrew Lycett's book The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

        "The MP was the enigmatic Harry Day, who had long been Houdini's British agent. The way he had reinvented himself put even the magician in the shade. Born Edward Lewis Levy in the United States, he first surfaced in Britain as a professional actor in 1900 when his wife, a music hall performer, won a divorce on the grounds that he had beaten her up and committed adultery. After legally changing his name he became a successful if litigious impresario, agent, and theater owner."
        Is this correct? So both his wives were music hall performers? Possible I suppose.

        Is the 'Colonel' Harry Day title correct? I think another source implied he made it up but I don't know (certainly numerous magicians of the period tended to nickname themselves 'Professor' or 'Doctor' e.g. it was Professor Harry Houdini in his early career)

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        • More info

          I don't know whether his first wife (if he had one) was a performer. I can't find any reference to a divorce around 1900 which a poster on this site said was reported in the Times. I will keep searching for it. His second wife has a dash against her occupation on the marriage certificate so maybe they met before she was a performer.
          The colonel was an honorary title of the 3rd Essex Brigade for war work - he raised a huge amount of money for war charities. He did die in Quebec. He became ill on board ship and died in hospital in Quebec in 1959.
          By the way another poster thought Harry Day's father was Lewis Levy in Gravesend. I can confirm that is another family.
          Open Mind - you mentioned a document on Harry Day's lifestory. Have you read it? I wondered as you said the San Francisco matched the document but not the Russia/Poland didn't. If so do you remember any mention of his parents' birth place or nationality?

          The search for Harry Day's parents is proving very difficult. I just have a name for his father but no nationality, address or birth date or location.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Searcher View Post
            Open Mind - you mentioned a document on Harry Day's lifestory. Have you read it?
            No but I did ask some questions about what it contained .... so I have some basic information

            I wondered as you said the San Francisco matched the document but not the Russia/Poland didn't. If so do you remember any mention of his parents' birth place or nationality? The search for Harry Day's parents is proving very difficult. I just have a name for his father but no nationality, address or birth date or location.
            Here is what I was told about the 25 page document on Harry Day's lifestory ....

            .... Its not dated there are 25 pages crossed through ... its says 1st rough edition --titled Men and Women I have met ...

            ... It says he was born in San Francisco America his parents had gone over in July 1880 to visit his Fathers dying brother he says he is british born of british parents his father goes back 4 generations and his mother 6

            .... Strongly claims to be british and has a certificate of nationality which he explains later in doc about when became a MP ....

            ..... He mentions meeting Miss Kayie Edger known as Miss Kitty Colyer who he married .....

            ..... He mentions Houdini a lot his -- greatest friend talks about being manager the first date metioned is 17/03/04 his 1st show

            .... We would just like to get all the papers to the correct people but in the mean time try and build up a picture the these 2 people any help or advise would be great Many Thanks

            Searcher, does the above information match yours? If not let me know anything that doesn't.

            If you can get in contact with the person, they might have more information, both of you are researching the same Harry Day.
            Last edited by Open Mind; March 16th, 2011, 07:35 PM.

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            • Open Mind
              I have now found Harry Day's parents on the 1891 census at long last. They were David and Amelia Levy who were both born in Whitechapel London. I am know trying to find David's parents now I have David's birthdate.
              Yes I did leave a private message for person who had that document but had no reply so far. Do you have any more information about this person?

              So it seems that his parents were indeed British and yes he did have a certificate of nationality dated 1925. It occurred to me that as his parents were English he would automatically hold dual nationality and would be entitled to a British and American passport. Why then did he need to apply for British nationality?

              I can't find any reference to Kitty colyer being called Katie Edgar and her real name was Katherine Rea. A witness at her wedding was Edgar Cox so maybe she used her friend's name as a stage name. She called herself Rea-Cox on the wedding certificate. She remarried in 1942 after Harry's death.
              Thanks for your help and do let me know if you find anything more.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Searcher View Post
                .
                Yes I did leave a private message for person who had that document but had no reply so far. Do you have any more information about this person?
                No, only that he found the 25 page draft document in the belongings of Frank Roberts (the former private secretary of MP Harry Day) ... I think the person will eventually search the internet, find this post, log on to this forum and read your mail ... hopefully.

                he did have a certificate of nationality dated 1925. It occurred to me that as his parents were English he would automatically hold dual nationality and would be entitled to a British and American passport. Why then did he need to apply for British nationality?
                It is a bit odd, particularly if you search for 'NEW BRITISH M. P. TURNS OUT TO BE FORMER YANKEE' (using google news archives) there is a newspaper artcle of that title concerning Harry Day - unfortunately my past attempts to buy that newspaper article all failed, I gave up. The article is January 4th 1925, so Harry Day was a British Member of Parliament, then applied later for British nationality (is that allowed?) Did he have an American Passport?

                Incidentally Conan Doyle was checking into Harry Day's past in 1925, if I recall correctly think one of his later books mentioned his previous divorce.

                There is another slightly odd thing about Harry Day's 25 page document ...

                'He mentions Houdini a lot his -- greatest friend talks about being manager the first date metioned is 17/03/04 his 1st show'


                However if you check magic historian William Kalush book, he claims Harry Day arranged Houdini's 1903 tour of Russia.

                Houdini's bookings in Russia were made by Harry Day, a mysterious expatriate American who changed his name and met Houdini in London around the same time as Houdini first meeting with Melville [head of Scotland Yard]. Day would go on to book Houdini for years in Europe, branch out and own a chain of theaters, the sale of which made him a multimillionaire. He eventually became a member of Parliament and did overseas espionage for the British government...

                -Magic Historian William Kalush, page 135, 'Secret Life of Houdini'i
                Russia was 1903, so it doesn't match Harry Day document. Perhaps you could ask Kalush. where he got that information. Also Harry Day would also be a member of either the UK magic circle or Magicians Club (he certainly attended dinners at Magicians Club, Houdini was honorary president) so if you are keen for information, they mght be able to help (the Magicians Club is long defunct though, UK Magic Circle is still going strong)
                Last edited by Open Mind; March 19th, 2011, 09:40 AM.

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                • Originally posted by Open Mind View Post
                  There is another slightly odd thing about Harry Day's 25 page document ...

                  'He mentions Houdini a lot his -- greatest friend talks about being manager the first date metioned is 17/03/04 his 1st show'
                  I should add ... US and UK reverse the order of the month / year so maybe Harry Day wrote the date in the US format - that might solve it ... but if so this suggests Harry Day thinks like an American? I think a British member of parliament would put year last?
                  Last edited by Open Mind; March 19th, 2011, 09:55 AM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Open Mind View Post
                    I should add ... US and UK reverse the order of the month / year so maybe Harry Day wrote the date in the US format - that might solve it ... but if so this suggests Harry Day thinks like an American? I think a British member of parliament would put year last?
                    OpenMind, reading all this has made me curious whether you have ever looked into the origins of the book The Boy Who Saw True? I tried but got stumped pretty fast. It seemed to me that the data in the book was changed beyond recognition or I was going about the search in the wrong way*. Have you ever heard of anyone trying to discover the name of the author?

                    *Or, as skeptics claim, it was written by Cyril Scott
                    AP

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by paqart View Post
                      OpenMind, reading all this has made me curious whether you have ever looked into the origins of the book The Boy Who Saw True? I tried but got stumped pretty fast. It seemed to me that the data in the book was changed beyond recognition or I was going about the search in the wrong way*. Have you ever heard of anyone trying to discover the name of the author?

                      *Or, as skeptics claim, it was written by Cyril Scott
                      AP
                      Actually, I tried to find more about him just a couple of days ago, when you first mentioned it in other topic ... no luck .. but now I am aware of the name, it might pop up when I look through books in future, before I would have skimmed over it.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Open Mind View Post
                        I will list (post 3 onwards) numerous examples of hypocrisy amongst magician debunkers who have confused the debate over psychic phenomena and whose opinion, accounts and neutrality needs to be questioned.

                        Edit: Some of the information in this topic is controverial. If any magician or person is unhappy with the accuracy or content of this thread, please notify me and I can correct information if it is shown to be in error. The goal is to find the truth, not to annoy anyone.


                        - History is full of magician debunkers of psychic phenomena turning a blind eye to fellow magicians misrepresenting trickery as psychic phenomena. ...... adding prejudice and public confusion over the scientific research into psychical/parapsychological phenomena

                        - Worse still, magicians have often encouraged faking psychic claims in a manner that damaged the reputation of psychical research.

                        - To add to the confusion intelligence organizations have long employed magicians who once faked psychic claims or opposed psychic claims .... while at the same time these intelligence/defence organizations were also secretly researching into whether psychical phenomena could be utilized.


                        The general problem......
                        I think this all depends on the magician. Magicians with open minds, I think, can add quite a bit to the research into the phenomena. I'm a student of human experience first and foremost. If an understanding of magic helps me understand portions of human psychology and is beneficial to my understanding of the human experience, then it is a very useful tool, I'd say.

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                        • Can Open Mind provide documentation for his initial posts in this thread?

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