Robert Cracknell - Psychic Detective


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The Lonely Sense

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THE LONELY SENSE is the unique story of ROBERT CRACKNELL who underwent a harrowing childhood, came to terms with his growing psychic powers, and ended up assisting the police and people around the world with his uncanny ability to see back into the past…and forward into the future.

“Robert Cracknell must be the least typical psychic in the world,” writes COLIN WILSON in his foreword to this electrifying autobiography. “To encounter Cracknell is a refreshing, or possibly a traumatic, experience…He is totally down-to-earth, blunt, aggressive and impatient; he is also intelligent, honest, and obsessively, almost self-destructively, devoted to his own vision of the truth. The fact is that, as a psychic, Cracknell is a total Outsider… the alienated man who has to learn to turn his powers of development inward… Cracknell represents something completely new in this strange field of the paranormal... He has a natural vitality and frankness that makes his book absorbing reading. His is a voice that needs and deserves to be heard.”

This book is an expanded and updated version of Clues to the Unknown originally published by Hamlyn in 1981



Read the offical press release from Anomalist books - CLICK HERE (pdf)


------------------------------ The Lonely Sense - Articles & Reviews ------------------------------

Geoff Ward.
Author & commentator on mysteries and the unknown.
http://www.mysteriousplanet.net/

Micah A. Hanks.
Compiler & editor of the Gralien Report (source for the latest maverick science and strange news from around the globe) and author of 'Magic Mysticism & The Molecule'.
http://www.gralienreport.com

"Although retired and living in Cyprus, veteran psychic Robert Cracknell - dubbed 'the UK's Number One Psychic Detective' in the 1980s - still receives requests for help from people around the world seeking answers to baffling mysteries.
In his remarkable new book, The Lonely Sense: the Autobiography of a Psychic Detective, Robert, now 76, tells of his difficult childhood, how came to terms with his burgeoning psychic powers, eventually working with police forces worldwide using his uncanny abilities to help solve major crimes, and the wise understandings which his unique gift has brought him today.

High-profile criminal cases in which Robert was involved in the 1970s and 1980s included the Eddie Kent murder, which he helped to solve, the Genette Tate disappearance, where he provided crucial leads for the police, the Janie Shepard murder, when his psychic abilities made him a suspect, and the Gaby Mearth millionairess kidnapping, which he also assisted in solving. During the Yorkshire Ripper investigation, Robert predicted details of the last murder and its method, and the time of Peter Sutcliffe's capture. Robert had earlier taken a journalist to very street where Sutcliffe lived.

'Police and scientists are misguided fools if they continue to ignore the fact that individuals with psychic ability can unravel new evidence, find fresh clues, and be instrumental in leading them to the final solution,' says Robert, controversially.

Robert's book has a substantial foreword by the best-selling British author Colin Wilson, reactivated from Robert's autobiographical Clues to the Unknown of 1981. Wilson, in reference to his seminal work of 1956, The Outsider, says Robert typifies the Outsider-type, 'the alienated man who has to learn to turn the powers of his development inward'. Robert featured in Wilson's 1984 book, The Psychic Detectives, and dedicated Clues to the Unknown to Wilson, as he did his later book, Psychic Reality: Developing Your Natural Abilities (1999), which had an introduction by Wilson.

Pertinently, Wilson sums up Robert's writing as having 'a force and honesty that exerts the hypnotic effect of the Ancient Mariner'. Exactly so - The Lonely Sense is a compelling social as well as psychical document. The police cases make for fascinating reading but they take up only the last third of a volume which tells the extraordinary life story of a man who has 'crossed the barriers of time' with his ability to see into the future. The title of the book reflects both Robert's lone, inward struggle over the years with the profound implications of his singular gift, and the realism of his highly personalised and no-nonsense approach which makes people like him such a rarity".

Robert primarily is a psychometrist - he can take an object in his hands and receive 'vibrations' from it that tell him its origin; he can describe the owner's appearance and psychological make-up, and describe events yet to take place.

Even today he says he is still unaware of his true potential, and certain only of one thing - and this is a key conviction running through his book - that every one of us psychic. He believes the mystery of the psychic gift can be solved jointly by psychic and scientist, to the benefit of humankind. 'This is a perfectly normal faculty that everybody possesses,' he says. 'I do have some fairly concrete insights into the mechanics of this faculty, although when I try to put them into words I find myself faced with all kinds of difficulties. This is why I have decided that the simplest way to explain it is to tell the story of my life.'

Another important reason for telling his story is to do with the linking of 'paranormal powers' to spiritualism and a belief in life after death. Robert was once closely involved with the spiritualist movement, but came to be convinced that there was no connection whatsoever between psychic abilities and the spirits of the dead. He is adamant that a psychic person is not someone who has been 'chosen' to receive communications from another world: he or she is an ordinary human being whose natural ability has somehow developed further than the average.

Without the encouragement of spiritualism, Robert admits, he would have found his path more difficult. But he came to the conclusion that most mediums in spiritualism are 'unconsciously fraudulent in deceiving themselves as much as they deceive other people'. This desire to prick the mystique of the medium won him no friends in the movement, and even led him to being labelled a 'dangerous man'. The period during which he parted company with the spiritualist church was 'possibly the worst years of my life'.

Robert's psychic experience began when he was 18, and he feels sure that his early life was a 'psychic apprenticeship'. Like his elder brother and younger sister, he was born illegitimate, and he never knew his father, who died before he was born. In the Second World War, he was evacuated from London to Nottingham. At the age of seven came a major turning point when he experienced a sudden and overwhelming love and sympathy for a teacher who had unwittingly humiliated him. This was the first manifestation of his psychic gift and his 'first spiritual experience'.

The teacher invited him to her home and took him to chapel after which he began to spend time alone 'talking to my friend Jesus'. Later he was sent to live with his grandmother, and then fostered. After leaving school at 15, he joined the RAF, but encountered an irrational fear of the dark and, despite falling in love with a girl while on leave in London, suffered an identity crisis and a kind of mental breakdown. In 1956, at 21, he was discharged on medical grounds, and went to live with his mother and stepfather. In the following year came one of his most startling experiences when he 'saw' his natural father, shocking and frightening his mother who had never mentioned the man.

Civilian life didn't work out. Lonely and unhappy, he was referred to a psychiatrist. Unable to find work, he drifted on to the streets, living with tramps and down-and-outs, a picaresque period of his life which he regards as being of paramount importance. He obtained first-hand knowledge of people who, like him, were outsiders, although not always through their own choosing. He achieved greater awareness of human behaviour in those days 'than one could possibly hope for in a lifetime's study'.

Robert tells candidly of the collapse of his first marriage, his disappointing meeting with Uri Geller, the Israeli psychic, his work sleuthing for a finance house and how, in 1980, he set up his own agency, Vigil Investigations, which he ran until he retired ten years later. He also explains his weekly day of silence, the value of meditation, how he came to launch the World Peace Movement, and the influence of the Indian mystic Meher Baba.

Having earned a 'fair amount of money' in the past, Robert does not now charge for his help. In recent years, he has been involved in many cases involving murdered or missing children - some have been publicised, others not - but, in the main, he is 'duty-bound' to remain silent about them and cannot open his casebook to reveal all.

Today, as his wife Jenny takes down in shorthand the psychometric impressions he gains while investigating a case, Robert can talk of his findings for up to 30 minutes, trance-like, without being aware of it. 'It seems as if I have literally crossed the barriers of time,' he says.


"When it comes to my personal views on the unexplained, or more specifically, my greatest interests among those areas of science we call “supernatural,” often the study of reports of strange or out-of-place animals (cryptozoology) and UFOs rank the highest. However, I recently decided to play my proverbial hand and picked up a book sent along to me by Anomalist Books, titled The Lonely Sense: The Autobiography of a Psychic Detective by Robert Cracknell. If you were to read no further than the end of this sentence, I’d want to leave you with this as a final thought: the book is well worth picking up, and might even change your life.

As for the rest of you who’ve elected to continue along with me and delve into the world of a man who, arguably, may be one of the world’s most gifted psychics, allow me to first explain why I rest such importance on this particular tome. Initially, you may be asking yourself the same thing I did when I first removed the book from the mailer and gazed at it’s retro-looking cover art: who is Robert Cracknell?

Indeed, a Google search for this enigmatic character reveals the same sentiment in a number of online forums: though he has a website and a few articles about him, there is a general lack of knowledge (particularly in the U.S.) as to who exactly Robert Cracknell is. Strange for a man hailed as “Britain’s Number One Psychic Detective,” we might ask. But something else you’ll fail to discover is the kind of criticism that so many professional “psychics” have leveled against them by skeptics; Cracknell’s record is rather inconspicuous, but highly reputable… and if the sorts of things he mentions in his autobiography are indeed true, he might not be the best psychic detective in Britain after all. We damn well may have to accept he’s the best anywhere.

Cracknell’s story is a lonely one… but not filled with the sorts of solemn ruminations and stark realizations of an extraordinary “gift” that pepper the claims of many in various areas of spiritualism. Up front and frank at all times, Cracknell describes his wild early years in service with the RAF, as well as his dismissal on medical grounds after what would later reveal themselves to be the beginnings of his “lonely sense.” Cracknell even divulges the time he spent as a young vagrant, moving around parts of Europe and living day-to-day, from highway to hostel… or occasionally under an overpass, snuggled under the coats of strangers for warmth. It was around this time that Cracknell began to ask himself (often tearfully) the sorts of questions every person eventually will consider: “who am I, really?” As he came to find answers to life’s mysteries, he also began learning to accept that he didn’t merely feel lonely because he was missing family, friends, or any of the various flames he describes from his youth. There was indeed something deeper resounding in this man’s soul, and something which he maintains throughout the book is nestled deep within all of us.

There are a number of funny stories Cracknell relates, as well as the vivid honesty behind a few embarrassing adventures with his associates in the spiritual movement; so honest, in fact, that that parts of the book might even be a bit uncomfortable for a few folks. But this is Robert Cracknell uncensored… and since we’re being frank, I must say he’s pretty quick not to give a shit; he doesn’t candy-coat his commentary with hope of making himself look more sagely or admirable as a psychic, but he’s certainly not crude or outrageous, either. As the story of Cracknell’s life continues, the reader will almost feel a sense that they are growing and aging with him, and his eloquence and vibrant character begins to reveal itself more and more often as the author reflects on his own maturation (both mentally and as a mentalist). By the end, Cracknell often has managed to be sage-like, but always without inflating himself to sound like something he isn’t. His realistic and bare-bones approaches to his psychic facilities, in addition to his opposition to what he labels as phonies in the spiritualist movement, have brought him the attention of researchers the likes of Colin Wilson (having penned the foreword), who states with certain admiration that, “To encounter Cracknell is a refreshing, or possibly a traumatic, experience…He is totally down-to-earth, blunt, aggressive and impatient; he is also intelligent, honest, and obsessively, almost self-destructively, devoted to his own vision of the truth.” True, when it’s Cracknell’s visions we’re dealing with, his “truth” is sometimes even unsettling.

Throughout his years, Cracknell shares his experiences, ranging from employment under a wealthy Italian businessman whose daughter had been kidnapped, to British police who were often amazed at the accuracy of his predictions, and even his meetings with controversial psychic entertainer Uri Geller. He also makes a few bold claims: at one point, Cracknell describes being pinned to a wall by a table upon which an Ouija board had rested; during another, he claims he has managed to concentrate on a pint glass and cause it to shatter using only his mental abilities; and during one of his many religious-meditations, he says a crucifix physically lifted from his hand, and remained suspended in midair before him. But even while making extraordinary claims such as these, Cracknell manages to approach the subjects with certain honesty and clarity. Even the occasional skeptic (something I consider myself to be in most cases) may find themselves unable to wrestle themselves from Cracknell’s wide-open delivery, and may begin questioning whether such extraordinary feats of psychic prowess might indeed be real after all.

But perhaps the most rewarding aspect about The Lonely Sense is the fact that Cracknell manages to keep a bright, positive outlook throughout the ups and downs, and in the end, his message is clear: anyone can do this, not just those who claim to have psychic powers. However, should one manage to learn to wield these talents in ways exceeding the normal capability of the senses, they must task themselves with always using their abilities for good. Some of the most intriguing instances throughout the book deal with Cracknell’s own conflicts with those who were less scrupulous with their abilities, ranging from occult groups and their leaders, to the occasional misguided youth who, much like Robert once wrestled with, has yet to understand the full responsibility associated with the psychic gift.

If you’re interested in psychic phenomenon, you will enjoy this book, and perhaps even learn something new from it. If you’re a novice or you’re altogether inexperienced with matters of psychic phenomena, this book will serve as a great introduction. On the other hand, if you are neither of these, and you’re just looking for an exciting read, you too will appreciate this unique narrative of Robert Cracknell’s life and experiences as a psychic detective. The Lonely Sense is a fine read almost any way you look at it… and you’ll undoubtedly come away from it wanting to explore methods of tapping your own hidden psychic potential".



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Ed Olshaker.

Edward Olshaker is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in History News Network, The New York Times, and other publications. His book Witnesses to the Unsolved, an exploration of the uses of parapsychology in criminal investigation, was named a 2006 Independent Publisher Book Awards finalist in the True Crime category.
CLICK HERE for Ed Olshakers book 'Witnesses To The Unsolved'.

Nick Redfern.
Author of 'A Covert Agenda' 'The FBI Files' 'Cosmic Crashes' 'Strange Secrets' 'Three Men Seeking Monsters' 'Body Snatchers in the Desert' 'On the Trail of the Saucer Spies' 'Celebrity Secrets' 'Man-Monkey' 'Memoirs of a Monster Hunter' 'There's Something in the Woods' 'Science Fiction Secrets' 'lobe' and 'Magic Mysticism & The Molecule'. http://www.blogger.com/profile/07199813303416083671

"Memoirs of a uniquely gifted psychic detective.
Why do so many police departments employ psychic detectives, when doing so exposes them to ridicule? The simple answer is that there are indeed genuine, gifted psychics, however rare, who have proven to be stunningly accurate.

One of the most accomplished is Robert Cracknell, who first received international notice when he achieved an 80-percent accuracy rating when tested at Oxford University’s Society of Psychic Research.

The Lonely Sense is Cracknell’s compelling account of how he survived and transcended a traumatic life seemingly more likely to create a criminal than a crime solver, going on to distinguish himself with his unique insights into high-profile crimes.

Cracknell’s career as psychic sleuth began three decades ago when he assisted police investigating the Yorkshire Ripper serial murders, He shared an insight in November 1980 that the murderer would kill one more time and then be arrested—not by the criminal investigators but by traffic cops stopping him for a minor infraction. He had the prediction officially recorded by Kevin McClure of the Society for Psychical Research at Oxford University. The arrest of Peter Sutcliffe on January 4, 1981, in the exact circumstances he foresaw, proved the prediction correct.

Two decades and numerous investigations later, when the DC-area serial sniper case dominated the news, Cracknell boldly contradicted the shared conventional wisdom of law enforcement, the media, top criminal profilers, and the public, who all seemed certain that the killings were the work of a solitary young white man. He wrote that “the perpetrator is not acting alone and is not an American citizen of long standing. An arrest is imminent,” adding, “I do not totally rule out a politically motivated group.” Arrest was indeed imminent, coming one day later. Cracknell’s description of the perpetrator as “not an American citizen of long standing” eerily identified Lee Boyd Malvo, who was a Jamaican immigrant. His vision of a “politically motivated group”—a rarity in serial killings—was corroborated by the revelation that John Muhammed had been reported to the FBI for alleged terror ties and that both he and Malvo had praised the September 11 attacks.

Whether recounting his involvement the Ripper case, the kidnapping of heiress Gaby Mearth, the Southern Organs fraud case (as featured on the Biography Channel’s “Psychic Investigators” documentary series), and other investigations; or the highlights of his own dramatic life story, Cracknell’s harrowing journey through life’s dark regions is mesmerizing and ultimately inspirational".


"People occasionally ask me, as an author, what types of books I enjoy reading. Well, I'm a big fan of Jack Kerouac's work (aside from his poetry, which I think is a collective, appalling, rambling mess), Hunter S. Thompson's Gonzo-driven titles, and the UFO/paranormal-themed books of Gray Barker, John Keel, and my good mate, Jon Downes.

However, most of the books I read tend to be biographies and autobiographies, mainly of actors, rock-stars, and various and sundry celebrity types (particularly of the bygone, Golden-years of Hollywood).

So, when Anomalist Books' Patrick Huyghe sent me a review copy of their just-published title, Robert Cracknell's The Lonely Sense: The Autobiography of a Psychic Detective, I knew this was going to be an interesting read. - and it was!

With a Foreword from a true legend in the field of paranormal-themed research and writing - Colin Wilson, no less - The Lonely Sense tells the story of one Robert Cracknell, a man with extraordinary psychic skills, and one whose powers pushed him down some strange, bizarre and supernatural pathways. They even led him to extensive liaison with officialdom on unsolved murder cases.

But, Cracknell's book is far more than just that.

It's a brutally honest, open and highly entertaining study of the author's life, that takes the reader from its very beginnings, his time spent in the British Royal Air Force, and to a profound experience that occurred during that same time spent with the military that sent him on the road to becoming a definitive psychic detective.

That's when Cracknell's life begins to change drastically.

Not surprisingly, Cracknell reveals that coming to grips with his surfacing powers of the psychic kind was not easy. In fact, parts of his story are downright traumatic as he struggles to understand and utilize the near-unique talents at his disposal, as well as how his awakening to a new, previously-uncharted world resulted in problems close to home, with family, friends, and work colleagues.

But, as The Lonely Sense demonstrates, like so many people who came before him - and doubtless like so many who will follow in his footsteps - Cracknell ultimately found himself elevated, empowered, and ready to make use of the skills given to, or developed by, him.

In fact, one could say Cracknell's transformation and elevation eerily paralleled that of ancient Shamanic figures, who realized they were not quite like everyone else, but who used their differences to ensure positive change and results via means of a psychic, paranormal, and spiritual nature.

And it's from this moment on that we see Cracknell plunged into a whole new world, one in which he is sought out by the public, the media, and even the British Police Force, on harrowing and distressing murder cases and much more.

Again, Cracknell is open and honest about the nature of those cases, and the effects that immersing himself in them had on his mind and soul. He also provides a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of the time he met Uri Geller, which makes for interesting reading alone.

As the book comes to a close, we read of Cracknell's retirement on Cyprus, of his studies of the Jack the Ripper saga, and of much more, too.

So, what we have with Robert Cracknell's The Lonely Sense (it runs to just over 300-pages) is not just yet another study of psychic phenomena. Rather, it is a unique account of how one man found himself in a world that he did not ask to be plunged into, but who accepted the challenge - and both the good and the bad that came with that acceptance - and did something positive with the powers at his disposal.

The Lonely Sense is, then, a must-buy for those interested in psychic phenomena, life-after-death, and the mysterious abilities of the human mind.

But, it's also required reading for anyone who wants a deep, revealing insight not just into the world of psychic phenomena, but into the swirling, turbulent and emotion-filled heart of the psychic individual, too".



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Anomalist Books Review

"It’s not often that a reviewer makes that kind of statement—”the book is well worth picking up, and might even change your life”—but Micah Hanks does so in the first paragraph of his review, no less, on The Gralian Report. After doing a Google search on Robert Cracknell, the author of The Lonely Sense: The Autobiography of a Psychic Detective, he concludes: “Cracknell’s record is rather inconspicuous, but highly reputable… and if the sorts of things he mentions in his autobiography are indeed true…we damn well may have to accept he’s the best [psychic detective] anywhere.” But don’t think for a minute that Hanks is a pushover: “Even the occasional skeptic (something I consider myself to be in most cases) may find themselves unable to wrestle themselves from Cracknell’s wide-open delivery, and may begin questioning whether such extraordinary feats of psychic prowess might indeed be real after all.” Hanks then says: “But perhaps the most rewarding aspect about The Lonely Sense is the fact that Cracknell manages to keep a bright, positive outlook throughout the ups and downs, and in the end, his message is clear: anyone can do this, not just those who claim to have psychic powers…The Lonely Sense is a fine read almost any way you look at it.” After reading Hank’s review of the book, Jari Mikkola, editor of the Journal of Anomalous Sciences, read the book himself and found it to be “one of the most inspiring and candid autobiographies I’d ever read. With each page I felt as you would only do with someone you knew intimately while relaxing after a nice meal in their home. The book revealed to me a man that although he had the ability to exercise a faculty we all possess, and well I might add, he never let it go to his head.” Jari subsequently featured Cracknell in a cover story for The Journal of Anomalous Sciences. Nick Refern, who reviewed the book on Reviews of the Mysterious Kind, also had good things to say about The Lonely Sense: “It’s a brutally honest, open and highly entertaining study of the author’s life, that takes the reader from its very beginnings, his time spent in the British Royal Air Force, and to a profound experience that occurred during that same time spent with the military that sent him on the road to becoming a definitive psychic detective…Not surprisingly, Cracknell reveals that coming to grips with his surfacing powers of the psychic kind was not easy…[The book is] required reading for anyone who wants a deep, revealing insight not just into the world of psychic phenomena, but into the swirling, turbulent and emotion-filled heart of the psychic individual…”


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