Cal Cooper was born and raised in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. During his childhood he was interested in a number of subjects including swimming, acting and clay pigeon shooting. The paranormal captured Cal’s attention when he attended library trips with his school. There was a small section dedicated to the paranormal, everything from ghosts, to UFOs and cryptozoology. This gave Cal his first taste of Harry Price’s work on Borley Rectory and the infamous talking mongoose Gef, from the book published in 1936, ‘The Haunting of Cashen’s Gap’.
After leaving school and beginning A levels it seemed that acting was going to be the career path along with photography and modelling, until parapsychology caught his eye. Taking on psychology A level was something which seemed to be a good idea right from the word go if somehow the love for the paranormal could be revisited and explored. Though Cal was discouraged from pursuing such a dangerous career path as ‘parapsychology’ he persisted and began reading around the subject of psychology and parapsychology. It was also around this time that he attended numerous investigations in haunted locations around Nottinghamshire, including Pleasley Vale Mills and Clifton Hall (from 2004-2005).
Cal began his psychology BSc degree at the University of Northampton in 2007. At the same time he was continuing research at Clifton Hall which began in 2005, but unfortunately the project had to be left as university work became time consuming. Northampton was a good choice for Cal making all kinds of contacts in the field, meeting numerous parapsychologist including Dr. Richard Broughton and Dr. Chris Roe on his first day of university who were already aware of the work he’d written and been involved with. Soon the contacts and friends within the field grew when he attended the 2008 joint conference for the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) and Parapsychological Association (PA), it was also in 2008 that he published an article for the Paranormal Review entitled ‘Apparitions and Eyewitnesses’ which reviewed how the eyewitnesses testimony could be applied to numerous experiences of the paranormal and rational explanations that should be explored.
While reading into the topic of parapsychology Cal became engrossed in the work of the late parapsychologists D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless. In particular the book ‘Phone Call from the Dead’ by Rogo and Bayless has became something which Cal is most noted for researching to this day, with several papers and articles published through his own work on this topic with numerous projects regarding the phone call phenomena in the pipeline, including presentations of the work in the UK and USA.
In 2009 he applied for the Eileen J. Garrett Scholarship through the Parapsychology Foundation. In September of that year he was informed that he was a successfully applicant and gladly received the award. It was literally days after this that Cal was asked to be a guest on numerous BBC radio shows discussing parapsychological phenomena and he still assists the BBC and other radio shows occasionally. Shortly after the scholarship win, work began on a Remote Viewing project within the university where he became a research assistant to Dr. Chris Roe along side fellow psychology and parapsychology student Hannah Martin. The project required weeks of setting up and running participants through a procedure used in psychology and parapsychology known as the Ganzfeld. This technique is a form of sensory deprivation in which a participants will sit in a big comfy chair in a closed darken room, listening to white noise with eye shields covering their eyes and a calming red light shinning down on them. The whole situation is designed to relax the participants and potentially enhance dormant senses within the brain which we could presume are potential psychic abilities. The study was a success and was presented at the 2010 PA conference in Paris and at the 2010 SPR conference at the University of Sheffield (Cal presented the project himself at the SPR conference).
Just before leaving Northampton, Cal became a research assistant to Dr. Richard Broughton for a project on psychokinesis (PK), the ability to effect people or the environment via the mind alone (many people are familiar with this supposed ability due to spoon bending demonstrations). This project involved sending participants through a series of computer based tasks to influence certain programs which were sent up, such as trying to effect the needle on a digital meter and where the needle lands. This is a project which is still on going.
After continuing to publish papers and articles, while contributing to tv and radio work, Cal found himself at Sheffield Hallam University reading for a Master of Research degree in psychology (in 2011). During this busy and difficult year many other media and radio opportunities were taken on board including Ghost Chronicle International and filming several tv pilots.
Recently Cal has been preparing more research on phone calls from the dead and ancient paranormal experiences (particularly apparition encounters), while compiling a PhD proposal as he hopes to return to the University of Northampton to continue his studies and research. He was also made the the 3rd recipient of the Alex Tanous Scholarship Award in July, 2011 from the Alex Tanous Foundation for Scientific Research (USA). The future seems just as busy as ever with more travelling, research, book writing, conference presentation and lecturing. Watch this space!
Cal can be contacted via his website which also holds videos discussing aspects of parapsychology and lists various publications which are available - Cal Cooper has a long standing interest in the history of haunted locations and the investigation of spontaneous cases.Cal has written on numerous topics concerning parapsychology.