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-Archie-E-Roy.jpg.e49c9f8551612641e1ed36c7b0c6bbdd.jpgArchibald E. Roy was born in Yoker, Glasgow in 1924. He originally wanted to be architect, but while recovering from TB as a teenager, he was attracted to the night sky and astronomy. He graduated from Hillhead High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Glasgow University, followed by a PhD in 1954. He became senior lecturer in 1966, and a professor in 1977. He also married, and he and his wife Frances had three sons.

As a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Glasgow, he was a consultant for NASA in the 1960s during their Apollo moon program. He wrote textbooks, over 70 scientific papers, and novels. His topics included everything from astronomy to psychic phenomenon to the mind. He was the world authority on orbital mechanics in the days before computers could do the calculations. He even had an asteroid, Archieroy, named after him after its discovery in 1986.

Along with his many interests, Roy had a lifelong attraction to the paranormal. He founded The Scottish Society for Psychical Research in 1987. His son, Ian, said that Roy wanted to apply scientific thoroughness to the study of psychic phenomenon. He wasn’t interested in it as a mystical or religious study. He thought it could be explained in a scientific way. He was open to including paranormal events in scientific study.  Nothing was off-limits when it came to research and testing.

Roy’s psychic research dominated the last 10 years of his life. He tested the claims of local clairvoyants hoping to solve the mystery of how mediums could know so much about strangers. There must be some scientific explanation.   Along with his books, Roy appeared on TV and radio, which popularized psychical research and phenomena. His interactions with haunted houses and mediums were popular with his scientific colleagues. He was also a consultant on the 1970s BBC Scotland drama, The Omega Factor, and inspired the series Sea of Souls.

Roy continued to teach at Glasgow University and held evening classes in psychical research well into his 80s. He would never definitively say that he believed that there was life after death. He did comment that “if I die and I find out I have not survived, I will be very surprised.” Roy died at age 88 of pneumonia in 2012.

Additional Reading:

Archie Roy Obituary The Guardian Feb 3, 2013 https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/feb/03/archie-roy

Academic and writer Archie E Roy dies aged 88 BBC News Dec 28, 2012

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-20858029

 

https://oisf.org/portfolio-items/a-great-man-of-science-professor-archie-e-roy/

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