In 1877 the Religio-Philosophical Journal had questions and answers published in its pages, giving spirit lore from "the independent voice," headed as follows:
By the spirit of James Nolan through his own materialized organs of speech in the presence of his medium, Mrs. Hollis-Billing, at her residence, 24 Ogden avenue, Chicago.
The series went on until the year 1878, and covered a multitude of subjects. They are important from the fact that they are definite, and, being from an accepted spirit, should have as much weight as anything invented by living spiritualists. Occasion will be taken to use them now and then to show how the "spirits" agree with Theosophy, albeit their followers do not. The following may serve to discover what certainty there is in a prophecy by a "spirit."
Question. What is your opinion, as a spirit, of the hollow globe theory -- that is, that the interior of the earth is adapted to the habitation of man?
Answer. I am not prepared to answer that question. I will say this much, that there is land at the North Pole, and an open sea where you will find people in less than fifteen years.
That was in December, 1877, and now it is 1893, sixteen years, and the prophecy not fulfilled. We waited the full time, as was told to Col. Bundy we would, when he was kind enough to give the files of the paper containing the complete series. These failures are always passed over.
In March, 1878, Nolan was asked if it were possible to make a telescope through which we might see beings on other planets, and he replied:
Yes. In the year 1901 there will be a lens constructed, by the aid of which the trees and inhabitants in the planet nearest the earth can be seen. The feat will be accomplished in England by a person by the name of Hollingsworth. He is yet a boy.
This is also definite, and one of its parts can now be inquired into by Theosophists. Does any one in England know of such a boy who by this time is a man and must now be at work in some line leading to the end given? If so, he should be discovered to us and watched to see if the new telescope will be made. 1901 is not so far off, either, that we may not all be able to verify the prediction or add it to the lot in the false list. These two instances are interesting from their definiteness, as it is not easy to fix such matters. It might be a good thing for the spiritualists themselves to scrutinize the record for the purpose of seeing how much the "spirits" really know that men do not.
[From The Path, December, 1893, pp. 279-80]