Doyle Responds But Still Believes
Doyle quickly responded with his own Scientific American op-ed piece (February 1926). He addressed the charge of being snowed by the Holy Family painting. Doyle refutes this by saying he knew they were marvelously artistic, but that he was well aware that it was an altered image, and the ‘ectoplasm’ was just cotton. He admits one of the photographs he showed at the lecture was debunked by Prince. But he claims he never acknowledged the image to be real. Doyle thought it gentlemanly that Prince discreetly told him the image was a fake in a letter rather than confronting him during the lecture. But the goodwill expired when Prince described the image – and his knowledge of its fakery, in the Scientific American article. As much as his Sherlock Holmes books are respected, Doyle had lost his friend Houdini and credibility in skeptical circles for his belief in spiritualism.