I need help confirming or debunking what may be an urban legend in the paranormal literature regarding the rocky public relationship between spiritualism believer (and famous author) Arthur Conan Doyle and American parapsychologist J.B. Rhine. The story starts when Rhine attended a seance by the famed Boston medium "Margery" (Mina Crandon) on July 1, 1926. He concluded she was a fraud. He published this paper with his wife:
One evening's observation on the Margery mediumship. Rhine, J. B.; Rhine, Louisa E. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Vol 21(4), Jan-Mar 1927, 401-421.
After this paper got some press coverage in newspapers including the New York Times, Margery's supporters raised a ruckus in the press. Doyle wrote a letter to the Boston Herald accusing Rhine of "colossal impertinance" and defending Margery.
All that is well documented. But a story in the paranormal literature claims Doyle went one step further, and ran a "black bordered" display ad in the Boston newspapers which said simply:
J.B. Rhine is a Monumental Ass
I've seen this repeated time after time after time in various books. None of the books offers specifics as to which newspaper and on what date, other than it was in Boston (where Margery lived and worked). Ideally, I would like to obtain a copy of the ad from a microfilm if it exists.
I've had two librarians make a stab at finding the ad, but obviously newspaper indices do not generally index the contents of ads. I can't find a library near me that has microfilms of the Boston Herald, which I consider the most likely newspaper this ran in.
Because the paper became public in February 1927 and Doyle responded in March 1927, it likely ran near that time.
Can anyone find proof or counter-proof of this ad being printed?
Several of the books in which this is repeated:
Mayer, E.L. Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind. Random House Digital: 2008. p.85 ISBN 0553382233
Time Life Books. Psychic Powers: Mysteries of the Unknown. Time-Life Books: 1987. p. 50 ISBN 0809463083
Brian, D. The enchanted voyager: the life of J.B. Rhine, an authorized biography. Prentice-Hall: 1982. ISBN 0132751070
Berger, A.S. Lives and letters in American parapsychology: a biographical history, 1850-1987. McFarland: 1988. p. 203. ISBN 0899503454
The earliest reference I've found to the phrase doesn't mention the ad, and is found in an 1956 newspaper profile of J.B. Rhine:
Browning, Norma Lee Mediums Unmasked as Fakes by Probers Chicago Tribune, Feb. 6, 1956, pp. 1,6.
His published report contributed significantly to the sudden demise of Margery's popularity. Doyle, who was devoted to Margery, promptly cabled a Boston newspaper, calling J.B. Rhine a "monumental ass."