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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Charles Richet, Thirty Years of Psychical Research, Leading Ectoplasmic Experiments

Thirty Years of Psychical Research

Being 
A Treatise on Metapsychics
Charles Richet, PhD
============
BOOK III OBJECTIVE METAPSYCHICS
CHAPTER III. ECTOPLASMS (MATERIALIZATIONS) ................. 454
   (a) On Fraud in Ectoplasmic Experiments................... 454
   (b) Leading Ectoplasmic Experiments......................... 492
  =========

(b) Leading Ectoplasmic Experiments

Under this head we shall consider various cases of materialization.1
Experimenting with Home, Crookes saw materializations. Mere touches were frequent, but visible materializations were rarer. His experiments are most decisive and it seems impossible to doubt them. In a fair number of cases hands were seen in full light. Home wished that all phenomena should take place in the light. "His powers were sufficient," says Crookes, "to overcome this adverse influence. With two exceptions, everything that I witnessed with him took place in the light.
"A little hand, very beautifully formed, rose from the table in the dining-room and gave me a flower. It appeared and disappeared three times, giving me every opportunity to convince myself that it was as real as my own; this took place in the light, in my own room, while I was holding the medium's hands and feet.
"Many times I and other persons have seen a hand pressing the
1 When an experiment is described with too few details to allow anyone who did not see it to form a decided opinion, I am careful to say so; and a fortiori, when an experiment seems to me defective I do not hesitate to indicate this. If, on the contrary, the experiment seems to me evidential, I make this clear; but I shall usually cite the facts with their bibliographical references and leave the reader to judge of them.
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keys of an accordion while we could see the hands of the medium, or when they were held.
"A finger and a form were seen plucking the petals from a flower in Mr. Home's button-hole.
"The hands and fingers did not always seem solid and as though alive. Sometimes they rather resembled a condensed vapour; a luminous cloud seemed to form round an object; it then condensed and took the form of a beautifully shaped hand, the flesh of which seemed as human as that of any person present. At the wrist or the arms it became vaporous and ended in a luminous cloud.1
"I have held one of these hands in mine, resolved not to let it go; no effort or attempt was made to make me release it; but the hand seemed to dissolve into vapour and so disengaged itself from my grasp.2
"Another time in my own house I saw the window curtains some eight feet distant from Home shaking, and a semi-transparent dark shape resembling a human form was seen by all the sitters standing up by the casement holding the curtain in its hand. While we were looking at it, it vanished and the curtains ceased to move. "On another occasion a phantom form advanced from one corner of the room, and, taking an accordion, moved forward into the room playing the instrument. This form was visible for several minutes by all present. We could see Mr. Home also. The phantom approached a lady who was sitting near; she gave a little cry and the shade vanished."
In a memorable letter (March, 1874) Crookes says: "I have at last obtained the absolute proof I have been seeking. On March 2d during a séance at my house, Katie (the apparition), having moved among us, retired behind the curtain and a moment later called me, saying, Come into the cabinet and raise my medium's head. Katie stood before me in her usual white robe and wearing her turban. I went towards the bookcase to raise Miss Cook, and Katie moved aside to let me pass. Miss Cook had slipped
1This is exactly what I observed in the materializations at the Villa Carmen -a luminous cloud whose outlines became more defined and took on human substance and form. In certain photographs taken by Aksakoff (perhaps the only ones which have some value among the old spiritist photographs), a luminous cloud is seen which finally organizes itself and develops into a nude human shape.
2 'This truly crucial experiment did not succeed with me. Contrary to what Crookes found with Home, the fluidic hands from Eusapia and Marthe made great efforts to release themselves.
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down, and I had the satisfaction of seeing that she was not dressed like Katie but was wearing her usual dress of black velvet . . , Not more than three seconds had elapsed between the time when I saw Katie before me till I raised Miss Cook again on the sofa. . . . The gas was then turned out, and Katie asked for the phosphorus lamp; and after having shown herself by its light for several seconds, she put it back in my hands, saying, Now come in and see my medium. I went in and saw Miss Cook on the sofa.
Another day Katie said that she would show herself at the same time as Miss Cook. . . . I saw Miss Cook, dressed in black velvet, apparently asleep; she did not move when I took her hand. Raising the lamp I looked round and saw Katie standing close behind Miss Cook. She was clothed in flowing white draperies. Holding one of Miss Cook's hands and kneeling down by her I raised and lowered the lamp so as to see Katie's whole figure and to convince myself that it was really Katie. She did not speak
494


but moved her head. Three times I examined Miss Cook carefully to be sure that the hand I was holding was really the hand of a living woman, and three times I turned the light on Katie and regarded her attentively. At last Katie signed to me to leave. I went to another part of the cabinet and ceased to see her, but did not leave the room till Miss Cook had waked up and two of the sitters had brought in a light.
"Katie is six inches taller than Miss Cook; yesterday, with bare feet, she was four and one-half inches taller. Her neck was bare and did not show the cicatrice that is on Miss Cook's neck. Her ears are not pierced, her complexion is very fair, and her fingers much longer than those of Miss Cook."
Later, Crookes says (p 193) : "I have often raised one side of the curtain and then the seven or eight persons in the laboratory could see both Katie and Miss Cook in the full light of the electric lamps. We could not see the medium's face because of the shawl covering it, but we could see her feet and her hands: we could see her moving as if in pain and could bear her moans."
Katie King had long before announced that she would be able to remain with her medium only for a short time, and that she must soon bid her farewell. The last séance was on May 21, 1874. There was then a dramatic scene at which Sir William Crookes was present. Katie gave her last instructions, and went to Miss Cook who was lying insensible on the floor. Katie touched her and said, Wake up, Florence, I must now leave you. Miss Cook awoke and with tears besought Katie to remain with her, but in vain; Katie of the white robe disappeared. Crookes held up the fainting medium and Katie was seen no more.
Other interesting experiments were made with Miss Cook by various persons. Florence Marryat (quoted by Erny, p 145) says: "Katie King stood by the wall of the room, with both arms extended as if crucified. Three gas-jets threw a bright light upon her. The effect was stupefying. She remained so for about one second, then began to disintegrate; her features became nebulous, the eyes retreated into their orbits, the nose disappeared, and then the brows, then the limbs seemed to drop apart to the floor; at last only part of the head and some white garments remained, then all vanished."
In a séance at Mr. Luxmore's house, a Mr. Volkmann seized Katie by the waist, crying, "It is the medium." Henry Dunphy remarked that Katie lost her arms and legs; she escaped from Mr.
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Volkmann, slipping from his grasp and leaving no trace. Immediately after, Miss Cook was found, tied, with the knots intact. Mr. Varley attached a galvanometer to Miss Cook, so that any movement made by her would be shown by a deflection of the instrument; but there was no indication when Katie appeared, showing only the upper part of her body, though Mr. Varley was able to grasp her hand.
Eusapia's materializations have been fully observed by many competent experimentalists. I will speak of them at some length, for I have been present at close on two hundred séances with Eusapia.
Visible materializations are rare with her and in all my long experience I have seen none; I cannot remember having ever seen in these séances any human form, in whole or in part. Once I saw a kind of prolongation from her body, a kind of rod that touched my side, but this was in half-light and very fugitive. Per contra, I have been touched more than two hundred times when the control was excellent, by a seemingly human hand on my hands, my face, forehead, neck, and shoulders.
One such case, which seems to me perfect at all points, is the following-it took place at the Psychological Institute at Paris. There were present only Mme. Curie, Mme. X., a Polish friend of hers, and P. Courtier, the secretary of the Institute. Mme. Curie was on Eusapia's left, myself on her right, Mme. X. a little farther off, taking notes, and M. Courtier still farther, at the end of the table. Courtier had arranged a double curtain behind Eusapia ; the light was weak but sufficient. On the table Mme. Curie's hand holding Eusapia's could be distinctly seen, likewise mine also holding the right hand. Long practice had taught me to hold the hand firmly, and I could also see both of Eusapia's white cuffs.
We saw the curtain swell out as if pushed by some large object behind it. It was said to be John's hand. I asked to touch it, and with my right hand, which was free, I touched this hand projecting through the curtain, high above Eusapia's head. I felt the resistance and seized a real hand which I took in mine. Even through the curtain I could feel the fingers, which seemed to me (though I cannot positively say so) much larger than Eusapia's little hand. I held it firmly and counted twenty-nine seconds, during all which time I had leisure to observe both of Eusapia's hands
496


on the table, to ask Mme. Curie if she was sure of her control, to call Courtier's attention, and also to feel, press, and identify a real hand through the curtain. After the twenty-nine seconds I said, "I want something more, I want uno anello (a ring) on this hand.," At once the hand made me feel a ring: I said "adesso uno braceletto," and on the wrist I felt the two ends as of a woman's bracelet that closes by a hinge. I then asked that this hand should melt in mine, but the hand disengaged itself by a strong effort, and I felt nothing further (the above is a combination of two separate experiments).
It seems hard to imagine a more convincing experiment, for in twenty-nine seconds the element of surprise is eliminated. In this case there was not only the materialization of a hand, but also of a ring. As all experiments demonstrate, materializations of objects, garments, and woven stuffs are simultaneous with human forms, these latter never appearing naked, but covered by veils which are at first white semi-luminous clouds which end by taking the consistence of real woven fabrics.
Having already described at full length the movements of objects without contact, there is no need to return to them, but it should be noted that the movements and materializations occur together. Everything takes place as though these movements were due to invisible materializations, paradoxical as that term seems. In the course of a séance one is touched ten or twenty times without being able to see anything, even though darkness is not total.
At Milan, two hands were heard in the air, clapping against one another. Raising one's hand very high one could feel what seemed to be a human figure, and on three different occasions one of the observers stated that he could see its hair and beard; the hair being stiff and short, the beard delicate, and the skin like that of a man. A piece of smoked paper was laid on the table, and on restoring the light, finger-marks were found on the paper, Eusapia's hands being quite clean. This was repeated three times, the third impression being that of a whole left hand.
The notes of one of my experiments at Milan read: "Eusapia says, 'Hold me firmly'; Schiaparelli on the right and Finzi on the left grip her hands well. I say to Finzi, 'You have hold of the left hand?' 'Yes.' To Schiaparelli, 'You have the right?' 'Yes.' To Finzi, 'You have hold of both feet?' 'Yes.' Then turning my
497

head slightly to the left I see the curtain swell, and am touched on the shoulder by a hand that seems to be a right hand, presuming that it came from the medium. Nearly at the same moment two fingers pulled my hair at the back of my neck, without hurting me, so that I am certain that a hand touched me on the shoulder and the neck."
At Agnelas, J Maxwell saw a silhouette like that of a head with curly hair outlined against the wall of the room; and also, in the same manner, a hand and arm above the head of M. Sabatier, who felt himself touched at the same moment. The fore-arm was long and thin, coming out of the dark.
At the séances on Ribaud Island and in Paris, visible phenomena were few, the attention of the observers being devoted to observations on movements of objects. They were frequent at Genoa.
Morselli says (vol. i, 255), "I sat in a small armchair about two yards away on Eusapia's right. 'The invisible' arrived! Twice I was touched and clearly felt a hand in all respects like a living hand. My senses were fully awake. I can affirm that the thing that touched me was solid, resisting, impenetrable, and, in short, material."
In the eighteenth séance at Genoa, the best of them all, in presence of Morselli, Porro, L. Ramorino, L Vassallo, and Dr. Venzano, of the Minerva Circle, on December 23, 1901, in the dark, two invisible forms manifested which were afterwards seen by weak light. The first was a little deceased daughter of Porro who felt a child under a veil. We heard the child speak in a baby voice; she kissed Porro. This form could not be seen. Then another came, the son of Vassallo who died aged sixteen. This entity became visible; an almost phosphorescent ovoid appeared on Eusapia's right, moved slowly to the left about twelve inches and vanished. By red light an arm and hand were seen to proceed from the cabinet towards Vassallo. A third and a fourth entity appeared. The third was distinctly seen, but identification was doubtful. "In a room lit by five candles we all saw the two black curtains of the window near Eusapia stretch and swell out, "e avanzarsi verso me e verso Porro come se dietro vi fossero due persone vive agenti con intelligenza e con volonta propria e distinta." These two forms did not come beyond the curtains, but only showed hands and well-formed limbs. Morselli distinguished a right hand visible as far as the second finger: it was short, fat, and grey in colour, opening and shutting.
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In another séance, the twenty-third, which was also a very important one, held in M Avellino's house, Eusapia was fastened down on a bed placed behind the curtain. Then an apparition was seen of a young girl; the head, shoulders, and part of the bust being visible and perhaps slightly phosphorescent. A turban hid her ears, chin, and hair; she remained still for some twenty seconds. A second apparition then showed a tall man, with an abundant short beard, large head with prominent bones, and a thick neck. Four more appeared, first the head of a young woman in an oriental garb; the fourth was not completely formed, it seemed imperfect on the right side. Says Morselli, "I saw the eyes looking at me; although bright enough for me to see the reflection of the lights on the cornea, they seemed veiled. When I approached her, she made no attempt to retreat, but made a salutation with her arm and went. The fifth and sixth were of a woman of about fifty and a young child; these appeared together."
Previous experiments made with Eusapia at the house of Mme. Peretti should be mentioned, but these showed only imperfect forms, dark silhouettes, with heads hardly formed.
Although these experiments were under perfect control by very well-informed observers, they would be insufficient if they stood alone, but the innumerable instances of movements of objects without contact can be explained in no other way than by invisible materializations, and thus, following the scheme already outlined, we can assign three phases to these exteriorized phenomena, a first stage in which they are invisible, a second in which they begin to be visible but are still more or less amorphous, and a third stage in which they take on the semblances of a living organism surrounded by veils which at first mask the imperfections of form, but become thinner as the underlying form becomes more dense.
The experiments of F Bottazzi, professor of physiology in the University of Naples, are most evidential, and would give, if they were wanting, decisive proofs of materializations and movements without contact. These took place in the presence of Professors de Amicis, Scarpa, Pansini, and Bottazzi himself, provided with all modern instruments as for an experiment in physiology.
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"There were seen (p 684) splendid levitations of the table to a height of two feet from the floor, swaying in the air, untouched by Eusapia." Unknown to all present, Bottazzi had provided an electric button, which if touched would light a lamp. Eusapia, with her hands well held, repeatedly pressed the button with a fluidic hand and lit the lamp.Similar electric pushes placed in a cabinet behind the curtain were put into action while Eusapia struck blows with her hand on the table.
In another séance, Eusapia's hands and arms were tied with strong cords fastened to iron rings in the floor and secured with leaden seals. The fluidic hand then gave various objects-a trumpet and a vase of flowers-to Bottazzi.
In these séances numerous and striking materializations took place. While Eusapia was bound with strong cords M. Galotti saw two left arms (one natural and one fluidic) proceeding from her shoulder. Bottazzi experienced the crucial test of an ectoplasmic hand melting away in his grasp. He says, "I saw and felt at one and the same time a human hand natural in colour, I felt with mine the fingers and the back of a strong, warm, rough hand. I gripped it and it vanished from my grasp, not becoming smaller but melting, dematerializing and dissolving."
Under unexceptionable test conditions not only were there numerous touches, but fingers and hands, some frail and diaphanous, some thick and strong, and diverse figures and shades outlined behind the curtain.1
Bottazzi, who entered on these experiments with a sceptical mind, concludes: "The certitude we have acquired is of the same order as that which we attain from the study of chemical, physical, or physiological facts." That the professor of physiology in the University of Naples should express himself so strongly means that he must be absolutely certain.
Mme. Bloch also describes fluidic hands proceeding from Eusapia (A. S. P., vii, 1897, 2-6). She says Eusapia's hands were held and were also in full view, and we saw a hand emerge from the white cloth behind her; an arm without a shoulder touched her head. Then the phenomenon increased, the hand came from below and threw on the table some pieces of music taken from the piano. The hand was not luminous, but was a hand of flesh similar to our own. There would have been plenty of time to photo
1 "I saw the apparition," says Bottazzi (p. 691), "and shuddered." For my own part, though I have very often. experimented with Eusapia, I have never seen a distinct form. C. R.
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graph it. The fore-arm was in a close-fitting sleeve of grey stuff Eusapia had wide sleeves. This hand came from her skirt and not from her shoulder. Her hands were both seen and held the whole time.
M Venzano thus describes the formation of these phantoms (A. S. P., 1907, xvii, 514) : "Some eight inches from my face there formed a vaporous, globular, whitish mass which condensed into an oval and gradually took definite shape as a head. The nose, the eyes, the moustache, and a pointed beard could be clearly seen. It came nearer to my face, I felt a warm and living forehead against mine; the pressure of a caress, and a kiss; then the whole dissolved in vapour towards the curtain. The other sitters saw only a vague, luminous appearance, but heard the sound of the kiss."
A. de Rochas narrates the experiments at Choisy, in presence of General Thomassin, J. Maxwell, De Watteville, and A. de Gramont. M de Gramont saw a dark shadow like a hand outlined against the window; and the holding of the medium's hands was then verified. A moment later he felt his hand stroked by warm fingers that he could not take hold of.
These fluidic hands have been photographed under satisfactory conditions. G. de Fontenay, a skilful photographer and experienced man of science, was able to obtain striking photographs, one of which is reproduced here. The two hands are seen above Eusapia's head, her own hands being firmly held at the time. M. Cartier, one of the experimenters, says, "I did not for a single moment let go Eusapia's right hand." The other, M. Drubay, says, "I can affirm in the most positive fashion that during the whole of the sitting I never let go the left hand." It is therefore quite impossible that Eusapia should have been able to free both her hands just at the moment when control was necessarily strictest. An attentive study of the photograph shows that the hands are notably larger than Eusapia's hands.
Besides these photographs of hands there are others of the luminous mass usually seen in metapsychic photographs. Without insisting on the impossibility of Eusapia's contriving to put a handkerchief on her head and to take it away again while her hands were held, it may be remarked that the contours of this luminous hand are soft and indeterminate, while its brightness is much greater, as De Fontenay observes, than could be given by the handkerchief that it resembles.
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Eusapia's materializations have been demonstrated not only by photography, but also by metapsychic moulds.1
Morselli reports one case of a mould of the face (very faint) under test conditions; 2 and he gives a reproduction of a much clearer impression of hands 3, though in this latter case he thinks there may have been unconscious fraud.
Per contra, the plaster impressions obtained by De Fontenay are excellent. In an experiment during which Flammarion continuously controlled Eusapia's head and bust, the impression of a face was taken on plaster. It is manifestly Eusapia's face.
At Naples, E. Chiaja obtained numerous impressions on clay. Nevertheless these experiments are still open to discussion: those made at the Metapsychic Institute with Franek Kluski seem more conclusive, and we shall return to them later.
Traces of light gauze tissue protecting the face or the fingers from direct contact with the plaster or the clay may often be observed. This does not detract from the genuineness of the impress, for materialization of inert tissues always accompanies the materialization of living tissue. Moreover, how could actual gauze be handled and caused to disappear under the rigorous control that is exercised?
The materializations given by Marthe Béraud are of the highest importance. They have presented numerous facts illustrating the general processes of materializations and have supplied metapsychic science with entirely new and unforeseen data.4
After these strange facts had been verified by General and Mme. Noel in a series of experiments lasting nearly two years, M. Delanne, the editor of the Revue du Spiritisme, and myself were invited to Algiers by him. The first experiments 5 at which I was present impressed me greatly, but I always distrust first impressions.
1 Voy. A. de Rochas, A propos d'Eusapia Paladino, Les séances de Montfortl'Amaury, A. S. P., 1898, viii, 148G. de Fontenay, Les séances de Montfort-l'Amaury, Soc. des édit. scientifiques, Paris, 1897.
2 Loc cit., i, 430 3 Loc. cit., ii, 348-349.
4 'Their bibliography is already voluminous, for they have provoked much controversy. The pros and cons will be found in Grasset's L'occultisme hier et aujourd'hui, ad edit., Montpellier, 370-374. After sixteen years the objections put forward seem very poor, and deserve only disdain
5 A naval officer, Captain Démadrille, and a physician, Dr. Decréquy, witnessed these experiments and corroborated them. Their narratives have been Published in part in the A. S. P. These notes and sketches confirm our later experiments in a very interesting manner.
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In the following year I returned to Algiers resolved to repeat the experiments under more rigorous conditions.
The medium was Marthe Béraud, the daughter of an officer, betrothed to General Noel's son, who died in the Congo before the marriage. She is a very intelligent and lively young lady, wears her hair short, and is a bright-eyed brunette. Subsequently to the Algiers experiments she has given proofs of strong mediumistic powers. She was the subject observed by Mme. Bisson and Dr. Schrenck-Notzing under the pseudonym of Eva.
The experiments at Algiers were held in a small, isolated building over a stable. The window was blocked up and remained shut at all times. The only door was locked at the beginning of every séance. It is the only room in the building, and before every séance everything was minutely inspected by Delanne and myself. Two curtains were stretched across one corner of the room as shown in Fig. 20, the curtain being about two and a half yards long, so as to make a kind of dark cabinet. We sat about half a yard, or even sometimes nearer, in front of these curtains. Those present were General and Mme. Noel, Mlle. X., Delanne, and myself, also Marthe Béraud's two younger sisters, Marie and Paule, who sat far from the curtain. Light was given by a photographer's red lamp. Within the curtains were two chairs, minutely inspected, one for Marthe and one for a negress, Aischa. The part played by Aischa seems absolutely nil. Mme. Noel made a point of her being present, but our best results occurred in Aischa's absence.
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Everything that took place in the room could be seen perfectly well, and I am absolutely certain that no stranger could enter during the séances.1
As Marthe was not tied, nor her hands held, the conditions of control were less severe than in Eusapia's case; they were, however, strict enough to allow of a definite opinion.
After a variable period, sometimes immediately, sometimes after an hour, or even two hours, the curtains drew apart, and we could see Marthe and Aischa each sitting on her chair seemingly asleep. It is needless to add that after each séance everything was minutely examined. Marthe was not undressed, but in that very hot climate she wore only a thin dress, and as I made magnetic passes over her to awake her from trance, I could be sure, by passing my hand all over her body, that she had nothing on her but this thin garment.
It is useless to incriminate Aischa, an unintelligent creature sitting passively beside Marthe, to the great annoyance of the latter; for in the tropical heat the odour of the negress was unbearable: and in the more effective experiments Aischa was not present.
It is therefore established that there was no instrumentation and no theatrical accessories that the medium could use, and that no stranger could enter the room.
The materializations produced were very complete. The phantom of Bien Boa appeared five or six times under satisfactory conditions in the sense that he could not be Marthe masquerading in a helmet and sheet. Marthe would have had not only to bring, but also to conceal afterwards, the helmet, the sheet, and the burnous. Also Marthe and the phantom were both seen at the same time. To pretend that Bien Boa was a doll is more absurd still; he walked and moved, his eyes could be seen looking round, and when he tried to speak his lips moved.
1 I make a point of this because of the assertions of Areski, an Arab coachman dismissed by General Noel for theft, who said that he "played the ghost." A certain starveling practitioner of Algiers, Dr. R., was ill-advised enough to entertain this man and to exhibit him in public at Algiers in a white mantle to play the ghost before spectators. That is the most that has been said against the experiments at the Villa Carmen. The general public, blinded by ignoble newspaper tales, imagined that the fraud had been exposed. All that was really proved was: that an Arab thief could lie impudently, that he could put on a sheet, could appear thus on a stage, and could get a doctor to endorse his lies. It is averred also that Marthe confessed fraud to an Algerian lawyer who took a pseudonym. But even if this anonymous allegation were true, we know the value to be placed on such revelations, which only show the mental instability of mediums.
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He seemed so much alive that, as we could hear his breathing, I took a flask of baryta water to see if his breath would show carbon dioxide. The experiment succeeded. I did not lose sight of the flask from the moment when I put it into the hands of Bien Boa who seemed to float in the air on the left of the curtain at a height greater than Marthe could have been even if standing up. While he blew into the tube the bubbling could be heard and I asked Delanne, "Do you see Marthe?" He said, "I see Marthe completely." Aischa was far off and could be seen clearly, asleep in the other corner of the cabinet. I could myself see the form of Marthe sitting in her chair, though I could not see her head and her right shoulder.1
However striking this was, another experiment seems to me even more evidential: Everything being arranged as usual (except that Mlle. X., being indisposed, was absent), after a long wait I saw close to me, in front of the curtain which had not moved, a white vapour, hardly sixteen inches distant. It was like a white veil or handkerchief on the floor. This rose and became spherical. Soon it was a head just above the floor; it rose up still more, enlarged, and grew into a human form, a short bearded man dressed in a turban and white mantle, who moved, limping slightly, from right to left before the curtain. On coming close to General Noel, he sank down abruptly to the floor with a clicking noise like a falling skeleton, flattening out in front of the curtain. Three or four minutes later, close to the general, not to me, he reappeared, rising in a straight line from the floor, born from the floor, so to say, and falling back to it with the same clicking noise.
The only un-metapsychic explanation possible seemed to be a trapdoor opening and shutting: but there was no trapdoor, as I verified next morning and as attested by the architect.
Delanne saw the same phenomenon, but as he was a little farther off than myself, he could not see the emergence of the phantom from the floor as well as I could.
It seems to me impossible, however slight and supple Marthe may be, that she should creep under the curtain without disturbing it and give the illusion of a person rising straight from the floor; and how can the head, standing as if decapitated, be explained,
1 A comical incident occurred at this point. When we saw the baryta show white (which incidentally shows that the light was good), we cried "Bravo" Bien Boa then vanished, but reappeared three times, opening and closing the curtain and bowing like an actor who receives applause.
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and the sinking into the floor afterwards? when very shortly after we saw Marthe sitting quietly in her chair, asleep. Several photographs were taken by Delanne and myself, stereoscopic and other. They show some interesting details on which Sir Oliver Lodge has made acute criticisms, saying that they were the best metapsychic photographs that he had seen.
507   photo of Bien Boa

The softness and semi-vaporous outline of the hands are curious; likewise the veil surrounding the phantom has indeterminate outlines contrasting strongly with the sharp outline of Aischa's shoulder. A thick, black, artificial-looking beard covers the mouth and chin. A whitish fluidic mass is noticeable in front of the curtain. This cannot be a photographic error, though we only noticed it on the plate; it appears on both photographs taken with different cameras. The plane of the phantom is in front of Marthe. Bien Boa would seem to be a bust only floating in space in front of Marthe, whose bodice can be seen. Low down, between the curtain and Marthe's black skirt, there seem to be two small whitish rods like supports to the phantom form.
The only defective side to the experiment as evidenced by the photograph is that Marthe's left arm which seems resting on Aischa's chair appears empty, though the vacuity is not complete; but Marthe's bodice, knees, and body are so clearly discernible that this apparent emptiness of the left sleeve does not seem to be a serious objection, though I am careful to draw attention to this point.
It is absolutely impossible that this phantom should be a stranger invading the cabinet; and it is impossible that Marthe could have invested herself with a helmet and sheet, and induce at the same time the white cloud in front of the curtain. Everything happens as though fluidic vapour emerged from her head and her right side, masking both, and rising into the air without any means of support but her head and body.
At the Villa Carmen I saw another very well-defined materialization, now published for the first time.
On the day preceding my departure, after a long stay at Algiers, Bien Boa, speaking by the voice of Marthe,1 said, in order to detain me, "Stay! You will see her whom you desire." It will easily be understood that I stayed.
On the next day almost as soon as the curtains were drawn, they were reopened, and between them appeared the face of a young and beautiful woman with a kind of gilt ribbon or diadem covering her fair hair and the crown of her head. She was laughing heartily and seemed greatly amused; I can still vividly recall her laugh and her pearly teeth. She appeared two or three times.
1 Her voice was halting and wooden and guttural, a sort of Punchinello's voice.
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showing her head and then hiding it, like a child playing bo-peep. Then she refused to return. The general said to me, "Put your hand behind the curtain and you can touch her hair," which I did; and he added, "It is soft like silk, is it not?" I replied, "Excuse me, it is more like horse-hair," and in fact this was the sensation produced. I then received a light tap on the back of the hand; the hair was felt no more and a voice from behind the curtain said, "Bring scissors tomorrow." I brought the scissors next day. The Egyptian queen returned, but only showed the crown of her head with very fair and very abundant hair; she was anxious to know if I had brought the scissors. I then took a handful of her long hair, but I could scarcely distinguish the face that she kept concealed behind the curtain. As I was about to cut a lock high up, a firm hand behind the curtain lowered mine, so that I cut only about six inches from the end. As I was rather slow about doing this, she said in a low voice, "Quick! Quick!" and disappeared. I have kept this lock: it is very fine, silky, and undyed. Microscopical examination shows it to be real hair; and I am informed that a wig of the same would cost a thousand francs. Marthe's hair is very dark and she wears her hair rather short.
It would seem that the purpose that this Egyptian princess had in view was that I should cut off a lock of her hair ( ?), for I saw her no more. Next day, on visiting Mme. Noel who was ill, I half saw, very vaguely, a fugitive form in the dressing-room which vanished as I approached. But my recollection of this is very undefined.1
With other powerful mediums and before 1905, General Noel had notable spiritist manifestations. Both he and Mme. Noel and M. Démadrille, now a captain in the navy, clearly saw the phantom of Bien Boa and by his side the medium Vincente, at the same moment. Dr. Decréquy, also present, certifies the same. Sketches were made that were reproduced in the Annales. Captain Démadrille says: "The curtain opened and Vincente came out: I could see his whole figure; then B. B. came out of the cabinet, seeming to hold it tip with his right arm. The curtain fell to behind him and both remained standing. I took B. B.'s hand; the skin felt stiff and cold, the arm was very cold, stiff and cold like that of a corpse."
1 See in the Psychische Studien for 1906 various criticisms relating to these experiments. L Deinhard, Die Materialisationssitzungen in Alger, pp. 74 and 137. Bormann, Bien Boa and der Waschetosantz. o. 200. COL 9.
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M. C., a cavalry officer, with other mediums than Marthe, and by strong red light, saw clearly the features of a living form only a few inches from his eyes. The form was that of M. de Quillac whose widow was present. Both mediums could be seen seated asleep in their chairs at the same moment as the apparition.1
Our study of materializations has lately had the benefit of many valuable observations very effectively made by Schrenck-Notzing and Mme. Bisson.2
Very numerous photographs, more numerous and more instructive than have before appeared, accompany the text and enable the sequence of phenomena to be intelligently followed.3
In these experiments, which lasted over four years and were conducted with admirable care and patience, minute precautions were taken against fraud. At each séance the cabinet was closely searched, Eva was completely undressed and in presence of the experimenters clothed in a close-fitting garment covering her from head to foot. Her head was covered by a veil of tulle sewn to the other garment. Her hair, armpits, nose, mouth, and knees were examined; in some cases even examination per rectum et vagsnam was resorted to. As the materialized substance frequently comes from her mouth, syrup of bilberries was administered, whose deep colouring powers are well known, but notwithstanding this the extruded forms were absolutely white. Experimental rigour was even pushed to the point of giving her an emetic before a séance.
The light in front of the curtain was sufficient to allow large print to be read. Behind the curtain were a red and a white light that could be put on at will. Three cameras, one being stereoscopic, were focussed on the cabinet ready to be worked at a signal; sometimes there were as many as nine. Eva, having been undressed in full light and clothed as described above, was brought into the cabinet and the curtains were drawn, the light reduced, and the experiments began.
Under these circumstances it seems physically impossible that
1 A S P, 1906 255. Les dernières séances de la villa Carmen.
2 Les phénoinènes dits de matérialisation, by Juliette Alexandre Bisson, with preface by J. Maxwell, 8vo, 1 vol., Paris, Alcan, 1914. Schrenck-Notzing. Materialisationsphaenomen e, E. Reinhardt, Munchen, 1914. This work was translated into English in 1919
3 Grasset, in his book published in 1908, accepts (without advancing any proofs) the idea that Areski intruded into the cabinet at Algiers, absurd as that notion is. He could not anticipate that Marthe would give fine instances of materialization five years later, confirming the results at the Villa Carmen, although her mediumship there and at Paris took very different forms
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any fraud could occur. The notion that an accomplice could enter is absurd; the hypothesis that Eva might bring various objects with her is equally ridiculous. Moreover Eva lives with Mme. Bisson, who rarely leaves her; the two ladies take their meals together and sleep in the same room. Even making the monstrous supposition that Mme. Bisson is capable of bad faith, she could not have deceived Schrenck-Notzing, Dr. Geley, J. Maxwell, Dr. Bourbon, M. Chevreul, C. de Vesme, G. de Fontenay, and myself for three years, and also others who assisted at the experiments. Add to this that there were séances at Paris, Biarritz, and Munich extending over four years.
The phenomena of materialization produced were most striking. Essentially they consist in a luminous and plastic emanation proceeding usually from her mouth, sometimes from her navel (when alone with Mme. Bisson she was completely nude) ; sometimes from her breast; sometimes from her armpits. It is a whitish substance that creeps as if alive, with damp, cold, protoplasmic extensions that are transformed under the eyes of the experimenters into a hand, fingers, a head, or even into an entire figure.
It is impossible to give all particulars. I therefore quote the séance of April 15, 1912, in the presence of C. de Vesme and P. Bisson.
"The manifestations began at once. White substance appeared on the neck of the medium; then a head was formed which moved from left to right and placed itself on the medium's head. A photograph was taken (Figs. 73, 74, pp108, 109). After the flashlight, the head reappeared by the side of Eva's head, about sixteen inches from it, connected by a long bunch of white substance. It looked like the head of a man, and made movements like bows. Some twenty appearances and reappearances of this head were counted; it appeared, retreated into the cabinet, and emerged again. A woman's head then appeared on the right, showed itself near the curtains, and went back into the cabinet, returned several times and disappeared."
On the 30th of August, 1912, another experiment was made at Munich by Dr. and Mme. Schrenck-Notzing and Dr. Klapka, which is specially interesting because a rough attempt was made to detect fraud (Schrenck-Notzing, p. 329).
The white substance was seen on the medium's left shoulder, then on her abdomen. Dr. Klapka verified that Eva's hands were
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in sight holding the curtain during the whole time. A white and brownish mass was visible on Eva's knees. On a sign Schrenck entered the cabinet suddenly, put on the light, and took Eva's hands, while Klapka tried to seize the white substance, but could grasp nothing, for it disappeared at once. The experiment was resumed, in spite of the terror evinced by Eva of this attempt, and the face of a man appeared, which vanished after a few seconds.
At the séance of June 13, 1913, in presence of Dr. Bourbon and Mme. Bisson (see p. 208), the substance emerged from the medium's mouth; at its end was a materialized finger. M. Bourbon took hold of this as it came from Eva's mouth, and verified the bone in it, and also that it was flexible. This finger came right through the tulle with which the medium's head was covered, the tulle showing no sign of being torn (Schrenck-Notzing, Pl. xxi). The apparition (the form of a man, much larger than Eva, with long moustaches) came out of the cabinet, began to speak, and went to Mme. Bisson, who kissed him on his cheek. The sound was quite audible.
The experiment of November 30, 1912 (Schrenck-Notzing, p. 379 and Fig. 107, Pl. xi ); is particularly interesting. Both of Eva's hands can be seen holding the curtain. The white substance then exuded from the left shoulder, falling over the chest. This substance became more and more dense and finally took the shape of a human face; Schrenck, who up to that time had kept Eva's hands in sight or had held them, let go his hold at Eva's request, and the form then became clearer.
It is to be noted that these faces (and many others), as shown by the photographs, are not in relief. They are like drawings; and, more strange still, something like folds in the paper of a drawing are visible; as if a drawing had been folded three or four times and unfolded to be photographed, so that the materializations are in these cases flat, or materialized drawings.
These folds in flat images gave immense suspicion of fraud. But that presumes extreme stupidity in Eva, since she knew that photographs would be taken. How should she have been so unskilful as to present such things to the camera along with the other evidences of extraordinary faculty?
It must, moreover, be supposed that she had brought these drawings and made them vanish again. This hypothesis of drawings brought and hidden cannot be sustained; for, in the first place, the flat images appeared in cases when her hands were never out
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of sight; and, secondly, the extreme rigour of the conditions, and the minute examination of her person before and after the séances, makes it impossible to understand how she could have secreted large drawings; thirdly, these appeared outside the veil of tulle that covered her; and fourthly there were very evident movements, quite life-like, in these images that succeeded one another rapidly and seemed to be living things.
The fact of the appearance of flat images rather than of forms in relief is no evidence of trickery. It is imagined, quite mistakenly, that a materialization must be analogous to a human body and must be three-dimensional. This is not so. There is nothing to prove that the process of materialization is other than a development of a completed form after a first stage of coarse and rudimentary lineaments formed from the cloudy substance.
The moist, gelatinous, and semi-luminous extensions that proceed from the mouth of Marthe-Eva are embryonic formations which tend towards organization without immediately attaining it. Perhaps with other mediums such as Home and Florence Cook the organization into living form takes place more rapidly; but in Eva's case it is slow, progressive, and difficult.
Schrenck has examined microscopically residues of the amorphous substance, and has found vestiges of epithelium, bacterial forms, and a notable amount of fat. In certain cases it looked like vegetable tissue; in others like a filament of cotton surrounded by a granular substance whose nature could not be determined.
These remarkable experiments by Schrenck-Notzing and Mme. Bisson confirm yet once again the phenomenon of ectoplasm. After the experiments by Crookes, Mme. d'Espérance, P. Gibier, and those at the Villa Carmen, it would seem impossible to cast doubt upon this extraordinary and extremely rare but real phenomenon.1
1 Acrimonious (and ineffective) criticisms have appeared in Germany; notably that of Mme. Dr. Mathilde von Kemnitz. Schrenck-Notzing replied to her vigorously, and also to Dr. von Gulat-Wellenburg, Der Kampf and die Materialisationsphaenomene, Verteidigungsschrift (Miinchen, Reinhardt, 1914).
See also Laquerelle des phénomènes de matérialisation, by A. von SchrenekNotzing, A. S. P., May, 1914, xxiv; 129-149. Schrenck has demonstrated that a careful examination of the photographs shows that they are not reproductions of those that appeared in the Miroir. Mrs. Barclay, who in the Psychic Magazine thought to prove fraud, merely proved that she had neither read the detailed accounts of the experiments nor carefully examined the photographs.
Schrenck had, moreover, employed detectives for several months, who sought by every possible means to discover or even to provoke fraud. They got nothing.
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The phenomena that Schrenck-Notzing and Mme. Bisson have verified with Eva bring fresh evidence on the formation of ectoplasms, evidence that is of high theoretical importance. The word "ectoplasm," which I invented for the experiments with Eusapia, seems entirely justified. The ectoplasm is a kind of gelatinous protoplasm, formless at first, that exudes from the body of the medium, and takes form later. This embryo-genesis of materialization shows clearly on nearly all the photographs. In the early stages there are always white veils and milky patches and the faces, fingers, and drawings are formed little by little in the midst of this kind of gelatinous paste that resembles moist and sticky muslin.
To establish the truth of these phenomena of materialization and their embryo-genesis by formal proof I will here give, almost unabbreviated, the first notes of the experiments made by me with Marthe at the house of Mme. de S., under conditions that rendered fraud impossible, in September, October, and November, 1906.
I did not publish them at the time because they seemed to me so extraordinary that I wished to confirm them further by fresh experiment, but Marthe was then engaged on other studies with Mme. Bisson.
In some respects my experiments give more detail than those of Schrenck and Mme. Bisson; for I could follow the whole sequence of the embryo-genesis. I took no photographs; a serious omission doubtless, but one that is fairly compensated for by the fact that I could follow with the eye the detail of organization without those intermissions of observation while the curtain is drawn; this continuous observation is not permitted by the medium when waiting for the photograph, and herself giving the signal to the photographer. Moreover, mediums are always more or less in fear of the flashlight, and I have reasons to think that this terror of the flash involves some check to the phenomena.
It is probable, too, that Marthe's mediumistic powers have altered and that their modalities have varied. At Mme. de S.'s house the phenomena were different from those at Algiers, more like those presented with Mme. Bisson and Schrenck-Notzing some years later.
I quote textually my notes of 1906.1
1These notes, which I intended one day to publish, seemed to me so important that I confided them to my friend Georges Lyon, to be published after my death. He returns them to me at my request.
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"In the quite small room which I search thoroughly, a corner, curtains that can be closed and opened before the corner. A cane chair in the middle on which Marthe sits. Mme. de S., whom I will call A., is alone with Marthe and myself. We both sit close to Marthe, so close that I can touch her hands without getting up. The light is an electric lamp covered with red stuff, and gives light enough to show all the white in Marthe's garments and the white ribbons in her hair. After about half an hour, I open the curtains and see a faint luminosity on the floor, so feeble that I doubt its reality. By degrees this light increases; it is like a small, luminous handkerchief lying on the floor. Marthe's whole body is motionless. The luminous spot grows; its outlines are milky, undefined and cloudy, less defined and softer than would be those of a woven stuff. It approaches the chair, increases in size, and takes a serpentine form which tends to rise towards the left arm of A.'s chair. Its outlines become sharper; it is like a mass of half-empty fabric. Then follows an extraordinary sight: a point detaches itself from the mass, mounts up, bends and directs itself to Marthe's breast, her hands being held the whole time. The point continues to advance in a terrifying way like an animal pointing its beak; and as it advances, on the rigid stalk there appears a thin gauzy structure like a bat's wing, so thin and transparent that Marthe's garments can be seen through it. The stem is easily distinguishable from the membrane round it. Marthe is motionless and speaks at intervals.
"I can approach and look very closely, only an inch away. I see what looks like a swollen substance, moving as if alive, and changing its form. For five or six minutes I examine it attentively. I see extensions like the horns of a snail, which start up to right and left; these horns are like transparent gelatin, they project from and sink back into the more defined central mass.
"Marthe gets up. I take her hands. By raising and lowering her hands I seem to attract the point of the mass of substance. There seems now only a sort of veil suspended from my hand which holds both of Marthe's hands; but I can feel nothing. I made a slight movement with my little finger, the mass shortened by a few inches and mounted once more."
This amazing experiment, the first, was followed by yet another, the third, still more strange, on October 20th, which took place during the day with quite enough light to see by. For the sake of brevity I pass over experiment number two of the 18th, at
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which the phenomena above described recurred. There was light enough, even in the cabinet, to read the title of a book.
517  518 picture

"After half an hour's wait, the curtains open of themselves. On the floor is a small white tract that grows into an ovoid, puts out an extension, and mounts on the arm of the chair. At this moment there are two horns like snail's horns that seem to direct the movements of a part, B, that climbs over the arm of the chair, united to a mass, X, that lies on the floor. I can look at this very
519  drawing

closely: the stem is a greyish white, less white than the trimming of Marthe's bodice and softer in outline. There are swellings in it like an empty snake-skin whilst the two masses, B and X, seem
520  drawing

to swell and get fuller. Slowly the mass X mounts up and the mass B descends, so that X is on Marthe's knees and B below it, the latter becoming the base on which the whole formation rests, for it spreads out like an amoeba on the floor, and takes the form of a split base (two feet?). While these two parts continued to flatten out on the floor I had plenty of time to look very closely into the greyish, gelatinous, and barely visible mass X. I was not permitted to touch it. It was then on Marthe's knees. It then slowly divided into clefts at its extremity, resembling a hand, in embryo, but sufficiently clear for me to say that it is a left hand seen from the back. Vide Fig. 23: Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are rough sketches of the successive phases of the ectoplasm on the floor: 6 shows the development of the 'snail's horn' formation: 7, 8, and 9 are the series of forms taken by the ectoplasm mounting on to Marthe's knees: 9a shows the portion on the ground and the disposition on Marthe's figure: 10 to 13 show the growth of the hand. Nos. 14 to 17 are from another experiment analogous to the preceding. The final result was a stump ill-formed but sufficient to show the embryo of a hand.
"Another change sets in: the little finger separates from the rest, and in the grey, cloudy mass a hand can be clearly seen from the back, the fingers closed, the little finger extended, and a swelling resembling the carpal bones appeared, like a Rontgen-ray radiograph of these bones. Soon the cloudy mass disappears and I see an ill-formed hand like a cast in plaster. I think I see the folds and creases in the skin slowly form. I am holding both Marthe's hands, and can see them.
"The ectoplasmic hand seems solid, larger than a woman's hand. I am able to look at it very closely for ten minutes in quite good light. Then Marthe gets up and everything vanishes."
The most extraordinary of all the experiments is certainly the fourth (October 20th)
"Fairly good light. The curtain remains closed for about an hour. I open it; a white spot on the floor grows rapidly, and two horns protrude from the mass X, from which other horns appear, very mobile, pointing in every direction. The mass, then much larger, disaggregates into particles, taking on the semblance of a hand; it does not look like the cast of the previous day, it is a greyish hand with ill-defined outlines.
"This hand moves, looking like the hand of a mummy emerging from some stuff; it raises and lowers itself like a hand. Marthe's
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hands are firmly held by me and are quite motionless. The fingers of the ectoplasm, thin and spindly, seem to end in cloudy masses. I can examine them very closely. I touch one of these spindles; it feels like a cold liquid. I can press it and it feels like the bone of a finger covered with skin. The hand rests on my knee and I feel the slight friction of a body of little resistance. The hand then rises of itself, swaying on a long stem that connects it with the floor; it falls back on to the floor with a slight noise; it remains there and I think I see the two bones of the fore-arm as though wrapped in cloudy muslin.
"The hand then rises, bends, and moves towards me. The wrist is lowered and the fingers pendant; they move and there seems a torsional movement of this strange fore-arm. I still think I see the carpal bones in the muslin-like cloud.
"The hand rests on my knee again. I feel its weight (very light), it makes little movements at my request that I can feel quite well. Then Marthe says to me, 'That is the muscles beginning to form,' and I see, or I think I see, something dark in the space between the two bones. The hand rises and moves very close to me, having no connection with the ground but a slight white trail. It then falls to the ground with a slight noise, rises from it and suddenly disappears at the moment that Marthe gets up."
The final experiment is less striking. There would seem to have been an endeavour to present a different phenomenon which could not reach its full development
"After a long wait (an hour) Marthe opens the curtains. She can be seen sitting quite still. On her left shoulder is a whitish mass perhaps slightly luminous, though I could not state that it was markedly so. This gleam, at first indistinct, gradually takes the shape of drapery and disappears into Marthe's body. Then there appears a kind of cloud that seems to me weightless ( ?) as if thrown across Marthe's neck and bust, but this is very fugitive.
"Then a phenomenon of great importance takes place, unfortunately much more rapid than those previously verified. About half a yard from Marthe there appears a kind of doll without a face, quite indistinct and barely a yard high. A very small head, two long sleeves, and scarcely any legs, the whole under a kind of drapery or shimmering light. This lasts about half a minute; the whole form then sinks to the ground, and nothing remains but the globular form of the head, which lasts about half a minute and disappears."
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The last of the phenomena was very distinct and fully visible (I copy my notes verbatim)
"Luminous prolongation seeming to proceed from the junction of the neck with the back, seen from behind. Marthe's two hands are visible and have hold of the drapery. This prolongation is white and very luminous; it seems to me self-luminous, but I cannot be sure of that. It is straight, very narrow, only about one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter, at its end a mass, not rounded but rather triangular. The external part of this mass is frizzy, or rather its outlines are vague. At first it is quite still, then it moves jerkily, as if the stem was being re-absorbed in the body. It seemed to me that the luminous mass, in shape something like an African native club, changed size, becoming now larger and now smaller. In the end it returned into Marthe's neck and back, her hand remaining in sight the whole time."
Such are the experiments I made with Marthe in 1906. Being corroborated by the subsequent admirable photographs taken by Mme. Bisson and Schrenck-Notzing, they seem to me of the highest importance.
In the first place no trickery was possible. The light was ample for perfect visibility; the proximity very close indeed; the time often very long, enabling me to observe closely every detail. These conditions entirely preclude fraud. Even if, for the sake of argument, we adopt the absurd supposition that Mme. de S., in whose house the experiments took place, was an accomplice, it would have been impossible to generate under my eyes these clouds which developed into bony and mobile masses just in front of me.
Marthe was examined and searched before and after the experiments. I never lost sight of her for a moment and her hands were always held and visible.
The phenomena were therefore authentic.
The outcome of these surprising observations is that we can state the stages in the formation of ectoplasms-a whitish steam, perhaps luminous, taking the shape of gauze or muslin, in which there develops a hand or an arm that gradually gains consistency. This ectoplasm makes personal movements. It creeps, rises from the ground, and puts forth tentacles like an amoeba. It is not always connected with the body of the medium but usually emanates from her, and is connected with her.
Two phases can be distinguished: a rudimentary phase, a sort of rough draft, and a phase of building up. With other mediums
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the organized form may probably appear immediately without being preceded by the indistinct cloudy phase.
To confirm the authenticity of the phenomena, I cannot do better than reproduce side by side the notes taken by me in 1906 and those published by Geley in 1920. I have changed nothing in either.  
    C. RICHET's NOTES (1906) On the ground a small white tract which grows, makes an ovoid mass, and puts forth a prolongation. This mounts on the arm of the chair. At this moment there are visible two horns like those of a snail which seem to direct the movements. A lower mass, X, on the ground; and an upper mass, B, united to the former, which has climbed over the arm of the chair. I can look at this formation from a very short distance. The stem is greyish white, with swellings like an empty snakeskin. The mass X is on Marthe's knees, while the mass B spreads itself on the floor like an amoeba. The mass X is greyish, gelatinous, and barely visible. It is then on Marthe's knees. Little by little it seems to split into digits at its end. It is like the embryo of a hand, ill-formed but clear enough to enable me to say that it is a left hand seen from the back. Fresh progress: the little finger separates almost completely: then the following changes, very quick but very clear: a hand with closed fingers, seen from the back, with a little finger extended, an ill-formed thumb, and higher up a swelling that resembles the carpal bones. I think I see the creases in the skin. GELEY'S NOTES. "FROM THE UNCONSCIOUS TO THE CONSCIOUS," 1919. "From the mouth of Eva there descends to her knees a cord of white substance of the thickness of two fingers; this ribbon takes under our eyes varying forms, that of a large perforated membrane, with swellings and vacant spaces; it gathers itself together, retracts, swells, and narrows again. Here and there from the mass appear temporary protrusions, and these for a few seconds assume the form  of fingers, the outline of hands, and then re-enter the mass. Finally the cord retracts on itself, lengthens to the knees, its end rises, detaches itself from the medium and moves towards me. I then see the extremity thicken like a swelling, and this terminal swelling expands into a perfectly modelled hand. I touch it; it gives a normal sensation; I feel the bones, and the fingers with their nails. Then the hand contracts, diminishes, and disappears in the end of the cord." (Page 57, English translation.)         
We experimented quite separately with Marthe, I in 1906 and Geley in 1910. We did not communicate our notes to each other
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nor publish anything. They are therefore quite independent results.
It is impossible to suppose that Geley (whom I hardly knew in 1910) and myself were similarly hallucinated five years apart by the same illusion.
Geley, after describing very precisely the variations in the gelatinous embryo-plastic mass, adds, "I do not say merely. There was no trickery. I say, 'There was no possibility of trickery. Nearly all the materializations took place under my own eyes, and I have observed the whole of their genesis and development. "
I can say exactly the same.
Other observations similar to those on Marthe-Eva are mentioned by Schrenck in his fine work. These were with a young Polish girl, Stanislawa P., who chanced to discover her mediumistic powers by suddenly seeing (when eighteen years old) the apparition of her friend Sophie, who, unknown to her, had just died.
At Schrenck's house in Munich Stainslawa produced ectoplasm from her mouth, like Eva. She had been searched, dressed in black tights, and her head covered with a veil of very fine mesh. The ectoplasm emerged through the veil and formed three fingers. Cinematograph photographs of these experiments were taken.
With Linda Gazzera many instances of telekinesis and ectoplasmic forms have been observed. My learned and generous friend, Dr. E. Imoda of Turin, has published a valuable book narrating his interesting and methodical experiments, made at Turin in the house of the Marquise de Ruspoli.
Linda is a young girl of twenty-two, pleasant, well-educated, lively, and gay. Her guide is a certain Vincenzo, who, it seems, had been a cavalry officer, who died some years back, and concerning whom I have no precise particulars. Sometimes it was Carlotta, a child who died at the age of four. For all the experiments Linda was carefully searched, undressed, and re-clothed, and the cabinet where she sat was minutely searched. Her hands were always held, and she made no attempts to free them.
The only omission in the experiments was that her feet and knees were not as closely controlled as her hands. But it is impossible that the phenomena observed should have been due to movements of the feet, however skilful; such as winding up a musical box, and putting a pipe in my mouth (!!).
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Linda's mediumship is characterized by very rapid production of the phenomena. The light is hardly extinguished when objects are displaced, musical instruments are played, and various white forms appear. At the same time the sitters feel touches of a warm, moist, mobile, living member, though it cannot always be identified as a hand.
Imoda was mainly concerned to photograph the ectoplasms ; this is quite laudable, but perhaps the desire to concentrate on getting good photographs prevents minute observations by the naked eye.
Imoda's photographs show very different faces always surrounded by a white veil. When Linda visited me at Paris, G. de Fontenay took some excellent photographs (pp. 175-179); a hand and a face, the latter seeming to be that of the face of a "possessed" man in one of Rubens's pictures in the Louvre.
As in Schrenck-Notzing's photographs, those taken by De Fontenay are flat, wanting in relief. The hands look more like gloves than real hands.1
The photographs taken by Caranzini are similar, the faces are just like dolls' faces and they and the hands are always veiled.2 It cannot be supposed that Linda, unable to use her hands, and after being carefully searched and re-dressed, could manipulate cards, dolls, and drawings quickly and skilfully enough to risk being photographed: and more than once she was searched again as soon as a photograph had been taken, and nothing was found. How could she hide an extraneous object?
In my preface to Imoda's book I said: "The fact that the ectoplasms are not living faces is no objection; for there is nothing to prevent the ectoplasm being an image and not a living being. The materialization of a plaster bust is not easier to understand than that of a lithographic drawing; and the formation of an image is not less extraordinary than that of a living human head."
Another evidential and, to my thinking, decisive experiment took place at my house in Paris. There were present M. de Fontenay and myself, also Mme. C. Richet and Argentina (the Italian nurse of one of my small children), whom I had desired to be present so that Linda might have one of her own countrywomen
1 Fotografie di fantasmi, 8vo, Torino, F. Bocca, 1912, preface by Charles Richet.
A. S. P., 1912, xii, 135.
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near her. I was on her right, and De Fontenay on her left. The séance lasted only thirty-five minutes.
During the whole time I kept firm hold of Linda's right hand without any intermission, and some thirty or forty times I satisfied myself by touch that De Fontenay was firmly holding her left hand.
Even before Linda went into trance there were movements of objects-the musical box started, and in complete darkness, a pipe placed behind Linda was placed in my mouth. A little later still in total darkness this pipe was seized and forcibly thrown into the middle of the room. Some heavy object dealt strong blows on the back of my hand; some large object struck heavy blows on the table; it also struck De Fontenay. A photograph was taken on which a well-materialized hand appears, the nails and all the fingers being visible. Round it there is a ribbon or some kind of stuff. A thin thread connects it with Linda's head (see p. 434).
This experiment, together with very many more by E. Imoda and the Marquise de Ruspoli, place the reality of the phenomena beyond doubt.
Dr. Paul Gibier, an eminent physiologist and a director of the Pasteur Institute in New York, had a decisive experience with Mrs. Salmon (loc. cit., p. 1733, April 21, 1909).
He experimented in his own laboratory, using an iron cage specially made to his instructions, with a door closing by a lock. Mrs. Salmon was placed in the cage, the door locked, and stamp paper gummed over the lock. He put the key in his pocket. A very short time after the lights had been extinguished, hands, arms, and living forms came out of the cage-a man, a woman, and more often a gay, lively little girl. Suddenly Mrs. Salmon emerged from the cage and fell half fainting on the floor. The seals were found intact and the door had not been opened.
In a second experiment, still more demonstrative, the cage was replaced by a wooden cabinet, specially constructed and hermetically closed. Mrs. Salmon was tied firmly by ribbon round her neck sealed to the walls of the cabinet. The lights were scarcely extinguished before a bare fore-arm and hand appeared outside the cabinet, just twenty-four seconds after darkness was made. Then another form moved outside.
After a few minutes of waiting, a white object about the size of an egg appeared and grew in height. (This mode of development of the ectoplasm should be compared with what was seen
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at the Villa Carmen.) Then a woman, seemingly alive, came out of the cabinet and was recognized by Mme. D. and Mme. B. This phantasmal personage spoke French very well (Mrs. Salmon can only speak a few words of French, but this difference signifies nothing). The apparition remained for about two minutes, and P. Gibier could distinguish the features. She was slight in build, seemed about twenty-five, though Mrs. Salmon is corpulent and aged about fifty. Little Mandy came later, about a yard in height. Then a tall man whose muscular, vigorous, and completely masculine hand P. Gibier was able to clasp. After a short time this last form dissolved and seemed to sink into the ground.1
After this stirring séance, everything was found intact. Mrs. Salmon was still bound; the silk ribbon round her neck just as placed prior to the séance.
Several facts of great importance stand out from these notable experiences. In the first place they were conducted by a scientific man permeated by an enlightened scepticism, and were managed so that even if we do not admit the honesty of Mrs. Salmon, fraud would have been possible only by the introduction of several accomplices, a supposition that is manifestly absurd. Secondly the rapidity and multiplicity of the materializations would have to be accounted for.
Thus Dr. Gibier's experiments strikingly confirm the other materializations of which details have already been given. What more is required to produce conviction?
There is an extensive bibliography dealing with the experiments of Baron L. von Erhardt and the S. P. R. of Rome with the medium Carancini.2 This medium was studied not at Rome only, but at Paris by De Vesme, Lemerle, M. Mangin, and at Geneva by Claparède, Flournoy, and Batelli. There are several doubtful points, not as to his mediumship, which seems tolerably definitely proven, but as to his frauds (sometimes even conscious in despite of minute precautions), which detract from experiments that were apparently genuinely successful. Many photographs were taken,
1These details were to have been read at the International Congress of Psychology held at Paris in 1900; but Dr. Gibier's premature accidental death intervened. This paper is therefore posthumous, and is entitled Recherches sur les matérialisations de fantômes, la pénétration de la matière et autres phénomènes psychiques (A. S. P., xi, 3-16, 65-92).
2 See especially Erhardt, Etude sur la médiumnité de Carancini, A. SP., April, 1912, and Luce e Ombra, 1908-1913, A. S. P., 1911-1913, passim.
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but the flash was made only when Carancini gave the word—Fuoco.
Carancini was very tightly bound, and was found at the end of the séances tied exactly as at their commencement, but many conjurers seem to find it easy to do this trick.
The phenomena of telekinesis came about very soon after he had been tied. Materializations were few; but one photograph shows a hand which seems flat, as if cut out of paper. The most remarkable experience was one in which a dinner-plate covered with soot (from a smoky flame) out of the medium's reach, was placed in a padlocked wooden box held in the hand of one of the sitters. (Did he hold it in his hand during the whole time?)
Carancini showed levitations and movements of objects, but always in darkness.
In short, the authenticity of the phenomena is not yet certain. After careful perusal of the notes taken, I am inclined to think the results genuine, but only because they resemble the unquestionably authentic observations on Eusapia, for in themselves those on Carancini are to be taken with reserve. To be accurate, there were never any proofs of fraud, but only suspicions, and as M. Erhardt remarks, the hypothesis of fraud implies that the experimenters were absolute imbeciles.
Dr. Feijao, a professor of surgery in the Lisbon Faculty of Medicine, assisted at a number of séances, which have been described by Mme. Frondoni-Lacombe.
The medium was a non-professional one, Mme. d'Andrade. Dr. Feijao thus expresses himself (and the opinion of an eminent and previously sceptical professor has great weight) : "Formerly I believed nothing of these things. Now I have seen and observed, and I repent my incredulity."
In these experiments which were made in his own house, all the sitters joined hands: the table rose six inches from the ground, and there were lights, touches, and movements of objects.
Two very striking phenomena are stated by Dr. Feijao : first an apport, or rather, a transport. The door being locked, a rose from a bouquet in the room was taken into the adjoining room. But this must be taken with reserve, for the professor does not seem to have verified that the rose taken was actually from the
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bouquet. Even after his affirmation, I must agree with Sir Oliver Lodge that no case of apport can be considered fully proved. The other phenomenon was the apparition of a phantom. All the doors were shut, a photograph was taken, and the plate showed a French ( ?) officer. It was then ascertained, through the table, that this figure purported to be that of a Lieutenant Catherin, killed at Vitry-le-François, September 27, 1914. The photograph, when shown to the widow of Lieutenant Catherin, did not resemble her deceased husband, and the uniform does not agree with that worn by French officers.
What gives importance to the experiment is not the photograph, in taking which sufficient precautions were not observed, but the sight of a phantom in a locked room before persons who were certainly incapable of a skilful, conscious, and prearranged fraud that would have necessitated the presence of an accomplice.
These observations of telekinesis and ectoplasms are described in a book by Mme. Madeleine Frondoni-Lacombe of Lisbon. I have the honour of knowing Mme. Lacombe, and hold her incapable of fraud. What object would there be in a fraud carried on for five years against all hostile criticism, and resulting only in sarcasms and abuse? The facts narrated are supported by numerous attestations, notably those of Dr. Feijao, at first sceptical but overcome by the evidence of other doctors, Dr. Souza Conto and another, by Captain d'Abren of the Engineers, Captain Silva Pinto, and other distinguished persons in Lisbon.
The medium who gave these remarkable metapsychic results is not a professional medium; she is the Countess Castelvitch, who gave these séances unknown to her husband.
Her mediumship was discovered as follows: "On January 10, 1913," says Mme. Lacombe, "when visiting my friend Countess Castelvitch I proposed table-turning. There were three of usthe countess, Mme. Ponsa, and myself. These ladies had never tried before. . . . That day the table rose up, and a person
ABSTRACT OF NOTE TO THE SECOND FRENCH EDITION. Mme. Lacombe has sent me a letter referring to my previous remarks on her book. She points out that the séances lasted only half an hour and that all precautions were observed that all the sitters (three or four at most) should hold hands. A very incredulous Portuguese journalist (M. Rocha, jr.) was convinced and wrote an article entitled The Initiation of a Sceptic. She insists strongly on the authenticity of the apports, which she says were frequent and undeniable. Even after her letter I cannot consider the passage of matter through matter as being demonstrated; though it is possible that my opinion may be modified by fresh experiments
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calling himself Lemos manifested by rapping." From that day forward Mme. Lacombe and the countess made many trials and finally obtained a series of extraordinary phenomena that I cannot give here in detail, for it would be necessary to quote the whole volume, which I commend to the reader.
I will only summarize the principal facts, especially those that were observed in presence of Dr. Feijao.
Touches were very frequent and sitters felt hands touching them though the "chain" was unbroken: a heavy table weighing one hundred and sixty pounds was raised on two legs when barely touched: the movements of a small table were so violent that it became necessary to replace it by one strengthened with sheetiron: when this second table was used it was rent into two hundred (the exact number) small pieces which were piled telekinetically, i.e., without anyone touching them, in a corner of the room. Dr. Feijao thought at first that there must be secret doors to the room by which some person had entered and done this. In other séances a chair weighing thirty pounds moved by itself about four yards. Strong blows were struck rhythmically at different places in the room.
Dr. Feijao writes: "Blows were struck, the loudest being on the glass of the bookcase. Articles of furniture sometimes moved. Heavy chairs moved about the room; efforts were made on the locked doors of the bookcase, which were opened; large and heavy books were flung on the floor (our hands being linked all the time) ; an office-bell and a handbell, the half-open piano, and a guitar in its case all sounded loudly . . . the table rose as much as twenty-four inches . . . At our request, and when we had all removed our hands, the table still moved."
There were also, as Dr. Feijao thinks, and Mme. Lacombe affirms she has often seen, transport of objects through closed doors: "In one séance we desired that a rose should be taken into the adjoining room. We found this flower under a table, though all the doors were locked as usual."
Despite these attestations, reserve must be maintained regarding this latter phenomenon, which lends itself to illusion, not only by reason of the unconsciousness of the medium but perhaps of some of the sitters also. It is possible that the Countess Castelvitch or Mme. Lacombe may more or less unconsciously effect these displacements. A rigorous and authentic verification is required of the statement that, the doors being absolutely closed, a rose has passed through them and been conveyed into another closed room.
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I make these reservations because these cases are quite exceptional in metapsychic science, if indeed they have ever been verified. But telekinesis is evident especially in the séance of April 24, 1917, at which Dr. Feijao was present and also one of his students, M. Bianco, who was entirely sceptical. The hands of all present were fastened together so that they could not be detached: and under these conditions blows were struck everywhere, a hand was felt by several persons; one string of the guitar sounded loudly, the bookcase was opened, and a book on a distant table was thrown about. Cases of telekinesis in Mme. Lacombe's book are too many for quotation.
It will suffice to cite the following, inasmuch as it took place in full light. A table weighing one hundred and sixty pounds rose on two legs and struck a blow when the countess was a yard distant from it and standing up.
There were some ectoplasms : a phantom representing a French officer, but wearing a uniform quite out of date, was photographed; but the story is too long to be given here. Another time there was a nun; very often there were whitish lights more or less shapeless; another time, a phantom with a death's-head; yet another time, an Arab soldier. All these were photographed.
As all the cases of ectoplasm cannot be quoted I select the following. On December 18, 1914, Countess Castelvitch, Mme. Ponsa, Mme. Furtado, M. and Mme. Lacombe were present in the house of the Countess Castelvitch. Through the table Mme. Furtado's husband was alleged to be present, but that he would not allow himself to be photographed because he had forgotten what his face was like, but he said that his companion would come in his place. This companion was his mistress, he having been separated from his wife; and in fact a veiled woman was photographed, causing great fear in Mme. Furtado, who declared she would never be present at any more séances. At the next séance (December 27, 1914), M. Furtado announced his presence again and said, "I have no face, but I will make one," and the phantom photographed is a tall person clothed in white, but the face is that of a death's-head (Fig. 24).
It is difficult or impossible to imagine that these are frauds or illusions. Fraud was not easy. In order to show a French officer, a nun, a phantom with a death's-head, and an Arab soldier
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a whole series of costumes would be needed, to be bought at a shop and to be used at the séances where hands were held, if not rigorously, yet sufficiently well. And why should this be done? If Mme. Lacombe wished to deceive she might have given stranger things. There is no reason to suspect the good faith of Mme. Furtado, who was very sceptical, nor of Mme. Ponsa, who was Mme. Lacombe's intimate friend.
Although it is probable that Countess Castelvitch was the principal medium, Madeleine Frondoni-Lacombe also had remarkable phenomena in full light when alone with her friend, Mme. d'Andrade (p. 208), who also had some manifestations that seem genuine. Holding both of Mme. d'Andrade's hands, Mme. Lacombe saw in full sunlight a parasol rise up, lower itself, and advance, rolling round with a waving motion.
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Raps were made at a distance at request. It is therefore permissible to think that Mme. Lacombe also is a medium.
I infer that the ectoplasms observed by her are genuine. If they stood alone in metapsychic science they would certainly not suffice to produce conviction, for Madeleine Lacombe has not the scientific standing to warrant our basing our conclusions on hers; but all that she has seen agrees too well with all we have learned from the experiments with Home, Eusapia, Marthe Béraud, Stanislawa, and Miss Goligher for the Lisbon experiments to be rejected. Though there may be exaggerations and inexactitudes here and there, the facts can be taken as true in the main. Countess Castelvitch was a very powerful medium; it is to be regretted that she should not have been studied under conditions rather more stringent than those imposed by her friend, Mme. Lacombe.
These experiments are probably at an end. After a séance on July 14, 1920, in which an apport (an owl's head sculptured in stone) is alleged (a phenomenon that must be strongly contested), a séance was held on August 3d at which the spirit declared that he was about to leave . . . Hoja ultimo dia que posso manifestar me (today is the last day on which I can manifest). In the same way Katie King took leave of Crookes, we do not know why.
There were also some subjective phenomena, to which I do not refer, as they are poor in comparison with the cryptesthesia already described, and the Lisbon séances are mainly objective.
In the house of M. Corralès, an honourable merchant of San José, Costa Rica, some seemingly fine materializations took place. His daughter Ofélia claimed great mediumistic powers. Several séances were held at which various notables of San José were present. Various materializations appeared (Don Constantino and Mary Brown, who spoke very correct English).
Ofélia was seen sometimes in full light at the same time as Mary Brown who was touched, heard, and photographed (A. S. P., 1910, xx, 324). The phantom Mary seemed to merge into Ofélia from whom she emanated, and to inspire her.
All this reads very well, but despite the imposing list of persons who attest the genuineness of the phenomena, all scientific value must be denied to these experiences. M. Corralès, Ofélia's father, says in so many words: "It is proved that Mary introduced an unknown girl into the room." This enigmatical statement leaves
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open all kinds of possibilities. It would be an injury to science to give any place at all to these fraudulent experiences.1 Experiments made with Lucia Sordi, which at first satisfied M. Marzorati, did not stand Schrenck-Notzing's severer test. Lucia was enclosed in a wooden cage, and (in the dark) when in trance, she emerged from it, but Schrenck had a wooden ball made of the same size as her head and showed that it could easily be pushed between the bars by bending them (Luce e Ombra, x, November, 1910, and A. S. P., xxi, January, 1911, 225-230).2
Colonel and Mme. Peters at the Lodge Psyché in Berlin saw a striking materialized form. The séance took place in a small room sufficiently lit by a red light. The medium (a masked woman) was asleep in a chair. First a masculine figure, whose body was not visible below the knees, appeared beside her; then another form, the so-called nun Cordula, taller by a head than the medium, wearing the Dominician habit. Her face was entirely human, with shining eyes. She swayed in the air, floated high in the room for three minutes at a height of nearly three yards, making gestures and saying, "Look how my eyes shine!" She then vanished by degrees, the medium being all the time in the same place about a yard and a half from the apparition (A. S. P., 1907, xxvii, 25-35).
Eglinton was a very powerful medium, and though he has been suspected of fraud, he was able finally to prove that the allegations of his enemies were calumnies. Moreover, the question is not to establish that he was never guilty of trickery (which is not easy in the case of a professional medium) but whether in certain definite instances striking metapyschic phenomena have been produced (Erny, loc. cit., 159).
1 Mr. Willy Reichel (Psychische Studien, October, 1910 and A. S. P., 1911, xxi, 140) considers these as manifest frauds. C de Vesme has defended them. But things being as they are, no account should be taken of these alleged phenomena even by the best natured persons (A. S. P., 1911, xxi, 214).
2 The authoritativeness of séances that give materializations should always be compared with those at which Eusapia's phenomena were observed. For twenty years, at Milan, Genoa, Rome, Naples, Turin, Paris, Ribaud Island, Carqueiranne, l'Agnelas, Cambridge, Montfort-l'Amaury, and Washington, Eusapia was scrutinized, analyzed, and thoroughly studied by such men of science as Schiaparelli, Oliver Lodge, Lombroso, Myers, Aksakoff, De Rochas, A. de Gramont, P. Curie, Morselli, Bozzano, Ochorowicz, Foa, Bottazzi, Vassallo, Feilding, Carrington, Maxwell, Dariex, and others. It will probably be long before an equally imposing list of unexceptionable witnesses can be produced in any other case.
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Miss Glyn, who did not believe in materializations, saw Eglinton at her own house, at a séance at which her father, her brother, and a friend were present. Eglinton was in the middle of this little circle, and his hands were held. Two forms appeared that could move and speak. Miss Glyn recognized them for her mother and her younger brother. The forms slowly disappeared. Phantoms are often too readily recognized, and the desire to secure this recognition detracts much from the value of the attestation.
Dr. Carter Blake, with five persons well known in English intellectual society, narrates that he saw by the side of Eglinton, who was sitting in an armchair, a tall brown form that melted into the medium's body.
The distinguished naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace, in a letter to Erny, states that he saw Eglinton at a séance in a private house. By his side there appeared Abdullah, a materialized Oriental wearing sandals, a turban, and burnous; Eglinton being visible at the same time sitting in an armchair in evening dress. After the séance Eglinton was undressed and most carefully searched but neither sandals, turban, nor burnous were found.
Important séances were held at the house of the artist, J. Tissot, who has represented one result in a very beautiful picture. Eglinton sat in an armchair, close to Tissot, and stayed there the whole time. The doors were locked. After a brief space two forms appeared by Tissot's side. At first they were nebulous, but gradually became clear so that all their features could be seen. The male form had in his hand a kind of light with which he lit up the feminine form. M. Tissot recognized the latter, and, much moved, asked her to kiss him; she did so several times and her lips were seen to move.
Dr. Nichols experimented with Eglinton, putting him in a cage with a net over it. The doors of the cage were closed with sealed knots and the approaches to the cage were dusted with flour. The forms appeared outside the cage. Another time, at Dr. Nichols's house, in daylight, but behind closed curtains, there was a materialization in human form, which, in order to be recognized, raised the curtain to show itself in the daylight. It then slowly dematerialized till there remained nothing but the lower part of the body which vanished abruptly.
Florence Marryat and her husband assisted at a remarkable private séance in which they saw a whitish, cloudy substance
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emerge from the left hip of the medium; this cloud increased in size, condensed, and became a materialized form that stood before Eglinton. She also studied the materializations given by Mr. Arthur Coleman who was not a professional medium. He was tied with cotton threads that would break at the least movement. Before the five sitters six forms appeared and were seen by the light of a gas-burner. During this time Coleman was entranced in the next room.
Mr. Stainton Moses often saw living forms about him. His friend, Mr. Charlton Speer, reports, among many other facts, as follows: "I had my hand on the paper, writing, when Mr. Moses, sitting just opposite me, said, 'There is a column of light in front of you. Shortly after he said that the column had grown into a spirit, whose head and shape he described." It is very doubtful if this figure was objective; apparently it was seen by Stainton Moses only.
Heavy blows were heard in full daylight by Mr. Speer and Stainton Moses out of doors on the rails of the line to Southend. These knocks (which were intelligent) could be heard fifty yards away. Mr. Moses notes also vague, luminous forms near the table and simultaneous knockings. Reference has already been made to telekinesis in his presence, but materializations were exceptional. In 1905 the Rev. Mr. Colley, archdeacon of Canterbury, made some astonishing experiments with the Rev. Monck, the medium studied by Reiners and Oxley, quoted by Delanne (p. 521). The gas-jet was fully lit and Colley was at the side of the entranced medium, holding him up. A vapour emerged from the medium's black clothes, and became a cloud which gradually condensed into white draperies surrounding the apparitions. A child appeared who moved in the room just like a living child, and was kissed by those present, then returned to the medium and was gradually absorbed by him and disappeared, melting into his body. On the same day a beautiful woman appeared, born from a fluidic filament emanating from Monck and re-absorbed by him. In another séance an Oriental form calling itself the Mahdi was seen two yards distant from Monck: "The Mahdi wore a metallic helmet that I could touch; it seemed to melt like snow at my touch, resuming its form a moment later." This phantom was strong: Mr. Colley one day seized it in his arms, and then, "an irresistible force flung me about six yards to the place where the medium was standing; and I found myself clasping the medium, with white
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muslin over his black coat. I was holding him in my arms as I had thought to hold the Mahdi."
This statement led to the supposition that Mr. Colley was the victim of a fraud; but he had seen the vapour becoming a cloud and materializing into garments covering a body.
One materialized form called itself Samuel, and the medium was seen to clasp Samuel's hand fraternally and walk with him round the room. The archdeacon wrote: "I publish these things for the first time, having meditated over them in silence for twenty-eight years, giving my word as a clergyman for things which imperil my ecclesiastical position and my future advancement."
There was a celebrated lawsuit on this. The conjurer Maskelyne undertook to repeat the phenomena by trick. He wagered 11,000 and lost his suit. The illustrious A. R. Wallace gave evidence in support of Mr. Colley.
Dr. Hirschmann, President of the Anthropological Society of Liverpool, obtained most interesting results with a non-professional medium, Mr. B. Many photographs were taken of apparitions, their height was measured, their weight taken, and their pulse observed, just as if they were living bodies. These apparitions, he says, seemed to organize themselves from a nebulous mass, and they disappeared suddenly. In one photograph a nebulous connection is seen between the chest of the medium and that of the phantom.
At the house of Professor E., of Christiania, in 1893, M. de Bergen arranged a series or séances with Mme. d'Espérance, in which many distinguished persons belonging to the university, the magistrature, and the clergy took part.
In one of these séances an extremely beautiful female form appeared calling herself Nepenthes. "She showed herself in the light at the same time as the medium, who was sitting with other persons outside the cabinet, and materialized in the midst of the circle. She plunged her hand into liquid paraffin wax, leaving a mould of rare beauty. The modeller who made the plaster cast could not believe his eyes and spoke of sorcery, because he could not imagine how the hand could have been extricated from the wax glove.
"Nepenthes dematerialized in the midst of the circle. She lowered her head on which her usual diadem shone, and little by little became a luminous cloud like a human head (on which the diadem still faintly showed) gradually fading away."
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Professor Aksakoff published a memorandum of Mme. d'Espérance 1 to which it would seem too much importance has been ascribed.
Mr. Carrington has shown that if there was no fraud, fraud was quite possible. Professor Aksakoff very loyally gives the evidence of several persons present at this alleged dematerialization who did not accept it as genuine, for example, the engineer, Schonelz (p 92). The honesty of Mme. d'Espérance may very well be admitted while supposing that by an unconscious backward movement of her legs she may have given rise to the notion or may have herself thought that her lower limbs were dematerialized for a time.
A medium named Sambor, a former telegraphist, gave a series of séances from 1896 to 1902, which are recorded in the Russian spiritist journal, Rebus. Petrovo Solovovo, a skilful experimentalist and scientifically sceptical, had given an analysis of these séances, especially of those at which he was present. But he has since raised some justifiable doubts even on the latter.2
In 1899,in the house of Mme. deA., the materialized form of a little girl appeared between the curtains, Sambor being in the chain formed by the linked hands of the sitters. A white column seemed to rise from the floor and move towards Sambor. This materialized form (Olia) raised a table into the air, and a small (child's) hand touched the sitters. On another occasion, only Mr. S. and Mr. Bonjunski being present, a form, Friedrich, appeared, quite different from Sambor both in stature and gestures; this materialization and Sambor were seen together, walking about the room. The light was good, and all took place in Mr. Bonjunski's small room in Petersburg on June 20, 1899, at which time of year there is practically no night. Among other phenomena, Friedrich wrote something on the inside of the glass of Mr. S.'s watch.
Mr. Erfurt, the director of a printing works at Petersburg, prepared a cone of sheet-iron, with a piece of paper and a pencil inside it. M. Zabasky and M. Eichwald, engineers, closed the cone with an iron cover fixed on with special rivets. This cone was left for several days in a room that Sambor had never entered. In the séance of March 8, 1902, Sambor declared that something had been written; the cone was opened, not without difficulty, and
1A. Aksakoff, Un cas de matérialisation partielle du corps d'un médium. Enquêtes et commentaires, Paris, Libr. de l'Art indépendant, 1896.
2 A. S. P., November and December, 1899, ix, 105 and 109, xi, 243-256' 1902, xii, 257-302. '
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after having verified that everything was intact some words were found written in pencil on the paper.
Mme. Youdenitch has communicated to A S P (1904, xiv, 193) details on the séances that took place in the house of M. Olchowski. There was almost complete darkness. Hands were joined, so that the hands of the medium were never free. The little girl Olia appeared at Sambor's side. She could be seen and touched and she was heard to speak. She was luminous and bluish white in colour, and seemed to tremble the whole time. Her features were ill-defined, and she disappeared by degrees, vanishing "like a tremulous ribbon." In an adjoining room, where there was certainly no one, a mandolin had been placed, which began to play of itself. This white mandolin, visible in the faint light, was seen to come from the room where it was and settle on the table in the séance room.
The hypothesis of an accomplice will explain some of these phenomena, but not all. This hypothesis that seems so unlikely at first sight was actually proved. Petrovo Solovovo learned, later, that one of the sitters intentionally released Sambor's hand that he was supposed to be holding. There is therefore nothing to be said on the so-called phenomenon of the chair. But this does not explain the phantom seen by all at Sambor's side; for the com plicity seems to have been limited to the release of one hand. All the same, legitimate doubts may be cast upon all Sambor's mediumship, for there is no certainty of his probity nor that of the circle.
It is scarcely worth while to mention the very old experiments by Dale Owen in New York in 1860, and as the phenomena were given by one of the Fox sisters, then Mrs. Underhill, they cannot be trusted. Still, it is probable, as in so many cases with Leah Fox, that there was an admixture of genuine phenomena. Dr. Gray cut off a piece of the garment of the materialized form, which melted little by little in his hands (Erny, loc. cit., 133). This must be accepted as genuine unless Dr. Gray were a low impostor. A New York banker, Mr. Livermore, had about a hundred séances at his own house with Leah Fox and many times recognized his deceased wife whom he ardently desired to see.
At a private séance in Australia, Mr. Brown, experimenting with one of his friends who was a medium, hung a curtain across one corner of his room. The medium retired behind this curtain, and twelve materialized forms appeared in succession among whom Mr. Brown believed that he recognized two deceased sons of his.
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M. Stiegler narrates (APS ., 1905, xv, 641) a spiritist séance at Arles directed by J. Bayol, an eminent surgeon of the French Navy, subsequently Governor of Upper Nigeria. The medium was a young employee of the Paris-Lyons Railway. Lights appeared on the ceiling and a greenish-blue ring appeared over the heads of the sitters. Details given are few.
Baron Hillenbach of Vienna had some séances there with Mme. Toeffer at his own house, Dr. Tieber assisting. Mme. Toeffer, sitting on a sofa, was covered by a net nailed to the floor all round. A form appeared which raised the curtain, and while so holding it, Mme. Toeffer could be seen in a state of trance, with her arms hanging down.
Lucy Stout witnessed a materialization in a wooden house in Kansas City (Missouri). She specially observed its dematerialization. The form approached the medium's cabinet, became cloudy and transparent, and was transformed into a luminous mass which finally disappeared.
M. Fremery, at La Haye, in the house of Mme. Huygens, saw a tall white form surmounted by a luminous sphere, the medium being motionless behind the curtains. By degrees this condensed into a hand which rose to the ceiling, holding a palm-branch. The luminous hand then descended to the table. Only the hand and arm were materialized and seemed to be those of a child of fourteen (A. S. P., 1908, xvii, 256).
Another experience was very interesting: "A phosphorescent cloud developed, moving quickly towards us, rose up, condensed, flowed to the ground, and disappeared behind the curtain. Then a luminous arm of abnormal length emerged from the curtain, a luminous disk in a phosphorescent cloud moved quickly towards a chair which was displaced, whilst the medium remained visible to all of us sitting in the cabinet" (A S P, 1908, xvii, 309).
An American sculptor, Mr. Brackett, experimenting with Mrs. F., of Boston, thus describes the disappearance of the phantom of his wife: "This form did not resemble her; but told me intimate things that she alone could know. Suddenly the form sank down and disappeared through the floor which was covered with a thick carpet; the head and shoulders remained visible to the last." The similarity to the Villa Carmen phenomena will be noted.
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Mr. Brackett saw two materialized forms together with the medium, and verified that they underwent transformation. "I saw a tall young man who called himself the brother of Mrs. X., who was with me, and as Mrs. X. said she could not recognize him (having only known him as a child), the form shrank little by little till it assumed the form of the little boy that Mrs. X. had known." "Sometimes," says Mr. Brackett, "the form dematerialized before me and I at once verified that the medium was sleeping."
These diverse experiments, which have not been repeated, and which are testified to only by certain observers possibly devoid of the necessary scepticism, do not seem to me such as to shake the negative convictions of scientists. But this is not the case with the phenomena recorded of Home, Florence Cook, Eusapia, and Miss Goligher which are unassailable. Those of Marthe-Eva, of Linda Gazzera, Mrs. Salmon, Eglinton, and Mme. Lacombe acquire full value from the others, and this value is considerable; nor do I see reason to dismiss entirely those of M. Corralès, Sambor, and perhaps those of Mme. d'Espérance.
I think I have mentioned all the cases of experimental materialization that seem worthy of notice; but one can never be sure of giving a complete list, and I apologize in advance for any omissions.1
Nothing in the history of materializations would give more positive proof than the production of moulds obtained under unexceptionable experimental conditions, from materialized forms dematerializing themselves.
Aksakoff (A. S. P., 1897, vii, 28) cites various cases of moulds obtained by fluidic hands making impressions on flour, plaster, or paraffin wax. According to him the first experiments of this kind go back to 1855 (Banner of Light, April 1, 1855, and August 10, 1867).2
The facts narrated by Aksakoff did not convince me; even the putty cast of Eusapia's head did not seem to me certain, and I was
1 I prefer not to allude to the unpublished experiments which were told me at Warsaw or described to me by letter, by persons of good standing. They are so stupefying and hugely improbable that I unfortunately cannot bring myself to believe them. And yet . .
2 See also Zollner and Wagner (Psychische Studien, 1877, 401; 1878, 492; 1879, 249) ; and Spiritualist, 1878, 134
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sure that we had nothing really evidential in the way of moulds, when in 1921 we were able to study these phenomena with a Polish medium-Kluski-at the Metapsychic Institute.
Geley and I took the precaution of introducing, unknown to any other person, a small quantity of cholesterin in the bath of melted paraffin wax placed before the medium during the séance. This substance is soluble in paraffin without discolouring it, but on adding sulphuric acid it takes a deep violet-red tint; so that we could be absolutely certain that any moulds obtained should be from the paraffin provided by ourselves. We therefore had certain proof that the moulds obtained could not have been prepared in advance but must have been produced during the séance itself. Absolute certainty was thus secured.
During the séance the medium's hands were held firmly by Geley and myself on the right and on the left, so that he could not liberate either hand. A first mould was obtained of a child's hand, then a second of both hands, right and left; a third time of a child's foot. The creases in the skin and the veins were visible on the plaster casts made from the moulds.
By reason of the narrowness at the wrist these moulds could not be obtained from living hands, for the whole hand would have to be withdrawn through the narrow opening at the wrist. Professional modellers secure their results by threads attached to the hand, which are pulled through the plaster. In the moulds here considered there was nothing of the sort; they were produced by a materialization followed by dematerialization, for this latter was necessary to disengage the hand from the paraffin "glove."
These experiments, which we intend to resume on account of their importance, afford an absolute proof of a materialization followed by dematerialization, for even if the medium had the means to produce the results by a normal process, he could not have made use of them. We defy the most skilful modellers to obtain such moulds without using the plan of two segments separated by thread and afterwards reunited.
We therefore affirm that there was a materialization and dematerialization of an ectoplasmic or fluidic hand, and we think that this is the first time that such rigorous conditions of experiment have been imposed.
There is ample proof that experimental materialization (ectoplasmic) should take definite rank as a scientific fact. Assuredly we do not understand it. It is very absurd, if a truth can be absurd.
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Spiritualists have blamed me for using this word "absurd"; and have not been able to understand that to admit the reality of these phenomena was to me an actual pain; but to ask a physiologist, a physicist, or a chemist to admit that a form that has a circulation of blood, warmth, and muscles, that exhales carbonic acid, has weight, speaks, and thinks, can issue from a human body is to ask of him an intellectual effort that is really painful.
Yes, it is absurd; but no matter-it is true.
Further, materializations must not be considered as isolated phenomena. They must be considered along with telekinesis and collective hallucinations. Taken together they carry indisputable proofs before which the imperfect science of today must bow. The function of science is first of all to verify; and then, if possible, to understand.1
1At the Copenhagen Congress (vide Revue Métapsychique, p. 364) Mme. Bisson read a report of some astounding facts that must be admitted in despite of their wild improbability, because of the known exactitude of Mme. Bisson's experimental methods. The events narrated took place on May 25, 1921, before six persons in full daylight. The ectoplasm, called "the substance" by Mme. Bisson, was transformed into a tiny nude woman, beautifully formed, apparently alive and who moved her limbs. Her size changed rapidly. Eva took her and placed her on the hands of Mme. Bisson where she remained about ten seconds, long enough for those present to verify that she seemed alive. Comment is needless.
I cannot forbear to mention here the observations on Eva made by certain members of the S. P. R. in January, 1922-Messrs. Dingwall, Baggalay, Fournier d'Albe, Woolley, Feilding, and Whately-Smith; Mrs. Salter and Miss Newton.
Elaborate precautions, quite justifiably minute, were taken against the possibility of trickery.
The official reports of the séances lead to very distinct inferences; it seems that though the external conditions were unfavourable to success, some results were very clear and that it is impossible to refer the phenomena to fraud.
Nevertheless our learned colleagues of the S. P. R. come to no conclusion. They admit that the only possible trickery is regurgitation. But what is meant by that? How can masses of mobile substance, organized as hands, faces, and drawings, be made to emerge from the cesophagus or the stomach? No physiologist would admit such power to contract those organs at will in this manner. How, when the medium's hands are tied and held, could papers be unfolded, put away, and made to pass through a veil?
The members of the S. P. R., when they fail to understand, say, "It is difficult to understand how this is produced." Mr. Dingwall, who is an expert in legerdemain, having seen the ectoplasm emerge as a miniature hand, making signs before disappearing, says, "I attach no importance to this." We may be permitted to remark that very great importance attaches to Mr. Dingwall's testimony. The general conclusion is that there was probably no trickery, but the phenomena were not sufficient to warrant acceptance.
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Certainly every experimenter has the right to be very exacting as to proof, but it is impossible not to be astonished at the glaring contradiction between the reports of these séances and the inferences drawn from them. However, we willingly concede to the London experimentalists that for such surprising phenomena it is advisable not to rest on past experiments, but to repeat them ; there is all to gain and nothing to lose by increased rigour and frequency of experiment.
M. Guy du Bourg de Bozas reports (Revue Metapsychique, No. r, 1921) an interesting variation in ectoplasmic experiments. With three different mediums, in Paris, Copenhagen, and Warsaw, he has found that electric connection could be established between two electrodes. Electrical resistance being easily measured, the new method may be expected to be very useful (second French edition).
There is in Warsaw a professional medium called Burgik. He is a man of about forty-five, thin, undersized, and seems in indifferent health. He gives many séances and seems not to be at all interested in the phenomena, which appear to be quite independent of his will. I had eight to ten séances with him. He is quite motionless during the experiments, and his left hand was held by me, the right being held by some other person. Lights, sometimes very bright, appear and move about like will-o'-the-wisps, close to our faces and moving about the room up to the ceiling.
In the last séance that I had with him the phenomena were very marked. I held his left hand and M. de Gielski his right. He was quite motionless, and none of the experimenters moved at all. My trouser leg was strongly pulled and a strange, ill-defined form that seemed to have paws like those of a dog or small monkey climbed on my knee. I could feel its weight, very light, and something like the muzzle of an animal ( ?) touched my cheek. It was moist and made a grunting noise like a thirsty dog. Later on two strong hands seized my two shoulders; and very bright lights came round a face. No trickery seems possible, but it must be remembered that we were dealing with a professional medium.
This medium ought not to be left to develop in unscientific, mystical, and credulous circles. All such half-experiments are valueless from a scientific point of view.
Further experiments were made with Kluski, resulting in fresh paraffin moulds which prove conclusively that the "gloves" of paraffin wax were obtained during the séance, that these were of a living hand showing the texture of the skin, the veins, and the creases of the skin, and that a normal hand could not have released itself from the glove.
These were the conclusions of practised moulders, called in as experts, They say, "We cannot understand how these paraffin moulds could have been obtained; it is an absolute mystery to us." This mystery is dematerialization, a correlative of the materialization. The whole of this investigation made by Geley with minute care is of the highest importance, for it gives irrefragable scientific demonstration of ectoplasmic materialization (second French edition).
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