Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Mysterious Psychic Forces By Camille Flammarion

As long ago as 1865 I published, under the title, Unknown Natural Forces f a little monograph of a hundred and fifty pages which is still occasionally found in. the book-shops, hut has not been reprinted, I reprint here (pp. xiii-xxiii), what I wrote at that time in this critical study " apropos of the phenomena produced by the Davenport brothers and mediums in general." It was published by Didier Co., book- sellers to the Academy, who had already issued my first two works, The Plurality of Inhabited Worlds and Imaginary Worlds and Real Worlds.

"France has just been engaged in an exciting debate, where the sound of voices was drowned in a great uproar, and out of which no conclusion has emerged. A disputation more noisy than intelligent has been raging around a whole group of unexplained facts, and so completely muddled the problem that, in place of illuminating it, the debate has only served to shroud it in deeper darkness;

"During the discussion a singular remark was fre-quently heard, to the effect that those who shouted the loud-est in this court of assize were the very ones who were least informed on the subject. It was an amusing spectacle to see
these persons in. a death-grapple with mere phantoms. Panurge himself would have laughed at it.

a The result of the matter is that less is known to-day up-on the subject in dispute than at the opening of the debates*

** In the mean time, seated upon neighboring heights were certain excellent old fellows who observed the writs of arrest

issued against the more violent combatants, but who remained for the most part grave and silent, though they occasionally smiled, and withal did a deal of hard thinking,

"I am going to state what weight should be given to the opinions of those* of us who do not rashly allirm the impossi-bility of the facts now put under the ban and who do not acid their voices to the dominant note of opposition."

"I do not conceal from myself the consequences of such sincerity. It requires a good deal of boldness to Insist on affirming, in the name of positive science, the POSSIBILITY of these phenomena (wrongly styled supernatural), and to con-stitute one's self the champion of a cause apparently ridicu-lous, absurd, and dangerous, knowing, at the same time, that the avowed adherents of said cause have little standing in science, and that even its eminent partisans only venture to speak of their approval of it with bated breath. However, since the matter has just been, treated momentarily in fugitive writings by a group of journalists whose exacting labors wholly forbid a study of the psychic and physical forces ; and since, of all this multitude of writers, the greater part have only heaped error upon error, puerility upon ex-travagance; and since it appears from every page they have written (I hope they will pardon me) that not only are they ignorant of the very a, c of the subject they have so fantastically treated, but their opinions upon this class of facts rest upon no basis whatever, therefore I have thought it would serve a purpose if I should leave, as a sou-venir of the long wrangle, a piece of writing better based and buttressed than the lucubrations of the above-mentioned gentlemen. 

As a lover of truth, I am willing to face a thou-sand reproaches. Be it distinctly understood that I do not for a moment deem my judgment superior to that of my confreres, some of whom are in other respects highly gifted*
The simple fact is that they are not familiar with this subjeet, but are straying in it at random, wandering through a strange region. They misunderstand the very terminol-ogy, and imagine that facts long ago well authenticated are
impossible. By way of contrast, the writer of these lines will state that for several years he has been engaged in dis-cussions and experiments upon the subject. (I am not speaking of historical studies.) 


PREFACE .................. v

INTRODUCTION ................ xiii


I. On Certain Unknown Natural Forces ...... 1

IL My First Stances Jn The Allen Kardec Group, And

With The Mediums Of That Epoch ..... 24

III. My Experiments With Eusapia Paladino ..... 63

IV. Other Stances With Eusapia Paladino ..... 135
V* Frauds, Tricks, Deceptions, Impostures, Feats Of

Legerdemain, Mystifications, Impediments . . 194

VI. The Experiments Of Count De Gasparin .... 229

VII. The Researches Of Professor Thury ...... 266

VIII. The Experiments Of The Dialectical Society Of

London .............. .289

IX. The Experiments Of Sir William Crookes .... 306

X* Sundry Experiments And Observations ..... 352

XI, My General Inquiry Respecting Observations Of

Unexplained Phenomena ........ 376

XIL Explanatory Hypotheses Theories And Doctrines

Conclusions Of The Author ...... 406



Plate I. Complete Levitation of a Table in Professor
Flatnniarion's Salon through Mediumship of Eusapia
Paladino Facing page 8

Plate II. House of Zoroastre of Jupiter from Somnambu-
listic Drawing by Victorien Sard ou . . . After page 26

Plate III. Animals' Quarters. House of Zoroastre of
Jupiter from Somnambulistic Drawing by Victorien
Sardou After page 26

Figure 1. The Inclination of the System of Uranus . Page 54

Figure la. Orbits of Satellites of Uranus as Seen from the
Earth . Page 56

Plate IV. Plaster Cast of Imprint Made in Putty without
Contact by the Medium Eusapia Paladino . After page 76

Plate V. Eusapia Paladino, Showing Resemblance to the
Imprint in Putty After page 76

Plate VI. Photographs Taken by M. G. de Fontenay of an
Experiment in Table Levitation .... Facing page 82

Plate VIL Plaster Casts of Impressions in Clay Produced
by an Unknown Force ....... Facing page 138

Plate VIII. Drawing from Photograph, Showing Method
of Control bjftftgof essors Lombroso and Eichet of Eusapia.
Table Completely Eaised ...... Facing page 154

Plate IX. ^otographs of Levitation of Table Accompany-
ing OolonelDe Rochas' Report .... Facing page 174

Plate X. Scales Used in Professor Flammarion's Experi-
ments . . . Facing page 200


Plate XL Method Used by Eusapia to Surreptitiously Free
her Hand Facing puge 206

Plate XII. Cage of Copper Wire, Electrically Charged,
Used by Professor Crookes in the Home Accordion
Experiment Facing page 303

Figure 3* Board and Scale Experiment of Sir William
Crookes Page 312

Figures 4 and 5. Instruments Used in. Scale Experiment
by Sir William Crookes Page 5

Viguro 6. Glass Vessel Used by Home .... Page 318

Figure 7. Automatically Registered Chart of Unknown
Force Generated by Mr. Home ....... Page "317

Figures 8, 9, 10. Charts from Sir William Crookes Instru-
ments Used in Experiments with Mr. Home . . Page 321

Figures 11 and 12. Third Instrument Devised by Sir
William Crookes for Recording Automatically the Un-
known Force Generated by Home ...... Page 322

Figures 13. Charts Made by Third Instrument . Page S23
Figures 14 and 15. Charts Made by Third Instrument Pag 324

Plate XIII. Instantaneous Photograph Taken by M. de
Fontenay of Table Levitation Produced by the Medium
Auguste Politi Facing page 368

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