The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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Brussels, December 9th, 1859

“Mr. Director,

I read the report of Ida Pfeiffer in the Spiritist Review about the fallen stones of Java, in the presence of a Dutch high ranking officer, to whom I was closely connected in 1817; he had lent me his pistols and was my witness in my first duel. His name was Michiels, from Maastricht, who became a general in Java. The letter describing the fact added that the fallen stones, in the isolated house belonging to the Chéribon district, lasted not less than twelve days, and neither the General’s guard nor the general himself have discovered anything during the time he spent there. The stones, a kind of pumice stone, seemed to be created in the air, a few feet away from the ceiling. The general had several baskets filled up with them. The villagers would come for them, looking for amulets and remedies. The fact is very well known in Java since it is frequently repeated, particularly the siri spits. Several boys were stone-chased in the open field, but were not hit. One could say that these were mocking spirits who were having fun by scaring people. Evoke the spirit of general Michiels and he will perhaps explain the fact. Dr. Vanden Kerkhove, who lived in Java for a long time, has mentioned to me, as I do to you, that the Review is getting more and more interesting by the day, more moralizing and in high demand in Brussels.”
Yours, etc…

The well-known character of Mrs. Ida Pfeiffer and the trait of veracity of all of her reports leave no doubt as for the reality of the phenomena above, but one must understand the importance added to the fact by the letter sent by Mr. Jobard, and considering the education of the main witness in charge of verifying the phenomena, who would not have any interest in accrediting the fact if it were regarded as false. To begin with, the spongy like nature of that rain of stones could lead to the belief in a volcanic or atmospheric origin, leading the skeptical to say that superstition had taken the place of a natural phenomenon. If we only had the testimony of the Javanese such hypothesis would be founded and the stones, falling in the open field, would undoubtedly support such hypothesis.

However, general Michiels and Dr. Vanden Kerkhove were not Malang, and their statements certainly hold value. To this very strong argument it is necessary to add that the stones would not fall in the open air only, but in a room where, as it seems, they were formed a few feet from the ceiling. It is the General that states so. Well, we don’t believe that atmospheric debris has ever been seen formed in the closed environment of a room. Even by admitting the volcanic or meteorological cause the same could not be applied to the siri spiting, never spilled by volcanos, at least to our knowledge. Keeping this hypothesis aside, by the nature of the phenomena itself, the amount of substances that were formed remains to be known. The explanation can be found in our August 1859 issue about the “Furniture from beyond the grave”.

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