This phenomenon, no doubt, constitutes one of the most extraordinary
among the spiritist manifestations, and also the rarest. It consists of
the transportation of a foreign object to appear at the place where we are.
We have heard about it for a long time, but only recently were we able to
witness the phenomenon and we can now speak about it from experience.
For starters we must say that this is one of those phenomena more prone
to mystification and consequently everyone is strongly advised to be on
guard against fraud.
The art of deception may travel long ways when considering events
of such a nature and someone who is not familiar with people involved in
that kind of work could easily fall victim of fraud. The best guarantees is
first, the character of the persons involved, their known honesty and the
absolute disinterest Of individuals who experiment with similar effects;
second, in the careful examination of every detail and circumstances in
which the phenomena is produced; and finally, an enlightened knowledge
of Spiritism, the only force capable of uncovering if there is anything suspicious
about the phenomena.
We said that the phenomenon is one of the rarest and perhaps produced
even less than the others according to someone’s wishes or following
a given schedule. It can very rarely be provoked but most of the time
it is spontaneous and whoever may boast about being able to produce it
at will and at a given time could easily be called ignorant and be under the suspicion of fraud; this would be even more reinforced if there would
be any material interest behind it. A medium that takes any advantage
of their faculty may be truly a medium but since it is subject to intermittences
and since the phenomena depends exclusively on the spirits who are
not submitted to our caprices, it follows that a greedy medium may easily
resource to deception to avoid failure or to produce more effects, according
to the circumstances. For this kind of medium, the spirit must always
act or it is replaced by deception, sometimes hidden under the simplest
disguises. These initial thoughts aim at helping the observers to be on
guard, taking us back to our subject. Before that, it is our duty to publish
the letter below, sent from Orléans dated February 14th last:
The person who writes the letter to you is a credible spiritist.
The facts reported herein are rare; they must be beneficial
to everyone and have already led several people around us who
witnessed them to believe. The first event took place on January
1st, 1861. One of my relatives who unknowingly was endowed
by mediumistic powers in its highest degree, only learning about
it when I spoke with her about Spiritism, from time to time she
saw her mother but considered it to be hallucinations and tried
her best to avoid them. On January 1st about 3 pm she saw her
again. She and her husband were so scared, although he saw nothing,
leaving her really confused. A few minutes later her husband
found a ring sitting on a table in their living room, a ring that his
wife immediately recognized as her mother’s, that she herself had
put on her mother’s finger when she died. A few days later the
lady suffered some sort of suffocation and I advised her husband
to apply magnetic passes on her, which he did. Three minutes
later she was asleep but showed perfect lucidity. She told the husband
that her mother was there with them and that she brought
the ring to demonstrate that she was taking care of them. The
husband then asked if she could see his daughter who had died when she was 2 years old, and that was eight years ago, and if she
could bring them a souvenir from her. The somnambulist then
responds that yes, she was there, as was the husband’s mother;
that tomorrow she would bring a rose to be found on the desk. It
did happen like that; a lifeless flower was there, together with a
piece of paper containing the following words: ‘to my dear Dad.
Laura.’ Two days later in another magnetic sleep, the husband
asks if he could get some hair from his own mother. His wishes
were satisfied immediately. The hair was on the fireplace. Then
two letters were spontaneously written by the two mothers.
Now I will get to the facts that took place in my own house.
After a serious study of your books about Spiritism, faith came
to me without ever seeing a single fact. The Medium’s Book advised
me to try to write but I had no result. Convinced that I
would never obtain anything without the person that I mentioned
above, I invited her to come to Orléans with her husband.
Monday, February 11th, 10 pm – magnetic sleep and ecstasy; she
sees the spirits that had promised to follow her around us. I asked
if I would become a writing medium. She answered: ‘Yes, in 15
days’, adding that she would write through her mother the next
day to convince one of my friends that she asked me to have invited.
On the next day, February 12th, at 8 am she falls asleep. We
ask if she would like to have a pencil. ‘No’ she says, ‘my mother is
near you and she is writing. Her letter is on the fireplace.’ I go there
and find a folded piece of paper with the following words: ‘Believe
and pray; I am with you; this is to convince you.’ She also said that
later that night I could try to write having her hand on top of
mine. I dared not to expect any result however I wrote the following:
‘Believe; I will return; don’t forget magnetism; so long.’ My
relative was supposed to leave the next day. At night we wrote the
following: ‘The spiritist science is not a joke; it is true; magnetism
may lead to that. Pray and invoke those called by your hearts. So long
Catherine.’ It was her mother’s name.
I was asked many times to write about these facts to you; I
was even criticized for not having done so before. Besides, she told
us that we could have a proof of what I am telling you and that
her mother could confirm these facts if evoked by you.
Yours sincerely... ”
This letter reports two remarkable phenomena: apport and direct
writing. Here is a fundamental observation about it: when husband
and wife got the first results they were alone and could not have
any interest in deceiving one another. Second, the transportation of
the ring that was buried with the mother was a positive fact, which
could not have resulted from deception since no one jokes about these
things. Several events of similar nature have been reported to us by
trustworthy persons in authentic circumstances. But here is one that
we have witnessed ourselves, as well as several other members of the
Ms. V. B… is a 16 to 17 year old lady, an excellent writing medium
and also a clairvoyant somnambulist. During her sleep and most of the
time she sees the spirit of one of her cousins who had brought her different
objects on several occasions, among the items have been: rings,
chocolate candies in large quantities and flowers. She must be asleep
for about two hours before the phenomenon is produced. The first time
we watched a phenomenon of that kind where she had a ring put on
her hand. Since we know the young lady and her honest parents there
was no reason for doubt. We must confess however that the way it was
produced was not very much concluding to strangers. In another session
it was different. After two hours of sleep during which the young lady
was busy with very interesting things, but strange to our objectives, the
spirit appeared to her with a bouquet of flowers, only visible to her. It
was only later, that after having being stimulated by endless requests, the
spirit dropped a bunch of followers at her feet. The lady was not happy.
The spirit was still holding something that she wanted. New requests and
about half an hour later a bunch of violets surrounded by moss appeared on the floor. Sometime later a fist size chocolate candy fell by her side.
The taste was similar to a handmade pineapple preserve. All that lasted
about one hour and during the whole time the somnambulist was always
isolated from the public; the person who magnetized her was also at a
large distance. We were positioned in such a way that we could not lose
sight of a single movement and sincerely declare that there was nothing
suspicious at all. On that occasion the communicating spirit by the
name Léon promised to come to the Society to provide explanations as
requested. He was evoked on March 1st together with the spirit of Ms.
Catherine that had manifested in Orléans, and below is the conversation
1. (Evocation of Ms. Catherine) – A. I am present and ready to
2. You told your daughter and the relative from Orléans that you
would come here to confirm the phenomena that they have witnessed.
We would be delighted to receive your explanations about
it. To begin with, I would ask you why you have insisted so much
to have them writing to me reporting those events. – A. What
I said I am ready to do now since you are the one who needs to
be informed the most. I had asked my children to communicate
these proofs to you aiming at the propagation of Spiritism.
3. A few days ago I witnessed similar events and I will request the
spirit that produced them to kindly come to us here. Having observed
all phases of the phenomenon I have several questions to
ask him. I ask you to support him in providing the answers in
case it is necessary. – A. I will do as you ask since the two of us
together can provide better clarity and accuracy.
4. (Evocation of Léon) – A. I am ready to do as I promised, Sir.
OBSERVATION: The spirits generally utilize a casual yet polite
form of speech with us. This one presents the particularity of
always using the word “Sir” when evoked.
5. Can you please tell us why these phenomena only happen during
the magnetized sleep of the medium? – A. That is due to the nature
of the medium. The facts that I produce when that medium
is asleep could also be produced in the waking state.
6. Why does it take you so long to produce the transportation of objects
and why do you excite the medium’s greed so much and the
will to have the promised object? – A. That time is necessary to
prepare the fluids that serve the transportation. As for the excitement
it is just used to entertain the public and the somnambulist.
7. I thought the excitement could produce a more abundant emission
of fluids from the medium, facilitating the necessary combination.
– A. You are mistaken, Sir. The fluids we need do not
belong to the medium but to the spirit and in certain cases those
fluids can even be dismissed and the transportation can occur
8. Is the production of the phenomenon due to the special nature of
the medium and thus could occur with other mediums more easily
and more promptly? – A. The production is due to the nature
of the medium and could not occur but with other mediums of
similar nature. As for the promptness, our habit of communicating
several times with the same medium is of great help.
9. Must the nature of the medium correspond to the nature of the
fact or that of the spirit? – A. It must correspond to the nature of
the fact and not of the spirit.
10. Does the influence of the public that is present to the event serve
any purpose? – A. When there is doubt, opposition, it can definitely
cause us harm. We prefer to do our tests with believers and
persons that are familiar with Spiritism. It doesn’t mean that illfaith
can halt us completely.
11. Here there are only believers and very sympathetic persons. Is
there any obstacle for the fact to occur? – A. There is since I am
neither willing nor prepared.
12. Would you be on another day? – A. Yes.
13. Could you schedule it? – A. One day, when you don’t ask me for
anything, I will surprise you with a nice bunch of flowers.
14. Some people would perhaps prefer chocolate candies. – A. If there
are gastronomes they can also be satisfied. I believe that the ladies
who do not neglect the flowers will like the candies even more.
15. Will Ms. V. B… need to be in a somnambulistic state? – A. I will
do the transportation having her awake.
16. Where did you get the flowers and candies transported from? - A.
I pick the flowers from a garden that I like.
17. But how about the candies? Doesn’t the storeowner detect that
they went missing? – A. I take them from where I wish. The storeowner
doesn’t notice because I replace them.
18. However, the ring has a value. Where did you get it from? Won’t
it cause a loss to the person from whom you took it? – A. I took
them from places unknown to everyone so that nobody has
19. Is it possible to bring flowers from other planets? – A. No. That
is not possible to me.
20. Could other spirits do that? – A. Yes. There are spirits more advanced
than me that can do it. As for myself, I cannot. You must
be satisfied with what I bring you.
21. Could you bring flowers from another hemisphere, like for example,
from the tropics? – A. As long as it is from Earth, I can.
22. How did you introduce those objects considering that the room
was locked? – A. I made them come in with me, covered by my
substance so to speak. I cannot give you more explanation than
23. (to Mrs. Catherine) – Since the ring that you brought to your
daughter was buried with you how did you get it? – A. I removed
it from the ground and brought it to my daughter.
24. (to Leon) – How did you make those objects visible since moments
earlier they were invisible? - A. I removed the matter that
25. Could you make the transported objects disappear again and take
them back? – A. As I brought them in I can take them out at will.
26. Yesterday (the spirit corrects writing Wednesday). Right, on
Wednesday the medium saw you using a pair of scissors to cut
orange tree flowers from a bouquet in her room. Did you really
need a cutting instrument? – A. I had no scissors but I made sure
that I was seen like that so they would believe that it was me who
was cutting them.
27. But the bouquet was under a glass bowl. – A. Oh! I could have
removed the bowl.
28. Have you? – A. No.
29. We cannot understand how that can be so. Do you believe that
we will one day understand that phenomenon? – A. It won’t be
long; we not only believe but we are sure that it will happen.
30. Who has just answered? Léon or Mrs. Catherine? – A. Both of us.
31. Does the production of the transportation phenomenon cause
you any suffering or embarrassment? – A. It is the cause of no
suffering when we have the permission but it would cause a lot if
we wanted to produce effects without authorization.
32. What would be the difficulties? – A. Nothing more than bad
fluid dispositions that can be adverse to us.
33. How do you transport the object? Do you hold it in your hands? –
A. No. We cover it ourselves.
34. Would you have the same ability to bring an object of considerable
weight, as for example 50 Kg? – A. The weight means nothing
to us. We bring flowers because that is more pleasant than a
35. Sometimes objects disappear without a known cause. Could that
be something caused by the spirits? – A. That happens many
times and more frequently than you imagine but it could be fixed
by asking the spirit to return the missing objects.
36. Are there effects that are considered to be natural phenomena and
that in fact are due to the action of certain spirits? – A. Your days are full of those facts that you don’t understand because you have
not given any thought to that but a little reflection would allow
you to see with clarity.
37. Among the transported objects aren’t there some fabricated by
the spirits that are spontaneously produced by the modifications
that the spirits may produce on the universal element? – A. Not
by me since I don’t have the permission. Only an elevated spirit
can do that.
38. Could an object produced like that have stability and become an
object of common use? For example, if a spirit produced a snuffbox
could I make use of that? – A. It could if the spirit wished so
but it could also exist only to be seen and disappear after a few
OBSERVATION: The phenomena that took place at Rue des
Noyers described in the August 1860 issue of The Spiritist Review
may be classified in the category of transportation phenomena.
The difference is in the fact that in that case, they were produced
by a bad spirit that only wished to cause disruption, while the
ones discussed here are produced by benevolent spirits that wish
to please and demonstrate sympathy.
NOTE: See The Mediums’ Book about the theory of formation of
objects, chapter entitled “Laboratory of the invisible world”.