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A hand from another world

Added Fri, 25/02/2022
Дата публикации
Fri, 25/02/2022

In 1870, the famous English chemist William Crookes witnessed and even participated in one incident. From the luminous cloud hanging over the scientist's head, a human hand materialized in some incomprehensible images. Whiter than that, this hand that descended from heaven shook the hand of the honorable sir. Who owned the heavenly hand that honored him with a firm handshake?

For the first time, hands "from nowhere" began to appear at the first spiritualistic sessions of the middle of the century before last. Here is how an eyewitness describes a session with Hume in 1858:

"The gas light was turned down, but the room was still bright enough to see very clearly the faces, the surrounding objects and the hand on the table. There were six of us, twelve hands. And then the thirteenth hand appeared on the free side, opposite the medium. It faded as we stared at it, but it reappeared-a shimmering arm up to the elbow—and slowly moved to the middle of the table. We counted our hands again — everyone was in place. This arm extended to the elbow, and then there was nothing. The hand was emitting a faint but clearly visible light. Soon it disappeared, and then we saw the whole process of its emergence."

To demonstrate its materiality, the hand took a bell, rang it, and then brought it to the author of these lines. Out of surprise, he grabbed it: "It was a real hand, with fingers and nails, soft and warm. But it melted in my hand, dissolved, disappeared.

The next eyewitness, the editor of the Hartford Times newspaper, was present at Hume's session in 1855, at first a hand appeared, she took a pencil and began to write. The hands of the participants were on the table, in full view of everyone, so no one present could write. What was written in this hand turned out to be the name of a relative and close friend of one of the members of the circle who had died a few years before, and the name was written in her own handwriting."

Since avid skeptics claimed that this hand belonged to some magician dressed all in black and smeared his hand with phosphorus, Barr decided on a small experiment. When this hand began to shake hands with everyone present, Barr held it and examined it carefully. It was a normal, warm human hand, only for some reason white as snow. It ended at the wrist. Barr checked — there was nothing further! Then he turned his hand palm to himself, pierced it with his finger, and the end of the finger came out from the back. When he pulled out his finger, the resulting hole closed, and the hand itself disappeared.

The hand that appeared at Hume's session in England in the summer of 1855 behaved very instructively. This hand calmly took the Bible lying on the table and opened it. Turning over the pages, she noted in pencil in the 13th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew the following: "Blessed are your eyes, because they see; blessed are your ears, because they hear. Verily I say to you, many of the righteous prophets would like to see the things that you see, and they have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear, and they have not heard them."

Professor, member of the British Royal Scientific Society, Sir William Crookes, not fearing the ridicule of colleagues, one of the first outstanding scientists of that time ventured to conduct physical experiments with the phenomena of the "other world". Summarizing his observations on the appearance of hands at the sessions of the 70s, Crooks noted:

"The mentioned hands and fingers have always seemed to me dense and similar to the real ones. Sometimes they looked like a condensed vapor cloud, part of which was shaped like a hand. Not everyone present could distinguish them equally clearly. So, for example, when a hand was carrying a flower or other small object, one saw a glowing vapor above it, the other saw a vaporous hand, while the others saw only the movement of the flower. More than once I noticed first the movement of an object, then a luminous cloud that appeared around it and, thickening, took the form of a fully formed hand.

Then everyone saw this hand. It looked like a perfectly living human hand. At the wrist or elbow, such hands are vaporous and end in a luminous cloud. When touched by a human hand, they sometimes seem cold as ice, sometimes warm and alive. Sometimes, the hands of the second type shook mine tightly - like an old friend after a long separation. Once I held such a hand, determined not to let it go. There was no attempt to free herself on her part, but gradually she began to turn into a vaporous state and thus disappeared from my hand."

In cases when a part of the room during the sessions is fenced off by a curtain to arrange an office for the medium, the hands appear in the slits of the curtains. So, at the sessions of Eddie Horatio in the first half of the 70s of the XIX century, a great many hands appeared from behind such curtains — male, female, and children's. At the request of the audience, they willingly wrote all sorts of messages, putting their signature under them, and often the audience recognized their deceased friends or relatives by their handwriting.

The medium at these sessions sat outside the curtain, and in addition he was held by the hands, which did not prevent the appearance of phantom hands. A curious episode occurred at a Hume session attended by the Emperor of France Napoleon III. The emperor asked Hume to summon the spirit of his late uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte. This case was described by the participant of the session, Count Branitsky:

"The living room was brightly lit. Napoleon was sitting in a deep armchair next to Eugenia. Hume was standing in front of them. The emperor had not yet had time to express his request, when suddenly his face changed, and he quickly withdrew his hand and exclaimed nervously: "Oh, free me from this hand!" It turned out that some invisible hand forcefully shook the emperor's fingers lying on the back of the chair.

Seeing the emperor's excitement, Hume approached and began his manipulations. Immediately, a mixed cry of surprise and horror escaped from those present: in full light, a human hand appeared, visible up to the elbow, which took a heavy bronze candelabra with twelve candles from a high marble fireplace, carried it across the living room and placed it in front of the sovereign."

On April 27, 1893, the Russian Society of Experimental Psychology held another session with the medium Mikhailov. Those present saw a small whitish cloud appear behind the back of the medium's chair. It began to grow, then took the form of a faintly glowing ray, which then transformed into an arm visible up to the elbow. The hand rose above the head of the medium, went to the wall and knocked on it, Then the glowing hand began to fly near the lamp hanging from the ceiling, tore off the silk shade from it and threw it into the next room.

After that, the second hand formed on the left side of the medium. The right hand reached out to the heavy sofa and began to push it towards the next room with a strength and dexterity not typical of ordinary people. At the same time, the left hand moved the chair along with the medium sleeping in it!

Having analyzed together with Professor Crookes the cases of the appearance of phantom hands known in the century before last at the sessions of famous mediums D. Hume, Eva Cartier, Evzapia Palladina, Franek Klust, Stanislava Popilskaya and others, we can conditionally divide them into two fundamentally different types. The hands of the first type are clearly human in appearance and size, so it is possible to determine whether they belong to a man or a woman. When they are observed, only either the hand or the elbow is visible.

Judging even by the several cases given here, these hands "belong" to persons who actually existed and materialized in a way unknown to science with the help of a medium conducting a session. The physical capabilities of these hands also correspond to human ones: they can carry objects, give flowers to ladies and play musical instruments (which the medium himself cannot play). That is, these hands belong to or are controlled by an intelligent being acting independently of the will of the medium.

Phantom hands of the second type are formed from a certain substance secreted by a medium and named by Professor Richet (a future Nobel laureate) - ectoplasm. These hands often have only three or four fingers (which is recorded in fairly high-quality photographs), can stretch to an unnatural length (for example, for the whole room) and have superhuman strength.

Paradoxically, at the beginning of the XXI century, in this area of parapsychological research, we were not even a step back, but two compared to the end of the XIX century.

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