Mediums

 

Bert Reese
1851-1926


          American-Polish medium with whom remarkable experiments in clairvoyance were conducted by Baron von Schrenck-Notzing, Edison, Hereward Carrington, Hollaender, etc. In America he was arrested and condemned for disorderly conduct. Appealing against his sentence he appeared before Judge Rosalsky and proved his powers to him. He asked the judge to write something on three different pieces of paper, to fold them up and place them in three different pockets, mixing them in such a way that they could not be recognised. Then Judge Rosalsky took one of the pellets and pressed it against Reese's forehead. He immediately answered:

"You have fifteen dollars in the bank mentioned in your question."

He continued to read the second paper, it contained the name of a former governess to Judge Rosalsky's children, Miss O'Connor. He also read the third, whereupon judge Rosalsky acquitted him.

Schrenck-Notzing considered him one of the most extraordinary men of the time. Thought reading could not sufficiently account for his performances as the experimenters mostly took care that they themselves should not know which piece of paper contains which question. In certain of his performances X-ray clairvoyance also fell short as an explanation. Psychometric powers must have been displayed when, according to the account of F. Hollaender, he indicated to a commercial firm the pages on which there was a fraudulent entry. He was given 5% of the amount of the fraud.

Houdini claimed fraud. In a letter to Conan Doyle he wrote:

"I have no hesitancy in telling you that I set a snare at the sťance I had with Reese, and caught him cold-blooded. He was startled when it was over, as he knew that I had bowled him over. So much so that he claimed I was the only one that had ever detected him." (Houdini and Conan Doyle, p. 153).

Source (with minor modifications): An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).

 

 

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