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FILIPPO BOTTAZZI Antonio Giuditta Department of Biological Sciences, University Federico II, Naples, Italy Abstract If we define Thomas prejudice the habit of only trusting your own sensory channels, prof. Filippo Bottazzi (FB) was surely conditioned by such prejudice when rumors of the wondrous PK capacities of Eusapia Palladino (EP) reached his ear at the turn of last century. FB was the director of the Institute of Physiology of the Royal University of Naples, and an internationally well known physiologist. Aiming to find out by himself, and not lacking courage and determination, he convinced several distinguished University professors to join him in a series of PK sessions to be held with EP at his Institute. The outstanding data obtained in eight such sessions was masterfully described by FB in a book published in Italian one century ago [1]. The main interest of these observations stems from the recording of most PK events (an uncommon occurrence at the time) which required EP to learn the special movements needed to activate the related instruments. Most notably, she was also able to simultaneously press two electric keys, one with her natural arm, the other one thanks to her PK capacities. These and related observations convinced Bottazzi that PK events were to be attributed to EP capacity to extend anomalous limb(s) which were endowed with sensory and motor features comparable to those of her natural arms, and were governed by the same brain/mind that controlled her natural limbs. Introduction As an old friend of prof. Massimo Libonati (Bottazzi grandson), I had the chance to read the original edition of FB Fenomeni medianici [1], a book that was recently reprinted [2], and to be impressed by the content and fluency of the text and its many illustrations describing experimental set ups and recorded data. While the relevance of Thomas prejudice in furthering or disproving current scientific knowledge cannot be denied, it has long been my belief that attention should also be paid to unusual experiences of other people, provided one is using an open mind and the benefit of doubt. Of course, not all of us are worth reliance, and some may actually be outright liars. Under such circumstances, a rule of thumb learned from an American colleague suggests most humans may tell lies, but nobody is bound to pay them attention. Men who took part in FB experimental sessions are worth considerable attention. They were outstanding professors of the Royal University of Naples, still honored to-day by their naming a department (Dipartimento di Fisiologia Umana Filippo Bottazzi), the largest hospital of southern Italy (Ospedale Antonio Cardarelli in Naples), and a street (via Sergio Pansini in Naples). Hence, their belief in the reality of PK phenomena cannot be marginalized or neglected. Nonetheless it is instructive that when I presented a summary of FB anomalous experiments to the Academy of Physical and Mathematical Sciences in Naples, an influential member of the Academy could not avoid uttering If a student of mine had reported comparable observations, I would have kicked him in the ass! As faithful ambassador of forgotten data, I merely pointed out that his remark was merely challenging the honor of last century University professors who were just as reliable, and perhaps even more reliable than present day colleagues. He later offered apologies, and I believe we are still friends. As nicely mentioned in the introduction to his book, FB was initially skeptic or indifferent to reports of EP outstanding performances. His conversion started when he read on national newspapers of EP feats at the Institute of Physiology in Turin. As he decided to look at these events with his own eyes, he alerted several university professors, contacted EP through a common friend,

and convinced her to participate in sessions held at his Institute thanks to a recommendation made by Prof. Richet, his French colleague who was EP good and honored friend. Outline of the experimental set up The sessions were scheduled in the spring 1907, the first seven at intervals of 3-4 days (from April 17 to May 11), while last session took place on July 5. Sessions usually took place at a time the Institute was empty, between 9 pm and 11-12 pm. Only a trustworthy machinist or a FB assistant were occasionally present, but far away from the experimental room which was in a remote section of the Institute serving as FB lab. Of the three doors and one window in the room, the door opposite the entrance door and the window on the right opening into an inside garden were locked. The door on the left wall of the entrance door was also locked, and became the far partition of the medianic cabinet (MC) whose ceiling and sides were delimited by a thick wall. Several cables went through this door, connecting MC instruments to recording cylinders blackened by smoke which were in the adjacent room. One or more pens apposed to cylinders relied signals leaving vertical traces on slowly rotating cylinders. Two black curtains hanged on a high pole represented the front MC partition. It is worth noting that EP was never informed of what objects were in MC, and remained uninterested in knowing. A table (the medianic table or MT) and several chairs were placed in the experimental room in front of the curtains. A couch and a small table rested on the left of the entrance door, and some shelves were on the left wall. Decreasing intensities of light were provided by four lamps which could be switched on and off independently. During the sessions light was often dimmed but never turned off. Several university professors (usually 6 to 8) participated in the sessions. Two or more of them firmly held and felt with their own hands EP hands, arms and legs throughout the first seven sessions. In the eighth session, EP wrists were strictly secured to two inextensible strips fixed to the floor. FB wife attended some sessions, and a married couple interested in spiritism (Mr and Ms H.B.) attended the last session. FB observations will be described under separate headings of recorded and non recorded events, the latter one being further subdivided into additional categories. This arrangement will hopefully allow a more exhaustive account, but will remain far from rendering the flavor of FB writing, his mixing facts with logical considerations, and his quiet humor. FB reports of the eight sessions were prepared after each session or the following morning, often after a sleepless night when PK events had been extraordinary. Differences of opinion with other participants occurred seldom and only on specific issues. They were properly discussed before reaching an agreement. The wealth of interactions among participants, EP and the spirit of her putative father (John King or JK) raised a wide spectrum of emotions, depending on the attitude of single individuals, and on EP reactions. Friendly exchanges were progressively increasing in later sessions. As FB main objective was to record PK activation of MC instruments, EP was requested to learn unusually fine movements rather than follow her instinctive tendency to move large heavy objects. The request led to inconveniences in the first two sessions, as instruments had not been secured to their support, and the support itself was moved by EP. In later sessions, support and instruments were immobilized, EP was better trained, and PK records could be obtained. This general pattern was roughly reflected in the number of pages FB devoted to reports of each session, which jumped from 8-10 pages for the first two sessions to an average of 29 pages for the following five sessions. Recorded PK events Third session

The first PK events that were recorded took place in the third session, also attended by Ms Bottazzi. She had recently met EP and soon became her most accepted participant. Signals came from a metronome and a telegraph key, both secured to their support (Fig. 1). However, full oscillations of the metronome arm did not last long as strong blows to the instrument, support and cables prevented further recording. The telegraph key was likewise pressed several times, even at high frequency (13/s), as calculated for groups of signals from the speed of the rotating cylinder. Additional signals were obtained from a Marey kettledrum activated by pressure exerted on its membrane (Fig. 2). For the occasion, a wooden disk had been firmly glued to its membrane to facilitate identification by EP anomalous limb. Vertical lines shown in the figure correspond to pressures exerted on the wooden disk, their different sizes reflecting different amounts of pressure. As shown by later controls, the highest lines testified the considerable pressure that had been exerted. It is essential to note that during all recorded PK events, EP hands, arms and legs were constantly monitored by custodians (often FB), who consistently witnessed and reported that EP muscular contractions were highly synchronous with recorded PK events. This association was consistently observed and duly underlined by FB. Fourth session An electric spring key was repeatedly, vehemently pressed, as illustrated by pictures taken before and after the session (Fig. 3). The gross deformation of the key was attributed either to its lateral dislocation and consequent bending of the spring, or to the hard pressing of the key inducing an initial minor displacement eventually enhanced by additional blows. Since a lateral dislocation would have implied coordinate holding of the instrument base by an additional hand, the second alternative appeared more likely. Deformation had presumably occurred earlier as recorded signals (Fig. 4, upper trace) were fewer than the high number of perceived blows. Clearly, lateral displacement of the key prevented its contact with the bottom part and closure of the electric circuit. Deformation of the key also explained why some recorded traces indicated prolonged closure of the circuit rather than expected beats. Under these conditions, circuit opening and closing was due to lateral movement of the key rather than to its vertical motion. At variance with signals emitted by the unobstructed key, signals were not recorded from a telegraph key that had been enclosed in a cardboard box secured to its support (Fig. 4, lower trace). Apparently, EP anomalous limb was unable to penetrate the box. Signals were also derived from a metronome with metal connections and from a small drum connected with a Marey kettledrum by air-tight rubber tubing. The small drum had been placed in MC in the hope that it would allow recording of a small sonata. Rhythmic beats were actually heard, but the connected recording cylinder did not rotate, and only single vertical lines were obtained from either instrument (Fig. 5). Corresponding lines on the right were control lines artificially produced to approximately determine the amount of applied pressures. Upon repeated requests, the metronome was activated again for several seconds (Fig. 6), and EP was then asked to stop it. The request was not met, although trace irregularities (arrow) may attest EP attempts. Fifth session Following several requests and EP attempts, the small drum connected with a Marey kettledrum was finally played, albeit not with a drumstick but by EP anomalous limb. The resulting groups of 3 beats each are reproduced in Figure 7, upper trace. Signals produced by pressing of a bellows are also shown in the same figure (trace 2). Interestingly, PK events were also recorded from instruments placed outside MC. A letterweighing scale connected with a recording cylinder was placed on MT, and FB asked EP to lower the scale plate with her anomalous limb, while her natural hands were duly guarded. Following activation of the rotating cylinder, the pen wrote a horizontal line for several turns before fingers 3

protruding from the left curtain resolutely advanced towards MT, took hold of the plate and markedly depressed it before quickly retracting and disappearing. Control determinations made the following day demonstrated that the scale plate had been pressed by an equivalent weight of approximately 370 g. Figure 8 shows the trace left when the scale plate was pressed by an anomalous limb (vertical line on left panel) and by FB hand as control (vertical line on right panel). Signals were also obtained from an electric key placed in a wooden box firmly secured to its support (Figure 9, line 4). What actually happened was that following several unsuccessful attempts to reach the key, the wooden box was vigorously pulled out from its support and the key was furiously pressed. Other traces were entirely devoid of signals, including the trace corresponding to an unobstructed key. In this as in other sessions, dishes with clay or mastic were placed in MC for EP to cast a face or a hand. In the course of the session, EP grabbed FB three middle fingers and started rubbing their tips on MT. She whispered that something hard was on the chair supporting the dish with clay, and asked that it be taken away. When somebody did it, three fingertips were found rubbed in the clay (Fig. 10). Sixth session As soon as an MC key started to be pressed, FB placed a similar key on MT and asked EP to try and synchronously press either key, respectively using her natural arm for the MT key and her anomalous limb for the MC key. It should be mentioned that in the previous session EP had proudly demonstrated her PK capacity to knock on pairs of different objects (on small drum or electric key in MC and on MT in the experimental room, and on either pair in alternate succession). Figure 11 presents traces obtained in the sixth session from activation of the MT key (trace 1) and the MC key (trace 2). Isolated signals are present on either trace, but synchronous signals were also recorded from both traces. The latter signals are clearly identified as pens connected to either key were placed one above the other on the rotating cylinder. Line 3 in Figure 11 also shows isolated and grouped signals from an activated metronome. While groups of signals could be attributed to the metronome activation by blows to the supporting table that had not been immobilized, isolated signals cannot be explained by this mechanism, as they occurred when the table was still. Hence, they were presumably due to left and right displacements of the metronome stick that only a hand could produce. Seventh session Two main events were recorded in this session. The first one regarded the confirmation of the experiment of the previous session regarding the synchronously pressing of two keys, the MT key with EP natural hand, and the MC key with her anomalous limb (see Figure 11). Comparable data were obtained in the seventh session demonstrating several episodes of the simultaneous activation of two keys (Figure 12: compare trace 1 with signals from the MC key with trace 2 with signals derived from the MT key). Isolated signals derived from either key were due to the frequent initial activation of one key before the other key started to be pressed. Signals from the two keys differed from each other. The MC signal was consistently briefer and markedly stronger than the MT signal. The difference was also acoustically evident. The MC key appeared to receive strong knocks while the MT key received normal beats. The second main event regarded signals produced by a small Giaffes magneto-electric instrument. As it was adjusted to behave as a rotatory switch, its activation required turning a circular handle. Groups of signals from this instrument are shown in Figure 11 (bottom panel, line 4). As the circular handle could not be turned using one hand, but required holding the instrument steady by a second hand, these signals demonstrate the coordinate action of two hands.

Eighth session The eighth session was scheduled on July 5, almost two months after the seventh session of May 11. FB wife was present, and EP wrists were fastened to two inextensible strips secured to the floor. The main recorded event concerned two episodes of MT lifting, one of which is shown in Figure 13. Non recorded bona fide PK events PK events were numerous in all sessions, and concerned objects placed inside and ouside MC. The first PK event occurred in the first session, when a heavy table (21.9 kg) was pulled out from the MC and bent about 10 degrees. In the second session, MT rolled in concomitance with EP feet shuffling on the floor, and on several occasions MT was lifted to different extents and different durations (from few seconds up to 25 seconds). MT lifting usually started on EP side. At times, MT was raised without any contact with EP or the participants hands. This happened in the third session when EP was standing up. On this occasion, MT remained lifted for a while before abruptedly falling to the floor with an uproar. To FB, such behavior appeared to reflect the pattern of development of a strong muscle contraction (tetanus) elicited by high frequency nerve impulses. In the same session, a lifted MT approached FB wife to express EP warm feelings of friendship. In the fourth session MT reached a height of about 60 cm when participants stood up and moved around the room upon EP request (as in the third session, MT was not touched by EP hands). In the fifth session, MT welcomed the late arrival of a participant by lifting up, beating its feet on the floor and throwing itself over him. In addition, one participant who was seated on MT (total weight, about 80 kg) was lifted a few cm. In the seventh session, the chair holding FB (total of 93 kg) was moved 40 cm. In the second session, the small table inside MC was moved out by about 1.6 m. In the third session, the mandolin inside MC was moved and strumed on, and it was later brought over MT while being also strumed on in full light. In the fourth session, a chair holding a dish with mastic was moved out from MC and brought up to MT, while the dish fell upside down on the foor. A small bottle containing a dangerous chemical was also brought on MT. In addition, keys of a typing machine were pressed. In the fifth session, a mandolin was touched, moved, strumed on, and pushed to the floor outside MC, where it was partially lifted and moved for several minutes in full light. An MC chair was brought to MT, and then pushed to the floor. Several small objects in MC (small trumpet, toothbrush, ebonite stick) were pushed to the floor and moved. A cable and its switch were hurled to MT, and the switch kept moving over it at a distance of a few mm. The stick of the small drum was hurled to MT. The same fate regarded a beaker whose content of a dangerous chemical had previously been poured on people, including FB. On the other hand, the content of a second beaker was poured on the floor presumably intentionally, as its content had been mentioned to be dangerous, before the beaker was placed on MT. In the sixth session, an MC chair supporting a mastic dish was pulled out, the dish was overturned, and the chair lifted. When it appeared above EP head, it was seized by FB and placed on the floor. A marked elastic resistance was felt by FB when he tried to move the chair away from the wall. The small table inside MC was moved and started oscillating on two feet (dancing) while objects over it fell on the floor or were moved. Liquid was heard to be poured over another liquid inside MC and later on the floor. Soon thereafter the empty small bottle was brought over MT. As participants complained that the chemical had not been mixed with the related chemical (a task EP was supposed to do), the other small bottle was hurled on the room floor. Mixing of the two chemicals was nonetheless demonstrated the following day. The MC wired cage that covered a telegraph key was pulled out from its support and appeared between curtains with electric cables entangled. FB took it back to MC. At the end of the session, one of the room chairs started creeping on the floor. Grabbed by a participant, it displayed elastic resistance and kept moving as if actually trying to wriggle out. In the seventh session, the chair holding the dish with mastic was pulled out from MC and touched FB. A small bottle appeared between curtains and fell on the floor breaking 5

up, as nobody grabbed it. In the eighth session an MC chair and a small bottle with water were brought over MT, handbells were rung, pushed and moved on the floor, and a heavy stool was pulled out from MC, lifted and banged forcefully and rhythmically on the floor. Non recorded events They included creakings, beatings and blows, curtain movements and air puffs, objects brought to the room or on MT, and even apparitions and touchings, and appearance of flames. Some of them may be considered PK or PK-like events. Creakings, beatings and blows describe different intensities of what appears to be the same phenomenon, that is sudden hits of mechanical or other energy forms on a solid substrate, usually wood. These events occurred to a different extent in all sessions. They were often precursors of bona fide PK phenomena and always occurred in synchrony with EP contractions of fingers or limbs which were held by participants, often FB. Curtain movements. Curtains were moved up to EP and MT in all sessions. At times they appeared pushed by wind, but more often by bodily protrusions like fingers, hands, fists and rarely heads. Air puffs were occasionally felt by participants. Objects brought over. Several objects were thrown in the room from MC or they were placed on MT. In session 2, a glass was hurled 2 m away from curtains in concomitance with a EP kick. In session 3, a small trumpet was thrown on the floor where it kept moving for a while. A small drum was pulled out from MC, and a small brush and a small scale were brought on MT. In addition, a dish with mastic appearing high on the left curtain was grabbed by a participant and placed on MT, eventually ending up on FB fist. The most striking event regarded the flight of a bunch of flowers from the shelves on the left wall to the lap of FB wife, while water fell on participants. In session 7, several objects appeared between curtains, including a glass with roses which was grabbed by FB and placed on MT, a candle followed by a match box, and a small bottle with a chemical. A plate with clay appeared over MT, and drumsticks hurled over it fell on the floor. A small drum appeared twice between curtains but quickly retreated. Soon thereafter, when a glass with roses was placed on MT, a hand enveloped by the left curtain grabbed the flowers and threw them in the face of a participant who was not welcomed by EP in view of his offensive inquisitory attitude. Flowers from the floor were then offered to to FB and to Ms B. who attended the session together with her husband. Mimicking JK voice, EP said to the friend of my daughter (FB wife), and soon a rose was inserted in Ms B. hairs. Flowers were also offered to other participants, but not to the unwelcomed person. When the small drum appeared between curtains, and was grabbed by a participant, something or someone (JK?) opposed it, and the object was alternatively pulled back and forth for a while. Finally, the participant got hold of the drum and asked it to be played. A hand behind the curtains complied, and clear beats were rhythmically produced. Conversely, when the unwelcomed participant tried to grab the small drum, the drum retreated and tried to reject the participants hand. An MC stool knocked on the floor with a strong crash which was heard four rooms away. When EP pushed his foot against a participant knee, the stool was lifted, fell and was lifted again. Apparitions and touchings. Anomalous figures were seen by participants in essentially all sessions. In the first session, white, childish, diaphanous fingers were noted by a participant who felt touched by them. Tactile contacts were more frequent when participants were close to EP. One of them often reacted by screaming as he was ticklish. In the second session, a black head leaned out high on the left curtain, and then quickly retreated, making FB quiver. FB and another participant felt touched by invisible hands. Upon request, fingers pushing the curtains grabbed the hand of participants 1 m above EP head. When EP hit FB head three times with her own head, extremely strong knocks were heard. In the third session, pale, diaphanous fingers or hands appeared, at times above EP, often as if they were coming from between curtains. They were often above the arms or shoulders of participants close to EP, and they felt touched, beaten, pulled out, or caressed. When FB wife was close to EP, she saw a black hand and forearm close to her face, 6

something that made her leave that position precipitously. An arm of a participant was forcefully pulled several times, and participants were kissed by a mouth protruding from the curtains while EP was making a similar mouth gesture. Hands of participants were shaken by an invisible bony hand. Several apparitions were seen in the fourth session, including hands and fists that appeared between curtains and sometimes were 3-fold larger than EP fist. In addition, a black forearm and a white hand were seen moving from EP to a participant, and a black shape (head or fist) appeared behind curtains above EP head. All apparitions lasted few seconds. As in the previous session, FB wife was the main target of touchings, something that also happened to other people near EP. FB got his hands fiercely scratched, and received a painful finger poke between nose and eye. Strong pulls, kisses, and ear pulls were also felt. A stethoscope surreptitiously taken from the pocket of a participant was assembled and disassembled. Furthermore, pince-nez glasses fallen on the participants knees were graciously placed back to his nose. In the fifth session, the outline of a limb appeared to bud out of EP body to quickly disappear. Touchings were numerous, mainly kisses and strong pulls. A pulling hand was occasionally seen. Three fingers strongly squeezed FB knee. Upon EP request, one participant climbed on MT and felt his beard to be caressed by a hand behind the curtains. Another participant felt EP hair touching his hair. In the sixth session, one participant was touched several times and kissed. FB was touched while he was outside the medianic chain. A participant claimed that FB prevented him from being touched by screening him out. Many relevant apparitions occurred during the seventh session. An enormous black fist came out from the left curtain four times, moving toward Ms B. who felt touched on her head. On the fourth occasion, the black fist remained outside curtains for a long time, and was seen by all participants. Two apparitions of a human face displaying natural, but pale, almost diaphanous color were announced by EP. She attributed the first face to someone called Peppino. The second face appeared when EP forehead rested on FB forehead. Mr B. claimed that it resembled JK wearing a turban. Ms B. was touched several times, once on her cheek by curtain-enveloped fingers seen by FB. When an open hand gently grabbed FB neck from behind, his hand felt the hand touching him. The hand was described as big, bony, rough, neither cold nor warm. The hand later touching FB head had similar features. Notably, he noted that the hand touching his forearm disappeared within EP body following a circle arc. FB left hand was also shaken by a luke-warm hand similar in dimensions to EP hand. FB was also touched in the head by the flower vase, whose water was poured behind his shoulders. EP claimed that the water was meant to be spilt over FB, but the intention was changed at the last moment. All participants experienced touchings except the person unwelcomed by EP. In the eight session, black hands and a huge black forearm appeared on MT for several seconds. EP asked FB to place his arm around his wife, and soon a small trumpet reached FB who placed it on MT. Later on, something similar occurred with the flower vase. Most notably, one participant saw with the utmost clarity that EP left arm was doubling. He clearly noticed her natural arm and an anomalous arm that detached from EP shoulder to approach and touch FB wife before disappearing into EP body. FB wife felt touched. Appearance of flames. Lights were seen within MC during the first session, but were not considered to be sufficiently genuine. In the fourth session, little flames resembling in size and appearance candle flames but violet-like in color, were seen stemming from EP body and raising in the air before disappearing while EP remained immobile. In the seventh session, three large lightblue flames appeared to be born out of EP head. They moved upwards while waving, and finally disappeared. EP behavior As EP was a left-handed lady, this explains why most muscle contractions occurred in her left limb. Strangely enough, PK events occurred more often on her right side, as FB and other observers remarked. At the time of the 1907 sessions, EP was aged and in bad health, as shown by her highly acid urine that contained albumin, uric acid crystals, and a copious sediment. According to FB, EP was emotional, sensitive to weather changes, and of mediocre intelligence. She was very 7

proud of her extraordinary capacities and did not appreciate people doubting them. Indeed, she could forcefully react to unpleasant comments, and intuitively sensed friendly or inquisitive attitudes. At the end of the second session, she was delirious and uttered incoherent sentences. A hysterical fit cought her at the sudden turning on of the light. In the third session, she was in trance during most PK events, uttered incoherent words and gave sighs while her musles were relaxed and her face transfigured. In the fourth session when the weather was humid and heavy, she was irritable and in a bad mood, at variance with previous session in which her mood was good, due to better weather and the friendly presence of FB wife. While in trance, she asked to be touched by an additional person. In the fifth session, she was again in a good mood. Interestingly, she showed vivid pain when somebody touched or attempted to remove an object that had just been brought out from MC. It seemed as if the object had remained connected for a while to a very sensitive region or feature of her body. During PK sessions, EP engaged in conversation with participants, specially FB. She spoke most often with her natural voice, but at times her voice resembled that of JK. While in trance, she could reply to unfavorable comments with disdain or scornful laughing. Following sessions, her hands remained overpainful, notably at their back. They were indeed red and hot, and showed engrossed veins. EP failures In the second session, EP was unable to discharge a gold-leaf electroscope, and also failed to activate a metronome, to lower a scale plate, and to press a rubber pear-shaped container. Nonetheless, FB gladly mentioned these initial failures as comparable operations were later performed by EP, in demonstration that she had learned them. In the third session, EP was unable to move a stool presumably because it was less easy to grab than the table she had moved in the previous session. She also failed to rotate a recording cylinder, to impress photographic plates and to discharge an electroscope. In the fourth session, no PK events took place during the first 45 minutes, as a new participant attended the session. She was also unable to stop a metronome she had just activated. In the fifth session, EP did not impress photographic plates, did not operate a switch hurled on MT, and did not maintain her promise to materialize a woman figure. In the sixth session, a plate overlaid with platinum-cyanide placed on MT did not become luminescent when her hands or her head were laid over it in the dark. Furthermore, her anomalous limb was unable to activate a telegraph key placed inside a cage made with wire leaving openings. Feeling quite tired, she was unable to operate on a number of objects placed on MT (a metronome, a balance plate, and a small bottle). In the seventh session, she was unable to impress a face on a layer of clay, and to activate a key inside a cage secured to its support on one side only. Bottazzi general considerations and conclusions Three main hypotheses were considered by FB: the fraudolent, the spiritist, and the biological hypothesis. According to the former alternative, PK phenomena were not real but they were the result of a fraud operated by the medium and/or the outcome of collective allucinations. Conversely, PK events were accepted as real by the latter two hypotheses, but they were attributed to the intervention of dead people or, respectively, to the anomalous medium capacities. FB started his considerations by examining the factual and psychological basis of the fraudulent hypothesis acutely and at length, notably with regard to EP previous performances, and to the alleged claims of her tendency to operate fraud. As medianic events could be assumed to be a special class of biological events, he observed that they display comparable variability. Hence, they could not be expected to occur with comparable intensity at all times and under different conditions. In addition, just as conclusions could not be drawn from a few physiological experiments, single medianic performances could not be the basis of generalized interpretations. Only repeated and well controlled observations made by reliable people could be trusted, such as those made in Europe and Italy by many distinguished professors who had witnessed and accepted the reality of EP performances. 8

In the several sessions held in his institute, PK events had always occurred under conditions that definitely excluded fraud. EP natural hands, arms, and legs were constantly secured and monitored by himself and other watchful participants. Furthermore, the release of EP natural hands or limbs from their guardians hold was never observed, and PK events had been consistently synchronous with EP muscle contractions. Moved objects were also either too far from the reach of EP natural limbs or they were too heavy for EP declining strength. In addition, i) several objects were observed to move by themselves, at times for minutes. Such anomalous behavior was clearly noticed by several participants, and excluded collective hallucination; ii) he himself, and another participant in a separate occasion, had observed anomalous supernumerary limbs emerge from EP arm or shoulder and quickly vanish. FB also remarked that the famous EP hair she was supposed to have used to move objects fraudulently was apparently seen, but never retrieved. If I may add a pertinent comment, in science (notably in biological sciences) major novel observations are often doubted and led to marginalization or neglect. Support and acceptance may only come later or much later. Interestingly enough, at variance with novel observations, related doubts do not seem to require special support. Their main impact rests on the degree novel observations depart from conventional belief and world vision. I will now briefly mention a possible alternative interpretation of reports regarding EP capacity to free her natural hands to perform PK. In one such report [3], Ms. Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick was described as being in charge of her feat, and was consequently lying on the floor holding them. She is reported to have remarked: As I looked up from that position, the ceiling made a light background, against which I saw silhouetted what looked exactly like Eusapia' s right arm and hand lifting a chair and placing it on the table. After the chair was on the table, I similarly saw against the ceiling Eusapia' s arm and Lady Stanley' s apparently holding each other by the hand . Could these (and comparable) observations be interpreted to concern EP anomalous limbs rather than her natural limbs? If one believes FB report [1], two different participants in Bottazzis sessions asserted that anomalous limbs were seen emerging from EP body. I believe this tentative interpretation is likely to remain unanswered for quite a time. Nonetheless, at least for a moment, it gives me pleasure to place an impertinent doubt on the flank of a much more serious, conventional doubt. In conclusion, data from FB experiments indicated the following: 1) PK events were synchronous with EP muscle contractions, and their intensity appeared to be roughly proportional to the strength of her contractions; 2) fine movements required to activate simple instruments and induce PK events had to be learned by EP; 3) anomalous limbs responsible for PK movements were capable of tactile perceptions; 4) PK events did not occur beyond a certain distance from EP; 5) anomalous limbs appeared to stem out of EP body; 6) synchronous movements produced by EP natural arm and anomalous limb were recorded. On the basis of these observations, FB concluded that EP was the main actor of PK events. The latter were made possible by her capacity to temporarily express anomalous limbs endowed with sensory and motor funtions comparable to those of her natural arms, and governed by the same brain/mind that controlled natural arms. In Bottazzi own words (and capital letters) Medianic phenomena which are not mere hallucinations by people partecipating in so called spiritic sessions, are biological phenomena dependent on the MEDIUM organism. If they are such events, they take place AS if they were operated by extensions of natural limbs or by additional limbs stemming out of the MEDIUM body, returning and vanishing into it after varying time intervals, during which they reveal themselves by the sensations they elicit in us, as limbs in nothing essential differed from natural limbs. 9

This biological hypothesis significantly departed from the spiritist hypothesis, although the concurrent partecipation of spiritual entities (e.g., JK, EP putative father) was not excluded by Bottazzi. In his own words The spiritist hypothesis cannot be refused and declared absurd by any means, until it will be directly and definitely demonstrated that medianic phenomena are produced by a different well determined mechanism. In such endeavor, as in his entire scientific carrer, Bottazzi was well aware of Leonardos conclusion: Nature is filled with an infinite number of reasons that were never experienced. Abbreviations EP, Eusapia Palladino; FB, Filippo Bottazzi; JK, John King; MC, medianic cabinet; MT, medianic table; PK, psychokinesis. Acknowledgements Thanks are due to Gerd Hvelmann for calling my attention to Mrs. Mildred Sidgwick silhouettes, and to IS whose absence significantly contributed to the preparation of the manuscript. References 1. Bottazzi F. (1909), Fenomeni medianici. Perrella ed., Napoli, pp. 254. 2. Bottazzi F. (1996) Fenomeni medianici. Reprinted by Schena ed., Fasano di Brindisi, pp. 254. 3. Proceedings Soc. Psychic Res. 21: 516-525, 1909.


Figure 1

Reproduction of Figures 2 (left panel) and 3 (right panel) from [1]. The latter presents follow up traces of the left panel. Signals were derived from a telegraph key (Tasto da telegrafisti) and an electric metronome (Metronomo elettrico), both placed in MC. Time was recorded as 5/s impulses (bottom trace: Tempo).


Figura 2

Reproduction of Figures 4 (left panel) and 5 (right panel) from [1]. The latter presents follow up traces of the left panel. Signals derived from a Marey kettledrum placed in MC. Time trace is at the bottom of left panel, and at the top of right panel.


Figure 3

Reproduction of Figures 7 and 9 from [1]. Left panel, the spring key before the fourth session; right panel, the same key after the session.


Figure 4

Reproduction of Figure 10 from [1]. Signals were derived from an open spring key (upper trace: Tasto a molla (scoperto)), but none were obtained from the spring key kept inside a closed cardboard box (Tasto da telegrafisti chiuso). Both keys were in MC.


Figure 5

Reproduction of Figure 8 from [1]. On the left, signals recorded from a metronome (upper trace: vertical line labelled 1) and a small drum (Tamburello: barely evident vertical line labelled 1a). Both objects were in MC. On the right, signals artificially produced to determine their intensities (vertical lines labelled 2 and 2a). Time trace at bottom.


Figure 6

Reproduction of Figure 11 from [1]. Signals were recorded from a metronome. Arrow, presumed attempt to stop the metronome. Time trace at bottom.


Figure 7

Reproduction of Figures 13 (left panel) and 14 (right panel) from [1]. The latter presents follow up traces of the left panel. Signals were obtained from a small drum (top trace labelled 1 on the right panel: note series of 3 beats on the extreme left of the left panel) and a bellows (trace labelled 2) kept in MC. Time traces are labelled 3.


Figure 8

Reproduction of Figures 15 and 16 from [1]. Left panel, signal produced by the lowering of a scale plate; right panel, artificial lowering of the scale plate to determine required force.


Figure 9

Reproduction of Figure 17 from [1]. Signals were obtained from a key enclosed in a wooden box after the box was pulled out from its support (trace 4). No signals were derived from a metronome (trace 1) or from open keys (traces 2 and 3). Time trace labelled 5.


Figure 10

Reproduction of Figure 12 from [1]. Clay cast of FB fingertips rubbed by EP on MT.


Figure 11

Reproduction of Figures 18 (upper left panel), 19 (upper right panel), and 20 (bottom panel) from [1]. Traces in the latter two panels are continuations of those shown in the upper left panel. Isolated and synchronous signals were obtained by EP using her natural arm to act on the key placed on MT (trace 1: Tasto esterno) and using her anomalous limb to act on the key kept inside MC (trace 2: Tasto interno). Isolated and grouped signals were likewise obtained from a metronome (line 3, notably in bottom panel). No signals were recorded from a key enclosed in a wire cage (trace 4 of bottom panel). Time trace labelled 5.


Figure 12

Reproduction of Figures 21 (left panel) and 22 (right panel) from [1]. Traces in the latter panel are the follow up of those shown in the left panel. Isolated and synchronous signals were obtained by EP using her natural arm to act on the key placed on MT (trace 2) and by using her anomalous limb on the key kept inside MC (trace 1). Signals were also obtained from a small Giaffes magneto-electric instrument behaving as a rotatory switch (trace 4). On the other hand, no signals were recorded from a key enclosed in a wire cage (trace 3). Time trace labelled 5.


Figure 13

Reproduction of Figure 25 from [1] showing a moderate MT lifting.