Carlos S. Alvarado, PhD, Research Fellow, Parapsychology Foundation
Writing in the Dictionnaire Universel des Connaissances in 1859 French popularizer of science Louis Figuier referred to: “Strange phenomena that occupy much of the public, as well as the savants” (L. Figuier, Tables tournantes. In B. Luna (Ed.), Dictionnaire Universel des Connaissances Humaines, Volume 7. Paris: Magiaty, 1859, p. 289) This was a reference to the incredible popularity of table turning in France. In fact, table phenomena (turning and levitation manifestations) have been of great importance in the history of the study of physical mediumship.
In a recent article, Juan Gimeno presents observations of table phenomena conducted in Argentina (Shortage of Rabbits or Insufficient Traps? Table-Turning and the Discovery of a Presumably PK-Gifted Person in Argentina. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 2015, 29, 585-600).
“The formation and development of a sitter-group in Buenos Aires is described. Fifteen weekly meetings were conducted, between April and July 2013, attended by 5 to 9 people each. Ostensible movements of a table were reported. One ostensibly psychokinetically gifted member was identified, named Ariel. He had witnessed RSPK at home, when age 11. After identifying him, another 10 meetings were conducted with only this gentleman present (and observers). In these meetings he made a table raise a leg at will, even with additional weight added to the table. All the meetings were conducted with normal illumination, most of them recorded in video. It was impossible to reproduce most of the table movements by normal means. He was not able to achieve the total levitation of the table, nor any movements without hand contact. Gifted people with remarkable psi abilities are scarce, and in the field of physical phenomena objective investigations of macro-PK seem to be stagnant, or at least without the possibility of publishing encouraging results. The results obtained in our studies are promising, nevertheless we plan to conduct further experiments focusing on controlled conditions and in good light conditions.”
The author stated in his conclusion: “This is only a preliminary report. We still have to analyze in detail the records we obtained. During the 25 meetings, more than 25 hours of good quality video recordings were obtained, as were audio recordings of all of them and some photographs. The methodical and meticulous revision of these documents might give suggestive evidence about the behavior of PK . . . The organizers have decided to complement each other by following two strategies, both generously supported by Ariel: Juan Corbetta is conducting a qualitative investigation, making an ethnography of the table turning groups, focused on the ritual aspect, in order to establish the reach of these practices and its influence on the beliefs of the attendees. In my case, I gathered a new group at the Instituto de Psicología Paranormal of Buenos Aires . . . We plan to organize a long-term investigation and reliably document the phenomena, and perhaps replicate some macro PK experiments conducted in the past, adding new strategies, methods, and instruments to elucidate the causes and the variables associated with the phenomena.”
We are looking forward to future reports from Gimeno.