Eminent People Interested in Psi

A list of more than two hundred well-known intellectuals - scientists, thinkers, writers, and artists of various kinds - who took the possibility of psychical phenomena seriously.

Introduction

At a time when mainstream science doubts the reality of psi, it can be surprising to learn that some high-profile scientists nevertheless consider it to be real – or at least deserving of scientific study. In fact, many scientists have thought this - as have  thinkers and artists of all kinds - especially in the decades since the 1880s, when research societies were first established to investigate psi phenomena.1  If we believe psi to be real, perhaps persuaded by the scientific literature or by our own experiences, this list of more than two hundred intellectuals reminds us that we keep good company.

Objections can be made to some of the inclusions. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was as dogmatic in defending séance phenomena as sceptics often are in criticizing it.2 The descriptions of personal psi experienced by the Swedish playwright August Strindberg would be of more interest to a clinical psychologist than to a parapsychological researcher. Some held obnoxious views: the pioneering French biologist Alexis Carrel favoured Nazi eugenics, for instance. But taken as a whole, the list overwhelmingly shows that women and men of genius in many areas of life – science, the arts, politics, invention – have shown a lively and at times professional interest in psi, and were irritated by those who tried to stifle it.

It has long been fashionable to argue that psi is simply ruled out by scientific norms - the constraints imposed by physics for instance, or by a knowledge of how the nervous system works. But the belief in the possibility of psi that was held by Nobel prizewinners such as physicists Einstein and Planck, and brain scientists Eccles and Ramón y Cajal, suggests we should treat such claims with caution. Nor should we be distracted by claims that only a psychologist is qualified to detect the myriad ways - whether sensory or cognitive - in which information can be conveyed, considering the presence here of foundational figures in psychophysics,3 experimental psychology,4 behaviorism,5 and dynamic psychology, and the fact that some scientists in these fields continue to support the study of psi.6

In terms of qualifications for inclusion, the people in this list achieved a high degree of eminence in a field independent of parapsychology (although some achieved eminence in the latter also); lived lived during the past century and a half, the period when psi became a subject of scientific research: and, with the exception of two living Nobel prizewinners, are all deceased.

Excluded are eminent individuals who displayed no knowledge or interest in psi phenomena while pursuing spiritual or occult concerns. Writers and artists are listed if they endorsed psi phenomena, but not if they merely referred to it in their works, or if events in their lives could be interpreted as psi, as in the case of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca who seemed to precisely anticipate the date of his execution five years before the event in one of his plays,7 but since nothing is known about his views about psi, he too is excluded. Doubts must also remain about the great stage magician and debunker Harry Houdini, who left a code as a means to ascertain whether he could contact his wife after his death,8 but was vocally hostile to the idea of mediums talking with the dead. 

In general, the men and women listed here believed in psi phenomena for the same reasons as do most other people: personal experience (their own or of loved ones) or from reading the research literature. In the first category comes Mark Twain, who dreamed in detail about the future death of his brother,9 and the visions experienced by Ted Hughes’s mother.10 In the second category come Cesare Lombroso and founding members of the Society for Psychical Research such as Eleanor Sidgwick and Richard Hodgson, who took a lot of convincing by other researchers before they would endorse the validity of a phenomenon.11

The people named here manifested their interest in psi in different, but not necessarily exclusive, ways. One of these can be termed a shift in central interest, in which the individual leaves behind a mainstream scientific activity in order to focus primarily on psi research. The French scientist Charles Richet is a good example of this: in later life he largely abandoned the studies of physiology that earned him a Nobel prize in order to concentrate on parapsychology and hypnosis, eventually becoming president of both the Society for Psychical Research and the Institut Métapsychique International.

By contrast, a parallel central interest is exemplified by those who maintained their activity in a mainstream scientific endeavor while also pursuing psi-research. Good examples are the Sidgwicks. Henry Sidgwick, one of the great modern ethical philosophers,12 was the first president of the Society for Psychical research but went on contributing profusely on subjects relating to ethics, politics and science while holding a Professorship at the University of Cambridge. His wife Eleanor (née Balfour), a later SPR president, was a mathematician and educator who served as Principal of Newnham College, only the second college at Cambridge to accept women, while also applying her keen mind to psychical research.

For some of the figures in the list, psi interests were secondary to their other activities. These include Nobel prizewinners Marie and Pierre Curie, who attended séances with Eusapia Palladino and wrote about the importance of studying psi phenomena.13 Others are Santiago Ramón y Cajal14 and John C Eccles.15

Some figures aimed to integrate psi with larger concerns. This applies to William James, a central figure in both psychology and philosophy, who not only participated in psi-research and wrote important papers – most famously regarding the medium Leonora Piper, whom he considered his “white crow” – but sought to integrate psi within a larger framework. In physics, David Bohm16 discussed how psi phenomena might be accommodated within his theory of wholeness and implicate order, while Evans Harris Walker developed a quantum mechanics theory of psi.17 The philosopher Henri Bergson considered psi within his larger discussion of time, consciousness, and evolution.18

Psi phenomena have also served as inspiration for both technological and artistic achievements. Among scientists there’s the extraordinary case of Hans Berger, inspired by an experience in which his sister, seventy miles away, intuitively felt his brush with death during a military exercise and immediately had their father send him a telegram. When Berger later invented the electroencephalogram (EEG), it was partly to discover if the machine might detect psi.19

Psi phenomena have been used as a topic for fiction - in the novels of Philip K Dick, the plays of JB Priestley, or the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, among many others. But they have also served as the real-life inspirations for the works themselves. André Breton described a number of ostensible psi phenomena in Nadja, L’Amour Fou and other books, as part of a surrealist exploration of alterations of consciousness and psi phenomena.20 The poet James Merrill partly channeled through a Ouija board his Pulitzer and National Book Awards winner The Changing Light at Sandover, proving that not only metaphysical pap comes from automatic writing.21 But can psi eliminate the need for a physical expression of the artwork altogether? This is what František Kupka and Wassily Kandinsky thought earlier in the 20th century, as does now the performance artist Marina Abramović.22

Another category is of authors who worked as psi researcher-participants. This applies to the American novelist Upton Sinclair, whose book Mental Radio23 describes a long series of telepathy experiments he carried out himself, with his wife Mary Craig Kimborough acting as the perceiving subject. Another influential book was JW Dunne’s An Experiment with Time24 in which the author discussed in detail a number of his ostensibly precognitive dreams.

Some had a veiled interest in psi. One is the painter Hilma af Klint, who in addition to her main activity of painting portraits and plants conducted a decades-long program of other painterly activities, based on either direct automatic writing and painting, or on an elaboration of messages that she believed she received from higher spiritual sources.

In the realm of politics at least two prime ministers, Britain’s Arthur Balfour and Canada’s William Lyon Mackenzie King, privately consulted with mediums without this impacting on their professional work.25

In the category of explicit acceptance can be cited a casual mention by the Russian dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in his book The Gulag Archipelago of psi abilities possessed by one of his former cellmates: ‘There is no doubt that he had the gift of precognition,’ Solzhenitsyn wrote. ‘More than once he went around in the cell in the morning and pointed: Today they are going to come for you and you. I saw it in my dream. And they came and got them.’26 The pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing27 referred to the ‘overwhelming’ statistical evidence for telepathy in a landmark paper on artificial intelligence. A different sort of example is Otto Stern, who was so fearful of the damaging psychokinetic effects that fellow physicist Wolfgang Pauli seemed to leave in his wake that he barred Pauli from entering his laboratory.

Finally there are those who can be characterized as true skeptics, being open to the possibility of psi phenomena without having arrived at a definite conclusion.28 In this category we find Albert Einstein, who in a sympathetic preface to Sinclair’s Mental Radio confessed that his original disbelief had softened as he became more familiar with psi. Similarly, Max Planck expressed support of research by fellow physicist Oliver Lodge’s investigations of psi phenomena, considering them plausible. 

Note: this list may under-represent people who fulfill the criteria, and tends to favour authors from the American and European continents, for whom information was more easily accessible. Most entries contain a single reference, although some made many contributions. Some of this information appeared previously in an issue of Mindfield, the bulletin of the Parapsychological Association.

Etzel Cardeña

Nobel Prizewinners

Henri Bergson (1859-1941), philosopher, 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature, president of the Society for Psychical Research and theoretician of psi.29

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (1832-1910), 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature, wrote an article about a person said to be psychic.30

Pearl S Buck (1892-1973), 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature, visited JB Rhine’s parapsychology meetings.31

Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947), 1931 Nobel Prize in Peace, President of Columbia University, philosopher and diplomat, wrote about psi32 and helped organize the American Society for Psychical Research.

Alexis Carrel (1873-1944), 1912 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, discussed anomalous healing in a book.33

Arthur Holly Compton (1892-1962), 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics, was supportive of psi in his correspondence with JB Rhine.34

Marie Curie (1867-1934), 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics, 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, participated in séances with Eusapia Palladino and wrote of the importance of research in parapsychology.35

Pierre Curie (1859-1906), 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics, participated in séances with Eusapia Palladino and wrote of the importance of research in parapsychology.36

John Eccles (1903-1997), 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, edited a book discussing psi and participated in related conferences.37

Albert Einstein (1879-1955), 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, wrote the preface to a telepathy book38 and commented, ‘We have no right to rule out a priori the possibility of telepathy. For that the foundations of our science are too uncertain and incomplete.’39

Brian Josephson (1940-), 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics, has written about psi and been a staunch advocate of psi research for decades.40

Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), 1911 Nobel Prize in Literature, wrote on ostensible psi phenomena.41

Thomas Mann (1875-1955), 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature, attended and reported on séances.42

Kary Banks Mullis (1944-), 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has participated in psi research and spoken in support of it.43

Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958), 1945 Nobel Prize in Physics, discussed with Carl Jung the notion of synchronicity and was believed, by himself and by colleagues, to have an interfering psychokinetic effect on machines.44 (See Otto Stern, below)

Jean Perrin (1870-1942), 1926 Nobel Prize in Physics, was a member of the Institut Général Psychologique’s (IGP) Group of Study of Psychic Phenomena.45

Max Planck (1858-1947), 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics and author of quantum theory, expressed his interest in psychical research in his correspondence.46

Sully Prudhomme (1839- 1907), 1901 Nobel Prize in Literature, participated in the Société de Psychologie Physiologique's committee for the study of telepathy.47

Santiago Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934), 1906 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, researched hypnosis and psi phenomena and wrote a book about them (destroyed during the Spanish Civil War).48

Charles Richet (1850-1935), 1913 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, founded the Annales des Sciences Psychiques, president of the Society for Psychical Research (1905), and of the Institut Métapsychique International (1923).

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), 1925 Nobel Prize in Peace, reported the paranormal phenomena he observed in Africa and remarked that he would like to carry out psi research.49

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1908-2008), 1970 Nobel prizewinner in literature, mentions precognition as a fact in his work.50

Otto Stern (1888-1969), 1943 Nobel Prize in Physics, is said to have banned Pauli from his lab, for fear that Pauli’s involuntary PK effect would interfere with the machinery there.51

Eugene Wigner (1902-1995), 1963 Nobel Prize in Physics, encouraged research on physics and psi.52

John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh (1842-1919), 1904 Nobel Prize in Physics, president of the Society for Psychical Research.53

JJ Thompson (1856-1940), 1906 Nobel Prize in Physics, member of the governing council of the Society for Psychical Research for 34 years.54

WB Yeats (1865-1939), 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature, member of the Society for Psychical Research, wrote extensively about psi and esoterism.55

Other Eminent Figures: Exact Sciences, Engineering, Invention

Jacques-Arsène d’Arsonval (1851-1940), physician, physicist, and inventor, led the IGP and carried out research with a spirit medium.56

John Logie Baird (1888-1946), engineer and inventor of television, attended spiritist séances and was persuaded by them.57

Sir William Barrett (1845-1925): Chair of physics at the Royal College of Science in Dublin, Fellow of the Royal Society, and founder and president of the Society for Psychical Research.58

Olivier Costa de Beauregard (1911-2007), quantum physicist, published on parapsychology, first under the pseudonym E. Xodarap, and considered psi phenomena as to ‘be expected as very rational’.59

Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), inventor of the telephone, thought that the device might allow communication with the dead.60

John Stewart Bell (1928-1990), physicist, developer of the Bell theorem, employee of the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN), originator of the Bell theorem, wrote about keeping an open mind regarding psi.61

David Bohm (1917-1992), quantum theoretician, sought to integrate his theory with psi.62

Édouard Branly (1844-1940), physicist, inventor of a component of wireless telegraphy, member of the French Academy of Sciences, was a member of the IGP's Group of Study of Psychic Phenomena.63

Chester Carlson (1906-1968), physicist and inventor of electrophotography, donated money to and was interested in psi research.64

Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008), fiction and science writer and inventor, discussed psi in his novels and non-fiction, becoming increasingly, but not completely skeptic, about the paranormal.65

Gérard Cordonnier (1907-1977), mathematician, engineer, winner of the Arts, Sciences and Letter Silver Medal, wrote on psi.66

Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), chemist, physicist, and inventor, carried research on DD Home and spiritualism, president of the Society for Psychical Research.67

JW Dunne (1910-1949), aeronautical engineer, wrote An Experiment with Time, a book about precognition.68

Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), inventor of electric light and sound recording, among other things, was convinced by some psi demonstrations and proposed that instruments could be developed to communicate with the deceased.69

Harold Eugene Edgerton (1903-1990), professor of electrical engineering at MIT, participated in research on remote viewing.70

Gerald Feinberg (1933-1992), physicist, worked at Columbia and Princeton Universities, considered precognition to be at the base of most, or perhaps all, psi phenomena.71

Camille Flammarion (1842-1925), astronomer and writer, founder and first president of the Société Astronomique de France, wrote on psi and mediumship.72

Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983), systems theorist, inventor, talked about the reality of telepathy.73

George Gamow (1904-1968), physicist, wrote on the ostensible macro-PK effect called the Pauli Effect.74

Arnaud de Gramont (1861-1923), physicist, member of the French Académie des Sciences, founding member of the Institut Métapsychique International.75

Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894), physicist, showed the existence of electromagnetic waves, was a member of the Society for Psychical Research.76

Ernst Jordan (1902-1980), quantum physicist, wrote on quantum mechanisms and psi.77

Sir Oliver Lodge (1851-1940), physicist and mathematician, developer of wireless telegraphy, principal of Birmingham University, president of the Society for Psychical Research, wrote on mediumship and survival.78

Henry Margenau (1901-1997), Higgins Professor of Physics at Yale and staff at Princeton and MIT, philosopher of science, wrote favorably about parapsychology.79

James Smith ‘Mac’ McDonnell (1899-1980), engineer and chair of the McDonnell-Douglas corporation, supported research in parapsychology.80

Edgar Dean Mitchell (1930-2016), aeronautical engineer, 6th person to walk on the moon. He founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences, in which research on psi is conducted, and published a psi study himself.81

Edward Pickering (1846-1919) astronomer and physicist, director of the Harvard College Observatory, wrote on psi.82

Sir Alfred Pippard (1920-2008), Cavendish Professor of Physics, Cambridge, gave an address to a joint SPR/Parapsychological Association on his mother’s telepathic experiences.83

Archie E. Roy (1924-2012), Professor of Astronomy, University of Glasgow, SPR president, wrote on psychical research.84

Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910), astronomer, historian of science and senator, researched Eusapia Palladino.85

Richard Shoup (1943-2015), computer scientists, innovator in digital animation and winner of an Emmy and an Academy Award, proposed a time symmetric theory of psi. 86

Balfour Stewart (1828-1887), physicist, member of the Royal Society, president of the Society for Psychical Research.87

F J M Stratton (1881-1961), Professor of Astrophysics and Director of Solar Physics Observatory at Cambridge, president of the Society for Psychical Research.88

Julien Thoulet (1843-1936). Professor of Mineralogy at the University of Nancy, oceanographer89, described a psi event in a letter to Charles Richet.90

Evan Harris Walker (1935-2006), physicist and inventor, developed a quantum explanation of psi.91

Arthur M Young (1905-1995), polymath, helicopter inventor, sought to integrate parapsychology with other branches of science (e.g., 1976).

Mathematicians

Burton H Camp (1880-1980), president of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, wrote that the statistical analyses conducted by Rhine and his team were ‘essentially valid’.92

Sir Ronald A Fisher (1890-1962), statistician and geneticist, corresponded with JB Rhine and published articles on statistical analyses in parapsychology.93

Thomas Greville (1910-1988), statistician, Professor at the University of Wisonsin-Madison, editor of the Journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, developed statistical techniques for psi experiments.94

Irving Good (1916-2009), statistician and cryptologist, colleague of Alan Turing, suggested a physiological method to study nonconscious psi.95

Hans Hahn (1879-1934), mathematician and philosopher, was Vice-president of the Austrian Society for Psychical Research and collaborated in research on psi. 96

John Littlewood (1885-1977), Ball Professor of Mathematics, Cambridge, fellow of the Royal Society, conducted card guessing experiments and wrote on their statistics.97

Eleanor Sidgwick (1845-1936), mathematician, principal of Newnham College, president of the Society for Psychical Research.98

Alan  Turing (1912-1954), mathematician, pioneer of computer science and artificial intelligence, wrote of the ‘overwhelming’ statistical evidence for telepathy.99

Psychologists and Social Scientists, Neuroscientists, Biologists, Physicians

Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974), psychiatrist, pioneer of humanistic and transpersonal psychology, wrote a book on psi.100

David Bakan (1921-2004), professor of psychology at the Universities of Chicago and York, discussed Biblical prophecy101 and contemporary psi research in his courses.102

Vladimir Bekhterev (1856-1927), neurologist and reflex psychologist, studied psi in humans and animals.103

Hans Berger (1873-1941), neurologist, created the electroencephalogram, inspired by a telepathic event with his sister.104

Filippo Bottazzi (1867-1941), physiologist, biochemist, wrote a book on mediumistic phenomena.105

Henry Pickering Bowditch (1840-1911), physician, dean of the Harvard Medical School, founding member of the Society for Psychical Research, wrote on psi.106

William Brown (1881-1952), director of the Institute of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, supported psi research.107

Rémy Chauvin (1913-2009), biologist, honorary professor at La Sorbonne, researched and wrote on animal psi.108

Irvin L Child (1915-2000), chair of psychology at Yale University, wrote a supportive meta-analysis of the Maimonides dream research program.109

HJ Eysenck (1916-1997), psychologist, researcher in personality, intelligence, and psychotherapy, supported the validity of some psi phenomena and criticized scientistic dogmatism.110

Gustav Fechner (1801-1887), physicist, one of the founders of experimental psychology, participated in séances and wrote about the possibility of survival after death.111

Sándor Ferenczi (1873-1933), central theorist in psychoanalysis, wrote on psi phenomena in development and therapy and communicated with Freud about it.112

Théodore Flournoy (1854–1920), psychologist, professor at the University of Geneva, wrote important books on dissociation without discarding the possibility of psi processes.113

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), founder of psychoanalysis, wrote a number of papers on psi in psychotherapy.114

Frederik Willem van Eeden (1860-1932), psychiatrist, writer, and progressive thinker, participated in séances and wrote about lucid dreaming.115

Hans Driesch (1867-1941), biologist and philosopher, wrote a book on psi,  president of the Society for Psychical Research.116

Sir Ronald A Fisher (1890-1962), statistician and geneticist, corresponded with JB Rhine and published articles on statistical analyses in parapsychology.

Karl Gruber (1881-1927), zoologist, professor at Munich Polytechnic, conducted psi research on animals.117

Guðmundur Hannesson (1866-1946), physician, founder of the Icelandic Scientific Society and rector of the University of Iceland, investigated  the medium Indriði Indriðason.118

Sir Alister Hardy (1896-1985), Linacre Professor of Zoology at Oxford, founder of the Religious Experience Research Unit at Oxford, President of the Society for Psychical Research, wrote on psi and religion.119

Raúl Hernández-Peón (1924-1968), neurophysiologist of sleep, sought to integrate psi and neurophysiology120

James Hillman (1926-2011), psychologist, Jungian author, wrote on psi and depth psychology.121

Sir Julian Huxley (1887-1975), evolutionary biologist and first director of UNESCO, mentioned psi supportively in his writing.122

Aniela Jaffé (1903-1991), psychologist, Jungian author, wrote on psi and synchronicity.123

William James (1842-1910), psychologist and philosopher, president of both the British and the American Societies for Psychical Research.124

Pierre Janet (1859-1947), pioneer in the study of dissociation, had success on experiments on hypnosis and psi (but later became cautious about psi).125

CG Jung (1875-1961), founder of analytical psychology, wrote on synchronicity and ostensible psi phenomena.126

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004), psychiatrist, proponent of the hospice care movement, wrote on near-death experiences and the possibility of survival. 127

A N Leontiev (1903-1979), head of the psychology department at Moscow University, investigated remote viewing.128

Jacques Jean Lhermitte (1877-1959), neurologist and neuropsychiatrist, clinical director at the Salpêtrière hospital, member of the Institut Métapsychique International.129

Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909), criminologist and physician, wrote a book on spiritualism and psi.130

Alexander Luria (1902-1977), neuropsychologist, wrote about parapsychology.131

Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer (1947-2005), psychoanalyst, professor at the University of California, investigated psi in depth after a psychic traced a valued stolen possession.132

William McDougall (1871-1938), psychology professor at Harvard and later at Duke, president of both the American and the British Societies for Psychical Research.133

Margaret Mead (1901-1978), cultural anthropologist, helped the Parapsychological Association become a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and wrote a supportive introduction to a remote viewing book.134

Paul Meehl (1920-2003), psychologist and philosopher of science, wrote on the likely compatibility of science and ESP.135

Thomas Walter Mitchell (1869-1944), physician, for many years editor of the British Journal of Medical Psychology, president of the Society for Psychical Research.136

Gardner Murphy (1895-1979), president of the American Psychological Association and of the Society for Psychical Research,137 wrote extensively on human potentials and on psi.138

Traugott Konstantin Oesterreich (1880-1949), psychologist and philosopher, professor in Tübingen, wrote on spirit possession and psi.139

Sir Alan S Parkes (1900-1990), researcher at University College, London, on reproductive biology, organized and participated in a symposium on psi.140

Candace Pert (1946-2013), neuropharmacologist, chief of the Section on Brain Biochemistry of the Clinical Neuroscience Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, was interested in psychokinetic effects on living systems and subtle energies.141

Théodule-Armand Ribot (1839-1916), psychologist, professor at the Collège of France and La Sorbonne, published papers on psychical research in his journal Revue Philosophique.142

Sante de Sanctis (1862-1935), doctor, psychologist, and psychiatrist, investigated ostensible psi phenomena.143

Hans Schäfer (1906-2000), professor and director of the department of physiology at the University of Heidelberg, epidemiologist, wrote about psi.144

Rocco Santoliquido (1854-1930), physician and Director General of Public Health, investigated a medium, and was founder and president of the Institut Métapsychique International.145

Pitirim Sorokin (1889-1968), founder and director of the department of sociology at Harvard, wrote an introduction to a book on psi.146

Mabel St Clair Stobart (1862-1954), founder of the Women's Sick and Wounded Convoy Corps (1912) and the Women's National Service League (1914), wrote about spiritualism.147

Wilhelm Stekel (1868-1940), one of the first associates of Freud and prolific writer, authored a book about telepathy in dreams.148

John R Swanton (1873-1958), president of the American Anthropological Association and editor of American Anthropologist, endorsed parapsychology.149

Leonid I Vasiliev (1891-1966), professor of physiology at Leningrad University, researched extensively psi and suggestion at a distance.150

Alfred Russel Wallace (1826-1923), co-creator of the theory of evolution, investigated and was a supporter of spiritualism.151

William Grey Walter (1910-1977), neurophysiologist and robot inventor, wrote on the use of the EEG to investigate psi.152

Humanities, Philosophers

Bhikhan L Atreya (1897-1967), professor of philosophy at Banaras Hindu University, expert on Hinduism, carried out research and wrote on parapsychology.153

Samuel Bergman (1883-1975), philosopher of physics, dean of the Hebrew University, wrote a book on telepathy.154

Émile Boirac (1851-1917), philosopher, president of the Grenoble and Dijon universities, researched Eusapia Palladino, wrote a book on psychical research.155

Kenneth E Boulding (1910-1993), economist, systems scientist, philosopher, president of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, declared to the Washington Star in 1979: ‘The evidence of parapsychology can’t just be dismissed out of hand’.156

CD Broad (1887-1971), Knightsbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge, president of the Society for Psychical Research.157

Kenneth Burke (1897-1993), literary theorist, discussed psi phenomena in the context of creativity.158

Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970), philosopher and member of the Vienna Circle, wrote on the importance of researching psi.159

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), philosopher and palentologist, wrote on the evolution of psi abilities.160

CTK Chari (1909-1993), head of the department of philosophy at Madras Christian College, wrote on philosophy of physics and psi.161

Ernesto de Martino (1908-1965), historian of religion and anthropologist, wrote on the link between ethnology and parapsychology.162

Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), philosopher, founder of deconstructionism, wrote an essay discussing the nature of telepathy and its relation to psychoanalysis.163

Max Dessoir (1867-1947), philosopher, psychologist, professor at the University of Berlin, coined ‘parapsychology’ and other psi terms.164

ER Dodds (1893-1979), classical scholar, Regius Professor of Greek (Oxford), president of the Society for Psychical Research.165

CJ Ducasse (1881-1969), professor of philosophy at Washington and Brown Universities, wrote on parapsychology and was a member of the American Society for Psychical Research.166 

Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), Professor at the University of Chicago, historian of religion and fiction writer, asserted that real paranormal phenomena were at the base of some religious beliefs.167

Antony Flew (1923-2010), philosopher of religion, while not convinced about psi phenomena, opined that there was ‘much interesting and suggestive evidence’.168

Isaac K Funk (1839-1912), lexicographer, editor, founder of Funk & Wagnallis, wrote on psi phenomena.169

Maurice Garçon (1889-1967), lawyer, writer, conjurer, member of the Académie Française, researched psi phenomena.170

James H Hyslop, (1854-1920), philosopher, psychologist, professor at Columbia University, wrote extensive on psi.171

LP Jacks (1860-1955), professor of philosophy and principal at Manchester College, Oxford, president of the Society for Psychical Research.172

Andrew Lang (1844-1912), writer and anthropologist, president of the Society for Psychical Research.173

Gabriel Marcel (1889-1973), philosopher, member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, honorary president of Institut Métapsychique International.174

Gilbert Murray (1866-1957), classicist, professor at Oxford and Harvard universities, vice president of the League of Nations Society after World War I, president of the Society for Psychical Research.175

Frederic Myers (1843-1901), classical scholar and poet, president and one of the main authors of the Society for Psychical Research.176

Haraldur Níelsson (1868-1928), theologian and spiritualist, first rector  of the University of Iceland, investigated the medium Indriði Indriðason. 177

HH Price (1899-1984), philosopher, Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford, president of the Society for Psychical Research.178

Josiah Royce (1855-1916), philosopher, professor at the University of California and Harvard, member of the American Society for Psychical Research, wrote on psi.179

Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913), linguist and semiotician, attended séances of Hélène Smith (Catherine-Elise Müller) and analyzed her created languages.180

FCS Schiller (1864-1937), professor of philosophy at the Universities of Oxford, Cornell, and Southern California, president of the Society for Psychical Research, supported the epistemological foundation of parapsychology.181

Henry Sidgwick (1838-1900), Knightsbridge Professor of Moral Philosophy at Cambridge, President of the Society for Psychical Research.182

 Kees van Peursen (1920-1996), philosopher and theologian, professor of philosophy at Groningen and Leiden U, wrote on psi.183

AW Verrall (1851-1912), classics scholar and first King Edward VII Chair of English, was interested in psi along with many others in his immediate family.184

Johannes Maria Verweyen (1883-1945), philosopher, anti-Nazi resistance fighter, poet, wrote on parapsychology and occultism.185

Aloys Wenzl (1887-1967), philosopher, dean and president at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, was an official observer at a 1954 conference on psi.186

Writers, Artists

Jelly d'Arányi (1893-1966), violinist, participated in  séances and chanelled various messages. Sister of Adila Fachiri.187

L  Frank Baum (1856-1919), writer, creator of the Oz series, attended spiritist séances and wrote about them.188

Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007), film and theatre director and author, recounted autobiographical ostensible psi phenomena (2005).

Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951), writer, declared that his interest in psychic matters was 'in questions of extended or expanded consciousness' and saw 'the rapprochement between Modern Physics and so-called psychical and mystical phenomena'.189

Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986), writer, published an appreciative foreword to a Spanish version of JW Dunne’s An Experiment with Time.190

Victor Brauner (1903-1966), surrealist painter, considered himself also a visionary.191

André Breton (1896-1966), founder of surrealism and knowledgeable of the psi literature, researched experientially and wrote extensively on psi and automatisms, often in collaboration with other surrealists.192

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) (1835-1910), writer, member of the American Society for Psychical Research, described various autobiographical psi events.193

Michael Crichton (1942-2008), writer, physician, and filmmaker, wrote about his personal experiences with psi.194

Robert Desnos (1900-1945), surrealist poet and automatist, claimed to have been in telepathic contact with another artist, Marcel Duchamp and to see into other people's future.195

Philip K Dick (1928-1982), writer, described various ostensible psi phenomena in his autobiographical works, including xenoglossy and an accurate diagnosis of his son’s hernia.196

Charles Dickens (1812-1870), writer, member of The Ghost Club, organization devoted to psychical research.197

Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) (1832-1898), author of Alice in Wonderland, mathematician, member of the Society for Psychical Research.198

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), creator of Sherlock Homes, unflinching defender of ostensible psi phenomena and spiritualism.199

Theodor Dreiser (1871-1945), writer and journalist, corresponded with psi researcher Hereward Carrington.200

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) (1819-1880), writer, corresponded with psychical researchers and premised her The Lifted Veil on psi. She wrote to George Combe in 1852, 'But indications of clairvoyance witnessed by a competent observer are of thrilling interest and give me a restless desire to get more extensive and satisfactory evidence.'201

Adila Fachiri (1886-1962), violinist, participated in séances and chanelled various messages. Sister of Jelly d'Arányi.202

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), writer, claimed to have had a telepathic and other psi experiences.203

Victor Hugo (1802-1885), writer, creator of Les Misérables, experimented with automatic writing and drawing, participated in séances.204

Ted Hughes (1930-1998), British Poet Laureate, described psi phenomena in his life.205

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), writer, proponent of a Mind at Large, advisor to the Parapsychology Foundation.206

Maxim Gorky (1868-1936), writer, was convinced of the existence of telepathy.207

Alec Guiness (1914-2000), actor, wrote that he precognized the fatal accident of James Dean.208

James Joyce (1882-1941), writer, his sister claimed that she and he had seen the ghost of their mother. He read and was influenced by Myers's Human Personality, and its Survival of Bodily Death.209

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), painter and art theoretician, wrote about direct transmission of art.210

Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), painter, pioneer of abstractionism, worked as a medium with automatic writing, drawing, and painting.211

Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), author, provided funds for what became the Koestler Unit for the study of parapsychology at the University of Edinburgh, wrote on psi.212

Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999), film director, screenwriter, producer, etc., discussed psi positively as an inspiration for his film The Shining.213

Einar Hjörleifsson Kvaran (1859-1938), writer, editor, and spiritualist, participated in the investigations of Icelandic mediums including Indriði Indriðason and Hafstein Björnsson.214

František Kupka (1871-1957), one of the founders of abstractionist art, proposed a direct mind-to-mind transmission of the artist’s inner world.215

James Merrill (1926-1995), poet, winner of the Pulitzer among other prices, some of his works derives from séances with a ouija board during more than two decades.216

JB Priestley (1894-1984), writer, supported the notion of precognition in his essays and plays.217

Florizel von Reuter (1890-1985), violinist and composer, professor at the Vienna Musical Academy, wrote on his experience as a medium.218

Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), one of the foremost poet in German language, attended séances and experimented with automatic writing.219

George Rochberg (1918-2005), composer, discussed psi phenomena in the context of his creative work.220

Gene Rodenberry (1921-1991), writer and Star Trek creator, was convinced of the reality of psi phenomena.221

Jules Romains (Louis Farigoule) (1885-1972), writer, member of La Académie Française, wrote a book on sightless vision.222

John Ruskin (1819-1900), influential art critic, member of the Society for Psychical Research.223

George William (AE) Russell (1867 –1935), writer, painter, activist, claimed he was clairvoyant.224

Sigfried Sassoon (1886-1967), WWI poet, member of The Ghost Club.225

Victorien Sardou (1831-1908), writer, best-known for the libretto to Tosca, experimented with automatic writing and drawing.226

Alvin Schwartz (1916-2011), fiction writer and essayist, discussed ostensible psi phenomena in his life.227

Upton Sinclair, Jr. (1878-1968), Pulitzer prizewinner, wrote a detailed account of psi experiments with his wife in his book Mental Radio.228

Olaf Stapledon (1886-1950), writer and philosopher, was interested in and recommended the scientific study of psi phenomena.229

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925), philosopher, theoretical founder of the Waldorf education, wrote about personal psi experiences.230

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), author of Treasure Island, member of the Society for Psychical Research, corresponded with FWH Myers.231

August Strindberg (1849-1912), writer, painter and playwright, discussed personal experiences that he interpreted as parapsychological in his writings.232

Andrei Tarkovsky (1932-1986), film and theatre director and writer, discussed ostensible psi phenomena as sources for his films.233

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland, member of the Society for Psychical Research.234

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007), author of Slaughterhouse Five, artist, described ostensible psi phenomena that occurred in his life.235

Politicians, Explorers, Others

Alexander Aksakov (1832-1893), Russian State Councilor, writer, researched, contributed to and edited publications on psi.236

Arthur Balfour (1848-1930), philosopher, British prime minister, president of the Society for Psychical Research.237

Gerald Balfour (1853-1945), scholar, Chief Secretary for Ireland, president of the Society for Psychical Research.238

Donald Campbell CBE (1921-1967), speed record breaker in land and water, member of the Ghost Club.239

Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding (1882-1970), commander of the RAF during the Battle of Britain, author of various books on survival and member of the Ghost Club.240

Winifred Coombe Tennant (1874-1956), suffragette, politician, representative at the League of Nations, practised as a medium.241

Alexandra David-Néel (1868-1969), explorer, writer, expert on Tibet, declared that psychic phenomena should be studied ‘just like any other science’.242

Willliam Gladstone (1809-1898), served as British prime minister four different terms, member of the Society for Psychical Research, commented  that psi research ‘is the most important work in the world’.243

Claiborne de Borda Pell (1918-2009), six-term US Senator, head of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee, supported psi research.244

William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950), longest serving prime minister of Canada, spiritualist.245

Loren McIntyre (1917-2003), photojournalist, discoverer of the source of the source of the Amazon River. He described communicating telepathically with the chief shaman of a Majoruna tribe.246

Dame Edith Lyttelton (1865-1948), British delegate to the League of Nations, author, president of the Society for Psychical Research, wrote on psi.247

Francisco I Madero (1873-1913), provided the intellectual basis to the Mexican revolution and became its first democratically elected president, practised automatic writing and mediumship.248

Erik Kule Palmstierna (1877-1959), Swedish politician and diplomat, wrote books based on chanelled material.249

Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904), explorer and journalist, wrote about psi phenomena in his autobiography.250

Etzel Cardeña

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