A True History and How-to Manual
by Preston Dennett
1. The Emergence of a Phenomenon……..……………………...
2. Levitations In Early History……………….....…......................
3. The Levitating Royal Family of Hungary……………….…….
4. The Saints Come Marching In……………………..……..........
5. The Devil Made Me Do it………………………………..…….
6. St. Teresa of Avila……………………..…………………..……
7. Medieval Flying Nuns and Monks………………......................
8. The Flying Friar of Europe……………………………..............
9. 17th Century Levitating Saints…………………..…….………..
10. The Miracle of Saint Liguori……………………….…………
11. Levitations in the East…………………………………………
12. Sorcerers and Shamans………………..……………………….
13. More Levitating Saints, Nuns and Monks……………………..
14. The World’s Greatest Levitator………………….....……...…..
15. The French Magnetizers…………………………………….....
16. The Rise of the Mediums…………………………….…….….
17. Eusapia Palladino and the Scientists……………………..……
18. Iceland’s Greatest Levitator…………………………………...
19. The Levitation Experiments of Baron Schrenk-Notzing…...…
20. Traveling Levitations………………………….…………...….
21. Crisis Levitations………………………………………...……
22. Sleeping Levitations………………………………………..…
23. Walking On Water……………………………..……………...
24. Modern Eastern Levitations……………………....………..…
25. The Indian Rope Trick…………………………………..……
26. Modern Ecstatic Levitation…………………….………..……
27. Modern Mediumistic Levitation……………..……………….
28. The Amazing Case of Ted Owens………………….…..……..
29. The Floating Stage (When Children Fly)………………….......
30. The Levitations of Rajalakshmi……………………………….
31. Levitations Today……………………………...………………
32. The Secret Behind Levitation..............................…...................
33. So You Want To Fly?............................................…..................
Do humans have the ability of physical levitation? Can people actually
fly through the air without mechanical devices of any kind? While
mainstream science has failed to provide proof, history says otherwise.
Hundreds of credible firsthand accounts of levitation are now on record
from many different cultures across the world, starting from ancient
history and continuing to the present day.
Levitation, when seriously considered, is often thought to be the
sole realm of saints, yogis and mediums. However, today many modern
accounts have surfaced involving housewives, businessmen, farmers,
young children and other seemingly normal people.
Levitation episodes have taken place consistently throughout
recorded history across the entire world and have been treated differently
by each culture. Some explained the accounts as a natural human talent.
Other cultures concluded that levitation is caused by spirits. Some
explained it as communion with God, others as possession by demons or
The history of the phenomenon itself is also fascinating. Probably
the earliest historical reference to levitation comes from Patanjali, an
Indian sage and author of the Yoga Sutras, the foundation of Yogic
practice. Patanjali lived about 2500 years ago, and wrote at that time
that levitation is one of the eight great psychic powers, or siddhis, which
come naturally to the yogi on the pathway towards enlightenment.
Early records of levitations were also kept by the Catholic Church.
Accounts of levitating saints reach as far back as the first century and
stretch to the late 1900s. Also, throughout the Middle Ages, the Catholic
Church alone kept records of levitations among people supposedly
possessed by the Devil or involved in witchcraft. At that time
hagiography, or religious biographies, was the dominant form of
literature, thereby numerous accounts of levitations were recorded for
John van Bolland (1596-1665) was the founder and first editor of
the massive Acta Sanctorum, an official and comprehensive
hagiographic collection on the lives of the saints. After his death, the
project was continued by a group of Jesuit scholars called the
Bollandists. The first volume was published in 1643, and contained
multiple accounts of levitating saints.
In 1746, Benedictine Abbot and religious scholar Augustin Calmet
published a series of scientific works on various paranormal subjects
including ghosts, life after death, premonitions and more. One of his
works, The Phantom World, contained a section about the levitation of
saints, and is probably the earliest treatment of the subject.
In 1756-59, religious scholar Reverend Alban Butler published his
massive multi-volume study, Lives of the Saints, detailing the
biographies of hundreds of saints, many of whom were reported
The first in-depth study and analysis of levitation was made in
1842 by J. J. von Goerres, an expert on Catholic mysticism. Goerres
collected and published a list of seventy-two cases of levitating saints in
his book, Die Mystique.
Within a few years of this, the phenomenon of Spiritualism spread
across the world like wildfire, and prominent scientists including Sir
William Crookes and Charles Richet began to methodically study
accounts of levitations, even conducting controlled laboratory
experiments. In January 1875, Crookes compiled and published a list of
forty levitating saints in the Quarterly Journal of Science.
Also in 1875, the term “levitation” first appeared in the Oxford
dictionary. Other terms used include rapture, elevation, ascension,
suspension, transvection and ecstatic flight.
In 1894, French author Dr. A. Imbert-Gourbeyre, listed several
more accounts in his book, La Stigimatisation, which was probably the
most complete study of levitating saints to date.
Then the prominent French psychical investigator, Lt. Col. Eugene
de Rochas (1837-1914) published a series of articles, Receuil de
Documents Relatif a la Levitation due Corps Humaine, [A Collection of
Documents Relating to the Levitation of the Human Body]. In 1897, he
organized the articles into, La Levitation, which became the seminal
book on levitation, including for the first time, accounts from a variety
of cultures. Rochas was forced to resign his position as Administrator of
L’Ecole Polytechnique as a result of his interest in and research into the
In 1919, English author F. Fielding-Ould wrote a comparative
analysis of several accounts of levitating saints in his volume titled, The
Wonders of the Saints.
The first truly comprehensive treatment of levitation came in 1928
with Olivier Leroy’s landmark book, La Levitation, which followed up
Rochas’ research, listing two hundred cases of levitating saints, and a
few involving yogis and mediums. Leroy’s book sold well and was
translated into several different languages, effectively popularizing the
subject and fixing it permanently into the public consciousness.
The next study of the subject came in 1947 when Eric J. Dingwall
published his book, Some Human Oddities, which contained a few
chapters on levitation with a strong focus on the flights of St. Joseph of
Cupertino, a 16th century Italian friar.
Then in 1952, Father Herbert Thurston published The Physical
Phenomenon of Mysticism presenting twenty additional cases of
levitating saints, following up a few articles that he had published more
than thirty years previously.
In 1966, leading English paranormal researcher Nandor Fodor
published an extensive study of the subject in his massive volume,
Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science. By this time, other prominent
researchers jumped on the bandwagon including D. Scott Rogo, Colin
Wilson, Lynn Picknett and others, each of whom conducted significant
investigations of levitation accounts.
In 1980, Steve Richards published his small book, Levitation,
which is one of the first modern treatments of the subject. Richards’
book presents several historical and a few current accounts, and puts into
understandable form some of the Yogic methods to achieve levitation.
In 1990, authors Rodney Charles and Ann Jordan conducted an
extensive survey of world literature and uncovered numerous mythical
and historical levitation accounts from various cultures across the world,
the results of which are told in their book, Lighter Than Air.
Finally, in 1998, an anonymous researcher published a short, yet
informative book titled Invisibility and Levitation, using the pseudonym
My own introduction to the subject of levitation began in 1985,
after reading a brief paragraph about Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint
Joseph of Cupertino. Both were saints born in the 1500s. Both were
reportedly seen by multiple witnesses on numerous occasions to levitate
during religious trances.
At first I assumed these were isolated cases. Furthermore, they
seemed very unbelievable. If levitation were actually true, I thought,
then there should be modern accounts. Obviously levitation wasn’t
possible, I reasoned, because science would have revealed this fact by
My interest in levitation took flight in 1990 when a good friend
revealed that she had experienced a spontaneous levitation event as a
child. This is a new twist, I thought. While I had never really taken
levitation seriously, I thought that if by some small chance it were
possible, then only a highly advanced spiritual being could attain such
an incredible feat. But here was someone I had known for years telling
me that she had actually levitated. I was certain she wasn’t lying or
misperceiving. The only other logical explanation was that she wasn’t
lying, that she had actually levitated. For the first time, I began to take
those accounts seriously. Was levitation truly possible?
So I started doing research. To my surprise, I found there was
almost no current information on the subject. The number of full-length
works on the subject could be counted on one hand, and all proved very
difficult to locate. More importantly, none were truly comprehensive.
The last major study was conducted nearly 80 years ago!
I did find several original accounts scattered throughout books and
magazine articles, but these precious, rare nuggets came few and far
between. Firsthand accounts of levitation, I discovered, were
exceedingly hard to find. This was especially true of modern-day
accounts, which of course, carry the most evidential weight.
So I began to ask everyone I know, “What do you think of
levitation? Have you ever flown?” Most people looked at me like I
was crazy. I quickly realized that people are much more inclined to
believe in UFOs, ghosts, psychic powers or life-after-death than
But I kept searching and persistence paid off. I was eventually
able to locate several people who claimed to have experienced levitation
episodes. These were neither Buddhist monks nor enlightened masters,
but normal people who were themselves bewildered by their
It soon became obvious that levitation did not belong only to the
realm of the spiritually enlightened. If so many different types of people
experienced levitation, then it should be possible for anyone to do it.
After more than ten years of investigation and research, I had
collected hundreds of accounts of levitation. Now I was faced with the
opposite problem – too many accounts! While levitation accounts were
rare, they weren’t that rare. In fact, after reviewing all the available
evidence on the subject, one soon realizes that there is an embarrassingly
large amount of evidence supporting the validity of levitation.
Embarrassing because levitation should have long ago been accepted by
mainstream science. The evidence is, in the truest sense, overwhelming.
This book is an attempt to compile a comprehensive history and
chronology of levitation events, to determine if levitation is real, what it
is, to study the mechanics of how levitation takes place, who experiences
it and why, and finally to present any possible methods to initiate
levitation. I am confident that this is the largest collection of levitation
reports ever assembled and the most complete analysis of the
phenomenon. Nearly 300 cases are presented. They are organized both
chronologically and topically.
Is levitation real? As you will read, it certainly seems to be real.
Definitely the levitators and witnesses to the levitations claim that it is.
At first I assumed there was little evidence other than anecdotal
stories. I later learned that there are far many more witnesses than I first
imagined. Furthermore, many of the witnesses are extremely credible. I
learned that levitation events have been performed in front of eminent
scientists (including Nobel prize winners) under controlled laboratory
conditions. And finally, I was surprised to find cases of levitations that
have been repeatedly photographed and even filmed. Obviously,
something is happening here, but actual levitation?
The scientists and researchers who have taken the time to study the
phenomenon have usually come away convinced. A surprisingly large
number of researchers have gone on record in support of levitation.
Leading modern researcher Steve Richards writes, “Does man
fly?...the evidence is that he probably does.”
Way back in the 17th century, Zacchias, the physician for Pope
Innocent 10th, wrote, “It is possible to admit the suspension of the body
in space, under the action of an invisible force, not being contrary to the
laws of nature.”
Medieval religious scholar Augustin Calmet writes, “We have in
history several instances of persons full of religion and piety, who, in the
fervour of their orisons, have been taken up into the air, and remained
there for some time….We cannot reasonably dispute the truth of these
ecstatic trances and elevations of the body of some saints, to a certain
distance from the ground, since these circumstances are supported by so
Colonel Rochas writes, “The phenomenon of the rising of the
human body, or levitation to use today’s term, appears to be one of the
most extraordinary psychic forces that our generation has tried to define.
Meanwhile, the reality of it has been demonstrated by a number of
Olivier Leroy writes, “Following a quasi-general tradition, ancient
and uninterrupted, the human body has been capable, with certain
individuals, at certain moments, of raising itself up into the air, and
sometimes to travel there, without visible support, without controllable
action from any physical force. Today, we call this phenomenon
Pioneering levitation researcher Father Herbert Thurston writes, “I
have taken note of the names of something over two hundred persons
alleged to have been physically lifted free from the ground in ecstasy. In
about one third of these cases there seems to be evidence which, if not
conclusive, is to say the least respectable…If only the facts are attested
by witnesses for whose good faith we can answer there seems no
possible ground for resisting the conclusion that the most universal and
familiar of all the physical laws which govern our material existence in
this world has over and over again been suspended by some agency
external to the person affected and wholly spiritual in its nature.”
Mircea Eliade, a leading authority of shamanism, reveals a crosscultural
belief in levitation. “Levitation characterizes Siberian
shamanism [and] is found elsewhere [and] can be regarded as a typical
feature of shamanic techniques in general….Shamans and medicine
men, to say nothing of mystics, are able to fly like birds and perch on the
branches of trees. Siberian, Eskimo and North American shamans
fly…All over the world, indeed, shamans and sorcerers are credited with
the power to fly, to cover immense distances in a twinkling, and to
become invisible….In this connection, we may remember that the
levitation of saints and magicians is also attested in both the Christian
and Islamic traditions. Roman Catholic hagiography has gone so far as
to record a large number of ‘levitations’ and even of
‘flights’…Ascension and magical flight have a leading place among the
popular beliefs and mystical techniques of India. Rising into the air,
flying like a bird, traveling immense distances in a flash, disappearing –
these are some of the magical powers that Buddhism and Hinduism
attribute to arahats, kings and magicians. There are numerous legends of
flying kings and magicians.”
Patricia Treece, an authority on modern mysticism, writes, “Can a
human being anywhere actually defy gravity to rise, unsupported, from a
few inches to much higher? Even at the outer limits of physiology, can
this be considered within human potential? To answer that, let me say
for starters there are a goodly number of nineteenth and twentieth
century testimonies…A phenomenon that has been with us for centuries,
entire groups, at times, have left depositions that someone
levitated….Tibetans, Hindus, Moslems, Spiritualists and Transcendental
Meditators join Orthodox and Catholic Christians in claiming levitators.
A universal myth? I prefer to take this universality as suggesting this
mystical phenomenon is not a myth but exists at the outer limits of
human psychophysical potential.”
Writes researcher Lynn Picknett, “Throughout recorded history
there have been incidents that prove levitation to be possible, rare
perhaps, but nevertheless well-attested...”
Modern levitation researchers Charles and Jordan agree. “For
countless people throughout history, flying was not merely a dream but
an empirical reality, and many of their flights have been carefully
Researcher Brian Inglis states simply, “The historical evidence is
Authority on witchcraft, Montague Summers writes, “It is
significant that the belief in the nocturnal transport of sorcerers is
practically universal and exists among savage races as strongly as
amongst civilized people….In hagiography, this is a recognized and not
unfrequent occurrence, and very many instances are noted by the
Bollandistes in their immense work on the lives of the saints. It is not
too much to say that some hundred such cases [of levitation] have been
Controversial author and Tibetan mystic T. Lobsang Rampa writes,
“Levitation is a very real thing indeed, it is not something out of science
fantasy or science fiction or whatever you want to call it; it is not the
pipe-dream of a person who has had too much alcohol!”
Author Richard Hatcher Childress writes, “People have been
personally defying gravity for thousands of years. Incidents of levitation
have been recorded in many ancient Hindu, Babylonian, Chinese and
Egyptian texts....Other incidents of levitation, starting in the middle
ages, are fairly numerous....Today, levitation still makes the news.”
Leading paranormal researcher Nandor Fodor writes, “The
phenomenon was known from ancient days. Instances of levitation are
recorded both in the Old and New Testament, while in the walking of
Jesus on the water, a feat duplicated by many of the saints, we find a
plain illustration. The power is claimed today by wizards of many
savage tribes, by mystics in the East, and it has been repeatedly
demonstrated, in less sensational degrees, by many modern mediums.
These furnished the first proof acceptable to science that the miracles of
rising in the air, recorded in the life of saints, ecstatic, ‘witches’ and
victims of ‘demoniac’ possession rest on a solid basis of fact.”
The late well-known author and researcher D. Scott Rogo writes,
“Stories about human levitation are not rare. It can purportedly be
produced by the shamans of Asia, and also occurs during cases of
'demonic’ possession. It is perhaps the most commonly mentioned
miracle in yogic and Tibetan Buddhist literature and in the lore of the
Roman Catholic saints.”
Michael Murphy, writes in The Future of the Body: “Levitation of
the human body has a long history in Christian lore and has been said to
occur among adepts of other religions…belief in the phenomenon has
persisted for at least two millennia in the shamanic and religious
traditions….There exist, it seems to me, enough compelling anecdotes
about the phenomenon to warrant our considering it as a human
Paranormal investigators Bob Rickard and John Michell write,
“There is no doubt in our minds that the phenomenon of human flight
does, on occasion, take place....Clearly there is some natural force,
unknown to our present science, by which people can achieve
levitation....this force has been recognized, studied and made use of.”18
Modern paranormal researcher Tim Beckley is also persuaded that
levitation is a reality. “There are those, I’m convinced, who are not
bound by earthly laws that most mortals have made for themselves.
These adepts and avatars, if you want to call them that, have learned to
do things which most of us can only dream of. They can make
themselves invisible. They can leave the ground and travel in the air by
levitating their physical form.”
Anonymous researcher, Commander X writes, “Stories about
human levitation are not rare….Reported instances of levitation can be
found in many ancient texts as well as modern literature on the
paranormal. The power of levitation is not exclusive to Saints and other
holy people. The power could be dormant in all of us, needing only the
proper catalyst to set it in motion.”
World-famous psychic Sylvia Browne writes, “One of the most
interesting facets of levitation is the diverse cross-section of belief
systems in which the phenomenon has been recorded. Mediums,
shamans and mystics have reported levitations for thousands of years,
but then so have Hindus, Buddhists, yogis, Brahmans, Japanese Ninjas,
Indian fakirs, Catholic saints, Christians and followers of Islam.”
Finally, author Cassandra Eason uncovered a few modern reports
of levitating children. As she writes, “The trouble with children is often
that they do not know their limitations....Many children have broken
bones to show for their early attempts at flying before they learned the
rules. But some can remember breaking those rules and getting away
What exactly is levitation? Simply defined, it is human flight
without the aid of any physical device. Several inferior types of
levitation include “finger levitations”, the so-called “Indian Rope trick”
and “stick levitation.” Many credible UFO witnesses also report being
levitated by a beam of light from a UFO. There are also many forms of
stage or street levitations. These levitations are done using various
optical tricks including mirrors, wires or other devices. Balducci, a 19th
century Italian magician, was one of the first stage levitators; he
invented a simple technique whereby anyone can appear to levitate a few
inches off the ground. If performed correctly, it can be very convincing.
I have personally fooled a number of people using this method.
True human levitation, however, is done with the body and mind
alone, and that is what we are primarily concerned with here.
How does levitation work? A close analysis of the evidence
reveals underlying patterns that are present in virtually every case. The
accounts are remarkably consistent and the experience seems to be the
result of a specific set of circumstances. In other words, levitation is no
accident. While there are processes at work that have yet to be
identified, there has been some progress made. By closely analyzing the
recorded cases, I believe that some of the secrets behind the mechanics
of levitation can be revealed.
Can levitation be initiated? The answer is a resounding, yes! In
fact, different cultures each have their own unique approach to the
attainment of levitation. As we shall see, there are many different
methods you can use to initiate your own levitation experience.
After studying all the accounts, it becomes clear that levitation can
be broken down into seven main categories:
ONE: Ecstatic Levitation. Most commonly experienced by Saints or
the very religious, this type of levitation involves the witness
experiencing a state of divine union with God. The episodes usually
(but not always) occur after years of prayer and devotion and may be
provoked by exposure to religious paraphernalia, Nature, music, or
during prayer, at which point the witness falls into an ecstatic trance.
The body may become rigid as it is slowly lifted up into the air where it
remains suspended for the duration of the trance, which can last from
minutes to hours. In some cases, visible light is emitted from the body.
These states are usually involuntary, unexpected and uncontrollable.
They are said to be caused by the grace of God.
TWO: Meditative Levitation. Most commonly experienced by yogis,
ascetics, shamans, mystics, sorcerers…this is differentiated from ecstatic
levitation in that it is an apparently fostered talent, one that is
intentionally cultivated, controlled and developed through specific
techniques involving breath-control, meditation, fasting, chastity,
mantras or other methods. It is presumably internally generated by the
power of the human organism and is controllable. Otherwise, it seems
closely related or nearly identical to ecstatic levitation.
THREE: Crisis Levitation. This type of levitation is reported by all
kinds of people regardless of culture, age, race, sex, religion or level of
spiritual development. It occurs during a time of emergency or trauma,
usually falls or in some cases illness, saving the witness from injury or
death. The episodes are typically of brief duration and are not
controlled. They are usually attributed by the witnesses to guardian
spirits or angels.
FOUR: Mediumistic Levitation. This occurs to all people, but most
often to so-called psychic mediums. The episodes are usually brief,
lasting a few seconds to a few minutes. Like meditative levitation,
mediumistic levitation is controllable, though this is not always the case.
However, it is differentiated from meditative levitation in that it appears
to be generated by an outside force, usually postulated as spirits or
ghosts, or sometimes God or the Devil, as opposed to being internally
generated. It also differs from meditative levitation in that it occurs with
little or no spiritual training from the witness.
FIVE: Spontaneous Levitation. This category involves those levitations
that seem to have no obvious trigger. Occurring most often to young
children, it can happen at any time. It usually lasts only moments and
there is little control over the events, but they may return briefly, on and
off, for a period of months. They seem to occur more commonly to
people who have strong spiritual inclinations.
SIX: Sleeping Levitation. This rare form of levitation occurs only when
the percipient is asleep. It is reported by all kinds of people and can last
for seconds, minutes or longer. The levitator remains in a horizontal
floating position. Sometimes the levitator may awaken. Other times,
the levitation is witnessed by others.
SEVEN: Traveling Levitation. Also called running levitation or
supernatural agility, this form of levitation involves rising not so much
upwards as forwards. It is reported in many different cultures. It is
controllable and allows the person to travel long distances. While in this
state, the runner touches the ground but only barely, and with long
leaping bounds, allowing travel at extremely high speeds. In other
cases, the levitator doesn’t touch the ground at all, but may fly for
distances of up to a mile or more. Otherwise, it is likely closely related
to meditative and ecstatic levitation.
These seven types of levitation have occurred in virtually every
culture in the world. Levitation is a mystery, but it is one that is worth
exploring, don’t you think? To be able to fly, wouldn’t that be exciting?
As we shall see, many people claim to have levitated. Many more claim
to have witnessed it. Do you think you could do it? Are you willing to
The Floating Stage
(When Children Fly)
Excerpted From “Human Levitation”
The vast majority of levitations occur to people who are spiritually
inclined-- a saint, priest, nun, friar, shaman, psychic, magician, sorcerer,
medium…the list goes on. However, one small subcategory of
levitations involves a unique group of people – young children. In case
after case, children ranging in age from about six to thirteen
spontaneously levitate. In fact, the cases are so consistent, that it’s
almost as if there is a developmental stage in which levitation is
facilitated. Perhaps it’s because pre-pubescent children have a superabundance
of psychic and emotional energy. In that way, it may be
related to poltergeist-type activity. Or perhaps it’s because children have
not yet placed limits on their abilities or been spoiled by society’s
prejudices that people cannot fly. In any case, the floating stage appears
to be a very real phenomenon.
The following case was personally investigated by the author, and
involves a lady by the name of Mary Frank. Today, Mary works as a
producer for a northern California radio station. I can personally vouch
for her integrity and have known her for more than thirty years. She
rarely revealed her experience with levitation as it occurred only once,
and she had learned that many people were skeptical. However, because
of my interest in the paranormal, and because I asked, she agreed to
share her account.
Back in 1951 at age eight, she had an experience she will never
forget. It is a perfect example of a spontaneous levitation. As she says,
“My parents were taking me to the doctor. And the doctor’s office was
in a fairly large office building, an older building in Chicago. We got off
the floor at the doctor’s office. It was a square-shaped building, and to
get to the office that I had to go to, I had to walk three-fourths of a
square all the way around to the other side.
“I ran ahead of my parents, and I had a sensation of light changing
in the corridor. It wasn’t a bright light, but it was more like a glowing
feeling. I felt like the faster I ran, this glowing feeling around me -- not
in myself but in the exterior around me -- intensified. And I felt my legs
no longer touching the ground, but I felt that I could fly. And I looked
down and I was flying. And I would say it was -- I didn’t go very high
because I was inside, but I was at least three feet off the ground. And it
lasted for however long it took me to go around the corner, probably
about thirty seconds...[I flew] around the corner inside the
building...Nobody was there. See, I was ahead of my family. I was
going fairly fast, but not like a car. It was more like a floaty -- it wasn’t
probably too much faster than a real fast run, except I wasn’t running
anymore...I remember the sensation of flying, and I felt elevated
obviously. I was steady as a bird. I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my God!
I’m flying!’ In other words, recognition came right away...I remember
being very, very astounded by it, totally astounded by it...It was amazing
but not scary because I felt very safe. I was amazed! It was neat. I
wasn’t thinking anything but how neat it was. You know, I was a kid,
and at that age, anything seems possible, sort of, ‘Wow, I learned to fly.’
“When I came to my feet, I had the sensation of being placed down
as opposed to falling or all of the sudden not flying. I felt almost placed
back down on the ground. That’s what I remember. I remember running
back to my mom and dad and telling them, saying, ‘You won’t believe
what just happened to me. I just flew around the corner!’ When I tried
to, of course, tell them about it, they said, ‘Yeah, sure, sure, sure.’
“But no one could ever talk me out of the fact that I had flown,
because I felt I had.”
Mary has no idea why she flew or the cause. In fact, even as the
event was in progress she tried to figure out what was happening. Her
first thought was that somebody must have come up behind her. But
when she turned around, nobody was there. Still, today she speculates
that something or someone was there. As she says, “I felt definitely in
somebody’s company, because I had the feeling of looking around to see
who was with me, and not being able to see anything, but feeling, as I
said, a kind of glowing atmosphere.”
Shortly following the incident, and many times afterwards, Mary
tried to duplicate the event and levitate again. Unfortunately, she was
unsuccessful. As she says simply, “It never worked!”417
Another modern account of levitation for which I can personally
vouch comes from another friend, Kelly Marley (pseudonym) from
southern California. She is employed as an author, and has completed
several children’s books. When she heard of my interest in levitation,
she revealed that she had experienced levitation not once or twice, but
numerous times. All of the incidents occurred in the early 1950s and
were confined to her childhood for a period of two years, between ages
six to eight.
Says Kelly, “We lived in a house on the second floor. We rented
the second floor of a duplex and in order to get upstairs to our house,
there was a long flight of stairs, and then a turn with a short flight of
stairs. And I can remember as a child just going up and down those
stairs from time to time without running up and down. I would just
levitate. I got up the stairs.
“The first time I didn’t know how I did it. But I knew I started out
at the top. The first time I did it I went from the top and I went down to
the bottom. I went around the corner and down. It must have been
about a dozen steps and it just went really fast...my experience was that I
was very close to the ceiling. It was the same way I was standing, but
maybe tilted a little bit…I started off at the top and the next thing I knew
I was through the air and at the bottom. I was so utterly confused that I
just sat at bottom for a long time. I couldn’t understand what had been
Kelly reports that her landing was “soft, very gentle and on my
At first, she assumed that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event.
However, only a few weeks later it happened again, but this time she
was going the other direction. “And I remember once going up that way.
I called it flying. I don’t remember flapping my arms or anything like
that. But I do remember that I didn’t use any kind of energy at all. I was
transported back and forth. It was very confusing to me.”
Kelly was unable to control her flights, and they only occurred on
the one staircase, usually when she was descending. After the levitations
had occurred repeatedly, at least a half-dozen times, she decided that she
had better tell somebody. She first revealed her secret to her teen-age
cousin, telling him matter-of-factly, “I can fly up and down the stairs.”
He replied, “Show me!”
Kelly replied, “Can’t you do it too?”
That’s the first time Kelly actually realized just how unusual it
was. As she says, “I thought everybody could do it.”
Kelly became even more confused when she tried to duplicate the
experience for her cousin. To her disappointment, she was unable to do
so. As she says, “I couldn’t do it for him, and it was very frustrating. I
couldn’t show him. It wouldn’t happen.”
To her relief, however, her cousin believed her. He could see that
she was genuinely confused and sincere. Kelly then decided to tell her
mother. It became her first lesson in skepticism. Says Kelly, “I can’t
talk to many people about it, because people think I’m weird. That’s
what happened. When I flew, I remember telling my mom who told me
I was crazy and I better be careful whom I told that to. And soon after
that I stopped flying...I was too frightened and I stopped doing it. I was
so afraid that I was doing something bad...nobody wanted to talk too
much about it. They just thought that I was fantasizing and imagining,
and there she is telling stories. They didn’t understand that they were
true...It was very distressing.”
Kelly’s story, however, does not end there. As a child, she had
what she called a secret way of running which allowed her to run faster
than anybody around, including boys who were much older than she. As
she says, “I remember when I was a young girl, I could run really very
fast. And that was the closest I ever got to the experience I had on the
stairs. I could outrun all the boys three blocks around, fast. I could run
really fast. And sometimes I would be afraid that I’d trip on the
sidewalk, but there was a way that I could run that I wasn’t that close to
the ground. But everybody else who saw me -- it looked like I was
running on the ground. But I knew I wasn’t. You know how sidewalks
bump up and down, that sort of thing.”
Kelly’s description sounds amazingly similar to the Native
American’s method of “supernatural running” or the Tibetan lung-gom.
Interestingly, Kelly reports a variety of other psychic experiences,
including premonitions and memories of a past-life as a Native
American.418 Another similar account occurred in the mid-1900s
(exact date not given) to a young girl from Churchill, Oxford in
England. Felicity X. was six years old when her parents divorced. As a
result of the disharmony in the family, Felicity soon experienced
“tension” which gave her the ability to levitate. Interestingly, these are
the same conditions that in some cases foster poltergeist activity. In this
case it manifested as levitations.
Felicity explains, “When I was very young, I used to stand at the
top of the winding stairs and fly down. I used to count every step --
there were thirty. It happened in the evenings when I had been sent to
bed. I was afraid of something upstairs and felt I had to get to the
bottom. But I also had a tremendous feeling of power. I used to jump
off the top step and land on my feet. The staircase was old and winding
with a thick rope instead of a banister. I somehow got round the corner
and touched the rope at one point in the middle. I never told anyone I
was terrified at the top of the stairs. I knew it was going to happen as it
happened most evenings...All this went on for years and finally ended
when I was six when my parents divorced and I moved with my mother
to a modern house.”
There are many accounts of children who have flown. A
remarkably similar account comes from a man known only as
“Spencer,” today a television anchorman turned entertainer. Spencer
reports that there was a short period during his early childhood when he
also was able to fly. He called it “the floating stage.”
Not surprisingly, Spencer reports that his many flights took place
exclusively on one particular staircase, usually when he was running.
Says Spencer, “I’d hit the landing and I swear to you that I’d float up
over that landing. Sometimes I thought I’d hit the ceiling. But then
somehow I’d end up down at the bottom of the stairs without ever
having walked down them. At a certain point in my life, it happened a
lot. I didn’t make anything of it. I just thought I was at, you know, the
floating stage. I didn’t know. I was a kid. I thought everybody floated.”
A final twist to this particular case is that Spencer is a UFO
abductee. UFO researcher, Budd Hopkins, who uncovered this case
theorizes that Spencer’s flights may have been the result of UFO
experiences, and that instead of flying, he was levitated up a beam of
light from a UFO. However, the fact that Spencer’s flights were so
numerous and so closely match other accounts of non-abductees, opens
the possibility that Spencer really did fly, and that there actually is a
“floating stage” during which young children have access to this
normally latent ability of levitation.
Hopkins recounts another case involving the brother of an
abductee. Peter X. who reports that he often flew as a young child, not
only at his home, but at his friend’s home. Says Peter, “I was doing it in
my bedroom, and I was doing it at Eric Avallar’s house. I’m flying
around his room. That’s right. I remember that, in the bedroom. I can
even tell you what it feels like…I honestly do remember floating around
in our bedroom and also over at Eric Avallar’s house, floating around
their house. It was a kick. I know what it feels like to be flying around.
I’d be way up there too. I’d be almost at the ceiling. But I don’t think I
was steering or in control.”
Again, Hopkins theorizes that these are likely half-remembered
UFO abduction experiences. And in fact, there is at least one other
similar case involving a French doctor who experienced two
spontaneous levitations following his own abduction experience.420
While explanations for the spontaneous levitation of children range
from UFOs and ghosts, to a natural human ability, the cases speak for
themselves. Clearly something unusual is happening here.