Pascal Forthuny.

On 2 December 1925, Pascal Forthuny enters the room and, without even looking at the audience, cries:

“I hear something like the noise of a big printing plant.  It’s all a rumbling of machines underground.  It’s two o’clock in the morning, there’s a strong smell of printing ink.  I see a gentleman coming out of an office, he descends into the building’s underground rooms to look at what is called the formes’ of a newspaper.  My thoughts are being taken toward the newspaper Le Matin where I used to be an editor.  I don’t think that there’s a Matin editor in the audience.  However, there is here a man who has an important function in a newspaper where he has to descend at two o’clock in the morning to see the formes’.”

He approaches a gentleman, unknown to everyone, who has come to the Institut de metapsychisme for the first time.  He takes his hand and continues:

“I am being given a big letter L…  There is fog, there is water…  there are boats…  the smell of colonial goods, of yellow, grey water.  Do you descend at two o’clock in the morning to see the formes’, Sir?  You are Belgian?  What is Lanoy?  You go on boats?  You light cigars from the Antilles or something, with captains of boats at a club?  You meet captains of boats at a club and there you are given a cigar?  Herick?…  Is that the captain’s name?…  You have lost a bet in a circle?  I see a big port, it is full of smoke and goods, it’s Anvers.  Are you are an editor at the Matin of Anvers, Sir?”

He is.

“And Lanoy?”

“There’s a letter missing.”

“Well, put it in.”

“My name is Landoy.”

Monsieur Landoy then explains that he is Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper Le Matin, at Anvers, and that he quite often meets, at the French circle in this town, a former ship owner with whom he usually plays billiards.  The prize for winning the game is always “a cigar”…

Another evening, Pascal Forthuny addresses a gentleman, whom he had never met, at the Institut.

“I see the letter D.”

The gentleman tells him that it is the initial of his name.

“I see music around you.”

The gentleman is a musician.

“I see something funny, even comical:  you’re climbing a straight staircase made of planks.  It’s dirty, dusty, everything’s dark.  The lights are out.  You’re very uneasy because there are no lights.  Then you arrive on a floor.  You’re afraid that you’ll bump into something.  You know the place well and the way that it’s set out, but you have some apprehension.  Something is different this day.  I’m being shown a cello bow that has fallen on the floor.  And I’m shown the cello in the corner, as if it has been abandoned.  You have the idea that it might be broken, and that bothers you.”

Monsieur D. reveals that he is a musician in a chapel and he explains:

“The staircase that you saw leads, in fact, to a dusty estrade where we play music.  It’s very dark and you risk breaking your neck.  You can bump into music stands and all sorts of things.  As for the cello abandoned in a corner, it’s an image that I can easily translate, for, on that day, this instrument was absent and I was personally very upset that it wasn’t there…”

***

Robert Tocquet, Professor at the "Ecole d'anthropologie" and Member of the "Comite directeur de l'Institut metapsychique international", wrote many works on parapsychology.

On 27 January 1926, Pascal Forthuny addresses a gentleman whom he didn’t know:

“You were in the war…  I see one of your companions who was not killed by enemy fire, but who was crushed under an artillery piece… “

The gentleman, very impressed, rises and explains that he had been to the war as a lieutenant in the reserve artillery and that one of his companions did effectively pass under a canon in the forest of Villers-Cotterets.

Then, before a very attentive public, a curious dialogue is engaged between Pascal Forthuny and the unknown man of whom it is learnt, after the seance, that his name is Monsieur Robert Tocquet and that he is a Professor at the College d’Avallon.

P. F. :  “I am being shown a lake with a swan and I hear:  Bert, Bertille, Berty…  I am given a W which marks a place.”

R. T. :  “That’s right.”

P. F. :  “Behind, there are slopes over which I see a sort of cupola…”

R. T. :  “Yes.”

P. F. :  ” …which is central in the town.  Ah!  What’s all this?  The swan is passing again, it’s in a theatre, I see.

R. T. :  “Yes, that’s right.”

P. F. :  “I am being given a big M.”

R. T. :  “Very good.”

P. F. :  “It’s curious, this story.  The letter M is in the central box.  It’s a man that I see like this.  (Here, P. F.  takes on a stiff, energetic stance.)  “Oh!  What a head!  I see the cupola again and, above it, a K which is the designation of the place of the cupola.”

R. T. :  “Very good, very good.”

P. F. :  “Now you’ve left, there are four of you, there, in a…  it’s not a promenade.  You haven’t paid?  You are told:  ‘Go on, that’s enough.’ “

R. T. :  “I wasn’t told:  ‘That’s enough’, I was told ‘Go on, it’s free.’ “

P. F. :  “Were they playing Lohengrin at the Wiesbaden Theatre?”

R. T. :  “Yes.  And the W, is Wilhelm’s box.”

P. F.  (putting himself back into the energetic stance) :  And isn’t this Mangin?”

R. T. :  “It was Mangin!… “

***

Afterwards, Robert Tocquet confirmed in detail the visions of Pascal Forthuny and explained certain obscure passages.  Here is the text of a letter that he wrote to Doctor Osty:

“I stayed about two weeks, as part of the occupation troops, in Wiesbaden, in 1920, in the company of a young German girl who familiarly called me Robert, but pronounced “Bert”, absolutely like Mr Forthuny did.  Not having immediately seized the meaning of Bert, Mr Forthuny must have relied on my expression, and wandered to Berty and Bertille…

“One day, two of my companions, this young girl and myself went to visit the Kurhaus of Wiesbaden (signification of K) a monument surmounted by a vast cupola and occupying the centre of the town.  To the North of Wiesbaden, there is the Taunus chain.

“I remember that on this same day, in a public garden near the Kurhaus, a musical audition was given by German artists.  Entry was paying for the civils and free for the military.  I think that I gave a few coins to the ticket controller – which could explain Mr Forthuny’s words:  ‘That’s enough’

“A few days later, still in the company of this young girl, I went to hear Lohengrin at the Wiesbaden Theatre.  This theatre is a few tens of metres from the Kurhaus.  General Mangin was in the imperial box, which is decorated with a big W, the initial of Wilhelm II.  It is the only opera that I heard in Wiesbaden.

“I don’t very well remember if a swan passed on the stage, it’s probable.  However, a few days after this performance, I saw in a garden of the Kurhaus a fireworks piece representing a swan.

“I wish to point out that there is a logical thread among the different images seen by Mr Forthuny.

“My stay in Germany was effectively only the prolonging of my life at the front since, immediately after the Armistice, I was part of the occupation troops.

“Further, when I mentally evoke the episodes of the war, I always associate them with the facts related to this stay which was terrible for me in sentimental events, that are strongly entrenched in my memory.

“At the moment when Mr Forthuny was describing the theatre episode, I was not conscious of the facts recalled by him afterwards, but these facts, or facts of the same order, would have automatically and necessarily reappeared in my consciousness.”

***

To be continued.

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