FALLING INTO THE FOURTH DIMENSION
We have reached a point at which the problem of human transportation no longer is a matter of
calm contemplation of legend and folklore, but a violent assault against logical and scientific
thinking. The claims to these mysterious happenings do not die as we reach the experimental
age, but rather multiply and unfold more fully attested. Moreover, for the source of the power
which accomplishes transportation, we have seen the spirits of the dead brought in by
Whether one approves of Spiritualism as a religion, psychic science or psychotherapy, the new
approach has had the tremendous advantage of making transportation a near laboratory
phenomenon. We find it recurring under generally the same conditions with the same dramatis
personae in the presence of increasingly more numerous witnesses. But we also find, perhaps as
a psychological check to a state of affairs gravely disturbing orthodox thinking, the theory
the actors in the transportation drama disappear via the fourth dimension in much the same way
that a hypothetical two-dimensional object (possessing length and breadth only) would
transcend the boundaries of a circle by being lifted up into the third dimension (of height) and
deposited again on the two-dimensional plane outside the circle. On the two-dimensional level of
existence, the object would vanish and reappear mysteriously at another point in space.
This hyper-space theory does not bar an extraneous agency, to which the fourth dimension
might be a sporting ground or native habitat, but it eliminates thinking of divine intervention,
of a magical act or of the agency of the Devil or Poltergeist. On the basis of this -theory,
transportation might be due to a knack of fourthdimensional functioning, haphazard,
unconscious or willed, or it might be accidental due to a warp or fault in space (an idea which
we meet frequently in science' -fiction). If persons do fall through a hole in space, we would
have the advantage of being able to explain what happens to those who do not return. They may
fail to find the entrance point, like a man who falls into a frozen river through a hole and is
carried away by his own momentum or by the current underneath the sheet of ice.
A remarkable case in which exactly this appears to have happened is related by Stuart Palmer*:
In the afternoon of September 23, 1880, David Lang, a farmer living near Gallatin, Tenn.,
spoke to his wife on the porch of their home and then walked away across a 40-acre field. He
was fully visible to his wife and to his two young children-, who were playing near the porch.
Meanwhile, August Peck, a Gallatin lawyer, and his brother-in-law were driving up in a horse-
drawn buggy along the road in front of the house. Peck, who had come
*"How Lost Was My Father," FATE Magazine, July, 1953.
to see Lang on business, noticed him crossing the field while still a quarter of a mile away
drew air into his lungs to call out.
Lang was in the in middle of the field, the grass of which had been cropped short by horses.
There were no obstructing stones or trees. He was in full view of three pairs of adult eyes. At
that precise moment he disappeared with an abruptness that made Peck think the ground had
caved in under him.
The surface of the field, however, was unbroken. Peck, his brother-in-law and Lang's
hysterical wife searched every inch of it. They found nothing to show where or how Lang had
disappeared. Later that day neighbors also searched without result. For weeks afterward the
field was crowded with the well-meaning and the curious, but no trace of Lang was found. A
county surveyor said there was no possibility of a cave-in as limestone bedrock lay a few feet
under the soil of the field.