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The Strange Story Of The Human Levitators

Excerpt from How Antigravity Built the Pyramids

One of the most fascinating aspects of this overall story is that it doesn’t just revolve around gigantic stones that were said to have been subjected to levitation across the centuries. Reportedly, numerous people have claimed the power of levitation, too. While startled, more than a few onlookers watched on, no less. Certainly, the most famous—or, rather, infamous—of all the levitators was an extremely controversial man named Daniel Dunglas “D.D.” Home. The PSI Encyclopedia states of Home that he was “born in Edinburgh [Scotland], in March 1833. . . . Psychic experiences were not unprecedented in Daniel’s family. His mother was frequently subject to clairvoyant (often precognitive) visions, and Daniel himself was apparently somewhat precocious in this respect. One vision, for example, announced the death of his mother and the hour at which she would die.”1

When People Took to the Skies—Allegedly

While Home was at the height of his paranormal activity, he engaged in numerous séances. He dug deep into the world of the occult, the supernatural, and the paranormal, and even sought to contact the dead; that’s quite a body of work to get one’s grips into. There was much more than that, though: Home demonstrated, to anyone willing to see, that he could grip hot coals, without any harm to his hands. Musical instruments would play in his presence and to groups of amazed onlookers. The most incredible part of all this was that Home could levitate himself. Or, rather, that was the big claim that he made.

Of course, and as most people have loudly suggested, the most likely scenario for all of this was that Home was nothing but a highly skilled hoaxer, and also someone who was very good at making people see what he wanted them to see. Indeed, there is no doubt that the 19th century Victorian era was certainly notorious for such suspect, paranormal chicanery. Yet, there are reasons why we should, perhaps, take a much closer look at Home’s life and his claimed astounding abilities. They parallel some of the abilities that the ancient Levitators were able to achieve. For that very reason alone, we should take a good look at Home and his very strange, and alternative, “career.”

Home was also said to have been able to levitate nothing less than heavy pianos to the ceilings of rooms and to have had the strange skill of causing objects to lose their weight, which is also particularly intriguing. The exact opposite, too: that he could make small objects incredibly heavy. Home could affect the ground, too, to the extent that he could briefly provoke small earthquakes. Startling? Yes. Controversial? Undeniably. Let’s see what else we can learn from this man who had—we are told, at least—cracked the secrets of antigravity. Or, who fooled huge numbers of gullible people.

“On Three Separate Occasions Have I Seen Him Raised Completely from the Floor”

One of those who had the chance to see Home “in action” was Sir William Crookes. He was both a chemist and a physicist, and a member of the Fellowship of the Royal Society (F.R.S.), based in London, England. Crookes said, after having seen Home’s amazing activities:

This has occurred in my presence on four occasions in darkness;

but I will only mention cases in which deductions of reason were

confirmed by the sense of sight. On one occasion I witnessed a chair,

with a lady sitting on it, rise several inches from the ground. On

another occasion the lady knelt on the chair in such manner that the

four feet were visible to us. It then rose about three inches, remained

suspended for about ten seconds, and then slowly descended.2

Crookes had far more to reveal, too, and more fans to entertain: “The most striking case of levitation which I have witnessed has been with Mr. Home. On three separate occasions have I seen him raised completely from the floor of the room. On each occasion I had full opportunity of watching the occurrence as it was taking place. There are at least a hundred

recorded instances of Mr. Home’s rising from the ground.”3 Crookes said in the pages of The Quarterly Journal of Science (January 1874), “[T]here are least a hundred recorded instances of Mr. Home’s rising from the ground.” Crookes added: “On three separate occasions I have seen him raised completely from the floor of the room.”4 For Crookes, it was all amazing and undeniably incredible. And, undeniably, that was the response that Home was looking for, whether he was a hoaxer or the real thing.

“I Was Simply Levitated and Lowered to My Old Place”

Now, we have the testimony of Lord Lindsay. He, too, was someone who found himself utterly captivated by Home. Lindsay wrote these words of his time spent with Home:

I was sitting with Mr. Home and Lord Adare and a cousin of

his. During the sitting Mr. Home went into a trance, and in that

state was carried out of the window in the room next to where we

were, and was brought in at our window. The distance between

the windows was about seven feet six inches, and there was not the

slightest foothold between them, nor was there more than a twelve inch

projection to each window, which served as a ledge to put flowers

on. We heard the window in the next room lifted up, and almost

immediately after we saw Home floating in air outside our window.5

Others went on to confirm such similar situations, too. One was a man named William Stainton Moses. He was born in 1839 and became a priest of the Church of England. His books included Spirit Teachings, Spirit Identity and Higher Aspects of Spiritualism. Moses graphically recalled his encounter with Home, which took place in August 1872: “I was carried up when I became stationary. I made a mark [with a lead pencil] on the wall opposite to my chest. From the position of the mark on the wall it is clear that my head must have been close to the ceiling. I was simply levitated and lowered to my old place.”6

“He Walked on the Lake”

Some of the activities of the leading levitators were performed by the most famous and renowned figures in the world of religion. It wasn’t all down to D.D. Home. The Bible says the following:

Right away Jesus made the disciples get into the boat. He had

them go on ahead of Him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.

Then He sent the crowd away. After He had sent them away, He

went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening

came, He was there alone. The boat was already a long way from

land. It was being pounded by the waves because the wind was

blowing against it. Early in the morning, Jesus went out to the

disciples. He walked on the lake [emphasis mine]. They saw

Him walking on the lake and were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they

said. And they cried out in fear. Right away Jesus called out to

them, “Be brave! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:22–33)

Moving on, St. Francis of Assisi was regularly said to have been seen “suspended above the earth, sometimes to a height of three, sometimes to a height of four cubits.”8 Montague Summers, author of the renowned 1926 book The History of Witchcraft and Demonology, said that “S. Ignatius Loyola whilst deeply contemplative was seen by John Pascal to be raised more than a foot from the pavement.”7 Summers also said that: “S. Teresa and S. John of the Cross were levitated in concurrent ecstasies in the shady locutorio of the Encarnacion, as was witnessed by Beatriz of Jesus and the whole convent of nuns; S. Alphonsus Liguori whilst preaching in the church of S. John Baptist at Foggia was lifted before the eyes of the whole congregation several feet from the ground.”9

“Three Feet off the Ground”

Such activity can be found in shamanic rites and rituals, too. The Psi Encyclopedia gets to the heart of this angle of levitation: “In shamanic culture, levitation is thought to be involved in the ‘journey to the spirit world’ The ‘first shaman’ was said to have been closest to the gods and therefore shared much of their power, including the power to levitate. Shamanistic traditions agree that levitation and other ‘paranormal’ powers, as they are labeled today, are caused by spirits.”10

Finally for this particular chapter, and back to the man who—more than anyone else—championed human levitation, D. D. Home, we have to ask: Was he just an outrageous hoaxer? Could he have been someone who conned huge numbers of gullible people? Or could he really have discovered something that was so incredibly ancient and amazingly secret?



Adapted, and reprinted with permission from New Page Books, How Antigravity Built the Pyramids by Nick Redfern is available wherever books and ebooks are sold or directly from the publisher at or 800-423-7087

Nick Redfern is the author of more than sixty books, including The NASA Conspiracies, Keep Out!, For Nobody’s Eyes Only, Immortality of the Gods, Top Secret Alien Abduction Files, The Real Men in Black, Bloodline of the Gods, Contactees, The Pyramids and the Pentagon, and Weapons of the Gods. He has been on many television shows, including Travel Channel’s In Search of Monsters, History Channel’s UnXplained, Ancient Aliens, and Monster Quest, SyFy Channel’s Proof Positive, and the National Geographic Channel’s Paranatural. Nick is a regular guest on Coast to Coast AM. He lives in Arlington, Texas.


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