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Observations placeholder

German army lieutenant goes out of body as a result of the breathing of poisonous gases with the onset of asphyxia



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

From The Occult Review (1908, p. 159) to which it was communicated by Dr. Franz Hartmann.

[also quoted in Professor Ernest Bozzano Les phénomènes de bilocation Traduit de l’italien par Gabriel Gobron and translated further into English by Serge Patlavskiy]

This incident involved a German army lieutenant and occurred as a result of the breathing of poisonous gases with the onset of asphyxia. The author of the report is the lieutenant's own fiancée, and she is personally known by Dr. Franz Hartmann. She writes:

" The gentleman I am engaged to was an officer and recently left the military service. Some time before he resigned, he went to bed one evening, then found himself a moment later standing in the middle of the room, busy examining his own body lying under the blankets.

Such a situation seemed rather strange to the lieutenant, especially since he had never heard of similar facts. In order to subject his own mentality to control, he began to turn around in the room and observe the furniture and other objects, so he went to the office where there was an open book that he began to read, but when he wanted to turn the page despite repeated efforts, he could not do so.

He went to the window, looked into the street, observed the trembling flames of the gas nozzles. In short, he was able to convince himself that he perceived all things in a normal way.

Suddenly it occurred to him that he might be in the conditions of a "disembodied spirit". He therefore wanted to see if it was possible for him to pass through the wall.

He tried, and instantly he found himself in an adjacent room, where he saw a comrade sitting at the table, busy drawing. He did everything possible to attract his attention; he touched him, spoke to him, blew in his face, but everything was useless, the friend quietly continued his work, unaware of his presence. He felt discouraged and returned to his room where he saw his own body lying inert on the bed.

He then thought of going out into the open air, and, passing through the closed flaps, he headed for the station where he observed the crowd of passengers and the movement of the trains. Seeing a tunnel in the distance, he walked towards it, entered it and looked at several workers who were working there. It was a tunnel he had never entered before and of which he was unaware.

Returning to his room, he saw the servant opening the door, entering, sniffing the air, rushing to the bed, shaking his master's body vigorously, which was witnessing these actions in spirit, at his side, in his mind.

A sudden breeze of fresh air woke the lieutenant who immediately asked his servant what had happened, and learned from him that the air was saturated with carbon dioxide and that he had been considered dead by him for a moment.

The lieutenant then asked how it could have occurred to him to come to his room at that time. And the servant replied that he had felt the sudden and irresistible need to quickly adjust the draft of the small chimney. It is a fact that if the servant had not rushed, the officer would have died, and his spirit could not have reintegrated his body.

The next day, he went into the tunnel he had visited as a spirit, and there he recognized all the things he had seen. He also questioned the neighbouring comrade and learned that he was busy at that time with the same drawing he had seen.

These are the facts: Well, despite their nature, my fiancé still does not yet believe in the survival of the conscious personality after the death of the body!"

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps