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Observations placeholder

Osty, Dr Eugene - Supernormal faculties in Man – Mme Morel The ovoid sealed bottle found in a necropolis near Baalbec



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Supernormal faculties in Man- Dr Eugene Osty

On March 15th, 1912, M. Lucien Galloy, an engineer, on his return from a commercial mission in Syria, gave me, for experimental purposes, a photograph representing an ill-defined ovoid mass about four inches wide and two inches high. He said:
"This is an object whose contents are unknown to anyone. Would you try to obtain information upon it by any of the subjects with whom you have experimented?"
On March 16th, at 9.30 a.m., I placed this photograph in the hands of Mme Morel in a state of hypnosis. No other person than M. Galloy in Paris had seen this photograph. Only as the result of a casual conversation, and on searching his portfolio, had the idea come to him that it might be used for an experiment. The photograph, a bad one, suggested nothing as to the object; none of those to whom I subsequently showed it could make anything of it. I said to Mme Morel.
"Tell me what the thing which I put into your hand causes you to see."

"I see a form, and in a fog an inanimate figure . . . a being disengages itself as a shadow, rather tall, the forehead quite clear. . . . I see something without life like a dead face. . . It is very far off. . . I only see dead people . . . it is far. . . . I seem to see groups of persons in a distant Land (un cadre eloigne).

 . . . I see there more especially a man with a young face . . . several persons. Ah! now an old man appears more clearly . . what am I to look for in him?"

"Look for his mode of life, his surroundings and his profession.”

 "I see a habitation of unusual form, very large-how large! . . . it is not an ordinary habitation I see a vaulted roof . . . it is immense . cold, very ancient...it seems deserted....I see nothing present-(vien d,'actuel,) .. . it is almost like a church. . . . I see gloom everywhere . . . it is immense . . the ground is cold, the roof very high . there are lights in the sides. I see what seems to be coloured windows . . many stones . . . it is immense . the form of the house is round, like a cloister . . . it is immense, immense.

This man does no manual work, his brain only is active. . I see his brain, high above the normal . . . a life entirely of the brain . . . vast thought, vast. . . . I see what looks like a vast field in his brain. . I get glimpses of many men around him. He speaks, as if his words were above (the comprehension of) all these people. –

I see this form, sad . . many thoughts. How remote in time it all is! Very far.

This man gathers others to him . . he speaks ; his mere words are an action . written characters come into his brain almost daily. . . . I see coloured things how abundant is his imagination! He-is highly placed . at the head of many . . . higher than the normal . . . like a man distinguished above others . he gives out much thought.

Something very sudden and violent stops all this. One would think that a violent death has supervened . . .this man is choking. I see blood. . . . It is sudden! . . . he is not alone. . . many persons are round him . . how violent! I see a block of stone . . . suddenly I see him on the ground . . . there is a man there, I do not distinguish what he is doing. . . . I only see the other extended on the ground . . . all vanishes"

 "What became of this man's body?"

"Oh, what a number of people! It is strange, I see a large concourse but in their brains I do not see the face of that man …there are many there whom he did not know.

I see a great crowd of unknown persons. . . . I hear much noise . . . one would say a whole nation behind that man . . . an immense crowd . then something military . what a concourse, they come from everywhere…..I hear cries. . . . I see something very high . . . it is like a strange funeral scene."

 "See a few of the crowd?"

 "I see people in light-coloured garments . . . it is unusual at a funeral . . all round that man I see bright colours . red on both sides of him . then a group dressed in-white . what a number in white, all together, in groups then I see uniforms . then the crowd follows . . all very bright . . . bright sunlight.

The uniforms are worn by soldiers, some are very dark, with gold upon the dark colour. . . I see large head-dresses white, like white plumes. . . others have robes"

 "Look for the place where this man is buried”

 "I don't see any earth, it is like a small underground house . . . I see a large vault, no earth . . . this man is suspended as it were, placed. On something, not-on-the ground really . . there seems an empty space underneath, he is placed as if sleeping. . . . I see other dead about him."

"Now look for the object of which-you are holding a photograph."

 "I see what looks like a large ball, but bigger on one side than the other . . .white, milky, a kind of agate tint. There is a liquid in it, nearly half full, no, nearer a quarter. I see a rusty coloured liquid, like reddened water, thick . . . it is not water . . . there, now I see better . . a quarter full or more, a reddish liquid like clayey water. . . . Ah! it is like blood with a rusty tint, and above it is a thin layer rather thicker than below . . . it is like blood . . . its colour is like blood somewhat discoloured."

 "Look under what circumstances this liquid was put into the object."

 "Oh, it is very far in the past, very, very far! . . while I look at it I see someone dying . . . how far away it is . . an infinite distance an age which is not ours. It is the moment of his death, as if it were some of his blood. It is not in the surroundings in which that object was placed ; it is in quite a different place. . . . I see mountains and water . . forests, uncultivated land. .-. . How strange how far away! I see someone bleeding . . . it is his death . what a number of people . . . it seems to be in a stone building. . . . I see men around another . . he has a large wound in his neck . . a savage scene, a human being martyrised, much martyrised as if they were injuring another, one only . . these people do not speak the same language. I see wounds, blood, a savage act. . . Oh, these men! Robes bronze-coloured. . . . I see one especially with large bright eyes. What a strange face! . . . a bleeding body.

Now I see a mountain . . that man goes up it . there is suffering . he seems to be going up a bare mountain dragging some heavy thing, black and heavy . there is a shock, like someone falling I see pain and blood. I see blood round his head.

I see men who gather this blood, first in some vessel, then in that which I am holding . . . this travels far, it is shut up with the body, as one places a memento....

The blood was put in when the object itself was made I see sand, then a strong heat to make it . . . it has no opening . . . it is rather hastily finished in one place


1. What I knew at the time of the experiment. Nothing at all.

2. What M. Galloy knew. He was not present and told me some hours later :
M. Eddet, living at Beyront, a landowner in the valley of Bekaa (Syria), told him in January, 1921, that he had a sort of little closed bottle, ovoid in shape, of nearly-opaque glass allowing the level of liquid inside to be seen. This liquid-must have been put in when the glass was blown, for no orifice or place of sealing is visible. This ovoid is one-third larger than the photograph. It was found in a necropolis near Baalbec, where are the ruins of the temple of Heliopolis. It appears to be the only object of the kind found in the necropolis of this place or anywhere else. M. Maspeio, custodian of the Museum at Cairo, having seen this object when visiting Baalbec, before 1914, is said to have declared it unique never before seen by him, probably the only specimen in the world, and dating probably from the Roman occupation slightly before the Christian era. The knowledge thus gained of its rarity caused the object to be deposited in a bank at Beyrout, pending the chance of speaking of it to some archeologist. The photograph was given by M. Eddet to M. Galloy that he might interest French archaelogists in the ovoid and its mysterious contents. M. Eddet considered that it must contain some rare and precious liquid, having been placed in the tomb of an important personage. M. Galloy, who had not seen the ampulla, had made no guess at its contents. He was much astonished to hear that the voyante had stated it to be blood.

3. Letter from M. Eddet, posted at Beyrout, April 4th, 1921, answering a request for more precise information:
"You ask me for very precise details regarding the antique ampulla. I haste to give you the details here following: “The bottle was found in a village now called Kerak, close to the Malaaka Railway Station on the road to Baalbec. There is at Kerak itself a tomb of Roman times, which the Metoualis, since they came into these parts, call ' the tomb of Noah'
The tomb in which this bottle was found is situated close to the ruins of an ancient necropolis. The proprietor of this ground, in 1895, wishing to make a nursery for silkworms, brought workmen to dig the foundations.
While carrying out this work they came upon a large stone closing a cavity. There was a tomb in the middle of this vaulted cavity. On this tomb lay a plate of massive gold on which this bottle rested. Round the tomb were many urns of different sizes symmetrically placed.
At sight of the plate and the urns, the workmen hastened to seize them and abandoned the tomb. The bottle was carried off and handed over to the proprietor. In these urns were found gold pieces bearing the effigy of Alexander the Great.
Some hours after the discovery, the Caimakam, the Governor of the Sandjak, having been informed, came to the spot accompanied by the police. He and his companions took away such urns as the workmen had left. No other tomb was found near, no excavations were made. The distance from the temple of Baalbec to the ruins of Kerak is about eighteen miles. I could not tell you whether there were or are any inscriptions in the tomb, the cavity has been covered with earth. No fragments of glass or stone, and no inscriptions were found, and I much regret inability to send you specimens. . . ."

4. Letter from M. Eddet, in reply to a request for permission to examine the liquid in the ampulla, or its purchase: " . . . Only the sale of this object is contemplated, and I cannot permit the examination of the contents for its value lies in this substance-which was affirmed by the London and Cairo Museums. I said, therefore, that its sale will be considered, and I ask £5000 (Egyptian) as its price. If your friend intends purchase, I would beg you to let him know that the sale will be made at the French Consulate in Beyrout at a time to be indicated by him."
Nothing followed on the transaction proposed. It is desirable, however, to clear up the whole significance of the experiment. With only a very bad photograph, giving no notion of the object portrayed, Mme Morel takes cognizance of the life, death, and funeral rites of an ancient personage; she describes the form, dimensions, and appearance of the ancient ampulla of glass and the state of the liquid it contains. It is obviously impossible to reach any certitude how far her vision corresponds to reality. The events cannot be brought back to our eyes.

Compared, however, with the usual checks on the accuracy of past events, these here applicable are exceptionally valuable. _ To begin with, the description by the subject is confirmed by the knowledge-of Messrs. Galloy and Eddet as far as this goes. The ampulla is actually as described, and was found in a vaulted chamber in a necropolis in the East. This part of the experiment is instructive because it limits the phenomenon to one of two possibilities-supernormal cognition of the past, or, mental intercommunication at a distance. As in all experiments not specifically repeatable, the good faith of the experimenter and the witnesses must be assumed. But in addition (and herein lies the interest of the facts)- the subject described an event-the dramatic and sanguinary death of an ancient personage, of which unrevealed evidence that can be verified by -the senses exists.

The real contents of the ampulla are unknown to any living being. Those who know of the existence of the vessel think its contents quite different to that indicated by the subject. It then should be verified that the liquid is other than blood, that would prove that the veridical part of Mme Morel's vision is due to intercommunication of thought, and that alone would, by reason of the distance, be a very remarkable fact. The rest would be mere fabulation. If the contents should in the future be found to be blood, the probability that the whole events described were true would approach certainty.

 I hope that some day the affair will be brought to a conclusion ; mean- while, it is well that- the narrative of the facts should precede their verification.

The source of the experience

Osty, Dr Eugene

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