PEN NAME of Georges Cochet, born in 1872, well known French author, musician, poet, painter, art critic, possessor of remarkable psychometric powers. The loss of a son in an aviation accident at the end of the war induced him to take an interest in table sittings. The result was not strictly evidential, yet it had a soothing effect. The next development came in July, 1921. While engaged in ordinary writing his hand was seized by what appeared to be an extraneous power. Strokes and loops were followed by mirror writing and scripts, delivered at an extreme speed, full of high thoughts and affection which he supposed to emanate from the spirit of his son. Soon, however, the influence gave place to an obsessing entity who demanded entire command over Forthuny's life, gave himself out as a mandatory of Christ and drove him to strange acts. By an effort of will he regained his self-command. The expelled obsessor predicted that he would lose his mediumship. In fact, automatic writing disappeared in about six months. But much more important gifts took its place. Visiting the Institut Metapsychique in 1922 he picked up an envelope, containing an autograph of Landru, the Bluebeard murderer, which Dr.
Gustave Geley had prepared for another psychic and gave an accurate description of the cottage at Gambais where he committed his crimes. Mme. Geley then picked up a fan and asked
jokingly, "Where does this fan come from?" Forthuny answered "I feel as though I were choking and I hear Elisa by my side." The fan came from an old lady, named Elisa who died of congestion of the lungs. Dr.
Eugene Osty's Supernormal Faculties in Man and Prof.
Charles Richet's The Sixth Sense dwell extensively on Forthuny's powers which were tested in many experiments at the Institute. Walking, for instance, among fifty unknown persons, Forthuny addressed each as he was inspired and disclosed amazing facts in their life. He is actually stimulated by a large audience. He does not go into trance, does not call himself a medium, is ignorant of the machinery through which he gets his supernormal knowledge and preserves a remarkable spirit of criticism in his moments of intuition. He is sensitive to hostile attitude, but it only makes him more convinced of the exactness of his vision and induces him to publicly denounce the hostility. He does no fishing, asks no leading questions but wants to be stopped if he runs off the rails as he often experiences the blending of two influences. Generally he hears the names, at other times he sees coloured pictures or written names.
In April, 1924, he was appointed general secretary of the Union Spirite Francaise and gave regular clairvoyant sittings at the Maison des Spirites. About the same period he visited Dr. Geley and, very much moved, told him that he had just had the vision of an aeroplane crash. A physician crashed in Poland and was killed. He insisted that his vision be recorded at the Institute. He said he did not know who the physician was. It may be Voronoff but he was not sure. On July 14 of the same year Dr. Geley was killed in an aeroplane accident near Warsaw. In 1919 he paid a visit to the
SPR. According to the report of V. J. Woolley (SPR Proc. Vol. XXXIX):
"We are driven to assume that his knowledge comes from some supernormal faculty, and it seems reasonable to suppose that this faculty consists mainly in a supernormal knowledge of what is in the minds of people present with him, whether we call such knowledge telepathic or clairvoyant."
Source (with minor modifications):
An Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science by Nandor Fodor (1934).