Teleportation, to move over vast distances within the blink of an eye, has captured our imagination and remained a fixture of science fiction stories for years. Moving from one place to another instantaneously has an irresistible allure to it, and indeed has moved out past the boundaries of fiction to be seriously pursued by science in recent years. Yet are there those out there who have already somehow achieved this amazing feat through means beyond our current understanding? If some truly bizarre and mind-bending reports are to be believed, the answer to this question would be yes. These are cases that in some form or another seem to suggest the possibility that human teleportation may not only be possible but has already occurred, be it through interdimensional portals, mysterious doorways through perhaps the fabric of reality itself, somehow bending the rules of physics as we know them, or through some other strange force that we cannot even begin to fathom.
Stories of people mysteriously teleporting go back surprisingly far back into history and continue right up into the modern day. Some of the earliest accounts appear to have a rather folkloric or religious quality to them but are intriguing nevertheless. In the Bible there are many references to people traveling vast distances instantaneously, often said to be swiftly carried along by angels, and there are other early accounts of teleportation, such as the 1st century philosopher and physician Apollonius of Tyana, who was said to teleport over great distances to treat the victims of a plague.
In the 17th century, there were several such cases. One such case was written of in a 1692 book on Scottish fairies called The Secret Comnion-Wealth, by a Rev. Robert Kirk, which mentions a man who seemed to have the ability to teleport over short distances. One passage explains the phenomenon thus:
His neighbors often perceived this man to disappear at a certain place, and about one hour after to become visible, and discover himself near a bowshot from the first place. It was in that place where he became invisible, said he, that the Subterraneans [fairies] did encounter and combat with him.
There is also the story of a nun called the Venerable Mary Jesus of Agreda, who between 1620 and 1631 was claimed to have made over 500 teleportations from her convent in Spain all the way over to New Mexico, in the New World, an entire ocean away, for the purpose of converting the region’s Jumano Indians. At first these claims were met with skepticism by the Catholic Church, which called her delusional, but missionaries in the New World, as well as the Indians themselves, gave testimony that seemed to substantiate the fantastical claims. For instance, in 1622, a New World missionary named Father Alonzo de Benavides wrote a letter to both Pope Urban VIII and Philip IV of Spain claiming that someone had already been actively converting the Jumano Indians since long before before he had even arrived. When the Indians were asked where they had learned about Christianity they claimed that it had been shown to them by a European “lady in blue,” and that this mysterious woman had given them crucifixes and a chalice that appeared to be have come from Mary’s convent.
At the time, Benavides knew nothing of the claims that Mary could allegedly teleport back and forth over the ocean, and he would not hear these stories until he returned to Spain. So fascinated was he by the accounts that he personally interviewed Mary and supposedly found her to be quite sincere, as well as demonstrating an intimate, detailed knowledge of the Jumano Indians and the area where they lived far beyond what she could have possibly studied through books alone. Mary had apparently kept a diary of her mysterious jumps to the New World but had burnt it at the urging of the church and out of a fear of being labelled a witch. Nevertheless, logs kept by various other missionaries, conquistadors, and explorers in the New World proved to agree with and sync up very well to when Mary claimed to have made her visits and what she had worn there, as well as the activities she had engaged in. There were also claims from other nuns at the convent that Mary would sometimes vanish from her quarters, and that it was during these absences that she was described as being “off with the Indians.” There were also accounts by other disparate tribes vast distances away that gave reports of a similar mysterious European woman, and which were nearly identical despite these tribes sometimes being thousands of miles apart.
This all seemed to lend some weight to the amazing story, and it was also unlikely that Mary would be intentionally making it all up, as she had once almost been tried as a witch as a young girl and so was wary of admitting to her strange experiences, at times even seeming to outright deny them. Nevertheless, Benavides claimed that he had seen proof without a doubt that Mary was indeed able to make these mysterious journeys. At the time, Benavides’ account of Mary Jesus de Agreda became famous all over his country, and the case would become widely debated over the ensuing years. Did Mary Jesus de Agreda have the ability to somehow instantly jump over the ocean and hop all abut the New World through teleportation or is this all just religious myth and hysterics? No matter what the answer may be, it is a remarkable historical account to be sure.
Many early reports of teleportation seem to be inextricably linked with witchcraft or poltergeist activity. In 1661 a woman from Cork named Florence Newton was tried and accused of being a witch. It was claimed that Newton was prone to having violent episodes of demonic possession in which she would vomit all manner of strange objects such as wool or even pins, and would exhibit supernatural strength, easily hurling large men about like dolls. She would also allegedly be constantly barraged by stones that seemed to materialize from nowhere only to vanish once again after pelting her. Perhaps her most bizarre ability was teleportation, and Newton was claimed to often disappear from a room only to reappear moments later in another room or even on the roof or within a locked chest.
Poltergeists make an appearance in a variety of reports as well. In 1722, a farmer family in the small village of Sandfeldt, East Germany, was terrorized by a poltergeist that routinely tripped the children and picked them up to hang them in midair. The children also sometimes vanished into thin air, only to mysteriously appear in a totally different area moments later or sometimes several hours later. The case was apparently quite well documented. There is also the case of a man named Richard Giles, of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, whose children were menaced by a sinister entity that would push, shove, bite, scratch, and throw rocks at them, as well as whisk them away without a trace only to dump them in another location out of nowhere. Interestingly, although onlookers claimed that the children would simply disappear into thin air and reappear, for the kids themselves it was a decidedly more frightening affair, with one of the children saying that she had been carried by a “witch” dressed in ragged clothes who had held an odiferous skeletal hand over her mouth as she carried her along.
These eery early stories may be heavily influenced by myth, religion, fear, or exaggeration, but it shows how far back these ideas go, how persistent they are, and cases of teleportation have continued on in the years beyond. On June 3, 1871, there was a bizarre incident when a London psychic simply known as Mrs. Guppy allegedly spontaneously teleported from her home in Highbury England to land in the middle of a seance being conducted at a home around 3 miles away. Strangely, almost comically, Mrs. Guppy was reported as appearing out of thin air wearing nothing but her underwear.
In 1901, the Pansini family moved into a house in Ruvo, Italy, and shortly after began to experience a wide range of mysterious phenomena. Among the various instances of assorted poltergeist activity reported from their home was the unsettling habit for their 7-year-old son, Alfredo Pansini, to fall into deep trances and to come back with visions of the future, and not long after this began he apparently started to demonstrate the ability to abruptly teleport from place to place. During these odd episodes it was reported that Alfredo would vanish suddenly from his house, often in full view of others, only to reappear moments later at another location in town, often dazed and confused by the whole incident. Alfredo’s brother Paolo also began to spontaneously teleport from time to time, and on one occasion both of the brothers suddenly vanished from their rooms only to appear aboard a fishing boat located miles out to sea off the port of Baletta.
These strange episodes of teleportation were investigated by a medical advisor to Popes Leo XIII and Pius X named Joseph Lapponi, who set up an experiment to test the claims. He purportedly locked the boys in their room and sealed off all escape routes including windows and other doors within the house, yet even then the boys vanished and reappeared instantaneously several miles away, right under everyone’s noses. The mysterious teleportations allegedly lasted for several years until the boys reached puberty, and apparently lost the ability.
Strange tales of teleportation continue well into the 20th century. In the late 1920s, the family of a Dr. Ketar, of Poona, India, experienced some rather odd events. Ketar’s two adopted sons started making claims that they had been quite startled to suddenly appear in different locations, including within locked cars or locked sheds. One such episode was witnessed by Mrs. Ketar herself, when her oldest son suddenly materialized in front of her one day and claimed that he had just come from the far away town of Karjat. Mrs. Ketar would explain that her son had been levitating over the floor when he appeared, and had been in a position as if being carried by some large, invisible hand, before being gently place upon the floor by the unseen force.
In December of 1952, the well-known mystic Wellesley Tudor Pole claimed that he had been caught in rather foul, rainy weather right after arriving on a late train and found himself without any available taxis or other means of transportation open to him to return to his home in Sussex after his tiring trip. Adding to his woes was the fact that the station payphone was out of order, which conspired with his other obstacles to create a frustrating situation in which it seemed he was doomed to spend the night at that station in the rain, even though he had an important call he had meant to take at his home. Pole claimed that he sat down and compared his watch to the station clock, both of which read 5:57 PM. What happened next remains unclear, but Pole claims that he suddenly and confusingly found himself standing in the hall of his home, and additionally his clothes were not wet, nor were his shoes covered in mud, meaning that he had not been out slogging about in the rain. Just as he arrived, the clock struck 6PM, meaning that it was impossible that he could have traveled the distance to his home, without getting wet, in only 2 minutes. Pole speculated that he had somehow inadvertently teleported himself home, although he had no idea how or why.
In 1956, a man by the name of Thomas R. Kessell seemed to appear from nowhere on a busy street in New York City. He explained that his last memory had been leaving a bar in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the next thing he knew he had been wandering down the street in New York. Considering that the man had no passport and could not have travelled into the country otherwise, it was unclear how he could have ended up there and the case remains a mystery. He would claim that he had no memory of what had transpired between him leaving the tavern and reappearing an ocean away.
A very well known and controversial account of human teleportation supposedly occurred in 1968, when a Dr. Geraldo Vidal and his wife, Raffo de Vidal, apparently teleported a great distance along with their whole car. In May of 1968, the couple was reportedly driving their Peugeot 403 along a remote, rural road in Chascomus, Prov. of Buenos Aires, Argentina, when they claimed that they were suddenly enveloped by a thick fog that thoroughly ensconced them. The Vidals would allegedly not make it to their destination on time, where concerned family members were waiting for them. A search of the road the Vidals had taken turned up no trace of them, baffling family and authorities at the time. 48 hours later, Geraldo Vidal phoned family to tell them that they were safe but inexplicably in Mexico City, a full 6,400 km away.
Vidal would later claim that they had no memory of what had happened in the 48 hours that they had been gone, and only knew that they had encountered a strange heavy fog, after which everything had gone black. When they had regained consciousness they had found themselves parked along a road they had never seen before. They both complained that at the time they had a pain in their necks and felt as if they had been sleeping too long. When they had stepped out of the car, their vehicle appeared to have been burned, as if badly damaged by “a blowtorch.” Despite this damage, the car still worked, and the confused couple had then driven off down the road, and after asking several passerby where they were quickly ascertained that they were in Mexico, far from where they had originally been last they remembered.
Ominously, the Argentinean Consulate in Mexico City was apparently extremely adamant that the couple remain quiet about what they think had happened, and there was the sense that the whole case was being quieted and covered up. Additionally, the couple were quickly given a replacement vehicle even as their own battered car was shipped away to apparently be studied. Despite the order to remain silent on the mysterious events that had transpired, it was not long at all before various news agencies were reporting on the bizarre case, including numerous newspapers, TV news, and radio shows. Weeks after this sudden media blitz, a “cloak of silence” was instigated, all news outlets were suddenly and inexplicably forcefully banned from covering the story, and they were denied further access to information or those involved. In the years after the alleged strange events, the Vidals were said to have had a nervous breakdown due to the bizarre events they had undergone, and some sources have even claimed that they both mysteriously died of leukemia. The case eventually became one of the weirdest, most baffling, and most talked about cases within the realm of UFOlogy and Forteana, and was written of in countless articles and publications.
The Vidal case has been intensely debated and picked apart, and is filled with so many conflicting facts and reports that is is hard to ascertain where the truth ends and possible exaggeration and misinformation begins. There have been many theories as to what transpired, such as that this was a case of spontaneous teleportation or a UFO abduction. A more skeptical approach has been taken by Argentinean journalist and researcher Alejandro C. Agostinelli, who thinks that the whole story was a hoax to promote a science fiction movie released only 2 months after the alleged events, entitled Che OVNI. The movie was released to critical derision, failure, and was quickly forgotten, but not only does Agostinelli claim that the film’s director, Anibal Uset, admitted to the sham in a 1996 interview, but the plot of the film also mirrors the Vidal case pretty closely, focusing a great deal on UFO abduction and teleportation. There was also the fact that most of the case was based on hearsay and rumors, with very little concrete evidence to corroborate any of the depicted events of the case having ever actually happened, essentially propelling it into the status of urban legend.
Despite the accusation that the whole Vidal case was a hoax and a fraud to drum up publicity for a movie, things were apparently pretty bizarre throughout, with Uset often coming across people saying that they had known the Vidals and alarming him with the way the case was so widely believed and had achieved such popular iconic status. It got to the point where Uset started to get paranoid with all of the strangeness floating about the story and to doubt his grasp on reality, saying:
So many people approached me to say that they had known the Vidals that I began to have doubts. What is more, the confusion was such that I began to think that our story coincided with something that had really happened.
This strange confession makes the whole thing even more bizarre, and gives it all almost a surreal spin. If Uset really was behind orchestrating the whole Vidal case, which had been hotly discussed and picked apart to no end, then why should he be so surprised and express doubt that it was a hoax that he had in fact created? What was going on here? Agostinelli would later remark on this peculiar detail and the whole phenomenon of such stories in general thus:
At the time, the fact he questioned his own creation startled me. But I think that this helps to understand how UFO stories are built along with many other modern myths. If even a hoaxer can be led to doubt, this means that mysteries are able to overcome any denial. That’s why I think myths are indestructible. Countless teleportation cases have occurred in Argentina and around the world, but the Vidal Case was a lie.
There is no concrete evidence to prove without a doubt that the Vidal case was a hoax for promoting a film, and there are indeed other conspiracy theories floating about as well, but neither is there any to show that it ever existed beyond rumor and spooky lore. There continues to be a good amount of debate and controversy surrounding the Vidal case, and it seems that it still has not been satisfactorily resolved for a great many people.
At times, cases of teleportation involve what seems to be passing through doors, only rather than moving to another room of a house these doorways transport us through space and perhaps even time to move us to another far away location altogether. In 1971, an Al Kiessig claimed that he had uncovered several doorways or vortices of some sort in the U.S. states of Missouri and Arkansas, which allowed for instantaneous teleportation from place to place via travel through other dimensions. According to Kiessig, one could walk through these doorways and instantaneously end up miles away from where they had entered. He explained about these doorways and their varied strangeness:
Each door is different, but it is my belief that if one conId recognize these door openings, one could pick the door in Arkansas that would permit me to step into your front yard in Iowa. I have entered these 'doorways' while driving and saved myself hundreds of miles of driving. Unfortunately, the reverse has also happened to me. Some of these doors to other dimensions open like an elevator door with no elevator there to step into. Others open into a land of no life. Some take you back into the past, and some take you into the future on this world. Then there are doors that open into chambers that send the body to a distant star.
What does this all mean? Is there anything to this oddness or is this the ramblings of a seriously disturbed or delusional individual? It is hard to say for sure. Even more recent is the case of a homeless boy in Ivory Coast, Africa, who was discovered by Fortean researcher Ion Alexis Will in August of 1993. As Will was passing through a rural area called Yamoussoukro, he came across a Catholic church called St. Augustin, where the priests there complained of a 9-year-old boy who had an unsettling habit of disappearing from his locked quarters only to reappear in strange places such as within locked cars or other areas where he had absolutely no business being. On another occasion, the boy had vanished into thin air in front of many startled witnesses as he ate breakfast, only to be found in a dazed and confused state some distance outside of the church. An investigation into the strange boy’s background found that he had been originally found in a town about 155 miles away in a trance-like state. Further investigation would turn up even more bizarreness.
The boy, who's actual name was N’Doua Kouname Serge, had vanished under strange circumstances when he was just 5 years old, vanishing from a hospital in Tiassalé, in Ivory Coast, only to suddenly and unexplainably end up in San Pedro, a full 200 miles away. The boy’s father had gone to pick him up, only for him to vanish and reappear again 410 miles away in confused state in a town called Odienné. He would go on to make several other spontaneous jumps to various other cities around the country, often spending months or even years in each far flung location, during which time some of his benefactors would come to the conclusion that he was possessed by an evil spirit which could teleport him. When asked by a reporter on how he could suddenly jump from place to place so rapidly, the boy himself reportedly said: “I don’t know. I’m here, and suddenly I find myself in another town.”
Even more recent is a series of strange teleportations that were reported on in a 2009 article on Pravda Report entitled “Lightning Can Open Doors to Parallel Worlds.” In one report, a UFO researcher named Tatyana Faminskaya allegedly teleported two times, during which she claimed that she could not feel anything during the process, but would simply wake up in another place. A woman named Lidia Nikolaeva, from Novy Byt village in Russia, claimed that she had been out picking mushrooms when she felt a stabbing pain in her chest. When she came to her senses, she found herself deposited at an abandoned church around 3.3 miles from where she had been. Just what is going on here? Do these people have access to powers or abilities that remain hidden to the common masses?
What are we to make of cases such as these? Are these merely hallucinations or flights of fancy, or is there something more at work here that is worth pursuing in an effort to understand it? If these individuals have somehow pressed through some barrier to jump from one place to the other, then how have they done it? How can it be possible and how can such a thing fit into the universe as we understand it? Even as science pursues the very real concepts and theories of how teleportation may someday actually be possible, the reality of real teleportation of a human being remains far out on the outer fringes of the scientific horizon, yet for some mysterious individuals it may be closer than we think.