Yogi Pullavar, also known as Subbayah Pullavar, was an Indian man who on 6 June 1936 was reported to have levitated into the air for four minutes in front of a crowd of 150 witnesses. This appears to have been an example of a fairly simple matter of creating the illusion of levitation in which the person seen to levitate is supported by a cantilevered platform held up by an iron rod camouflaged in some way.
Yogi's feat was publicly observed and photographed in an exhibition that occurred in South India. The feat was executed around noon on a sunny, cloudless day and in an area where visibility was not obscured. The Illustrated London News printed the story and photos which were taken from various angles by the English tea planter P. T. Plunkett who was a witness present that day.
Yogi Pullavar's assistants erected a small tent in an open area where Pullavar began by ritualistically pouring a circle of water around the perimeter of the tent. Shoes were not permitted within the area marked by the circle. Yogi Pullavar then entered the tent where he remained hidden from view for a few minutes, after which the attendants then removed the tent. Once revealed, Yogi Pullavar was seen suspended horizontally several feet above the ground lightly resting his hand on top of a cloth covered stick. According to Plunkett, witnesses stated that Yogi did not exert pressure on the stick for support, but instead used it as a point of reference. Material scientist James Livingston described this saying that "Where full concealment of the rod is not possible, he simply puts one hand on the upper end of the rod/cane “to keep his balance.”
After four minutes the attendants erected the tent around Yogi Pullavar to shield him as he made his descent. P.Y. Plunkett positioned himself so that the sunlight enabled him to discern Pullavar through the thin cloth tent walls. He reported noticing Yogi Pullavar gently swaying for a short time while still in mid-air. Finally, he slowly sank in a horizontal position to the ground. The entire process took an estimated five minutes to complete.
When the tent was again removed, Yogi Pullavar was lying on the ground, still apparently in a deep trance. Volunteers were asked to try to bend Pullavar's limbs. His arms and legs could not be bent from their locked position. He was able to use his limbs after about five minutes.
- Magnetic levitation
- Levitation (paranormal)
- Anomalous phenomenon
- Yogic flying
- Other people who have allegedly levitated:
- St Joseph of Cupertino
- St Teresa of Avila
- Simon Magus
- Clara Germana Cele
- Jetson Milarepa
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