Louis Rodgers (1901–?) was an English Medium who gained international fame for his ability to project his Double.
Louis Rodgers was 30 years old when he moved to Melbourne, Australia and established himself as a medium, holding Séances to communicate with the dead. He was a tall, handsome but slightly mournful-looking man with long black hair. His reputed mediumistic ability quickly gained him a large and loyal clientele. His favourite reply, in answer to questions about his ability, was “I am at the mercy of the spirits. Wherever they call me I must go.”
Rodgers’ ability to bilocate became known in 1935, when two of his Melbourne clients inadvertently discovered he had been seen simultaneously in Melbourne and Sydney. In Melbourne, he had conducted a Séance, while in Sydney, he had met with a woman and conducted a lengthy conversation with her. Rumours about his double began to spread. When asked about it, Rodgers merely would smile and perhaps give his enigmatic answer about being at the mercy of the spirits.
The Bilocations attracted the attention of the Australian law enforcement, which suspected Rodgers of fraud, and also of Dr. Martin Spencer, director of the Victoria Institute for Psychic Research, who specialized in exposing fraud. Spencer asked Rodgers to undergo tests, but the medium demurred, saying he did not want Scientific hypotheses to jeopardize his career. Spencer persisted and finally prevailed.
The experiments with Rodgers began in April 1937. Rodgers agreed to remain in Melbourne for three weeks, and to be followed by one of Spencer’s investigators. Other investigators were stationed in Sydney and other locations where Rodgers’ double had been reported, and were to telephone Spencer immediately upon seeing the double.
On the third day, Rodgers was spotted in Sydney, where he had checked into a hotel. The Sydney investigator knocked on the door of the hotel room and spoke to the occupant, a tall man with long black hair who identified himself as Louis Rodgers. At the same time, however, Rodgers was in Melbourne lunching with Spencer.
Informed by telephone of the Sydney sighting, Spencer dismissed it as a possible hoax done with an impersonator. Rodgers rebutted that four days hence, he would prove his bilocation ability once and for all, and hoped he then would be left alone.
On the appointed day, Rodgers was locked inside Spencer’s office with Spencer and three witnesses. He asked Spencer for a password, and was given “Lilac.” After about an hour, the Sydney investigator called to report spotting a man who looked like Rodgers on the street in Sydney. Another hour later, Spencer received another phone call which, according to the operator, came from Sydney. This time, Spencer heard not the voice of his investigator, but Rodgers’s voice, saying, “This is Louis Rodgers. The password is ‘Lilac.’ ”
Spencer never stated whether or not Rodgers’ bilocation was genuine or a fraud, but he once admitted privately to a friend that he thought the medium’s ability was genuine.
Rodgers was killed during World War II while serving with the Australian Army in Europe.
- Knight, David C. The Moving coffins: Ghosts and Hauntings Around the World. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1983.