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Van Vuurde, Wilhelm (1909-?)

Van Vuurde, Wilhelm (1909-?)

Wilhelm van Vuurde, a famous subject of parapsychological research, was born and grew up in the Netherlands. As a young man he attempted to escape the coming war by migrating to South Africa, but wound up a prisoner of the Japanese. While a prisoner he suffered from extreme malnutrition and lost some of his sight. After the war he settled in South Africa.

Van Vuurde believed he had a talent for wakening himself at any unknown and randomly chosen times. He developed an experiment to test himself using two clocks, one of which would be set before he went to sleep at an unknown position and the other set to run but with a string that could be pulled to stop the clock upon awakening. The next morning the two clocks could be checked to see if the times coincided. He tested himself over 200 times between 1951 and 1954 and published a report on his effort in 1956. As a result of his claim, A. E. H. Bleksley of the South African Society for Psychical Research conducted a series of experiments between 1959 and 1967, which produced a spectacular level of positive results. During the 1980s van Vuurde moved back to the Netherlands and has most recently been involved in a new set of experiments with Jeff C. Jacobs of the Sychronicity Research Unit. Van Vuurde has thus emerged as one of a very few subjects who have been able consistently to produce positive results over a long period of time in repeated experiments.


Bleksley, A. E. H. "An Experiment of Long-Distance ESP During Sleep." Journal of Parapsychology 27 (1963): 1.

Jacobs, Jeff C. "Psi-Guided Awakening from Sleep 1: The Original Experiments of W. Van Vuurde." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 53 (1985): 159.

Van Vuurde, Wilhelm. "ESP During Sleep." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 38 (1956): 282.

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