“THE BILOCATED MAYOR”

The issue of bilocation (the supernatural presence of a person in two places at the same time) drove the “Society for Psychical Research” nuts. For example, in Edinburgh there was one George Nottage who, without ever leaving that city, served as mayor of London for two terms. Sir Sidgwick was skeptical and thought it was a case of twins. William Barret advocated another rational explanation: according to him, it was a single individual who constantly came and went from one city to another. Myers, on the other hand, considered it a genuine case of bilocation, albeit not entirely perfect since, unlike the George Nottage of London, the one in Edinburgh used to wear a Tyrolean hat. This case generated a lot of controversy among the general public since the citizens of Edinburgh ended up electing their Nottage as mayor of the city coinciding with the London Nottage mandate. In a convention of British mayors, somehow the two Nottages managed to avoid each other, so nobody ever got to see them together. But when the Edinburgh Nottage happened to pass away, the one in London disappeared without a trace. And although he has gone down in London’s history as the last of its mayors who died in office, the reality was a little different according to the files of the SPR. There is the testimony of his secretary, according to which he was dictating a letter to her addressed to the mayor of Moscow when he vanished into thin air under her nose with a loud “plop” (sic). (The poor secretary was forced to finish the letter herself, unintentionally generating a serious diplomatic incident.)

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