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Boy Clairvoyant

This article was published in the Evening News (Sydney, NSW), Saturday 21st September 1907



All through Norway extraordinary interest is being taken in the boy clairvoyant, Johann Floettum, who led the way to the body of a man for whom search had been made in vain for a fortnight (says a London newspaper).

Asked how he first discovered that he had this strange gift of clairvoyance, the boy said:-

"Some months ago a girl told me that she had lost a key on the way to church, and I commenced to think of the key and shut my eyes.  Then I saw the key falling out of the pocket and on the road. I told her where it was and how I had discovered it, but, although the key was found on the very spot, nobody would believe me.

"They, therefore tried me again, and a man asked me, "What has become of my knife?" After a moment I replied, 'Can you remember that you were felling trees in the wood, and that you were cutting down a fir, which fell across a ditch, where there were a great many fir branches? Your axe fell off the handle, and you put it on again. Then you jumped down into the ditch, and your knife fell out of the sheath and down among the branches. There you will find your knife.' We all then went out to the wood and found it."

A correspondent of the "Christiania  Aftenposten" asked the boy what had become of Gudrun, a little girl about 6 years old, who some weeks ago disappeared from her home in Christiania. The boy bent over a table, covering his eyes with his left hand. Then he trembled all over.

"Do you see Gudrun?" asked the correspondent.

"Yes -a man stands by her side -he speaks to her - pats her on the hair - now he takes her hand - they walk -" "To where?" "A road - here is the road -" His right hand, in which he held a pencil, commenced to move nervously, and little by little he drew a line on the paper. "Now they are on the shore of a little bay," he went on. "The man lifts her up, he takes her aboard a big boat; there are three boats lying alongside each other, he takes the girl on board the largest of the three. Down in the cabin there are a woman and some children. He leaves her there. I see her playing with the other children. The boat sails, but after a short turn in the bay it returns and lands on another place. Now it sails again. Out on a big lake, where there are many, many large and small ships. I cannot see it any longer. It is getting lost among all the others." "Can you not see it any longer?" "No, I don't know which one it is -I cannot recognise any more."

The road the boy had sketched was the road from Gudrun's home, through the streets, down to the harbour, and the harbour - or bay, as he called it - was shown in the sketch opening out to the fjord precisely as it actually does. The boy, it must be remembered, had never been to Christiania, where the missing girl lived.
On the following day the correspondent asked the boy again whether he could "see" Gudrun.

"Yes, I see the man who takes her away," replied the boy. "What does he look like?" "He is broad over the shoulders, a little bowed, brown hair, brown moustaches, striped trousers, grey jacket, small peaked cap, large brass clasps on the shoes," "Do you see anything else extraordinary about him, or his dress?" "No - yes - he is tall - he has a very peculiar waistcoat, with a strange flap around the neck - it does not come all round, only to the middle of the neck." "Do you see the boat?" "Yes - it is red-grey. Now it sails. There is but little wind. It puts back again. The man goes ashore." "Where does he go to?" "In this direction - into a white house -" drawing a line on the sketch. "Do you still see him?" "Yes - he is standing in the house. It is a shop. He buys something. He gets a parcel. Now he leaves the shop. Down to the bay with the parcel. He goes aboard the boat. It sails among the other boats. I cannot find it any longer. It is on the big sea." "Try again, please." "No. I cannot see it - I cannot find it." At this point the boy became exhausted.

A labourer at the harbour says that the description of the man is exactly like that of a gipsy who was there when little Gudrun disappeared. His boat is larger than the usual Gipsy boats, and is now being watched for all round the coast.

For the moment the boy has been forbidden to exercise his power by a specialist, who has been entrusted with the care of him. He is quite normal in every respect, and will very shortly be permitted to make further efforts to trace the lost girl Gudrun.

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