| Albert Rochas|
| Felicite Camille Jayet|
| Albert de Rochas|
20 May 1837 (1837-05-20) Saint-Firmin, Hautes-Alpes, France
parapsychologist, science historian, military engineer
September 2, 1914, Grenoble, France
Albert de Rochas Wikipedia
Eugène Auguste Albert de Rochas d'Aiglun (20 May 1837 – 2 September 1914) was a leading French parapsychologist, historian, translator, writer, military engineer and administrator.
Rochas was born in Saint Firmin in the department of Hautes-Alpes, the son of Marie Joseph Eugène de Rochas d'Aiglun, a judge at the court in Briançon, and of Félicité Camille Jayet. He studied literature and mathematics at the Lycée de Grenoble, then, in 1857, entered the École Polytechnique in Paris, intending to follow a military career.
In 1861, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Military Engineers ("Le Génie militaire") and distinguished himself as a soldier, engineer and administrator. He rose to the rank of battalion commander in 1880 and was made chief of engineers in 1887. He retired from the military in 1888 as a Lieutenant-Colonel. He had also been inspector of studies and director at the École Polytechnique but had to resign due to his involvement in paranormal research activities.
Rochas was made a Chevalier (Knight) in the Legion d'Honneur in 1875 and an officer in 1889.
As a scholar, he made significant contributions to the study of military engineering history, producing, for example, a French translation of an 11th-century Alexandrian treatise on fortification and machines of war called Veterum Mathematicorum Opera (1693), and publishing the correspondence of the distinguished 17th century military engineer, Vauban. He also wrote about ancient technology, exploring subjects as diverse as hydraulic organs, water clocks, ancient surveying instruments, temple machinery, Greek artillery, and ancient railways. He was well respected as a researcher and won a medal from the "Société des Études Grecques" for his translations of Greek texts.
Rochas is now best known for his extensive parapsychological research and writing, in which he attempted to explore a scientific basis for occult phenomena. His first book on the subject, Les Forces non définies ("Undefined Forces", 1887), was followed by numerous books and articles over the course of nearly thirty years, on subjects such as hypnotism, telekinesis, "magnetic emanations" reincarnation, spirit photography, etc.
Rochas was part of the committee that investigated the famous Italian medium, Eusapia Palladino, detailed in his book, L'extériorisation de la motricité (1896). He carried out research into hypnosis, and documented the phenomenon of "externalisation of sensibility" whereby hypnotised subjects acquire a physical sensitivity to stimuli at a distance; for example, the subject can be made to feel pain if a certain spot is pinched or pricked away from the body and can even be made to feel the sensations of the hypnotist. He investigated other "magnetic" phenomena such as the transference of disease from one organism to another, past life regression, the effects of music on human emotion (see Les Sentiments, la musique et le geste), etc. He also introduced the French public to the work of Carl Reichenbach and his theory of odic force.