Cox, William Edward (1915–1994)
Mechanical engineer and psychical researcher and lecturer.
He was born September 12, 1915, at Wilmington, North Carolina,
and was educated at Louisburg College, Antioch College,
and the University of the South. As a young man he became interested
in stage magic, which led him into the study of psychic
phenomena and parapsychology. His primary research was devoted
to psychokinesis, in which he developed some innovative
experiments. In 1951 he introduced the PK-Placement
method, a technique by which objects are released mechanically
over an equally divided surface. The subject attempts to
make the object fall to one side of the division. Cox also adapted
ESP techniques for use in psychokinesis experiments. He
was credited with keeping psychokinesis research alive during
a period when it had largely been abandoned by parapsychology.
In 1957 he won a prize presented by the Society for Psychical
Research for the most original essay in parapsychology.
Cox also became a research associate at the Parapsychology
Laboratory at Duke University and from that time on devoted
the majority of his time to parapsychology. He later worked at
the Institute for Parapsychology.
Cox wrote more than 50 articles on parapsychology. He was
a charter member of the Parapsychological Association, a
board member of the Foundation for Research on the Nature
of Man, a member of various psychical research organizations,
and an associate member of the Society of American Magicians.
Cox died on June 12, 1994.
Sources
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Cox, William E. ‘‘The Effects of PK on the Placement of Falling
Objects.’’ Journal of Parapsychology 15 (1951) 40–48.
———. Mentalis and Magicians Some Conclusive Arguments
about a Modern Problem. Singapore Stamford College Press,
1972.
———. ‘‘Precognition and Intervention.’’ Journal of the
American Society for Psychical Research 50 (1956) 47–58.

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