Hettinger, J(ohn)
Pioneer British psychical researcher with special interest in
telepathy. Hettinger was active in the physical sciences and
electrical engineering. He was one of the first individuals in
Britain to receive a Ph.D. degree for a dissertation concerned
with paranormal phenomena. He studied psychology at Kings
College, London University (1933–38), exploring what he
named the ‘‘ultra-perceptive faculty’’ of telepathy, employing
a pictorial method.
He devoted much time to ‘‘object reading,’’ in which a subject
is given some object, concentrates on it, and describes impressions
received that relate to it or to the owner. Object reading
is more popularly known as psychometry. Hettinger
conducted psychometric tests to discover the sealed message
left by Sir Oliver Lodge before his death, and pieced together
the purported message in 17 test sittings (described in his book
Telepathy and Spiritualism). His work received mixed reviews
from his colleagues.
Berger, Arthur S., and Joyce Berger. The Encyclopedia of
Parapsychology and Psychical Research. New York Paragon
House, 1991.
Hettinger, John. Exploring the Ultra-Perceptive Faculty. London
Rider, 1941.
———. Telepathy and Spiritualism. London Rider, 1952.
———. The Ultra-Perceptive Faculty. London Rider, 1938.
Scott, Christopher. ‘‘Experimental Object-Reading A Critical
Review of the Work of Dr. J. Hettinger.’’ Proceedings of the
Society for Psychical Research 49 (1949).

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