An exercise in critical thinking: Table levitation and other phenomena caught on camera and scrutinized scientifically


FOTCM Member
In the following video-documentation scientific experiments and protocols are used to capture and document a Phenomena caused by Kai Mügge, who describes himself as a physical medium in spiritistic séances. In the video we can see several levitations of a table. Apart from the shown phenomena in the video, Mügge also brings forth other phenomena such as ectoplasm and things appearing out of nowhere. Dr. Eckhard Kruse, Professor for Applied Computer Science at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, has set up an elaborate system to test and document the caused phenomena. So, here we go. Do you notice anything?:

On 11. April of this year, a famous german alternative website published an article about it. On 17. of April SOTT responded with the following article [machine translation]:

Magic trick? New video documentary about séance experiments with table levitation

Various phenomena have been reported from spiritistic séances for over 150 years. In nine experiments, Dr. Eckhard Kruse, Professor for Applied Computer Science at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, electronically monitored séances with the medium Kai Mügge and meticulously documented the phenomena that arose. Professor Kruse presents the results of this work for the first time exclusively on

Tischéance Kai Mügge
© E. Kruse / Symbol picture: Tableséance

- This article is an exclusive GreWi guest contribution by Prof. Dr. Eckhard Kruse. The views expressed by the author are his own.​

Various phenomena have been reported from spiritistic séances for more than 150 years: objects literally move "as if by magic hands", the ghostly substance, so-called ectoplasm, emerges from the medium and takes on a variety of forms, objects appear as apports out of nowhere, or when the table is moved, a table develops a life of its own under the loosely laid hands of the séance participants or even lifts off the ground completely. Even today there are so-called physical mediums in whose séances such phenomena can be observed. Much of this happens in the dark or under weak red light, and from the point of view of school science it seems clear anyway: it's all just illusion, deception or fraud.

SOTT comment: While such phenomena have likely occurred in the past and present, without using any trickery, and where real paranormal activity is actually taking place (such as table levitation), one should be aware that there are also magicians who fake such phenomena - sometimes with ingenious and sophisticated tricks. Unfortunately, Mr. Kruse (like most researchers in this field) does not seem to have spend at least some time studying magic in the form of magic tricks. Paranormal researchers should have at least basic knowledge in this area and thus a healthy degree of skepticism. In addition, it would be advisable to seek advice from a professional magician to better rule out tricks. It is entirely possible - and often quite easy - for professional magicians (and laymen alike) to fool even professional magicians, let alone the average Joe. And yes, that definitely applies to scientists as well.

So Mr. Kruse should ask himself the legitimate question why Kai Mügge is the only one among the test persons in every "evidence picture" and "evidence video" who puts his two thumbs under the (very light) table every time a "levitation" takes place while one of the legs of the table continuously touches his knee during the levitation action. A few youtube commenters under the video below also noticed these details. Until this obvious and fundamental thumb and knee anomaly is viewed critically, one should assume it is a trick. It's also worth mentioning that magicians/wizards who use tricks also often use psychology to fool the observers.

Nevertheless, the mediums are occasionally willing to allow scientific experiments in their séances in order to provide a deeper insight into the processes. This is how Prof. Dr. Eckhard Kruse, Professor of Applied Computer Science at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, has been conducting experiments in the séances of various mediums for several years (...GreWi reported). In 2021, an extensive series of experimental séances with Kai Mügge began, supported by the circle leader Julia Mügge and the psychologist Dr. Heike Bauder and at times Dominik Dörrzapf, who helped as a cameraman to document the events.

In order to convey the investigations and results to interested people, the path chosen was to document the procedure, the atmosphere before, during and after the séances and the results on film and to publish them as a series of short documentary videos. The first part, which is hereby published exclusively on as a 20-minute video, is dedicated to the phenomenon of turning the table [and levitating it].

The so-called table turning is based on the Western occult tradition of sitting at a table waiting for signals from spirit beings, e.g. in the form of knocking noises. For control the hands were often placed on the table, and the table repeatedly made surprising movements, even going so far as to lift off completely - phenomena that aroused research interest as early as the 19th century.

SOTT Comment: Yes. But there are also various versions of this phenomenon that are definitely out of the Magic bag of tricks. For example, magicians know many options to "levitate" a table. Which of course does not mean that there are not real phenomena of this kind.

For example, the ideomotor effect (also called the "Carpenter effect" after its founder) is used to explain such movements, which means that such movements can be explained simply by their own, albeit unconscious, muscle movements of the so-called sitters. In addition, of course, various possibilities for targeted tricks and manipulations must also be considered, especially since the phenomena often happen in the dark.

SOTT Comment: Another indication that could enable Mügge to easier convince his guests and audience.

But even after considering a wide variety of conventional explanations, researchers have repeatedly come to the conclusion that they have witnessed real paranormal happenings.

SOTT Comment: Yes. But in many magic tricks observers are also often convinced of the "paranormal" nature of what they see (including professional magicians) when in reality they just see or experience a magic trick.

Tischlevitation Kai Mügge
© E. Kruse / Tischlevitation in Infrared.

A central problem when researching such occult phenomena is that many phenomena do not appear when intervention is carried out using controls, measuring devices or lighting.

SOTT Comment: Indeed, this often seems to be the case in real Phenomena, not just in magic tricks.

Some interpret this as 'proof' that it must all be a scam.

SOTT Comment: Which definitely does not have to be the case.

But there is also other ways, through careful, step-by-step experimental approach, to bring quite remarkable results to light. When examining the table séances with Kai Mügge, such a balancing act turned out to be successful, on the one hand to gain more and more interesting measurement data, but on the other hand to witness strong phenomena. The experiments culminated so far in the documentation of complete table levitations, in which all sitters had their hands visibly resting loosely on top of the table surface, the area under the table and the table legs remained visibly free and the processes were viewed from different perspectives with infrared video, camera and other sensors were recorded.

SOTT Comment: And Mr. Mügge had his two thumbs under the table...

The video documentation shows the sometimes tedious, often emotional way to get there and the diverse ideas of being able to use suitable technology to further and further exclude conventional explanations of manipulation. The main experimental approaches and results are outlined below.

A typical table séance at Kai Mügge takes place largely in the dark, only during short red light phases are checks made, for example of the table position, the hands of the sitter, etc., whereby the particularly impressive complete table levitations are usually only in the dark via the perception of the table movements by one’s own hands is possible.

SOTT Comment: Another indication that Mügge is doing a trick.

At this point, the experiments started in order to obtain further objective, measurable information about what was happening.

SOTT Comment: The rest of the article can be found on Grenzwissenschaft-Aktuell.
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Last week a critical follow-up article appeared on the original website, including a response from Dr. Kruse at the end about the IMO damning evidence [machine translation]:

Controversy over recent video documentation of séance research experiments with Kai Mügge​

Andreas Müller

Symbolbild: Tischéance. Copyright/Quelle: E. Kruse

Symbol-Picture: Tableséance. Copyright/Quelle: E. Kruse

Saarbrücken (Germany) – A guest article published on GreWi in mid-April 2023 by computer science professor Dr. Eckhard Kruse's video documentation of séance research experiments with the physical medium Kai Mügge triggered heated discussions among readers, experts and skeptics alike. has compiled the numerous factual questions, observations and sometimes severe criticisms and submitted them to Eckhard Kruse for a reply.

– Please read the original GreWi guest article by Dr. Eckhard Kruse from April 11, 2023 HERE

The following ideas and measures were initially proposed by various authors as constructive suggestions for extended, controlled documentation and investigation:

a) A measurement of the participants' muscle activity.

b) Measuring sensors for all 5 fingers on the top of the tabletop and far enough away from the edge of the table that a thumb grip on or under the edge is not possible. It should also be ensured that the two sensors per person are placed further apart so that both sensors cannot be touched with the spread fingers of one hand (or use at least six sensors per person).

c) The table itself could be placed in a kind of frame (pictorial: Plexiglas aquarium), which would rule out the use of feet and legs in the form of leverage and support.

d) ....or use a significantly heavy table.

There were also concrete allegations of a force-mechanical effect – i.e. direct and intentional fraud – from various sides by Kai Mügge based on still images from the video itself. Although corresponding observations and allegations came from various readers and observers, the following is for them representative contribution by Dr. Michael Nahm from the Institute for Border Areas of Psychology and Mental Health (IGPP) in Freiburg. Please note that this text is a contribution by Dr. Nahm and the statements made therein are those of the author himself. Before that, you will find the video documentation itself again…

Comments on the video documentation of Kai Mügge's table levitation​

from Dr. Michael Nahm, IGPP

In advance:
Towards the end of the video, three sequences of what appear to be table levitations are shown, although recordings that refer to these three levitations have repeatedly been included earlier. I name them as follows:
Levitation 1: Starting at 17:51 (4 people, Ms. Bauder is not wearing a vest)
Levitation 2: Starting at 18:10 (4 people, Ms. Bauder is wearing a vest). Strictly speaking, you can see two levitations here:
Levitation 2a: Original time 20:56; Kai's right hand is on the left sensor.
Levitation 2b: Starting at 18:45; Original time: 21:13; Kai's right hand is between the two sensors.
Levitation 3: Starting at 19:03 (5 people)

In all four levitations, it is striking that Kai is the only person seated who has moved his hands from the loose and correct position on the tabletop, which can be seen in some recordings of "normal" horizontal or lateral table movements, to the edge of the table. His right hand rests on the left sensor at levitation 2a, and sometimes his sensors are completely exposed. The left hand doesn't seem to be touching any sensor most of the time. In all levitations, his arms appear tense and his shoulders are pulled up. With all levitations, the table no longer performs any lateral movements, but only rises stiffly. It is also noticeable that in all levitations, Kai's right knee is in direct and permanent frontal contact with the table leg on his side. Occasionally you can literally see how he seems to follow or compensate for the movements of the table with his right knee (17:51ff), or how the table leg seems to slip off the knee and "slip" back into its normal position (18:55ff).

All of this is very suspicious, and with Levitation 2a in particular, a closer look reveals how he seems to accomplish these levitations:

In the following still image of levitation 2a (Fig. 1), you can clearly see that Kai grips the outer edge of the table with his right hand. His right thumb is well below the surface and the edge. Even without magnification, a small window of light can be seen in the crook of the thumb.

Fig. 1


Fig. 2: Same here, as the table continues to rise...

But a closer look at Kai's right hand reveals something else entirely: He has six fingers on his right hand. The following still from Levitation 2b (Fig. 3) shows the heel of the thumb reaching under the edge of the table, four fingers, and an additional finger about the same length as those four fingers. It appears to be relatively stiff and stands diagonally upwards behind the other fingers. In this position, that could just be the right thumb. However, this is 1) anatomically impossible in this form and 2) being encompassed real right thumb still the edge of the table. This sixth finger also looks very unusual, especially at the base. There can only be one conclusion: this "thumb" is a wrong finger. The left thumb also looks unnatural. It is well known that Kai is very familiar with the use of false thumbs/fingers.

Fig. 3: Fake magic thumb

Fig. 3a: One of many examples of magic thumbs/fingers, Fig. d. GreWi editors (not part of Nahm's manuscript).


Here is even the confirmation from below: Right next to Kai's table leg you can see a nub protruding under and behind the inner edge of the table, at exactly the point where you can clearly see in the top view that Kai is the edge of the table there grasped with the real right thumb (red ellipse). And exactly at the point where Kai's left thumb would have to rest if he behaved the same way, you can even see an identical second knob (blue ellipse). These knobs can be nothing other than the tips of the angled outer joints of Kai's real thumb, which he uses to reach under the outer edge of the table (Fig. 6). There are several photos of Levitation 2a showing these two knobs.

Fig. 6


The fact that the spot is particularly suitable for the right thumb can be seen from the fact that on the top of the table the four sensor lines lead directly in the direction of the four table legs before they fork (in some shots it is clearly visible when the table is viewed from above). The sensors themselves are therefore located slightly to the right and left of the position of the table leg at Kai. And because Kai touches what he sees as the left sensor with his right hand (see Fig. 1, 2 and 5), his thumb should come to rest just to the left of the table leg: It fits exactly.

Fig. 7: Enlargement, in which the outer and inner table edge can also be seen clearly:


However, the above applies only to levitation 2a and Figs. 1, 2 and 5, to which these photos from the ground camera (Figs. 6 and 7) also belong. In levitation 2b (Fig. 3 and 4), however, Kai's right hand is a little further to the right and between the sensors. The sensor on the right from his point of view is now on his ring finger and little finger. From the perspective of the ground camera, his right thumb knob should therefore be behind the table leg and not visible. In fact: In the corresponding photo of the ground camera (shown at 18:58), this bump on the table leg cannot be seen. The knob on the left thumb also seems to be covered by Mrs. Bauder's table leg. However, the photo below from 1st levitation already shows such a knob. However, only the left thumb joint can be seen here (blue ellipse). As you can see in the top view of levitation 1 in the video, Kai's right hand with the ring finger is on/near the sensor on the right from his point of view, i.e. in a very similar position to levitation 2b. Therefore, from the perspective of the ground camera, the right thumb should also be behind the table leg and should not be visible. This is exactly the case: as in the photo of the floor camera for levitation 2b, there is no knob to be seen next to the table leg (Fig. 8). In another similar photo of Levitation 1, the table has rotated slightly so that now the knob of Kai's left thumb is hidden by the table leg on Ms. Bauder, just like the bottom photo of Levitation 2b.


Based on the evidence presented here, there can be no doubt that Kai used false fingers to simulate the presence of thumbs above the edge of the table, when in fact he had grasped that edge of the table from below with his real thumbs.

Also, at the top of Figure 8, you can see that a table leg is directly in front of, and probably touching, Kai's right knee. As already mentioned, this conspicuous handling of one table leg can be seen in all levitations. This is clearly recognizable in the supervision used in the videos. Below is a still image of Levitation 2b that illustrates the point well. The table leg even looks slightly angled, possibly due to pressure on the knee. "Levitating" tables in this manner while keeping them level by moving one table leg up and down along the knee is an old trick (Fig. 9).

Fig. 9

Further comments:

Basically, one should bear in mind that Kai was already unequivocally convicted of systematic and repeated fraud years ago, and that with regard to the use of a false thumb fitted with an LED light, he even confessed to this (even if he has since vehemently denied this confession; see Nahm 2014, 2016, 2018; Braude, 2016). Furthermore, he is very familiar with the multifaceted literature of
physical mediumism very well, as well as that of trick artists. At the beginning of his "mediumistic" career, moreover, he consulted the internet for tricks for spiritualistic dark sessions. His behaviour, including the now visible use of false thumbs, can therefore come as no surprise.

If you know what to look for, you can also see in the video of Levitation 1 in the top view that Kai used false fingers to feign the presence of thumbs above the edge of the table. This was apparently not the case in Levitation 3: here Kai refrained from using false fingers. That is why you can see very clearly on his left hand (the only one that is clearly visible in this video) that there are only four fingers above the edge of the table. The left thumb only then becomes dimly visible,
after Kai has opened his thumbs and the table falls down.

Further illustrations with enlargements of this and other situations in Levitations 1, 2 and 3 follow in the appendix. That Kai used false thumbs for Levitations 1 and 2 would also explain why his hands are in the wrong places on the table and often do not even touch the sensors: He eventually had to get the false fingers out of their hiding place and somehow attach them to the edge of the table by/under his hands. He may not have been able to find the sensors well in the process. In general, the index and middle fingers of his hands, which form the abutment to the thumb grip, seem to be very rarely placed correctly on the sensors. It would be interesting to see the entire recordings of the pressure sensors in parallel with the videos of the levitations.
I was able to imitate Kai's supposed levitation technique with a 12 kg wooden table without any problems. This is very easy as most of the weight is transferred through the table leg to the bent knee. I also know the table used by Herr Kruse very well; I've also been sitting on it for many hours and we even took it to Austria for our experimental week in 2013. It is relatively light and the sitters do not generate any significant additional weight with their hands because they usually only touch the surface very lightly with their hands. It should be child's play to "levitate" this table with the now very well documented technique and I am sure that Kai has done this before, e.g. in 2013 Austria.

If you look closely, you can see in the following still images of a levitation in Braude (2014, p. 315) that Kai's thumbs are not visible, although at least the right thumb should be visible to some extent if it were lying loosely on the table. Just try it yourself: If a thumb lies loosely next to the other four fingers on a tabletop, the shape of the inner edge of the hand looks completely different than in the last of the three following pictures. The shape of the visible edge of the hand, on the other hand, looks exactly the same when someone grips the edge of the table with their thumb.

Kai's table leg is already directly in front of his right knee, and the lower leg is conspicuously angled inwards towards the middle of the body - apparently in order to shift the knee back towards the middle of the body (Kai's feet are quite far apart so that they are in contact with the feet of neighboring seaters). And of course the table didn't rise higher than the height where the lowest part of the table leg can still fully touch his knee. (Footnote: The phenomena announced for the second part of Kruse's video documentation are already shown in another video (
). They are also very suspect for various reasons. The basic principle of Artificially producing these phenomena (tambourine levitation, hand-shaping over plaque) is also fairly easy to replicate, which I have already done.With practice, one should be able to artificially produce such phenomena easily, even under the conditions shown.

From: Braude, S.E. (2014). Investigations of the Felix Experimental Group: 2010-2013. Journal of Scientific
Exploration, 28:285-343, and this video:


Levitation 2a and 2b: Six right fingers


Levitation 1: Five fingers above the table top and the right thumb grips the edge below (position of the ball of the hand = as in levitation 2)

This difference alone is in view of the otherwise practically identical attitude of the
hand and her fingers extremely suspicious.

Also surprised that when Kai (only!) suddenly flexes his right index finger, his
"Thumbs" seem to slide down the edge of the table (17:59, preferably individual
frames) and then of all things he turns off the light. Are there his
slipped the wrong finger?

Levitation 3: The left thumb becomes apparent when released.


Especially in the video you can see how Kai (only!) lifts the left side of his left hand up from the table with his little finger when it is still "floating" (see also the top still image here). From the standpoint of real levitation, this behavior makes little sense. But if it was an (unconscious) preparatory movement that immediately preceded the planned letting go of the table.

Braude, S.E. (2014). Investigations of the Felix Experimental Group: 2010–
2013. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 28, 285-343.
Braude, S.E. (2016). Follow-up investigation of the Felix Circle. Journal of
Scientific Exploration, 30, 27-55.
Nahm, M. (2014). The development and the phenomena of a circle for physical
mediumship. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 28, 229-283.
Nahm, M. (2016). Further comments about Kai Mügge's alleged mediumship
and recent developments. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 30, 56-62.
Nahm, M. (2018). Investigating “Physical Mediums” via audio signal processing:
A comment on a recent approach. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 32,
579-595. Herein: See especially footnote 1.
…All articles are freely available online.

End of post by Dr. M. Nahm

In response to some of the above questions and Michael Nahm's criticism, Dr. Kruse responds in the following reply, which also appears here as a guest post. Again, the statements and claims are those of the author...

Physical mediality: new video documentation about séance research experiments with Kai Mügge, questions and answers​

from Dr. Eckhard Kruse

There were questions and feedback on the report and video recently published here, which I am happy to address. First of all: My aim is primarily to describe experiments and related observations. Of course, there are unshakable convictions, especially in this area, and I have no claim to fight against them. My own perspective on physical mediumship results far less from reading reports than from my participation in well over a hundred séances with various media. But regardless of whether one assumes fraud or real phenomena, or how one assesses the quality of the material presented, actually every interested person should find value in it. Because you can use it either way to check your own explanatory models and it supplements the pool of existing measurements and observations, which is not exactly extensive, especially when it comes to current data. So if you suspect it's tricks and cheating, you can now try to levitate a table in a similar way and it shouldn't be long before corresponding skeptical videos start pouring in. In such a case, we can work out differences if necessary.

Another note: The video is not intended as a scientific collection and presentation of all the data collected, but as an entertaining overview of the ongoing research work. Unfortunately, scientific publications in this area are not easy, even in parapsychological journals, as I had to find out in previous investigations. There were sometimes absurd reviewer objections to a detailed, systematic report with methods and data, e.g. that I should have examined a different medium or that my motion sensors were too cheap - without a word on measurement accuracy or results. The fact that when dogmas and arguments meet, the latter often lose out is evident in all areas of life, including the proud science.

The séance as a special field of experimentation

There were various suggestions for further, different measurements in the feedback. We also endeavored to improve the measurements step by step, as the development of the technology used shown in the film shows. Of course, not all possibilities have been exhausted. However, I have the impression that many of the suggestions come from people who have never dealt with the subject in depth, let alone attended a séance themselves. It's not like the table is flying around all the time anyway and you just have to think about putting a crate of beer on it, tying up the medium and turning on the light. Seance phenomena are exceedingly subtle. Many people who get together in their own circles sit around a table for hours singing and are already enthusiastic when the table starts to jerk a little after a long time. In the experimental séances with Kai Mügge, too, it often took half an hour or longer before a clear reaction relevant to the experiments emerged. It took even more patience, concentration, and focus to hit the infrared light switch. Every change in the usual setting, every additional requirement (fewer sitters, fixed finger positions for the sensors, etc.), every measuring device (even if it is switched off) is a burden that can delay or prevent the phenomena. Proponents of the fraud thesis like to take this as proof that nothing is shown precisely because measuring devices would reveal the fraud. But then why would a fraudulent medium even consent to measurements—something a stage magician would never allow? However, experience also shows that with commitment, patience and time, measurements are possible, step by step more and more, so there is a kind of training or habituation effect. A natural phenomenon: an initially shy wild animal gets used to its observers over time, making further experiments possible. However, if you want to observe its hunt in the wild, you should not first put it in a cage for better control.

The thumb, the table

Some comments suggested that Kai used his thumbs to lift the table and suggested using a heavier (wooden) table (d). Short answer from the introduction: Please try it yourself! At his public table séances, Kai regularly explains which tricks can be used to fake table levitation, e.g. hidden steel braces on the forearms are latched into the table or a foot under the table leg levers the table up. He lets the sitters themselves try to raise the table somehow. After that, nobody asks about the weight of the table, because it's clear that that's not possible - not to mention that the sitter's hands are also resting on it. Incidentally, the torque is more important than the weight: the table has a diameter of 84 cm. A thumb that protrudes 4 cm under the tabletop would have to apply ten times the weight due to the short lever, which would correspond to 50 kg with a 5 kg table weight. On top of that, the sharp-edged edge of the table does not offer a suitable point of attack. If at all, it would theoretically only work in combination with a thumb grip and a permanent, very targeted pressure against a table leg. I don't need to calculate that here, too, thumb forces would be required that are significantly greater than the weight of the table (keyword: mechanics, statics, free cutting), on top of that it required a pronounced balancing act, especially since the legs of the table are smooth and rounded (advantage of the plastic table). During the experiments, we were very careful that the hands, feet, legs of Kai and the sitters were not in 'suspicious' positions or obscuring important insights. One can always wish for more, but eight human legs and four table legs need to be accommodated somewhere. A questionably placed thumb tip was annoying for me, but ultimately not relevant in the sum of the material. Here are three more shots that, in my opinion, clearly contradict the thumb-leg trick thesis.

Image 1


Image 2

Image 3

Incidentally, a plastic table has the advantage that the legs do not break off during the levitations, which often (but not always) end with a kind of fall.

The measurements: effort, benefit, objective

The preparation of the experimental sessions, setting up the equipment, etc. often took several hours. Only then did the actual séance experiments, which sometimes also lasted hours, begin and still required full concentration and dedication. Of course it would be nice, for example, to attach a total of 40 individual finger sensors for all seaters, but it would also be very time-consuming. In addition, it would be an additional burden for the sitter to permanently hold all fingers in such a fixed position. And in the end, the critics objected that one could touch several sensors with one finger at the same time by holding the hand appropriately (b) in order to have the thumb free for tricks.

The same applies to other suggestions, such as the idea of measuring the participants' muscle activity (see a above): Yes, interesting, you can do it. I even have some electromyographic sensors in my closet that I once bought for Ouija experiments (see GreWi article...). But here, too, I see little evidence, since they can be temporarily loosened or shifted and then no/weaker muscle activity is measured. Another interesting suggestion was to use pressure sensors to measure the weight of the people sitting (including chairs), which would have to increase if someone actively lifted the table. Here, too, the effort would be high and what do you do with the weight of the feet that rest directly on the ground. Should they also be fixed?

From my own experience, I'm sure that as a sitter I don't use any lifting force, and the Kai thumb hypothesis doesn't seem worth pursuing any further at the moment; in this respect, my interest in investing considerable effort in such measurements is low. The same applies to (serious!) considerations that Kai uses artificial fingers to pretend that his hands are on the table; a “sixth finger” marked in the still image remains for me, even with a lot of imagination, only a light reflection on the table surface and in the regular red light phases of the table experiments I could always see all hands clearly. Speaking of which: infrared images may look like black and white images, but materials can differ significantly in terms of the reflection of visible and infrared light. A black cabinet curtain then appears white, for example, or Julia gets gray hair in the infrared light.
The focus of my experiments is therefore not to address the doubts of any critic, but to gain as much data and knowledge about the phenomena as possible, not least because Kai and I simply want to understand more precisely what is happening there. You should also keep in mind that this is all a leisure project, without funding, with a lot of self-made technology and soldering iron and programming work. So I don't particularly like comments that sound like accusations or demands, in the tone "Kruse should do it", especially when they come from people who don't seem to even bother to research basic knowledge about the history of the séance phenomena, let alone because to attend a séance yourself. I think it's worth considering what emotions might be influencing the tone of voice, which is rarely found in comments on other research.

What's next?

On my wish list for tabletop experiments are other things that have actually not been suggested by anyone, e.g. a measuring wire around the edge of the table to register accidental or intentional hand contact and best to signal this directly with a warning tone. A third camera perspective, e.g. from a ceiling position above the medium, would also be nice. I don't know if or when we will do that, because at the moment the focus of the experiments is on the cabinet séances. After all, there is a whole cornucopia of physical mediumship phenomena that can be observed with Kai Mügge. In fact, I'd suggested moving from the tabletop experiments to the cabinet séances before, but then got persuaded to do an additional tabletop séance experimentation day to gather more material—knowing (and accepting) that there'd never be enough for the skeptics anyway . For the time being, however, I prefer to devote my time to new experiments rather than trying to tease out small improvements from the old ones. One focus of the recent sèance experiments was to additionally control the sitters and the medium held by the arms and legs in the dark using infrared light fibers, while objects (tambourine, handkerchief), which were also equipped with infrared light-emitting diodes, were moving through the room at the same time or forms of hands projected in front of a luminous disk. Up to three cameras were used, precisely calibrated to calculate 3D positions. There are recordings of ectoplasm phenomena in unprecedented quality. And anyone who has been to Kai Mügge's séances knows what else happens there and is extremely interesting for scientific investigation.

Fraud and Kruse join in?

One last question that sometimes seems to resonate subliminally: Is this all a scam that Kruse is involved in? We are, so to speak, in the area of "conspiracy theory" and I say this with benevolence towards this term and the desire for its rehabilitation, where unfortunately it is so readily misused to discredit people who want to discuss hypotheses other than the 'officially correct' ones ( See GreWi article 'GreWi Book of the Year': "The Fight for Truth"). So: Of course, it can and should be discussed whether manipulation and deception due to secret, unfair intentions are a plausible explanation, Kruse might even be doing common things with Mügge. That means it's about questions about skills and motives. It is conceivable that the computer scientist Kruse could manipulate film material, even if one should not underestimate the effort and limits of a good forgery (if that should be an issue, I may provide camera raw images that are more meaningful for image forensics than the downscaled jpegs). Above all, however, the motive would be questionable: What profit should a civil servant university professor derive from doing something like this? The fact that I deal publicly with such "undesirable" topics does not exactly bring me any advantages at my university. What personal benefit, then, should I derive from saying I see no evidence of trickery or fraud? Or to quote the only university colleague with whom I have a constructive exchange on these things: "That's impressive and certainly research is too. Of course, it would be even better if you had managed to unmask Kai Mügge.”

Even with the assumption that Kai Mügge is the sole fraud and that Kruse is just too stupid to notice this despite countless hours spent together in the séance room, the question remains: Why does Kai invest so much time and energy in such experiments? After all, any experiment would harbor the risk of uncovering a fraud. On the other hand, physical mediums sing a song about the fact that scientific investigations never promise them any advantage anyway; inveterate skeptics can't be convinced anyway. And the "customers", i.e. people who like to go to séances often, in my experience do not do so because they have read positive things about the medium in a research report, but because they are enthusiastic, inspired and happy about what experience them there. Kai certainly doesn't have to vie for his séances to be attended. I don't remember that one of his séances was not fully booked. If he and I have a concern – apart from personal research curiosity – it is at most the idea of making the topic better known and making some people a little curious. Either way, the circle of people who enthusiastically attend séances on a regular basis is constantly growing, just as doubts about the authenticity of the phenomena are quickly no longer a major issue for many. Some even set up their own circles and experience similar developments in séance phenomena there, away from the public eye. If you want to understand and explain séance events, you should ideally not only speculate about thumbs, but also look at and consider these broader aspects of a whole movement.

End of the reply by Dr. E Kruse

Final note by GreWi ed. Andreas Mueller​

As the publisher of (GreWi), I have decided both to publish the original guest contribution by Prof. Kruse and to continue to accompany the discussion and controversy through local criticism and reply. I myself do not have any independent research expertise on the subject of séances and physical mediumship. However, I appreciate Kai Mügge's willingness to undertake scientific and technical investigations and documentation, Eckhard Kruse's willingness to accept this challenge, and the strictly critical attitude of critics such as Michael Nahm. GreWi's task is to provide journalistic support and documentation of the debate, combined with the hope that a constructive exchange between the participants (Mügge, Kruse, Nahm, etc.) might take place. Should this result in further joint scientific experiments, the positive effect of this small series could hardly be greater. From now on, however, it is up to the persons named to seize this opportunity.
GreWi will then be happy to report again...

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There is little doubt in my mind that Kai Mügge is using magic tricks for his "phenomena". Further, it could be that at least one other person at the séances is in on it too, namely his wife. IMO there is also the possibility that Dr. Eckhard Kruse is in on it. Having said that, it is also entirely possible that Kruse and others really believe in the reality that Mügge is creating.
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Yeah, the first thing that stroke me in the video, is the happy (not to say merry) face of participants. You got extra super paranormal facts and this is just so much fun.

If they want to start to prove something they have to produce it in a place which is not on their own. Let say a laboratory with skeptic people or an outside place like, let's say, a village square, less prone to install a trick above or below.
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