Encounters with the Unknown—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, February 2022
The Remarkable Stories of a Brazilian Psychic named Thomaz Green Morton
by: By Brent Raynes
Photo of Thomaz Green Morton
Back in 1990, a publisher named Omega Press released a remarkable book entitled Miracles and Other Realities, written by Lee Pulos, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and a professor emeritus with the University of British Columbia, and Gary Richman, a freelance journalist who had spent years in Brazil studying spiritual healing, religion, and traditional folklore. Together they worked exhaustively to investigate a young pharmacist named Thomaz Green Morton from the Minas Gerais region of Brazil who many people were claiming had incredible psychic powers.
Richman had himself lived with Thomaz and his family for varying periods of time that in total amounted to more than eight months. He had done personal interviews with some 200 people [90 percent who had been witnesses to Thomaz’s psychic abilities, while the other 10 percent had been childhood friends, schoolteachers and administrators, doctors and others]. Richman had also acquired the cooperation of and the access to the records of Professor Mario Amaral Machado, an electrical engineer, and his wife, Dr. Gloria Machado, a physician and psychiatrist; Helena Cunha Bueno, an independent cinematographer who had filmed more than 60 hours of Thomaz’s phenomena and interviews with him; Lada, a cousin of Thomaz’s, who had more than 400 audio and videotape recordings of Thomaz’s psychic demonstrations from various times; Richman had additionally collected many notarized affidavits from firsthand witnesses soon after their experiences; and, on top of all of that, kept a meticulous log of what he had personally witnessed with Thomaz, which proved to be extremely considerable.
It was back in the 1970s that Dr. Pulos read a National Enquirer article about a young man in Brazil with amazing psychic abilities. The article had been written by Gary Richman, and of course the young man was Thomaz.
Pulos, no stranger to the paranormal subject, had already traveled to various parts of the world trying to understand and document the paranormal, visiting such places as the Philippines where he reportedly witnessed more than one hundred psychic healings. Brazil became his next destination. “We were astounded by his childlike wonder every time a phenomenon occurred,” the authors wrote. “Even though he had probably bent metal or transmuted and materialized objects thousands of times, he celebrated each occasion as if it were the first occurrence.” Thomaz came to call transmutation his most important phenomenon. There were numerous and unbelievable instances of such. For example, there was an occasion where the authors both watched Thomaz seemingly cause an American quarter, within mere seconds, to change, at first watching the head of George Washington melt away, soon becoming a round, smooth “metal wafer” in the end.
“During our dinners with Thomaz we saw the usual metal-bending; it has become such a ‘normal’ phenomena around Thomaz we hardly give it a second thought. He has added a new effect, however. Thomaz gives many of his friends demitasse spoons that are twisted. The spoons are worn as necklaces that signify his psychic signature. As Thomaz presents the spoon, the person’s name is instantaneously ‘engraved’ on it. While we were there, he presented a visiting French author whom he had met only minutes before with this talisman. Excitedly, she took it and noticed that her name, Lynette was engraved on the bottom of the bowl of the spoon. I [Pulos] examined the spoon, noticed engraving on only one surface and handed it back to her. Suddenly, she shrieked again and shouted that her middle name, Evelyne, was now engraved on the inside of the bowl. ‘No one,’ she exclaimed, ‘except my parents know my middle name!’”
The book is filled with so many of these extraordinary accounts it’s impossible to recount them all here. Therefore, an overview will have to suffice. Fortunately, a kindle ebook version of this book is available on Amazon, produced by Beyond Words out of Portland, Oregon. In an afterword done by the creative director of Beyond Words, Michele Ashtiani Cohn, we are given an update and some interesting background on the book and its authors. We learn how in 2019 she became acquainted with this book thanks to an author, businessman and a close friend of Dr. Pulus named James Jensen who, also described as a “spiritual seeker,” joined in on the Brazilian investigations. She was even presented with a box of souvenirs from the two-week trip. “The box had been in Jim’s closet since he visited Thomaz in the early 1980s, and in it were more than fifty pieces of twisted spoons and forks and watches that were brought back to life by Thomaz,” she wrote. “To my amazement a National Enquirer article from 1983 lay beneath, yellowed and torn. Everything Jim collected on his trip with Pulos, Richman, and Thomaz was in the box.” For Cohn the most interesting item from the box was a medallion that Pulos described in the introduction to the book. The 1990 book didn’t include images of it, but Cohn made certain the new kindle ebook did. It displayed two dolphins on one side and the twelve astrological signs of the zodiac on the other, Dr. Pulus detailed in the book’s introduction how the medallion came into the picture. It happened, we read, when Thomaz instructed James Jensen to remove a silver dollar from his pocket and hold it tightly in a closed fist. Thomaz was about six feet from Jensen at the time. He asked Jensen what his astrological sign was and Jensen replied “Pisces.” Not long afterwards, Jensen opened his hand, not aware that anything had changed, but instead of the silver dollar he now had this mysterious medallion in his hand. Thomaz called this manifestation a “transmutational force.” Pulos wrote, “In the days ahead, this medallion would come to symbolize for us experiences that mock the laws of physics and presumptions about what we cherished as reality.”
Thanks to the helpful staff at Beyond Words, I was able to talk with James Jensen myself on Zoom on January 28th. He recalled of this medallion’s appearance: “There were maybe half a dozen of us and he [Thomaz] said, ‘Jim, you have some round silver thing in your pocket. What is that?’ I said, ‘It’s my good luck American silver dollar.’ I pulled it out and showed him and he said, ‘Okay, I want you to hold on to that. I’m not going to touch it.’ He was six feet away from me. …He said, ‘What’s your birth sign?’ I said, ‘Pisces.’ ‘Ah,’ he said, ‘Fish! Fish!’ He said, ‘Okay everybody look down and say ‘Fish! Fish! Fish!’ and we did that several times and he said, ‘Open your hand. Open your hand.’ When I opened my hand this silver dollar had turned into a medallion, on which there are two fish. …And the back side was the complete zodiac sign of Pisces, and everybody was just amazed.” Photos 2
Jim displays his mysterious medallion
Today Jim wears the medallion around his neck attached with a chain. “When we got home I asked my wife to take it to a jeweler,” Jim told me. “I wear this everyday.” He described how the man at the jewelry store had some sort of Ph.D. in metallurgical science. He claimed the man was puzzled by the medallion, saying something like, “I’ve never found a piece of metal that I couldn’t immediately tell you what it is. But I don’t have anything for which I can relate to this particular thing.”
Luminous “Soap Bubbles” and the “Raahh” Effect!
Denise Slater, the granddaughter of a famous Brazilian General named Alfredo Moacyr Uchoa (1905-1996), who was a well-known and respected investigator of parapsychology and ufology and is mentioned in Miracles and Other Realities, described to me how her grandfather had met Thomaz and how the psychic had demonstrated his abilities to him and others. She had herself witnessed him perform one of his incredible feats of psychokinesis.
I asked her how a “typical session” would go. Denise replied, “With Thomas nothing was really typical. The one at the farmhouse [where the General and his wife lived] everyone sat around the big dinner table (seated 12) and others were standing behind. Everyone was there: even the housekeeper, the farm keeper and their small children! Then my grandfather asked him if he was ‘feeling the energy coming’ or something like that. He then asked for all the metal to be placed on the table. Then the “Raahh” screams started. And all the stuff on the table turned and twirled and changed shapes in front of our eyes, without him touching them. His hands were wide open in the air, like 40 inches away. That was it. Then he said everyone could take souvenirs. That was the end of a ‘session.’”
“My grandmother was very mad after his visit. Everyone wanted to have a souvenir from him and so everybody put their coins and their scissors, knives, everything we could find to put on the table for Thomas to twist and do whatever. So he would twist nothing that he brought but things that you would bring to the table. But what my grandmother did not know was that he would twist things that were hidden, that he did not know about. Things that were not in the room. All my grandmother’s tweezers, nail clippers, scissors, and things like that in the house were bent. They were all ruined. She was very, very mad. There was not a single pair of scissors, a single pair of tweezers, nothing in the house that was not twisted.”
Photo of Denise and the warped coin
I asked Denise to review with me what the lab analysis of the altered metal objects had revealed. She replied: “It said the metals showed no signs of heat or stress. Meaning: there were no traces of using any kind of ‘heat’ to melt the metal and no signs of bending, causing the molecules to stretch (stress). So they concluded that the only thing that could have happened was that the molecules were rearranged. Now how can we explain that?”
I asked about her mention of having a coin that was changed in that session, and how many such objects she may have had. Denise responded: “I have one. My dad and aunt have more. Mine looks like a pita sandwich. Like someone wanted to fold a coin to ‘eat a sandwich’ like a half a moon. It is pretty thick too.” I also questioned Denise about the number of times she may have witnessed the mysterious “bubble,” as she called it, with Morton. She stated: “Me, just one time. My grandparents though once took Thomas to their farm, in their car. The light popped up the entire time in the car until they got there. My grandmother was so stressed out, because she feared they would end up having a car accident.”
As to how many of these “bubbles” Denise herself may have seen, she stated “no more than 3 or 4.” As to size “5 to 7 inches,” and as to duration “a couple of seconds.” As to how they looked, she stated: “They were self-luminous, very bright.” How did they appear and disappear? “They originated from nowhere. Just in plain air, around his head I would say. They just popped in and out like soap bubbles.”
Miracles and Other Realities details quite a number of instances of mysterious light phenomena appearing around Morton. Once the authors and others, including Jensen, accompanied Morton as he was driving from Sao Paulo to his home in Pouso Alegre. During that trip the interior of the car filled with a strong jasmine/eucalyptus odor, at which point Thomaz announced the presence of “Xils,” what he identified as an “extraterrestrial entity.” Soon there was, inside the car, a “very bright blue-white flash of light” followed by a “mini-explosion of red light.” Over the next hour there were 40 or 50 unexplained light flashes, which happened twice outside of the moving vehicle [at which time the windows were presumably rolled up].
During my conversation with Jim he recalled manifestations of light: “Anytime we road with him in the car the car would be flashing with lights.” When I told him of Denise’s description of a luminous bubble he nodded his head.
Returning to Denise Slater’s accounts, I asked if she had witnessed Morton doing anything else unusual? Denise answered, “No I did not. But something else very strange happened during another trip to the farm with my grandfather and other people too. I think Roberto Becker was there also. He is a well-known paranormal researcher in Brazil. They stopped at a gas station in the outskirts of Brasilia to fill up before the 80 km trip to ‘Cantinho da Voito,’ where my grandparent’s farm was located. Thomas said he had to go to the bathroom. Then he disappeared. As they frantically looked for him, he had appeared almost instantly at the farm, 80 km away. He seemed confused, calling out from the wicket, “Is this General Uchoa’s farm?’ And my grandmother and the farm keeper heard him and let him in. They were amazed that he was there without any cars. Later on when the others came they compared the times that he had disappeared and the time he showed up and it was almost precisely instant.”
“We had so many different things,” Jim remarked as I spoke with him about the phenomena that he had witnessed. “You’d go into a restaurant, and he’d say, ‘Grab those four spoons and cross them all over each other. And then he’d put his hands over them and he’d take his hands off and they’d all be curled up together. He handed me a fork one time on a table – a little cocktail fork – and he said, ‘Jim, stir this in your water or your coffee there,’ which I did, and when I got through this is what it was like.”
“We went to a supermarket to buy some forks and they were hanging on a rack, but they were wrapped in cellophane. When we got to the checkout counter this was the way every fork looked. Totally twisted. Not broken. If you and I sat down with a couple pairs of plyers or something and tried to twist this this would at some point break before we got there.”
Jim shows me the objects changed in Thomaz’s presence
Jim shows me the objects changed in Thomaz’s presence Jim exclaimed that “the most phenomenal” thing he had witnessed was “the day that he asked my daughter and I – this was on the second visit – to please go to the supermarket and buy 15 chicken eggs. We did that. They put them in a bag. We took them back to Thomaz. There was an audience around him. We had the bag. He hadn’t touched the bag. He said to my daughter, ‘Julie, please take these eggs out one at a time and put them in this bowl.’ He was holding a bowl in front of him. So the eggs were in there and then he puts his hand over all the eggs and he keeps doing this [his hands hovering over them] and then he taps on one of the eggs and it cracks and there’s a little black object in there … and pretty soon he put his finger underneath it – pretty soon he held it up and it was a little minute baby chicken, and he did this 15 times – 15 chickens – and when it was all over – and this series of photos is in the book – it shows all these little baby chickens walking on the table. We have no explanation for it.”
How did Thomaz become an extraordinary psychic? He claimed it began after being struck by lightning, on March 16, 1959, on his 12th birthday. It happened at the district of Fasqueira, near Pouso Alegre, where his father owned a small farm and there was a small lake nearby where the fishing was excellent. Fasqueira when translated meant “a place where lightning strikes,” as this area had an unusually high number of thunderstorms. Also nearby water flowed below where a statue of our Lady of Lourdes on an elevated ledge was located, a place where Thomaz had his first communion. Nearby too was a hill overlooking the area with an old church with a bell tower and steeple on it. Before fishing young Thomaz visited the grotto and shrine where he recited the Lord’s Prayer and cupped some water to his mouth. Such was a customary ritual for those fishing at the lake.
Afterwards Thomaz headed back to the lake, where he had left his bamboo fishing pole and a can of worms moments earlier, and quickly began fishing. However, his happy fishing time was soon interrupted when a low dark cloud descended overhead from which the bright flash of a lightning bolt emerged, striking the top of his bamboo pole, sizzling down it like a fast-burning fuse! His body was launched several feet into the air while suddenly he simultaneously became aware of floating higher up in the air, perhaps 8-9 feet, observing his body below. He claimed he was quite puzzled and thought to himself, “How can I be up here and down there at the same time?” Down below he could “see” his motionless body on the ground, still holding on to the charred fishing pole. As he watched, something resembling a circular cloud descended and enveloped his physical body after which multicolored sparks appeared within the “cloud.” Then he heard a voice call his name, “Tho-maz, Tho-maz.” He was unable to determine the sex of the voice, but described it later as clear but with an echoing quality. “
He recalled it giving him a message: “Today you are specially protected by various forces…by natural forces…you will be our antenna…you will be able to help others and enact strange phenomena…but you will never be able to use this force for your own benefit…save the remains of your fishing pole, and when you need it, use it…you should give splinters of the pole to those in need and it will form a spiritual chain among them…you can effect this power every evening at six o’clock.”
Thomas claimed that his instructions were that for every person who received a piece of the fishing pole they were to meditate and “mentalize” healing thoughts at 6 p.m. daily. Then the cloud-like shroud lifted up from his body and gradually dissipated.
Thomaz came to about nine meters away from where he had originally been fishing along the edge of the lake. Although when he first came around he thought that everything had happened in less than an hour, he was later to realize it was morning and some 12 hours had passed. He touched the shoulder of one of his father’s hired farmhands who was milking a cow when suddenly a “powerful jolt” from his touch caused the man to hurl backwards and the cow and calf several feet to one side, while the metal milk pail had crumped, though it hadn’t been touched. “Just look at you, boy!” the man screamed. “You’re giving shocks! The devil has taken over your body!” Thomaz tried to explain to the man that it had nothing to do with the devil. He had been struck by lightning. But that explanation didn’t help, as the man next claimed Thomaz was among the “walking dead.”
A couple hours later, a little after 8 a.m., Thomaz’s father arrived. Rushing over to his son he embraced him and asked him how he was feeling. The farmhand told the father to be careful as his son was “full of electricity and giving off painful shocks.” But then another incredible twist to this story comes next as reportedly the father claimed how the night before he had this dream that revealed everything that had happened, and he accurately recounted then and there everything that had transpired to his son, the lightning strike, the strange voice and its message, and even Thomaz and the farmhand’s awkward encounter. Denise Slater felt that the lightning hadn’t emerged from an ordinary cloud. In fact, she told me she felt it was “from a spacecraft.” She told me that Thomaz’s lightning account is covered in a chapter in a book that her grandfather had written in Portuguese entitled Diving in Hyperspace.
“He could levitate,” she added. “He could be just glued to the ceiling, and he would scream for his wife because the baby was playing under him and he had no control. He didn’t know when he was going to fall. He had these incredible, incredible, incredible powers that he had no idea how to control.” “The one that he had learned how to control was the one where he would twist and melt metal. He would, without touching anything, just scream ‘Raahh!’ and this light would pop around him and whatever metal was in front, it could be coins, forks, knives, whatever, would just swirl and melt in front of your eyes.” “Once my grandfather went with Thomaz for a trip in the interior of Minas Gerais State. Somebody forgot to put the gas in the car. They stopped the car. The one that my grandfather was in had gas and the one that Thomaz was in had no gas. Thomaz asked them to put the two cars side by side, opened the gas tanks, and Thomaz said ‘Raahh!’ and they started smelling this horrible smell of gas in the air. The result was that in the end, both cars had the same amount of gas.” “He started making money with it,” Denise explained. “He got taken away by the media, by sensational propaganda, and then we just lost contact with him.” According to a posting in Wikipedia, a magician named Khronnus alleged that Thomaz was physically capable of bending metals and coins in his right hand and that he accomplished the appearances of light anomalies using photographic flashes and colored cellophane paper and produced anomalous smells with a small sponge moistened with perfume between his fingers.
The magician’s explanations seem overly simplistic for explaining away all of the many, many detailed and carefully observed and recorded phenomena documented by so very many credible witnesses and researchers, under circumstances that would seem to have negated fraud as an explanation. It simply becomes quite difficult to imagine that all of these witnesses to these hundreds of recorded “psychic” demonstrations were all simply misled.
Of making two trips to Brazil to meet Thomaz, Jim told me, “I would not have gone if I had not had prior experience with Uri Geller.” Jim had met the famous Israeli psychic several times at his then residence in New York. Later, in May 1980, Jim helped with setting up an international seminar event entitled “Extended Human Capacity” attended by some 1400 people at the university campus in Madrid, Spain. Uri Geller presented and demonstrated at this gathering as well, and again as often happens around Geller miraculous things happened. Jim recalled the first gentleman who excitedly jumped up, holding up his watch, exclaiming, “I can’t believe this! Look at my watch! Look at my watch! This hasn’t run for 20 years and its not only ticking and running, it’s on perfect time!” Other excited participants soon followed.
Jim continued, “About 6 or 8 months after this, Lee Pulos, who was one of our faculty in Madrid, called me and he said, ‘Jim, on a scale of one to ten Geller’s a ten. I just found somebody whose a twenty.’ I said, ‘Yeah right, Lee, whose that?’ He said, ‘Thomaz Green Morton from Brazil.’ He said, ‘I’m going down there with Gary Richman, the Brazilian correspondent for National Enquirer magazine.’ He said, ‘Do you want to go with us?’ I said, ‘Have you checked this guy out?’ He said, ‘Jim, I have.’ He said there was a group 4 to 6 professors – Ph.D.’s from North Carolina University that have been down and spent considerable time with Thomaz. He said, ‘I called them and talked to them. They absolutely convinced me this was the real deal.’ I said, ‘I’m in.’” And then, as Paul Harvey would have said, “And now you know the rest of the story.”
But if you’re like me, you still want to hear more.
A video of my conversation with Jim Jensen is planned for next month.