Adam Linzmayer

June 8th, 2010 Posted in People in Parapsychology

I always felt bad about cutting Adam Linzmayer from my book.  But there were so many people in the first draft it was hard to keep track.  Adam was the lab’s first ESP star, however.  From the Fall of 1930 to the Spring of 1931 he was the young man who energized their work and he is featured in Rhine’s first book, Extra-Sensory Perception (1935).

Adam was a working class kid from New Jersey.  He grew up in the kind of neighborhood where if you studied or went to college, “this was not good,” he said.   Unfortunately, Adam never finished his education at Duke due to the Depression. That always bothered him. “It still hurts,” he said in an interview four decades later. He was a sensitive man. “Failure affected him deeply,” Rhine once wrote of Adam and sadly, after that one spectacular year of testing Adam never scored well again. Rhine paid for him to return to Duke one more time for more tests, but he did not do well.

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“Doing those tests was extremely exhausting,” Linzmayer said in a 1974 interview with Seymour Mauskopf. “Very tiring.” He said that he felt rushed and that he had told Rhine that, “I could do better if I could take my time.  I can’t turn it off and on.”

But Adam was always proud of his work at Duke and the Parapsychology Laboratory and he kept in touch. He sent the Rhine family Christmas cards every year. At one point Rhine gave a lecture in New Jersey without telling Adam, who lived in the area. When Adam found out he wrote Rhine that he felt bad, and to let him know next time. In 1954, Rhine was once again in New Jersey, giving a lecture and this time Adam proudly attended with his wife and each of his three children.

Adam believed his extraordinary talent came from his mother, who sometimes had a feeling about things. She once had a bad feeling when his brother went to the dentist. A few hours after coming home Adam’s brother fell sick. They took him to the hospital, but he died that very day. His parents were so out of their minds with grief they left Adam at the hospital. Having just lost his brother, he had to walk seven miles home alone in shock. Poor little guy. By the way, a number of people I researched for this book said their mother had abilities. Hubert Pearce said it, and Carl Jung said the same about both his mother and grandmother.

Another interesting thing came out during the 1974 interview. Adam said he was lucky, that he grew up lucky. He liked to shoot craps and he always did well. “I’m a winner always.” Adam told Rhine that he could throw more 7’s than chance, but Rhine didn’t believe him. Rhine bet Adam he couldn’t do it and according to Adam he proved that he could.

It’s well known that the Lab got their idea of doing dice experiments to test psychokinesis from a gambler. Could it have been Adam? (To test whether or not people could affect the movement of objects with their minds, a subject would roll a pair of dice and either they got the roll they tried for or not.  I am greatly simplifying the experiment in this description.)

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  1. One Response to “Adam Linzmayer”

  2. By ncstuart@gmail.com on Oct 11, 2010

    Thank you for writing your sweet story about my father, Adam Linzmayer. I thought I would share some random memories: Living with him never failed to be interesting. His esp was part of our every day living. He was extraordinary. I remember his corectlly calling a quarter being flipped 17 times in a row, for my friends. I had no idea just how impressive that was back then.
    He predicted all of his friend’s babies’ DOB and exact time and weight.His predictions were written in stone as far as everyone who knew him was concerned. He had times when he said,’No, I cannot do it now,” but when he would cooperate with requests, his ability was astonishing.
    Adam also ‘talked to dead people’– People very close to him would appear. This was not a common occurence. Another time he heard my friend screaming for my help calling my name one night. He asked my mother to listen, and knew it was esp when she could not hear it. My friend was 200 miles away and the details my dad reported were exactly what had occurred. For some reason this friend and my Dad had a very strong connection. He also would share his precognitive ability with my friends in college. He would write and tell them dates and times of future events, He quoted exact license plates of someone they would date the following Friday for example.
    He was an intensely private person, but he confided in me that he was unhappy having esp because sometimes people wanted to use him. Even he would not do serious betting until near the end of his life when he flew to Vegas a few times.Locally, was different. He played cards with friends and always won. He was known as “Lucky Adam”.
    The police came to the house to ask his help with cases, but he would never tell us anything about the situations.
    He was never sick a day in his life. He told us that sickness was all in the mind. He never had an injection or medication until he had advanced Alzeimer’s. Strangly, he seemed always to be in a peaceful place during the later years of his disease. He did not appear to suffer except in the early years as he watched his memory fail. It made him very sad to see someone he realized he had known his entire life, but could not come up with a name for them.
    So, thank you for allowing me to share a few memories about him.He died in 1989 at age 79 I believe it was.
    Nancy Linzmayer Stuart..

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