Missed Opportunity: Alexander Imich

I was immediately filled with regret when I read in the Times about the passing of Alexander Imich:

“Alexander Imich, a Polish-born psychic researcher who was certified the oldest man on earth, died Sunday morning at a senior residence in Manhattan. He had turned 111 on Feb. 4.” (He’d actually died the previous Wednesday, June 4th. To read the rest of the article click here.)

I remember coming across Alexander Imich’s name while I was down at Duke University researching my book about the Parapsychology Laboratory. He’d corresponded occasionally with J. B. Rhine, the head of the lab. Since then, over the years several people have encouraged me to interview him. The first time this was suggested I said, “He can’t possibly still be alive!” But he was. He was amazingly still alive, sharp, and in living NYC. I could have so easily hopped onto the subway and talked to the man. And I just didn’t. I’m a jerk.

Rest in peace, Alexander Imich.

The picture below is actually of J. B. Rhine and Robert Van de Castle who died on January 29th. While looking for a picture to include in this post I found this one, which I had scanned on one of my trips to the Rhine Research Center (formerly the Parapsychology Laboratory of Duke University). It’s not dated, but I’m guessing it was taken some time in the 1950s. Both men are smiling, but the relationship did not end on such a happy note, alas.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *