This was originally published on WeirdThings.com (check it out!) in May 2009, but since Brian Dunning mentioned it during Dragon*Con 2010, I thought I'd republish it here. And I just like its creepiness.
Arnold Gerritt Henske was a Dutch artist and designer with a paranormal bent. In 1933, he changed his name to Mirin Dajo (Esperanto for “Amazing Dajo”) and took the stage. His performance? Having his assistant impale his hypnotized body with swords and rapiers. What at first glance looks like a striking version of an Andrew Mayne illusion, was actually something quite different.
It was real.
UPDATE at the bottom.
We've seen the headlines: "Church Burns, Miracle Baby Survives" followed by quotes like "Jesus was watching little Jessica that day." And then there's no mention of the 200 people inside who suffered a horrific death. The baby's survival is attributed to a higher force, and the victims were just statistics.
It seems to me, and I'm sure many of you, that if a higher power was involved, she/he/it deserves credit for the tragedy as well as the remarkable survival. Unfortunately, people don't want to focus on the tragedy, and that's why today's article in USA Today entitled "Engineers: Passengers' survival was miracle by design" and the linked ABC Frontline video are so interesting.