"The Jet-Propelled Couch" is the most interesting psychiatric case in history

In the latest issue of my newsletter, The Magnet, I write about "The Jet-Propelled Couch," a true story of a psychiatric patient who believed he could teleport to a faraway planet. 

His reveries were so rich in sensory detail that Allen came to the conclusion that his imagined escapades weren't fiction — they were actually taking place in the future and he was somehow tapping into them. The fantasies grew and continued for years. He eventually discovered that he could leave his earthly body and travel forward in time to live as the heroic Kirk Allen on a faraway planet. He also learned he could spend a year or more as the spacefaring Allen and return to Earth, where only a few minutes had passed.

Here's how he described the experience to Lindner:

One moment I was just a scientist on X Reservation bending over a drawing board in a clapboard B.Q. in the middle of an American desert—the next moment I was Kirk Allen, Lord of a planet in an interplanetary empire in a distant universe, garbed in the robes of his exalted office, rising from the carved desk he had been sitting at, walking toward a secret room in his palace, entering it, going over to a filing cabinet in a recess in the wall, extracting an envelope of photographs, leaving the room and retracing his steps, sitting again at his desk, and studying the pictures with intense concentration. It was over in a matter of minutes, and I was again at the drawing board—the self you see here. But I knew the experience was real; and to prove it I now had a vivid recollection of the photographs, could see them as clearly as if they were still in my hands, and had no trouble at all completing the map.

Allen was at a loss to explain how he was able to live in the past and the present simultaneously. "Have I discovered the secret of teleportation?" he asked Lindner. "Do I have some special psychic equipment? Some unique organ or what Charles Fort called a 'wild talent?' Damned if I know!"