The search for bodies has become a serious issue and nothing is excluded for their          .


Another strange story relating to the fall of the bridge appeared in the Dundee Advertiser on Friday, January 16th. –



   Of the many plans which have been suggested for the recovery of the bodies of the missing passengers, the latest and most novel is that of mesmerism. The proposal was first mooted by Mr John Barclay, shoemaker, North Church Street, Clepington, who had such implicit faith in its success that he resolved to make a practical demonstration. For this purpose a small yacht was hired, and he left the Harbour at a quarter-past eleven o’clock yesterday forenoon accompanied by a female “clairvoyant.” Mr Barclay makes the following statement of his “enterprise”; - I took out the “clairvoyant” in a boat, and mesmerised her on the water. After this I asked her to point out to me in what part of the river there were bodies lying. She pointed to a certain spot, which was described by the boatman as “the second bank,” and said there was a body of a man on it. The crew of the boat knew the place, and said they thought the statement of the “clairvoyant” was correct, as bodies had been found near the place. I told the “clairvoyant” to describe the dress that was on the body. She said there was a dark topcoat and a pair of dark trousers on it. I requested her to look into the right hand pocket of the trousers and tell what was in it. She replied – “There is silver in it, and there is copper in the left hand pocket.” The trawl was then put out, but the “clairvoyant” said that the irons would not catch the body because it was too deeply embedded. Consequently the crew did not proceed with the trawling, and the boat drifted up to the Bridge. On the way up the “clairvoyant” was asked if she could see any other bodies. She replied that she could not. She was then asked if she saw any between the Bridge and Broughty Ferry, and she said “No.” I then asked her if there were any in the debris of the Bridge, and her answer was, “Yes; there are about twenty.” I did not ask her to indicate the precise spot where the bodies were lying, and she did not say whether they were together or apart. Myself and crew they were dispirited at this want of success – I mean because we did not bring any bodies to the surface. I then gave up the search.


In the Dundee Advertiser, of January 23rd




   The employment last week of a clairvoyant to discover the bodies of the victims of the Tay Bridge disaster does not appear to have been rewarded by success; nor is the failure surprising to any but those who have a profound belief in mesmeric powers. An experiment, however, as singular, if not more so, was, according to the Annual Register of 1767, tried in April of that year at Newbury, in Berkshire, with the view of discovering the body of a child drowned in the river Kennet, and, strange to say, it answered the purpose. At the inquest held on the body it stated “that after diligent search had been made in the river for the child with no favourable result, a twopenny loaf with a quantity of quicksilver put into it was set floating from the place where the child, it was supposed, had fallen in, which steered its course down the river upwards of half a mile before a great number of spectators, when, the body happening to lie on the contrary side of the river, the loaf suddenly tacked about and swam across the river, and gradually sank near the child, when the child and loaf were immediately brought up with grapples ready for that purpose.” –

                                                                          Pall Mall Gazette