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Chronicle (Adelaide, SA)  Saturday, September 30, 1899 

This article is titled: HUMAN X-RAYS.

Afley Leonel Brett, of South Braintree, Massachusetts, is the most remarkable boy in existence. He is eleven years old, and of more than average intelligence for his age; but there is nothing unusual in his appearance. It is claimed for him, however, that he sees with the naked eye as if with the X-rays. That he possesses this extraordinary gift appears to be beyond doubt, for several medical men have tested the boy's power, and placed on record the results of their investigations. In almost every case these results were satisfactory and surprising.


The boy diagnosed a number of fractures. In confirming the diagnosis of a broken hip, he pointed out that the fracture was nearer the head of the bone than had been thought by the physicians. He examined a child who, it was supposed, had swallowed- a coin, and declared there was no coin there. This was proved to be correct at the post-mortem, the child having died from other causes. The boy also uses this power by so concentrating the sight as to shut out ordinary daylight. The air, he says, is then filled with flashes of a pale, greenish- light, which illuminate the objects to be examined. This light, he says, is the same as the X-ray in the Crooke tube. Daylight is then darkness or a reddish black. He is not unconscious of surroundings, and he remembers and discusses what he sees after the examinations. It wearies him if the examination exceeds half an hour, or if the tests are more frequent than once a week.

There was nothing in Afley Leonel Brett's infancy to suggest his possession of this wonderful power. His parents noticed that he was more observant than the average child; that he had a queer, inexplicable way of looking' very closely at any small object he came across. When about nine years of age he one day was playing with his father's hands, and to that parent's utter astonishment he exclaimed, "Oh, dad, I can see inside!" Similar exclamations on subsequent occasions led to the parents consulting a doctor, Who conferred with an expert, and the upshot was they found that the boy's sight could penetrate substances after the manner of the X-rays.

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