The “Jumping Frenchmen of Maine” exhibited unusual reactions when startled, and they became a component of local folklore in northern New England during the late nineteenth century. Medical scientists of the time examined the condition, but came to no definite conclusions. Modern scientists in the late twentieth century also disagreed on its origins. The syndrome appears to have resulted from the unique social and environmental factors peculiar to the logging camps of the time. Stephen R. Whalen has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Maine. Retired from public school teaching, he is currently a member of the History Department at Castleton State College in Castleton, Vermont. Robert E. Bartholomew, a former journalist in New York state, has a Ph.D. from James Cook University in Australia. He is the author of LITTLE GREEN MEN, MEOWING NUNS AND HEADHUNTING PANICS: A STUDY OF MASS PSYCHOGENIC ILLNESS AND SOCIAL DELUSION (Mc- Farland, 2001).
Whalen, Stephen R. and Robert E. Bartholomew. “The Enigma of the ‘Jumping Frenchmen of Maine’” Maine History 43, no. 1 (January 2007): 63-78.