On July 8, 1986, the day before the 'yogic flying competition', 3,000 sidhas gathered for the World Assembly on Perfect Health in Washington, DC.
The day of the 'yogic flying' demonstrations arrived and the press gathered to witness the spectacle. They were primed for the big moment by a panel of sharp-suited men thoroughly conversant with Maharishi-speak, who indulged in lengthy explanations about the theories connecting the practice of the TM-Sidhi program with the goal of world peace. But the media had only come to watch the 'flying', and the cameramen waited impatiently to determine once and for all the truth of the Movement's claims. Giving themselves a preliminary booster, 'experts in the Technology of the Unified Field' dressed in athletic costumes and seated on foam mattresses arranged across the auditorium, took part in a brief meditation. The cameramen steadied their cameras and waited, fingers itching, waiting for the first signs of flight. And then it happened.
It took a while for the reality of the event to sink in, for the sight of 22 young people hopping about like frogs, trying to project themselves across the vast expanse of the hall was a long, long way from the long-awaited act of flying.
It was difficult to understand why anyone should wish to be filmed bouncing along in such a manner, or even why they should wish to participate in the first place. What of the increased brain coherence that might be generated by these exercises? What about the feelings of bliss that apparently coursed through participants' bodies impelling them to take their next jump?
The Washington Post reported, 'When the final race, the 50-metre dash was completed, the contestants were utterly animated. While the audience rose to their feet in applause, the hoppers remained seated, hopping vigorously amongst themselves ..."
It is thought that the audience referred to was about 1,000 strong, and composed exclusively of believers, i.e. meditators.