Hi Charles. I appreciate your original post.
A story comes to mind about how O'Sensei in his later years was very weak, frail, and was walking with the assistance of young students but upon seeing a pretty woman he suddenly straightened up, discarded his attendants, and engaged the woman in conversation.
I find this a far more plausible example of mind over matter, than stories of him dodging bullets and disappearing.
The most plausible explanation that I have heard of the "bullet dodging" ability is that the weapons used were flint/musket single shot sort of rifle. If the stories ultimately serve to in some way inspire some Aikidoka to examine the unlimited possibilities of Aikido so much the better.
Perhaps urban legends have their place and serve a bigger purpose. Religious references do this all the time. I call it the Paul Bunyan Effect. I immediately thought of the idea in the movie Batman Begins where Bruce Wayne wanted to symbolize something more than a man-an ideal that can't be killed.These myths-especially early on in the arts history, didn't hurt the arts ability to spread. There is something to be said for something that can't be easily categorized, referenced dissected, or settled.