For the first time, a film clearly shows the famous spoon-bender using trickery Many have already said that Uri Geller, the Israely self-proclaimed psychic, famous for his ability to bend spoons apparently with the power of his mind, uses trickery to perform his wonders. Never before, however, had happened that he could be clearly seen using trickery in the recording of a TV show.
Today, the finding of a videotape containing a participation by Geller to an Italian TV show documents unequivocally his recurring to fraud. Massimo Polidoro, one of the founders of CICAP (the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) and an expert in psychic-deception, found the tape. ''I was researching material for my book Mysteries'', Polidoro explains, ''when I found the recording of an episode from a few years back (March 18, 1989) of 'Alla ricerca dell'arca' (Search for the Ark), a TV show then airing on RAI3. Guest on this episode was Uri Geller who, as usual, demonstrated his claimed powers by bending a key and moving the hands of a watch ''with his mind'', as he said. However, if one looks carefully to the recording of the show one can catch various clues that show how Geller did really perform the demonstrations: for example, Geller can be seen taking out the stem of the watch to move its hands, maybe thinking that the move went unnoticed''.
It's the first time that Geller, who has always stated that he has never used any trickery, is so clearly caught red-handed on tape. It's surprising, however, that nobody had ever noticed before this damning evidence. ''This, instead, shouldn't come as a surprise'', Polidoro explains. ''At Padua's University we have conducted experiments which demonstrate this precise fact: it is not possible for somebody to catch a trick behind a claimed psychic demonstration if he has no specific training in how tricks of this kind work. It's not a question of intelligence but, as I say, of knowledge. In fact, it has happened many times that scientists have been duped by psychics or mediums just because they couldn't figure out their tricks. In the Geller tape, for example, it is not so obvious how he bends the key or moves the hands of the watch, but a trained eye can catch the crucial moments where he appears to use a second key to bend the first one and where he pops out the stem of the watch to move the hands of it with a finger''.
A detailed analysis of the tape, along with telling pictures, will be published in ''Scienza & Paranormale'', the journal of CICAP (article and pictures, however, are available in pre-view to journalists requiring them).
CICAP (the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) is a scientific organization founded by Italian journalist Piero Angela and joined by many Italian scientists and intellectuals, among them: Silvio Garattini (neuropharmacologist, Director ''Mario Negri Institute'', Milan), Margherita Hack (astrophysicist, University of Trieste), Giuliano Toraldo di Francia (physicist, Firenze University), Nobel Prize winners Rita Levi Montalcini and Carlo Rubbia and writer and sociologist Umberto Eco.
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Last update: January 8. 1997