History of metal bending
In the 70`s most British people in became aware of paranormal metal bending when Uri Geller appeared on the Dimbleby Talk-In (Nov. 23rd 1973) and confounded those present with his demonstrations. The phenomenon has been described previously by Japanese Buddhists and in England in reports of witchcraft.
After this show around one hundred families found that they had a metal bender among them. It was these that Professor J.B. Hasted worked with in the following years. Although it is very rare for someone to be able to bend metal paranormally, some of these people had the ability to do so under well controlled conditions. Perhaps more importantly it was then possible to work once a week over a period of years to investigate these effects from a scientific standpoint.
Hasted systematically developed ways to record the paranormal metal bending effects so that it was quite impossible that cheating would be a viable hypothesis over the whole experimental series. He attached strain gauges to metal and other test objects and recorded small deformations. To be sure that the equipment was recording bending, other detection methods were also employed. These included laser beams reflected from a mirror attached to the metal and piezo-electric sensors. Many of the experiments showed results that were impossible to fake; for example having many strain gauges mounted inside the metal test object frequently recorded bending inside with none at the surface. A good proof that paranormal effects were present was when the metal was visibly bent while being recorded and with no touch. Ultimately the best result was using ion implantation and back-scatter measurement to show that the spatial distribution changes after paranormal action. One should not make the mistake of thinking that any one difinitive experiment exists or that such a fiction is worth pursuing. In the process of finding out about the phenomena opportunities for validation present themselves; they are best kept from the subject and more than one detection method used (for example, in unobserved experiments, mixing of coloured sand can used to detect shaking and should be hidden in the base of the experimental container, along with another tube of fine powder in a fluid; paranormal effects may occur on these so duplication is useful.)
Hasted showed that more than one test object can be affected at a time, placed at different distances from the subject. By varying the positions of the sensors and looking at the times of the signals he showed that a vertical plane surface of action seems to extend across the room from the bender. As it moves about and reaches the test objects bending occurs. The surface cannot pass freely through all objects, glass is a barrier sometimes.
It is worth noting that Professor Hasted did not discuss the issue of security measures against cheating with his subjects (There was obviously a general introductory chat on first meeting, explaining the reasons and importance of the work). Their subconscious perceptions of the experimenter's attitude will always become manifest in the experimental results. It is better if possible to build up an atmosphere of trust than to directly confront someone with "I think you are a cheat" in the form of a spoon in a thick sealed glass tube. This does not mean that security was ignored, it was addressed indirectly by such precautions as touch detectors, watching the reflection of the experiment the reflective metal surface of the screened room, recording strain signals in multiple channels, running cameras (and having a monitor accidentally fail while the recorder continued running) etc.
Maintaining a positive attitude can, at times, be quite demanding. Most people investigating these phenomena will find that their internal barriers come to the fore and these will affect the phenomena that they see until they are overcome; even if it is only through the subject subtly picking up the investigator's need.
Exactly how bending occurs is not fully understood but there seem to be two or three possible mechanisms, some combination of which may act at a given time. Firstly there is evidence that a physical force may act on the metal and that this may be independent of the size of the region that it acts on. Secondly, groups of atoms may stop interacting with others and so be able to pass through from one location to another. This is the same phenomenon where objects pass through walls in poltergeist cases. An object may either be invisible as during teleportation or it can start to return, be visible, but not feel gravitational forces fully and gently float to the ground. Finally it returns to the real world. (Chiming calculators have been teleported and the sound could be heard coming first from one location and then another, until it at last returned. Small radio transmitters have also been teleported by Chinese children.) The possibility that there may be an as yet poorly understood interaction between particles and spacetime is discussed in theoretical physics text books. It is acknowledged that curved spacetime can create particles. The reverse may occur under some as yet unknown conditions. What has not yet been investigated (as the full theory of quantum gravity is unknown) is the possible duality between systems of particles (and the information they contain) and gravitational waves / spacetime curvature. Systems may be of greater interest because of the additional information that they contain, second quantization and so on. Quantum coherence allows pairs of particles to easily penetrate a barrier in a Josephson junction with a much enhanced probability and a similar effect occurs in the laser where the barrier to photon decay is lowered by the coherent radiation stream. Physicists are just starting to apply these ideas to coherent matter waves.
The final mechanism behind paranormal phenomena seems more common throughout recorded history than in the laboratory and involves more fundamental changes in reality such as substitution of parts of an object for another one or temporary duplication. It seems that some minds under some conditions can cause temporary construction of an object (such as a deceased person or duplication of their own body) partial dematerialization may also accompany this. This could be a similar mechanism to the reality shifts observed when a psychic converts one object into another. It points to an abstract representation of objects in the world of physics and the mind being able to tap into this. This would also explain the claims of many psychics that they are not doing anything and that there must be some other external 'intelligence' involved. There may be a natural hierarchy of abstract levels of representation in nature. Interestingly developing some of these skills seems to be on a fairly well mapped out path among meditators and Yogis. Such systems, if they exist, might be expected to behave more in accordance to our bureaucratic structures.
At a later stage Professor Hasted also showed that the psychics could produce a low resistance conduction path from themselves to the test object while it was observed. He also recorded the magnetic field from this path while applying an AC 40KHz signal to the subject using a ferrite ring and phase sensitive detection. It is worth stating that no known ionisation effect would explain conduction at these frequencies and voltages in air. This is of concern to computer manufacturers today. These experiments have all been written up and published in scientific papers and his book "The Metal Benders" published by Routledge & Kegan Paul (ISBN 07100 0597 0)
The paranormal conduction path has been visualized with kerlian photography and may be an extension of the meridian system known to acupuncturists. It may also be related to Crawford's Psychic structures (W.J. Crawford; The Psychic Structures at the Goligher Circle, Watkins London & Dutton, New York; 1921.).
What does the Scientific Community think about these effects?
Many of today's theoretical physicists are not particularly surprised to find such phenomena because there are similar and far stranger things in Physics. There is, however, some resistance by those in charge of funding research. It is a requirement of Science that effects be repeatable. It takes time and a lot of determination to perform this sort of research. Effects that are dependent on the psychological interaction with the experimenter and may be found in only a very few individuals pose problems for Science. On several occasions visiting Professors witnessed these experiments. There have been other groups who have repeated these findings. Many are listed in Uri Geller`s biography. They include groups in France, Japan and China. However, the delay in investigating psychic phenomena may turn out to be a good thing as there could be more serious destructive potental here than with the atomic bomb.
Having seen the investigation of some of these gifted people, we have tried to find someone who could produce effects at a distance over the internet. There is some precedent for this in the research by the CIA on remote viewing in the last decade. There are also the effects that Uri Geller regularly produces in his spectacular performances. It appears that the mind can interact with physical objects directly, even if they are a long way away.
We used the methods developed by Prof. Hasted to record any bending in a spoon. This was then relayed back to whoever was trying to bend it at the time, even if there were many people connected.
Unfortunately the disk recording these efforts crashed after several months. We have been unable to get the disk drive from Line-One for recovery of the data, despite many requests, so the full results may never be known.
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- Dougstephan.com, Every Wednesday. Listen Online at 13:00 GMT - Listen to Uri on Doug Stephan's Good Day Radio Show
- The Secret Life of Uri Geller - Psychic Spy? + Q&A. - Meet Uri, at the screening of the new documentary.
- Uri is a judge on "la grande magia the illusionist" Channel 5, Italy - Channel 5 Italy. 11th, 17th, 24th, 31st January 2013