Girard, Jean-Pierre - Bending bars on a programme of the National Broadcasting Company of America (NBC)
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
THE METAL-BENDERS” by JOHN B. HASTED
One of the deepest impressions I received came from the observation of a bend by Jean Pierre Girard.
I had been asked by chemical physicist Dr Wolkowski of the University of Paris to participate in a discussion on the French radio, and the next day he telephoned to say that as a result of the broadcast a young man had come forward and demonstrated that he could bend metal.
Girard was employed in selling pharmaceuticals, but was interested in conjuring and had performed as an amateur. He found himself able to concentrate deeply on pieces of metal, so that eventually they would bend. Very soon there was a television demonstration, of which I received a filmed version. Girard was seen to handle metal rods which bent; it was clear that manual force was not involved. Those of us who watched the film immediately saw that it could have represented a previously bent rod being slowly rotated so that the bend appeared. Such a procedure would have to have involved the film technicians, and when I mentioned this fact in a public lecture, the television company threatened legal action. Although the film was perhaps suspect, I determined to see Girard for myself.
The opportunity came as late as July 1977, when I monitored a similar filming in Paris for Alan Neuman and the National Broadcasting Company of America (NBC). We made sure that the protocol was tight; large identified aluminium alloy bars were provided by the Pechiney Aluminium Company, and a suitable one was chosen on camera; after a filmed bending, it was returned on camera.
The subsequent tests showed that the manual force that would have been required to make this bend was equivalent to 17 Newton metres (Nm) moment. The average limit of human strength under these conditions is 25 Nm, but a case has been reported of a man achieving a 38 Nm bend by force.
The witnesses were unanimous that manual force was not used, and the published film shows this clearly (NBC holds the complete footage of the bending, and a report from me).
Girard’s pulse rate was monitored during the event, and at the critical period it was as high as 160 beats per minute. The entire proceedings took place with Girard sitting at a flimsy glass table, which could very easily have been broken if strong force had been used on the metal bar.