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Observations placeholder

Hasted, Professor John – 05 Spoon bending - Bending a disc shaped single crystal of molybdenum of about 1 cm diameter



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience


A sudden event observed in an early session of Uri Geller in my laboratory was the bending without touch of a disc shaped single crystal of molybdenum of about 1 cm diameter. This had been provided by Dr Anthony Lee of the Cavendish Laboratory, and I personally kept it secure in a plastic box in my pocket before its exposure to Geller’s ‘action’.

Physicists David Bohm, Ted Bastin, Jack Sarfatt and also Brendan O’Regan were present as witnesses.

Geller asked for small metal objects to be placed for him on a large metal plate, so we placed on the table a machine shop working plate. I took the crystal from its box and put it absolutely flat on the plate.

Sarfatt extended his hand a few inches above the crystal and the other objects on the plate. Geller moved his hand above Sarfatt’s, until a tingling sensation was reported by the latter. Geller tried to ‘concentrate his action’, and it was suddenly seen by the observers that the crystal had changed its shape, and was now slightly bent, through an angle of about 20°.

I could not swear that the bending was not accompanied by a tiny metallic sound. But I was absolutely certain that neither Geller nor anyone else had touched the crystal since I placed it on the metal plate; nor did he drop anything on the metal plate.

I replaced the crystal in its box, which I returned to my pocket; a physical examination of the crystal would be necessary. I eventually found that a physical property (the magnetic susceptibility) of the crystal was anomalous, but I have not previously published this fact.

Unfortunately a precise account of this event never appeared at the time, partly because an unauthorised and imprecise account was released to the press by one of those present.

Sceptics had a field day on the basis of this account, and even now it is doubtful if many readers who remember it will be much influenced by my own version. But I myself was impressed by what I had seen, and was reasonably certain that it could not have been a piece of conjuring.

This is partly because conjurors do not know about how to change the physical properties of very pure molybdenum; nor could it have been known just what investigation I was going to make.

The source of the experience

Hasted, Professor John

Concepts, symbols and science items



Activities and commonsteps



Spoon bending