Some science behind the scenes

Spoon bending

Spoon bending is the deformation of objects, especially metal cutlery and keys, without physical force,   Spoon bending attracted considerable media attention in the 1970s when Uri Geller, appeared on television in Israel and then in Europe and the USA bending metal spoons as well as metal keys and several other objects and materials.


In 1974 the ‘induction effect’ began to occupy attention. During Geller’s television performances other people both in the studio and in their homes would find that a latchkey held gently in the hand would bend of its own accord.

In most West European countries, as well as Japan, South Africa and others, the television companies received letters and telephone calls reporting cutlery bending of its own accord in viewers’ homes. Hundreds of such cases have been followed up in West Germany, and in Britain by the Society for Psychical Research; investigations were made by mathematical physicist John Taylor, who wrote of his experience with children, the ‘mini-Gellers’ who could produce metal-bending effects on their own.

In nearly all cases the effects began during or after the television performance. Moreover it is quite possible that some deliberately faked performance or account has actually induced real paranormal metal-bending.

In January 1974, I became involved myself, and slowly developed my research with Uri Geller, and more extensively with British children. In 1975 the first scientific conference to discuss the effect was held, called by Andrija Puharich at Tarrytown, USA. At this time certain professional conjurors and science-writers started what has since become an organized campaign to convince the public that the entire phenomenon was fraudulent.

In 1976-7, what might be termed ‘second generation metal-benders’ made their appearance in Europe. These people, some of whom are adult rather than children, came forward not as an immediate result of Geller’s own performances but rather as a result of their own personal experiences that such a thing existed, and their gradual realization that it was affecting them to an extent that could not be ignored.

The onset of the bendings was a long time, as much as three years, after the first Geller performances. The Frenchman Jean-Pierre Girard and the Bernese Silvio Mayer are examples of this second generation.

The attitudes of the children and of the second generation of benders are rather different from each other and from that of Geller himself. There is no longer much possibility, as there was with Geller, of becoming an international ‘star’ or entertainer. They do not spend their entire life demonstrating the effect; they continue with their careers and as far as possible co-operate with researchers and the media in their spare time.

At this time it cannot be said that …. the scientific community, are convinced of the reality of these phenomena. One important reason is that the phenomena do not connect up with physical science, and that as yet there have been no good hypotheses for such a connection. Hypotheses must wait until definitive quantitative information regarding metal-bending becomes available.

Another reason for popular scepticism is that the metal-bending is rare and spontaneous, and cannot be reproduced to order. Many times I have been approached by television producers with the request that one of the metal-bending children demonstrate his or her ‘powers’ in front of the television camera. I have nearly always advised the family not to allow such a ‘performance’, because the chance of success is usually small.

Nevertheless some successful television recordings of metal-bendings by children and also of strain gauge experiments have been made, and have appeared in various countries. But there have also been unsuccessful attempts, and these have caused great frustration and unhappiness. Nearly always the metal-bending effects must be taken to be ‘spontaneous’ and not readily reproducible to order.


Although considerable fame has been achieved by people like Uri Geller, a great number of people have been able to demonstrate these skills.  The  Romansh-speaking Swiss metal-bender Silvio Mayer, was able to bond together the pieces of teaspoons that he had already fractured without the apparent use of force. An article by Mrs I.K. Reno in 1905 reports: ‘Frequently during the meal hour, milk, tea, coffee and soup were flying into the faces of those at the table, several times inflicting painful scalds and burns. Spoons were broken, or suddenly twisted out of shape in their hands.’
The English medium Bertha Harris remembers as a child the bending of her brothers’ model railway!

Furthermore, during the 1960s and 1970s, spoon and metal bending was the subject of serious research in a great many countries.  In the USA, Dr Wilbur Franklin at Kent State University; Dr Targ and Dr Puthoff at Stanford Research Institute; Eldon Byrd at the Office of Naval Research Laboratories, Washington; Dr Ronald Hawke at Livermore and Elizabeth Rauscher at Berkeley; in France, Dr Ducrocq, Dr Wolkowski and, scientists at the Pechiney Aluminium Company; in West Germany, the Freiburg University group; and also Dr Walti in Switzerland. Professor Dierkens in Belgium, Dr Mattuck and Scott Hill in Copenhagen, Professor Ferdinando Bersani and Dr Aldo Martelli in Italy, Dr Charles Osborne in Melbourne; the New Horizons Group in Toronto, and also Dr Bob Cantor; in Japan a number of different laboratories, including Professor Shigemi Sasaki in Tokyo; and finally there are reports of serious researches in China.

Do not try to bend the spoon — that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon.

The Matrix is one of my favorite movies when it comes to exploring the power of the mind and our ability to change our circumstances.  It has been proven that belief in a thing can create physiological changes in our bodies.  In pharmaceutical trials, one group of participants will be given the drug that is being tested while another group gets a placebo (a pill that has no medicinal value).

In some cases, participants who received the placebo experienced a decrease or elimination of their ailment or symptoms simply because they thought they were taking the medicine.  Their belief had an incredible impact on their physiological state.

What if we began to truly believe in the goals, dreams, and aspirations we desire?  Sort of like bending the spoon in the Matrix.



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