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Tags Indian rope trick

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Old 13th October 2013, 06:47 AM   #41
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Hmm... I'd say my statement is still pretty close to holding true, though: "The only people and cameras that I know of who saw the statue disappear were... on a boat at night."

The cameras on the boat could mimic the people on the boat, in the sense that they could be aimed in any direction just as the people could look around and either see only the inside of the boat itself or the empty area where the statue once was, while the cameras in the helicopters could not mimic the pilots' view without spoiling the illusion.
I agree with you, but they weren't on a boat, they were on a platform that was constructed on the island in front of the statue.

Quote:
It does point out, though, that magicians manipulate the way people describe tricks. From the audience's viewpoint, the boat-passengers might say, "And there were even helicopters up there filming the missing statue." From the magician's viewpoint, he might say, "And we need to have some helicopters flying up there to make sure the illusion works."

And that's about all I can say about that.
You don't have to worry, as I said above it's blatantly obvious how the trick is done. I honestly have no idea how it fooled people at the time, or why it's held up as a mind-blowing pinnacle of magic. I usually know that I know little enough about magic that if I think I know how a trick is done then I probably don't. But with the Statue of Liberty? I'm completely confident. Because it's bloody obvious.

The thing is, it's not even close to Copperfield's best trick. Have you seen that one where he's levitating around inside a glass box? That's a million times better, yet I never see it mentioned on these "100 best magic tricks of all time"-type programmes. Yet Statue of Liberty? Always, and it seems to be the default go-to thing to mention for impressive illusions.

I suppose it's the iconic nature of the Statue which has made the trick itself become a kind of myth. And I should say that I'm not dissing the trick when I say all of this stuff. With things like that it's often the thinking of it and actually doing it that's the hard bit. Anybody can come along afterwards and say that they know how it's done.
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Old 20th October 2013, 06:07 AM   #42
Bob Klase
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
The thing is, it's not even close to Copperfield's best trick. Have you seen that one where he's levitating around inside a glass box? That's a million times better, yet I never see it mentioned on these "100 best magic tricks of all time"-type programmes.
Here's a "50 greatest magic tricks" that has it listed at #6

So now you've seen it mentioned on at least one of those lists.
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Old 4th November 2013, 11:03 PM   #43
I Ratant
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
It seems that some people, when talking about the trick, are only referring to the part where the magician throws the rope in the air and has someone climb it. But that's just the beginning of the Indian Rope Trick. The actual trick is when the assistant climbs and disappears in the air, then the magician climbs, kills the assistant, body parts fall down from the sky, etc, etc. I don't think anyone has actually managed to reproduce this trick, but I'll be glad to be proven otherwise.
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It's one of the old lost arts.
Like Mose's brother Aaron having his staff become a serpent and have that swallow the serpents that Pharoah's priests had created from their staffs.
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Old 5th November 2013, 07:00 AM   #44
Gord_in_Toronto
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Originally Posted by I Ratant View Post
.
It's one of the old lost arts.
Like Mose's brother Aaron having his staff become a serpent and have that swallow the serpents that Pharoah's priests had created from their staffs.
That's not a lost art at all. ISTR that snakes will go CatatonicWP when held vertically. This is a very abnormal position for them and thus the reaction. The swallowing bit would depend on who has the um . . . er . . . biggest snake.

Best reference I could find via a very minor Google effort is: http://venomland.forumotions.net/t14...atatonic-state

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Old 5th November 2013, 09:21 AM   #45
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But since that sole reference in Exodus, no one seems to have adopted the procedure to authenticate his special holiness.
Alla them god-shouters on the electric box could scare the previous meal right out of those suckers in the front row of the fleecing event with that effect!
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Old 7th November 2013, 10:39 AM   #46
Bob Klase
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
That's not a lost art at all. ISTR that snakes will go CatatonicWP when held vertically. This is a very abnormal position for them and thus the reaction. The swallowing bit would depend on who has the um . . . er . . . biggest snake.

Best reference I could find via a very minor Google effort is: http://venomland.forumotions.net/t14...atatonic-state

I never heard that. I did a google search (several). The only thing I find about snakes going catatonic when vertical is the one you linked- and that's a message board where you have one person saying it happened one time. I suspect it's not a reliable system to turn snakes into canes.
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Old 17th November 2018, 02:58 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Um, it's dots, not feathers.

On the topic of whether the disappearing/hacking version could ever be done, some thoughts...

There's no requirement it be done in daylight. Disappearing against the night sky, lit from below by smoky torches, is a different ballgame.

There's no requirement the boy actually climb the rope. As far as I know, toys like this are ancient: A life-size toy leaves the boy on the ground awaiting reassembly.

There are always distractions to keep the viewers' attention toward the ground and away from the invisibility at the top of the rope. While the boy is invisible, the master is on the ground shouting. While the master is up there, severed limbs are hitting the ground.

It may be that the full rope trick has never been done. But I'm not sure it would be impossible to do.
Strongly agree that the full rope trick is not as impossible as it sounds. Or as impossible as it looked to medieval witnesses like the Moroccan overland explorer Ibn Battuta, if we assume good faith on his part.

Your suggestion that it was done at night seems to be correct — at least, that is when Ibn Battuta says it was done. He also mentions that it was done in a courtyard — an area open to the sky but surrounded by walls — which would make it easier to arrange a way of keeping the cord from falling down... But what about the mid-air vanish?

I've been looking at a theory put forward in 1878 by the English illusionist John Nevil Maskelyne. He wrote that mid-air vanishes were "doubtless" accomplished by means of concave mirrors, although he never went into details about how.

Unlike a flat mirror, a concave mirror can throw an image of a well-lit object onto a screen. (See the WP page "Projector")

Using a concave mirror plus pyrotechnics (fireworks) as a light source, illusionists could create a cinema-like effect, although they were not using images stored on film.

They were just throwing the image of a nearby live performer onto a screen in a different part of the performance space, perhaps for a minute or two only.

By the standards of the today's technology, it was nothing much.

But it could have been enough to make medieval spectators think they were looking at a climber at the top of a cord when there was no actual climber up there. And because the climber was not really there, he could easily be made to vanish mysteriously...

It is possible, as you say, that the spectacle was never actually performed. If so, those who originally devised the story seem to have known a lot about what could be done with mirrors and pyrotechnics, and about what sort of surroundings and time of day it could be done in...

Sources:
Ibn Battúta (translated by H.A.R. Gibb); Travels in Asia and Africa; London: RKP, 1929:; pages 296 to 297.
John Nevil Maskelyne (1878); “Oriental Jugglery”; in The Leisure Hour. London, (Apr 20, 1878): pages 250–253.

Last edited by Colin Robinson; 17th November 2018 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 19th November 2018, 01:00 PM   #48
Mr Salk
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I suspect primitives without cell-phone cameras were fairly easy to dupe.
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Old 22nd November 2018, 01:35 PM   #49
Colin Robinson
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Originally Posted by Mr Salk View Post
I suspect primitives without cell-phone cameras were fairly easy to dupe.
Not everyone was equally duped, judging by the written accounts. Ibn Battuta mentions that after he saw the performance he was reassured by a companion who told him there was no actual climbing...
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Old 22nd December 2018, 06:14 AM   #50
dellarte
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Originally Posted by AtheistExile View Post
The original claim of the Indian rope trick is a modern example of mythology in the making. As I understand it, the part about the boy refusing to come down and his father climbing up after him and chopping him up is derived from Indian folklore.

The part about them disappearing up the rope and the dismembered boy reconstituting himself in the grand finale, is icing on the fabled cake.


Of course, the original claim of the Indian rope trick is a hoax. But then again, all magic tricks are hoaxes in one form or another. I think that, technically, this trick is replicable in a controlled environment, like a large stage with all the equipment and things the magician would need. But outdoors? Without any visible support? Impossible.
After reading this book https://www.amazon.com/Hiding-Elepha...=UTF8&qid=&sr=

It could be possible with mirrors and magnets. The trick is to not look into the middle but the peripheral to find out things like Houdini did.
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