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Tags uri geller , stanford research institute

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Old 18th February 2007, 11:02 PM   #1
Questioninggeller
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The Uri Geller Stanford Research Institute video

The tapes from the infamous Geller testing by Stanford Research Institute are on youtube. If you aren't familiar with the story:

Quote:
In the 1970s, Geller was tested at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) by Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ. Randi refers to Puthoff and Targ as "the Laurel and Hardy of psi," which is an insult to Laurel and Hardy (Randi 1982a: 131).* Puthoff and Targ deemed Geller such a gifted psychic that they invented a term to describe his powers: the "Geller effect." For a detailed account of how easy it is to demonstrate incompetence and to commit fraud in this area, read James Randi's account of the Uri Geller experiments designed and executed by Targ and Puthoff. See either chapter 7 of Flim-Flam! or The Truth About Uri Geller.
Source: http://skepdic.com/geller.html
and http://www.randi.org/encyclopedia/Geller,%20Uri.html

Clearly not continuous.

Part 1
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Part 2
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Part 3
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Part 4
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


Note: In the fourth video Uri moved a compass needle!

Last edited by Questioninggeller; 18th February 2007 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 19th February 2007, 02:00 AM   #2
HappyCat
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Even though this video is probably biased, it is easy to see some problems in their experiments. In the metal container experiment, why does the researcher have to take the eliminated container out of the box? They are so closely packed, it would be very easy to hit the adjacent containers or the side of the box, thus giving Uri info about the contents of the other containers. I suggest that instead, he writes down the containers that he eliminates on a piece of paper, and then removes the correct container at the end, without anyone touching the containers until then. That would be a stronger experiment.

Also, it is amusing that the researchers kicked the table, pounded the glass, and jumped up and down as a control, as if they would not see Uri jumping up and down like a mad man: rolleyes:. Instead, they could concentrate on the fact that there is a gap underneath the glass container where the wire for the scale left, which would allow Uri to blow in. I seem to remember that there was some fellow that was able to fake telekinesis and move a dollar enclosed in a fish tank by blowing on a small crack between the tank and the table. Also, it seems that they should do a control where they move magnets close to the scale, since Uri moves close to it with his head twice, much like in Randi's latest swift update, and they register two anomalous readings

I would like to know, though, how he managed to do the dice in the box trick. I don't see any obvious flaws in the method, but I suspect that since there are many clever posters on this board, someone will see how he did it . Given the rest of his record, I doubt the correct answer is that he is a psychic
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Old 19th February 2007, 06:50 AM   #3
NoZed Avenger
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Originally Posted by HappyCat View Post
I seem to remember that there was some fellow that was able to fake telekinesis and move a dollar enclosed in a fish tank by blowing on a small crack between the tank and the table.
Banachek, back as an Alpha Kid, did similar to what you are describing constantly when being tested.
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Old 19th February 2007, 11:37 PM   #4
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These are cool videos, I've wanted to see these for a while. The testers seem more scientific minded and honest than I expected. Enamored by Uri's charisma though. Several times they mention him being surprised at his success or reluctant to make a prediction. Uri's exaggerated hand and body actions do seem like a performance. They seem a little naive to not suspect a trick of some kind. I think Uri is REALLY smart. Smarter than his testers. His giggly happyface stuff is intended to be disarming and IMHO was quite effective. They underestimated him.

Part 1: Nothing objectionable here. But this was back in the 1970's. Was any experiment EVER repeated?

Part 2: Wide gaps in the fingers - peeking through his fingers -shrug- not impressed.

Envelopes: "Sealed" envelope was not sealed but easily opened. Not double blinded.

Question being: why NOT double blind this? Seems very easy to have done.

The Cans: Did they consider that there might be more than one ball bearing? Did they check the other cans after Uri found the steel ball to see if there was a second ball somewhere? This all seems very theatrical, the writing the number of the can down and stuff. If they don't want me to think it is a trick, then don't do this kind of weird magic act stuff because it makes it look like a trick. Complications to the basic test are highly unusual and should have been eliminated: Remove the cardboard box, remove the clipboard prediction, just pick the right can.

The can with the ball bearing is heavier and is going to vibrate slightly differently than the others... if he did have a magnet in his hand, he might feel the tug on the ball.

The water was a good variation though. They did show the empty cans on that one. Water would vibrate differently, and he did not do as well with some materials.

Part 3: The 1 gram weight under the can and the bell jar and metal can looks like a magic trick. What is the purpose of the metal can over the weight? More test complications.

Part 4: He touches the compass. The spoons are not impressive if he can't bend them without touching them. The testers do not seem to think they were valid tests and they were there. Why should we judge otherwise?

Besides... The 'psychic energy' required to bend a thick spoon should work great on a compass needle. Can he bend the thin metal of the needle? no?

The prediction of the dice in the can was cool. If he can do this he should be able to win a fortune at roulette. This may be over-thinking it, but I wonder what the predictability of the die is on the next roll if say, a four turns up?
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Old 20th February 2007, 01:05 AM   #5
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In most cases, I would imagine some simple bits of technology would be all he required. I would suggest it was most probably a small strong magnet (between the fingers, in the mouth, or possibly in all that hair!).

Note that the cans were aluminium - non-magnetic. Whereas the steel ball would be a good magnet attractor. Try this: Hold a magnet loosely in your hand, close your eyes, and move it near a steel object. Feel the pull increase and lessen due to proximity? Now imagine doing that near a sodding big steel ball...like where Uri waved his hand about close to the targets. I'd guess he could feel the pull of the magnet towards the target, and by eliminating obvious non-targets nearby (note the final few were far apart), he could pinpoint it more accurately by the simple process of elimination.

Moving the 1gm weight was possibly very similar. It was a tiny STEEL weight, so a magnet nearby would have been likely to influence it, even from the side where Uri held his clenched fist (or above, where his head was). Note also that the size of the "effect" was tiny (i.e. the magnet was not VERY near), so any bigger weight would have been even less susceptible.

The water in the cans is an old trick. He simply watched the trayful carefully as it was put down initially. The can with water in it would have been heavier and behaved slightly erratically if it slid. From there, he simply played the testers along. If he didn't get any clues, he resorted to guessing, which is why his results were far less successful overall. This is why he failed on Johnny Carson!

Spoon-bending - we do this at Skeptic In The Pub nights here in Sydney. His "ratcheting" was obvious. Clue to the effect: Note that he dropped the articles at least once, and only then they started to really bend.

Honestly, I cannot believe that Targ and Putthoff were so gullible.
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Old 20th February 2007, 07:28 PM   #6
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I'm lovin' youtube though. It is fun to see these things and think about how they could be done.
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