That Time the CIA Investigated a Magician to See if Magic Was Real

Uri Geller demoes spoon bending at Oxford in 2014. Image: Rex Features via AP Images
A video with illusionist Uri Geller spawned dozens of pages of follow-up reports in the CIA about whether magic was real, and if so, how to harness it for espionage.

By Michael Best | MOTHERBOARD

A video produced by Stanford as part of its government funded research into psychic phenomena alleged to show Isareli illusionist Uri Geller performing various psychic and extrasensory feats. While some in the Agency were „humbled“ by the film, others were quick to declare it ordinary trickery from a con artist using techniques from stage magic and mentalism. Eventually, James Randi joined the discussion with his book about Uri Geller, only to find one of the scientists involved pushing back.

A copy of the video, spliced together from copies of varying completeness and quality, is embedded below, and an edited transcript can be found here.

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