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Spoon bending boy in 1976

The following was sent by David, 56, as a comment to the post How to bend a spoon using your mind. I find his story fascinating. David also asks everyone if they can identify the child and his father, even though the story that he tells happened more than 30 years ago. Here it is:

I am a fifty-six year old Hollywood cameraman. In 1976, I was hired to shoot some still photos for the Whole Life Expo, a New Age Convention held at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The publicist and I stopped by the day before the Expo to scout the location. The ballroom where the Expo was to be held was filled with the usual vendors’ booths, tables and chairs, a small stage, but hardly any people.

The publicist recognized two of the featured guests: a red-haired man around thirty and his freckled son, who looked to be around thirteen. His jeans and T-shirt were dirty as if he had just come in from playing baseball. The publicist introduced us and said the boy could bend silverware like Uri Geller. Skeptical, I asked if the boy would mind demonstrating his skills for us so I could take some photos. They agreed and instructed me to find a spoon or fork.

I walked over to a pile of hotel silverware on a nearby table and picked up a heavy, silver-plated
. We pulled some chairs into a circle and sat down. I handed the spoon to the boy. I was never farther than two feet away from the boy and I purposely did not take my eyes off of the spoon. The boy held the spoon up in front of us in his right hand and began absent-mindedly rubbing the handle just below the ladle with his thumb and forefinger. As he did so, his father was telling us stories about their son’s psychokinesis, including how he and his wife had found the silverware in a kitchen drawer warped and bent following a temper-tantrum by their son when he was just a toddler.

The father noticed how closely and intently I was watching the spoon and suggested I didn’t have to watch so hard since his son would tell us when the spoon started to bend. Oh, yeah, sure, I thought to myself. The boy was staring off into space as he continued rubbing the spoon.

After about a minute he said, “It’s starting.” As my friend and I watched, the boy held the handle lightly between his fingertips as the ladle of the spoon began slowly curling backwards. When it was at a 90 degree angle to the handle, I quickly (and rudely) snatched the spoon from the boy’s hand and tried to bend it where it had curled: I couldn’t. This was not a magic trick; it happened. I was so flabbergasted that I completely forgot to take any pictures. I don’t remember the father and son’s names but I remember they lived in Whittier, California.

Would anyone have any idea who they were?

Further discussion on spoon bending is in the forums at Spoon bending discussion.





  1. It’s possible.

    Of course, we have equal evidence to suppose that you yourself are “David” and are, in reality, a Mafia hit-man who is trying to lure your victim out of hiding so as to earn the money you need to purchase your next sex-slave from Asia to support your compulsive necrophilia. Since you judge the one hypothesis as “probable” we must therefore also conclude that it is probable that you are a murderer for hire and sexual gratification.

  2. The clown who was asking the question(aka David) is more than likely the little boy who he is referencing. He’s probably strung out on crank and needs a source of $ (spoon bending for idiots) to support his habit. He’s trying to generate interest in himself.

  3. There are many methods used by magicians to produce an effect of spoon bending. Some of those methods involve holding an already bent spoon in such a way that it does not appear bent and some of those allow the bend to be revealed in such a way as it looks to the spectator as if the spoon is bending “by itself.” A spoon taken from a pile of hotel flatware — probably all of identical, or at most a few different designs — does not provide much protection against a magician having an already bent spoon available.

    Anyone conversant with prestidigitation knows that accounts by observers untrained in the art cannot be relied on (there is a limit, for that matter, how much the testimony of trained observers can be relied on). People will firmly believe, for example, that their eyes never left some object when that simply is not true.

    That means that we, as second-hand observers, cannot logically take this story as presented as very strong evidence for actual paranormal activity.

    To conclude, however, that because the story does not provide evidence of a paranormal event that one *knows* what took place is much more illogical and irrational as to take the event at face value. We weren’t there, there is nothing in the events recounted to provide clear evidence of fraud (no “Oh look! Halley’s Comet!” in the story :-)), to provide evidence one way or another. Ones prior belief that all such incidents are fakes is just that — a prior belief and no comment on the specifics of this incident at all.

    Despite certain entertainers who have made being obnoxious about things they disagree with part of their act, being rude and unpleasant doesn’t mean you are smart or more intelligent or less gullible than those one is being rude to. It just means you are acting like a jerk. (It is pretty easy, by the way, to fool self-proclaimed Skeptics with magic tricks — like anyone else, you just play to their assumptions).

    And I do not think, by the way, that the story *not* looking like a nice clean piece of fiction with all the normal inconsistencies written out is any kind of a proof that it is a fabrication (i.e., a piece of fiction). Anyone who has spent any time at all with eye-witness testimony will find this account completely believable as an account of what the teller remembers of what took place. Real testimony contains inconsistencies. Its only when a story has become so polished in retelling that the original story is lost that the inconsistencies are polished out. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t a made-up story, it just means that small inconsistencies doesn’t mean that it is, and, in fact, that they make it more likely that this is what the person actually remembers happening.

  4. Nice to see free speech alive and well. Again, congrats on your complete mediocrity.

    • I don’t care about critique but in my understanding free speech doesn’t include telling somebody “f**k you” simply because you disagree. And I will delete every message with offending language.

      And by the way, I was contacted and we’ve found who the boy and his father was and some more details. I’m just waiting for more information.

      • No physical evidence, no names, no complete dates, and no verifiable information beyond “Whole Life Expo”, Mayflower Hotel, Los Angeles 1976. It’s is a text book example of fake story. Not too far fetched, and a tiny bit of what appears to be hard information. Well crafted but…

        He remembers the spoon was silver plated, the dirt on the kid’s clothes, but not the name of the publicist? A trained profession camera man, there specifically to take pictures, doesn’t take any pictures…”I was so flabbergasted” he says. Maybe he did have some kind of mental breakdown after the bending, but you would take a pre-bending shot minimum. You would get something.

        This story is well crafted, but has holes. My final comment, which you have reproduced was directed at all the authors of rubbish like this. People who endless dilute the world with fakes UFO / paranormal stories. It’s beyond tiresome.

        Good luck finding the guy… you are chasing vapour.

  5. A well-performed magic effect always “really happened.” These folks usually claim to “soften” or “melt” the metal–clearly this was neither softened nor melted. That the spoon didn’t bend should tell you: It was already bent. Only conmen claim their magic is “real.”

  6. Hello from the Open-minded Skeptic! Has anybody read Dr. Masaru Emoto’s books about The Hidden Messages in Water? It indicates there apparently is some material quality to thoughts, and that we can influence material objects around us (or at least, water on a cellular level). These books and the photos they contain are pretty mind-blowing. Also, may I suggest The Synchronized Universe: New Science of the Paranormal (by Dr. Claude W. Swanson, PhD.). In his book, Dr. Swanson includes his writings about spoonbending. Try to stay open minded, but not so much that ya brains fall out.

    • Water doesn’t have cells

  7. I’m glad to announce that I’ve received the identity of the child and his father with more information about them and I’ll post an update soon after I verify some of the details.

    Stay tuned.

  8. Where are the pictures you took?

    • I believe the writer said this at the end of the article
      “I was so flabbergasted that I completely forgot to take any pictures”.

      • I can see being flabbergasted after seeing it bend, but where are the pictures up to then? He’s a camera-man right? Even if he had forgotten to do the job that was his reason for being there, shouldn’t he have asked for a repeat that he could photograph?

        And what was the evidence for it not being a trick? How does one distinguish seeing something that is not a trick from being completely fooled by a trick?

        Yeah, yeah, I know; we skeptics are no fun.