יום חמישי, 20 ביוני 2013

Special Head's secret ? or is it a bigger secret ?

America's Got Talent displayed a really cool contestant this week in the image of  "Special Head", the levitating phenomena:


Now, you don't have to be a real skeptic like me to wish to get to the bottom of this.

After all, if this is true, in the sense of true magic, we'd all want to do it, no ? 
And if this is another display of "technological magic", the kind that is based on the deception of the sight, like all children of enlightenment, we want to know "how its' done". 

A first look at this performace draws one attention to several disturbing aspects. Why is the cane needed ? Is the fact that he is wearing such a robe is related to cultural choices, or to the need to hide something ?

The Indian atmosphere quickly calls for reminiscing the discovery of truth behind the ancient levitation of Indian Gurus...


Equipped with this knowledge of the possibility of a hidden seat, there remains the question - how are the cane and seat connected to each other and to the flooer ?

Which brings to mind the maybe most disturbing aspect - the bang and smoke affect at the descent (2:24 minutes into the youtube recording).

When one begins a slow introspection of the images after that time, one quickly discovers that the cane is most probably hollow. The suspicion of a hollow rod, covered as a wooden cane, which can be connected to a penetrating rod coming out of the stage or out of a special surface hidden underneath the mat, quickly arises. That, together with some form of seat carried on the person of "Special Head", with a strong metallic pole, hidden by his robe, running from his lower back through his left sleave, where it can be conncted to the cane, can explain the entire performance. Afterall, performances of levitating professional magicians have been explained similiarly:
 

Wondering why was the bang&smoke needed, one can either suspect the need to divert attention from a visual occurence, or from a auditory occurence. Considering that this is TV we are talking about, one assumes there will be not too many visual revelations. Once the audtiory aspect is checked, it is immediately realized - the locking of the cane and the unlocking of the cane probably makes a significant noise. In order to make the unlocking, there was a need for the Bang&Smoke. Couldn't the bang alone have sufficied? one would wonder, and the reply would be - what is the source  of the bang ?
But then, one quicly ponders further - How was the locking sound diguised ? and the reply is immediate - Howard Stern's objection, was actually helping "Special Head".
Don't believe me. Check the timing yourself (1:42).

Once you realize that the entire production was cooperating with the "professional magic" eyes deception act, it becomes very clear. Too clear actually, considering the rather poor level of acting among the judges.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think this was a neat performance of "technological magic". For me, this becomes even more pleasing, knowing it is a professional actor, using skill and technology to amaze an audience. Only one aspect was truly dissapointing - the cooperation of the judges. After all,  the knowledge that the judges are a part of the show, makes it a lot less of a true competition, and a lot more of "old style television". But then again, isn't it only another discovery of how the magic is done ?