You should get some sleep.
Thanks for coming.
You can't imagine how pleased I am to see you.
This is Dr. Matheson, actually.
Oh, I'm sorry.
Please, forgive me.
These last few days have been a bit difficult.
Don't worry, I should have worn a lab coat. That's Dr. Buckley.
Nice to meet you.
The pleasure's all mine, really.
You can't begin to imagine what's been going on here, really.
We haven't slept a wink in weeks-- isn't that right, Sarah?
She hasn't been coping very well. None of us have.
Did I mention we haven't slept a wink in days?
Did you hear?
Did you hear him?
He is a bit angry today.
Traci's been a real help, you know?
She's, uh-- she's been such a help.
Can we see the rest of the house?
Sure. This way, please.
It's an old house, but the price was great.
We only moved in a while ago. We're still settling in.
Hi, I'm Tom. Uh, I'm a physicist.
If you want to keep doing-- I'm a physicist, too.
What did you think I was? A housewife?
A hairdresser? No, I--
Oh, I--I didn't mean-- Forget it.
Actually, I am a hairdresser.
Traci. Traci Northrop.
Tom, enough mingling. We're going upstairs.
I know, she's been a real help.
I don't know, a few days.
Three or four, isn't that right, Sarah?
You took so long. We didn't know where to turn.
We're not a public service, Mr. Sidgwick.
We do what we can.
Sure. Uh, excuse me a moment.
The girls' room.
How many times have I told you not to play on the floor till the heating gets fixed.
We're still settling in, you know?
We, uh--still have some stuff to sort out.
But the price was great.
Stand up, sweetheart, and say hello.
You said "the girls."
Julia is at her grandparents'.
She wasn't feeling so great, so we thought we just as soon send her back to Vermont for a few days.
A few days.
She's much better now.
Sorry. I didn't mean to butt in.
Whenever you want.
Too much light.
When I begin the session, no matter what happens, please don't break the circle.
It can be dangerous.
Session participants are, from the north side: Mr. Sidgwick and his wife, Dr. Margaret Matheson and Traci Northrop.
The session is recorded by Dr. Thomas Buckley.
Temperature is dropping slowly, one degree--
Correction, two degrees.
Spring scale pressure remains constant.
L--I can hardly hear you.
Speak up, please.
I can hardly hear you.
I know, but you have to speak louder.
Please, we've come to help you.
It really hurts!
Stop it. Tell it to stop!
Michael, don't break it.
It hurts. I can't--
I demand that you stop!
I'm telling you, I demand that you stop!
Michael, don't break the circle.
It hurts! I can't!
Don't break the circle! I demand that you stop!
I'm scared, Mommy!
Let's get out of here. Let's go away from here.
So do you miss Vermont?
Where do you live? In Bakersfield.
Your sister like it too?
Who had the idea about the closet?
Was that you, or your sister?
She show you how to bang it against the wall like that?
It really scares my dad.
What about your mom?
Mom wants to leave, too.
Let's make a deal, just between you and me.
Do we have to shake hands?
No, we don't have to shake hands.
Here's the deal.
If you promise not to do it again I won't say anything to your dad.
I--I didn't do that thing with the table.
No, I know that, Susan. I didn't ask you about a table.
My sister's gonna be real sad.
She's gonna be real sad.
My car, you drive. That's fair.
Why is that fair? It is.
Where are you going?
You still didn't get to the bottom of this!
Don't worry about it, Mr. Sidgwick.
If the banging starts again, just call us.
And get rid of the hairdresser!
It's been an honor to fly you here, Mr. Silver.
I hope you had a pleasant flight.
Please, allow me to help you--
Would you mind letting go of me?
If you press down hard on the top of the table and draw your hands toward your body, the outer two table lengths are going to go up like a schoolgirl's dress.
You can even stick the edge of your shoe under one of the table legs and, by pressing down firmly with your hands and lifting your foot at the same time, you can make the whole table come off the ground.
It just takes a little bit of muscle and a whole lot of practice.
So, with the right partner in crime, you can put on quite a show.
The setting is important. Keep it dark, always, under any pretext whatsoever.
The spirits demand it, you need to concentrate--
I know what you are thinking. It's not scientific.
But you need darkness to develop a photograph, don't you?
So are you saying that all paranormal phenomena are frauds without any exception?
Actually, no, I'm not.
The majority simply have a natural explanation or are the result of subjective interpretation.
But how do you establish proper controls?
It's not difficult.
In a case like this one, without any special preparation, we would sit the medium against the wall and place two cards behind his elbows.
Then if he moves his arms to shift the table, the cards will fall.
If the cards remain in place, only the spirit of a very friendly stagehand is going to be moving that table.
That's the principle.
Or if you prefer, you can mark out a security perimeter for the hands to ensure that no pressure is applied outside the center of gravity.
For instance, for the round table, it will only move if pressure is exerted here--or here.
Have you ever come across a single case that couldn't be explained?
Like the existence of an anomalous ability?
An anomalous ability?
Like running a hundred meters in under ten seconds?
Like composing a masterpiece when you're stone deaf?
Your brain may be the exception, Ben, but most brains carry out a dazzling array of complex mental processes every second.
100,000 million neurons in constant synaptic communication geared to generating and regulating our sensations and perceptions.
How we reason, how we think, our emotions, our mental images, our attention span, learning, memory.
Are these not merits enough for the brain without it having "special powers" as well?
So you're saying the existence of any kind of paranormal power is impossible?
What I'm saying, Miss Owen, is that after 30 years of investigating all kinds of phenomena with the right controls in place, I have yet to witness a single miracle.
Excellent table lifting. Thank you.
I..uhm--I just sat in on your class.
You know, I admire your skepticism, Margaret, but you can't deny reality just because you can't explain it.
That's not exactly true.
I can't explain why your department gets double our budget, but I don't deny it's the case.
So let's talk, join forces.
We're making huge strides forward in the SPRC.
A discerning vision like yours could really help.
I don't do hocus pocus, Shackleton.
I suggest you don't either.
You didn't even touch that.
How do you do that?
Isn't that incredible?
Well, it doesn't always work, Mike.
I got lucky today, that's all.
The fact is, we can all do it.
Well, frankly, I knew that, uh, blind people had a more developed sense of smell, but after what we've seen here tonight--
You're right. You're right.
Simon Silver became popular at the end of the Sixties and his fame continued to grow over the next decade.
In 1975, he suddenly announced his retirement, stunning his legion of fans.
Many linked his exit from the limelight with the death of a veteran journalist, Martin Weiner, a skeptical reporter who suffered a heart attack while attending one of Silver's shows.
The post-mortem concluded the heart attack was the result of natural causes, but Silver was never able to shake off the suspicion surrounding Weiner's death.
He disappeared just as suddenly as he had become a star, which is why his come-back announcement more than 30 years after his last public appearance--
Margaret, I was watching that.
Sorry, I, uh--
I thought maybe you wouldn't hear me, 'cause you--didn't.
Is Dr. Matheson around?
No, she's not.
Can I leave the assignment with you?
Just watch the coin, okay?
Where'd it go? Lift your glass, please.
Where did you learn to do that?
You can't always trust your eyes.
You did most of the magic by looking in the wrong place.
Oh, now you're really taking the fun out of it.
The simpler, the better. That's the principle.
The only way to pull a rabbit out of a hat is by putting it there in the first place.
It's in your left hand.
Did you-- Did you see that?
No, I got lucky.
The class is really great, you know?
It makes you think.
So, right, um-- you been working for Matheson long?
Or are you a psychologist too?
Or a magician?
Uh, no, I'm not a magician.
Um, actually, I'm a physicist.
So why do you do this? Do what?
Investigate fake paranormal stuff.
Don't you think it's a bit weird?
I just try to help Margaret-- I mean, what for?
If someone claims to have powers and actually don't, who cares? Why bother?
If your mom was one of those people who went to see a psychic because, um-- her stomach was bothering her and the psychic told her that it was nothing, that it was just a-- a touch of gastritis.
But then later on-- you find out it was stomach cancer and it's too late to treat.
Do you think then you'd say "Why bother?"
Did--did that happen to you?
Okay, watch this.
Ready? Here we go.
Oh, God! Jesus Christ!
Oh my God, how did you do that? Doesn't that hurt?
Well, a litt-- a little.
Simon Silver, perhaps the most celebrated psychic of all time, will visit us here in just under three weeks.
Online bookings have sky-rocketed in just six hours.
And as soon as the Columbus Theatre box office opens, there will be a mad rush for tickets.
Are you okay, Stevie?
You want your music, Stevie?
You want us to put on your music?
Sometimes it helps him to listen to music.
He thinks this is really cool!
We do too, but we don't paint!
Only Stevie paints!
Isn't that right, Stevie?
You paint, don't you?
Automatic painting, my ass!
I was about to make him eat those crayons.
You heard it, it was, it was the interference.
It was because Stevie and Van Gogh, they just-- they don't talk.
If it would help him channel, I'm sure the mother would be happy to cut off his ear.
Well, a 90 mile drive Hm.
And not one lousy doodle.
Are you okay?
If it were just me on my own, I--
I don't think I could continue.
I'm getting too old for this shit.
Oh, come on.
Where did you spring from?
You know you could have a brilliant career at any university in the world, right?
You know that.
Mm. I like this. But why are you with me?
Hey, so, um--
Yeah, I was, uh--
You know, maybe it would be good if someone else joined the team. Do you ever think about that?
She's a little young, don't you think?
I think I'll look in on David.
If you could drop me there, please.
The reason people believe in ghosts is the same as the reason they believe in haunted houses or tunnels of light.
Because it would mean that there was something-- after death.
I only wish there were.
But I'm not prepared to let my--beliefs be determined by my desires or my--needs.
If David woke up now and looked in the mirror, he wouldn't even know who the man was staring back at him.
He wouldn't know who I was.
If I thought for one second that there was something else, I would shut off all this crap and let my son go.
A contactee was visited and raped on a daily basis by an extraterrestrial.
Savagely possessed. Every night.
So she goes to a hypnologist and the visits stop.
So she goes back to the hypnologist and says:
"Can't you just make him come back once a week?"
You know, there are two kinds of people out there with a special gift: the ones who really think they have some kind of power and the other guys-- who think we can't figure them out.
They're both wrong.
Aren't you a little young?
So what are we looking for?
Discordant notes, things that shouldn't be there.
Like that guy over there.
Hot dogs, hamburgers!
Hey, what about over there?
I'm so so sorry. What, are you blind?
It's totally my fault. Watch where you're going.
No, I wasn't watching. I'm sorry. Give me that.
I'm sorry. -Go on, just get lost now, will you, buddy?
Like candy from a baby.
Good. In we go.
Ah. Dr. Matheson.
I take it you've been told I like the box all to myself.
Yes, of course, doctor, we know that, but I was just thinking we'd have a safe--
And I'm sure you understand that this deployment is not what I meant when I said discreet.
I'm sorry, Dr. Matheson.
I'll give the orders to pull back.
Doctor, how come we're so sure this guy's a fraud?
Ever heard of Occam's razor?
When I hear the drumming of hooves, I don't think unicorns, I think horses.
My name is Leonardo Palladino.
I can see things.
Just like you.
If not, I would be blind.
I am a mentalist.
I've got a mind, like you.
I'm a clairvoyant.
Because I can see clearly.
He hasn't changed a single word.
The only difference--
You know Palladino from before? Hm.
Well, not exactly.
We've had, Leonardo Borga, Giordano and-- What was it?
Zarica. But Leonardo Palladino, it's our first time.
And we're just thrilled.
And he can't see us?
Not with this light. The glass is polarized.
No one can see anything.
Unless of course they have special powers.
I'll tell you what I don't believe in.
I don't believe in angels of light curing the good.
I don't believe in extraterrestrial beings coming down from the sky to guide the human race to an age of re-awakening.
Is that the Zimmer?
Yeah, I fixed it. It's all good.
You fixed it? You should have sent it out.
We don't have any money. It's fine.
Tom, we should ask for the money.
I said I fixed it. It'll work.
--With the Cosmos.
I don't believe in the Devil.
I don't believe in gods.
I don't believe in God himself!
I only believe in a primal, single...
Come on, Tom, let's go.
Yeah, just a sec. I'm on it.
...an explosion of lucidity, old like the world, which burns deep within me and explodes with savage brutality...
Tom. Yeah, just give me a sec.
Tom. One second. I'm on it.
I only believe in me!
I only believe in me!
Come on, Tom.
That's it. Got it.
Leo, can you hear me?
Leo, if you can't hear me, you're in trouble.
I can feel it.
I repeat: Judi Cale.
Judi Cale. To your right.
She should be in the 8th row, next to--
They're using inhibitors. They know what they're doing.
Can't you do something? -Yeah, I think so. Just a minute.
Judi Cale, stand up right now, in the name of God!
Hallelujah! Leonardo believes again.
Stand up right now.
Stand up right now, in the name of God!
Lives with her parents at 3154 Greenwich.
I can see a ring of white fire protecting your home.
The girl's got stomach cancer, Leo.
Don't be scared.
Everything all right down there?
Everything's wonderful. Thanks for asking.
Is it always like this? No. We got lucky.
The signal scrambles every 40 to 50 seconds.
I just gotta isolate this frequency.
They're not usually this careful.
I know what's wrong with you, Judi.
Don't be scared.
Leave Judi's stomach! She doesn't need you anymore!
Get out of there!
Shout it out.
Shout it out, in the name of God!
I got it!
Alright, Leo, Richard Vargas.
I repeat: Richard Vargas.
I'm calling Richard Vargas, in the name of God!
No, Leo, correct your position.
I'm calling Richard Vargas, in the name of God!
He should be on your right.
Don't be afraid on account of your sins, Richard.
Stand up and accept the light of salvation!
He really knows his moves, doesn't he?
He had a good teacher.
He worked with Silver for over a year.
Simon Silver, the blind guy?
Okay, so he's here with his sister, Maria, and his mother-- Just hang on--
Richard, don't be afraid.
Dorina and Maria aren't afraid. Listen to them.
They want you to come to the light.
Watch out, Leo! Don't-- don't get in line with the--
Sorry, my fault.
I think everything's all right. Everything okay?
You gotta be shitting me.
Do you copy me, Leo?
I'm with you, Richard!
I'm sorry, my fault.
Look at me, Richard. Look at me.
I repeat: 423 Wilbur.
You guys go position yourselves in the central block now.
We're going with the woman on crutches. Row--32.
That was close.
Did you check the auxiliary control?
No. No, Leo. Stop touching his chest, please.
His arm is the problem.
You know, one of these days somebody's gonna work out he's Argentinean.
Then--then we'll be in real shit.
Hey. You guys lose this?
A lot of cancer. Mm.
I'm here, I'm back. There's no doubt about that.
You know what I'm talking about, Simon.
Are you going back on stage?
Well, who knows, Nina.
I heard it's a distinct possibility.
I know it's a delicate subject, but your last show didn't turn out so great.
According to some people, you were--
That was a long time ago and I said all I had to say about it back then.
It was a just an unfortunate thing that happened.
You gotta admit it was weird.
Your biggest detractor attacks you at your own show, and--
It was unpleasant for everyone.
The rumor at the time was that Martin Weiner was writing a book to demonstrate that you were, uh--well, a fake.
That's, that's the kind of thing that I mean that doesn't stack up.
The same folks out there who say I have no powers also say I induced a heart attack in Martin.
Your number one enemy?
You're safe with me, Nina.
You know what I think?
I think you're getting everybody to talk about you without even going out there again.
Wouldn't that just confirm my powers?
You bet it would!
You know, Silver? I've been wanting to do this for 30 years.
You know what I've brought with me?
Let me guess.
Is it something that I can-- bend?
Well, how did you know that?
Did you just read my mind?
No. The handle's been sticking out of your pocket for the last few minutes.
So you can--
You are just a big kid, you know that?
All right, what do you guys think?
Should we ask him to bend it?
Why does no one let me watch TV in this place?
Because only housewives watch that show.
I have nothing against housewives.
My mom happens to be one.
I'm sure your mom doesn't sit around all day doing macrame and watching crap TV.
We should take a shot at Silver.
Oh, come on. Forget about it.
There's nothing interesting for us there.
This arrived this morning.
It hasn't been digitally retouched.
It's a trampoline.
Are there no real challenges left out there?
Silver's a real challenge.
Silver's already been investigated.
Yeah, like 30 years ago. We should investigate him now.
He doesn't interest me. Forget him.
He interests me. Come on! He's gonna be here in 10 days.
You are like a broken record. I said no.
What is wrong with you? Are you afraid of him?
So, if you can get that in-- into a chart for me--Margaret!
Margaret, I heard about Palladino. Everyone's talking about it.
I wanted to say thank you. People like them give us a bad name.
I doubt it.
Come on, Margaret, give us a break.
It's serious work we're doing up there.
We started with scores of 2.1.
You know, nothing to write home about, I know, but in the last couple of weeks we scored 3.4, 4, 4.6--
And the chances the difference are down to coincidence is 2 in 100, Margaret.
Paul. Two in a hundred!
Tom, go ahead and start class without me.
Take this, this and that.
And, um, show them the photograph. They'll enjoy that.
I won't be long.
So what is it this time? Psychic photography?
Retrocognition, remote vision? Telepathy.
Drawings, sealed envelopes, cards? Zener cards.
Double blind, triple blind, simple blind?
Simple blind. I did it myself.
I take it from your enthusiasm you just did a test.
Were you facing your subject?
What about them?
Uh, they were in the control booth, monitoring the subject.
Who was monitoring you?
Me? Why would anyone want to be monitoring me?
It's a joke.
So were you at the same eye level as the subject?
Under a light, I guess. Yes.
The way we are now?
More or less, I guess.
You have the cards with you? No, I-I don't have them here.
Oh. Yeah, here. Okay.
What do you mean, "shoot"?
Go ahead. Shoot.
T-To you? Sure.
Here? Why not?
Wave. How are you doing that?
Methodological defects-- -No, w--w--they're not transparent, we make sure-- improper controls, the inadvertent inclusion of relevant data or, in this case, all three at the same time.
Next time, try taking them off first.
So why'd you hold the card up to the light?
So you wouldn't think about your glasses.
So, these images were made during the Cold War-- under conditions controlled by the Soviet authorities, so there was no independent investigations.
Here Katia Novikova carries out one of her more controversial experiments.
As you can see, she concentrates intensely on the heart of the frog, at the beginning making it beat faster, then slower, and then, stopping it beating altogether.
Katia asserted that she had, she had inherited her powers from her mother-- and that during her childhood, she would see objects...
Only God is right all the time, Dr. Matheson.
And yes, there are sensitives who are impostors, just like there are skeptics.
Uh, you know, even scientists are wrong every day.
But you, the professional skeptics, you also seem to be experts in rhetoric.
Don't--don't bite off my finger, doctor.
Look where I'm pointing.
Scientists' mistakes are usually random, Mr. Cohen.
Pseudo-scientists' mistakes tend to be directional.
Dr. Matheson seems to forget that she set up her stall on this over 30 years ago.
Most professionals are fully aware of the dangers of fraud and design their experiments with every imaginable precaution.
We're believers, doctor, not simply credulous.
Very smart people are often the most credulous and are taken in by all kinds of phenomena.
They're easy victims of fraud because they think logically, and professional magicians count on that.
Like your client, for instance. He's certainly one of them.
You should've told me she would be here.
Oh, you said you wouldn't speak to my client.
Are you scared of me too?
The question is why does every parapsychological phenomenon vanish when there's a qualified skeptic in the room?
Three to four Americans say they've had some kind of metaphysic experience and an even higher percentage say--
He's gotta be in on it. He's in on it.
Doctor, this is a question for you. Don't you think--?
Margaret, just get out of there.
--And even my colleagues, the experimental psychologists--
They're just gonna box her in. They're just boxing her in.
...about their approach to strange occurrences.
This is just what I'm saying, it's just rhetoric.
It's just pure rhetoric, it's just talking the talk, but to refute the role that all crows are black you need just one single white one. Actually--
I've never seen a white crow, have you?
Look a bit harder.
Miss Hansen, I believe that you're Simon Silver's agent, are you not?
I guess that means you've gotten to know him pretty well over the years, is that true?
I'm privileged. He's a constant inspiration.
Silver's comeback has turned into an event.
His recent sell-out performances in both Atlanta and Dallas can only be described as an unbelievable success.
Today he will be performing in our city, at the Columbus Theater, less than 500 yards away from this studio.
Now, Miss Hansen, is "perform"...? That's a funny word.
Do you think that's the right word to describe what's going on here?
I would say "share."
Simon has never been ashamed of sharing his extraordinary abilities.
I think that "perform" is exactly the right word.
I beg to disagree.
Why allow for a rigorous study when the mass spectacle is there to be embraced and there's money to be made?
A lot of money, I would imagine.
The word "choice."
Excuse me, Simon Silver Taking advantage of people.
Was subjected to rigorous studies by at least two different--
Oh, come on!
Universities of unquestionable renown.
But I guess you know this, doctor, since you were on one of those committees.
I never signed off on the findings however.
Are you okay? Sh--sh--sh.
The experiments weren't done under proper controlled conditions.
Yeah, controlled conditions.
Those of us born different feel real safe.
Complete inspection of all body orifices, Faraday cages where we are locked away like animals, And--and you're surprised that Silver refused to subject himself to that.
No, I'm not at all surprised that he refused to follow the one protocol that would effectively eliminate any possibility of fraud.
All this sounds very convincing, doctor, but in actual fact, telepathic experiments...
No, no, no, no, do not go on the defensive.
Margaret, do not go on the defensive!
She's going on the defensive.
Can you see this? This is what she does.
She goes on the defensive and then the whole thing just--
--in light of my considerable experience investigating these phenomena, Aw, don't give 'em an edge.
--Of the existence of paranormal powers--
She's gonna mention the bone.
Just wait, she's gonna mention the bone.
Do not mention the bone.
I've spoken to some of those supposed victims whose eyes you claim to have opened, and, believe me, they don't have very nice things to say about you.
Telling people they've been victimized by these crazy ideas and then trying to get the ideas away from them it's like trying to take a bone away from a dog.
They don't want to let go.
Maybe I don't know my place but--
How did you know that?
Because I'm psychic.
Yes, she did, that's exactly what we are to you. We were animals.
What I'm saying is give me proof that a photon of light can pass through a human body and I will start to believe in invisibility.
Until that happens, all we're talking about here is simple subjective beliefs.
What do you believe in, Dr. Matheson?
Do you have a transcendent view of life?
Well, you talk about beliefs.
What do you believe in?
Well, I don't really see what that has to do with anything.
Well, it's a very simple question that maybe you can answer.
I'm just asking you, do you believe or don't you?
Well, I try to understand, not believe.
So you accept that it's possible there's something out there?
No, I didn't say that.
You're a religious person?
No. You know, once, long ago, I suppose I was.
And you lost your faith. What--what happened, what--
What happened to turn you into this-- lost, lonely woman?
It's just a simple question. We're done.
Oh, so just get up and walk away?
I didn't mean anything by it.
Sometimes things get said, Dr. Matheson, and it's not always pure hyperbole--
It's always the same with girls.
I'm terribly sorry about this.
We expected her to follow through--
...and I hope she 'll come back.
Meantime, thank you to the panelists.
This is one of the kinder ones.
What the hell were you thinking? Tom.
Do you have any idea the advantage he has over us now?
In one minute we've gone back decades!
We gotta investigate Silver! We gotta do it now!
Tom, I can see you're angry--
You've been keeping me away from him for weeks.
I'm not stupid, Margaret, so stop pretending I am.
I know you're not. He is not worth your--
We gotta investigate him, and if you won't, I'll do it on my own.
Look, I know they did a job on you, okay?
I know it wasn't fair and that stooge of Silver's played dirty. But she did it.
They took you by surprise, I understand.
I don't know what I would have done in your place but here's where we are: We look like idiots.
It's been over two years since we received a lousy private dollar and the department funding is so ridiculously low, the only way they can make it clearer they want rid of us is with a marching band.
It has nothing to do with the university, it's Silver.
But Silver wasn't even there!
Silver is always there.
Don't you get it?
No, we gotta investigate Silver!
And we gotta do it now!
Tom, sit down.
Just sit down.
This is how he does it.
He did it to me, and now he's doing it to you.
What does that even mean? It's not the first time.
He knows what he's doing.
We're weak, Tom. We want to be strong but we're not.
You're not angry with me.
Every time I close my eyes, I see my son that day.
I see David playing over there on the floor.
He was so small. He was sturdy.
And then he fell.
He just fell over.
I thought he was playing, but he wasn't.
He was four years old.
Margaret, I'm really-- Shh.
Everything's all right.
I write to him, you know?
Because I know he can't hear me.
Silver and I were on a television show just like the one yesterday... and he was shouting.
I was shouting.
We were young.
And then he started staring.
Not at me.
He was staring at something beside me, as if he could see someone beside me, you know, the way the mediums do when they say they can see an angel or-- or a dead relative next to you.
No. I wasn't surprised.
I was expecting theatrics, so I was prepared.
"I see a boy by your side."
"I see a blond boy."
"Do you know who that might be, Margaret?"
"Has a boy close to you died?"
I didn't answer.
I couldn't speak.
I was so frightened.
And he kept going.
"This boy is asking you to let him go."
"He says you have to let him go."
"It's his time and you won't let him go."
Now, did I denounce him as an unscrupulous fraud?
Did I tell him that my son was still alive?
Did I say anything in front of those millions of people who were waiting for my answer?
No. I didn't say a thing.
And you know the one thing I can't forgive?
And I hate myself for feeling this.
I hate myself from the moment I wake up in the morning to when I close my eyes at night.
What I can't forgive is not that he dared to use my son, my sleeping, sick son.
What I can't forgive is that for one second, and it only lasted a second, I thought it might be true.
He made me doubt!
And everyone could see it.
He's dangerous, Tom.
Stay away from him.
What can you really know?
What can you really trust?
What are your doubts? What are your certainties?
What do you call truth?
When you look at the sky, what do you see?
You see the moon as it was more than a second ago.
You see the sun as it was shining eight minutes ago.
But what do you really see?
Can you trust your eyes?
Can you trust--me?
We can go forward with lies but-- we can never go back.
You are cured.
Go in peace.
I never felt proud of being what I am.
I didn't choose it. I didn't ask for anything.
Why was I chosen? Who singled me out?
You're asking yourselves the same questions.
Right now. At this very instant.
I can hear you.
James Herbert Liddenbrock.
It's okay. Come on.
What are you doing, Margaret?
You gotta wait here.
As soon as we know anything, I'll come find you.
Does she have any relatives? Uh, well, a son, but--
Can you let him know? Uh--
As soon as we know anything, I'll come find you.
Uh, they told me you were here.
How's the doctor? Is she all right?
I don't--uh, I don't know.
They haven't told me anything.
What happened to you? You're hurt.
I wasn't with her.
I wasn't with her.
I was at the theater with Silver.
She told me not to go.
I said horrible things.
What's the point in keeping him here like that after all this time?
Every science has its corresponding pseudoscience.
Psychology has its flip side, parapsychology.
Medicine has acupuncture and homeopathy.
Astronomy has astrology.
I've had personalized birth charts made for each of you based on your individual dates of birth.
If you could open the envelope, please, and study them carefully.
Hello? This is Tom Buckley.
This is Tom Buckley.
Okay, now you've all had a chance to study your charts so we're going to grade them from one through five, one being a low level of coincidence five, being a maximum of correlation.
How many ones?
Okay. If you can pass your chart to the person behind you.
And if you guys in the back--
They're all the same.
We're just going to leave it at that for today, so--
We'll pick it up tomorrow. Thank you for coming.
This isn't my first time inside, know that?
Yes, Buckley, Leonardo. Good memory.
You're butting in already!
At 5:00 a.m. they give you a little carton of milk.
I don't eat breakfast. I wait until lunch at eleven.
Elbow macaroni with hot pepper, rice, frijoles...
Hardly ever meat.
Sometimes you get a spicy hamburger.
They think we're all Mexicans.
At five, you get the same thing again.
And that's it until the next day.
So at night I take out my carton of milk.
I've lost 15 pounds in less than 4 weeks.
You told Silver we'd be there, didn't you?
You told him how we shut you down.
Did the blind guy spook us then, Buckley?
Did the blind guy see us when we were up to no good?
When'd you talk to Silver?
Buckley, you've come to the wrong place.
Silver doesn't need me to know whatever he wants to know, get it?
This isn't one of your shows.
I'm the guy who put you in here.
Now tell me when you spoke to Silver!
I hardly know Silver, you fucking shit for brains!
You worked with him for over a year!
20 years ago! Did nobody tell you that?
I'm 37, Buckley.
I was just a fucking kid back then.
He used me!
I just had to cry and shut up whenever he told me.
Do you think he spilled his fucking heart out to me?
I'm wasting my time here.
You've got no idea what you're getting yourself into.
Good seeing you again, Leonardo.
You've got no idea what you're getting yourself into!
Whoa, did you know...
Silver canceled his last performances in Denver to do one more here?
I guess he's afraid of flying.
I hope the theater had insurance.
I mean, last show in town almost spelled the end of the Columbus Theater.
Forget it. My nephew bends spoons all the time and all he's gotten for his troubles is to make my sister hide the spoons.
If your nephew was blind, God forbid I would say that--
If my nephew was blind, my sister wouldn't need to hide the spoons.
That sure would be cruel.
You bet. Ow.
What do you say we open the phone lines so some people can call?
Anybody blind out there who wants to sue us?
Anybody--What? No, no, please.
No. None of that.
I challenge you.
You'll leave us with no aim in life!
Bring it on--bring--
Okay, okay, okay.
* In the summertime, When the weather is hot *
* You can touch right up And touch the--**
Do you have an appointment, sir?
Can I help you?
I was just looking for the way out.
Open your eyes.
Hey, what's the matter? Aw!
Wait, are you okay? What happened?
Shh. It's okay.
Will you tell me what's going on? It's okay. It's okay!
Tom, what's going on?
Don't leave me here.
Don't leave me here!
You left me on my own.
I told you not to leave me on my own.
You need to leave here.
What's going on?
Jesus, Tom, you're bleeding.
You need to get that cleaned up.
What's going on?
University sources confirm that Simon Silver has accepted the invitation of Paul Shackleton, head of the Scientific Paranormal Research Center to be submitted to an exhaustive scientific study of his extrasensory abilities. Isn 't that right, Dick?
Yes, that's the way it is, Dana.
For two weeks, Simon Silver, who had been called into question in this university by the late Margaret Matheson, will put himself through all kinds of tests designed by a committee of experts from the SPRC.
University sources confirm that Dr. Matheson had been suffering from a rare and long-standing vascular condition which could be the cause of her unexpected illness and sudden death.
Why didn't you tell me?
I don't understand what you're talking--
Why didn't you tell me? -Why don't you step into my office?
I want to be on that committee, Shackleton.
Whatever it takes, I don't care what, I wanna be there.
It's impossible. The team has already been presented.
There's nothing I can do.
Don't give me your excuses, Shackleton. Just do it.
The committee was approved by Silver!
You know what that means?
It's a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Whatever it takes, Shackleton!
No more whining. No more moaning.
Ask for more observers. Make up whatever story you want.
Get that over-subsidized brain of yours working.
I wanna be there.
I'll be waiting for your call.
Don't leave me here.
Let me at least try and help you.
I'm going to be fine.
It's just for a little while, okay?
Look at you, Tom.
Margaret was right. Can't you see it? Just let it go.
I need to know how he does it. -What difference does it make how he does it?
Forget about Silver, Tom.
There are certain things it's better not to know.
Sally, I just need to know.
Meters have been installed to detect the exertion of any physical force or the use of irregular chemical compounds such as mercuric chloride, known to alter the resistance level of metals.
Each piece has been specially marked to prevent the possibility of any swap during the tests.
Thermoelectric heat meters, radiation monitors, everything in the Scientific Paranormal Research Center lab is in place to test Simon Silver, who this morning may have just canceled a number of his public appearances.
This just isn't fair.
We've been waiting in line for two days.
Eating and sleeping here.
Who's standing up for our rights?
It wasn't just a show, for me.
For me it was more important. And now--
I don't care. Hell, I really don't.
If he thinks it's cool, I think it's cool.
I just hope he shows those smart-ass college know-it-alls.
Shit, what the hell are all these people doing here anyway?
Like, they put on the TV for 1 5 minutes and obey like sheep.
What's this guy done that's so incredible?
Like, has nobody heard of Criss Angel?
It's a matter of absolute priority that science begins to learn all it can about these forces.
We can't wait any longer.
The aim of my public appearances is just to generate the necessary conditions so that our blind society will open its eyes to the existence of other forms of energy.
These forces can't be ignored any longer.
They have to be verified and accepted once and for all. Thank you.
Is it true that you canceled some of your shows?
Nothing's been canceled. We're just re-scheduling.
Mr. Silver. One more question.
More than 100 journalists have requested accreditation to cover the SPRC experiments, more like the numbers we expect at a political summit than scientific research.
However, only a handful of media outlets have been granted passes to the inside of the building and none are allowed to remain there while the tests are taking place.
We're trying to guarantee control conditions. We're scientists, and for the first time we could just obtain conclusive results about the reality of extrasensory perception, the power of the mind over matter.
Our priority has to be to ensure the veracity of those results.
Today's a great day, ladies and gentlemen.
We could just be about to go beyond... beyond a point of no return.
Great, we got it.
Thank you. Thank you, everyone.
Thank you for coming.
From now on, no cameras except the university's will be allowed in the lab. Thank you again for your cooperation.
Remember, Buckley, you don't form a part of this committee.
You're just an observer.
You'll make no contribution to the design of the tests or the control protocols.
You can look, you can listen and you can shut your goddamn mouth.
Don't think I'm scared of you.
If I'm putting up with you, it's out of respect for Margaret.
You try to honor her in the same way.
Mr. Silver, allow me to say thank you for agreeing to do this.
And let me apologize in advance for any inconvenience we might cause.
Science will be very grateful to you.
Well, that is my sole objective.
It's me who should be grateful to you.
Oh, you already know Dr. Haynes.
Doctor. Hello, sir.
Dr. Conrad Jennings, professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Leeds, -has been kind enough to join us. Doctor.
And Professor Franklin, Professor of Physics, Case Western University of Ohio.
Now, if you don't mind--
There's another guest here, isn't that right?
Yes, that--that is right.
Excuse me, I--I didn't introduce you formally.
Have you met before?
I don't know. Have we?
Dr. Buckley, of the University's Psychology Department.
He worked very closely with Doctor--
I have a great interest in the figure of Doctor Buckley.
I follow his progress very closely.
It's been a difficult time for all of us, Tom.
How are you getting along?
I was so sorry to hear about Dr. Matheson.
Of course, uh-- we can begin whenever you feel ready.
If you'd like to come this way.
We know this isn't an exact science.
Take your time, whatever you need.
We'll start with something straightforward, you know, like an icebreaker.
Oh, oh, sure. Psy-- Psychic photography?
Thoughtography. How--How did you know?
Oh, it's been a long time since I did this, a very long time indeed.
Digital, isn't it?
Yeah, it is. Exactly. Do you need...?
I just need a simple piece of cardboard.
I don't want my fingers smudging the lens.
We opted to prepare a plastic cylinder.
I hope you don't mind. It's a half inch in diameter.
Is it okay, will it do?
One never knows, Dr. Shackleton.
As you just said yourself, this isn't an exact science.
Do you mind?
Please, be careful with my watch.
The glass top flips up.
I don't want the hands moved by mistake.
From now on you'll not be allowed to withdraw your hands from the table, unless it is for the purpose of another inspection.
You understand that, don't you?
If you do so, the test will be declared invalid.
Okay, thank you.
Ready when you are.
This film shows the first six days of investigation carried out in the Scientific Paranormal Research Center with Mr. Simon Silver.
All the images correspond to the filming of real experiments.
No scene has been recreated.
This is Simon Silver.
For the following experiment, Silver received three different models of still camera: a middle range digital camera with a fixed lens focused on infinity, a conventional analogical camera with a 50 mm lens focused on infinity and an instant Polaroid camera, also focused on infinity.
Silver's attempts with the digital camera did not produce any positive result.
The second camera registered only partial results, insufficient for a positive evaluation.
Only the Polaroid camera allowed the apparent projection of Silver's thoughts onto the photographic plate.
There is no scientific explanation for these results.
The cylinder or gizmo which Silver was provided with in order to concentrate the flow of his thoughts was carefully checked before and after each experiment in order to rule out any possible manipulation.
Silver claims to be capable of bending metal at a distance without needing to touch it.
However, during the course of these tests, this could not be experimentally confirmed.
Following a more relaxed protocol, Silver was allowed to touch the metal which, as can be seen in the film, was indeed bent.
Visual analysis of the film is insufficient to determine whether Silver possesses extremely strong fingers and great control of micro-manipulation movements or whether the distortion is in fact caused by a paranormal ability, as he claims.
Later, Simon Silver held his hand out in the continuous flow of a running tap.
As the images show, the flow of water was notably deviated by some kind of external stimulus around Silver's hand.
The difficulty in measuring this distortion in a conclusive manner, means this demonstration has been excluded from any experimental evaluation.
I think I've got it, Doctor.
I was trying with the second adapter but if I could just join--
I appreciate your help. No more mistakes, okay?
I'm sorry, Doctor, I promise--
Don't promise anything. Just plug it in. Good.
What, black and white?
It's fine. It doesn't matter. Okay.
Keep going, keep going, keep going...
Stop! Stop there.
Okay, this was the last test. Telepathy booths.
During the whole two weeks, I wasn't able to get within six feet of Silver, but you and I both know the whole thing is a farce.
Actually, Dr. Buckley, I-- -A total fucking farce. Okay, rewind.
Keep going, keep going.
Okay, go over to the other side of the gym.
Stop, Ben! Stop there! Stop!
You know, right now, Shackleton is analyzing the data, getting ready to publish his positive findings tonight., which just happens to coincide with Silver's last show, which by some strange coincidence, just happens to be taking place in this very city.
It's the finale he's been after all along.
Well, why all this pressure?
If we find out something afterwards, they'll have to change the findings.
Ben, nothing that happens afterwards will matter.
Listen to me. You are the only guy separating the world from stupidity at this point in time. Okay?
Okay? Now, you see this button?
I've spent two days loading all the images from all the cameras then synching them frame by frame, with all the angles in here, okay?
Okay? Okay, Ben?
This is the reception booth. Silver is the receiver.
That's the instrument panel. It's got ten luminous buttons.
Normally they put a playing card in each one, but given that Silver is blind they've just numbered them one through ten.
Okay, and what's supposed to...?
Quiet. Now, second booth.
It doesn't matter. It's just a dead bird.
This is the transmission booth.
Now, you see the monitor? It's a closed circuit.
Is he seeing his own panel?
No. No, no, no. He's seeing Silver's panel.
It's supposed to help him concentrate.
So the computer randomly turns on a light.
Then the guy concentrates on the number he's been given. Okay?
When he thinks he knows the number, he presses the red button, which sets off a signal in Silver's booth.
When Silver hears the signal, he clears his mind, he concentrates, whatever the fuck, when he thinks he knows the answer, he presses the corresponding number he think the guy has sent.
Is that clear?
Okay. The experiment lasted a total of seven hours, including breaks.
It was repeated a total of nine times, in blocks of ten.
The results were spectacular, with a deviation rate eight times higher than can be explained by chance.
Now, what does this mean?
That Silver's powers--?
No! It means that Silver is pulling a fast one!
Do you know how I know this? Because telepathy does not exist!
Because nobody has special powers!
No. The protocol, in theory, is sound.
It's just that Silver has found a way of breaching it.
Okay, don't look for radio transmitters, because the booths work as Faraday chambers. I've checked them.
What if he's not pulling a fast one?
Ben, you've got 41/2 hours of footage there from seven cameras.
That's 30 hours. What am I looking for?
An explanation, Ben, just an explanation.
Try to make it rational.
Is everything okay, sweetie?
Sit down, please.
I'll be with you in just a minute.
I'm not a very accessible person.
I suppose you've realized that by now.
Only somebody who really wants to get to me can do so.
I won't talk to anybody else today.
Maybe I'll do so tomorrow, in some other city.
Maybe I won't ever again.
As for me, I live each day as if it were my last.
And I'm starting to feel tired.
Very tired indeed.
I don't always demand payment for my services, did you know that?
At least, not in money. There's other ways of paying for things.
But you know that already.
You do know that, don't you?
To be or to appear to be, that is the question. It always is.
We all try to be something we're not.
We dream 27 times a night.
An intricate neurological protection mechanism which makes us forget.
What protects you?
A line of salt?
From the time of ancient Greece to the present day, philosophers and scholars have argued man is essentially rational.
I don't happen to agree.
If one observes and studies another person without having first studied oneself, how do we know whether our instruments are appropriately set?
How do we know we are reliable? We have no proof.
There's only one way of gaining access to the truth, and that's not to expect anything.
If our intentions aren't pure, we might end up creating monsters.
Hm. Please excuse me. It's getting late.
For you too.
Don't worry, we'll see each other again.
Oh, yes. We'll see each other again.
Silver is in the final stages of his countdown, only 12 hours after the announcement of his most recent retirement.
This unexpected news has caused commotion...
...all kinds of contradictory reactions.
Those that predicted that Silver had come back to stay have had no option but to accept...
...estimate that Silver may well have pocketed more than four million dollars in less than a month, a figure that would confirm...
--most immediate consequences, with prices of up to 2,000 dollars being asked by scalpers for seats, a more than dubious record being held today...
...packed out an hour and a half before the start of what will be his last appearance.
It is impossible to predict an outcome for this...
...and it's with great expectation the verdict from the Scientific Paranormal Research Center, to be announced officially tonight.
If the leaks get out...
...maybe thereby silencing more than one skeptical voice, and transcending once and for all the area of mystification and the study of frontier sciences.
Science has rarely had the chance to study at close hand such controversial manifestations as those which have made Simon Silver famous.
We really have to wonder if the spectators presently witnessing the final chance to see Simon Silver will get what they paid--
Why have you come here tonight?
What are you hoping to see?
Do you think I should surprise you?
Do you think I should entertain you?
What are you looking at so closely?
What do you know about me? How much do you believe?
How much do you want to believe?
I can feel your longings, your desires...
I can feel your demands.
It is a deep, painful urgency of the animal forced to live in darkness which finally opens his eyes and voraciously demands light with a howl of rage!
What is it you've come to see?
Have you come to see this?
I feel my veins burning with the fire of a new understanding!
We called Ptolemy insane, we spat in the face of Galileo, we burned Giordano Bruno...
What did we need?
What do we need in order to learn?
What makes us be what we are?
What finally makes us come to accept?
What makes us believe?
The question is: Why did you come here... today?
Are you crazy? I shouldn't even be talking to you.
Wait, wait, Ben, I'm not against you.
I--I just need to know what you've got.
You're my student too, remember?
Dr. Shackleton, you know I can't talk.
Listen, Ben, I've always respected Dr. Buckley's work, and Dr. Matheson's.
I'm not the enemy.
I'm sorry, Doctor. I'm going to hang up.
Ben, I've got the results of nine days of experiments sitting right here in front of me.
The only thing missing is my signature.
I'm talking about the scientific verification of extrasensory perception and forces which until today have only been seen as para-science...
I can imagine.
Do you have any idea what the publication of these results will mean to Dr. Buckley and his department?
Yeah, I--I guess.
Ben, if we've got anything wrong, anything, I need to know.
What have you got?
What do you mean? We got... nothing.
Final call, we'd better get going.
I hope the second half is better than the first.
I didn't spend 300 bucks to see Hamlet.
Sally! Ben? What are you doing here?
Shit, Sally, you don't know how pleased I am to see you.
Tom told me you'd be here.
You should be doing this, not me.
What are you doing here? Where is Tom? He's not home and he's not answering his phone. Did something happen to him?
Is that SPCR?
Telepathy booths. I've been watching the same images.
If you want my opinion... Ben, I don't. Where is Tom?
With Silver, I think.
What do you mean with Silver? At the theater.
It's nothing out of the ordinary.
He wants you to wait for him here, so take a seat.
He's perfectly all right.
What's what? That. There.
Why would Silver wear a watch?
Blind people wear watches too.
They tell the time by touching the hands.
They checked it. It's clean.
Can you split the image in two?
What are you looking for? I don't know yet.
Put the sender on the left and Silver on the right.
Move in on the watches.
Can you do that? -On the watches? Sure. Give me a sec.
I can't get an angle.
Let me try with another camera.
Can you improve the quality?
Mm-hm. Sure. I can amplify a single pixel, click it up with my magic and make it so bright and shiny you need sunglasses to look at it.
This ain't a movie.
We're in the psychology department.
All right. Go to the other camera.
I'd like to know what the hell is--
Shit, Sally. It's a recording, you know?
We can go back and forth as much as we want.
We can chill out.
Are you sure they're synchronized? Yes.
What are you looking for? They don't have the same time.
What are the chances that Silver and the sender are both wearing analogical watches and that both are synchronized second by second in millimetric precision?
Synchronized? Didn't you hear what I just said?
The watches don't tell the same time.
Second by second.
Shit. It's a code.
They just have to divide the dial of the watch into ten sections, one for each number.
When the second hand reaches the corresponding section--
--the sender presses the button.
Silver just has to know where the second hand is when he hears the signal and translate it to the position.
They're in it together.
Dr. Buckley was right. It's a fraud.
Silver never touched the hands.
The simpler, the better.
Okay, it's right here in front of us.
What was it Matheson used to say?
Results appear when there is defective methodology, important data is inadvertently included...
...or improper controls are in place.
They've taken something for granted.
Silver can see.
Did you really need to go this far?
You will know the truth, but the truth will make you furious.
Ladies and gentlemen, and I don't think I'm wrong when I say we have a distinguished guest amongst us.
The young and persistent Thomas Buckley, as many of you may know, decided some time ago to devote part of his life to making mine as difficult as possible.
Am I going too far if I say he seems somewhat out of sorts?
I wasn't able.
In the end I just wasn't able.
But you know that, don't you?
You can't deny yourself.
You can't live in denial forever!
I tried with all my strength.
Today it will be over.
For you and for me.
I just hope we're both ready. You're a fool, Buckley.
Are you threatening me in front of everyone?
I'm not like you. You can't hurt me. I am the life force!
I come with the wind and I go with the wind.
Do you want me to hurt you?
Get out of here now while you can.
I don't want to interrupt anything but I'd really like to sit down.
My arm is hurting.
Then put it down. There's nothing stopping you.
I just--just I-- I simply can't.
Don't believe everything they tell you.
You'd be better off sitting down.
Buckley, how dare you?
Are you challenging me? Are you questioning my power?
We fill our heads with noise.
Stay where you are. Do you want me to hurt you?
We renounce ever knowing ourselves.
But you can't deny yourself forever.
Isn't that right?
Don't you dare ignore me!
Time goes on.
And you think you have all the time in the world, that nothing is final...
But time goes on.
Stay where you are. Don't take another step.
You're playing with fire, I'm telling you.
You're playing with fire!
But in the end, so much time has gone by--
And you know you should have done something, and then you wake up.
Don't you know the kind of force you're up against?
It's already over.
Stay where you are! Margaret never knew.
I don't think you don't know what you're up against.
I never told her. She never knew.
Don't come any closer.
And now everything is a lie!
Don't come any closer! I'm warning you!
Did you know all along, Simon Silver? Did you know?
That's all I want to know. Did you know all along?
How did you do that?
How did you do that?
Simon, come with me.
How did you do that?
How did you do that?
Dear Margaret, Even today I'm not exactly sure when everything ended.
I wanted to cry, to feel anger, grief, to feel, just like I used to.
A whole life denying myself, searching in silence for someone like me.
A whole life looking for an answer,
without finding it.
I learned so many things from you.
But I forgot the most essential thing.
How did you know that?
Because I'm psychic.
It was me all along,
wasn't it, Margaret?
Where did you spring from?
Why are you with me?
It was me...
You can't deny yourself forever.
You did most of the magic by looking in the wrong place.
I did what you'd have wanted.
But I'll never forgive myself for not revealing myself, for not at least giving you the consolation of knowing...
there is something else.
But you deserve more.
Today you deserve everything.
You can't deny yourself.
You can't deny