Saturday, October 27, 2012

LINK: That One Time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Punked Houdini With Dinosaurs

Here's a fresh article at that's worth reading for the content and comments. It tells of the time Sir Arthur Conan Doyle screened an excerpt from The Lost World at an S.A.M. banquent, "fooling" the magicians into thinking the dinosaur footage was real. (If you ask me, I think the comment by "awschucks" nails it.)

Click the headline to have a read at


  1. I don't believe anybody beyond the age of five at the Hotel McAlpin, including Houdini, and even the cooks who prepared the food for the SAM banquet actually believed those were real dinosaurs in the film.

    It's easy to think that our ancestors were "dumber" than us--nothing could be further from the truth. The only punk I see is the writer of this article. I doubt this poor girl could pass a simple geography test.

  2. Wow, a whole article on the hoax even and no mention of Willis O'brien who made it possible. The newspaper description is of early footage from the Lost world. The animation varies wildly throughout the movie as time constraints grew bigger and the release date couldn't be pushed back. The earliest models made for the movie are finely detailed, and the later ones look very slapdash and most people base their impressions on them. A copy of the movie projected at the correct frame rate can look quite good. Stop motion has its detractors, but the process works or it wouldn't be the method that was used for years until CGI made it largely outdated.
    Check out the Walker sequence in the motion picture the empire strikes back - done in the exact same method.
    I cherish my copy of the program for that long ago SAM dinner and the front page event that came of it.
    Bruce Thomson