Hasted, John B(arrett) (1921-)

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Hasted, John B(arrett) (1921-)

British physicist who conducted important research in parapsychology and paraphysics. Hasted began his professional training as a chemist, then worked in the field of physics at the Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, England, during World War II. He was responsible for important developments in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum in communications and was a reader in physics at the University College of London. His published works include Physics of Atomic Collisions (1964) and Aqueous Diaelectrics (1973). He was also a professor of experimental physics at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Hasted conducted experiments on psychokinesis with the psychic Uri Geller. These experiments, together with those of colleagues David Bohm, Edward W. Bastin, and Brendan O'Regan, took place between February and September 1974 at Birkbeck College and were designed to investigate Geller's abilities in metal bending, deforming crystals, and activating a Geiger counter without touching it. Witnesses at some of the sessions included authors Arthur Koestler and Arthur C. Clarke. The results, which were largely successful, were reported in the paper "Experiments on Psychokinetic Phenomena," by Bohm, Bastin, Hasted, and O'Regan (1976). Hasted subsequently conducted experiments with many children who claimed to be able to reproduce the Geller effect.

Because there have been frequent criticisms that metal-bending experiments are not properly controlled and that children, in particular, are given to blatant fraud, Hasted took care to experiment under conditions in which touching the targets was ruled out and observers closely watched the experiments, some of which were videotaped.

Hasted also devoted special attention to what happens to metal during paranormal bending. The targets are connected with a strain gauge to register the strength of the deformation. Hasted suggests that children may have special aptitude in paranormal bending in the same way that they are often centers of disturbance in poltergeist phenomena. In contrast toJohn Taylor, author of Superminds (1975), who discounted the possibility of an electromagnetic phenomenon being involved, Hasted believes there is evidence of an electromagnetic field in paranormal metal bending.


Hasted, John B. The Metal-benders. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981.

Hasted, John B., David Bohm, Edward W. Bastin, and Brendan O'Regan. "Experiments on Psychokinetic Phenomena." In The Geller Papers: Scientific Observations on the Paranormal Powers of Uri Geller, edited by Charles Panati. Boston, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1976.

Taylor, John. Science and the Supernatural. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1980.

. Superminds. London: Macmillan, 1975.