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Banachek's

HEADLINE PREDICTIONS
Published in Psychological Subtleties 3:
Recently, I came across an old manuscript by U.F Grant, which presented the wonderful subtlety of placing
pages from past dates into a new newspaper, in order to accomplish predictions of events in that newspaper.
This managed to get my mind racing: a wonderful idea, which, if combined with a standard headline predic-
tion, would enable you to accomplish a major miracle. This idea is suitable for corporate shows and other pri-
vate functions. I would be careful about using it for a publicity event that involves a real newspaper reporter, as
fact checking on the minor predictions could get you caught.

Past, Present, & Future Headlines

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f this were an advertisement, it might read Your first three predictions consist of these sto-
The Perfect Headline Prediction. A week or ries. Make note of the page number and location of
more prior to the show, the performer signs each one. Write a basic summary or headline of each
and mails a large sealed envelope, to be coun- on an individual piece of paper. Keep in mind that
tersigned by the event chairman. The chair- a prediction does not necessarily have to be words.
man brings it to the show, verifying the seal and the It can be as simple as a picture. For example, On
signatures. page 22 towards the bottom there will be a picture
The envelope is opened by the chairman, who of a woman I think her name is Mary or Marie
has kept it in his safe. Inside are more envelopes. standing with two men, I think on the right-hand
The performer stands well away as each envelope is side. Do not get incredibly accurate with these first
opened. Each contains a prediction more impressive three predictions: you want them to be impres-
than the last, describing several different articles in sive but not detract from the main headline predic-
the paper, and culminating in an impressive bar- tion. Insert them in the smaller envelopes marked
rage of predictions about the front page, with a final 1, 2, and 3, and place these envelopes in the medi-
envelope predicting events yet to come. um-sized envelope.
No switches, gimmicked envelopes, electronics, or Next you will have to do some research. Jack Dean
stooges. Everything is self-contained. suggests looking up events in the World Almanac.
Here you will find statistics of catastrophes, birth-
dates, and on, and on. Pull out three or four for the
HOW upcoming months. Write them on a single piece of
paper, and place this in envelope number 5. These
You will need: will be your final predictions, an effect attributed
1. One medium-sized envelope to George B. Anderson, called Hurling the Head-
2. One large envelope lines, where you just make predictions about future
3. Five smaller envelopes, marked one through events. If they hit, great, if not, no one remembers,
five in large black numbers but it is impressive. Feel free to throw in one funny
4. Newspapers from before the prediction date prediction if you wish.
5. The same newspaper from the date of the show The number 5 envelope is placed in the medi-
um-sized envelope along with the other three smaller
Scan the papers prior to the date when you are envelopes (1, 2, and 3).
going to mail the prediction to the client. Look for On the medium-sized envelope, write the date of
small, unmemorable stories that are not date-spe- the show in larger numbers, along with the words,
cific. Remove three such pages. When you are done Do not open under any circumstances. Bring to the
with the initial preparation, keep these pages in a show. Seal the envelope thoroughly, and place it in
safe place, as you will need them on the day of the the large one.
show.

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Seal the large envelope and mail it, along with As soon as he opens the medium-sized envelope,
directions not to open same; if they do, however, take it from him and allow him to briefly look inside,
you still have Do not open written on the medi- enough to see the other envelopes, but not enough
um-sized envelope. This is in case a secretary or to count them (they are all stacked anyway, so its
someone accidentally opens the larger envelope. It hard to tell how many are there).
may never be needed, but it always helps to be sure. Pour these out onto the newspaper, handing him
I write, Do not open. Bring to show on the outside the envelope to verify that it is empty. As he takes
of the larger envelope as well. it, your left hand comes down on the envelopes on
top of the newspaper, holding them in place as you
slide the newspaper out, at the same time sliding these
THE DAY OF THE SHOW other envelopes on top of your number four enve-
lope. Step far away as you state you do not want to
Purchase that days newspaper. Remove the pages touch them.
whose numbers correspond to your other predic- The envelopes are opened in order, according to
tions, and insert the saved pages in their place. their numbers, finishing with number 5. For your
On another piece of paper, write a prediction that kicker, read off the predictions in a dramatic way.
consists of about two items from the front page, and It is perfect. The misdirection of having the spec-
then highlight your predictions with a fairly accu- tator check the medium envelope helps to hide
rate prediction of the headlines of that paper. You the addition of the extra envelope, but is not really
really want these predictions to stand out from the needed. Just make sure you dump the envelopes in a
other (previously prepared) predictions. You could pile, not too spread out.
also predict one or two items from Another possibility is having
real pages of that days newspaper, one or more of the first three pre-
instead of just front page items, dictions refer to things that have
things like, On page two, there is a already happened in your show
large picture of the President giving (i.e. a forced playing card, a forced
a humanitarian award to someone time, a word, etc.).
named Michael. On page 25, IBM Better yet, have at least one of
stock rose three percent. Again, these them be a prediction for an effect
predictions should have more sub- in itself. For example, just prior
stance, details, and facts than the previous predic- to performing the headline prediction, perform
tions. Just make sure that you do this after you have an effect in which the number 1 envelope contains
inserted the duplicate pages and that these predictions your correct prediction of the outcome. You could
are not taken from those inserted pages. Insert this even mix one of these predictions with Whole Lotto
last page of predictions in the envelope marked num- Nothing, explained in Psychological Subtleties 3.
ber 4, and seal it. There are many possibilities with this effect, but
Bring both the modified newspaper and envelope I will leave you with just one more.
number 4 to the show. Use envelope number 1 to predict an event in
the future. The audience might laugh but then
again, might take it seriously. Envelope number 2 pre-
AT THE SHOW dicts an event in the show (if there is no appropriate
event, then make this another prediction like num-
Place the modified newspaper on your table. Place ber 3). Envelope number 3 predicts an event in an
envelope number 4 beneath and to the middle left of inserted page, number 4 is the headline prediction,
the paper. and number 5 is your closer, which you read aloud:
The chairman verifies his signature, and any oth- I predict that this audience will be one of my best,
ers that may have been put on the envelope. He ver- giving me the respect and attention I need in order to
ifies the dates that it was sent and received, and then give them the best show possible. I predict that I had a
opens it and removes the medium-sized envelope. great time. Good night!

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GTA News: The Star Sat. June 9, 2012 thestar.com

Luminato: Mentalist Banachek


predicts Star front page
10 days in advance
By Wendy Gillis
Staff Reporter

Mentalist Banachek poses for a photo with his revealed written prediction sheet. The renowned U.K.
mentalist wrote down a few predictions of what he believed would appear as headlines on the front page
of the Saturday Star on June 9 and sealed them in a glass box on display in the front window of Kiehl's, a
cosmetics store at 407 Queen St.

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T
he surprise retire- lotta couldnt believe it, swearing
ment of Ill Have that the box in the store window
Another was there. hadnt been tampered with.
The out-of-the-blue Give or take phrasing and a few
bid for the 2024 words, Banachek guessed mostly
Olympics was there. The sto- right on the headlines. While the
ry on gang violence? There. He Star had They dont tell white
even had the feature article on people how to spend their mon-
Australian Aboriginals. ey, Banachek had White people
In a feat of unbelievable (no, are not told how to spend their
really) news forecasting, men- money. His version of the Stars
talist Banachek seems to have main news story, A gang at war
accurately predicted the front with itself, was written as Inter-
page of Saturdays Star 10 days in nal Gang Wars (shootings create
advance. more killings).
The professional magician, Curiously, he was also spot-
whos worked as a consultant for on with the placement of every
Penn & Teller, David Blaine and story on the page, even going so
Criss Angel, says he scribbled a far as to draw the reins on Ill
mock-up of the June 9 front page Have Anothers head, prominent
on May 30. in the Stars cover photo.
On June 1, at a public event Ill Have Another I wasnt
held at Kiehls a makeup store sure what that exactly was, Ban-
and, perhaps fittingly, Banacheks achek said. But I got a picture of meant the page was assembled
partnerin-illusion the predic- a horse, and then I realized what later than usual.
tion was folded, taped, and put in it was a few weeks ago, because For him to have forecast not
numerous envelopes. Customer this one came to me before that. only that the horse would an-
Diedra Wandel even sealed and Uh-huh nounce its retirement, but also
signed every envelope that day, Like any trickster, Banachek that it would be main art is al-
eventually placing the package doesnt dare break the magicians most inconceivable to me, she
in a glass box in the stores win- code. If I tell you too much, then said.
dow, where it supposedly sat un- youll be able to do it, he said. She adds, I want to believe
touched for more than a week. But he has performed the trick this is true; I think it would be so
Wandel was on hand again before, getting pretty accurate re- freakishly amazing.
Saturday when the predictions sults, and will reveal get ready Banacheks description of his
were unveiled in-store to a small that he looks at the news and brand of magic may be the best
crowd of surprisingly unskeptical thinks about where things could explanation of how he pulled it
viewers, exclaiming wow and go. off.
Oh, my Lord when Banachek Sometimes you can be a lit- I create effects that look like
read out his headlines while a tle more accurate than normal, they could be real.
volunteer held up a copy of the which I was today. Banachek, whose real name
Star. Alison Uncles, associate ed- is Steve Shaw, is in town for the
Im confused, said Wandel, itor, weekends and features, said world premiere of his show, The
who had reopened the package, normally the Saturday Star front Alpha Project, which is part of
checking to see that her original is planned out during the week Luminato. It showcases his men-
signatures were still on the enve- (always with the possibility that talist skills, including psycho-
lopes and that another package news will break). But there were kinesis, telepathy, precognition,
had not been put in its place. I a few factors the gang inves- clairvoyance, hypnotism and
just dont get it. tigation, and the sudden retire- sances.
Kiehls employee Sabrina Pal- ment of Ill Have Another that

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Mag-nificent Headline Prediction

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he amount of publicity that can be gar- envelope. This envelope is sealed and signed. This is
nered from a headline prediction is placed in a still larger envelope and signed. These are
astronomical. First you get a story about placed in a glass enclosed box and placed in a prom-
the prediction being sealed. Then when inent place where the performer can not get access.
the prediction is opened you again get It can even be locked and the key kept by someone
more publicity. In other words it is one of the few else.
publicity stunts where you get covered twice for the Ten days later on the day that the performer states
same stunt. he has made his prediction for the performer and the
In Toronto, I used this method. I received both press show up. The performer has with him a copy of
newspaper coverage and video coverage all over the that days newspaper and a marker. These are places
internet and in the media when we sealed the predic- upon a wooden table. The prediction is brought forth
tion. The story hit the newspapers front page when the and opened. The large Federal Express envelope is
prediction was opened, garnering even more inter- removed and the performer has the person or peo-
national attention. The is no way I could have ever ple who sign it verify their signatures. This is placed
afforded the publicity that this stunt garnered for the upon the table and the performer hands the newspa-
weekend shows at the Luminato Festival. I have per- per to a person on his left. This paper is opened to
formed all types of headline predictions through the the front page and a person on that side is asked to
years from my first show where I sealed a prediction hold it up.
in a file box, from billet pens, billet knives, switches, The performer opens the large federal express
test tubes, electronic versions, and...well the list goes envelope and removes the smaller federal express
on way to many to list. Each has been effective, each envelope. The signatures are also verified upon this
has garnered free publicity however this method envelope. The performer opens this envelope and
I am about to divulge is the most diabolical, simple his empty hand goes in the envelope and removes
and direct. It allows for the prediction to be signed the smaller letter envelope. The initials are verified on
by an authority prior to it being sealed. The predic- this envelope as well. The envelope is handed to the
tion they sign is indeed the prediction they read on dignitary and he or she opens it. They remove the
opening day. The method is simple to execute and paper inside, they open it and verify their signature.
deceptive. They then open the prediction all the way. And as each
item is called off it is circled on the larger newspaper.
The performer had drawn a mock up of that very
WHAT THEY SEE days front page including the locations and contents
of the pictures on the front page of the paper.
Ten days or a week prior to the event, a press confer-
ence is held where the performer claims he is going
to predict the front page of a prominent newspaper. OTHER USES
He states he is not a psychic but sometimes by look-
ing at current events he can get quite close to what This prediction can be used for all types of pre-
may be happening in the news. (Later this will not dictions so long as you have someone offstage who
quite jell with the accuracy but will add some talking can make the prediction for you, you can even use
points to the articles written.) this in a real time stage show. I have often thought
The performer shows his prediction folded in half. of making a special table that would allow me to use
He asks a local dignitary to sign this prediction. It is this method. For the headline prediction the news-
then folded in half again and handed to the dignitary paper hides your prediction. A notepad on your table
to place inside a letter envelope and seal. The digni- would do the same with some thought.
taries initials are placed on this envelope. This enve-
lope the performer places inside a Federal Express

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HOW On the second page
scribble a basic out-
You will need: line of the front page
1. Two letter sized envelopes of the newspaper.
2. One large Federal Express Envelope Do not worry about
3. One regular sized Federal Express Envelope the contents just
4. Two medium size Neodynamic Magnets these so something is
are about the size of an American cent. scribbled upon it. Some of this scribble may show
5. Tape lightly through the paper when it is folded and that
6. Two small labels is why you need to do this so later it will match the
7. Box to lock prediction in. switched paper. Often I will write something like,
8. A copy of the final days newspaper when it I predicted that even though you were told not to
comes out open this envelope, you would do so. To save your-
9. A marker self embarrassment call me immediately at 713-555-
5555. This way if they are tempted to try to fool me
The idea of this prediction is simple. The predic- for some reason, I have outwitted them.
tion is loaded via a magnetic system that slides the Now fold the second page in half. Fold in half
small letter prediction envelope behind the Federal again the same way. You will now have a page that is
Express envelopes in a very diabolical way so it later folded two times and
comes out of the smaller Federal express envelope. fits up beneath the top
Take your two letter sized envelopes. Place a label page.
upon both that states Fold the top page
the date the predic- in half. You will see it
tion was supposedly still cover the other
made. These go on folded sheet. Fold the
the same exact place cover down. You are
on both envelopes on set with the pad.
the outside face. This Take your smaller
will later disguise the Federal express enve-
fact you have taped a magnet on the inside of one. lope and about an
Inside one envelope tape a magnet so it is against inch or two from the
the label. I use an identical label except it has no top of the face you will
printing upon it. I also want to take an exacto knife and cut a slit across the
place a label inside face leaving about an inch or more from the edges.
the other envelope Take a marker and draw a square upon the face
in the same location. with the top line against the cut slit. This will dis-
In other words each guise the slit. Now you can write anything you want
envelope is identi- in the square such as the word Prediction and the
cal except one has date of the prediction or the date it is to be opened.
a magnet attached You will never really be showing this but it is there
beneath the outside label. This envelope is your gim- for cover anyway. I usually make a large full sheet
micked envelope. You will put it aside in a safe place. label with a bold black edge and affix it to the face of
As an extra subtly I will often put a smudge on the this envelope against the slit to hide it.
outside of both envelopes in the same exact place. Inside the center
Later when the envelopes are switched the dignitary of this envelope you
may remember the smudge and it is an extra layer of affix the other neody-
deception that convinces them it is the same enve- namic magnet. You
lope. will want to make
Take your pad of paper. If it has a cover all sure that the polarity
the better. Lift up the cover, lift up the first page. is such that when the

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face of the gimmicked letter envelope is face up on magnet and pull free
the table and the face of the federal express envelope from behind the larger
is against it, the smaller envelope will be attracted to envelope and on to the
the federal express envelope. Once you are sure of smaller.
this tape the magnet in place inside the envelope You will then reach
against the same side as the slip. inside the smaller Fed-
Place the gimmicked federal express inside eral express envelope
the larger envelope. Snug it down in the bottom and through the slit
against the bottom corner. Now feel where the mag- and pull the smaller
net is and put a small dot on the outside of the larger prediction envelope
envelope. I usually do this with a red marker but through the slit and
black will suffice. This allows you to know exactly into the envelope and
where the magnet is in the envelopes. back out. It will look
Now take a newspaper and fold it half and half as if the smaller enve-
again, Under the top sheet place the gimmicked let- lope is coming out the
ter envelope and make sure it is label side up. Feel federal express enve-
where the magnet is and put a dot there. lope. The illusion is
Now you can practice all you want till the day perfect and so long
you seal the envelopes. as you do this on the
All you need to do table there are no
is have the newspa- angles. Once you are
per on the table with done you are all set.
the small gimmicked
envelope under the
top page or two. You DAY OF SEALING
will place the large
federal express enve- Bring all three envelopes. (The two federal express
lope on top of the envelopes and the non gimmicked smaller one. Also
newspaper so the two a pen and marker for signing.
dots line up (the one Show the folded top page in the pad and state is
on the paper and the your prediction. Have the dignitary sign it.
one on the Federal Fold it in half again and as you do so turn it
express envelope) you towards yourself and pull out the second page. Let
will hear a satisfy- the cover fold over upon it as you place it cover side
ing click when they down upon the table. You have effectively switched
attract. Only you will the signature page for the second page. Now fold
hear this and know this one more time the opposite way so it is now a
what it means. square.
Once you hear that Hand this to the dignitary and ask them to place it
you pull the newspa- in the smaller envelope and seal it. Ask for his or her
per free (later you will be handing that to someone initials and place it over the flap. Remember exactly
else to hold. The smaller envelope inside will fol- how you did this as you will need do it to the other
low the federal express envelope and pull free of the gimmicked envelope later. I usually just put them
newspaper. in the corner. I never
You will be able to feel the envelope on the back do this in advance as
and I always make sure it is lined up right with my sometimes the dig-
fingers. You will reach inside and remove the smaller nitary that shows up
federal express envelope and the smaller predic- is not the one they
tion envelope will continue to be attracted to the promised. Make sure
YOU put the initials

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on the envelope not them. They can sign everything has not been opened remove
else but this envelope. the larger envelope, have
Now you take this envelope and place it in the them check the signatures.
smaller federal express envelope and tuck it down in Now in one move place it
the bottom corner out of the way. You do not want it upon the table or stool on
accidentally falling out later. I sometimes even place top of the newspaper. You
a piece of fun tack in the envelope to insure it stays. should hear the click. At
It probably never would but I do not want to take this point have someone
chances. come up and stand to your
Now you can seal this envelope and have them left. Remove the newspa-
sign the flap any way they want. Just do not let them per from below the enve-
handle it too much since there is a slit on the other lope and hand it to them.
side. As they do this you can feel
This is placed in the final envelope, which they behind and make sure the
can also sign and do whatever they want with. I usu- envelope is straight.
ally have also placed an identical large label as is on Note: Always make sure
the other federal express envelope with the same the opening of the enve-
information upon it. Make sure you tuck it into the lopes are to your right when
bottom corner so the magnet lines up with the red opening them).
dot. Also place the envelopes in each other the exact Now open the larger fed-
same way your prac- eral express envelope and
ticed. The two larger remove the smaller. As
envelopes are orien- stated before the small pre-
tated the exact same diction envelope will ride
way as each other. This behind the envelopes due
is all finally sealed in the magnets.
a clear glass box and Now I usually place the
they keep the key. smaller federal express upon
the larger if there are people around me as I have
them check their signatures upon it. I keep a hold
DAY OF PREDICTION of them. If no people around me I can be a lot freer
as there is nothing to see unless you are under or
I do a practice mock up of that days paper on behind the envelope.
an extra sheet till I have it just right. I then take the Now open this envelope and remove the smaller
paper they signed and carefully (no room for mis- envelope through the slit. Watch your angles here so
takes) do that mock up on that sheet. I then fold it the dignitary does not see in the envelope as you do
exactly the same and place it in the identical small this. Hand them the smaller envelope and you are
envelope. I seal this. (Make sure you have put their now home free.
initials no this envelope in the same place and as It sounds like a lot but it is really not. It is simple,
close to how you did it prior, I usually have done direct and very deceptive.
this the day of the sealing the moment I got home or You can leave the larger federal Express envelope
even prior to that). if you want. Make sure you take the smaller federal
Now place this in the copy of that days newspaper express envelope. I will often have a third small
under the second or top sheet. Fold the paper as in envelope so I can switch out the final prediction
your practice sessions and also put a mark where the envelope and get the gimmicked one with the mag-
magnet is on the paper. You are all set. net. Leaving the ungimmicked one behind.
Go to the location.
Place the paper on table (this is why you want a
wooden table or stool with no metal below it so the
magnet does not stick to it) Once they verify the box