James Hydrick was a former juvenile delinquent from New Jersey for whom magic and deception became something of a survival technique. He claimed to have learned psychokinesis from “an old Chinese master” (actual answer is “in jail, for kidnap and robbery”) and his technique of secretly blowing pockets of air at pencils and phone directory pages to make them move mustered him more and more air time on 60s telly.
Here, on That’s My Line, Hydrick presents himself as a disciple of Shaolin kung fu who would use the powers of his mind to reach the “fourth level of consciousness” and cause things to move. He certainly looks the part, doesn’t he?
Unfortunately for Hydrick, famed psychic slayer James Randi was also called on to the show, to set up some controlled variables and offer his customary cheque to the young man if he could perform under these conditions.
Watch Hydrick look increasingly concerned…
…Don’t feel too sorry for him, though – he got done a few years later for molesting young boys and is serving 17 years in jail.