ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1951
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » May 13th, 2009, 8:03 pm

And what of the Jay Marshall anecdote that Hugh Johnston told him he met Erdnase. It supposedly happened after Johnston's performance around 1905 at the Empress Theater in Denver, Colorado. Del Adelphia brought Erdnase backstage to meet him.

Is it possible that a photo might exist of Adelphia with Erdnase? Perhaps Adelphia mentioned meeting Erdnase in a letter or diary entry. I don't see anything to lose in pursuing this sliver of a trail. At best we might confirm Erdnase's identity, and at the very least we'll learn more about Mr. Adelphia's life.

I learned of the Jay Marshall story from Todd Karr and Richard Hatch's research.

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » May 14th, 2009, 12:23 am

Leo,

Magicians are often [censored] artists, so who knows what was going on in that instanceor if it really happened and Johnston was just telling Jay a story? Was Hugh lying? Was Del Adelphia having a laugh at Johnstons expense with a fake Erdnase? What sort of bona fides did Erdnase present to Johnston or was it just Del Adelphias word?

To me, this sort of story has little to no value for a variety of reasons. Ive heard it before and had no interest in following it up as there are too many unanswerable questions.

At one point in Hollywood there were a number of older men claiming to be original members of Our Gang, and at least a couple of people who claimed to have been inside the monkey suit in the original King Kong. All baloney.

In modern times there have been a number of men claiming to be Medal of Honor winners. One news account I read stated that there were more men claiming to be Medal of Honor winners than actual recipients. If they get caught it will be expensive as the maximum fine is $100,000 plus the embarrassment of being shown to be a liar. Back in the mid-1990 they caught an Illinois judge claiming to be a double MOH recipient. Youd think a judge would know better. He had to resign.

Jonathan Townsend
Posts: 8411
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Westchester, NY
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 14th, 2009, 11:52 am

David Alexander wrote:Magicians are often [censored] artists, so who knows what was going on in that instance....


Hold onto those words. Hold them tight.
Last edited by Jonathan Townsend on May 14th, 2009, 11:54 am, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: What would you like to believe? And what are you willing to ignore to permit yourself to hold onto that belief?

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5533
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » June 4th, 2009, 5:02 pm

Of passing interest:

Buffalo Morning Express, June 14, 1905, p. [??-- illegible in microfilm/scan]
"After his Debtor

A petition in involuntary bankruptcy was filed against Fred W. Grislock of Penn Yan by Edwin S. Andrews yesterday. Andrews claimed Grislock had transferred property with intent to [?? illegible]. He asserts that Grislock owes him $11,288.14."

JeffS
Posts: 21
Joined: June 17th, 2009, 11:34 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby JeffS » June 30th, 2009, 1:05 am

I would like to begin by thanking all those who have contributed to this thread, particularly Mr. Alexander, Mr. Hatch, and Mr. Kaufman. Reading this full thread over the past several weeks I was awed at the amount of work and ingenuity that has gone into this search. I have several thoughts that I want to research more before I post them but I do have a quick comment today. Please forgive me if they are covered in TMWWE or The Gardner-Smith Correspondence as I do not yet own them. I do plan to purchase copies of Mr. Alexander's and Mr. Hatch's magazine articles though, as soon as fund allow.

When Marshall Smith was interviewed was he asked if Erdnase was wearing a wedding ring when he met him? Since there is no ring in the illustrations he was either not wearing it when they were created or asked Smith to disregard it. Since this is not mentioned here I assume that it is either unknown or has been dismissed as a clue but I thought it worth asking as this would possibly provide a piece of evidence about the man.

As an aside to Mr. Kaufman, please tell me this thread is backed up or in ten years people will be selling bound copies of this thread on EBay, or whatever has taken the place of Ebay. There is so much information here that it would be a shame to lose it.

Thanks,

Jeff
So I read the riddle.

Roger M.
Posts: 1519
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » June 30th, 2009, 3:41 pm

I would postulate that this is one of the most "backed up" threads in magic, and perhaps the internet in general, regardless of vertical subject matter.
I personally have about 8 different iterations of it in time, spread over a few different hard drives. Considering its importance to the study of Erdnase himself, I'd guess that between the Genii crew and regular readers of this thread, it's as safe as it could be, and likely sitting on at least a few dozen hard drives for posterity :)

I don't recall any comments about a wedding ring in the Gardner/Smith Correspondence, which is not to say that it wasn't ever brought up elsewhere.
For the period of time after he was "re-discovered" by Gardner, Smith spoke to many magicians at conventions and elsewhere.

Interesting angle though Jeff, and similar to the one Gardner followed when he found Smith. When you are pressed for luck in finding the man (Erdnase), look for people around him that he would have been close to, and especially people who he would have been extremely close to.

Sebastien L.
Posts: 113
Joined: March 30th, 2008, 5:36 pm
Location: Canada

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Sebastien L. » July 1st, 2009, 6:36 am

JeffS wrote:As an aside to Mr. Kaufman, please tell me this thread is backed up or in ten years people will be selling bound copies of this thread on EBay, or whatever has taken the place of Ebay. There is so much information here that it would be a shame to lose it.


This thread was actually the reason I started looking into how to restore the anonymous posts to their rightful owners. We're not quite there yet but it's quite a bit better than it was.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25821
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » July 1st, 2009, 1:25 pm

Everything is now backed up.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

JeffS
Posts: 21
Joined: June 17th, 2009, 11:34 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby JeffS » July 6th, 2009, 10:31 pm

Sebastien & Mr. Kaufman,
I am glad to know that this is all backed up so it will not be lost.

Roger M,

Thanks for the info about Smith speaking at conventions.

Along that line does anyone have any info about which conventions or magic meetings that Marshall D. Smith spoke at. From what I understand he was found by Gardner in 1946 and died in 1973 so there was quite a bit of time for him to speak to groups of magicians. Does anybody out there have copies of programs or notes/letters that describe Smith's appearances? The general idea is to establish a timeline of appearances and possibly uncover an offhand remark made by Smith that may offer a clue to Erdnase's identity. I know it may be a remote possibility but it seems worth it to gather as much information as possible along this line in case something has been missed. I will also put a note in the Magic History section to see if any of the collectors out there have anything along this line.

Thanks,
Jeff
So I read the riddle.

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1982
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » July 7th, 2009, 8:42 am

To the best of my knowledge, the only convention appearance by Marshall Smith was the 1947 SAM Convention in Chicago that May. The program includes a photo of Smith circa 1902, one of his paintings, and an article by Martin Gardner, The Mystery of Erdnase (reprinted in Darwin Ortiz's THE ANNOTATED ERDNASE). At this convention he signed copies of Erdnase and several photos of him at the convention, with Vernon, Gardner, and Paul Rosini (looking very hung over), have been published. In the Gardner-Smith correspondence, his attendance at one other Chicago magic event is mentioned.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5533
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Milton Franklin Andrews

Postby Bill Mullins » July 9th, 2009, 6:58 pm

If this info has ever been brought to light before, I don't recall. But forgive me if this is old news.

The 1880 and 1900 Census has been indexed by two subscription Genealogical websites: HeritageQuest.com, and Ancestry.com. 1890 records are not available (national records were lost in a fire, and no one has pulled together local copies).

The 1880 census shows:
Anne E Andrews (age 36), female
Annie C (age 14), female, daughter
Alvin E (age 12), male, son
Rosella E (age 10), female, daughter
and Milton W (age 7), male, son

All living at #49, Widows Home, Market St., Hartford, CT. Anne is listed as having the occupation of dressmaker. Anne, Annie, and Alvin were all born in NY, and Rosella and Milton were born in CT.

I believe this is the listing for Milton Franklin Andrews, and his family. "Milton W" may be a typo, or he may have changed his name in later years. In several of the newspaper articles about his death, it is mentioned that he had still living a brother named Alvin E Andrews (once I saw it as "Alvine"), which is persuasive to me. The info above would imply a birth date of about 1873, making him 29 or so when EACT was published.

So far, I haven't been able to find M. F. Andrews in the 1900 census.


There is a 1923 passport application for Rosella Marion Andrews, of Holyoke MA, which lists as her father Milton Franklin Andrews, deceased.

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1982
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: Milton Franklin Andrews

Postby Richard Hatch » July 9th, 2009, 7:04 pm

Hi Bill. That is him. What was intriguing to me when I accessed the records on microfilm a few years ago (before it was available online) was that his mother was not then listed as a widow, but her husband was not present.
Another surprising thing is that in the 1900 Census Milton Franklin is a resident of New York City, listing his profession as a commercial traveler (this was first discovered by Bill Kalush several years ago).
Unlike the account given in the Busby/Whaley book, MFA's father does not seem to have been a successful middle class patent holder, but a tradesman at the local gun factory. He seems to be absent by the 1880 census, and Hartford directories don't list him either after that, as I recall...

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5533
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: Milton Franklin Andrews

Postby Bill Mullins » July 9th, 2009, 7:30 pm

Geer's 1892 Directory for Hartford, Ct lists

Anne E (wid) and Alvin as living at 13 Benton, Hartford, and in a separate listing, Milton F Andrews, machinist at 9 Sig. (probably Sigourney -- a 1900 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map shows there being a Sigourney Tool Company, with a machine shop there.), and also living at 13 Benton. The site of the machine shop now appears to be where I-84 crosses over the NW intersection of Capitol and Sigourney in Hartford.

JeffS
Posts: 21
Joined: June 17th, 2009, 11:34 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby JeffS » July 11th, 2009, 12:08 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:To the best of my knowledge, the only convention appearance by Marshall Smith was the 1947 SAM Convention in Chicago that May. The program includes a photo of Smith circa 1902, one of his paintings, and an article by Martin Gardner, The Mystery of Erdnase (reprinted in Darwin Ortiz's THE ANNOTATED ERDNASE). At this convention he signed copies of Erdnase and several photos of him at the convention, with Vernon, Gardner, and Paul Rosini (looking very hung over), have been published. In the Gardner-Smith correspondence, his attendance at one other Chicago magic event is mentioned.


Richard,
Thanks for the info. Did Marshall Smith speak or was he just in attendence? If he spoke do notes of the talk survive? I assume that with the heavyweights in attendence that no clues were missed but I am still curious what his talk may have contained. As to the program itself are they rare or common enough to be affordable? One of my problems with researching the mystery of Erdnase is that many of the "textbooks" are rare and out of print. Also, is the photo you mention available for viewing online? Does anyone out there know what the Chicago event that Richard mentions is?

Thanks,
Jeff
So I read the riddle.

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » July 11th, 2009, 12:27 pm

A few points:

If the 1880 Census has "Milton W. Andrews" as 7 years old, that would make M.F.Andrews 28 when he met Marshall Smith, the illustrator, if Andrews was indeed Erdnase. Is someone suggesting that a 28-year-old who was well above 6 feet tall remained in Smith's memory as a 5'6" 40-year-old when Smith remembered the weather of that day and what the man was wearing when he visited him in his hotel?

Then there is the un-likelihood of a 28-year-old who had to work for a living working up the repertoire that Erdnase had as well as the skills of an experienced, educated writer. (And don't throw in Ed Marlo as a counter-example as they lived in far different times and situations.)

About Smith, it should be remembered that no one who talked to him was a skilled interviewer or even much experienced in doing historical research. We do not know how many leading questions were asked or how much the artist wanted to please his hosts, one of whom had anointed Smith as the "Dean of Magic Illustrators." Smith did not recognize his own work at first, only recognizing his lettering. He originally thought he'd done 30 or so drawings, not 101.

Also, as I recall, at that time Martin Gardner already had the presumption that he'd found Erdnase when he interviewed Smith, with a candidate that he clung to in spite of the disparity in Gardner's thesis and Smith's memory, something Gardner pushed Smith about in his correspondence. Smith only reluctantly added an inch to Erdnase's height.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5533
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 14th, 2009, 3:16 pm

David -- I'm not advocating M.F. as Erdnase. However, he's been tied to the story for so long that he's become interesting in his own right. A "person of interest".


To me, the fact that he was working as a machinist two years before EATCT argues against him being the author. Somehow, it seems like he'd being doing something less mundane just before publishing such a work. (and I don't believe it's ever been mentioned before now that he was a machinist).

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1982
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » July 14th, 2009, 3:35 pm

David Alexander wrote:A few points:

Also, as I recall, at that time Martin Gardner already had the presumption that he'd found Erdnase when he interviewed Smith, with a candidate that he clung to in spite of the disparity in Gardner's thesis and Smith's memory, something Gardner pushed Smith about in his correspondence. Smith only reluctantly added an inch to Erdnase's height.


Just a quick correction to my friend David's recollection above: At the time Martin Gardner first interviewed Smith in December 1946, he did not have a candidate in mind, other than recognizing the name reversal to "E. S. Andrews" as a likely clue. After fruitlessly pursuing the E. S. Andrews angle, Gardner's first candidate was a writer named JamES Andrews. Only after introducing Smith at the SAM convention in May 1947 was he led by Walter Gibson to get in touch with Edgar Pratt of Philadelphia, which several years later led him to develop the Milton Franklin Andrews theory. At that point, he came back to Smith to try to get eyewitness confirmation of the MFA theory from Smith, but only got very weak corroboration, Smith's recollection (admittedly nearly 50 years after the fact) being at odds with most of the known facts about MFA.

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » July 16th, 2009, 10:00 pm

Correction accepted (so much to remember), but I would take exception to the characterization of "corroboration" by Smith..."weak" or not. The size differential, so ably demonstrated by Dick at the 1999 LA History Conference, should eliminate MFA from any further consideration.

What was disappointing to me was Gardner's pressure on Smith to revise his memory of Erdnase's height to conform with his own theory. Smith budged...once and upped Erdnase's height by one inch, as I recall. I think he maxed out at 5'7".

It would have been so much more productive had a trained investigator taken Smith through the task of remembering. I can only imagine what that would have produced.

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » July 16th, 2009, 10:03 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:David -- I'm not advocating M.F. as Erdnase. However, he's been tied to the story for so long that he's become interesting in his own right. A "person of interest".


To me, the fact that he was working as a machinist two years before EATCT argues against him being the author. Somehow, it seems like he'd being doing something less mundane just before publishing such a work. (and I don't believe it's ever been mentioned before now that he was a machinist).


Thanks for that, Bill. I find the fact that MFA was a machinst to be telling and a nice piece of research. I never thought that Erdnase could be a working man as the necessary time to develop the repetoire just wouldn't be there. And then there's Smith's recollection of the man with the "soft hands." Unlikely a machinist would have such hands.

Tortuga
Posts: 85
Joined: April 4th, 2008, 12:55 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tortuga » July 16th, 2009, 11:39 pm

Actually, depending on what type of "machinist" he was, he very well could have had "soft hands".

Ed Marlo was a machinist, a tool-and-die man from what I recall. No problem with his tactile abilities!

My uncle was a tool-and-die man for Carter Carburetor in St. Louis for many years (decades). He had quite soft hands and used to get manicures regularly. His hands were his "trade" and his ability with very small tools and fine work were what made him such a talented employee. My father also worked at Carter and used to really brag about his older brother and his "big" job at the company.

So, depending on the definition of "machinst" and just what that work entailed, MFA could have had excellent faculty with his digits.
It's never crowded on the extra mile.....

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » July 17th, 2009, 1:15 pm

As Tortuga pointed out, "machinist" can have different definitions, especially for different eras.

The 40-hour-work week was not codified until the late 1930s and safety regulations were also slow in coming.

Post-World War II working conditions and those of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries were quite different.

John Bodine
Posts: 123
Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 3:50 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby John Bodine » July 24th, 2009, 11:03 pm

Curious to know how thoroughly anyone has looked for a possible candidate in Canada. i imagine that's already been checked out but thought i'd post in case...

-johnbodine

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1982
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » July 25th, 2009, 1:03 am

One of my early "persons of interest" was Captain E. S. Andrews (1853-1935), a Canadian riverboat captain. He's a few years older than I would have liked and nothing about his life indicates either a strong gambling interest (I was thinking the riverboat might have had such activity on board...) or magic connection or travel to Chicago in 1901 or a similar writing style to Erdnase or appearance (as recalled by Marshall Smith). I gathered quite a portfolio on him before "ruling him out." But there could be others. However, the copyright application states that the author's nationality was "American" and I see no reason to doubt it. One might argue that the same application gives his name as "S. W. Erdnase," which we know to be false, but pseudonyms were permitted on the application (and not required to be identified as such) whereas I suspect an untruth about one's nationality might have jeopardized the validity of the application. As best I can tell, the only think pointing to Canada is the correctly formatted Canadian copyright statement (along with the US and British copyright statements) on the verso of the title page. Subsequent investigation indicates that only the US application was submitted, but the triple statement does tell us something about the applicant (that he, or his associates, knew something about international copyright law...).

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5533
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 27th, 2009, 5:25 pm

The Los Angeles Herald for 10/16/1905 has an interview with William Ellis, the Australian who Milton Franklin Andrews tried to kill just before he killed himself and Nulda Petrie Olivia. Ellis says that they all (Ellis, Andrews and Olivia) travelled from Australia to the United States "about eight weeks ago" on the Sierra.

Ancestry.com (a subscription genealogy database) holds and indexes many immigration records. It has the passenger manifest for the S. S. Sierra's voyage from Sydney Australia, to San Francisco, arriving Sept 11 1905. Two listed passengers are William Brush, age 29, and Mrs. Wm Brush, age 19. Both are listed as "tourists." William was born in the US, Mrs. Brush was originally a Canadian but had obtained residency in the US.

We know that William Brush was a pseudonym used by MF Andrews. I submit that these two passengers are Andrews and Olivia (oddly enough, I can't find Ellis listed anywhere on this voyage.)

The Herald article also quotes Ellis as saying that Andrews lived in Australia under the name of Clayton Hill, and that this was in fact his true name [a statement which we know to be false]. I've never heard this name/pseudonym in connection with MFA before. He also said that they had to leave Australia because they welched on bets at the Kensington race track.

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5533
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 27th, 2009, 6:31 pm

If anyone is ever in Colorado Springs, there is an interesting piece at the Pioneer Museum there relating to Erdnase. In 1904, Bessie Bouton was killed by M F Andrews. Her body was burned and remained unidentified quite a while, but was eventually identified by her dental work (this may be the first time a body was identified in this way). The collections of the museum include her jawbone. (Her family later moved the rest of her remains to New York).

Geno Munari
Posts: 630
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Geno Munari » July 28th, 2009, 2:50 pm

A couple of weeks or so on 60 Minutes they had a story on an eye witness account of a rape. A woman that was raped, swore she could recognize the attacker. Even went to the line up and identified the man. He went to jail.

After 12 years or so, he was released because of DNA evidence. The point: so Marshal Smith said he was a tall man etc. This was 45 years after he saw Erdnase. This lady swore she knew the attacker within a month. Smith's recognition had to be less accurate than the Lady mentioned because of the time that went by.

I also think Smith would have been more assertive and absolute if he was sure of the facts he recalled.

The 60 minutes broadcast had several experts on this topic of false identity. Many accounts of this type have put the wrong person behind bars.

I have not been in high school for more than 40 years and could not tell you how tall my best friend was.

I just don't see a candidate for Erdnase better than MFA. And how about the premise: Andrews - Erdnase. Anagrams. Maunder, Little (Petrie) etc.

And then the magic books found in MFA' trunk that was reported in the newspaper and the books a relative descriped in Holyoke, Ma. I find it so darn interesting.

I know that many of you Erdnase researchers refuse to even consider some of these details, however they can't be eliminated until proven false leads. Harte(o) should be re-examined as well.
Respectfully,

User avatar
Dustin Stinett
Posts: 6931
Joined: July 22nd, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Sometimes
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Dustin Stinett » July 28th, 2009, 4:00 pm

One thing Geno left out is that even when confronted face to face with the actual rapist, the victim was still absolutely convinced that she had originally identified the right guy; thats how certain she was of her recall. It was a fascinating case and, whats more, there were things said by the experts interviewed that we as magicians often take advantage of. Sadly, this case was not about a magic trick or the identity of a mysterious author. But Geno makes a valid point regarding 45 year-old eyewitness testimony.

Dustin

Bill Mullins
Posts: 5533
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » July 28th, 2009, 6:10 pm

To me, the biggest strike against MFA=Erdnase is the writing style. I just can't conceive that person who wrote MFA's "alibi letters" is the same person who wrote EATCT.

Tortuga
Posts: 85
Joined: April 4th, 2008, 12:55 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tortuga » July 28th, 2009, 6:36 pm

Bill, I agree. That is why IF he was the "author", it was ghost-written. MFA seemed to be the opposite of suave and refined.

Also, as for memories and their reliability, there is no question that time causes one to lose details or "misremember" something. As the police are fond of saying, don't believe anything that you hear and only half of what you see. The point being that appearances aren't always what they seem, and no two people "see" the same thing. Those visual memories are filed away, but not aways in an unaltered state. In other words, I believe that not only time but personal experience, education and prejudice affect what is remembered. Again, to cite police as an example, they are trained to give incredibly detailed and accurate descriptions of people, places and events. Reporters have this skill as well.

Finally, what I have a hard time swallowing is the seemingly huge contradictions in M.D. Smith's recollection. To miss by 6" to 8" is pretty bad. To not remember a thin build with a sunken chest? Is that really possible. I'd have no problem if that was the ONLY recollection that Smith had, but it didn't even make the list apparently. Whereas he did remember soft hands, gentle manner, etc. For me it strains the bounds of credulity to believe that MFA was the man that M.D. Smith met. Unless of course the book is a collaboration and MFA was involved, but not the person who met Mr. Smith in the hotel room. I haven't heard anyone posit that theory or possibility, unless I missed it.
It's never crowded on the extra mile.....

Tortuga
Posts: 85
Joined: April 4th, 2008, 12:55 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tortuga » July 28th, 2009, 6:41 pm

One final thing regarding memory. I once attended a large, company-wide sales meeting and the featured speaker put everyone on the spot by asking a question. He said, "I want all of you to write the answer to this question down on paper and don't cheat by looking at your neighbors." "Write down the two colors on a traffic "Yield" sign. We all did and then he asked, "How many said black and yellow?" About 95% of the hands went up, indicating that they believed yield signs are black and yellow.

He then informed the group that they are red and white and have been for over a decade. They used to be black and yellow, but no longer.

We probably see several such signs each and every day and 95% got it wrong.

If you get the chance, try it before a group and see what happens.

Bottom line, memories are notoriously unreliable.
It's never crowded on the extra mile.....

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » July 28th, 2009, 7:47 pm

Marshall Smith was able to remember the weather that particular day and the condition of the room in the hotel as well as the condition of Erdnases hands and his height. Had Erdnase been Milton Andrews an artist would have remembered his odd physicality. As it was early in his career and sufficiently unusual - a guy doing card tricks for him in a cold hotel room - his memory seems trustworthy.

And yes, the writing examples we have of Milton Andrews are far different in style, tone, and voice than that of Erdnase.

And about memory - When I was a private investigator I remember talking to a cop who'd done a child molestation investigation. The victim, a young girl, had been molested several years before but they thought they had the right guy. They handed her a photo line up of six men - all balding, in their late 40s with thinning curly hair. How they managed to find five other guys with such similar features to the suspect was amazing to me. They looked like six brothers.

She looked at the photos and pointed at each man from left to right..."that's not him"..."that's not him"..."that's him." And then to the second row..."that's not him"..."that's not him"..."that's not him." And then back to the guy on the upper right. "That's him." Confession and conviction followed.

My wife is a professional portrait artist. She has done thousands of portraits over the years and like many artists has a surprisingly accurate graphic memory. A lot of her clients commission additional work, but years apart. When they identify themselves she will often describe to them what portrait she did for themfamily, pet, etc. They are always stunned and flattered that she remembers.

William Henry Brown the silhouette artist of the 19th Century could accurately cut profiles from memory of people hed cut 20 years before.

Some people have better memories than others. Years ago an intelligence officer I knew told me of working behind the Iron Curtain. He spoke the local language fluently and without accent. He was there to meet two local agents. He used a tourist hotel as cover. It was winter and they were bundled up. As they rode the elevator up to the floor where their room was they said nothing and did not remove their hats or scarves.

The next summer the agent returned to the same city and the same hotel. Riding up in the elevator the operator looked at him (he was bareheaded and was in summer clothes) and said, Oh, hello sirwelcome back. Where are your two friends?

Chills ran down his spine.

The flaw in Geno's theory is that the woman in the case on 60 Minutes was shown a picture of a man who was nearly, but not quite, identical to the man who raped her. This incorrect image was close enough to be imprinted in her memory as the "real" rapist and the conviction of an innocent man followed.

This was not the case with Smith and Erdnase. He described what he remembered and as far as we can determine from the things we can verify as accurate (the date of the cold snap") he can be trusted in the things we cannot verify.

Geno Munari
Posts: 630
Joined: January 30th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Las Vegas/Del Mar, CA
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Geno Munari » July 29th, 2009, 11:15 pm

The statement that I have a theory is ad hominem. I am simply reporting what 60 Minutes broadcast.

The facts in the story speak for themselves. I suggest all Erdnase followers that have a different opinion view the broadcast and research the sources. Besides the experts that where aired, many opinions are on the cutting room floor.

Real scientists gather imperative evidence and don't rush to judgment. All I am suggesting is to keep an open mind.

No question that MFA's writings are different than the book. The book had a ghost writer or he sold the idea outright. It might have even been stolen from him. Maybe that is why an author's copy has never showed up.



Maybe there was several scoundrels involved in the production of this tome. It may very well have been a group of guys that honestly could not say that the work was theirs, since more than one person was involved. id. est. If I wrote the book with David, Richard and Bill, how could I have the say it was mine? We might have decided to keep it a mystery. Hence no author's copy.

There are many other ideas to explore on the mulitple authorship possibility.

Roger M.
Posts: 1519
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » July 30th, 2009, 1:31 am

Many of the MFA arguments are based on obfuscation.
Example:

Fact #1 - EATCT is written in a style that any sane person would instantly admit doesn't remotely resemble the writings of MFA.

Response to Fact #1 - Well of course it's a different voice, it was ghost written, and if it wasn't ghost written then the idea was bought from MFA by a bunch of guys.

It's not quality research, but trying desperately to make names fit scenarios after the fact.

To be less confrontational, I do feel that MFA remains a distant candidate in the sense that we still have no solid evidence as to who Erdnase was, so MFA stands as much a chance of fitting the position as anybody does.

One simple fact remains, M.D. Smith met Erdnase and remembered meeting him, what he looked like, the weather, the hotel room, some of he conversation, the softness of his hands, etc.
And the description Mr. Smith gave didn't resemble MFA in the slightest.......whether you want to argue the quality of Smith's memory or not, what Smith did recall is solidly on the books.

Of course the obfuscation continues by declaring Smith to "possibly" have a faulty memory as supported by some obtuse TV report, even though there are absolutely no facts to support such a claim against Smith, who provided a great many fine details of both Erdnase the man, and events as they transpired during their meeting.

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » August 1st, 2009, 12:40 am

Yeah, Geno, you DO have a theory and that is that MFA was Erdnase as you so state in your post, "I just don't see a candidate for Erdnase better than MFA."

Frankly, I'd pay more attention to your ideas if you knew the difference between "imperative" and "empirical."

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25821
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 1st, 2009, 2:43 am

This week I learned that Juan Tamariz has an entirely unique and fascinating theory about the identity of Erdnase. He is not ready to discuss it, but when he does, you will all be very surprised.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
Tom Stone
Posts: 1396
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Stone » August 1st, 2009, 2:56 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:This week I learned that Juan Tamariz has an entirely unique and fascinating theory about the identity of Erdnase. He is not ready to discuss it, but when he does, you will all be very surprised.

Is it someone who drives a very, very small car?

Philippe Billot
Posts: 1383
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: PARIS - FRANCE

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Philippe Billot » August 1st, 2009, 3:32 am

No, he was a magician with two names

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » August 1st, 2009, 1:13 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:This week I learned that Juan Tamariz has an entirely unique and fascinating theory about the identity of Erdnase. He is not ready to discuss it, but when he does, you will all be very surprised.


Let's hope that it's not the idea that Erdnase was L'Homme Masque as that's been dealt with in this thread some pages back. And if it is, he's already discussed it at a convention...unless he's changed his mind and has another candidate.

User avatar
Q. Kumber
Posts: 1690
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Manchester, England

Re: ERDNASE

Postby Q. Kumber » August 1st, 2009, 1:22 pm

Surely, if the book were ghost written it must have been done by someone with a thorough grasp of the subject, in which case you are back to square one.

David Alexander
Posts: 1549
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Aurora IL

Re: ERDNASE

Postby David Alexander » August 1st, 2009, 11:37 pm

Ah yes, there's the problem. If the book was ghost written, who was this masterful writer?

Those who know little about writing have put this silly idea forward as a viable theory. It isn't as the work is of someone who was comfortable with the process of writing and had a well-developed writing voice.

This has all been dealt with before and in detail.


Return to “General”