Bart Whaley

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Geno Munari
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Bart Whaley

Postby Geno Munari » August 4th, 2013, 7:46 pm

I am so sorry to report that Bart Whaley passed away yesterday. He died at home of natural causes. I will miss him very much. My prayers for him and his family.
Geno Munari

His family forwarded this obituary:

Barton Stewart Whaley
26 May 1928 - 3 August 2012

Pacific Grove, CA - Bart Whaley, a native of San Francisco, died on 3 August 2013.
Bart, only child of Lloyd and Anita Whaley, was born on 26 May 1928. He took his BA in Chinese Studies in 1951 from University of California, Berkeley. Then served with the Intelligence section of US Army Psychological Warfare headquartered in Tokyo during the
Korean War. He attended London University School of Oriental and African Studies on the GI Bill for four years, and in 1969 took his Doctorate at MIT. Dr. Whaley wrote Stratagem: Deception and Surprise in War, Codeword Barbarossa, Covert German Rearmament, 1919-1939,
Cheating, (co-authored under the name "J. Barton Bowyer"); and more.

Following his intellectual curiosity in deception and counterdeception he took to the study of conjuring as a deception operation. He was a lifetime magician member of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He produced four prize-winning books on magic and gambling cheaters, most notably The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic 1584-1988 and The Man Who Was Erdnase. In 2004 he hosted a workshop on magic and the military at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

At the time of his death, Dr. Whaley was affiliated with the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and in that capacity this year collaborated with Dr. Hy Rothstein on a reader on military deception. He also was working for the Director of National Security’s Foreign Denial and Deception Committee (FDDC) of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). His most notable recent work for the FDDC is Detecting Deception: A Bibliography of Counterdeception across Time, Cultures, and Disciplines (4th Edition 2011). He also was concurrently working on his book The Maverick Detective; or, the Whole Art of Detection.

Dr. Whaley is survived by his wife and editor Susan Stratton Aykroyd, stepsons, David and Jim Woodle and a daughter Sandhya Whaley. He will be sorely missed and never forgotten.

Any donations may be made to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation at, a nonprofit organization that, in part, provides college scholarships for surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces.
Last edited by Geno Munari on August 5th, 2013, 9:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Bart Whaley

Postby Bill Mullins » August 4th, 2013, 8:41 pm

Oh, what a shame. I tried to email him several times over the years about our shared interests in Erdnase, but never got to him.

I disagree with the conclusion s of _The Man Who was Erdnase_, but it is the cornerstone of all the research that has come since.

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Andrew Pinard
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Re: Bart Whaley

Postby Andrew Pinard » August 4th, 2013, 9:02 pm

Very sorry to hear this. Bart and I had a couple of conversations over the years and I always enjoyed his deep passion and knowledge about our craft... My thoughts are with his family.

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Matthew Field
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Re: Bart Whaley

Postby Matthew Field » August 5th, 2013, 4:08 am

Very sorry to hear this. I had one brief e-mail exchange with him more than 15 years ago.

He was responsible for "Who's Who in Magic", "The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic" and, with Busby and Gardner, "The Man Who Was Erdnase". I use the first two of those, in editions from, very often.

Matt Field

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Re: Bart Whaley

Postby lybrary » August 5th, 2013, 11:48 am

Very sorry to hear these news. I was in periodic contact with Bart and his wife Susan until recently. And since we both graduated from MIT I always felt an intellectual bond to Bart. For several years I have maintained and taken over his work on his stupendous "Who's Who in Magic" and "Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic", two works that only a mind like Bart's could produce.

Few people know that Bart wrote two other interesting books besides his writings on military deception and the three books most of us know ("Who's Who in Magic", "Encyclopedic Dictionary in Magic", and "The Man Who Was Erdnase"). These two books are:

"Orson Welles : The Man Who Was Magic" ... p-400.html

Sun Tzu: The Principles of War (a new and more accurate translation) ... 50359.html

For some of his other writings you might want to check out

RIP Bart.... Magic & Gambling
preserving magic one book at a time

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Bart Whaley

Postby Dustin Stinett » August 5th, 2013, 4:05 pm

I know he was a great friend to you and I'm so sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and Mr. Whaley's family and other friends.

Bob Farmer
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Re: Bart Whaley

Postby Bob Farmer » August 6th, 2013, 7:22 pm

His work on deception was outstanding. another one-of-a-kind guy gone. Very sad.

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