RIP Al Seckel

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
Bill Mullins
Posts: 4855
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Huntsville, AL

RIP Al Seckel

Postby Bill Mullins » September 22nd, 2015, 12:08 pm

I see on Twitter that Al Seckel has passed away. Al was not a magician, but was a fellow traveller, at least. He was a scholar and collector of optical illusions, and recently put together an ebook on Jerry Andrus's illusions. He gave a presentation on illusions at the 2011 Magic-Con.

He was active in the free-thought and skeptic movements. I met him at one of the Gathering for Gardner meetings, and have a couple of his books. His TED talk is interesting and worth searching out (it is online). An interesting (but not altogether complimentary) profile: link.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24395
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 22nd, 2015, 2:53 pm

Sounds like he was quite a con man.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

JohnKennedy
Posts: 31
Joined: August 25th, 2008, 7:47 pm

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby JohnKennedy » September 26th, 2015, 9:36 pm

I think you nailed it Richard.

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1883
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby Richard Hatch » September 27th, 2015, 3:59 am

Wow, I had no idea about the other aspects of Al Seckel's life. I really, really liked his books and his parties must have been amazing. Perhaps Mark Setteducati can write something about him for GENII?
Here's a blog with some additional information, indicating that his body was found at the bottom of cliff in France on July 1st.
http://lippard.blogspot.com/2015/07/al- ... posed.html

Richard Hatch
Posts: 1883
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Providence, Utah
Contact:

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby Richard Hatch » September 27th, 2015, 4:23 am

This website has some interesting anecdotes by Seckel about Richard Feynman, the great physicist. Some of them involve magic, such as how Feynman correctly deconstructed two feats James Randi had performed for him (Randi tells the same story elsewhere) and how Seckel took Feynman to see Penn & Teller but Feynman was unable to deconstruct Teller's "Shadows."
http://www.fotuva.org/online/frameload. ... seckel.htm

User avatar
Zig Zagger
Posts: 140
Joined: March 20th, 2008, 6:59 pm
Favorite Magician: Aldo Colombini
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby Zig Zagger » September 27th, 2015, 7:27 am

A fascinating read, especially the Oppenheimer article, about a man who seems to have created an entire world of optical and verbal illusions around himself.

Thank you for sharing these links!
Have a look at our magic blog, http://www.zzzauber.com
Advancing the art in magic one post at a time (yeah, right!)

performer
Posts: 2875
Joined: August 7th, 2015, 10:35 pm

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby performer » September 27th, 2015, 7:36 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:Sounds like he was quite a con man.


Sounds like a man after my own heart.
Last edited by performer on September 28th, 2015, 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24395
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 27th, 2015, 11:05 am

Thanks for the link, Dick. Seckel was an even bigger fraud and bully than the other article described.

I wasn't planning on running an obit on a con man who jumped off a cliff.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

JohnKennedy
Posts: 31
Joined: August 25th, 2008, 7:47 pm

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby JohnKennedy » September 28th, 2015, 2:12 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Thanks for the link, Dick. Seckel was an even bigger fraud and bully than the other article described.

I wasn't planning on running an obit on a con man who jumped off a cliff.


That's assuming that he did in fact pass away, right?

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 24395
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 28th, 2015, 2:22 pm

I read the report that stated he was found dead at the bottom of a cliff in France. I'm not going to speculate on its truth at the moment. It's pretty easy to identify a body these days.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

JFox
Posts: 178
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Hollywood, Ca. USA

Re: RIP Al Seckel

Postby JFox » September 28th, 2015, 7:32 pm

Al Seckel & I both graduated from New Rochelle High School (N.Y.) in 1976.

We were minor friends throughout school, but he hung out with the real school brainiacs (i.e. the "A" science students)...definitely not my crowd.

Al was the typical geeky school genius nerd...I did respect his thirst for "How" & "Why", and his upper-level knowledge that alluded typical students.

I would perform my Magic & Escapes at his home parties, and I'd like to think that just MAYBE in a very small way - that helped inspire his life-long appreciation for Magic, Magicians, & visual illusions.

I would attend the mid-1980's Skeptics Group presentations at Cal-Tech, in Pasadena, Ca. whenever a magician was a guest (i.e. Randi).

I only knew his first wife, Laura.

After 1990, I lost most all contact with him, and I have no comment on what kind of man he ultimately became.

I will miss the Al Seckel that I knew.

RIP


Return to “Buzz”