AS children, we all played with magnets. Delighted to see them jump and spin. To test what they stuck to, and what objects they didn’t. And, when we let go of them, no magnet ever stuck to our fingers.
When I first saw a video of a magnet sticking to the arm of somebody, I smiled and quickly flicked by to something of real interest. Then someone sent me another magnet video. I hesitated slightly and moved on to something else. That evening, two friends called me to confirm their findings. Anne had been at a dinner party and had waited until the guests were relaxed on their second bottle of wine before pulling her magnet out. Carl had filmed himself attaching a magnet to the arm of his mother and it had gone viral.
A quick search on the internet found the usual suspect ‘fact checkers’ debunking this magnet phenomenon - a clear telltale sign of a cover-up. My ‘favourite’ fact checker of all, Snopes, had featured Carl’s video of his mother, calling it fake. There was only one thing to do - I packed my camera, jumped on the train down to the South Coast to find out for myself whether a magnet would be attracted to his mother’s arm, or not.Carl quickly demonstrated the spot of magnetism on his mother. Even though I was inches away, I asked Carl to take the camera so I could try for myself. Feeling a magnet being tugged out of your hand, by a subtle yet defined magnetic force from under the skin of a living human being, is quite a shock.Sensing the magnet being repelled, and trying to flip so that the correct polarity was in contact with the skin, was mind-blowing. We had just established the basics on camera. The magnet had stuck to Carl’s mother’s arm due to an indisputable magnetic attraction. The fact checkers, including Snopes, Reuters, the BBC reality check and Fact Check–alongside a multitude of US main stream TV channels–were deceiving the public.
You can see the short documentary we made via the website called ‘The Magnet Challenge - True or False?
’The call out for people to take up the #magnetchallenge using neodymium magnets was working and the videos were appearing on social media from all over the world.
Our next step was to take a team to St James Park, London on the day of the 29th of May Freedom protest to ask random people to take part in the Magnet Challenge on film. We were joined by Dr T. As we were setting up, news came in that the BBC had made a joint announcement with the NHS, calling for the banning of neodymium magnets claiming they were now deemed a risk to children. A coincidence? Maybe. However, we suspected that drawing such flack with such precise timing, confirmed that we were over the target.
Our walk-about challenge within the park caused mixed reactions. Some were near tears, two young Israelis refused to accept the fact staring them in the face and others laughed it off - even if nervously. Importantly, Dr T., a UK trained doctor, had now verified our findings on camera.You can also see the short
film ‘The Magnet Challenge with Dr T’ on our website. DOWNLOAD THE LIGHT NEWSPAPER HERE