Mysteries at the Museum (2010) Episode Scripts

N/A - World's Greatest Slot Cheat; Urine Luck and the White Mouse

1 One man's waste becomes a scientific wonder.
He thought that he could make gold out of urine.
An incredible showdown between man and beast.
This really was science- fiction coming to life.
[ Bull grunts ] And, a courageous woman fights the Nazis.
This was the mission of her life.
These are the "Mysteries at the Museum.
" [ Suspenseful music climbs ] With over 200 roulette wheels, 1,300 blackjack tables, and nearly 200,000 slot machines, it's no surprise that Las Vegas, Nevada, generates over $9 billion in gaming revenue every year.
But just around the corner from the bright lights and towering casinos of the strip is an institution dedicated to the darker side of Sin City: The Mob Museum.
Its collection includes a section of the wall from the St.
Valentine's Day Massacre, a Tommy gun, and the monogrammed rings of infamous mobster Bugsy Siegel.
But among these symbols of organized crime is a notorious text linked to an unlikely criminal.
BURBANK: The artifact is 8.
5 inches by 11 inches.
It consists of 54 pages of paper.
It has an official-looking seal on it, and, printed in blue, "List of Excluded Persons".
WILDMAN: This is the infamous black book, a record of every person banned from Nevada casinos.
The names listed here include some of the most nefarious criminals in the nation.
But one of them seems oddly out of place.
This is a story about a computer geek who hoodwinked the entire state of Nevada.
[ Suspenseful music climbs ] Las Vegas, 1992.
36-year-old Ronald Harris works at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the organization that oversees the state's casino industry.
His job is to check the security software used to protect computerized casino games from hackers intent on cheating the system.
BURBANK: Ron Harris was a computer whiz of the Gaming Control Board.
He uncovered cheating scams and he did save the gaming industry a lot of money.
WILDMAN: But, despite his talents, Harris is paid a meager salary.
The Gaming Control Board, being a state agency, it didn't pay very well.
Harris thinks he deserves more, so he decides to use his skills to steal from the casinos.
He thought, "You know what? I can cheat the system myself.
" Harris writes a a computer code to rig slot machines so they'll pay out on his command.
Betting a specific sequence of coins activates his hidden code and makes the machine spew money.
So after you put in this long sequence, it would trigger a jackpot.
[ Bell rings ] Using his position at the gaming board, Harris has the code secretly installed on 44 different slot machines across the state.
No one suspected him.
He was able to put the program in without detection.
The code is designed so he doesn't even need to be there to pull off the scam.
Instead, he recruits a man named Reid McNeal to play the machines for him.
Reid McNeal was one of his close friends and he trusted him for that reason.
In exchange, Harris agrees to split the payouts with his pal.
Finally, Harris sets his plan in motion.
McNeal walks into a casino and takes a seat at a rigged machine.
He carefully enters the predetermined sequence of coins.
[ Bell rings ] And hits the jackpot.
He got a lot of enjoyment out of how much money he collected.
Harris and McNeal hit casinos throughout Nevada, again and again.
Over the next few years, the duo makes tens of thousands of dollars, enough to supplement their slim salaries.
Harris's employers at the Gaming Control Board never suspect a thing.
Flush with cash, the computer nerd gets a small taste of the good life and that makes him hungry for more.
He wasn't satisfied and so he took it a step further.
The crafty coder sets his sights on the perfect score: a Keno game in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with a $100,000 jackpot.
Keno is a video lottery game where you choose numbers between 1 and 80 and try to hit as many of the numbers as possible.
[Suspenseful music plays] To win the top prize, Harris will have to correctly pick all 8 numbers.
The odds were 1 in 230,000 for them to hit that many numbers at once.
But Harris knows he can tip the odds in his favor.
Using his contacts in the gaming industry, he gets a hold of the same kind of Keno machine used in Atlantic City and, after studying the device's source code, he writes a program that can predict each number before it's generated.
Harris felt confident he could pull it off.
He wanted that next big score.
But there's a catch: for his program to work, he needs to know at least one of the sequences of numbers generated by the casino's Keno machine and, to do that, he will need to be inside the casino, with his accomplice.
It's a huge risk.
The stakes are high, but the potential for payoff is huge.
[ Suspenseful music climbs ] This might be 3 years' pay in one fell swoop.
WILDMAN: On January 14, 1995, Ronald Harris and Reid McNeal check in to Bally's Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
Harris begins running his program from his hotel room.
McNeal takes his place on the casino floor.
This was the moment of truth.
[ Sinister music plays ] As the software begins making predictions, Harris relays them to McNeal through a hidden earpiece.
McNeal places the maximum bet.
And wins.
It was a perfect match.
They won the big jackpot.
But their lucky streak is about to go bust.
Elsewhere in the casino, security has just received an alert.
Keno is one of the least winnable games in a casino, so it was very suspicious.
Casino employees immediately confront McNeal.
McNeal is taken aside for questioning.
Reid McNeal knows he's in trouble.
In custody, he gives up the mastermind: Ronald Harris.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] But, when police bust into Harris's hotel room, it's deserted.
All they find of note is a calculator, some Keno cards, and a computer floppy disk.
Hours later, Harris arrives at the Las Vegas airport and is promptly arrested.
The jig was up.
This was humiliating for him.
He knew it was the end of his career.
[Melancholy tune plays] Ronald Harris is charged with computer fraud and is sentenced to 7 years in prison.
He earns a spot on the notorious List of Excluded Persons, a distinction that prevents him from ever entering a Nevada casino again.
Today, a copy of Nevada's so-called black book, complete with Ronald Harris's mugshot, is on display at The Mob Museum in Las Vegas.
It recalls the story of a greedy computer programmer whose luck eventually ran out.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] Chicago, Illinois, is best known as the Windy City.
But its lush public parks, scenic lakefront, and treelined boulevards have earned it another nickname: the City in a Garden.
And, in the heart of downtown is an institution that celebrates the wonder of nature: The Field Museum.
It boasts one of the world's most impressive fossil collections, including a giant South American ground sloth; a triceratops discovered in Wyoming; and Sue, the largest T.
Rex ever found.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] But among these prehistoric animal bones is an intriguing specimen from the world of minerals.
HOLSTEIN: It is 8x6.
5 centimeters.
It's angular and rough.
It's pretty dense.
And it has these shimmering crystals that reflects light beautifully.
[Suspenseful music plays] This is one of the most remarkable substances on the planet, but few realize that its discovery was borne, not out of science, but of greed.
This is a story where one man's waste will become another man's treasure.
[Suspenseful music climbs] [Singing in Latin] WILDMAN: It's 1669, in Europe.
Hennig Brand is a respected scientist living in the northern city of Hamburg.
Brand, like many scientists of the day, is obsessed with alchemy, an as-of-yet undiscovered process that, some believe, can turn ordinary materials, like lead and iron, into gold.
Brand is fixated on creating gold from something that's worthless.
For centuries, alchemists have tried to unlock the secret to this fabled transformation, but Brand believes he can succeed where others have failed.
He thinks the method can be found, not in metal, but in something produced by every human body.
HOLSTEIN: Brand got it into his head [Whimsical tune plays] that he can make gold out of urine.
WILDMAN: Brand is convinced that urine's distinct amber color is created by tiny, gold particles suspended in the liquid.
According to his theory, the solution is as simple as distilling the gold from the bodily fluid.
[Suspenseful music plays] But one thing gives Brand pause.
Creating a profitable amount of gold will require more urine than any one man could possibly produce on his own.
Brand needed pee.
He needed a lot of pee.
[ Whimsical tune plays ] So, in order to acquire a massive supply of the waste material, the physician heads to the most logical place in town: a local tavern.
He started collecting urine from beer-drinking men.
Before long, brand amasses an outstanding 1,500 gallons of precious pee.
The amount of urine that Brand collected could easily fill 150 bathtubs.
It must've smelled horrible.
Brand boils gallons and gallons of urine, eventually reducing the liquid down to the consistency of honey.
Then, he distills it a final time.
But, when Brand checks the results of his experiment, he's sorely disappointed.
What Brand was seeing was definitely not gold.
It is a curious substance that is white and waxy.
[Suspenseful music plays] Brand is devastated, and declares his experiment a total failure.
But, as he cleans up his laboratory for the night, he notices something completely unexpected.
[ Eerie music climbs ] The room begins to glow.
No one has ever seen anything like this before in 17th-century Europe.
What remarkable substance has this scientist just discovered? It's 1669.
A would-be alchemist named Hennig Brand is trying to create gold from a most unlikely source: human urine.
Unsurprisingly, his attempt is a total failure.
But there is one glimmer of hope.
His experiment leaves him with a strange substance unlike anything the world has seen before.
[Suspenseful music plays] Brand examines the material and is amazed by its most noticeable property.
The substance glows in the dark.
And it doesn't need any outside influence, other than air, to make it glow.
There was nothing else like it.
Brand gives this glowing material a fitting name.
He names it phosphorous, meaning "bringer of light".
Brand experiments with this new substance for years, using hundreds, if not thousands, of gallons of urine in the process.
And he discovers phosphorous has many other interesting qualities.
It's also highly flammable, which makes it a little bit dangerous.
Brand is unable to control this volatile characteristic and never finds a practical use for his accidental discovery.
Believing the substance to be worthless, he continues to dedicate his life to the pursuit of creating gold.
But he dies, never having achieved his objective.
[ Melancholy tune plays ] [Suspenseful music plays] As the decades pass, it becomes clear that the scientist had only scratched the surface of phosphorous' potential.
Other researchers build on his discovery and, eventually, phosphorous is used in countless everyday products, from fertilizer to LEDs and, most commonly, in matches.
[Suspenseful music climbs] Although phosphorous was originally created from urine, the substance is also a naturally occurring mineral.
Listed on the Periodic Table of the Elements, it is identified by a particularly appropriate symbol: P.
Today, this sample of a phosphorous-bearing rock is on display at The Field Museum in Chicago.
It is a reminder that, sometimes, one man's waste is another man's treasure.
Located in Burgundy, France, is the Morvan Regional Natural Park.
This 430,000-acre expanse features rugged farmland, miles of wooded hiking trails, and pristine lakes.
But, in the middle of this peaceful landscape is an institution dedicated to the memory of war: The Museum of Resistance.
Honoring the French heroes who fought against the German invasion during World War II, its collection includes occupation maps, Nazi paraphernalia, and firearms used by Resistance members.
But there's one item here which, at first glance, looks like it belongs on a scrap heap.
It's 18 inches by 12 inches.
It's rather battered round the edges.
And, inside, it's got wires and knobs and dials and it's not immediately clear what it is.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] WILDMAN: This artifact once provided a vital lifeline to the free world in a time of conflict and strife.
This was a key link between Allied forces and the French Resistance.
How did this strange box turn the tide of war? [ Eerie music climbs ] It's June 1944.
Following the D-Day landings at Normandy, the Allies have gained a strategic foothold in their battle against the Nazis, but they still need to drive the Germans out of France.
The Allies were hoping to turn the course of the war and to recapture France from them.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] Among the most critical tools for the Allies is a network of French Resistance fighters, ordinary men and women who use deception and sabotage to strike back against the Germans.
They were a group of French nationals who were targeting things like factories, communication lines, and, sometimes, staging raids.
Everything was riding on them.
And, leading a crucial Resistance unit in southern France is a 32-year-old woman named Nancy Wake.
Nancy Wake was the head of a faction of resistance of about 7,000 people.
She had quite a strong and daring personality and she wouldn't take no for an answer.
[ Foreboding music plays ] But Nancy has a challenge.
Her only means of communicating with the Allies is by using a secret codebook to encrypt and decipher radio messages.
And, in the chaos following D-Day, the book has been destroyed.
Without the codebook, the Resistance were completely cut off.
They wouldn't be able to receive supplies.
They wouldn't be able to receive the ammunition they needed, and it could very well be the end for them.
To acquire a new one, Nancy needs to get to a safehouse, so she can send an encrypted signal to her contacts in London.
But the closest safehouse is located in the village of Châteauroux, 250 miles away, and Nancy doesn't have access to a car.
Also, the railway stations are heavily guarded by the Gestapo.
She only has one option.
Nancy was to go by bicycle.
[Suspenseful music plays] The exhausting journey will take Nancy Wake through German-occupied territory.
She'll have to avoid a series of Nazi checkpoints or risk being caught, interrogated, and killed.
There was a tremendous amount at stake here, but no other course of action was available to her.
Nancy pedals a rickety old bike for 24 hours through country lanes teeming with German soldiers.
She would've had very little sleep and her adrenaline would have just been pumping and pumping.
This was the mission of her life.
And, as she rides down one road, Nancy encounters something that wasn't on any map: [Eerie music plays] a German blockade.
If she turns around, she'll arouse suspicion, so she does the only thing she can: faces the soldiers head-on.
If she was discovered, she would be tortured and killed and her branch of the Resistance would have just fallen apart.
Nancy would have been terrified.
It's 1944, in Nazi-occupied France.
Resistance fighter Nancy Wake is on a mission to collect a secret codebook from her Allied contact on the other side of the country.
If she's caught by the Germans, she'll be arrested, interrogated, maybe tortured.
So, can she somehow make it through? Nancy approaches the officer guarding the checkpoint.
She flirted with him a little bit.
She didn't look nervous and [Suspenseful music plays] she seemed so harmless, he just decided to wave her through.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] WILDMAN: The next day, Nancy Wake makes it to the safehouse in Châteauroux.
There, she uses a radio transmitter, just like this one on display at the Museum of Resistance, to reestablish communication with London and arranges for a new codebook to be airdropped.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] After carrying out her mission, Nancy turns around and pedals 250 miles back to her Resistance unit.
She managed to return to her home base and completely collapsed in exhaustion.
Days later, her brave band of rebels receives a new codebook.
The Resistance is able to continue its attacks against the Nazis, all thanks to the heroism of Nancy Wake.
Nancy's story is the story of the difference that one person can make in a period of conflict.
After the war, Nancy Wake receives 9 medals of service, from France, Britain, and America, including the Medal of Freedom.
And this radio transmitter, housed at the Museum of Resistance, remains a powerful reminder of one woman's determination, perseverance, and courage.
Picturesque vineyards, bustling cities, and breathtaking coastlines make Northern California one of America's most popular vacation destinations.
And those seeking a break from wine-tasting and sunbathing can visit one of the West Coast's most intriguing institutions: Military Antiques and Museum in Petaluma.
Its vast collection of wartime memorabilia includes British Royal Air Force flight helmets, Russian antitank ammunition, and a German mine launcher from World War I.
And, deep within the archives is an object which symbolizes one of the highest honors any military can bestow.
It's about 4 inches tall by about 1.
5 inches wide.
It has a light- and dark-blue triangular-shaped ribbon.
It's also got a red insignia on it.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] This medal is linked to a gutwrenching story of endurance and courage in one of the harshest environments on Earth.
This is a symbol of the lengths that some will go to, in order to survive.
[ Suspenseful chords strike ] [ Upbeat tune plays ] 1960, Antarctica.
27-year-old Russian Leonid Rogozov has just started an assignment as the doctor at a Soviet military and research base on this isolated continent.
Leonid Rogozov had a reputation of being a quiet-spoken, well-mannered, meticulous person.
He was a brilliant doctor and he had a bright future ahead of him.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] Rogozov is the only physician among a small, 12-man team and he and his colleagues are literally at the end of the Earth.
Travel by sea was difficult because ships couldn't actually dock; and air travel was almost impossible, due to the blizzards in Antarctica.
Rogozov is responsible for the health and wellbeing of his fellow crew members, but, just a few months into his assignment, the doctor becomes the patient.
He was feeling weak and nauseous.
He'd started having an increased temperature, which worried him.
Rogozov takes some medication to reduce his fever, but the next day, his condition worsens.
[ Foreboding music climbs ] Rogozov started feeling pain in his lower- right abdomen.
With each passing hour, the pain intensifies and the doctor realizes that his symptoms can only mean one thing.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] He's suffering from appendicitis.
Rogozov knew that he had a serious problem.
If his appendix is not removed immediately, the organ will burst and Rogozov will die.
But with the nearest hospital thousands of miles from the base, there's no way for the young doctor to get the treatment he needs.
So he's left with one terrifying option.
He was gonna have to perform the surgery himself.
[ Suspenseful music climbs ] It's 1961.
Antarctica.
Soviet doctor Leonid Rogozov is on a research mission when he falls ill with appendicitis.
If he's not treated soon, he'll die.
But, with rescue impossible, his only option is to perform an appendectomy on himself.
Rogozov has three members of his crew serve as his surgical assistants.
None have any medical experience.
To perform the operation on himself, Rogozov needs one of them to hold a mirror over his lower body.
One was gonna be holding the mirror.
The second one was gonna be holding his abdomen open; and then the third one was gonna be there, in case one of the other two passed out.
If Rogozov makes even the slightest error, he'll die.
In the end, it's really up to him and his steady hand.
Rogozov injects himself with a local anesthetic.
But, as he makes his first incision, he is immediately overcome with panic.
He started feeling vertigo and he started feeling nauseous.
Rogozov's hands felt like rubber.
He felt as though he was gonna pass out.
[ Sinister music plays ] Rogozov regains his composure and carefully continues slicing into his own flesh.
He reaches inside his abdomen and feels around for his inflamed appendix.
Then, he cuts it out.
He stitches himself up and completes the surgery.
Rogozov felt this incredible sense of relief.
He had done it successfully.
[ Triumphant music climbs ] After a 2-week recovery, Rogozov resumes his medical duties and stays on the base for another year.
When he returns to Russia, his fellow citizens hail him as a hero.
Everywhere he went, Rogozov was treated like a celebrity.
WILDMAN: He is awarded the Order of the Red Banner, the highest honor in the Soviet Union.
Today, a replica of his medal is on display at the Military Antiques and Museum in Petaluma, California.
It's a tribute to the brave physician who literally took his life into his own hands.
A Passover Seder plate from Hungary, a handwoven prayer shawl, and a silver menorah from the 1940s are just some of the religious relics found at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio.
But among these sacred items is an everyday object that seems out of place.
The artifact is black and silver.
It's chrome-plated on the outside.
It's sleek, it's retro, and it's compact.
This camera was deployed during a high-stakes mission to capture one of the most notorious war criminals of all time.
This is a story of espionage, intrigue, and abduction.
[ Suspenseful music climbs ] [ Suspenseful music plays ] 1960, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A crack team of Israeli secret agents are on a covert operation.
Their leader is Isser Harel, the director of Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel.
Isser Harel was fiercely proud of serving his country.
He was relentless, very serious, and secretive.
Harel and his men are tracking down a unique and elusive target: the infamous Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann.
Eichmann served as a lieutenant colonel for the SS during World War II and was one of the main architects of Hitler's most heinous war crimes.
Adolf Eichmann was an engineer of the Holocaust.
He was responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people.
[ Suspenseful chord strikes ] After the fall of the Third Reich, Eichmann escaped and the Israeli government has been hunting for him ever since.
Now, after thousands of hours of searching, they have tracked Eichmann to Argentina, where he's been living under an assumed name for 14 years.
All that Harel needs to do now is bring the Nazi back to Israel to stand trial.
But it's no easy feat.
Argentina's reputation for hiding Nazi sympathizers means that extradition would be virtually impossible.
So Harel and his team will have to get Eichmann out without anyone knowing.
It's critical that everything remain as secretive as possible.
Harel was gonna kidnap Adolf Eichmann and smuggle him back to Israel to put him on trial for crimes against the Jews.
Harel and his team spend weeks following Eichmann's every move.
Finally, on May 11th, they're ready to pounce.
The agents wait for Eichmann to return to his home and spring into action.
The team ambushes the Nazi and wrestles him into a getaway car.
Everyone's adrenaline kicked in.
They had Adolf Eichmann in their custody.
The spies transport Eichmann to a safehouse, but the hardest part of the mission is yet to come: they need to smuggle Eichmann onto a plane at the Buenos Aires airport, but it's crawling with security guards and Argentine police.
So Harel comes up with an audacious plan.
He'll hide Eichmann in plain sight.
The spies place a dark wig on the Nazi's head and dress him in a suit, to look like an airline employee.
Then, they attach his picture to a fake Israeli passport.
To prevent Eichmann from resisting, they drug him with enough sedative that he is barely conscious.
[ Suspenseful music climbs ] Finally, they load the drugged-up prisoner into the backseat of their car and head to the airport.
The whole capture team is disguised as airline employees.
Thanks to their disguises and fake paperwork, the agents are allowed to drive the car onto the tarmac and pull up right beside the plane.
They are so close to getting Eichmann out of the country.
[ Ominous music plays ] But, just then, the plan grinds to a halt.
An Argentine police officer approaches the car.
If the officer spots the sedated Eichmann in the backseat, it could tip him off that something suspicious is afoot.
If the mission were blown, Eichmann could evade capture and vanish.
So, will this agent of the Holocaust escape justice yet again? It's 1960.
A team of Israel operatives led by Isser Harel are on a dangerous mission.
Having kidnapped Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann from his hideout in Argentina, they must now fly him back to Tel Aviv to stand trial.
But just as they're about to board a plane, they're approached by an Argentine officer.
So are these secret agents about to be unmasked? Just as the Argentine officer is about to peer into the vehicle, one of Harel's agents makes a move.
He leaps out of the car and starts talking to the policeman.
With the officer distracted, the other spies hustle the sedated Eichmann out of the car and form a tight huddle around the prisoner.
The crew gathered around in such a way that Eichmann was concealed as he was being escorted onto the plane.
Before the officer can even turn around, Eichmann is boarded onto the aircraft, with no one the wiser.
Once they've got Eichmann in his seat, he simply appears to be sleeping.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] The plane takes off and heads to Tel Aviv.
Harel and his men have pulled off their mission.
Harel felt relief.
This operation was an incredible victory.
[Triumphant music plays ] In 1961, Adolf Eichmann stands trial in Israel for numerous charges, including crimes against humanity and the Jewish people.
He's found guilty and sentenced to death.
Harel's team put the Holocaust on trial for the world to understand.
Today, this camera, used by agents to monitor Eichmann during their extraordinary international manhunt, is on display at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.
It recalls a top-secret plan that brought a notorious war criminal to justice.
Founded in 1636, Providence, Rhode Island is one of the oldest cities in the United States.
And, near the middle of town is a historic structure that's become central to the people of this metropolis: the Rhode Island Hospital.
In addition to caring for patients, this institution houses a collection of antique medical items, including a doctor's bag from the early 20th century, 1960s nursing uniforms, and medicine bottles from the Civil War.
[ Suspenseful chord strikes ] [ Suspenseful music plays ] But amid these aged relics is a more futuristic-looking object.
It's about 3 inches in length, it's off-white.
and it's fashioned out of an acrylic case with thin electrode wires coming out the base.
This tiny gadget was part of a revolutionary experiment that pitted man against beast.
This is a story about one of the most audacious demonstrations in the history of modern science.
[ Eerie music climbs ] [Suspenseful music plays] It's the 1950s.
The world of medical science is undergoing extraordinary change.
Across the country, doctors are performing groundbreaking surgeries and developing lifesaving vaccines.
[Ominous music plays] But, at Yale University, neuroscientist Dr.
José Delgado is concerned by some of the changes in his field.
Many of his colleagues treat psychiatric disorders with lobotomies, a radical procedure in which part of the brain is removed.
Worried about the surgery's long-term effects, Delgado hopes to find an alternative.
He wanted to cause a change in the brain that wasn't necessarily as permanent as severing tissue with a scalpel.
[Suspenseful music plays] Delgado is fascinated by a series of papers from the 1940s that suggest that emotions can be altered by stimulating parts of the brain with electricity.
He thinks the treatment could be applied to a whole range of psychiatric disorders.
He wanted to control aggressive behavior in criminals, major depression in psychiatric patients, hallucinations in schizophrenics.
Delgado really saw brain control as a gift to improve our lot, as a society.
Delgado creates a small implant that can deliver tiny electrical impulses to the brain.
He calls his invention the stimoceiver.
Operated by remote control, the device targets the same areas normally removed in a lobotomy.
It delivers an electrical signal to stimulate that area and interrupt its function temporarily.
Delgado believes the stimoceiver could revolutionize psychiatry and, to demonstrate the device's potential, the doctor resolves to show it off in a truly spectacular way.
He felt he needed to do something big.
A native of Spain, he recalls the bullfights he saw in his home country and comes up with a radical idea: he'll implant his device in a raging bull and test it in the ring.
If his theory is right, he should be able to use the device to stop the beast in its tracks, midcharge.
He was trying to prove that he could control aggressive behavior.
He needed to make his case that his work was absolutely cutting-edge.
1963, Córdoba.
At a bullfighting ring in this Southern Spanish city, Delgado inserts a stimoceiver into the brain of a bull.
[ Suspenseful music plays ] Then, he steps into the ring and faces off against the powerful beast.
[ Growl ] He had nothing to protect himself, except a small radio transmitter.
Will Delgado's tiny device stop this raging bull? Crowd: Aaaaaaah! It's 1963, in Spain.
Dr.
José Delgado has developed a unique device called a stimoceiver, a radio-controlled implant that uses electrical impulses to control the brain.
To prove it works, he does something radical: implants it in the skull of a raging bull.
What happens next is unbelievable.
[Suspenseful music plays] Delgado braces himself as the bull charges, then raises his remote control.
And, then, he extends his arm.
[ Suspenseful music climbs ] He presses the button.
And the bull stops dead in its tracks.
Delgado repeats the feat, over and over.
This really was a spectacle.
It was science-fiction coming to life.
The story of the doctor who stopped a charging bull makes headlines around the globe.
This was heralded as one of the most impressive displays of modern neuroscience in history.
But his success has an unforeseen consequence.
The publicity sparks a firestorm of outrage over the ethics of his experiments.
He was perceived by some as being a danger to society.
In 1974, Delgado is forced to abandon his position at Yale and returns to his native Spain.
But his efforts are not forgotten.
Today, scientists have revisited Dr.
Delgado's research with great success.
His techniques are now being used to treat Parkinson's disease, as well as in the design of prosthetic limbs, and to help quadriplegics.
Delgado was very much ahead of his time, in many ways.
Today, one of Delgado's stimoceivers is on display at the Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
It endures as a testament to the innovative doctor and his groundbreaking quest to unlock the mysteries of the mind.
[Suspenseful music plays] From an ambitious alchemist to an Antarctic appendectomy, a cheating computer coder to a mind-control matador.
-[Singing in Latin] I'm Don Wildman, and these are the "Mysteries of the Museum.
"