Get Your Free Audiobook

  • The Men on Magic Carpets: Searching for the Superhuman Sports Star

  • The Quest for the Superhuman Sports Star
  • By: Ed Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Ciaran Saward
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Biographies & Memoirs, Sports
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

Non-member price: $22.78

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Imagine you are a professional footballer, golfer or athlete. Now imagine you are that professional sportsman or sportswoman but - using no more than the power of your own mind - you can make yourself bigger, faster, more accurate or able to control your opponent’s mind. You would be the world’s first superhuman sports star. 

In the 1970s the US military believed they could create a ‘super soldier’ - one who could use psychic powers to walk through walls, disarm the enemy through telepathy or kill a goat by staring at it. The brain behind these techniques was Michael Murphy, one of the founders of New Age spiritualism in the hippy enclaves of San Francisco. But Murphy’s primary goal was to use these powers in sport to create a supreme athlete capable of extraordinary feats. 

Murphy and his protégés have dedicated their lives to teaching athletes and coaches to use his methods. Locking runners in huts to make them believe they were dead saints, spies using mind control to win chess matches, Russian Olympians shape-shifting, and golfers imagining they were Darth Vader - coaches and athletes soon began to trust in very weird things. So weird, in fact, that sport’s burgeoning obsession with money and image meant the hippies went underground and the superhuman powers became mythical. But the trailblazers - now more hip replacement than hippy - are making a comeback, influencing some of the world’s top teams. 

Award-winning investigative journalist Ed Hawkins meets Murphy and his protégés as well as a cast of athletes and coaches convinced by their methods as he immerses himself in a world shrouded in secrecy and weirdness. In a simultaneously hilarious and unsettling tale, he experiences firsthand the techniques as he endeavours to reveal the truth about sports psychology. Is it really possible to enter a mind-altering state or to shift your body shape? Or is it all just bunkum? And are the American military still watching?

©2019 Ed Hawkins (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Men on Magic Carpets: Searching for the Superhuman Sports Star

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So you want to be a Jedi sportstar?

Human potential... New Age... Siddha yoga powers... Don't talk about it in public, just do it. Laugh about it at work, then go home and do your mindfulness training. Win, and win again, or you're out.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rod
  • 16-12-2019

Who would've though sports would inspire Star Wars

British journalist Ed Hawkins turns sports psychology on its head by looking at the quirkier, darker and more esoteric beliefs of mind over matter.

The Men on Magic Carpets is an exploration through the ages of people who researched and practiced alternative ways to reach sporting success, from psychic and supernatural abilities to the mind-control experiments of Russia and the efforts of the US military to create a ‘super-soldier’ in the 1970s. Hawkins takes these historical and sometimes hysterical ideas and follows them through to modern-day practices of self-actualisation and personal development for sports men and women using yoga, meditation and mindfulness training.

Once upon a time, coaches and fellow players would bully and yell, applying peer pressure with the sole focus on winning the game. Nowadays there’s a move towards ensuring player bond as a team and discover their own potential. While the early efforts discussed in this book may seem whacked out, the modern sensibility may have much to thank those pioneers for.

Hawkins’ book is fascinating read that should appeal to a broad range of readers, from sports fans to psychology students, lovers of the paranormal, and practically anyone who enjoys learning new ideas through a highly entertaining narrative.

In these pages, Hawkins uncovers the use of neuroscience in the quest for performance enhancement, and the search for neuro-supremacy through the use of ESP, psychokenisis, ‘remote viewer’ and ‘power dreaming’. He interviews a bona fide ‘mad scientist’ from the Soviet Union, White House staff in the USA, and a number of people in between. In doing so, he finds synergies between enhancement research being done is sports and the military, and discovers it was this kind of research that inspired film-maker George Lucas to create The Force - the psychic religion of the Star Wars film franchise.

In the audiobook edition, narrator Ciaran Saward puts on voices for some of the people he quotes, and offers good characterisations as he vocalises Hawkin’s trek through the secretive and bizarre world of sports people and scientist who have been or are involved in this kind of research. It’s book is a great read and the audiobook is too. Either option will amuse, befuddle and surprise.

May the Force be with you.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for martin cameron
  • martin cameron
  • 18-05-2019

Good book bad accents

Interesting topic but the narrators accents are incredibly distracting and unnecessary in a non fiction book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tessa Cox
  • Tessa Cox
  • 26-05-2019

Fantastic Performance Great Book

Totally absorbing book and thank you Ciaran Saward for great narration. I have shared this book and know it will be enjoyed 😎

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.