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Topic: Dusty Packet
Message: Posted by: Martock (Aug 7, 2011 04:59AM)
I was going through box I have not been into for a while and found an old packet trick I have never really used. I think I remember the name being some thing like Alien Invasion. It has a flying saucer on the front of the envelope. There are five cards, one has alien head on the front (face) and back (back of head). Two have alien head on front and blue Rider backs. The last two have four of hearts on the front and alien back of head on the back of the card. If memory serves me you add the four of hearts from a blue Rider back deck to the pack and the aliens all appear to change to the four of hearts. The packet uses some weird elmsley count, I believe its called the "under ground elmsley" or "reverse elmsley", to achieve this effect. Has any one here ever heard of this packet trick or the weird elmsley count? If so, please help me to relearn this gem that I have not done in probably 15 or so years.

Thanks for your assistance.
Message: Posted by: Glenn Morphew (Aug 7, 2011 06:26AM)
I'm not familiar with the trick itself but... an Underground Elmsley differs from a regular Elmsley Count by taking the bottom rather than the top card of the packet first. Other than that difference, you proceed normally. When you do this, you will find that you hide the second rather than the third card from the top.

Another common Elmsley Count variation used is to simply add the last card to the bottom rather than the top of the packet.

Good luck with your reconstruction.

Message: Posted by: Paul (Aug 7, 2011 09:37AM)
It's a Danny Archer routine, easy to find with a Google search.

The story revolves around a small town astronomer (a card is selected, say the King of Spades, from a blue deck to represent the astronomer), who spots an alien space ship (really a manila envelope with a picture of a spaceship on the front), which lands on the outskirts of town. The spaceship's door opens, and the aliens emerge. You show four cards with beautiful colorful pictures of aliens on both sides. One of the aliens is removed and heads to town (the deck) to investigate. The astronomer has set out to spy on the aliens. When he sneezes, they grab him (the blue backed King of Spades is added to the remaining three alien cards), and using some unknown alien technology, the aliens change their appearance and you show four blue backed Kings of Spades! The astronomer escapes, the alien who went to town returns, and the cards change back into four green aliens! The aliens climb back in their ship and blast off and the Earth is saved! A clever, timely story. Beautifully made cards, includes envelope with the picture of the alien spaceship.

Below is a link to a variation performed by Caleb Wiles without the alien faces.


Done this way, of course, it is IDENTICAL to Richard Vollmer's effect which was once on the market in France called"Rank Xerox" and appears with permission in my book "Still Small, Still Deadly" (see page 161 if you have this excellent book) It had appeared in a slightly different form from Richard years back in "Apocalypse" under the title "Double Chameleon" (vol. 8. no. 3) but the blank card version was his favorite. It's a beautifully constructed packet effect by Richard.

Danny no longer advertises it so it is probably out of print/discontinued and probably not likely to reappear.

Those that like the 'alien' plot may also care to check out Peter Samelson's treatment of the Wild Card called "The Invasion of The Body Snatchers" in his book "Theatrical Close-up" (1984).
Message: Posted by: Martock (Aug 8, 2011 02:14AM)
So the name of the trick is Alien Invasion? I wasn't even 50% sure that I had that correct. I'm still not sure about the count it uses. Thank you for the info you gave Paul.

Glenn, can you point me to some where to see the underground Elmsley count in detail. I am not clear on what you are saying. Elmsley count has always bothered me because to my eyes it looks hinky.

Thank you both for the info you have given me.
Message: Posted by: Paul (Aug 8, 2011 08:18AM)
Matlock, yes, it's Danny Archer's Alien Invasion. The effect cloned Richard Vollmer's handling.

Underground Elmsley is the same as the Elmsley count, the only difference is that at the conclusion the last card is placed to the bottom of the packet rather than on top.

What Glen refered to as the Underground, where the first card is taken from the bottom is actually the OPEC Count (OPEC standing for Out of Position Elmsley Count).

With all the variations its easy to get them confused, and some have different names for the same thing (Half Elmsley and Split Elmsley for instance).

If you watched the video clip from the link given earlier, you've SEEN it being done, and it looked fine...
Message: Posted by: Glenn Morphew (Aug 8, 2011 09:23AM)
Paul is right about the description of the OPEC and Underground Elmsley counts, I stand corrected.

Thanks for clarifying Paul.
Message: Posted by: Martock (Aug 8, 2011 01:19PM)
Again thank you both so very much, for clearing this up for me. I just gave it a try and think I have it now. Seeing this effect again reminded me of why I got it in the first place lol. I am very grateful for all the help with this.
Message: Posted by: glowball (Feb 28, 2021 03:19PM)
I think one reason this packet trick (plus a regular deck) did not catch on among magicians is that it did NOT automatic reset at the end. This is a minor nuisance for many magicians.

I have come up with an easy solution to this problem:

This is so easy and it fits right in with the final part of the routine so that it's actually part of the act to do the reset moves right in front of your audience.

My simple solution is: at the end of the routine after you've done the final "down under" Elmsley with the packet face down in your hands do one more "down under" Elmsley then flip the packet face up spread two cards over (your audience will see three face up aliens) then move the second alien card to the bottom of the packet and place the first alien card back on top where it was. The packet is now reset (this little process does the reset without flashing any of the normal card images).

You do all this while saying something like "That's how the Earth was almost conquered by these ugly alien invaders". This way the reset moves appear to be you just casually showing more views that these are back to normal aliens.