LET ME ASSURE the reader, I understand that it is hard for him to believe or comprehend the things I do unless he experiences them himself. Because they have been happening to me ever since I was a small child, I sometimes forget that I can’t just talk about them and expect people to believe me. These events are so mingled with my personality and my beliefs that it’s not difficult for me to accept them any more. If I could go to every person’s living room to talk and demonstrate these energies in front of him, it would be the easiest thing in the world to convince people. But I’m only one person. I’m trying to pass my knowledge on through a book or a record, or through radio or television, or through the scientific publications, and I’m not sure it comes across as well as I hope it will.
It’s almost as if a person came to me and said: “Listen, I saw a dog yesterday playing a harmonica.” I would say: “Come on now, I don’t believe that.” But if I saw the dog in front of me with a harmonica, playing a tune, then I would have to believe it. I would of course be very skeptical and check first: “Wait a minute. Is that a real dog? Is there a hidden harmonica, and is somebody else playing the tune? Is there a hi-fi set rigged somewhere inside the dog? What kind of harmonica is that, and what kind of dentistry did the dog have to enable it to play?” But if I checked all these things and had experts check them, and if I personally inspected the dog’s mouth, felt the vibrations on the harmonica as it played directly in the mouth, and took the harmonica apart and made sure that there was no solid-state amplifier or tape inside it, then I would have to admit that it was real. Even then, I’d be a little wary.
But if I just read about it in a newspaper or a magazine or a book, I would have a tough time believing it. So I understand how a reader must feel when he reads my story. I can’t expect him just to take my word for it. In my case, it’s a phenomenon, and it’s very controversial. I think it’s important in this book to describe what is happening on the scientific side, under strictly controlled conditions, where trickery can play no part. And I think it’s also important to show how the events have affected others besides myself and to present all the evidence, both from skeptical scientists and from ordinary people, that verifies the events.
What happened in England at the end of 1973 was strong evidence, because there was no possible way I could have faked anything even if I had wanted to. I am so convinced that there are great energies within us and above us we haven’t even tapped yet that I want to explore them with others and help people reaise they are there. I have other thoughts, too, about intelligences outside ourselves. And the more I can demonstrate these things, even though they might seem trivial and simple, the clearer I can make the deeper thoughts. Enormous energies exist within us. It’s important to help people reaise this.
The letter from the scientific consultant in England was startling because it demonstrated an impact that went even beyond what had happened in the many homes throughout England. His letter began calmly enough with general greetings and mention of my visit in England with him earlier. Then he came to the point:
“The aftermath of your rather meteoric visit to London has been an extraordinary psycho-sociological event to observe. At this stage, your name is a very distinct signature indeed in Britain’s consciousness, and that such a thing could happen in a mere 48-hour time-span would have been predicted by few, if any, of us. No doubt you have many of the clippings and magazine articles. I myself, however, have been specifically concerned and interested by the impact of your visit on both the scientific and the policy-making level of the scientific and media communities.”
“Throughout all levels, there has been a variety of interesting responses. As usual, there are the skeptics and the magicians-seeing them line up on the same bill, so to speak, makes one wonder if in the future the majority of skeptical scientists might not be more accurately regarded as really being threatened magicians!”
“There have, however, been many more interesting responses, and these merit more attention and consideration. Perhaps the most dramatic of these has been the strong words I heard (from a source I don’t wish to name as yet) to the effect that you may never again be allowed to broadcast live in Britain! Why? Because it seems that a number of very strange things happened to several important timing and radio transmission devices in Britain during your BBC broadcast. These devices were, it seems, all knocked out simultaneously while you were on the air.” I italicize those words because they were really a shock to me.
“The story I was told simultaneously with this involves a multi-million pound ( £ ) project, in the area of ‘brain research’, shall we say, and it seems so fantastic that I will have to check further in it before saying more. I will say however that the people involved have some rather interesting ideas about you. In discussing their reaction to your appearance, it seems that the simultaneous breakdown of important equipment is regarded as significant and a potential danger to the national security of Britain.”
This went far beyond the things that had happened in homes throughout the British Isles, unusual as they were. I had experienced something similar earlier, so it did not come as a complete shock: When I was doing tests at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California, it was rumored that the computers at a military project in the same building had gone haywire. This had never been fully confirmed, but it went through my mind as I read the letter from London.
From what I can tell about these energies, they always work for the good. I have never tried to do anything harmful with them and don’t intend to, but the feeling I get is that they could never be used for bad ends or to create danger for others. That may have a Pollyanna sound, but I’m convinced it is true. I once tried to use the energy when I was in Las Vegas, and it wouldn’t work at all. Not that such a use would be harmful, but it wouldn’t really be honest. Whatever had happened in England, I am sure that it was not dam-aging. Of course, I don’t know what other things have happened that I’ve never heard about.
It is almost as if these intelligences or energy forces or powers–whatever they are–are clowns out in the universe. They often do things I don’t expect at all. When I am demonstrating and concentrating on a piece of metal, for instance, they are controlled. But things sometimes happen that seem silly.
I fly all over the world, and nothing ever happens to the planes. I’m as happy about that as the pilots are. But on three occasions, the film projectors in Boeing 747s simply let loose and spilled the film from their reels. Sometimes an ashtray will suddenly lift off a table and will next be seen dropping on the floor on the other side of a room. I know how ridiculous this sounds to someone who has never seen it happen in front of his own eyes.
The news about the effect of the BBC broadcast on important secret work aroused my curiosity, but there was nothing I could do to find out more about it. There were some rumors that the computers at the British Ministry of Defense had gone haywire during the broad-casts, but again this was not confirmed. I reaised of course that, if anything like this were to happen, it could create a difficult situation. That was something I had no desire to do, which is one of the reasons why I want to do everything in the open. I do not want to work secretly with any government. I believe very much in the power of love and in people everywhere. I also believe completely in God, even though I don’t observe any formal religious practice of any kind. And I believe very much that we must have peace in this world if we are to survive.
The letter from my friend in London had some other interesting things to say. He had talked with Professor David Bohm of the Department of Physics at Birkbeck College of the University of London, a famous physicist who had worked with Einstein in the l950s, and also with Niels Bohr, one of the scientists who was responsible for the splitting of the atom. Professor Bohm was aware, my friend wrote, of the BBC broadcasts and the results they had produced in England.
“The thing about Bohm,” the letter said, “is that he is not just another academic – on the contrary, he is both a brilliant and sensitive man with what seem like genuinely profound insights. In fact he is the first person I have spoken with about you who seems to both appreciate the significance of it all and offer some constructive thinking on a deep level. Since your visit I have had several more conversations with him and he has expressed a strong desire to meet and talk with you and, if you are willing, do some experimental work to be followed by a paper in Nature, which as you will learn is perhaps the most significant weekly publication in science. Many important discoveries have made their first appearance in its pages over the years.”
I had heard about Nature, even though I am far from a scientist. Someone had told me that the first paper on DNA, the Double Helix, was published there, and that it is supposed to be the scientific journal with the most prestige in the world. I thought it would be exciting to be included in its pages.
The letter continued: “Bohm has indicated to me that he would first like to have a quiet meeting with you to discuss things generally. This would serve to establish some rapport and allow you both to mutually decide what you would like to do. Then if you agree, he could set up some work with you, aimed at trying to arrive at some theoretical understanding.”
This sounded very interesting to me, and so did Dr. Bohm. It was of course also very flattering. I sometimes get nervous when I’m going through scientific tests, even though most, but not all, of them work out well. The more friendly and sympathetic the scientist is, the better results I get. If someone is very harsh and negative, I become so tense that I don’t get very good results. I decided that I would like to meet with Professor Bohm soon on one of my trips to England.
In the meantime, other scientists were interested in further testings as a result of the effect of the BBC broadcasts. They included a group from the New Scientist, another important journal for scientists, and a group formed by Dr. Bastin of Cambridge. He had observed some of the scientific tests I had made in the United States, and he had, in fact, brought several metal same pies that I had worked on back to England and asked a Cambridge University metallurgist, Dr. J. P. Chilton, to examine them in the laboratory.
I learned about the results of the lab tests when I was still in England. Dr. Chilton said that “close examination of the six hardened metal screwdrivers whose tips had broken off showed no signs of chemical treatment, heat distortion, or other indication of how it was done. These were normal fractures, achieved in a mysterious way.”
Of course, this was not the sort of laboratory test that could stand up officially, because the breakage had not happened under completely controlled conditions. But Dr. Bastin had certified the conditions under which the screwdrivers were broken, and, at least informally, Dr. Chilton said: “Geller is either the cleverest magician of the century or he has something new. There is no half-way about it.”
Of course, I knew I was not a magician, not even an unclever one. I was groping as much as they were to find the real answer. I knew that I would want to work more with the scientists when I got back to England, but I was scheduled to return to the United States for more lectures, and there was nothing more I could do at the time.
Just before we left for the States, Professor John Taylor issued a statement that gave another indication of how seriously the British scientists were taking the phenomenon. He told the press that he wanted to set up a serious investigation in the light of the nationwide effect of the broadcasts: “We may end up proving his powers are not unique,” he said. “But if he will agree to cooperate with us he may help us make most important discoveries about the human mind.
“We are not thinking of another TV circus. What we have in mind is a serious, scientific investigation with a great deal at stake.”
I had no idea whether the results of the BBC broad-casts could be repeated when I continued the European tour. On the quick trip back to the United States, I was making only platform appearances, and no broadcasts.
One of the London papers was sending a reporter back to the States with me to keep the story running in the wake of the results from the British broadcasts. I was due to make a quick tour of colleges in the United States before I returned to England, and then go on to the rest of Europe and Japan. Roy Stockdill, the re-porter, was a pleasant fellow and like most people wanted to confirm my demonstrations with his own eyes.
Roy Stockdill stayed with me all during the lecture tour in the United States and saw what I am usually able to do. When we were on the plane, Stockdill asked me to bend his house key. I gently rubbed my fingers along it as it rested on the arm of the airplane seat. It immediately curled up. When we arrived in the States, he asked me to do the same with his hotel key, which was much thicker and stronger. I tried but failed. The key would not bend at all.
Stockdill had with him a very strong steel shaving mirror, which he tested by trying to bend it with his hands and of course was unable to. I tried stroking the mirror but had no luck. It seemed to be one of those times when nothing was working. I tried the hotel key again. Now, suddenly, it began bending. We watched it move up to a 45 degree angle.
This often happens – that is, the process doesn’t work at first, and then does so on a second try. But there was something more amazing to come. Stockdill looked over at the mirror, which we had left on a nearby table. The mirror was bending visibly in the middle and rocking gently on the table as it did so. It kept on moving in front of us until it reached a V shape. This happens often too – it’s a kind of delayed reaction. Or sometimes there is a simultaneous reaction; I’ll be running my fingers over a fork or spoon, and several others on the table will curl up at the same time as the one in my hands. I honestly am surprised myself when this happens.
I went out to dinner with Stockdill that night at a restaurant where a film was being projected on the wall. We hadn’t been at the table long before the projector suddenly began spilling the film all over the floor. Again, this was something I hadn’t concentrated on at all. It was just one of those things that happened. Stockdill was startled, and I was too.
With Stockdill was a photographer, Michael Brennan, who had once been named British Press Photographer of the Year. We were staying at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, where I was doing one of the lecture-demonstrations of the tour.
In the past I had sometimes been able to take a picture of myself through a solid black lens cover without removing or touching the cover. I asked Stockdill and Brennan if they’d like to give this a try. They were both interested, provided I would do exactly as they instructed. I agreed, and Brennan prepared his own camera, a 35 mm. Nikon F with Tri-X Professional black and white film, he told me.
They both moved very close to me and handed me the camera. I shot three rolls of film, holding the cam-era at arm’s length and pointing the lens cap at my face. After each roll Brennan took the camera and removed the film, sealed it, and locked it in his camera case. I didn’t touch the film at any time. When they got back to London the films were developed. Brennan was confident that any pictures taken would be totally blank. Two of the rolls were blank. But in the middle of the third roll, there were two pictures of me. Neither of them would ever win a photographic award, but they are clear and unmistakable. You can see them in this book.
On Sunday, December 2, 1973, the News of the World, with one of the largest circulations in the World, published the pictures, splashed all over the front page, calling them “URI’S MIRACLE PICTURES.” Of course, they created a lot of controversy. The Daily Mail quoted photographic experts as saying that there was absolutely no way, physically or chemically, that the pictures could have been taken through a lens cap. Brennan and Stockdill stuck to their guns, swearing that no trickery was involved. As usual, I had to be satisfied with the knowledge that it had truly happened and ignore the controversy that raged about the pictures.
Roy Stockdill began his series of stories with these words: “I still find it incredible, the mind-bending week I spent with Uri Geller. A week in which seeing was not believing.” He ended the series by saying: “Uri is some-thing special. I’ve seen him at work, and there is no logical explanation for the things that happen when he’s around. I certainly found no evidence that he is a cheat. A magician depending on the swiftness of hand, defeating the eve, could get away with some of his feats. But that doesn’t explain how keys twist and spoons bend when he’s nowhere near them.
“It will really take a clever team of scientists to reveal the whole truth about Uri Geller.”
By now some of the scientific journals were referring to the bending of objects as the “Geller Effect.” This was very flattering, but it didn’t solve the riddle. At any rate, the broadcasts in England and the attention that followed them gave me more confidence in the face of my detractors, and they apparently made some scientists more open-minded.
My experience is that this is not easy to accomplish. But an editorial in Nature on December 7, 1973, showed that open-mindedness might be possible. Since this journal had so much prestige among scientists, it could play an important part in removing some of the controversy so that more progress could be made in exploring what was going on. The editorial was called “Challenge to Scientists.” It said that the challenge “will arise if investigations continue to turn up signs of psychokinetic powers, and with the present evidence, this certainly cannot be ruled out. It would then be urgently necessary for the scientific community to come to terms with something totally beyond its powers of explanation – indeed something which in a religious context would be called a miracle. Just as the public wants scientists to validate Mr. Geller, it would also want them to explain him and, however awkward this question may be, it should not be avoided…. The viewing public, shown a chest operation under acupuncture one week and an exhibition of knife-bending the next, is bound to ask searching questions about conventional scientific wisdom.”
Some of the scientists I met told me that it was almost unheard of for Nature to print an editorial like this, and they were very excited about it. The New Scientist also gave the BBC broadcasts a full-page editorial. It called for an open-minded investigation by a special scientific panel. My plans, of course, included a whole series of continuing tests with scientists, in between the lecture-demonstration appearances, but I was glad to see this new kind of thinking on the part of both scientific journals. For a long time, any scientist who took me seriously found that he was criticized by other scientists even for examining what was going on. It was good to see this curtain lifting, especially in such important publications.
After the experiences in England, I couldn’t help wondering what was going to happen when I repeated the same type of program in Norway. Flying there, I had time to think about what it all meant. It was unsettling to be in the center of a controversy that some people thought would shake the foundations of science. I couldn’t judge that as well as those who knew all the ins and outs of science. But those who did, and who had seen the demonstrations, kept pointing out that, if all the tests continued to check out, as they seemed to be, a whole new force would have been discovered.
My demonstrations had grown gradually into something almost too big to think about. The suggestion that machinery involved in the national security of Britain had gone haywire during the broadcasts was awesome and couldn’t be ignored. The demonstrations themselves were interesting, but they were superficial. They represented something much deeper, and I had only very mystifying clues as to what it was and what it meant.
All along, my outlook had been maturing and developing, but I still hadn’t gotten down to the core of it. By then I believed that the core had to do with some fantastic intelligence. I didn’t know what to call it, because I feel that God is not reachable directly; but under God all these intelligences exist. Millions and millions of them. And one of them, two of them, five-who knows how many?-are trying to make some kind of contact with man.
I could be wrong. It could be so big that our human minds right now on earth can’t understand it, because we have to stick to an ordinary time frame. And our minds will have to be expanded. For instance, I have a theory that some people think is far out. I am convinced that we are in the middle of a big map, a huge plan, that involves other civilisations and other planets, other solar systems, other galaxies. But somewhere down in the middle of the core, we are one. I see it as sort of a network, like a golf ball when you take the cover off and unwind it. It’s rubber, rubber, rubber, and it seems never to come to an end. There’s only one ball, but it seems there is no end to it. And there are infinite numbers of balls, but they still come from only one creator.
The things that happen when I do a demonstration are incredible – to me and everybody else – but they are still superficial, whatever they eventually may mean to science. I often ask myself, why does it have to be just watches and keys, and metals, things like that? Why can’t it really be the things I want to see happening? Why don’t these intelligences reveal themselves to me? Why do they keep throwing me nothing but symbols?
I don’t think I’ve yet made even a dent in the core. I’ve only had a chance to see the thin tip of it. It will be a lot of work to find out. One thing I’m certain of is that these energies are somehow working through me, and that I can’t ignore them. I think the controversy is good, because it helps make things known to more and more people. I can’t help feeling that these forces, whatever they are, will come to be accepted just as electricity is accepted today.
They’ll first be accepted as phenomena, I think, then as theories, and then perhaps as physical laws of science. The bending of the metals is easiest to see, because it’s right there and can be observed clearly by scientists. The rest, like the telepathy, the way watches start up, the many strange things that happen without my consciously trying to make them-the answers to these will probably come later. One thing I know for sure is that I feel compelled to demonstrate these phenomena, not only in order to make a living, but because I know something important eventually will come out of all this, even if I don’t know what it will be.
I went on national television in Norway on January 19, 1974. It would be the first time I had been on a broadcast on radio or television since the excitement in England, and I was curious.
The interview began, and we weren’t far into the program when the phone calls began coming in. It was the BBC situation all over again. The switchboard was jammed. Things were bending in homes all over Norway, exactly as they had in Britain. I had the same strange feelings as before. I was surprised, yet not surprised at the same time. Was this actually a new form of energy exerting itself? Was such a thing possible in the face of all the known facts of physical science? Something new had happened many years before, when electricity had been put to use. Radioactivity had hardly been around for more than a single lifetime. It was incredible that I could be in on the beginning of something new, but if I was, I had no idea why or how.
I finished the broadcast and headed back to the Continental Hotel. I would be continuing the demonstrations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Holland. Would the same thing repeat itself through those countries? It was like a science-fiction story. Yet it is all on the public record, in the records of the Norwegian and British broadcasting companies, and in the front-page headlines of nearly every newspaper in both those countries. There were times when I had to look back at them to remind myself that this was real.
What still puzzled me was why many of the things that happened were so trivial. Like everyone else, I wanted to know when something with more meaning would be coming out of it all. I was producing something like a series of superstitious omens, but in the age of modern science that kind of thing seemed ridiculous. I wanted to know what was going on. This cosmic kind of energy was often as irritating and perplexing as it was incredible.
When I arrived back at the Continental Hotel, I went up to the desk to see if there were any messages. The clerk handed me a very official-looking envelope, and I opened it.
In it was a business card from Alv Jakob Fostervoll, the Norwegian Minister of Defence. On the back of the card he had written a note. It was urgent that he talk to me, and he was sending a car the next morning to pick me up.
The first thing I thought of was the letter I had received from England with its implications about Britain’s security. I went to sleep that night wondering what in the world the Minister of Defence for Norway wanted to see me about, and why he was taking the trouble to send a chauffeur to pick me up in the morning.
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