CIA conducted experiments on self-proclaimed psychic
Self-described psychic Uri Geller, who mesmerized 1970s TV audiences with his spoon-bending acts, was subjected to experiments that tried to weaponize his mental abilities, newly declassified CIA documents show.
As part of the “Stargate Project” in 1972, Geller, 70, was taken to the Stanford Research Institute, where he was placed in a sealed chamber in which his alleged psychic abilities were tested, the Israeli news site Arutz Sheva reported.
In one experiment, the word “fuse” was randomly chosen from a dictionary and a picture of a firecracker was posted on a wall outside Geller’s room, where he could not see it.
When the Tel Aviv-born Geller was asked via intercom what the subject of the picture was, “his almost immediate response was that he saw a ‘cylinder with noise coming out of it,’” according to the CIA documents.
“His drawing to correspond with it was a drum, along with a number of cylindrical-looking objects,” the documents said.
The second word chosen was “bunch,” for which a scientist drew a bunch of grapes.
“Geller’s immediate response was that he saw ‘drops of water coming out of the picture.’ He then talked about ‘purple circles,’” according to the CIA material.
“Finally, he said that he was quite sure that he had the picture. His drawing was indeed a bunch of grapes,” it said. “Both the target picture and Geller’s rendition had 24 grapes in the bunch.”
Although he failed several times to draw anything remotely similar to the drawings on the wall, the times he succeeded led the researchers to conclude he “demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner.”
In 2013, Geller said his career as a showbiz psychic was a front for his real-life secret agent duties for the CIA and Israeli spy agency Mossad during the Cold War.
Reacting to the documentary “The Secret Life of Uri Geller” by Vikram Jayanti, he told the Independent: “I didn’t realize that Vikram was going to do such a thorough job of tying all the loose ends … making that the little hints I dropped throughout my career were real.”
About 13 million pages of documents and videos were released Wednesday from the “Stargate Project,” which formed the basis of the 2004 book – and 2009 movie — “The Men Who Stare at Goats.”
The trove of released documents also deal with the Nazi regime, the Cuban Missile Crisis and UFO sightings.
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