Columns in Times Inter//face from the 11th of August, 1999 onwards

January 31, 2000
Just out of body not out of their minds

ONE tennis shoe, abandoned and rotting. There could be nothing more insignificant. But this tennis shoe could have a profound impact, as it kicks religion and philosophy in the backside.

This shoe appears to prove there is life after death. It was seen by Maria, a migrant worker visiting friends in Seattle, who suffered two serious heart attacks. During the second, at Harborview Hospital, she “died” and had an out-of-body experience (OBE).

Some parapsychologists suggest that the near-death experience, when a person feels consciousness drift away from the body and can even look down on the “corpse”, is the separation of the soul from the flesh.

Maria’s spirit breezed through the hospital walls and, on a ledge on the north wall, three stories up, she saw a sports shoe with its laces gummed under the sole and its toe worn and scuffed.

Maria survived, her spirit returned, and she told her story to a sceptical critical care social worker named Kimberly Clark. Clark went to look for the shoe – and to her shock, found it.

“The only way,” Clark insisted, “she could have had such a perspective was if she had been floating right outside and at very close range to the tennis shoe. I retrieved the shoe and brought it back for Maria – it was very concrete evidence for me.”

If Maria had suffered her heart attacks in London instead of Seattle, we would probably have never heard the tale – compared to the survival rate of 30 per cent on America’s West Coast, just 2 per cent of patients in British hospitals can hope to come back from cardiac arrest, according to figures released late last year. (That statistic isn’t weird it’s horrifying.)

Maria’s experience is just one of 20 or more well-documented cases at Kevin Williams’

Stories of dazzling lights, the appearance of friends and angel guides, the murmur of heavenly music and the pervading sense of peace vie with visions of hell and purgatory that will make you sweat.

One of the most moving, since he is so loved by millions, is Peter Sellers’s account of a near-death experience, revealed to Shirley MacLaine in the mid-Sixties.

He told her: “I felt myself leave my body. I just floated out of my physical form and I saw them cart my body away to the hospital. I went with it. I wasn’t frightened or anything like that because I was fine; it was my body that was in trouble.

“I looked around myself and I saw an incredibly beautiful bright loving white light above me. I wanted to go to that white light more than anything. I remember thinking ‘That’s God’. I’ll never fear death again.”

Peter Sellers died from a heart attack in 1980.
Lawmen encounter the space patrol

Policemen talk like policemen the world over. Even when they meet aliens from outer space. Officer Craig Stevens of Millstadt Police Department, Illinois, noted in his patrol report for January 5: “I drove to the north end of town. While I was sitting there I observed a large flying object coming from a southward direction.”

Officer Stevens was not the only policeman to see the vast UFO that night. Police departments in Highland, Lebanon and Shiloh, all east of St Louis, tracked the craft.

One Lebanon officer called the National UFO Reporting Center hours later and said he had pursued the object at high speed, with his flashers blazing, until the unknown craft changed course to meet him.

The noiseless, dark triangle hovered above his car at 1,000- 1,500ft, as though studying him, before streaking away to the west, seeming to cover several miles in just a few seconds.

Many UFO experts believe that the silent triangles are part of a secret US military project. This one was certainly sighted within two or three miles of Scott Air Force Base. But why a secret aircraft would fly low over built-up zones with all its lights burning is a tough question.

Officer Stevens’s priceless report is online at the Millstadt station site. He added a sketch to his report, showing a boomerang shape with big headlamps, and also attached a Polaroid that reveals a scattering of yellow lights in a mottled sky. The morning was bitterly cold, Stevens reports, and “the picture did not seem to exit the camera properly”.

“The object was flying very low,” he records, “from 500ft to 1,000ft, and was flying very slowly. The object was making no noise. I could only hear a very low-decibel buzzing sound. Then the object began banking to the northeast, and continued to cruise away from me.”

Millstadt officers are not commenting on the case and simply refer callers to their website.

A local newspaper reporter, Heather Ratcliffe, says: “The police don’t believe the sighting was a visitor from outer space. But they won’t make any assumptions about what it is.”

One thing must be certain – Officer Stevens would not threaten his own career and expose himself to ridicule by filing such a report unless he was sure it was accurate.

January 24, 2000

FORGET genetic modifications, forget organophosphate pesticides – simply cooking an organic lentil could be bad for your health, according to Kirlian evidence on the web.

In the 1940s, Soviet parapsychologist Semyon Davidovitch Kirlian developed high-frequency, high-voltage snapshots of the energy fields that surround living creatures. Vivid starbursts of lightning and glowing arcs of colour shine from fingertips, palm prints and even vegetable matter, such as leaves.

Or lentils. The network provides images of a living, organically grown lentil sprout straight out of the health food store packet, and the same sprout after being cooked at 140F for three minutes. The live lentil is vibrant; the baked lentil is not – and as a vegetarian for 25 years, I feel bad about the millions of lentils I’ve cooked.

More shocking is the difference between an energy-packed, organic new potato, and a McDonald’s French fry.

The most beautiful image is a web of blue and scarlet lightning, shaped like a cross-section through the human brain, that emanates from an artefact taken from the King’s Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

Inanimate objects usually possess insubstantial Kirlian auras, and the researchers suggest this electric lightshow could mean the pyramid stone was a psychic healer’s tool.

The researchers want hands-on healers to have their auras photographed as they work, in the hope of discovering how health-giving energy can seemingly be transferred from one human to another.

Whether you’re sceptical or not, these images are worth seeing – like the infinitely complex shapes of fractal geometry, Kirlian photos possess a beauty that transcends their scientific value.

January 10, 2000
Return of the prophet

The greatest psychic of the last century was believed by many to be Edgar Cayce, who dictated medical cures for thousands he had never met.

Already in this new century one man claims to possess similar powers. His prophetic dreams and visions appear to reveal a remarkable gift. But the weirdest factor of all is . . . this man is Edgar Cayce.

Even in the UFOlogy community, where extreme weirdness is the norm, the claims of David Wilcock are arousing scepticism and wariness. But this 27-year-old vegan, a promising sci-fi writer in the mid-Nineties, predicted the Japanese nuclear meltdown and the loss of the Nasa Mars probes.

His site is packed with warnings such as: “Stock market crash! The Archangel Michael told me, ‘The stocks will be devalued so much as to appear to be utter nonsense.'” The Archangel is specific – the Dow will plummet to 2880.30.

It is not just Wilcock’s dreams that tell him he is Cayce reborn. It is his mirror: his jaw is slightly less undershot, and his earlobes are bigger, but otherwise Ed and Dave could be twins.

Cayce. who died in 1945, announced he would return in 1998. Wilcock says he first connected his own dreams with Cayce’s trances in November 1997.

The Ascension2000 site does set out Wilcock’s wares. It offers personal readings at $150, which include an hour-long interview over the phone. Your dream guidance will be recorded onto cassette and mailed out – as soon as your cheque has cleared. You can also insist on a couple of follow-up calls, to clarify any mysterious bits.

Luckily, there is enough fascinating, contentious material on the website to ensure you don’t have to part with a cent.
January 3 2000

Try this easy experiment: stare at the back of someone’s head. Don’t try to send them a telepathic message or will them to turn round – just look steadily. And if they do turn round, be prepared to look away very quickly.

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake claims 90 per cent of Britons have felt someone’s gaze on them at some time. This subtle sense could be the most widespread psychic ability of all.

The phenomenon has scarcely been investigated but, on his website, the former Research Fellow of Clare College in Cambridge is inviting schools to try his experiment.

Pupils pair up for 20 trials, crammed into a quarter of an hour, with one child blindfolded and the other either staring or not staring. Some youngsters consistently score above 90 per cent.

The norm is for children to be just 50 per cent correct when their partner is not looking. That equates to guessing by chance. But when the partner is looking, the average hit-rate soars. Most youngsters can tell with their eyes shut when they are being watched.

Another of Sheldrake’s fascinations, which he invites web visitors to help him explore, is the uncanny ability of pets to know when their owner is coming home. He has built up a database of 18,000 scientific trials plus 2,000 reports from animal lovers in Britain and the US, and says: “The odds against this effect being due to chance are currently 1037 to 1. In other words, this effect is phenomenally significant.”

Sheldrake has developed a theory of ‘morphic resonance’ a kind of species-wide telepathy, to explain his observations. It’s the sort of idiosyncratic, almost eccentric notion which 19th century Spiritualists used to spin, and has probably harmed Sheldrake’s standing among his scientific peers.

Sceptics are glad to seize on the weird morphic ideas, since Sheldrake’s body of evidence is overwhelming. It could be the strongest proof of psychic powers ever amassed.

A similar parascientific effect, so far not covered by Sheldrake, is telepathy between parents and children. In 1971 the US psychiatrist Dr Berthold Eric Schwarz published an account of 500 psychic interactions between him and his two children, Lisa and Eric. The girl, for instance, once asked about her grandfather when Schwarz was silently thinking of him. I’d love to hear from any readers who recall remarkable telepathic incidents with their own children – e-mail me.
December 20, 1999
People’s prayer for today

Our new religion is the internet, its preachers reach a potential audience of 300 million. In the coming decade, I believe a religious revolution will grip the world.

A search for “god” on AltaVista, the web’s biggest search engine, generates 7,482,182 results. Hundreds of millions of people are searching for spirituality and they are using the net.

The five-year tradition of World Peace Day is proof of the web’s power. Begun by a native American chief, Arvol Looking Horse, the event focuses on June 21, the summer equinox.

Chief Arvol, 19th-generation keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Pipe of Peace, launched World Peace Day to encourage global prayer. Last summer, thousands gathered in Costa Rica to pray with the chief. Hundreds of thousands more connected through the web.

Medics are being forced to admit that prayer can heal.

Dr Mary Self, 34, of Rhiwbina in Cardiff, believes her bone cancer was wiped away by the power of 10,000 prayers. Her friends at Rhiwbina Baptist church contacted believers around the world to pray for her recovery from a devastating, inoperable tumour.

Within weeks, the mother-of-two was clear of cancer. The psychiatrist told her surgeon: “I believe it is possible for God to heal people, and the only explanation I have is that it’s a miracle.”

Specialist Robert Grimer, of the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, told her: “Yes, I’ll buy that. There is no other answer.”

Prayer can create miracles. Perhaps, if we all pray together, we can bring about a worldwide miracle. And the only tool to connect us is the world wide web.
December 13, 1999

It is a sound that raises the hairs on your back, a long, low, distant howl that is neither human nor animal. It is the call of the Sasquatch, America’s fabled apeman. And you can hear it on the web.

Two spine-chilling soundfiles have been posted by Sasquatch hunter Matt Moneymaker at the Bigfoot Field Researcher’s Organisation site. Dogs bark, owls hoot and, echoing through a mountain valley, the legendary beast howls.

Bigfoot is, according to sceptics, a “crypto-zoological hominoid”, a mystery creature that might look like a man, if it existed. In fact, its existence is all but proven, with thousands of sightings stretching way back.

There is only one common thread in North American native myth – and that’s the Sasquatch – a nine-foot man-beast coated in hair that forages by night and lives on mountains.

Famous video evidence produced by rancher Roger Patterson in 1967 has been declared “unfakeable” by Hollywood experts. The creature which lopes away from a Washington creek is no actor in a suit, say the special effects analysts, who point to its rippling thigh muscles.

The latest Bigfoot sighting was in Pennsylvania in October, where three people on a remote rural road saw an upright animal with hands dragging below its knees. Its fur was a dark reddish-brown, and its head sloped back into a cone.

December 6, 1999
End of world is nigh

Heavyweight scientists have been taking out full-page adverts in newspapers across America warning of the end of the world. They believe that the world faces a spontaneous nuclear holocaust.

On their World Atomic Safety Holiday (WASH) site, they predict reactor meltdowns as national electricity grids fail, nuclear fuel pools boiling dry, radiation clouds mushrooming over cities, and hundreds of thousands dead.

This year’s accident in Japan revealed how a breakdown could lead to crisis.

WASH is spearheaded by Nobel peace laureate Sir Joseph Rotblat, MIT physics professor Philip Morrison and Dr Patch Adams, immortalised by Hollywood’s Robin Williams. Bill Clinton should take such names seriously – and WASH want you to add your voice, by e-mailing to with this plea: “Reactors off-line and missiles off high alert by December 30, 1999.”

My home is equipped with a blast-proof underground bunker. If the WASH manifesto is ignored, my family could be taking our champagne down the concrete staircase, turning the giant wheels on the steel doors, sealing the airlocks and toasting the millennium 100 feet underground.


November 29, 1999
Warp speed on UFO physics

Stardrive Alien spaceships are an impossible concept. How could they find Earth? Did they set out from home planets thousands of light-years away, aiming for a speck in the universe that was showing no signs of intelligent life, no radio, no television, not even electric light?

How could their crews survive? What kind of fuel could propel a craft across galaxies? These basic questions expose the myth of UFOs.

And yet, tens of thousands of reliable witnesses report UFO sightings each year. Whole cities, as in Mexico last year, capture spaceships on video. Experienced flyers, such as the former USAF F-16 pilot at the controls of a passenger jet over Texas on October 26 this year, offer detailed descriptions of massive triangular craft spotted above 35,000ft.

Physicist Jack Sarfatti doesn’t want to believe in UFOs. He wants to know. To know how they could function. To know the hidden laws of physics they must exploit. To know if mankind can replicate the technology.

His Stardrive project is drawing some of the most adventurous and reputable scientists in the world, to examine the impossible questions from a new angle – deducing new laws of science to explain interstellar travel. Instead of parroting the general relativity dictum that nothing travels faster than light, Sarfatti wants to discover a way to outstrip 186,000 miles a second without cheating on Einstein.

The project has already discovered a formula that lets UFOs perform their zig-zag acrobatics without having gravity forces inside the spaceship crush the crew.

Sarfatti is a tanned Californian with a white mane and black wraparound shades. When Hollywood makes the movie, Jack Nicholson could take the role.

And if his physics proves feasible, you can expect the film to premiere on Mars. Or a million light-years beyond.


November 22 1999

THE PROBLEM with most gurus today is that they don’t understand how busy everyone is. Most people would like to achieve spiritual ecstasy and everlasting life, but there is so much else to do – microwave meals to prepare, school runs to squeeze in, videos to program, motorways to commute.

Mother Meera is a 21st-century guru. Her disciples call her an Avatar of the Divine Mother, but she accepts we don’t all have time to call our mothers as often as we’d like.

She doesn’t ask much. “If you have time, meditate,” she advises, but only if you have time. “It is not necessary to devote your life or even to believe in me.” There are no embarrassing demands for money either. Her books sell for $20 or $30, and colour photos are $5 plus shipping.

Mother Meera, a serenely beautiful woman of 39 from Chandepalle in southern India, married a German businessman in 1982 and now lives in a Teutonic castle near Limburg, overlooking the Lahn Valley. Hundreds of visitors annually are given audiences – there is no charge, though booking is essential.

In return for so little devotion, Meera offers a lot. Disciples may pray for anything, as often as they wish. “My force changes people completely,” she promises. “Some people ask for each and every small thing, and others go on asking. Whether you ask or not, I will give what is necessary.”

We attain our goals more easily when we overcome stress, so her claim may not be so ridiculous. A guru of calm will help people to help themselves. And in a time-hungry culture where people think they don’t have time to pray, Mother Meera’s brand of low-commitment spirituality could be a good starting-point.

November 15, 1999

Wearable computers became a serious trend for the new millennium when shares in Xybernaut leapt 115 per cent in one day on the Nas daq stock exchange this month.

Xybernaut has been design ing PCs as clothing for a dec ade. Now, for $8,994 (about 5,600), you can don the Mobile Assistant. IV, a 233MHz Pen tium processor weighing less than a kilo which slots, with its battery pack, into a heavy-duty nylon vest.

Lightweight cables connect it to a keypad worn on the wrist and to a padded helmet with headphones and a video camera with a high-definition screen barely bigger than a stamp. Suspended 5cm from the right eyeball, this VDU retains its definition in all lights’ except strong sun.

Xybernaut say the MA IV “makes it possible for workers to file reports, send and connect with the Internet virtually anywhere”.

But senior systems engineer Roosevelt Elison admits; .”Right now, it’s still sort of a wealthy man’s desire. But we know the interest is there.”

Reuters reporter Susan Kuch-inskas believes on-line advertising is the real power behind such PCs, and predicts pocketsized internet devices that interpret our moods and serve up appropriate ads will be on sale within a few years.

Professor Kevin Warwick, head of cybernetics at Reading University, became a walking computer by having a chip implanted in his arm. It was breathtakingly successful – security doors opened as he approached and computers greeted him by name.

But he had it removed after a week. ‘The sample was not designed for humans. Any longer and the implant could have . become lost in my body.”

November 8, 1999

WHO could this be? “Deep with in,your heart there is considera tion, sincerity and graciousness for others, and you have a fine appreciation for the refine ments of life.” Diana, Princess . of Wales perhaps? Read on! “You depend on others, perhaps more than you care to admit, and you often fear to tust your own judgment.” Bill Clinton?

In fact it’s two people – John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bou vier – and it’s taken from a 25-page online investigation into their romantic compatibil ity, based on numerology.

The instant numerology check is the best of the free prophecy tools at artist Amy Zerner and author Monte Farber’s Sun-Angel site. Key in your name and birthdate for an analysis describing your Expression (the way you think and act), Soul Urge (the way you’d be if your dreams came true) and Persona (how others see you).

Even more fun was the house numbers decoder. It explains who should live where. At 23 High St, for instance, you ought to find a writer, because 2+3=5 and five is for bookish types. At No 45 expect a doctor, for 4+5-9: and nine is a healer’s number.

November 1, 1999
The spirit in the sky

GOD is everywhere. That’s the point of God. On the other hand, he is more present at some places than others – in the Jewish Temple’s Holy of Holies, or in the Communion wafer, or in the gurgle of a new- born baby. And if God shows a preference for certain places and situations, maybe there’s one spot in the universe we could call His home.

The universe is a big place – but it hasn’t always been. It started out unimaginably small, a point at which everything converged. Then the Big Bang came and the universe became vast, very quickly. We know exactly where it happened; radio telescopes can trace the starting place. And if God exists, he must have been at that point, 15 billion years ago, The Big Bang is, in fact, God’s last knovyn address.

This deliciously lunatic piece of philosophy is the logic behind the New Prayer project. A directional radio transmitter pointed out into the stars, to broadcast our prayers directly at the Big Bang’s starting point. Directly at God.

To submit a prayer, fill in a form. A second form invites feedback – was your prayer answered? Does God answer e-mail prayers quickly? Or does he let them pile up for days, like the rest of us, until he has tens of thousands in his in-box?

It’s a great site. It made me laugh. And before I logged off, I offered up a prayer.

October 25, 1999

What would you give to know what the future holds? To see the outcome of a romance, the payback on a gamble, the verdict of history? Does £500 sound too much.

I’m writing this in New York, where palm-reading is legal and more than 200 psychics make a rich living. NYPD’s fraud squad is running Operation Crystal Ball and police say some pseudo-psychics are making $200,D00 a year. Manhattan customers are seduced with promises of the paranormal for $10, but inside the booth they can face demands for thousands of dollars to exorcise future doses of bad luck.

The web reflects this frenzied fortune-hunting, with two big groups devoted to promoting psychics – the Online Psychics and Divination Readers Web-ring and the Psychics Around The World Webring.

Both associations promise to screen out the 0800-number dial-a-psychics and the convict

ed fraudsters – that still leaves some scary operators, like JM Suka Umum, who offers “Instant body invulnerability! For martial and combat performers, or just plain self-defence. No bullet or knife thrust will harm you.”

How much will online psychic help cost you? LeDawn of Austin, Texas, does Tarot at $20, chatroom seances at $40 and phone consultations at $60.

Gordon Louis Banta II of Swampscott, Massachusetts, charges $45 a 15 minutes.

Sun Wizard of California City will do you a three-card Tarot reading for $10.

Several astrology and Tarot programs generate instant readings, though of course I am not suggesting that any of these psychics would stoop to using such a thing on their own PCs.

Psychic readings can be immensely positive. They can change lives. One thing is sure, though – you don’t always get what you pay for.

October 18 1999

Hitler’s stealth

Hitler’s obsession with the occult and astrology is well known – but evidence that his aerospace and rocket scientists were plundering alien technology to build Nazi UFOs has never gripped the public imagination.

Maurizio Verga’s tantalising web pages reveal Werner von Braun and the Luftwaffe design teams could have been guided by extraterrestrials, perhaps looting interstellar components from a crashed spaceship.

Rumours of the Third Reich’s underground bases first surfaced in the late Forties, coinciding with the birth of UFO sightings. America’s Operation Paperclip was at full throttle, with the FBI smuggling Nazi war criminals into America to take advantage of their scientific expertise.

Former Nazis gave America the space race edge, and von Braun’s career followed a smooth flightpath from pilotless V2 rockets to Apollo 11 and the first manned moon landing.

Verga believes the Luftwaffe developed a flying disc, in the classic saucer shape, which flew at Prague on February 14, 1945. His photographic evidence is almost certainly faked by Fifties sci-fi fans. Visit his site to enjoy the artist’s impressions, which are a glorious delight. It may not be a coincidence that Americans began sighting flying saucers within three years of the alleged Prague test-flight and von Braun’s escape to America.

Countless UFO reports of the early Eighties turned out to be sightings of America’s Stealth Bombers. Is it possible that the US Air Force did develop Nazi technology to build a fleet of saucers 50 years ago,

producng the first wave of Unidentified Flying Objects?

And if those spacecraft were for real, the chilling question remains: what are the menacing objects reported nightly in Nineties skies?

October 11, 1999

Sometimes we can’t see what’s before our eye’s. Relationships break up, and we deny it. Strange lights flash in the sky, and all our vision registers is the clouds.Cameras are not like eyes. They are not subject to emotions,

they see wrinkles and capture infidelities. They see UFOs and thousands of such films are downloaded daily onto the net.

If you want to photograph UFOs, two simple methods are available. On dry days, prop your camcorder against the side of the house, so that the lens points towards the sun without focusing directly into the light. And on clear nights, take a disposable camera and point it into the darkness.

The possible results are graphically displayed on Anthony Alagna’s site. He re

veals the best images he has acquired in North Arizona’s Sedona desert, including a mind-blowing picture of a ghostly blue globe floating above reeds like a full moon.

Alagna did not invent the idea of filming UFOs by pointing a video camera at the sun’s cusp, this technique has been promoted on the web for at least two years – but I believe he is the first to display his results in movie format.

On his pages, classic flying saucers glide across the screen, clearly visible for five or six frames. Cigar-like rods flash in and out, tiny bolts of lightning Alagna suggests they might be aerial lifeforms.

The pictures are available as postcards, along with Sedona Indian jewellery, but this is not a truly commercial site Alagna is so anxious to prove his psychic

credentials that he offers a free Tarot reading to all visitors. Perhaps a pilot from Alpha Centauri will take him up on the offer.

6th October 1999
Galactic guide for astral travellers

Since my teens I have wondered why people use alcohol or drugs to get out of their skulls. Substance abuse is expensive, addictive and harmful – and a pale imitation of the real thing. For the trip of a lifetime, get “right” outside your skull.

Out-of-body experiences (OOBEs) are among the most controversial paranormal phenomena. Some researchers claim astral travel is just a vivid dream, or a sleep dysfunction. Other say that the soul seems to step out of its flesh as if stripping off its clothes – the spirit returning to its natural state.

The best-known OOBE is the near-death experience, when a patient suddenly sees the surgeons and the operating table from above, or a crash victim floats around the wreckage. Often a tunnel of light seems to pull the spirit towards other spirit people.

It’s a unique and profoundly moving sensation – and can also be terrifying. Charles Goodin’s Astral Projection website is designed to take the fear out of flying, not least because fear puts the brakes on an OOBE and frequently sends the spirit back home with a jolt.

In 75 soundbites Goodin, who lives in Hawaii, takes beginners from choosing a place to start – don’t try to get out of your body while lying next to someone who snores – to roaming the universe.

Much New Age writing is mushy, particularly on the web, but Goodin’s text is sharp and spiced with clever quotes, the mark of a devotee who has spent a lifetime honing these ideas. “Fear is like a ‘Go to jail’ card,” he remarks, “and the jail is your body.”

“Don’t just read, Do!” he exhorts. “I never met anyone who simply read books about guitars and magically developed the ability to play.”

He doesn’t have much time for expensive machines which claim to make OOBEs easier. “There’s a fantastic machine which can help you to leave your body. It’s called the brain .”

But he does include several beautiful animations, of spiralling tunnels and undulating landscapes, that could help to coax your spirit into the ether. They resemble moving versions of 3D stereograms and seem to lift right out of the screen, floating in the air above the keyboard. Maybe computers can have OOBEs too.

Uri Geller’s novel Dead Cold is published by Headline Feature at £9.99, Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. Visit his website at and e-mail him at

29th September 1999
Scramble! Aliens about

Aliens are controlling Tony Blair’s brain, according to Serb newspapers. Dr Todor Jovanovic says: “The extraterrestrials radiate something diabolical. They have a hold over the brains of Bill Clinton, the British PM and other world leaders.”

French air force chiefs and space satellite engineers have sent a 90-page report to President Chirac warning that, beyond any shadow of a doubt, UFOs have been sighted repeatedly over Western Europe. Nato should be prepared for the threat, they say.

The first of these newsflashes is ludicrous. The second is sinister. I want to know about both, and all the news in-between – the abductions, the conventions, the videos, the artefacts. For decades UFOlogists relied on phonecalls from friends and faded photocopies for the latest spacecraft sightings.

Now there is the web. And, most vitally, there is Michael Lindemann’s CNI News. Lindemann’s fortnightly newsletter, so comprehensive it arrives in three sections, is e-mailed to subscribers for a nominal fee. But if you want to read the most astounding reports, the CNI team can’t resist posting them for free on their website.

If you’re a UFO sceptic, point your browser at CNI’s account of the four of the best documented sightings. A policeman steps on board a UFO in Nebraska; a famer is abducted in a field of lavender; three Texans in a car are hospitalised after a saucer attack; US Army reservists in a Bell Huey helicopter are pursued by weird lights.

Lindemann is eloquent and furiously devoted to telling UFO truths. His CNI pages show clearly why the web is a unique advance in communications – instead of struggling to put his views across in books which appear years too late under obscure imprints, he can e-mail the world as the news breaks.

His revelations about a possible alien-human hybrid skull, for instance, which I reported in Weird Web weeks ago, are only now being published in specialist magazines – and it will be months more before the story appears on bookshelves.

If the French air marshalls are right and UFOs truly could be a threat to Western security, our lives will depend on instant responses.

Uri Geller’s novel Dead Cold is published by Headline Feature at £9.99, Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. Visit his website at and e-mail him at

22nd September 1999
No small step for man, Apollo landings hoax?

Dozens of readers have been emailing to alert me to strange sites – the web is getting weirder every week. Maxine Amphlett made contact from a Hotmail address to tell me the Apollo landings were hoaxes.

She added angrily, “As a teacher of young children, I have a duty to tell them history as it really happened, not a load of fantasy rubbish.”

One of my closest friends and mentors, Captain Edgar Mitchell, was the sixth man to walk on the moon, as an Apollo 14 astronaut. I’ve never had much interest in the NASA conspiracy theory that Neil Armstrong made his ‘giant leap’ in a TV studio. Ed Mitchell is a ferociously honest man – to suggest his moonwalk was a hoax is ridiculous.

I liked Maxine’s email, though, and visited the site she recommended. The picture archive and analysis were a revelation. If these are genuine releases from NASA, one thing is clear – the moonshots may have been for real, but some of the photograph evidence appears to be crudely faked.

The recurring flaw which mars almost all the 20 photos on display is their backdrop. Pictures allegedly taken at different sites on different missions share identical backgrounds. The same hills undulate, the same boulders cast the same long shadows. And between each foreground and its background runs a rough line, as if the picture was a collage pasted together badly.

Conspiracy hunter David Wozney claims the photos were set up in remote US deserts, and even points to hints of ww38ahigh-heeled shoe-prints in the sand round astronauts’ feet. If he is right – and this evidence is less clear-cut – there are only two explanations. Either the pictures were badly faked on earth, possibly by a woman photographer with fashionable footwear ill-suited to desert shoots … or there are aliens out there in stilettos.

Wozney doesn’t believe any astronauts ever made lunar landings. He calls them AstroNots. I’m certain he’s wrong, but his damning gallery makes me suspect NASA didn’t tell the world the whole truth about what it found in space, and faked a lot of its evidence.

And that leaves a big question hanging in orbit: Why?

[Clues:- Remember that in a vacuum distant objects may be further than expected, that nearer objects and horizons appear to move, depending on vantage point, shadows may be off camera or hiden by uneven ground; a dark object nearby may be misinterpreted as a shadow. Some shots may use different focal length lenses etc.]

Uri Geller’s novel Dead Cold is published by Headline Feature at £9.99, Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. Visit his website at and e-mail him at

15th September 1999
The right to know – pushed to extremes

Editors can be difficult. They ask pointed questions. When I finished the first draft of my mystery novel Dead Cold, ww37athe editor wanted to know about pocket flamethrowers.

I had been callously torching some of my characters, including a pompous parapsychology skeptic – the plot was sheer wish-fulfilment. The killer set up the crime to look like spontaneous human combustion, with nothing left but the ashes and the wristwatch.

A mini-blowtorch was the murder weapon, as the hero deduces, very nearly too late. But, my finickitty editor asked, do these things exist?

Of course they exist. In my imagination … And this was fiction. But to please my editor, I went fact-hunting, certain that somewhere on the web someone would be sick enough to present a step-by-step guide to making your own hand-sized napalm burner.

I was right. I found it in the Temple of the Screaming Electron, a vast archive of the type of information which gets the internet a bad name. This is why another difficult editor won’t let me give the URL in a part of a newspaper read by families, although the story is worth telling because it raises serious issues.

&TOTSE, as its creators acronym it, began as a bulletin board, an on-line service which had to be dialled direct. Now ww37bits electronic library of anonymous submissions on everything from anarchy to Y2K are being switched to the web, with access open to all. The US media has been aware of its content since 1992, when it was labelled ‘a clearing-house for crime’ by the National Enquirer.

Pocket incinerators are baby stuff here. An efficient index steers visitors swiftly to a recipe for serving human flesh, including a detailed guide to skinning and butchering a corpse. Vengeance seekers can learn how to destroy a car’s engine with a plastic film container and a squirt of soap, shoplifters can discover how to evade security cameras, high school killers – like the duo who committed mass slaughter at Littleton, Colorado – can make their own pipebombs and pistols.

For light relief, discover how to go fishing with depth charges. There are numerous non-violent topics, but the advertising will deter most studious browsers – I clicked to read the entries on Judaism, and was connected to an explicitly illustrated banner ad for voyeur webcams.

The Temple’s online priests justify their archiving by citing the First Amendment to the US Constitution which guarantees free speech. They claim to be making information available, rather than condoning it.

My novel is light entertainment, and I was grateful to find the background facts I needed at &TOTSE. But the experience left me deeply uneasy – where is the border between background for fun and background for mass murder?

Uri Geller’s novel Dead Cold is published by Headline Feature at £9.99, Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. Visit his website at and e-mail him at

8th September 1999
Can a click a day keep world hunger at bay?

Click here to save a life … or quit the site and leave a human being to die from starvation.ww37

The Hungersite has created the most compelling reason ever to click and view an advertiser’s message – but is it callous product placement, humanitarian aid or the weirdest slice of virtual reality yet to hit the web?

And the Hungersite’s world map, where one of the poorest nations in Africa or Asia will flash ominously every 3.6 seconds, to indicate another death from hunger – is that a unique use of Javascript, conveying essential information, or just the web’s sickest screensaver?

The United Nations, whose World Food Program is boosted by every cent this site generates, is in no doubt. “It’s great. We’re absolutely happy,” says UN spokeswoman Abby Spring.

Since the launch on June 1, more than three million visitors have clicked the ‘Donate Free Food’ button at which connects to a page of advertising logos. Each sponsor pledges to give half of one US cent to the World Food Program for every hit on the page. Half a cent buys a quarter of a cup of food – rice, wheat, maize or other staples.

With four advertisers on the site, your click adds one cup of food to the next lorryload. The Hungersite permits you only one click in 24 hours – is it worth it going back tomorrow ? Your click costs global resources, in electricity, bandwidth and PC pollution, and you might think it’s more economical to drop 2p in the next collecting box you see.

But the site’s mission statement is in no doubt: “Is it worth your time? For a mother watching her child die in front of her from hunger, the food that you donate is worth everything in the world.”

The site will really become valuable to the UN when it has dozens of sponsors, and every click is worth bagfuls of food. That won’t happen until its popularity is proven – so your daily visit will have long-term benefits for this entirely non-profit-making site.

UN statistics say 24,000 people will die today from hunger and malnutrition. The world has always known starvation – but this is the first time in history that anyone in the insanely wealthy West can save a life without lifting a finger. All your finger has to do is click.

Uri Geller’s novel Dead Cold is published by Headline Feature at £9.99, Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. Visit his website at and e-mail him at

1st September 1999
Telepathic machines

A computer operated by thought waves will be launched later this year, claims a US microelectronics firm. ww36MindSong, based in St Paul, Minnesota, is already patenting technology which responds to human telepathic signals.

It is not only PCs which will start up when our mind waves sweep over their sensors – any electrical device, including light switches, will be sensitive to thought power, according to MindSong president John Haaland.

“We recognise,” says Haaland, “that for most people, including the technically and scientifically trained, the concept of a nonlocal field created by intentions, which alters information states and affects physical reality, is mind-boggling.”

The key word is ‘nonlocal’. In twentieth century physics, as defined by Albert Einstein, nothing moves faster than light. When we feel heat from the sun on Earth, those heat waves have been travelling towards us no faster that 186,000 miles per second – the absolute speed of light. It’s a ‘local’ effect.

But according to quantum physics theory, the rules of the universe as applied to sub-atomic particles, ‘nonlocal’ effects can occur, and some information can be transmitted at faster-than-light speeds. That data includes our thoughts.

MindSong chips create a cacophony of white noise, chaotic random data which has no pattern. Our brains, on the other hand, exude very pronounced patterns. The most casual thought has a profound and elegant structure. Really beautiful thoughts – such as the meditations of a mind absorbed by Bach or Mozart – create mental fields which can apparently be photographed, using techniques developed by the KGB during the Sixties and Seventies.

MindSong has taken this research one step further, by identifying the patterns of insubstantial thoughts, such as: “I wish my computer would switch itself on.” The white noise generators, tradenamed “ShifterCell,” sense the onset of a pattern, however faint, and react. The patent calls this ‘an apparatus and method for distinguishing events which collectively exceed chance expectations and thereby control an output’.

Other Mindsong products include a Windows program called ShapeChanger, which displays random pixels on the screen and invites you to mix two clusters by exerting your mind. “Research shows,” the website claims, “that through willpower alone people are able to influence these shifting pixels far beyond what could be expected by chance.”

Uri Geller’s novel Dead Cold is published by Headline Feature at £9.99, Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. Visit his website at and e-mail him at

18th August 1999
Guru on the run

The family pleaded and the neighbours protested, but Philadelphia detectives did not search Ira Einhorn’s apartmentww34 until Holly Maddox had been dead for 18 months. When her dismembered body was found in a trunk, it had mummified.

Einhorn, a New Age guru to rock stars and scientists who advocated LSD as a mind-expander, paid his $4,000 bail and disappeared. The next 35 years were an era of pursuit, crushing disappointment and reborn hopes for Holly’s family. The ex-cheerleader was Einhorn’s lover and, when an American court tried him in his absence, the jury had no difficulty in finding the fugitive guilty. Neither did a civil court, which handed down a staggering $907 million penalty to Einhorn, who is currently in France and fighting extradition to the US.

I knew Einhorn in the Seventies. Not well – we were never friends, but he regarded my mentor Dr Andrija Puharich as a father-figure. When Ira and I met again through a private parascience mailing list run by Californian physicist Jack Sarfatti, I contacted the alleged murderer and persuaded him to appear on my US radio show, Radio America Network with host Doug Stephan. It was virtually Ira’s first interview for 37 years, and he was angry with everybody.

“I was a superstar, with incredibly good press, and overnight I was turned into a demon,” Einhorn raged. He claims Holly’s body was planted in his apartment by the CIA, or the KGB, who were desperate to stop him from revealing their UFO secrets.

His defence is an affront to the family, who have every right to be outraged that Holly’s killer is still at large and who maintain a website in her memory. Yet Einhorn is truly convinced of his innocence and, self-deluded or not, he still wields enough charisma to make anyone doubt their own conclusions.

He pronounces every word with conviction and a deep belief which is chilling. As I close the phone on France, my soul is stirred with a profound uneasiness. The only thing that is certain is Einhorn’s reluctance to run again. He has been in hiding for almost four decades. The end is near now.

Uri Geller’s novel Dead Cold is published by Headline Feature at £9.99, Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. Visit his website at and e-mail him at

11th August 1999
Dharma in our digital age

As the stock exchanges pump internet share prices into the stratosphere, web-sites are becoming daily more ww33desperate to clock up hits. Already today I’ve been invited to click on the monkey and win $20, buy a car at cost price, put points on my credit card with every mouse-click, and get a free PC.

Everyone wants you online. Only Deepak Chopra could possibly reverse the flow. On his elegant site he recommends: “The best thing to do might be . . . turn off your computer, breathe deeply, and go for a walk, or sing, or dance, or meditate …”

Deepak and I met for the first time on Wednesday, and we were both taken aback by the sensation we had known each other a long time. Perhaps it was a connection between like minds, or perhaps the vedic theory of reincarnation is in action, as Deepak teaches at his Center for Well-Being.

His site is full of fascination. It is commercial – he runs ‘the online store of infinite possibilities’ – but the bulk of material is all free. If you want to change your life and need positive inspiration, but you can’t afford to buy Deepak’s books and tapes, log on. Each day he offers a thought for meditation and explains a universal law – on Wednesday the law is to do less, try less and fight less. Dr Chopra’s greatest skill is in advising entirely the opposite to every other guru, and instilling real sense into his advice.

The multiple choice quiz is deeper than most – you answer dozens of questions, not just with Yes and No but on a scale of 1 to 5. This made me think hard about my answers – of course I would call myself forgiving, but how forgiving? Am I a 5 out of 5?

Deepak believes in dharma, a force which directs your life when you agree to go with the flow. You cannot shape dharma – it happens. The multiple coincidences that appear to buffet your path are really synchronised aspects of destiny – synchrodestiny. It’s an intriguing notion and one which he explains for free online, in a long and entertaining essay.

When he and I met in Oxford last week, there had been no deliberate intent on either side. Maybe it was our dharma.

Uri Geller’s novel Dead Cold is published by Headline Feature at £9.99, Ella is published by Headline Feature at £5.99, his Little Book Of Mindpower by Robson Books at £2.50 and Jonathan Margolis’s Uri Geller, Magician or Mystic? by Orion Books at £17.99. Visit his website at and e-mail him at


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