Hostage mother praises Geller’s help bid

18th April 1997 Express & Star

The mother of one of the Kashmir hostages says she is “only too happy” that Uri Geller is trying to free them – by the power of thought. 

The mind over matter entertainer is appealing to people everywhere to Join him in thinking deeply about the hostages for a minute at 11 am daily to try to achieve a breakthrough to end the long mystery over their plight.
Britons Keith Mangan, from Middlesborough, and Paul Wells, of Blackburn, were among a group kidnapped at gun point near Pahalgam, 60 miles east of Srinagar, on July 4, 1995.
Mr Mangan’s mother Mavis said yesterday of Geller’s involvement: “We think it’s great that he wants to help, although he stressed he cannot work miracles.”
“We are only too happy to take on board what he’s doing – it cannot do any harm and, who knows, we may gain something from it.”


Members of the hostages’ families are currently in India trying to apply pressure on the authorities to step up efforts to trace them.
There has been no confirmed sighting of the hostages for a long time and many experts believe they may no longer be alive.
Geller said: “I have to look positively at this and take the view that they are alive. Parents have strong telepathic links with their children.
“If the parents feel they are alive, my inclination is that they are alive.”
Mrs Mangan is too ill to join the other family members in India. But she said of Geller’s efforts: “If nothing else, the publicity it is generating will help raise the profile of the hostages, which is very important.”

18th April 1997
Front page

Asian Age

Hostages’ kin seek Uri Geller’s help

London, April 17: Uri Geller, the man known worldwide for his phenomenal ability of telekinesis (mind over matter) has said his intuition tells him that “some of the hostages (those taken by the militant group Al-Faran in Kashmir) are alive.” The families of the four surviving Western tourists taken hostage by the Al-Faran have turned to the paranormal to strengthen their hope and fight the despair of a wait that grows more agonising every day. They have asked Uri Geller to use his uncanny ability to help them find and release the four men kidnapped in Kashmir.
Uri Geller told The Asian Age that he would appeal to people all over the world to concentrate their thoughts and pray collectively at precisely 11 am every morning to influence the subconscious of the kidnappers to come forward or at least negotiate terms for release. The number 11 holds a mystical significance for Uri Geller. “It has been a number associated with mysticism throughout history… it is almost the gateway to infinity,” Mr Geller said, adding, “I believe in the power of collective, positive thinking and the power of prayer.”
The Hostages in Kashmir Campaign has prompted British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind to say: “Uri Geller’s intervention can only be of help. Anything or anyone that can help should try. This is good,” a statement that took Uri Geller by surprise because he agrees that many people think of the paranormal as bizarre.
Uri Geller, who first shot to fame using telekinesis to bend spoons on television, is confident. He says he has been very successful in the past in securing the release of other hostages, particularly executives of multinational companies kidnapped and held for a ransom in South American countries.
Britons Keith Mangan and Paul Wells are being held captive by the Al-Faran along with American Donald Hutchins and German Dirk Hasert. Their families have been living on hope and prayer ever since their loved ones were taken by the Al-Faran militants in Kashmir about 22 months ago; hope and prayer that the men are still alive. July 4 will mark two years in captivity for the four men. One of the original five taken hostage, Norwegian Ostro, was beheaded by the Al-Faran, an act that was condemned by every Kashmiri organistion the length and breadth of the valley. Al-Faran militants have demanded the release of 15 comrades currently in jail as a condition for release.
Asked if given his remarkable power of mind over matter, whether he could say for certain that the remaining four were still alive, Uri Geller said he was not a prophet nor a miracle worker and it was very hard for him to provide a conclusive answer. However, he added: “If you ask me, my intuition tells me some are alive. I also follow the intuition of the parents and the girlfriend. Parents have a greater telepathic link with children and they feel their children are alive,” Uri Geller said.
He has no plans of going to India as yet. “I will go only if it is necessary, only if the captors wish to talk to me,” Mr Geller said.
Meanwhile, Julie Mangan, wife of hostage Keith Mangan, and Bob Wells, father of hostage Paul Wells, flew to Jammu on Thursday morning along with Paul Wells’s partner Catherine Mosely and James Bowman, Julie Mangan’s cousin and the man spearheading The Hostages in Kashmir Campaign, to intensify the search for the hostages.
Vivian Wilkinson, Julie Mangan’s aunt, said here that Julie and her companions would also be meeting with the police in India. The last communication with Al-Faran was around Christmas 1995. “We have had 32 unconfirmed sightings from villagers and shepherds. All cannot be wrong,” Ms Wilkinson said, adding that the last sighting was not very long ago on November 11, 1996.

17th April 1997

Evening News
Geller helps

THE Foreign Secretary has welcomed an offer from psychic Uri Geller (pictured) to help find four hostages held in uri8Kashmir.
Malcolm Rifkind said he would be willing to listen to any ideas.
Paul Wells, 25, whose girl-friend, Cath Moseley, lives in Norwich; Keith Mangan; Donald Hutchings; and Dirk Hasert have not been seen for nearly a year. Geller said he would use “concentration and prayer”.
22 April 1997
Front Page

Uri Geller sends letter to Al-Faran

London: Uri Geller, who is working with the families of the four remaining tourists kidnapped by the Al-Faran group, has sent an open letter of appeal to the militant group asking them to give him a sign that Britons Keith Mangan and Paul Wells, German Dirk Hasert and American Donald Hutchings are still alive, reports our correspondent.
“I am prepared to act as an intermediary on your behalf, so your case can be heard at the highest levels,” the letter reads. It adds: “… please give us a sign that they are still alive.” The four men have been held hostage for the past 22 months.


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