THERE IS NO way I can tell this story without having it sound like science fiction. There is nothing I can do about that. Because it is so hard even for me to believe what happened, I have thought a long time about whether or not I should include it in this book. And yet what happened happened. The times and places involved are real, clear, unquestioned. The main problem is the physical impossibility of what happened in terms of ordinary time and distance, and the laws of physics as we know them. I finally concluded that, as long as I and the others who were involved know it is the truth, the story should be told. My friends and associates have all gone over it together, reconstructing every detail of the event, and except for minor differences of opinion, this is what happened on Friday, November 9, 1973:
About 4:00 P.M. I left the apartment I was staying in on the East Side of midtown Manhattan to buy a pair of binoculars for my friend, Dr. Louis Shenkman. I found a pair I liked, bought them, and walked to Maria and Byron Janis’s apartment building, also on the East Side. Maria has a studio in the basement of her building, and Shipi was helping frame some paintings for an exhibition of her work.
I arrived at her studio just about 4:30 P.M. The three of us chatted for a while, and then Maria and I went upstairs to their apartment to say hello to Byron. Shipi stayed in the basement working. Byron and Maria and I often have long talks, and we were just getting into an interesting discussion when I reaised it was getting late. I had a date with a girl from Israel, whom I was going to meet at the Biltmore Hotel at 6:30. Now it was almost 5:30, and I wanted to go to Bloomingdale’s to buy a present, then run home to shower and change before meeting my date. I wasn’t sure what time Bloomingdale’s closed, so I said good-bye to Byron and Maria and headed toward the store at the corner of Fifty-ninth and Lexington Avenue–only a few blocks from my apartment.
Bloomingdale’s was very crowded, so I went to Hammacher-Schlemmer’s, which is also near the apartment. It was now somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 P.M., but I don’t know the exact time.
In putting this together, I asked all those who had something to do with it to figure out what happened curing this period. Maria said that I left their apartment about 5:30. She and Byron continued talking and, Maria recalls, even mentioned that I seemed to be in a particularly high state of energy. Maria was planning to phone Andrija out in Ossining to ask him some questions about a book she had borrowed from him. Solveig Clark told me later that she left her office in the General Motors Building at exactly 5:30, her usual quitting time. She was rushing to Grand Central Station to catch a train due in Ossining at 7:04 P.M. She was going to help Andrija with the manuscript of his book Uri, which he was writing at the time. Andrija was going to meet her at the station. In other words, she was on her way to Grand Central at the same time I was heading for Bloomingdale’s.
Shipi left Maria’s studio and started back to the apartment, which also was Yasha’s and Werner’s office. Yasha and Werner were there in the apartment-office, expecting Shipi and me at any minute. Shipi is not sure exactly at what time he left the Janises’, but he guesses it was some time after 6:00.
I did some window browsing at Hammacher-Schlemmer’s and then looked at my watch. I saw that it was nearly 6:00. I had to get back to the apartment and change, then get to the Biltmore. I often jog when I’m going places in New York, for the exercise, and since I didn’t want to be late I started jogging about a block away from the apartment, which was east of Second Avenue and almost to First Avenue. It was now just a few minutes past 6:00 P.M.
Andrija was out at his home in Ossining, more than 30 miles away and about an hour away from Manhattan from door to door, either by train or by car-sometimes longer during the rush hour. He told me later that he was lying on his bed watching the six o’clock news on TV and waiting to go to the station to pick up Solveig when her train arrived at 7:04.
So, a very few minutes after 6:00, I was starting to jog about a block away from the apartment. Andrija was watching TV in Ossining, more than an hour away. Solveig was en route to Ossining, due to arrive in about an hour. Yasha and Werner were waiting for Shipi and me in the office part of the apartment. Maria and Byron remained in their apartment after Shipi left.
I clearly remember approaching the canopy of the building right next door to ours. I remember almost reaching that canopy. Then I remember having the feeling that I was running backward for a couple of steps. (“I was in the air and saw the pavement passing underfoot.” 7/7/96 quote for the web site) I don’t known whether I really did or not, but that was the feeling. Then I had the feeling that I was being sucked upward. There was no sensation in my body. I closed my eyes and, I think, opened them almost immediately.
When I did, I found myself being propelled in the air a foot or so away from a porch screen, over the top of a rhododendron bush, about to crash through the screen at a point 8 or 10 feet off the ground. To prepare for the impact, I turned my left shoulder toward the screen and put my hands out in front of me. I crashed through the screen and landed on a circular glass-top table. It was heavy plate glass. My hands hit it first, and it slid forward, then hit the floor and shattered. My knee struck a wooden part of the table, and the table toppled over. I landed on the floor of the porch. I was conscious all through this, but slightly dazed when I hit the table and floor. My knee hurt, and I was afraid to move in case I had any broken bones. But what shocked me was that I recognised the porch and the table because I knew them so well. This was Andrija’s screen porch in Ossining-there was no mistaking it. One moment I had been on the East Side of Manhattan. The next, I was crashing through a screen porch in Ossining. The only sensation I had was crashing through the screen and hitting the table and floor. I called out loud as I could to Andrija, but there was no answer right away. I remember being cold and very thirsty. I still was afraid to move.
Andrija added more for me later. He had watched just about half of the six o’clock news. About 6:15 P.M. he heard a crash, followed by a thud, as if something hit the side of the house. He jumped up from his bed right away (his bedroom is on the second floor, on the same side of the house as the porch) and began investigating all through the house. Since it was a windy evening, he thought maybe the wind had caused a tree to topple against the house. He ran from room to room, on all three floors, but couldn’t find anything wrong. Then he went out the front door to the porch. The screened part is several feet away from the door. Although he couldn’t see anything in the dark, he heard me calling him. To get to the screened part of the porch, he had to go back into the house and through the dining room and study.
He threw on the light switch and opened the door to the porch. He told me that he saw me lying in a heap beside the broken glass and table, and then looked up and saw a huge gaping hole in the screen, which was pushed in from the top above his head level. He saw that I was holding a package, which contained the binoculars I had just bought in New York.
My mind had cleared enough by now to help him as he quickly checked me for broken bones and half dragged me to the couch in the study. Being a medical doctor, he checked me completely. There didn’t seem to be any injuries, and I didn’t feel any pain except for my knee. I got up and walked around and felt shaky, but all right.
I couldn’t figure anything out at the time. Maria, back in her New York apartment, remembers that she decided to call Andrija somewhere between 6:10 and 6:15. The phone rang in Ossining just as I was walking around and trying to figure out what had happened. Andrija picked up the phone. He sounded stunned. He said something like there’s a friend here who wants to talk to you. He handed the phone to me, and I said “I’m here.” Now Maria was shocked. She had seen me in New York less than an hour before, as I had left her apartment about 5:30. I told her that I had been in New York one moment and in Ossining the next. Andrija got back on the phone and described the scene of the porch when he found me there.
I still felt weak, but I phoned Yasha and Werner. They later told me my voice was shaking. It was now about 6:20. Shipi had not yet arrived from Maria’s apartment. told Yasha I just wanted to let them know what had happened and that I would call them back after I pulled myself together.
Shipi arrived at the apartment right after my call. He found Yasha and Werner in a confused and excited condition. When they told him that I was in Ossining, he said it was impossible, that he had just seen me leave Maria’s and Byron’s apartment a short time before. Shipi later said: “In the beginning, when these strange things happen, you get scared. Then you just get accustomed to them.”
Of course, Andrija and I, as soon as we collected our selves, thought the same thing. This whole event was either total insanity on the part of everyone involved- Yasha, Shipi, Werner, Maria, Byron, Andrija, and my self–or the most dramatic phenomenon yet. The facts were there. No human form of transportation could have delivered me from the East Side of Manhattan to Andrija’s house in Ossining in practically an instant, between 6:10 and 6:15.
Andrija felt we might find an answer if we tried the tape recorder again. He fetched it and turned it on. The mechanical voice came on almost immediately and made it clear that the forces had literally transported me almost instantaneously from New York to Ossining. Then the voice went on to make important statements about future planning for both Andrija and me. The tape message was quite short. There was mention of the difficulty Andrija and I were having with each other, and it went on to say that I should be going out more on my own and that free will in man must always be foremost.
During all this, Solveig Clark was on the train to Ossining. She wrote out to the best of her memory what she recalls of the incident:
I had promised Andrija Puharich that I would come up for the weekend to help him with his writings . . . and that I would take the express train from Grand Central, arriving at Ossining at 7:04 P.M., and he would meet me at the railroad station. The train arrived on schedule, but Andrija was not there to pick me up. I waited some ten minutes, thinking he would be along shortly, but when I was the only one left at the station, I went over to the public phone inside the station and dialed Andrija’s house.
I was startled to hear Uri’s voice at the other end. The reason I was surprised was that I had spoken to him earlier in the day, and he had not mentioned going up to visit Andrija. I immediately sensed something crucial had happened when I heard the tape-recorder going in the background. Uri tersely said: “We’ll be there to pick you up in fifteen minutes,” and hung up.
I waited in suspense, prepared for anything. They arrived at the station in Andrija’s VW-his Mercedes was being repaired. I climbed into the back seat. Uri, as I had surmised, had had no intention of going to Ossining that Friday. He had a date with a girl, and had to hurry home to change.
When we got to Andrija’s house, Andrija flipped on the light switch on the porch, and I saw the scene. It looked like a disaster area. A huge gaping hole in the screen- way up high, above the top level of the rhododendron bushes that surrounded part of the porch. The wooden table was on end, with shattered plate glass everywhere, some in large chunks, some in slivers.
Uri had gotten over his shock and was in a state of wonderment and excitement over what had just happened. If it had happened to anyone else, I’m sure that person would be in such an emotional state of utter shock that he would have been a basket case. I felt pride in Uri’s strength of mind and constitution to be able to go through such an experience and still keep his equilibrium and joking sense of humor. It made it all seem perfectly normal like a high adventure in the natural human world that we are accustomed to
I have put Solveig’s words here because she has a very clear mind and is such a good observer. She was also very much needed for a down-to-earth reason when she arrived: Whatever the cause, I had never been so hungry in my life. She got together some scrambled eggs and salad for us, while we tried to figure out more about what happened.
Just to double-check, Andrija got a light and looked to make sure there were no footprints outside the porch. There weren’t. We both checked the screen: There was no question that it was punched in toward the inside of the porch. The screen was torn at a very high place, so I would have had to have come in at least 6 or 7 feet above the floor. There were no cars around, nothing. I kept saying to myself: Why was it? There hadn’t been any sensation in my body at the time. It was as if I was not on the New York sidewalk any more, and then suddenly appeared in the air, outside a screen, ready to hit it. Everything happened fast. Crashing through the screen. Falling on the table, the glass top falling off the table and breaking, hitting my left leg, falling on the floor, finding myself 36 road miles out of Manhattan. What kind of transformation or transportation did my body undergo? Was I really torn up molecule by molecule? Was I pushed through a dimension, teleported by a ray or by a spacecraft? What happened? I don’t know. The tapes didn’t go into any detail on this. And how could the binoculars stay with me through it all?
The more I think of it, the more I see how small we all are. How much we don’t know, how much more there is to know. If you take a radio and put too much power into it, it will blow out, an overload. That’s the way our minds are. If we suddenly know too much, we’ll go crazy. Maybe I don’t want to know more about it. Maybe I should just let things happen. I don’t want to take an overload. But I also like to keep going at full capacity.
As we ate the supper Solveig cooked for us, I felt better, and I remember asking Andrija: “Would you mind driving me back to Manhattan?”
“After what happened, I’ll drive you anywhere,” he said.
It was cold, and I wasn’t dressed for the weather. I had on an old Eisenhower jacket of Shipi’s that didn’t even fit me. But Solveig, Andrija, and I piled into the VW and started back for Manhattan. Andrija and I talked a little about what information the tape had offered, and we even had the Sony recorder with us. The cassette was still in the recorder, which was a little unusual, so we let Solveig hear just a couple of sentences of the strange voice. She said it made a tremendous impact on her. Solveig speaks several languages and is very interested in different ways of speaking. She said that the male voice she heard on the tape had nothing really special about it, except that it seemed to speak English very correctly and that it sounded like a human voice that didn’t carry any humor, any accent or ups and downs. But, she said, it carried a lot of authority. She didn’t feel any kind of eerie chill or anything like that, just a lot of force and command.
The drive back to the New York apartment took a little less than an hour. Only during that drive did I fully comprehend that I had not arrived in Ossining by means of any normal transportation. I suddenly was shocked again. Really shocked. The long, tiresome road back, the traffic, the lights of the city-I hadn’t seen any of these on the way out there. And then I thought about the many other things that had happened, about Andrija’s dog and about the objects that had dematerialised and materialised one after the other, and were continuing to, in people’s homes and in the laboratories of famous scientists. Everything was pointing to a whole new world, where science was on the dangerous edge of joining with miracles, and I was able to play a part in it. The more I thought about it, the more my confidence grew. I was lucky enough to be a channel for tremendous energies and powers that needed only to be brought out, looked at, and studied impartially.
I could sense all this not just from the symbols on the surface, like the bending of metal, but from the poems flowing through me. Their words and meanings, even if they were obscure, seemed to be joined to the more simple demonstrations. And together they may be a bridge to deeper understanding of the universe, of space, of intelligences far greater than ours, and of a God far greater than the intelligences themselves.
All these thoughts came to me in a cramped Volkswagen on a cold night, driving back to New York on a journey that had taken a fraction of a second only a few hours before, in as wild a science fiction scene as any writer could imagine. And yet it had been real, completely real, on November 9, 1973, shortly after 6:00 P.M. And if it was real then, it will be real in the future. Whatever this Spectra is, whether it’s in a UFO or some other spacecraft or a Sony TC-120, I’m convinced now that it’s not an illusion, not a delusion, not a figment of the imagination, not a freak of nature, but a reality.
But it’s also not a God. It must be some kind of great, intelligent, interspatial energy that is serving us and serving God at the same time. What part of what galaxy it comes from doesn’t matter.
It is strange, this sudden mixing of what science has learned with this new, great force, whatever it is. In the words that come through me that I try to grab and write down-and please don’t worry whether they are poetry or not-I receive flashes of light that go beyond the narrow limits of our own contained vision:
Yes, but I know the truth
It lies way deep inside you
The truth of mystic knowledge for which all splendor is only a camouflage
The knowledge to control, accomplish and achieve the unbelievable
The unbearable duty that has come upon you without any warning or notice
The knowledge that will give you power, courage, and greatness
To behold and bloom the biggest, tremendous, positive, outraging, thunderous act
That will change all known knowledge on earth
and even furthermore.
I know the mysteries of the universe are on the verge of breaking through, and that these energies, just now appearing, will be the key to restoring both harmony and order for all of us, not on some distant day, but in the close, near, immediate future.
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