New York – Hearing Aid – UFO’s
Meanwhile the research on stimulating the sensation of hearing in humans with electromagnetic radiation had created quite a stir in the scientific community. Some scientists openly stated that the Puharich-Lawrence work was nonsense, and could not be proven. Other scientists supported their work after seeing demonstrations that convinced them. The controversy had started after an article in Medical World that deaf patients could hear electric signals:
Two New York researchers have devised an electronic apparatus, still in the experimental stage, that delivers a “modulated” current to the skin in the stylomastoid region. Drs. Henry K. Puharich and Joseph L. Lawrence reported at the Aerospace Association meeting in Miami Beach that the device has stimulated word recognition in a group of ten clinically deaf patients. Five of the subjects suffered acquired total deafness, and five conge nital deafness. Of the acquired deafness group, four stated that the transdermal device enabled them to experience sound as they remembered it – both pure tone and words, say the researchers.
The mechanism, they explain, generates an electric carrier current that is modulated like an AM broadcast signal. When the modulated current is applied to an area of skin, it generates sound waves in the tissues that correspond closely to the modulated signal. Evidently, the electric current is transformed into mechanical vibrations in the skin, possibly through an electroconstrictive effect, the researches suggest. “When the electrodes are placed in the region surrounding the normal subject’s ear, the ear is stimulated by sound waves originating in the skin.” Clinical data on patients with impaired hearing indicate that the electrical signals also stimulate the cochlea. “In the totally deaf, hearing may be stimulated by electrical means principally in one anatomical site, the skin region closest to the stylomastoid foramen, where the facial nerve exits from the skull.”
The facial nerve channel may serve as a passive conductor for the modulated carrier energy until some barrier, such as a synaptic region, is reached. At this barrier, the researchers suggest, demodulation may occur, with chemical activation resulting in neural excitation.
A pure tone electrical stimulation at the stylomastoid region produced an immediate response in all ten patients, the researchers report. But to elicit a response to a word or to music required training. The investigators repeated a word three to five times over a microphone, delivering the electrical stimulus while the patient simultaneously lip-read the speaker. “With such brief training, the experimenter could stand behind the patient, speak the word into the microphone, and the patient could then repeat the word vocally,” they declare. Patients were taught ten different words in about eight to ten minutes. “With the elimination of all sensory cues, apart from the electrical stimulus to the stylomastoid skin region, the subjects repeated words presented in a random order with an accuracy well above chance expectation.
The researchers believe that the apparatus, when miniaturized, will prove useful as a hearing aid, and also as a device for speech training.”
Soon afterwards the U.S. Government showed an interest in resolving this scientific debate. “They had immediately seen the many potential applications of electromagnetic stimulation of hearing,” Andrija said. The U.S. Air Force awarded Intelectron Corporation a research contract. From there on the research was to be done under the guidance of a member of an Air Force committee.
The interest of the committee led to an active exchange between Andrija and representatives of the U.S. Government. These agencies were the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Foreign Technology Division of the Systems Command of the U.S. Air Force (USAF-SC); The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
As I have already mentioned, The United States and Russia were actively interested in telepathy. Apparently Professor Vasiliev, head of the parapsychological department in Leningrad had used a Faraday Cage isolation technique to prove the existence of telepathy. This work had been done in secret, and all the witnesses to the work were no longer alive. There was a question in the minds of some NASA officials as to whether the Russians had actually done this cage-telepathy research, or had merely copied Andrija’s work of 1952. Andrija had many discussions about this problem with NASA officials. The conclusion of these discussions was that NASA was going to support his research in psychic phenomena, or what they called bio-information-transfer, or energy transfer. Andrija was asked to prepare an unsolicited proposal to do research in these areas for NASA.
According to Andrija, a curious situation began to develop in the fall of 1963, which he himself did not clearly foresee when it started to happen. It all came out of his research work in two different areas, the psychical research (ESP), and the research in electrostimulation of hearing (ESH). The problem arose, he thought, because competing agencies of the U.S. Government supported different aspects of his research. The United States Air Force supported his research in ESH under contract; NASA supported the research in ESP.
In September 1963, at the International Astronautic Congress in Paris NASA’s Bioastronautics director Eugene Konecci said that both the American and Soviet Union Space Agencies were testing “non-electronic biological communication.” He believed that “thought transference” might be a workable method of communication through space. The reader may recall that I mentioned this when writing about the events of 1952.
The announcement made by Konecci caused a fierce negative reaction from the U.S. Congress. The administrator of NASA, James Webb, was told that if he did not stop this ESP research, there would be major cuts in the NASA budget. Dr. Webb accepted this advice, and the research program that Andrija was to direct was canceled. Andrija believed that the U.S. Air Force was behind this congressional pressure on NASA because of the intense rivalry existing between the two.
All this interest by Government Agencies had resulted in a further standstill to the acceptance of Andrija’s work by the scientific world. After he had fulfilled his contract with the Air Force, and his paper was published, he was approached by a scientist, Dr. Leon Harmon, from Bell Laboratories to give a demonstration that the Transdermal Hearing System really worked. Dr. Harmon even brought his own deaf patient. After two hours of tests he saw the proof that his patient could indeed “hear” and repeat words that were transmitted to him. However, all Dr. Harmon could say was, “Damn it, Puharich, that’s not hearing, that’s telepathy what we saw.”
In August of 1964 a national magazine launched a slanderous attack on Peter Hurkos and Andrija. One of the allegations was that Peter was able to simulate telepathy because Andrija had implanted a radio receiver in his tooth. And this was only the beginning of Andrija’s problems.
With the increasing reports of UFO sightings during the early 1960’s, Andrija had become active with an Ad Hoc group chaired by Andrew Haley that was concerned with this phenomenon.
Andrija had first heard that unidentified flying objects were seen in the United States in 1947, when a pilot named Kenneth Arnold, who was flying alone near Mount Rainier in the state of Washington, had noticed nine circular objects in high speed in flight over he mountains. In describing their appearance to reporters, later, the pilot said that they were like “saucers”, “flying saucers.”
Six months later, on January 7, 1948, Andrija was startled by a news report that Air Force Captain Thomas Mantell was killed in the crash of his F-51 plane while chasing a “flying saucer.” Later details about the crash stated that at about 1.15 p.m., many people had seen “a circular craft 200 to 300 feet in diameter traveling at high speed towards Louisville.” This report was confirmed by personnel in the control tower at Godman Air Force Base near Louisville. When at 2.30 p.m. four F-51 U.S. Air Force planes had appeared flying towards Louisville, the Control Tower requested that these flyers investigate the sighting. At 2.45 p.m. Captain Mantell, the flight commander reported by radio that he saw something above and ahead of him. “It appears to be a metallic object, and it is of tremendous size. I’m going to 20.000 feet.” These were the last words from Captain Mantell. A few hours later his body was found in the Wreckage of his F-51.
Since then there had been thousands upon thousands of reports of unidentified flying objects in countries all over the world. Private researchers, serious, intelligent people came up with hundreds of pictures of flying saucers. Some of these pictures looked like fakes; others appeared to be genuine. When word leaked out that the Government in Washington had these pictures on file, in spite of their claim to have no physical evidence that flying saucers existed, there was a popular outcry for some statement that would clarify this matter.
Not only the U.S. Government, but also the governments of many countries behaved as though all these sightings were based on hysteria.
The U.S. Government had also hushed up the crash of a spaceship near Roswell in the State of New Mexico, in 1947. People who had witnessed the crash, and found large fragments of a strange metal in the nearby fields, had reported this to the Air Force Base near Roswell. A press report released by Lieutenant Colonel, Walter Haut, stated that the pieces of scrap were of a material not from this earth, and were undoubtedly from a UFO. The next day he withdrew his statement: “The officer on duty had made a mistake. The metal fragments were not from a UFO, but from a weather balloon.” Even the pictures that were subsequently shown to the press were faked.
The people who had seen the crash and the strange metal were told to hold their tongue if they valued their job. They were even threatened with their lives. According to ufologist there was more to it. They believe that there were also bodies of extraterrestrials found, some dead, some still alive.
(At the time of this writing, a film has been presented on Dutch television, showing an autopsy of the alleged dead bodies of extraterrestrials.)
Whether or not this film is a fake, the question of UFO’s, and the existence of extraterrestrials remains. Which brings us back to Andrija and the event that took place in the United States in 1965.
In September 1964, Andrija met with a psychic, Jean Dixon, in Washington, D.C. He wanted her to make a forecast concerning UFO’s, and the NASA space program. It was agreed that she would let Andrija know as soon as she had “received” some definite impressions. A few days later Jean Dixon called. She had had a vision that she wanted to have recorded as a forecast. A date was set for October 2, 1964. Present at this meeting were two NASA officials, James Shiner, and Dr. William Brewster, and Andrew Haley. Jean Dexter gave the following statement: “I see a satellite in the sky that flies from west to east, and as it comes over New York it suddenly reverses direction. As it does so all the power in Eastern United States goes out. There is no power at all. All the lights go out. Radio and TV programs go off the air. The satellite is a round ball with straight horns coming out of it.” When asked when this would happen, she could not say for sure, but it was close. That she was certain of.
Two month later Jean Dixon repeated the above on a national television show. And she did so again on January 2, 1965, on another show. She added that she thought the event “was coming closer.” But she gave no date. Finally, on a radio show in June 1965, she predicted that it would occur in November.
It is a matter of history that at 5.28 p.m. on November 9, 1965 the lights went out all over the Northeastern part of the United States, in the greatest electric power failure in history. Press reports stated that UFO’s had been seen some twenty miles from the area just before the power failure occurred.
It was eventually determined that a key switch at the Sir Adam Beck plant in Queenston, Ontario was the trigger point. However it was never conclusively shown why this key switch had failed, because it worked perfectly after the power failure. Without having been repaired.
The November 26, 1965 issue of Life Magazine showed a picture of the key switch. It had a round ball body with two large insulators sticking out, just as Jean Dixon had seen.
The authorities could not explain what had happened, and many people were inclined to believe that UFO’s could have caused the power failure. When during the next year more reports of sightings came in, a lot of pressure was put on government officials. Finally, on October 7, 1966, the U.S. Air Force, and the University of Colorado jointly announced a major scientific review of the sightings of UFO’s. This was part of “Project Blue Book,” that was started in 1948.
On December 17, 1969, the Department of Defense sent out the following news release:
AIR FORCE TO TERMINATE PROJECT “BLUE BOOK”
Secretary of the Air Force Robert C. Seamans, Jr., announced today the termination of Project Blue Book, the Air Force program for the investigation of unidentified flying objects (UFO’s). In a memorandum to Air Force Chief of Staff General John D. Ryan, Secretary Seamans stated that “the continuation of Project Blue Book cannot be justified either on the ground of national security or in the interest of science,” and concluded that the project does not merit future expenditures of resources.
As a result of investigating UFO reports since 1948, the conclusions of Project Blue Book are: (1) no UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security; (2) there has been no evidence submitted or discovered by the Air Force that sightings categorized as “unidentified” represent technological developments or principles beyond the range of present-day scientific knowledge; and (3) there has been no evidence indicating that sightings categorized as “unidentified” are extraterrestrial vehicles.
Project Blue Book records will be retired to the USAF Archives, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Requests for information will continue to be handled by the Secretary of the Air Force, Office of Information (SAFOI), Washington, D.C. 20330.
Many people felt that the research was biased, and insufficient to the extent of the problem. Andrija felt the same.
I include this report by the Air Force, because it will explain the trouble Andrija got himself into when his book on Uri Geller was published.
But let us leave the subject of unidentified flying objects rest for the time being, and have a look at the other work Andrija was engaged in during the sixties. Shortly after I had arrived in the Netherlands in 1965, I received the first of many letters that Andrija was to write to me during the following years. On September 3, 1965 he writes: “Things have been rough since I saw you. I got pneumonia after you left – in bed for 10 days – and just getting over it all.
Intelectron is in bad shape. The negotiations with the Belock people dragged on till yesterday and then they abruptly canceled the whole deal, and walked out. The lawyers are at work cleaning up the mess. Joe and I are frantically looking for money. We talked to five companies today alone. We figure we can hold out for three weeks. If we can’t make a deal by then we will give up Intelectron, and get jobs. “
More hard luck stories about Intelectron followed during the next years, but somehow the Corporation survived each crisis.
Meanwhile Andrija’s trips to Brazil had continued, as I learned from a letter written in 1966: “I am planning a five year medical research on Arigo. The reason I went to Brazil in June was to get Arigo’s cooperation and consent. All went well, and I saw more miraculous healings – cancer, leukemia, etc., and operations. I was swamped from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. each day as I watched him treat 300 people a day. Believe it or not, I have been nominated for inclusion in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA. At my young years, this is quite an honor. Of course, I don’t know if I will get in, but the first step was made. I feel a lot better since my trip to Brazil. Much of the bitterness and strain of the past years has vanished.”
He went on to tell me that he had found a girl he really liked. However, since his luck in the love department was lousy, he was taking it slowly and cautiously. He felt the need for a stable family life, he wrote, “being a bachelor is for the birds. I will let you know if anything serious develops. “
Like always he concluded his letter with news about the girls, and love to us.
During the next year, Andrija not only worked at Intelectron, but was also a member of a Cardiac Research Team at New York University Medical Center.
I remember how proud I was of him when I read his letter of October 24, 1967: “I made a major discovery these past few months. I applied our electrical hearing signal to prevent blood coagulation in dogs. We are now in a position to prevent blood clotting in an artificial heart. We have proved that my theory works on dogs. We will in the next few months apply it to humans. My colleagues all kid me about getting a Nobel Prize for this work. However, I know this is only a dream, and it can’t happen for decades – I am much too young. Anyway, this is all very exciting.
I am also studying Portuguese at N.Y.U. in preparation for our next expedition to see Arigo (March ’68). We have a team of 12 doctors going down.
One of these days I’ll come to Holland, keep the faith, baby!
P.S. Congratulate me! I am now officially listed in Who’s Who. I must be doing something right!”
Trouble, however, always seemed to pursue Andrija. On the first of December 1967, he and Joe Lawrence got word that Borders Electronics, the company they were in business with, was trying to steal Intelectron Corporation.
Because their investors did not believe that there was any risk Borders could do this, Andrija and Joe had to talk day and night to them individually to warn them of the danger. Eventually they convinced them to file a lawsuit in Federal Court. On December 14th Borders did indeed take over Intelectron, and fired Andrija and Joe. To make a long story short, Andrija and Joe won the lawsuit after an exhausting court battle. On April 25, 1968 the papers were signed. Justice prevails! Andrija wrote. They not only got Intelectron back, but also their jobs and patents.
On May 22, 1968 Andrija went again to Brazil, where he was to have his first experience with unidentified manifestations in the sky.
While sitting one night on the porch of the “fazenda” they had rented, observing the incredible brilliance of the stars, John Laurance, one of the researchers saw a bright white light moving across the sky. He brought it to the attention of the others, who saw it also. For about six minutes they watched the light move slowly overhead. It looked like a very bright star. Suddenly it blinked out, and was gone.
When they later discussed it with Walter de Freitas, the owner of the fazenda, he told them the following story: “The common folk around here always see what you have just seen, between May and August. They call the light River of Gold, because they believe that it will lead you to gold. I don’t believe this superstition, but I have an idea why they believe it. One day, two years ago, I was standing where we are now, and I saw one of those lights slowly come down from the sky. It landed about five hundred meters from here, in that direction by the river. It was just after sunset, as it is now. I could see pretty well in the dark, so I started to walk toward the light to see what it was. When I came to within fifty meters, I could clearly see moving figures under what looked like a metal craft, sort of like a giant lens. I still am not sure whether the creatures were more like people or more like animals. But I could see and hear that they were digging in the earth. As I got closer, to about thirty meters away, three or four of these figures suddenly disappeared into the metal hull, which I now saw was standing on legs. The lens hull shot out fire and smoke, and rose straight up in the air. When I examined the ground where the craft had been. I saw many small fresh holes. I went back the next morning to see if there was any gold, but I didn’t find any.”
While they were all laughing, because Mr. de Freitas had said the last sentence rather sheepishly, Dr. Luis Cortez, another member of the medical team, called out that he saw the light again.
Andrija, who was jokingly called “the gadget man,” because he always traveled with a cassette recorder and several cameras quickly set up his Hasselblad camera, but unfortunately he had only an 80-mm lens. However, with his Polaroid back for this camera and very fast 3000 ASA black and white film, he was able to take some photographs of the unidentified aerial lights.
When he returned to the States, and found out from the New York newspapers that there had been a wave of UFO sightings in Brazil while he was there, he was convinced that he had seen one. However, his proof for UFO existence was hardly scientific, and he had no idea as to the true nature of the UFO’s.
He recalled what Joyce Balokovic had told him, that there had been stories of UFO’s from the earliest recorded times. The oldest stories being in the form of legends. But, she had said, the best flying saucer stories are in the Bible. She told him of the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament, where Ezekiel describes how the heavens opened, and he saw a vision of God. He saw a vast cloud with flashes of fire and brilliant light about it coming from the North; and within was radiance like brass, glowing in the heart of the flames. In the fire was the semblance of four living creatures in human form. He talked of a flying ship, and of a spirit that lifted him up into it. Ezekiel experienced being lifted into a flying ship four times over a period of nineteen years. He described the people as being peaceful. In the book of Exodus the Israelites were led out of Egypt by a pillar of cloud by day, and pillar of light by night. For forty years the “pillar” never left them. When they came to the Red Sea, the waters were torn apart, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground.
Andrija had read the Bible many times since, and he had found more “flying saucer stories.” He also believed it possible that the “angels” in the Bible were emissaries from another world. Why not? Why should man be the only intelligence in all creation among many millions of solar systems and universes? But why were space ships visiting the earth now, he wondered. Was it indicative of a great new age into which the earth seemed to be moving? Had Dr. Vinod been an instrument through which extraterrestrials spoke? And what about the strange encounter with Dr. Laughead? Had Peter Hurkos really seen a flying saucer, back in 1957? Were these ETI’s trying to tell people on earth something? It dawned on Andrija that his theory about thought transference could easily be applied to outer space, that through ESP, communication with life on other planets might be possible. It further occurred to him that Arigo’s powers might not be due to Dr. Fritz, as a spirit, but to some intelligent beings of extraterrestrial origin.
It dazzled him, but he had no time to dwell on the subject. Intelectron had to be put back on its feet, and also his artificial heart project needed his attention. In addition to this he traveled all over the country and Canada to give lectures.
I can now understand why he complained in every letter that he was so tired that he couldn’t see straight. I quote from a letter: “You are right, my news is too brief. The reason is that so much is happening that I don ‘t have time to write. This week it all caught up with me, and I have collapsed from exhaustion. So, I am in bed, not sick, just tired.
My heart research has kept me up day and night. You see, we implant the artificial heart in a dog, and stay up 2 or 3 days in a row while we collect data. Anyway, it is brilliantly successful. We will announce it November 22 at the meeting of the American Heart Association in Florida. I have been appointed Senior Research Scientist at NYU Medical School. This is the same as a full Professor, but no teaching duties.
Since I have no time to come to Holland, I want to have Yvonne and Andy stay with me this summer. You will have to allow this request graciously. If they don’t see me soon, they will feel deserted.”
When I wrote back that I was too afraid to let the children travel alone, he sent the following letter:
“All is settled, you are more than welcome to stay with us. Let’s have a real good time together for those few weeks! Please send me all information regarding arrival time, etc. pronto, so that I can be there to meet you. I really look forward to being with you and Andy and Yvonne. I must try to arrange my time so that I can be home more than I am now.”
Andrija tried, but was not able to carry out his good intention. We did have a wonderful time though seeing him and the girls again after three years. Andrija thought so too:
“It was grand to see you and the kiddies. They are really beautiful and deserve the best. Congratulations on being such a fine mother!”
It was the beginning of more holidays together. It made my parents and friends wonder why Andrija and I had ever separated.
In January of 1969 Andrija published a paper describing the clinical results with the ESH Therapy of the hard of hearing, and the deaf. This created a storm of controversy in the American medical profession that speciaised in hearing.
Other countries, on the contrary, commended Andrija and Joe for their excellent work. Invitations to give a report on their work came from Iceland, France, London, and Italy. Andrija accepted the invitations, and prepared an itinerary to visit these countries in July of 1969.
It was to be another family reunion. After his talk in Reykjavik to the medical school, Andrija arrived in Luxembourg on July 4th, where Yvonne, Andy and I were waiting for him. Seeing us, he put down his suitcases, and ran to us, giving us each a bear hug. With a rented VW we drove to Paris, where we were to meet the girls and spend three days sightseeing. On July 9th we went to London for another three wonderful days as a family. To share a bed with Andrija again, was quite an experience! We were not so young anymore, but still incredibly foolish!
“I miss you all achingly. The house is terribly lonely and empty. I had a beautiful time with you and the kids. Thanks for making it memorable. ” Andrija wrote.
Six months later he married Nancy (a pseudonym).
In October 1969 Andrija was to give a report on his ESH research before an annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology in Chicago, Illinois. He had been warned that he would face severe opposition. However, he had no idea how virulent that opposition would be. As a prelude, three days before the AAOO meeting his office in New York City was robbed of all the clinical records on his patients. He told me that eventually he traced the theft to the AAOO.
After he had presented his paper, and shown a movie film of his work, the opposition got up, and argued for the next two hours that Andrija’s claims to be able to help people with hearing loss were not acceptable. He was also told that since he was “not a member of the club” of the AAOO, his evidence would not be acceptable in any case. Apparently only Dr. Sam Rosen got up to defend Andrija’s work.
Andrija’s rebuttal had been simple: “Anyone who wants to repeat my work will be aided by my loaning him my equipment. I await the true judgment on my work from the experimental data developed, not from the personal opinions expressed here today.”
I was sad when Andrija -wrote: “This battle with the AAOO was the unhappiest moment I have experienced in my professional life.”
I must add that, although scientists and institutions have repeated his work, and fully upheld his findings. I have never heard of anyone’s hearing being restored by Andrija’s transdermal device. And this poses a serious question – what has been done with the technology?
The events before, and after Andrija’s wedding, are too amusing to withhold, for it shows what a mixed-up guy Andrija really was where women were concerned. He must have felt really low to write the following letter:
“We had a nice Xmas, with all the girls being home, but personally I don’t feel so good. You see, the girl I was going to marry, Nancy Levine, has a nasty temper which is of the same pattern as yours. Well, yesterday we were busy all day in N.Y. getting our blood tests, interview with the minister, etc., and we were pretty pooped. In the evening Nancy said that she was too tired to go to Ossining for New Years Eve. I said fine, I will go up tonite, and you can come up on the train tomorrow. I said good night, and walked out of her apartment. As I stood waiting for the elevator, she came flying out of her apartment, punched me in the nose, and ran back in. It was such a funny scene, but I couldn’t laugh because of the blinding pain, and my nose poured blood like a faucet. I tried to get back into the apartment, just to stop the bleeding, but she wouldn’t let me in. So I wrote a note on her door with my blood, “HATE IS NO GOOD”, LOVE, A. and left. I am still laughing at how ridiculous the whole scene was. But I know that that punch killed the romance, and I am calling off the marriage. Why can’t people respect and try to understand each other? I will never know.”
The news two weeks later was a surprise, to say the least: “The conclusion to the thrilling drama is that we made up, and got married on Jan. 11th. All is well since.
I am scheduled to set up research programs in ESH, and training personnel to operate the electronics equipment in several European countries. The schedule is not set yet, but Nancy and I will try to come and see you and the children at some point in this trip.”
I thought it was very amusing, but I am not so sure Nancy did. My darling old-fashioned parents thought it was definitely not done but enjoyed Andrija’s visit as much as the children and I did. Nancy was a beautiful, warm-hearted person. Unfortunately the marriage did not last long.
What caused the break up of the marriage, and Andrija’s decision “to resign from all his duties and jobs from foundations, companies and laboratories, in April 1971,” as he wrote in Uri is not clear to me. Nowhere in his letters during the early months of 1971, can I find any reference to it. It was not until August, when Andrija was in Holland that I heard about trouble between him and Nancy. We had stayed up most of the night talking about his “bad luck” with women.
It is my believe that the opposition to his work by the AAOO, his constant exhaustion, the failure of his third marriage, and the “discovery” of Uri Geller may have contributed to his decision to “free himself of all ties, and to begin a new way of life.”
He had two goals, as he said, one was to develop a theoretical base for all his mind researches, and the other was to find human beings with great psychic talents who would cooperate as research subjects. Uri Geller was such a human being.
Andrija had first heard of Uri Geller at a conference in Rye, New York on November 19-20, 1970. This conference was being convened for the purpose of exploring the energy involved in certain psychic phenomena. One of the scientists present reported that a young man in Israel could apparently do amazing psychokinetic feats, like splitting solid gold rings in two, and moving clock hands. Andrija was very intrigued, but he was not to meet Uri for almost another year.
The tragic death of Arigo on January 11, 1971 had hit Andrija hard. He felt that he had failed both Arigo and humanity by not completing his study of Arigo’s healing work. He said that the loss of Arigo was to him as though the sun had gone out. It made him reaise that he should have dropped his other work in 1963, and concentrate all of his efforts on Arigo. If ever there were another healer like him, he would not fail again, he vowed. When soon after he heard of a woman healer in Mexico, who allegedly had the same powers as Arigo, he went there in June 1971, to investigate her healing skill. He found a seventy-year-old peasant woman, named Pachita. She did the same kind of surgical operations that Arigo had done, but there was one difference, she could not control pain in her patients during surgery. They suffered violent pains as she cut into them with her knife.
Andrija planned to go back to Mexico with a medical team to further investigate her healing power, after meeting with Uri Geller on August 17, 1971, and his lecture tour in Europe, but he didn’t, at least not then.
After Andrija had stayed with us for two days in August, we received one letter in October and then nothing until December 5, 1971. We were greatly alarmed, and very puzzled by the letter he wrote:
“Forgive my long silence. I am going perpetually. Some day I may be able to tell you what I am doing, and why. Right now have faith in me, and believe that I have the job of bringing peace to the Middle East. Even if war comes briefly, there shall be peace if Israel wins. I am well now, and enjoying every minute of my life.”
He proudly gave me his book Uri in 1974, with the inscription that it would explain the “gaps” of the past three years. When I tried to read the book, I thought Andrija really had gone crazy. But that was twenty-one years ago. I have now read it with a more open mind, but still…
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