Newsweek article.


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Newsweek 24th January 1994



Step Right Up

Uri geller needs a break “It tires me,” the 49-year-old Israeli-born paranormalist says of the constant testing of his psychic ability. The hunt, therefore, is on for his heir-via the Net. Starting Feb 29, Geller is offering $1 million to anyone who can bend a spoon encased in a see-through safe and hooked up to a device dubbed the “bendometer.” The spoon will be visible through a live video feed at his Web site ( In addition to paying a $4.50 fee for a shot at the spoon, you must replicate the feat in person. “I can’t do it on command,” Geller says “We’re looking for someone who can.”

Newsweek Feb 12th 1996:-

Bending Spoons for Charity

to your excellent CYBERSCOPE article about my Intemet challenge (“Step Right Up,” Jan. 29). My fee for taking part in this unique experiment to find someone who can bend a spoon via the Internet will be donated to charity. The $4.50 registration fee paid by participants is a contribution to the considerable cost of setting up the Web site and monitoring the experiment, which requires a 24-hour live feed. I do not stand to gain financially from the experiment in any way.


News week -SCIENCE

No Guesswork

Parapsychology is the fledgling science (or pseudo science, depending on one’s point of view) which explores such phenomena as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis and precognition. In the past the critics of parapsychology have usually outshouted its supporters, but in recent months the trend has been running the other way (NEWSWEEK, March 4). Last week, the field of parapsychology took a major step toward further respectability with the publication in the prestigious and notably conservative British journal Nature of a new paper on extrasensory experiments. “In publishing the paper,” said Nature editor David Davies, “we are serving notice to the scientific community that there is something here worthy of their scrutiny.”

The experiments published in Nature were conducted at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif., by laser physicists Dr. Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ. They involve two psychics: 27-year-old Geller, who for the last year has been displaying his paranormal abilities on television talk shows, and 55-year-old Pat Price, a former Burbank, Calif., police commissioner.

In a series of carefully controlled experiments, Geller was locked in an acoustically shielded room. His task was to sketch his impressions of “target” pictures that were randomly selected by scientists in a nearby room. In two instances his drawings bore only a vague symbolic resemblance to the target, but when the target was a suspension bridge, Geller drew a remarkable abstract version of it. And his impressions-of a bunch of grapes, a camel and a seagull in flight were amazingly accurate. The SRI researchers calculate that the odds against Geller’s performing as well as he did are more than 1 million to one.

In a more difficult experiment, conducted before a group of scientists and filmed by a camera to check for any sleight of hand, Geller on eight successive occasions correctly called the uppermost face of a die that had been shaken in a steel box (again, a million-to-one shot).

ESP: Despite the precautions taken by the scientists to prevent cheating, the experiments involving Geller have many critics. Martin Gardner, a mathematics writer for Scientific American, argues that Geller (who was a stage performer in his native Israel) is “so skillful a magician that only another magician, and not a group of scientists, can determine whether Geller uses trickery or not.”

Ex-cop Pat Price had parasensorily managed to “see” locations in the San Francisco area that were visited by researchers, while he remained locked in a shielded room at SRI. His impressions of buildings and the natural landscape were accurate against odds of about 2,000 to one.

Even so, the publication of the paper by Nature does not put a final seal of approval on the SRI work-or place it above all challenge, whether of possible fraud on the part of the two psychics or of oversights on the part of Puthoff and Targ. “What we are saying to scientists,” says Nature’s Davies, “is: Here is what has been done in the name of science. Here are the accusations. Now go back and have another look.”

Right on: SRI researchers’ targets and Geller’s telepathic responses to them.



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