Powers put to the test.
28th November 1998
We put Uri’s mind-bending powers to the test
He’s the scourge of the cutlery drawer, the man who can turn back time, the unfathomable genius who has bemused physicists and magicians alike.
And after years of coaxing spoons into submission, Uri Geller is back in the glare of publicity again – as the focus of an exhaustive study by an author who set out on a mission to discredit him.
When you discover that Uri’s biographer is Jonathan Margolis, the man renowned for doing a hatchet job on Liverpool, you will realise that we are not talking credulous, gullible or starry-eyed.
In fact, Jonathan only embarked on his new book Uri Geller Magician or Mystic – because he was hell-bent on showing the world that the legendary paranormalist was duping us all.
However, after two years of immersing himself in the astonishing life of Geller – and quizzing most of the experts who have tried to trap him over the years – Jonathan Margolis has had to hold his hands up an and admit: “Uri Geller is for real.”
Where does it come from, this fey, almost frightening power to warp steel, halt clocks and see way beyond conventional boundaries?
It is a question to which even Uri cannot supply the answer.
“I am flattered and a little amused that so many cynics and sceptics have accused me of sleight of hand or trickery and tried to make their little ambushes,” Uri says. “But I have used my powers so many times in front of cameras, before Presidents and Superstars, scientists and journalists, friends and family, that if there was any skulduggery at work I would have been tripped up by now.”
“One of the scientists who tested me out said he believed my powers came from sucking out the energy from whoever was around me and dumping it on the spoon, or whatever else I am using, as a focus.
“This might explain why the spoon-bending always seems to work better in front of openminded, accepting People.”
“But I have three favourite theories of my own. The first is that my gift is actually quite a primitive force and may be tied in with all those instinctual parts of the brain which we never use.”
“This would also connect with the fact that more children than adults seem to able to bend spoons. Perhaps when we sharpen our wits we lose this more ‘natural’ form of intelligence.”
“My second theory comes from the fact that I am religious and I do believe in God. I sometimes wonder if it was he who endowed me with these powers for some reason, which is why I try never to abuse them.”
“You will think my third theory far-fetched, but I believe for sure that UFOs exist and that we are being visited. I had an extra-terrestrial experience as a child which influenced me profoundly and I really think there is a chance that I have been ‘touched’ by an alien!”
Whatever the origin of Uri’s legendary prowess, there is no doubt that to witness him at first-hand is staggeringly spooky.
Meeting Uri for the first time he is engaging, sociable, relaxed and at nudging 52, looking almost paranormally youthful.
But alongside the warmth, the chat, the winning way he has of involving all around him, there is also something charismatically commanding, summed up in the deep pools of his brown eyes, which seem gentle and arresting at the same time.
Rummaging through my holdall for my regulation Liverpool ECHO spoon, I had the decency to be embarrassed, imagining that by now Uri must flinch with boredom at the very word ‘cutlery.’
However I could not have been more wrong. He seized gleefully on my piece of canteen stainless steel and stroked below the bowl no more than half a dozen times before a distinct curl became detectable halfway down the handle.
More astonishing still, the spoon continued to arch up, apparently of its own accord AFTER Uri had set it on the table and was no longer touching it. We could hardly have been more amazed had we seen Nessie herself rear up out of the waters of the loch!
But Uri was to reprise this with a feat yet more amazing. He gave me a piece of plain card and asked me to draw something on it – a picture, squiggle, symbol, anything at all.
He covered his eyes while I did my doodle, then told me to put it face down on the table I then had to think intently about the shape, I had drawn and try to brand it into Uri’s mind.
The shape I had drawn was far from obvious: a kite shape with a cross through it. But nevertheless, within about 30 seconds Uri had produced a drawing which almost exactly resembled mine.
We’ve all seen these experiments done on TV. But when you are the subject and you know categorically that you are not a plant or a stooge, the eeriness of Uri’s accuracy is overwhelming.
Even after two years close scrutiny, Jonathan Margolis has not been able to crack the Uri Geller enigma.
He says: “I have a few theories. It could be that Uri is working through some kind of quantum mechanics which the rest of us are unable to achieve because we are not at such an advanced stage of evolution.
“Or it could be that he is actually operating at a more primitive level – or that he is subject to some kind of poltergeist activity.”
“Whatever, in my mind there is less than a one per cent chance that Uri is a fake.”
● Uri Geller: Magician or Mystic? by Jonathan Margolis is published by Orion (£18.99).
Motivational Inspirational Speaker
Motivational, inspirational, empowering compelling 'infotainment' which leaves the audience amazed, mesmerized, motivated, enthusiastic, revitalised and with a much improved positive mental attitude, state of mind & self-belief.
"Uri Geller gave an absolutely resonating talk on his life and career. He had every single magician in the room on the edge of their seats trying to digest as much information as they could. Uri emphasized that the path to frame is through uniqueness and charisma and that professional entertainers must be creative in their pursuits of success and never shy away from publicity."
Tannens Magic Blog
"There is no spoon!"
"The world needs your amazing talents. I need them"
"The man is a natural magician. He does everything with great care, meticulous misdirection and flawless instinct. The nails are real, the keys are really borrowed, the envelopes are actually sealed, there are no stooges, there are no secret radio devices and there are no props from the magic catalogues."
James Randi (In an open letter to Abracadabra Magazine)
Sir Elton John
"The Geller Effect is one of those "para" phenomena which changed the world of phusics. What the most outstanding physicists of the last decades of this country colud grasp only as theoretical implication, Uri brought as fact into everyday life.."
Dr. Walter A. Frank. Bonn University - Germany
"Eternity is down the hall And you sit there bending spoons In your mind, in your mind"
"I Have watched Uri Geller... I have seen that so I am a believer. It was my house key and the only way I would be able to use it is get a hammer and beat it out back flat again."
"Better than watching Geller bending silver spoons, better than witnessing new born nebulae's in bloom"