16th April 1997
Geller tries to bend the minds of kidnappers
PSYCHIC Uri Geller has agreed to use his paranormal powers to help find two Britons kidnapped in Kashmir.
Keith Mangan and Paul Wells were snatched by guerrillas nearly two years ago on a holiday trek through the Himalayan foothills.
Now Geller, who became famous in the 1970s for his apparent ability to bend cutlery by thought alone, has taken up their case.
He said yesterday: “I have already started concentrating to get the terrorists to come forward and make contact.
“I realise some people might be cynical about this, but I try to ignore the sceptics.”
Geller, 50, who lives in a Berkshire mansion, said he would put photographs and personal details of the missing men on the walls of his study to help him make telepathic contact. An American and a German are also being held by the kidnap gang, who are seeking independence for Kashmir.
A captured gang member has claimed all the hostages have been killed and although the report is unconfirmed there has been no news for months.
But Geller said: “My feeling is that they are all still alive. I feel very positive about the outcome of this.”
He is asking Indian newspapers to publish an appeal to the kidnappers, and to tell their readers to concentrate on the hostages’ plight at an agreed time.
“We do not know what the day would be but the time would probably be 11 o’clock because that is a powerful mystical number,” he said.
“By concentrating the powers of all those people it will create some kind of collective energy.
“It will be like hundreds of thousands of people praying for the terrorists to let them go and there is great power in prayer. There is no doubt in my mind about that.” Until then, Geller says he will monitor the situation telepathically, trying to encourage those with information on the hostages to come forward.
He has earned a fortune prospecting for minerals for multinational companies and claims to have used his powers to help police in Germany solve a kidnap case.
Hostage Keith’s wife Julie, 35, is on a fourweek trip to India trying to find news of her husband.
She said: “It’s been nearly two years now. I still believe they are alive, but we want to know. We want news one way or the other.”
Julie, from Middlesbrough, and Paul’s girlfriend Catherine Mosley will be handing out leaflets about the hostages and meeting Indian officials in the hope the kidnappers will make contact during their stay.
A spokeswoman for the campaign to free the hostages said: “We do not want to discuss the next move until details have been finaised.”
Offers of support or donations can be made to the Hostages in Kashmir Campaign, 112 Borough Road, Middlesbrough. Tel; 01642-339090.
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