Further detail of teleportation
In this chapter, as in the last, I describe events which I originally observed and categorized as ‘disappearance/reappearance phenomena’. Only later did I find that in the literature of psychic research these phenomena are designated ‘teleportations’. An object suddenly ceases to be visible at its original location and suddenly reappears at a different location, usually within thirty feet of the original. It seems not to matter whether a solid wall lies in the path the object must take. Sometimes the object passes from one room to another, even through closed doors, without being visible on the way. Sometimes the object does not reappear, but simply vanishes from within a closed capsule; sometimes an object reappears within a capsule, and sometimes an object appears from an unknown previous location; this has been described as an ‘apport’.
During July 1975 I was exposed to a short but rapid sequence of teleportations while staying in the New Otani Hotel, Tokyo, in the room next to Uri Geller. About 10.20 pm one evening after a press conference during which there had been a miscalculation that upset Geller, his secretary Trina and photographer Shipi departed to send a Telex message. I left Geller in his room, and unlocked the door of my room and went in. Within a few seconds I saw a small object fall to the floor, not from a great height, but within one foot of the drawn window curtains. It was a pair of nail-clippers, but it did not belong to me. When I took it next door to Uri, he told me that it belonged to him, and would normally be kept zipped-up in a leather case from which he showed me that it was missing. While we were speaking, a glass tumbler dropped to the carpet behind us, in the centre of the room. I took Uri back to my room to show him where the nail-clippers had fallen, but we got no further than opening my door when there was an explosion and crash. Broken glass was found all over the area by the door, and in the hotel corridor. One glass tumbler from my bathroom was now missing. Hotel guests in the corridor saw the flying glass but could offer no explanation. We cleared up the broken glass; Uri returned to his room and I to mine. Almost immediately I saw the sudden appearance of my magnifying lens in the middle of the floor, on the carpet. By good luck it was reasonably well in my field of view at the time, so that I was able to be certain that it did not just fall to the ground. Previously it had been on the desk, more than six feet away.
All this had taken only three to four minutes. When Trina and Shipi returned, we all went down to the restaurant and Uri lit a cigar, which was, I believe, unusual for him. But he kept complaining that he could not keep it in his mouth, that it ‘went away from him’. When he operated the elevator contact switches, all twenty-four switches flashed on simultaneously. During dinner a spoon appeared to curve upwards gradually on the table, untouched by anyone, and in full view of us all.
It was a troublesome evening, and possibly all the disturbances had resulted from Geller’s being upset at the press conference. My powers of observation were stretched to the limit, but I did my best to examine each event from the point of view of trickery, and I concluded that most must have been genuine teleportations.
My first laboratory experience of teleportation was the disappearance of a fractured piece of vanadium carbide electron microscope foil from its location in a cellulose capsule. This event was described in my 1974 notebook (39) as follows:
Geller finds that his powers are improved by working on a large block of metal, and he soon felt sufficiently activated to attempt a bending without touching. We laid out a collection of metal objects on the metal surface plate, and this time there was only one latchkey; the rest were single crystals, of copper, zinc, silicon, germanium, nickel and vanadium carbide.
In addition I laid out three encapsulated electron microscope foils which Tony Lee had provided. When a specimen is viewed under an electron microscope, it must be thinned down to an extent which allows the beam of electrons to pass right through it. The specimen is formed into a disc of about 2 mm diameter, and 0.2 mm thickness; it is thinned down by special techniques until in the centre it is only ten or twenty atoms thick, although its thickness at the edge is unchanged. I had been given three nickel crystal foils, and two crystals of vanadium carbide, each weighing about 30 mg. This material has the appearance of a metal, but it is harder than glass and rather brittle. The foils had been examined in the electron microscope, and so could easily be identified in a similar instrument. As is customary, each foil was encapsulated in a cellulose pill-case, the sort that dissolves in the stomach and releases the powdered drug inside. These pill-cases were made in two halves, which are a slide fit into each other. Their wall thickness is 0.08 mm, and a scale representation is given [in Plate 19.1 ] . I had looked at the capsules when Geller had telephoned me about half an hour before and had found the foils in good order, but I only glanced at them and did not actually examine them closely when putting them out on the surface plate. The capsules had remained in their plastic box in a closed drawer of my desk in the meantime, and I had been in the room sitting at the desk all the time. There was a strong presumption that they were unchanged, but in view of what was to happen I now regret this oversight; it detracts from an otherwise perfect experiment.
When all the specimens were laid out on the surface plate, I held my right hand, palm downwards with outstretched fingers, a few inches above them, and Geller passed his right hand slowly above it. He said that the ‘power’ could well be strongest in one particular place, and that I might be able to sense where this was by a feeling in my hand. On a previous occasion Jack Sarfatt had experienced a sensation in his hand during the no-touch bending of a molybdenum crystal, and Geller himself claims to have experienced sensations in his hands.
When Geller’s hand was directly above my knuckles, I felt in them a warm sensation, as though I was experiencing strong diathermic heating. I wondered if this might be radiant heat from Geller’s hand being unusually hot, but a quick touch with my other hand told me that it was as cool as my own. I said to Geller, ‘This is the place, try to increase the “power” here.’ He concentrated, with his hand still above my knuckles, and the capsule, which was directly below them, gave a little jump, like a jumping bean. I did not see this, since I could not see through my own hand; but Ted Bastin reported it. Then I removed my hand a little to one side, and I myself saw the capsule give a little jump. Geller removed his hand, which had been at least ten inches above the surface plate. Bastin and I examined the capsule, without opening it, and we found to our astonishment that although the capsule was undamaged, only half the foil was inside. A photograph of the fractured foil within a scaled cross-section through the capsule appears [in Plate 19.1 ]. Bastin immediately took the capsule containing the fractured foil; he did not open it; he was going to Cambridge, and could ask Tony Lee to view it in the electron microscope. Geller had at no time touched the capsule.
I did not know quite how seriously to take my warmed knuckles, or how to answer the question of whether the sensation was of psychokinetic origin or purely psychological. I did experience slight discomfort in the knuckles for about two hours.
We searched the desk, which had been cleared for the session, and as much of the office as we could; but we could not find the other half of the foil; it was a tiny object, after all. We decided to leave the office straight away, and arrange for a thorough vacuum cleaning of the desk and carpet. Fortunately vanadium is fairly rare and small quantities of it can be detected by neutron activation analysis.
We were forced by our observations to the preposterous conclusion that a part of the foil had disappeared from inside the closed capsule, presumably reappearing somewhere else in the laboratory. It could not have passed through the wall of the capsule, since the latter was undamaged.
It is true that we did not see the half-foil reappear; but it did disappear under circumstances which led us to think that conjuring was out of the question.
I have observed other events in which the appearance of an object rather than the disappearance is seen. This is why I believe that it is as likely that the half-foil reappeared somewhere as that it vanished altogether. Not all of these ‘disappearance/reappearance’ events are demonstrably not just flying through the air; but the instances, of which this is one, in which the object passes out of a closed wrapping capsule without breaking it, force me to the conclusion that ‘disappearance/reappearance’ is the correct description.
Next day Ted Bastin telephoned me from Cambridge, saying that Tony Lee and he had opened the capsule and examined the half-foil under the electron microscope. No substitution had taken place. The foil displayed a brittle fracture in the 100 plane, with a small proportion of conchoidal fracture. This would be typical of the mechanical failure of a brittle crystal such as vanadium carbide. The crystal is face-centred cubic (the same as common salt), with a superlattice of vacancies sufficient to make up the stoichometric formula V6C5. Some small facets of ridges about 200 A across were recognized running along the crystal; these might have arisen from a previous heat treatment, or as remnants of a cleavage in the 110 plane, or from polish damage, or they may have been oxide.
Lee and Bastin also examined the other encapsulated vanadium carbide foil, and tried to fracture it with long-nosed pliers, holding it in tissue paper in a vice. It was a slow and delicate operation, taking almost an hour to perform, and despite great care the broken half of the foil flew in the air and could not be found. The crystals are tough and extremely springy; being under internal stress, they fly apart rather than fall apart.
I had supervised the vacuum-cleaning of the office floor; the sweepings were sent to Professor Henry Wilson at the Scottish Universities Reactor Centre for vanadium analysis by neutron activation. His colleague Dr Whitley (26) reported a high level (29 ± 6 micro grams vanadium in a 5 g sample), which might possibly indicate that the sweepings contained some of the foil. However, my own shoes might well have deposited this amount after my regular visits to the college workshops. Vanadium is present in small quantities in many types of steel, and therefore in the turnings and filings on a workshop floor. I continued to sample my floor-sweepings to see what the typical vanadium level is; in February 1975 the level was as high as 140 ± 30 micro grams, but we cannot conclude that we have found any of the fractured foil.
David Bohm pointed out that the vanadium might actually have passed into the steel of the surface plate; I therefore arranged for drillings both from the centre and from the edge of the underside of the surface plate to be analysed. The levels were both 0.270 ± 0.016% of vanadium; this figure is below the maximum of 0.4% which is found in some types of steel. I concluded that there was no evidence that the vanadium had passed the surface plate.
The significant thing about these observations is that part of the vanadium carbide appeared to have passed through the wall of the capsule without leaving a hole.
Since I found myself forced to believe in teleportations, I wished to control them, or at least to induce metal-bending subjects to bring them about. It occurred to me that the first such event I had seen, the fracture and disappearance of the vanadium carbide foil, involved only a very tiny object. Perhaps such events are more common the smaller the object involved and the thinner the wall that is traversed. I therefore prepared molybdenum electron microscope foils inside similar capsules, and determined to expose them to my strongest metal-benders. This time the security against tampering would be greater; some handling might be necessary, even though Geller had not had his hand closer than ten inches from the vanadium carbide capsule.
I wrapped two capsules in several thicknesses of Scotch tape, which would have to be stripped off or cut if the foil was to be extracted by hand. I also placed a single crystal of germanium in a Teflon tube, and bonded the lid with epoxy-resin. Foils and crystals had both been weighed accurately. Capsules and tube were now all placed in a transparent plastic box (50 X 30 X 10 mm), whose lid was bonded with epoxy-resin, for further security. The foils and crystal could be seen through the walls of their containers.
I offered the box to Nicholas Williams after a successful metal-bending session. I first got him to talk about the various similar events he had experienced in his home. He grasped the box in his hand for nearly a minute. I could not see the foils within the box, since his hand enclosed it, but one end of the box was in my field of vision the entire time. When I examined it, there was one foil missing from within its capsule. The capsule was apparently undamaged. The other foil and crystal were still present.
We repeated the ‘experiment’, and this time the second foil was missing from its capsule, which also appeared undamaged. On the third attempt, a silicon crystal was missing from its capsule. Since all three objects were very small, and the room contained a carpet and much furniture, we did not search for the objects at this stage. But Nicholas said he might ‘bring something back’, and I again gave him the box, a photograph of which with fresh capsules appears in Plate 19.2. Within seconds the silicon crystal was seen within its tube. The box now contained two capsules without their foils, and one Teflon tube with a silicon crystal inside it. I replaced the box in my inside pocket, and when I returned to the laboratory and examined it thoroughly, I found no damage to the sealing of the box, or to the sealing of the capsules. I opened the Teflon tube and weighed the silicon crystal, finding no change within 1 mg accuracy. There appeared to have been no normal way in which these phenomena could have happened. I have since reaised how lucky I was to be at the right place at the right time with the right equipment to observe such rare spontaneous events.
It would of course be an even more convincing demonstration if the object were to appear inside a laboratory glassware sphere. Since such a sphere can be positively identified against reproduction in a number of ways known to physicists and glassblowers, the existence of such a sphere containing an object would be proof positive of either teleportation or the error or fraud of the glassblower and physicist who prepared the empty sphere and identified it empty and filled.
It happened that I was well supplied with laboratory glass spheres, each with a small hole, for the validation of unwitnessed metal-bending described in chapter 3. I decided to attempt teleportations into these spheres. The object would have to be larger than the hole for its appearance inside to be considered a paranormal event. I told Nicholas Williams, who was still in an active ‘poltergeist state’, what I imagined might happen: a small object, which he could choose, might be found inside one of the spheres. He used to leave the sphere in what was believed to be a particularly ‘active’ part of the house, with the chosen object close to it. What happened, several times, was that the object was found inside a shattered glass sphere, the pieces lying underneath and round the object. Possibly a teleportation event is accompanied by an impulse on the capsule, sufficient to fracture it when it is made of glass and the object is large, but insufficient in the case of the foil in the cellulose capsule. It will be recalled that the capsule out of which Uri Geller ’caused’ the fractured foil to disappear experienced a force which made it jump. That force could have been associated with the fracture itself, or alternatively could have been electrostatic, since the capsule material has extremely small dielectric loss. I have since arranged that empty identified and weighed sealed spheres should be offered to Indian mystics, but up to the present none has been returned filled.
Encouraged by my experiences on the teleportation of small objects out of capsules by Nicholas Williams, I tried a similar approach on Stephen North. Stephen, then aged thirteen, had experienced a few such events in his own home, but did not know what to make of them. I was therefore careful not to explain too much about the nature of teleportation, but I waited until he was successfully performing metal-bending in my laboratory, and then introduced him to a small plastic box containing three metal single crystals. I told him that if he had sufficient confidence ‘something’ might happen to the crystals. A series of events followed which surprised me considerably; they exceeded what I had expected, and Stephen’s excitement was great.
The box was an opaque plastic egg (2 in. X 1 in.) previously belonging to Andrew G. The halves fitted snugly together, and I carefully wound Scotch tape several times round them to make a good seal; removing the wrapping would normally take about half a minute, unless damage were permitted. At 11.30 am Stephen started to shake the plastic egg, which rattled continuously, the crystals being inside. After a few minutes, all of it in my field of vision, the rattle suddenly ceased; there was a clear inference that the crystals had left the egg. I decided not to open it up at this stage, but to ask Stephen to shake the egg some more to try and get the crystals back. He did this, but there was still no rattle. On opening up the egg I found not crystals, but a £1 Bank of England note, number HN15.686737, which Stephen thought had been in his pocket previously; indeed, this banknote was found to be missing. One crystal, a vanadium carbide ingot, was still in the egg (or had left and returned), and was prevented from rattling by the pound note. In Stephen’s back pocket, tightly zip-fastened, were found the zinc and germanium crystals.
I replaced all the crystals in the egg, and nothing happened until 2.15 pm, when we again checked them and found them present. I resealed the egg and Stephen continued to handle it in my full view until 2.20 pm, when the rattling stopped, and I opened the egg and found it empty. The banknote was still in Stephen’s pocket, but no crystals. However I found an unexpected object in his pocket: a broken cufflink of mine which had been stored away in a polythene bag in a desk drawer, following its fracture during a cutlery-bending session of Uri Geller. Stephen had not been near the drawer, and was puzzled by it all.
After 2.25 pm Stephen suddenly cried out; there was something in his mouth – it turned out to be the germanium crystal. Stephen did not know that other events of this type had been reported, and he was rather scared. In order to get him away from the scene of action, I took him out to another laboratory and locked the office door behind us. When we returned about twenty minutes later I entered the office first and almost immediately saw one of the zinc crystals in a prominent position on a ledge which had been empty when we left. Stephen thought that the paper-chart-roll box might contain a crystal, and I at once found the vanadium carbide ingot inside. We then searched my briefcase, and the other zinc crystal was found inside.
During this period a number of metal objects in the laboratory were found to have bent; I continued at intervals to shake the plastic egg, empty and re-sealed empty at 2.20 pm, to see if there was anything inside it. At 3.30 it was found to rattle, and a small strip of aluminium alloy, an anomalous plane bend by Willie G., was found inside. I took it out and re-sealed the egg; but at 3.45 Stephen’s bank note HN15.686737 was again found inside the egg, after he had told me that it was missing from his pocket.
It was time for Stephen to go, so I gave him the egg and also an identified aluminium bar. He handled the bar in the taxi as we drove down Gower Street to Shaftesbury Avenue. But when we reached Trafalgar Square he could not find the aluminium bar in the taxi. I said nothing, but when I had left Stephen on the underground train, homeward bound, I returned immediately to the laboratory and found the identified bar on a stool. I did not have to have clairvoyant powers to suspect that the laboratory was the obvious place to which it would teleport.
This account reads just as though a mischievous boy had been playing tricks all day; but of course I was very careful to watch the sealed plastic egg all the time that I could, and I had deliberately tried to make it difficult for Stephen to misbehave. I have gone carefully over the events of the day, and am unable to fault my observation of Stephen.
On one further occasion Stephen has had success with the plastic egg. We had just completed a metal-bending session on an aluminium crystal complete with six resistive strain gauge sensors. He had been unusually successful at achieving signals, and was excited. He took the egg, which was sealed with Scotch tape and was supposed to contain a small flint arrowhead and a marked electrical spade terminal. I inspected and re-sealed the objects in the egg, and Stephen took a cup from his mother and drank his tea, having placed the egg beside him. But when he reached the bottom of the cup, the spade terminal confronted him; the flint arrowhead remained within the egg. Stephen is still in possession of the egg, and occasional teleportations in and out of it are reported. (The above event was also witnessed by David Robertson.)
I now summarize some important features of the teleportation phenomenon; these are based on my own observations.
- For obvious reasons, it is much more usual for the appearance than for the disappearance to be observed. Indeed, it would be very difficult to be certain that both things happen at exactly the same moment (say within 0.2 sec) without some instrumentation. On rare occasions the disappearance and reappearance locations are both within the field of vision.
- The reappearance can take place either in the air or on a surface such as floor or table. The reappearance of an object in liquid was described above, but I have not observed an object actually falling into liquid. Accounts exist of reappearance inside solids, particularly fruit. Teleportations into identified hens’ eggs have also been reported.
- Reappearing objects have often been observed to appear with their own angular momentum. I have seen objects spin rapidly as they fall to, or appear on, the floor. It is difficult to make generalizations about direction of rotation or orientation of the axis of spin.
- In many poltergeist flyings, linear momentum is reported to be associated with an object at the moment of its reappearance. At first I did not reaise that this feature was common, since nearly all the poltergeist flyings in my home had been just appearances and falls. But I heard detailed accounts by Maurice Gross, the Society for Psychical Research investigator of the Enfield poltergeist, where events became violent in the autumn of 1977. A feature was the glass marbles which flew about the room. There was no question that these marbles were simply teleporting, and did not have flight trajectories; they could be seen in flight; but the problem of where their trajectories started was more difficult. They seemed to start from the closed window, yet there were no marbles on the windowsill. The most likely alternative was that they had teleported to the window and appeared with linear momentum into the room.
This feature might offer a clue to the ‘dog-leg’ flight-paths which are sometimes observed in poltergeist cases, and were seen at Enfield. In these paths there is a sudden change of direction in mid-flight. We might interpret this as a teleportation in mid-flight, to a position almost identical with the point of disappearance, but with the appearance associated with a new linear momentum vector. All this is somewhat speculative.
- Occasionally a clicking sound (more of an unnatural ‘ping’) accompanies an event. I am almost certain about my hearing such a sound on several occasions.
- Sometimes the object which appears is warm (say about 45 Celsius). On the first occasion on which I noticed such a feature, I assumed that the object might have been in contact with a hot stove; however there was no evidence for this, and similar events have been observed with no hot stove in the house. Reports of the appearance of warm objects have appeared fairly frequently in the literature of poltergeist phenomena, but I did not know of this until after my own observations.
- On rare occasions the disappearance of an object is observed several minutes or even hours before its reappearance. A disappearance is noticed, and at a later time the reappearance of the object is also observed. There is no question that the object was at the location of the reappearance for all of the interim period; this location remained exposed to the field of view of observers, and was usually an obvious one. When I have been certain of this feature, I have assumed that there were in reality at least two consecutive teleportations, the end-point of the first teleportation being unknown – perhaps in a cupboard or even outside the house. But there is no evidence justifying this assumption; some other interpretation of the observations may be correct.
- In my experience there is seldom very much vertical separation between the locations of disappearance and reappearance. I have observed no unequivocal events starting on one storey of a house and finishing on another. In few events has the vertical separation been more than 1 m. In other words, there is very little change of gravitational potential.
- The sizes and shapes of the objects that undergo teleportation can be the subject of only cautious generalizations. I have never observed object dimensions greater than about six inches; a statistical survey of sizes might only reflect the size distribution of domestic objects. In my experience sharp-edged objects are found less commonly than rounded objects. Indeed the collection of about thirty items which have travelled around Uri Geller’s New York apartment contains mostly ellipsoids and spheres.
- The inconvenience and embarrassment caused by teleportations often leads to the question: How can these things be halted? The literature of poltergeist cases has often stressed the psychological contradictions and frustrations of the ‘epicentre’ ‘responsible’ for the phenomena. The psychiatrist may see these angers and frustrations as manifesting themselves physically as teleportation events. When relief is experienced and the tension is relaxed, the phenomena cease. One way of reducing the tension is for the subject to concentrate on the production of a controlled psychokinetic event, a movement rather than a teleportation. Whether there is success or failure in producing movement, the spontaneous phenomena can be halted, at least temporarily, perhaps because of the ‘psychical energy’ drained from the subject. I have also applied this method to halting bad attacks of spontaneous metal-bending.
- Very little has been observed which supports the hypothesis of gradual rather than sudden appearance. The gradual appearance and gradual disappearance of apparitions, reported among others by Crookes,(50) would seem to be a different phenomenon, at least as regards the long times of appearance. At the Stanford Research Institute,(51) during Uri Geller’s visit, an interesting video-tape was made of a wristwatch falling through the field of view onto a table. Although it seems that the appearance took place above the field of view, the watch is seen to flicker as it descends; in consecutive frames the light reflected from the watch increases and decreases. One might be tempted to regard this as an ‘oscillation in the intensity of the appearance’, but a more likely interpretation is that the presence of angular momentum causes the light reflected from the watch to vary periodically. A very interesting claim has been made by Dr Miyauchi that Masuaki Kiyota has materialised (or teleported) a full Coca-Cola bottle in stages; the bottom first, and then the top.
- An attempt has been made by Roll 12 to assess the dependence of frequency of poltergeist events (appearances) upon their distance from the subject. He proposes that this is an exponential fall-off. It has been claimed by German researchers (53) that events from their recent cases do not fit this behaviour. Although Roll is a most experienced and skilled investigator, one might question the applicability of such quantitative analysis at this time. Clearly there must be some falling-off with distance, since there are few ‘apports’ or teleportations with the subject miles away from the event. Nevertheless, both the number and density of household objects and the dimensions of the rooms could affect the statistics. The distance effect, if it were possible to separate with any accuracy, would probably turn out to be psychological rather than physical in nature; the notions of territory and even Gestalt could be relevant.
- After each object reappeared I made a superficial optical examination, sometimes using a low magnification microscope; but no unexplained signs of damage have been detected. On one occasion the neck of a wine-glass snapped on falling, after its reappearance above a steel radiator. The objects seemed all to be physically unaffected by the experience of being teleported. Some accurate weighings of laboratory objects teleported (e.g. the crystals exposed to Nicholas Williams) showed no change.
- Some teleportations of volumes of liquid have been reported in several poltergeist cases investigated by Professor Bender and other German psychic researchers. In the Schachter case, a ‘globe of water’ was actually seen to appear in mid-air by the plumber who was summoned. The description included the statement that it was as though an invisible rubber balloon filled with visible water had suddenly come to occupy a position in mid-air, and immediately burst. The globe of water fell immediately to the floor, where splashes and a puddle were made. Many puddles appeared in these cases, although the appearances were not usually observed.
Chemical analyses were made of the water puddles, and the composition was found to correspond with that of the water in the plumbing system of the house. A reasonably likely interpretation of such an event is that a mass of water from a part of the system teleported into the room. Nevertheless it has not yet been possible to show by measurement whether when one of these events occurs the volume of the water in the system is decreased. Did an air-lock appear? No information is yet available about temperature, linear or angular momentum, turbulence, or explosive energy, at the moment of appearance. Water appearances are fairly frequent in the poltergeist literature, one of the most unexpected being at the British Embassy in The Hague.
- Information is slowly accumulating about teleportations of living creatures, including human beings. I have never witnessed such events myself, but I have received reports from various victims and from their families. What might be conjectured to be teleportations of insects into closed rooms have been described in the literature. Very little information is available about larger creatures, but I once received a detailed report from Matthew Thompson, a poultry farmer in Dorset, which he summarized as follows:
I have within recent weeks had two separate instances of birds (caged chickens) disappearing and reappearing some hours later. I am talking about birds disappearing literally into thin air and being neither visible nor audible. Any possibility of them being removed by some other persons and then returned can be completely ruled out.
I have had no opportunity to check in detail on Matthew Thompson’s information, but I think it worthy of notice.
Similarly, the teleportation of living humans is something which I have not observed in my own field of view, but about which I have studied a number of reports and have been able to question the observers and teleportees. An account(6) has appeared of an event in which Uri Geller found himself transported in an instant from New York City to the suburb of Ossining, where he fell through the roof of a sun-lounge. The shock experienced was considerable, and the event was never repeated. Nothing inconsistent has appeared in the answers that Uri Geller has given me about the details of this event.
Although Uri Geller did not keep the event a secret, news of it did not at first make an impression in England: one of the metal-bending families knew nothing of it when they reported the strange behaviour of their son. They would continually find him in unnatural places, wedged in between wardrobe-top and ceiling, and so on. They would be running a hot bath for him, and suddenly a scream would announce his ‘transportation’ from his bedroom into the overheated bath, for which he was totally unprepared. The affliction of this family lasted for several months, but eventually grew less serious.
Nicholas Williams also claims to have been teleported out of a locked room. When his father pointed out that this left them with a problem of the key remaining on the inside, Nicholas teleported back again to unlock the door! He has described the experience as something like being in a blizzard. Mrs Greta Woodrue of New England has reported delayed teleportation, similar to those described for inanimate objects in section 7 above. It was about eight minutes before she was again with her family, who were already frantic with worry. She had no experience of the passage of this time. Recently I have been present at what may have been the delayed teleportation of a boy. The period of delay was three minutes, and there was very little experience of the passage of time. A few similar events, concerning the medium Mrs Guppy, are to be found in the literature of psychic research.
- It is not yet possible to unravel differences which may exist between ‘apports’ and orthodox teleportation events. Obviously the validation of such events is almost impossible unless the arrival is actually observed. I outline three incidents from my experience.
In one incident I returned to my locked office to find in the centre of my desk what looked like a silver paperknife. I had just returned from the stately home of Longleat where I had observed Uri Geller soften and bend an item of the family silver; so I immediately contacted the Marquess of Bath to find whether the silver was his, but it was not. Neither had it apparently any connection with my colleagues or with Geller himself; in fact he has not seen it to this day. Experts later identified it as a Mexican hair ornament such as might be used in the ceremonies of the dead – ‘Los dios de los muertes’. It was not a mere piece of tourist silver. Neither I nor my colleagues had ever had any connection with Mexico, but it may be significant that Geller’s first Mexican visit took place several weeks later. On the other hand, it may not.
The second incident took place in 1977 in the house of Gill Costin, whose attempts to teleport letters to Uri Geller will be mentioned in chapter 23. Although he never received these letters, some letters which appeared ‘in reply’ – themselves conceivably ‘apports’ – seemed significant to me. One day a crucifix on a chain appeared in Gill’s room; it was a souvenir of Lourdes. Gill is not a Roman Catholic, or indeed strongly religious at all, neither had she nor any of her friends or family any connection with the pilgrimage centre of Lourdes, or with France. It may be significant that my daughter Annie visited Lourdes with a rather spiritual pop group several weeks later; but again, it may not.
In the spring of 1979 I was lecturing on the same platform as Guru Raj Ananda at a meeting whose title was ‘Mystics and Scientists’. Answering a question from the audience about teleportations, I tried to arouse the Guru’s interest in teleporting some ‘vibuthi’ or sacred ash for me; reports have been published describing such events brought about by Sai Baba and other mystics.
What I got, deposited into my hand from Guru Raj’s apparently empty hand, was a hard black brittle object about the size of a pea. I understand that Guru Raj does not know where these objects come from, but believes they might be sweets teleported from Indian children. I immediately double-wrapped the black object in paper and placed it in my inside pocket inside a smaller wooden box with a tight-fitting lid. For further security two rubber bands were fastened round the box. I intended to analyse the black object, but when the rubber bands were removed and box and wrappings opened four hours later, no black object was there.
Guru Raj gave the opinion that it is very difficult to produce an ‘apport’ which will not vanish within a matter of hours or days. But this is out of keeping with the permanence of the Mexican silver pin and Lourdes cross. Hopefully the Indian child will enjoy the return of his sweet!
Even as brief an account as this illustrates the sort of difficulties which are faced by investigators of ‘apports’. It may be a long haul.
I will return to some theoretical speculation about teleportation later; it should be clear from the foregoing that some serious modification of modern physical theory may be necessary. The reason for devoting so much space to this subject in a book about metal-bending is that sometimes the same people are involved in ‘causing’ both types of phenomenon; also there are interesting, if speculative, physical similarities, in that a teleportation of atoms within a crystal lattice would cause the propagation of a dislocation; we noted in chapter 13 the importance of loop dislocations in metal-bending, and I am currently researching the density profiles of impurities implanted into single crystals by particle accelerators.
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