CHAPTER EIGHT The Battle for the Truth
When we arrived at the San Francisco Airport at 3 P.M., we were met by Captain Mitchell, Dr. Wilbur Franklin, Dr. Hal Puthoff, and Mr. Russell Targ. I had forewarned them by phone that Uri was not going to cooperate in the scientific work but that he wanted to explain it to them in person. As soon as we got in the car, Uri began to tell them his story. I had no idea what he was going to say. He talked for two hours while we listened without comment. I will summarize what he said.
Uri told them that it had never been his wish to give himself to science, that that was my idea. The reason was that he did not want people to know that his powers were genuine. He preferred to keep them guessing so that they would not take him seriously. He claimed that by being controversial he had remained successful in Israel. If someone got the idea that he was genuine, it would complicate his life. He told of being approached in Rome by an unsavory character, in Tel Aviv by a Russian agent, etc. He was afraid of these political things. Then he told the story of my recent experience with the “terrorist” in London. I must confess that he got overly dramatic about the potential dangers to his life if people knew his powers were genuine. I think that everyone else felt the same way, but they listened with tolerance.
Then Uri shocked me by suddenly talking about IS and about extraterrestrial intelligences as being the source of his powers. He turned to me for confirmation, but since I had not been released from my pledge of secrecy, I could only say “No comment.”
Uri said, “So you see, I cannot give myself to science for my personal reasons and because the intelligence that directs me does not want me to do it. I have no choice because they direct me. I can’t go against that advice. Bad things happen if I go against that advice.”
The talk of extraterrestrials did not appear to shock Mitchell, Franklin, Targ, or Puthoff. But they were clinically curious as to Uri’s experiences and asked him questions as follows:
Dr. Franklin queried, “Are you saying that your life is not your own? That you cannot go where you want to go?”
Dr. Puthoff asked, “Have you agreed to work with this power?”
Uri replied, “I have worked with these beings for over a year now. I have very little choice – they direct me.”
“He can go where he wants to go,” interjected Captain Mitchell.
“I can go where I want to go. I am leading my life,” replied Uri.
“Then I don’t know what you are saying,” persisted Dr. Franklin.
“What do you mean?” said Uri.
Everyone pitched in to clarify the issue. Was it a governing director? Was it a psychic force? Was it merely a pressure to go in a certain direction, rather than a command? Did it only veto certain things?
Uri replied, “Well, it doesn’t tell me to go to the kitchen now – to eat an apple or not to eat an apple. But if I do go to the kitchen, I really can’t explain whether it’s me or not me who wants to get the apple. I assume that it’s me, unless there’s a very heavy pressure not to do it. Listen, I am in the situation that if I really were to ask that being, I could right now be in a different place – I could right now be in London, but my body would be here; I could read a letter in somebody’s house in London, if I really ask the being. I just have to wish for something. But I can’t bring here a million dollars, you understand. I did that – I asked that being to make me money! But then I get hit from something else! I’m not allowed to wish for things like that.”
“I’m not sure I can understand that. But can you govern your own future?” asked Dr. Franklin.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with me,” Uri replied very soberly.
“Do you know what criteria they use if you should or shouldn’t do some particular thing?” Dr. Puthoff asked. “Do you know ahead of time what their goals are?” he added.
“No,” replied Uri. “You see, they are computers, which were fed millions of light-years in the future. Do you understand? They are computers, and their data are arriving at me in what I call my time, but they are in a different time zone completely. That means if I decide to do something, they decide it for me in the future. That means that if Andrija’s car key appears now inside of a plastic carrot bag, it actually was planned hundreds, thousands of years in the future. It had to happen! And it happened! But if an accident happens – that I can’t understand. Because they also tell me that I must take care of myself. For a while, I was living as if nothing could happen to me. Now I know I’m vulnerable. I really thought I was guarded against all possible danger! But lately I see that bad things can happen to me. That means that somehow the computers are on my body, but if something on the side happens that is not on their “time,” they cannot control it. Let me show you something! You see, now I don’t know if I am showing it, or they are showing it.”
Captain Mitchell interjected, “It doesn’t really matter!”
“I want to show you for twenty minutes the little things I do. Then I will go up to the bigger things.”
Captain Mitchell said, “Uri, you’re not saying anything to us we don’t in some way already sense or understand.”
“All right, that’s very good. That’s a good step,” replied Uri. “I must warn you now. The things I know – that’s reality!”
With these few words I knew that a bond of understanding had been forged between Uri and the scientists. Uri was now in the mood to show his powers to them in this informal social setting in this apartment at 9303 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. I awaited a sign to see if IS would enter into or stay away from Uri’s demonstration.
Uri then did five tests of telepathy using either numbers or drawings. He was correct in four out of five tries. He then asked for some metal objects. Dr. Puthoff took out a machined copper ring, a fork, and his silver chain bracelet, which Uri briefly touched. Dr. Puthoff put his hand over these three objects. Uri placed his hand over Dr. Puthoff’s hand. Dr. Puthoff removed his hand after Uri had concentrated on the objects for some thirty seconds. The copper ring had gone from a circle to an egg shape. Every scientist present said the same thing: “Incredible!”
Uri simply stated, “It was not my body that did it. It was a power above me!”
Russ Targ asked, “Is the power happy about having this happen?”
Uri replied, “This power can’t be happy – it doesn’t have feelings. It is a computer. It knows if it was good or bad, I believe.”
Uri then asked for Russ Targ’s watch. He set the hands to twelve o’clock, and he asked Russ to hold his hand over the watch. He then asked someone to pick a number from 1 to 12. Uri was trying to have the watch hands move to the hour requested. He failed twice in a row to do this. This made him unhappy: “I’m angry it didn’t go. But I hope that in the two or three days we spend together socially you may see some big things, if they allow it. But I won’t work in the laboratory. What they really want, we don’t know.”
Dr. Puthoff asked me in an aside, “Does he have to cooperate with UFOs – is that what he is saying?”
My reply: “I can’t talk. My lips are sealed.”
Hearing this, Uri said, “They gain their force from the rotation of our galaxy. Isn’t that right, Andrija?”
“I don’t know anything. You are talking, not me,” I replied.
Uri was both annoyed and amused at me as he said, “You see, you think that I am not allowed to say this, huh?”
“I am not saying anything,” I said a bit grimly.
Uri looked around and said to all, “Look how he is against it!”
Captain Mitchell spoke for the group when he replied, “No, he’s just being a proper skeptical scientist.”
I simply did not understand how Uri could feel so free in revealing secrets that we had agreed to keep. To my knowledge, there had been no release from this pledge, in spite of what had been allowed in the writing of a book or a movie script. His attitude was all the more curious, since he was generally so conscious of security and secrecy. Was this Uri, or was it IS at work now? There had still been no clear sign.
Dr. Franklin broke the silence: “But how do you know these things? Do you hear it, see it, or just know it?”
Uri said, “I think I hear it. But I don’t believe it. So I ask for a proof, a sign. Sometimes I see it on my mind’s screen. There are some other ways, too. I don’t know why I am telling you all these things.”
Dr. Puthoff asked, “Are those forces associated with beings – live beings – or are they all programmed into a computer?”
“All in a computer, but I suspect that a being did it some-where, sometime. The beings are not there. Because I only get what is planned; I can’t ask for new things. Also, there are different units out there.”
Russell asked, “Do you feel you are more in control as time goes on?”
“Yes,” said Uri. “Please put some glasses of water on the table.” These were brought and put on the table.
“Please everyone, be quiet now,” Uri asked. “I am asking for a sign now.” Everyone was quiet. The tape recorder was running, and alert to anything that might happen. We waited.
At 8:01 P.M. a bell rang! The automatic ESP test machine bell had rung, registering a hit Russell Targ, who had designed this instrument, said, “It’s never done that before.”
Shortly thereafter, we examined the copper ring on the table. It had become even more flattened, going from the egg shape to a dumbbell shape. I had the feeling that this was a sign, but I needed more evidence before I could be sure.
Russ Targ asked Uri, “Do you feel that the bell and the ring are signs that they are favorably inclined toward what we are doing?”
“First of all, let me tell you. They are tuned toward us – me, Shipi, and Andrija – every second of our lives. They’re tuned . . . every second. We can’t escape from that. Whatever we think, they answer to that. Whatever we ask, talk, they interrupt if necessary. So I don’t know for sure now whether that was the sign.
“I’m going to tell you the craziest thing. Listen to me. We were flying from New York to Munich on September 1 this year. The plane was about fifteen minutes out of New York. There were clear blue skies, about 4:30 P.M. I looked out of the window and I said to them, ‘Please, just for once, give me a sign – not little things – please appear before me now.’
“And I swear to you on my mother – and Shipi would swear on his mother – they came from the right side of the jumbo jet. I’m not going to tell you a flying saucer came – but a black object came flying, zooming, no smoke came out! I said, ‘Shipi, look!’ It was round. He saw it; I saw it. Then it passed – it disappeared.”
“Now we landed in Amsterdam. I went to the captain and asked him if there was any object flying to the right of the plane fifteen minutes out of New York. He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Please listen to me,’ and asked him again, just to be sure. This was a proof to me that they cling to every thought of mine! I tell everyone I was born with these powers, but I wasn’t born with them. No. What happened to me was when I was three years old. Andrija, I am doing the right thing, okay? Then I realized I had these powers. They were given to me then.”
Puthoff asked, “A very specific event?”
“Yes,” said Uri. “I won’t talk about it. I’ll never forget it. But I didn’t really know it until I met Andrija. Before that I was always trying to prove it and to figure it out. There were times when I thought I was going mad with my powers. Sometimes I revolted against myself. Are you with me?”
Everyone nodded assent.
Uri went on, “Why? For what? Things – one thing is going to happen for sure. Then people will know we are not mad.”
“Do you know when the event will happen?” Dr. Puthoff asked.
“In a few years,” Uri replied. “It will happen. Things are going badly.”
Suddenly a copper ring fell to the floor, under the table around which we were sitting.
“Where did that ring come flying from?” asked Targ.
“I thought it was underneath the table,” said Dr. Franklin.
Uri said, “No, it was right there by Hal Puthoff.”
“It was, a little while ago,” said Captain Mitchell “It fell right by my toe, underneath the table – I felt the impact!”
Uri took me aside and said, “Am I blabbering off my mouth? Am I saying the right things?”
“Uri, I feel that you are saying exactly what you are permitted to say. The bell going off and the ring going through the table convinced me. I’ll give you more support from now on.”
We returned to the table around which we had been sitting. Uri said he wanted one more sign. He asked if he could hold Hal Puthoff’s silver chain bracelet in his hand. Then he requested Hal to hold the bracelet in his own hand. Uri concentrated for a few seconds. The chain broke in two. Inspection proved that one of the heavy links had vanished. Dr. Puthoff was the first to observe that the copper ring had now assumed the shape of the mathematical symbol for infinity.
By 9 P.M. we had been together for six intense hours. We had met with the purpose of bringing about an amicable divorce, and now we were reaching a point where a scientific enterprise seemed about to be born. There was a relaxed, expectant atmosphere in the room.
Russell Targ reiterated what Captain Mitchell had said before our meeting began. “What we are doing here could be as important as Sputnik.”
Captain Mitchell said, “Uri, however much you may feel you have been directed, I feel we have all been directed. We have all converged.”
“Let’s go higher,” said Uri. “Andrija, Shipi, and I know. I am at the head, a generator – they are batteries. All that is happening has one reason: education – they are preparing us for something. Everything they do is an education for us. Flowers bloom from a bud in a second in my hand. Things disappear. This is the difficult part. But we do not talk about these things. People get fearful.”
Uri paused for a long time before continuing. “First of all, when I got here today, I thought I couldn’t tell you anything. Now I feel everything is open and possible. Then the forces we deal with seem funny at times; they joke and I think they are not serious. This is hard for me to understand. Then they are not consistent; they seem to change their minds. Sometimes Andrija and I think that they are playing jokes with us.”
“Now, how did I get out of Israel? I was about twenty miles out of Tel Aviv. There was Shipi, me, Andrija, and two girls. We were trying out a new walkie-talkie. It was February 11 of this year. They said, ‘We’re over West Germany now – things don’t look so good down there!’ That was all. That afternoon Andrija received a phone call in which a voice said, ‘Spacemen over West Germany.’ The next day I ran into a singer friend who said her manager in Germany would like to have me work in Germany. Then we got orders from these beings to go to Germany when an airline ticket materialized for me. Andrija found the man in Germany to manage me. I was there for five months, and nothing really happened there. I felt I was being used there all the time by them, but I never knew the reason. They are somehow using our energy for their use. We are being used somehow. Sometimes I have the worst headaches and I am not doing anything, just resting. But that’s not it. Then the work was finished, and I had to go to America. That’s why I think they are changing their minds.”
“Did you ever think that it may have been just to get you out of Israel?” asked Captain Mitchell.
“Well, they tell us; don’t ask us how they tell us. Andrija knows that my powers had to be validated. He had an idea it should be done through science. Then there was a movie to be done on me. And boy, I like the idea of doing a movie about me. That’s great. Melanie worked for three months on a movie script. It was a beautiful script. Then cut – they suddenly said, ‘No movie.’ I was crushed. Andrija and Melanie were disappointed.”
“They don’t have feelings, but they control my feelings. They put us through heavy tests all the time. I suppose you are all being tested. I guess we must be purified. Sometimes these tests have to do with women – you go way down in your feelings. Then you pass and you go high. Once we were in debt and we asked for money – all we got were things falling from the roof on our heads. I hope you all remember what we are hearing. The earth people – if they are put together in masses – are building an energy that they use. I know how it was in Israel. When I performed, you could hear a pin drop. I could feel something was happening to people, an energy was being used. I don’t know what they want from me now. They are jumping from one thing to the other. I have to follow it – I can’t say no. I like adventures, but sometimes this tires me.”
“I could tell you a series of events that is analogous to what you are talking about,” said Captain Mitchell. “The effort I have been putting together in research has had the same ups and downs as you’re describing. And for absolutely no reason, about six or seven times in the last three months my efforts would go counter to any rational outcome.”
Uri went on, “In the past few months, hundreds of strange things have been done by the powers. When I got to Germany, I got instructions on a tape, from a clear slow-motion voice, but it was a mechanical voice. After we heard the tape, it vanished before our eyes. They use every known communication means to reach us. I was supposed to contact a certain man by these instructions in Hamburg. The next day I got a show in Hamburg. A man came up to me and said, ‘I’m Werner Schmid, you flipped me. I wrote a musical about a man just like you. I need you.’ It got so serious that Andrija had to come to Germany. For Schmid, I was getting signs forty to fifty times a day, things like objects appearing, a flower bud blooming in my hand, and so on.”
“How do you know that wasn’t just a man, a lot of coincidences, and not those powers?” asked Mitchell. “It may not be as ‘directed’ as you think.”
“Well, I check it. I took a spoon in my hand and asked it to bend and melt in my hand, if he is the right man. I did it and it bent. That’s the only way I can be sure it’s not a coincidence. I know one thing that bothers me right now. Why am I not allowed to validate myself by science?”
Of course, nobody but Uri and I fully understood what was meant by this question. As soon as Uri raised this question, my trusty TC 120 tape recorder stopped running. The cassette would not turn. A few minutes later it began to run all by itself, without my doing anything.
Russell responded to Uri’s question. “I thought the signs were very positive earlier when you were asking questions.”
“I think there is a difference between his showing you what he can do, and being publicly and scientifically validated,” I tried to explain.
“But he did that in Germany before large crowds, did he not?” asked Dr. Franklin.
“Yes, but that’s show business,” I said.
“We couldn’t have a better situation for experimentation than at SRI,” said Dr. Puthoff.
Dr Franklin said, “You know everybody I have met who is in charge here at SRI has Promethean views. Do you know what I mean by that?”
“No, what does Promethean mean?” asked Uri.
Dr. Franklin replied, “Prometheus brought fire from Zeus. He brought fire from the gods to man.”
“Uri, let me explain,” I interjected. “The gods had fire, and this fellow Prometheus said, ‘Look, man is cold. He could use fire. How come you don’t give it to him?’ They said no. He went ahead and stole the fire in order to help man. The gods got angry and punished Prometheus by hanging him on the side of a mountain in the Caucasus. And every day a big vulture would come and eat out a piece of his liver. He would recover, the vulture then would eat more. They would not let him die, and they would not let him live. This means that a man who sticks up for his ideas, in spite of what the gods say, takes a beating.
Russell said, “Well, Gary Feinberg wrote a book called The Prometheus Project in which he says that psychical effects may be pivotal in our understanding of man.”
Uri went on. “You see, those computers form a network that monitors the universe. These collect into centers which control those below. Then those are under the control of still higher powers.”
Hal Puthoff said, “I’ve heard Andrija describe your powers of making things disappear. Suppose only half an object disappears. Can you use that as a tracer into another dimension?”
Uri replied, “I never tried that. Things have never happened halfway like that; it’s all or nothing. But I know one thing – there is one place where there is a hole, and I must find the place. And if I find that place, then I am in a different world. There is someplace a leak, a hole I can slip through. But they have not showed it to me yet. I don’t have to walk to it; I can bring it to me and go through it. Even if my body remains here. But my body might also disappear. I am afraid of that; I could disappear from here.”
Captain Mitchell said amusedly, “We were going to ask you to do it to one of us.”
Uri hastened to reply, “I am not allowed to do this to anyone else! I wouldn’t do it to you. For us it would be a loss; for them it wouldn’t. Listen, when I went, and it happened to me only twice in my life. Listen to what happened. The first time, we were in Israel. I was driving the car, and Andrija was giving the instructions where to go. And my girl friend was with me. Andrija doesn’t know Tel Aviv, and he was telling me to go out of Tel Aviv. ‘Where?’ I said. ‘Drive,’ he said. We were going out to the suburbs about fifteen kilometers. He said, ‘Stop!’ I stopped near a field. We went in; some force was pulling us to the center of the field. I think there was a moon, because it seemed so bright.”
Uri’s voice dropped to a hushed whisper, as we hung on his words: “First we followed a sound, like the sound of crickets. There at the end of the field we saw a light shining, bluish, like a strobe light, about forty-five meters away. Andrija had his camera and he started shooting. So I went ahead. I was drawn to the thing. I remember everything until I got near it. I don’t remember the shape, believe me. All I remember was that something was handed to me. Then I went back. I was completely in a trance. I handed something to Andrija; it was a ball-point pen that had disappeared a few days earlier under controlled conditions. That’s the first time I ever lost time – from my earth time. Andrija, what happened to the camera – would you finish that?”
“I shot the roll of film,” I said. “It vanished out of the camera.”
“The biggest experience of my life, though, was the day before yesterday – was it? It was at the top of Andrija’s depression about the research. It was something terrible! It was something awful! Andrija, Shipi, Melanie, and I were all in the kitchen. You’ve got to bring them to the point where it happened to me, Andrija!”
I said, “Well, I had a dispute with the friends he’s talking about. I was challenging them, I suppose.”
“Was that your idea – or did somebody else say that?” asked Russell.
“I was shocked how Andrija was talking to them,” said Uri.
“It was my idea,” I said. “Uri was afraid I’d vanish any instant. Then Uri jumped up, saying, ‘You’re wrong!’ and hurled a sugar bowl at me which missed. In two seconds he sat down.”
“In two seconds – three seconds – I was gone, an hour to me!” said Uri. “I know what’s time. But I vanished from there. Of course, they saw my body. It was the first time that Andrija shouted at these beings. I’m still shook up from what happened. In those two seconds I was gone for one hour. Shipi was on my left side; Andrija was on my right. We were walking in a long corridor for half an hour. Nobody can wipe that out from my mind. There were yellow lights all around. It was so real – in these shoes. It was so real, I haven’t been able to sleep since then. I entered a round room, through a door, like a light going up. The three of us were there. There was a purple light going around the room from a slit We went downstairs, and there were three couches there. We sat down, and the couch thing went back. I have marks on my hands from the two knobs. My head went back, then a thing came down before us like a screen with some orange lights. Then a voice came, a mechanical voice, and it said, ‘It’s only the beginning. It’s only the beginning.’ It went on and on.”
“In English?” asked Russell.
“Yes, in English. When I came to, my hand was still in the air from throwing the sugar bowl. For me, it was an hour. They said it was two or three seconds.”
“What did you say was on your hands?” asked Russ.
“I touched two balls – which were on the arm rests of the couch. I told this to Andrija. There were two round patches on my palms, with three notches on each round patch.”
“When you were walking with Andrija and Shipi, did you talk?” asked Dr. Franklin.
“No,” replied Uri. “But everything that happened is as clear as I am in this room with you.”
“Did it seem like a strange or dangerous place to you?” asked Russell.
“No,” replied Uri. “It seemed like a peculiar place. What bothered me was the walk – the long, long walk. I hate walking. This was not a dream. This was real.”
“Uri, what do you make of all this?” asked Russell.
“When I came back? It feels like I came back from another dimension.”
“It sounds to me like you had an out-of-the-body experience,” said Russell. “Some of what you experience depends on what you expect.”
“Listen, there’s one thing here that divides us. Someone made me do this!” said Uri.
“Uri, something you haven’t told us – when we have signs tonight, what makes you think you should not undertake a validation?” asked Russell.
“Because I still know it. I’m not fighting them. They still tell me no,” replied Uri. “Here is why I think this is going on. It happened to me in Israel. They don’t want me in a laboratory. I don’t know why.”
“Well, we’re not going to ask Uri to do anything in the lab that he has not done here tonight,” commented Dr. Puthoff.
I stated quietly, “I think other places and other people who could have validated Uri were ‘edited’ out. They were not the right people. What is important here is to build up a community of fellowship and interest first. Then the validation will follow naturally Maybe the major event that is coming has something to do with it.”
Uri asked the scientists, “What is validation for you?”
“For us, it is having a clear Plexiglas table on which you do your things. The camera shoots what you do. That’s validation,” replied Dr. Puthoff.
“Let’s say I do it – tomorrow,” said Uri. “And the camera shoots. And all of you saw it, one, two, three, four, five people. You are sure you saw a ring bend. Then nothing comes on the film. You have a fact. Then what would you do? You have a broken ring.”
Russell replied, “I don’t believe that would happen.”
“I would consider that a significant experiment,” said Dr. Puthoff.
Russell pursued the question; “I cannot imagine the camera wouldn’t run.”
“The camera may run, but it will pick nothing up,” said Uri.
“Then I think you’re right,” said Russell firmly. “We’re not ready to validate it if that should happen.”
“But there are other things we could do. We can set up a laser beam, shine it on the wall,” said Dr. Puthoff. “You could try to bend the light.”
“That’s easy to describe,” said Russell gravely. “But that would be an earthshaking event. I don’t know whether you realize that.”
“Everything Uri does is an earthshaking event,” added Captain Mitchell.
“You have seen about five such events here tonight,” I said. “What we must try to do is to understand Uri and accept what he says as true until proven otherwise. We should work, but be sensitive to timing in the world at large. Then we may make it.”
Everyone chimed in, “Oh, we’ll make it.”
Russell added, “We’ll encounter obstacles beyond belief – but we’ll do it.”
Captain Mitchell added, “We’ll be successful.”
Uri added, “If I do it, I’ll only do it one time. But maybe they’ll change and let me do it.”
“Could you remember any former lifetimes?” asked Dr. Puthoff.
“No,” replied Uri
“How about in-between lifetime periods?” he persisted.
“No,” replied Uri.
“Are you a religious person?” asked Russell.
“Well, I believe in God,” said Uri. Then, as an afterthought, he said, “What happens if nothing shows on the film?”
“We have a world-famous cameraman, so that’s not likely to be the case,” said Russell. “His name is Zev Pressman.”
“Let’s try to figure out what to do tomorrow,” requested Dr. Puthoff.
Russell said, “Why don’t we look at the lab briefly in the morning. Since it is Sunday, why don’t we go to Santa Cruz – the beach, horses, the amusement park?”
Uri suddenly shouted, “Look, I picked up this spoon, and it snapped off.” Everyone inspected the new specimen. Then all discussion stopped while a log was made of these and other unusual events of the evening.
By midnight an unusual rapport and camaraderie had been firmly implanted in this group. But in spite of the many signs that had occurred, Uri still felt he would not be permitted to work in the laboratory at Stanford Research Institute. In spite of his feeling, everyone else was optimistic not only that this was the right group of scientists but that Uri was right for them.
I went to bed that night with the prayer on my lips and in my heart that wisdom would prevail.
Sunday, November 12, was a day of relaxation. We drove toward the Santa Cruz beach on Highway 17. Hal Puthoff was driving; next to him was Adrian Kennedy, his girl friend. Uri, Shipi, and I were in the back seat Uri asked Hal if he had one of those machined laboratory rings with him. Hal said, “I’m always ready for research. I just happen to have a few in my pocket.”
Uri said to him, “Take one out. Look at its number and place it in my hand. Now put your hand over my clenched fist.” Uri then said, “I have an empty feeling in my hand!” Uri slowly opened his fist, palm up. As he did so it was evident that his hand was empty. The ring had vanished! For some time we drove along in silence.
After an afternoon at the beach, we returned to Hal Puthoff’s apartment. The car was parked at a lower level of the apartment complex in Mountain View, California. Hal led the way up the stairs, which were surrounded by trees and shrubbery. At 6:36 P.M. the brass ring that had vanished some hours earlier fell out of the air in front of him, on the stone steps. Dr. Puthoff was profoundly moved as he grasped what this small event meant for the picture that scientists had developed of physical reality – it would, quite simply, have to be revised. When the scientific crew assembled that evening for dinner, we had an exciting hour-long discussion about this remarkable event. No one questioned its genuineness, but everyone knew that this event could not be used for scientific proof. The event would have to be repeated under the controlled conditions of the laboratory – and replicated many times.
The next day was Monday, November 13. Uri cautiously began to feel his way into laboratory work, knowing full well that he had received no mandate to go ahead. His first test was on a laboratory instrument called a magnetometer, which measures the strength of magnetic fields. As he concentrated on this instrument, he was the most surprised person in the laboratory when the needle deflected, indicating that his mind had simulated the same effect that a magnetic field would produce. The test was repeated many times. There was no question in anybody’s mind: Uri could create effects on the magnetometer that were impossible, according to science. However, we observed that Uri had to make an excruciating effort to simulate this “mental magnetic field.”
On the next day, Tuesday, November 14, an effort was made at SRI to see if the deformation – or vanishing – of a metal ring could be documented. To do this, an elaborate recording apparatus was used, called acoustic holography. This means that one of the scientists held a bonded metal ring underwater. Uri touched this ring with one finger. The entire procedure was scanned by sound waves which made a picture similar to an X-ray picture showing the bones of the hands and the metal ring. The test was such that this “acoustic X-ray” picture was monitored on a television screen and videotaped. This was considered a “cheat-proof” method of validating whatever effects Uri produced on the ring. As Uri concentrated on this test, he exerted great effort, as he had with the magnetometer. As he did so, it was observed that Uri also affected the video tape recording and the image on the television screen. These two records showed a distortion of the TV screen image related to Uri’s exertions. In addition it was seen that the brass ring was being flattened by Uri’s “Mindpower.”
As this experiment was being run for several hours, the scientists on the floor below Uri were having great problems. On this floor was located a bank of computers that belonged to the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense. One of these computers began to perform so badly on Monday, November 13, and Tuesday, November 14, at those hours during which Uri was working, that it began to be useless. As the word spread through SRI about Uri’s mental power over the magnetometer, the metal rings, and video recording systems, somebody got the idea that the computer malfunction might be caused by Uri. However, there was no proof that this was the case.
My chief concern at this time was whether or not Uri would continue to work at the laboratory. All the signs seemed to indicate that he was being given all power and support. But my tape recorder did not-give me any clear text assurance that there had been any change in policy.
Finally on November 15, as Uri and I were resting from the day’s work at our apartment, my tape recorder started to run, and the following brief message was recorded:
One more test to do tomorrow, then it is finished in the laboratory. Start writing a book on Uri immediately. The rotational energy that we use is on a galactic scale and we use it from outside the galaxy. It does not exist on the particle level. Farewell.
I discussed this instruction with Uri. He felt that since things were going so well in the laboratory he would go on working until no more effects occurred. I agreed to this idea of gradual disengagement. However, I had pressing business back East, and I left Uri and Shipi at SRI and returned home on November 16.
I would hear from Uri each day from California, and each day he continued the laboratory testing successfully. He was still amazed that he had been allowed to continue to work in this scientific laboratory.
On November 18 Uri remembered that he still had the film in the Nikon F camera, which he had shot over Germany on November 4. He got special processing of the film just in case there was a UFO picture. When the film was resurned, the Kodacolor prints – five of them – showed UFOs on them.
Uri called me up in great excitement about these photos, which he said, Hal Puthoff was then examining. I begged him to get the negatives and the prints from Hal as soon as possible. He said he would do this immediately. Hal told Uri that he had the negatives and the prints at home. When Hal looked for them, they were all gone except one print showing three UFOs, which I still have in my possession. How the negatives and prints disappeared, no one knows. It was a great loss of data.
Uri went on working, saying each day that this was his last day of laboratory research.
This day-to-day procedure was also hard on the SRI researchers, who found it difficult to make plans for extended studies with Uri.
On December 1, I received disturbing news from Uri by phone. It seemed that the computer bank of ARPA was giving more and more problems when Uri was working in the laboratory.
Certain investigators from Washington, led by George Lawrence, of ARPA, deliberately started the rumor that Uri was a charlatan who had deceived the SRI research staff into believing he had genuine powers. This rumor came to John Wilhelm, of Time magazine, in Los Angeles, and he initiated a reportorial investigation.
I heard from two sources in San Francisco that laboratory reports of the Geller experiments had been stolen from SRI and offered for sale to Charles Peets, of the San Francisco Chronicle, and to James Bolen, of Psychic magazine.[James Bolen, as publisher and editor of Psychic magazine, refused to buy these purloined documents. Bolen was also the first person to capture on motion-picture film Uri’s bending and breaking of a fork. See Psychic, June 1973 cover story.] Some idea of the rumors circulating at this time is given in a quote from a letter report written by one of the ARPA investigators, Dr. Ray Hyman, professor of psychology, University of Oregon, dated December 28, 1972. Hyman said that the story of Geller was not yet over, and that since he had come back from SRI, he had talked with a high official on the phone to give his report. The official told him that new information had come in about Geller, but that he could not tell him about it because it was “too complex.” Hyman thought he meant it was too complicated to talk about on the phone. No, he meant it was complex in the sense that it was highly sensitive and must be kept secret. Hyman got the impression that the new information was embarrassing to certain important individuals and had to be kept confidential.
The true fact is that the new information which “must be kept secret” is that the researchers proved that Uri could concentrate on a video tape record and wipe it out or distort it.
Uri completed his work at SRI in the middle of December 1972 and returned to Ossining. We compared notes as to his experiences at SRI and the rumors that had come to me. There was no question in our minds that we were caught in a national security issue in the United States, as we had been in Israel a year before. We had no idea why IS had created this situation. Uri told me that he had had no intention, consciously or unconsciously, of affecting any instruments other than those he was concentrating on in an experiment. Now there were two governments in the world who had become alerted to Uri’s powers – why? Both Uri and I were as much in the dark about the purpose of IS as were the officials in the U. S. Defense Department. There was nothing we could do but sit and wait for further developments.
On December 18 Uri, Shipi, and I were sitting around the dining room table after dinner. I was telling a story about the solar system and some of its movements. Uri was deeply interested in what I told him, especially when I dramatized the vast distances that exist in our galaxy, and between it and other galaxies.
We retired to the living room to watch an 8 P.M. television show. I walked up to the TV set to turn it on. As I backed away from the screen, my heel hit something on the floor which had not been there a moment before. I looked down, and there was a drinking glass made from a 7Up bottle. My daughter Illyria had made it for me. I knew that this glass had been in the kitchen after dinner, and now it had been transported here. This was a sign to get the tape recorder, which I did, and I placed it on a table near me; it was in the off condition. I knew that if there was a message, the recorder would be turned on by the power of IS. Then I sat down by the fireplace some ten feet from the TV set to watch the show.
In a few minutes I had to get up from my chair to adjust the color on the screen. I walked across the empty carpet to the set, tuned it, and backed away, checking the image on the screen. My foot bumped into an object. I looked down. It was a twelve-inch globe of the earth, which moments earlier had been in my study upstairs on the second floor. Uri and Shipi had not seen the globe appear – it was suddenly there! Uri began to feel uneasy and said he felt that a UFO was near. We went to a large bay window looking west into a clear sky. We saw a single red light in the sky but could not be sure that it was a spacecraft. Then we heard the tape recorder being switched on behind us. This is what appeared on the tape, in a mechanical computer voice:
Andrija Puharich, we heard your talk at the dinner table. You are right. The human mind is too small to grasp the immensity of the cosmos. You cannot know its secret. Andrija Puharich, at your insistence we completed the experiments. You were under test for your loyalty then, and you passed. Now you are under test again. You are on the right track with your ideas about how to present Uri. But our computors will always be with you. Uri will always be prepared to answer your questions with our advice. We leave you now. Farewell.”
Uri, Shipi, and I discussed the meaning of those words. This was the first comment we had received on the scientific experiments since November 15, and it was gratifying. I personally felt the weight of this new test mentioned by IS, especially since, as always, I did not know what the test was and had to rely purely on my inner sense of the truth. The loyalty referred to above was, I think, my loyalty to Uri and to the welfare of man.
The globe was still on the floor where it had appeared. At 9:25 P.M. we were talking about it, trying to figure out its symbolic meaning, when it suddenly vanished. We started a search of the house to find out where it had gone. We found it on the dining room table, placed exactly in the center as measured with a ruler. Alongside it had appeared a German five-pfennig coin.
That evening I began to suffer a headache and extreme fatigue. I did not know whether I was getting a case of the flu or whether this had something to do with the test. This became a kind of nameless agony without content for me. It hung on to me by day and by night for three days. I must confess that all I could do was to pray for help through this crisis of the soul.
Finally, on December 21 relief came. Uri and I were sitting in the kitchen having a cup of coffee and comparing notes on the aches and pains we had both been experiencing since the evening of December 18. At 2:57 P.M. Uri got up without saying a word. He looked strange to me. I asked him if he felt all right. He said not a word but marched off to the sitting room. I hastily got my tape recorder and followed him. He sat quietly facing north. I placed the tape recorder on the coffee table and waited. At 3 P.M. it switched on, and I placed the monitor earphone in my ear. This is what I heard:
Andrija Puharich, in the past twenty-four hours you have passed the test successfully. This is the last time ever in your life that you will have to be tested.
AP: “Please, tell me what the test was.”
The test had to do with the control of your mind – and it was successful.
AP: “Is that why I have felt so exhausted not only during the past twenty-four hours but for the past two weeks?”
Yes, that is the reason. You are on your own now. Use your brain. Use your ideas. Be clever. We will be in touch with you more readily now. Farewell.
I looked at Uri. He was still sitting in deep meditation. He did not seem to be aware of me. I transcribed this short segment of tape. I could scarcely bear to wipe out the message on the tape, but I had no other choice. What can a man say after he has heard such words? I observed that this taping was not preceded before or after by a physical sign, as in the past. Uri’s behavior was like that of a Praetorian guard; this time it was not as if his actions were meant to be a sign. I entered into Uri’s silence by bowing my head and my will before the Ruler of the Cosmos. Not only had my transgression been forgiven, but I had been blessed.
A new phase of communication seemed to open up on the next day because I was allowed to ask questions, and got answers, however cryptic:
AP: “I need information about what you did at Stanford Research Institute and its purpose.”
After you insisted that Uri be validated, counsel was taken higher and higher, and it was decided that Uri could be validated just this once. And he may never be allowed to do such work again under laboratory control.
AP: “I need advice as to how much I am allowed to tell people about Uri’s work on earth.”
You must tell the world everything about us. Tell how the information comes through all sources – tape is a good example.
AP: “I need to know more about the history of your role in earth life if I am to be effective.”
You are close to the answer in all that you are thinking. You must tell the world what you deduce to be right. But we cannot tell you all of our secret history.
More fragments of information appeared on January 12 while Uri and I were driving in my car south on Lexington Avenue in New York City. The time was about 11:30 P.M. when the tape recorder was actuated invisibly:
Andrija Puharich, you are free for two years to make all moves and decisions on earth. You are no longer under test. But we also need the brain of Uri Shipi and you to help us with many other civilizations in space.
AP: “Can you tell me roughly what the goals are for the year 1973?
We cannot forecast for you.
AP: “I do need more help about your history.”
We cannot reveal our history yet to you.
AP; “Are there other civilizations in our galaxy?”
Yes, within this car there could be twenty hundred thousand civilizations in an inner space. There are untold millions of civilizations in the galaxy. You cannot possibly understand all this.
AP: “But do any of them interact? Or are they sealed each in his own compartment?”
A few do interact. Write the book. The Knowledge Book will not be given in the next two years unless our computors change. Farewell.
While these bits of instruction were coming in, there was a great deal of trouble brewing around us. The tapping of our telephone in Ossining was extended, it was reported, to our friends and colleagues in New York City. We were being followed everywhere. Time magazine was increasing its interest in the SRI work with Uri. John Wilhelm, of Time, called from Los Angeles to tell me that he had obtained a copy of a report by George Lawrence, of ARPA, in which Lawrence was trying to discredit both SRI and Uri. Wilhelm was unable to get information from SRI – they had refused to talk to him, so he asked to come East to see me and Uri in New York. I told him that I had given my word to SRI not to talk about the research but that Uri and I would be prepared to talk to him on a personal level.
John Wilhelm arrived at my home in Ossining on the morning of January 18, 1973. We learned from him for the first time of the vicious nature of the accusations being circulated against Uri and SRI. It appeared that ARPA personnel were making every effort to discredit the scientists – Mitchell, Targ, and Puthoff personally – in order to discredit Uri. Wilhelm said he was trying to get at the facts but SRI would not reveal any. He found that his people at Time had already concluded that Uri was a fraud. In fact, he said, Senior Editor Leon Jaroff had already bet him a blue German folding bicycle that Uri Geller was a charlatan and a fraud.
John Wilhelm spent twelve hours talking to Uri and witnessing a few small demonstrations of his powers. He was perspicacious, fair, open-minded, and persevering in his interview. When he finished his interview, he told us that he accepted what he had seen, and was willing to continue to examine Uri’s work objectively. But he commented that no one would accept his findings at the headquarters of Time magazine. Since John was so open to Uri, Uri opened up to him and revealed that his powers were due to the presence of an extraterrestrial civilization. John reminded us of the cover story he had done a year before for Time on extraterrestrial life and of his deep interest. He said that if we ever had proof for this claim, he would like to be the one to report it to the world, but he would need overwhelming proof for such a historical event. We told him that we had no way of knowing if proof would be allowed. We did not explain that there was still a contingency as to whether man would be allowed to know of, and view the landings. I believe that we honestly revealed to this good man all that we were permitted to say and that he was free to report whatever he felt able to tell his people. He was quite frank in telling us that he would not yet dare to report to his editors about the powers behind Uri. He left us that evening and caught an 11:36 P.M. train back to New York City. I drove him to the station in Ossining, and when I returned home, I found a most unusual thing at the foot of the outside stairs to my house. It was my large Farquhar clear plastic astronomical globe. It had been last seen in my upstairs study. I took the globe indoors to inspect it. Now, I must explain the construction of this globe. There was a large clear plastic outer globe with the stars on it. Inside was a smaller one of the earth, also of clear plastic. Inside of this sealed earth globe was a foreign object, which had never been there before. It was a piece of my own printed medical stationery. On it was typed a message – and the type was the same as that of my Selectric IBM typewriter. I could read the message through the two plastic globes. It said:
YOU ARE ALL ALONE NOW
ALL OF YOU FOR A LONG TIME
I called Uri and Shipi. We read this letter sealed inside of the globe. There was no way to get it out. The message depressed us. What did it mean? It was true that I had been told that I was to make all judgments and decisions on my own for two years. But that had already been said. Why was a new message being sent? It even occurred to us that Uri’s major powers might be withdrawn. This discussion went on and on, and we became more and more depressed.
On January 21 Solveig Clark and I were taking a walk along the nearby Highway 9A with Wellington. Wellington suddenly stepped in front of a car and was mortally wounded. I held him in my arms, and he looked at me with astonishment, as he died.
I had lost my friend; but somehow I knew this was meant to be. However, it was not a good omen, with all the storm that was brewing around us.
Hal Puthoff and Russ Targ arrived in Ossining on January 27 to show us the movie film they had made of the experiments with Uri. They told us that the management of SRI had decided to stand firm, to back Hal and Russ, and to make a public announcement backing their findings with Uri. This was heart-warming news for us.
On February 2 we were driving from New York City toward Ossining at noon on the New York State Thruway in a driving rainstorm; as we were turning into Exit 7A at Elmsford, New York, we both saw a welcome sight. There, some thirty feet in front of and above our car, was Horus. He was fluttering in the rain and air, hovering over us so that we could see him. I slammed the car to a skidding halt. Horus glided to a nearby dead tree, landed, and looked down upon us from his imperial height. How happy Uri and I were to see him, after a whole year! We looked at Horus for some ten minutes, then he glided silently down into the woods and vanished. Uri and I looked at each other; we both knew the meaning of Horus’s appearance. We were in danger again! But we were also protected.
When we got to the house, Uri and I sat in my study to discuss our situation. The tape recorder started to run. But this time there was no message. The tape recorder ran on and on, blank. Then a letter appeared on top of the tape recorder. I picked up the letter. It was dated 1949, with no month or day. It was from my departed friend, Dr. Eugene Milne Cosgrove. The letter was still in its original envelope addressed to me in Camden, Maine, with the stamp of that vintage on it. I read the letter; it was most poignant. Dr. Cosgrove was describing to me the nameless terror that struck him when he realized he had just suffered a heart attack while alone in Flat Head, Montana. I remembered having received this letter some twenty-four years before, but I had not seen it since. Where had it come from? With Horus on the scene, and this acute reminder of the nameless terror of impending death, what was in store for us?
The next day I received a phone call from Charles Reynolds, who represented himself as a photographer for Time magazine. He said he wanted to meet with Uri. I put him off until I could check his credentials. I found out that he was a magician and a free-lance photographer. He was part of a Time cabal to lure Uri into a confrontation with magicians in an attempt to discredit him. I talked the problem over with Uri. I advised him that every indication I had showed me that a lynch was in the offing. I even suspected that someone at Time was being pressured to do a hatchet job on Uri and myself. Uri decided to go ahead and demonstrate for Time, and that no matter what happened, it had to be for the best. I called Charles Reynolds back and made a date to have the Time staff meet Uri on Tuesday, February 6, 1973.
We met in the offices of John Derniak. Present on behalf of Time were editors Fred Golden and Leon Jaroff, magicians Charles Reynolds and James Randi, photographer Peter Basch, some secretaries, and Uri and I. I opened the meeting by stating emphatically that Uri was not a magician and had submitted his claims to science for judgment. One of the magicians immediately made the statement that Uri was known to be a magician, based on material in “our Geller File.” Uri explained that he was not a magician; that he had appeared in Israel and Germany in stage shows where magicians had performed; and that his powers of telepathy and psychokinesis were real. One of the Time editors informed us that everything was being taped; we consented.
The atmosphere was that of a kangaroo court. Uri was damned if he refused to demonstrate and damned if he did demonstrate; he chose to run the gauntlet and demonstrate. He asked me to leave the room so that the charge of collusion would be eliminated. I did not observe what Uri did for these people, so my report is second-hand. Uri was annoyed by the hostile atmosphere and made a slow start with a telepathy demonstration, but he did eventually succeed. The magicians said they could duplicate this “trick.” Then Uri bent a fork by lightly stroking it. The magicians said they could duplicate this “trick” by using sleight of hand and misdirection. Then Charles Reynolds offered his own apartment key to be bent. Uri bent it by concentration, and it continued to bend after it left his hands. No one said a word about this “trick,” and it has never been mentioned to this day by the editors of Time or by the magicians. A secretary from Time called us later that day to tell us that the key had gone on bending by itself after we left.
Uri was in deep gloom as we left the offices of Time. Now he felt the full weight of the lynch that was being organized against him in the United States. We also found out that the Time correspondent in Jerusalem had filed a report on Uri which said that scientists from Hebrew University claimed they had caught him cheating. This, too, proved to be a lie, but it suited the policy of the editors of Time.
Since the war was clearly on, I had to mobilize my forces. My goal was simple – to keep the human race from talking itself into a “crucifixion” state of mind. I officially informed the editors of Time that Uri’s powers were real and that science would affirm this in due time. I organized a group of prominent citizens who believed in Uri’s powers to act as an Operations Group. The Operations Group was to raise funds for research, keep in touch with media executives at newspapers, magazines, television, etc., and spread the word among leaders in American society that a major issue was in the making. The Operations Group consisted of Judy Skutch, John Tishman, John Douglas, Stewart Mott, Maria Janis, Byron Janis, Ruth Hagy Brod, and others. One of the first tasks of this group was to counter whatever Time did. The editors of Newsweek were approached, and they assigned Charles Panatti to do a Geller story. After several weeks of work Panatti turned in to the editors of Newsweek a favorable story about Uri. [This story has still not been published at the time of this writing.]
I activated the Scientific Theory Group that had been in existence since the Life Energies Conference of 1970. They were apprised of the pressure being built up by the editors of Time. They knew that the scientific stakes were high – just as high as they were when Copernicus startled the medieval Church of Europe with his findings about the earth and the sun. The influence of this group was enormous in the councils of state; they gave authoritative assurance to the National Science Foundation that Uri’s powers were real and that scientists had best keep open minds. Another member, Dr. Gerald Feinberg, invited Targ and Puthoff to dispassionately present their findings on Geller at a Physics Department Colloquium at Columbia University on March 9, 1973.
In the meantime Time magazine had requested the results of the SRI research. Leon Jaroff of Time told the president of SRI that if SRI did not give them a report on their findings with Geller, Time would go ahead with an unfavorable story about both SRI and Geller. The president of SRI said that Time would have to wait, like everyone else, for the report on their findings, to be given on March 9, 1973, at Columbia University. Neither man would budge from his position. For me the last few days before the final showdown were packed with action.
On Sunday, February 25, at 7 P.M., I handed Uri a Mexican five-peso silver coin that weighed thirty grams. This was the same one reported on in Israel. I asked him to bend it in his left hand. As he clenched it in his fist, it vanished. We talked about what IS might do with the coin, and I suggested that it be made into a “thought transmitter” and returned to us. At 8:30 P.M. a 1925 silver dollar fell by my right foot. I examined this coin and it turned out to be a silver dollar given to me by Henry Jackson in 1948 as a token with which to start the Round Table Foundation. It had been in storage in a jewelry case in my bedroom on the second floor. However, the silver dollar had been bent by means unknown since I had last seen it.
At 9 P.M. the phone rang and Uri got up to answer it, crossing in front of me. As he went past me, a coin fell from the direction of the ceiling, hit his shoulder, and fell at my feet. It was the Mexican five-peso silver coin – but now it too was bent.
On Tuesday, February 27, Uri and I went to Philadelphia for a meeting at the home of Arthur Young with the chairman of the Scientific Theory Group, Dr. Ted Bastin, of Cambridge university. Dr. Bastin was most impressed with the genuineness of Uri’s powers; the Scientific Theory Group was now fully prepared to back Uri.
We returned to New York on February 28 when we received the latest “news” from our friend Judy Skutch. She had found out that Time had decided openly to attack SRI and Uri, based on reports they had received from George Lawrence, of ARPA; Ray Hyman, of the University of Oregon; Martin Gardner, of Scientific American; the magicians; and others. Leon Jaroff was to write the Time story. John Wilhelm called me up to say that he disagreed with the policy of the Time editors and he was publicly dissociating himself from it. Newsweek had said it would eventually run a story defending Uri. SRI had made a decision to make a press release for Saturday, March 10, 1973. Reports from Israel told us that Leon Jaroff was relying on reports he had from Jerusalem for the main thrust of his attack. We now had to consider the possibility that the Israelis were involved in all this plotting; but for this suspicion we had no evidence.
I had been scheduled for many months to give a speech at the University of California at Berkeley. I was to speak before some fifteen hundred students about recent advances in parapsychological research. I was thinking seriously about using this as a platform for a public rebuttal to the charges of Time. On Friday, March 2, I got a reliable report informing me that Time was going to press that day with an all-out attack on Uri. I made up my mind, then and there, to fire the first salvo publicly in defense of Uri in my speech at Berkeley.
Motivational Inspirational Speaker
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“There is no spoon!”
“The world needs your amazing talents. I need them”
“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
“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
“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”