THE STANFORD Research Institute tests led to some important conclusions,
which were to be announced to the public at a colloquium sponsored
by the Columbia University Department of Physics in March 1973.
SRI was preparing a report to the colloquium. Among the data to
be presented was evidence of my success in hidden object experiments,
against odds of a trillion to one; and of my ability to influence
a gram weight to weigh more, then weigh less, when measured with
precision lab instruments.
SRI's most important findings for the Columbia meeting were: "As
a result of Geller's success in this experimental period, we consider
that he has demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in
a convincing and unambiguous manner." And this: "We
have observed certain phenomena . . . for which we have no scientific
explanation. All we can say at this point is that further investigation
is clearly warranted. Our work is only in the preliminary stages."
For conservative scientists these were startling statements. I
myself soft-pedaled the results, because I started sensing that
Nature would be cautious about publishing the results in
spite of the presentation at Columbia. Even if nothing was published,
I had SRI's reaction, and knew I had to keep going. But I was
also happy deep down that I could succeed with scientists under
I had succeeded. It was real. Scientists could see that it was
real. No chemicals, no laser beam, no sleight of hand. And there
was more to it than just bending keys, telepathy, and starting
up watches. I was now convinced that the phenomena were symbols,
clues from enormous intelligences that seemed to be revealing
themselves through the tapes, through the materializing and dematerializing
objects, and through living things. There was also evidence coming
through about UFOs and spacecraft.
Neither Russ Targ nor Hal Puthoff knew what to think about the
UFO picture I had taken on the Lufthansa plane or about the voices
on the tapes. They had their hands full testing the material that
could be repeated over and over again in the lab. They didn't
want to get into speculation. Even if they had wanted to explore
the voices, they couldn't have gotten far, because the tapes had
dematerialized or had erased themselves.
It was still hard for me to accept those voices. But Shipi, Melanie,
Solveig, Byron, and Maria, as well as Andrija and I, all heard
them at one time or another. I can guarantee that none of them
is a psychotic or fantastic liar. We were not deluded or imagining
or kidding ourselves. Most of us saw the tapes dematerialize right
in front of us after hearing them, or found them automatically
erased after hearing a message. What scientist or layman would
believe that? I wouldn't, if somebody just told me about it. I
would have to have the evidence in front of me. And a name like
"Spectra" makes the whole thing sound like bad fiction.
But it was heard clearly on the tapes.
And yet the tapes bring with them a tremendous message to the
world, even though they do sound like science fiction. For instance,
a portion of one of the tapes made approximately this statement
to Andrija in 1973:
You see, the procedure is this. We accept the thesis that we are
here and that we want these things done, we can do them through
you. You also have to struggle - we have also to struggle. Supposing
all healthy biologic events surround the birth of a child. It
will take nine months and it will take mating. The greatest of
men are not born in an instant. All the birth pangs that any other
mother would undergo, their mothers had to undergo, too. But the
point is this: Supposing tonight I sit down here - which is perfectly
possible - I can sit here for an hour and tell you what is going
to happen to the minutest detail - how often you are going to
sneeze, how often you will sit - that can be done, but that is
not the way to do it. What you are doing is just the right thing.
Struggling a little, getting creative imagination into exertion,
awaiting a certain little point for guidance....
We have to look upon this as a long-term contract between you
and us. Your cooperation is so urgently needed. If we develop
these techniques, we shall have taken long strides: Indicate the
formula and the method. But we understand how rich labor, application,
patience it involves to get into operative forces. So our plans
are definite. We feel that you must put in some real effort. We
shall cooperate, but your will has to exert itself.
Or sometimes the voice would talk more about theoretical matters,
like this one in 1973:
The ultimate powers, whether on the particle level or the cosmic
level, are in rotation and drawing off the gravitation power from
the center of the system. There are special rays . . . where the
skin of the envelope of the cosmic rays is utilized for power.
The computerized beings in space vehicles draw on this energy.
This rotation energy can be used from outside the galaxy. It does
not exist in a usable form at the particle level. The computerized
beings are under the direction of the "controller,"
or what earth man calls God, or gods. In the future, this general
idea would be formulated in rigorous mathematical language.
Is it hard for a reader to believe that all this and much more
actually came through on a cassette tape recorder that automatically
activated itself? Of course it is. But it is part of the story
and can't be ignored. The voices are also a clue to the source
of the energies that flow through me, energies that are directly
confirmed in the physics labs.
Andrija has recorded much more than these brief portions in his
book Uri. Many of the other tapes affirm for me the existence
of God, although I believe that anyway, tapes or no tapes. Some
of them describe the vastness of a universe that never ends. Some
emphasize the importance of the free will of the human individual.
Some talk about previous explorations of the earth by spacecraft
and predict another large spacecraft probe of the earth in the
near future. Not an invasion, just a contact. Some indicate that
the owners of the voices have been observing the earth because
all the universe is interrelated, and every small event affects
everything else. On this subject, the tapes stated that they were
out to stop the earth from destroying itself.
I don't know whether these voices are beings or cosmic computers.
I do think they are intelligences of some kind. They were so persistent
that I have come to accept what they said, because - at the same
time - actual, down-to-earth, material things were taking place
while the scientists were studying the energy forces.
All this, as well as my own instincts, was pushing me to go beyond
the scientific tests and continue to make the energy forces known
to the masses of people, if only to show them the small but unbelievable
symbols found in the bending of a key or other phenomena. I think
the symbols might suggest that we're on the edge of big discoveries
of new energies, new intelligences, and new contact with other
forces or superior beings in the universe, which will help us
join together instead of tearing ourselves apart. It isn't all
that illogical. I think every astronomer today accepts the theory
that there are millions of other planets with the high probability
of intelligent life on them.
Time magazine was still pushing for more information as
the time for the Columbia University meeting got nearer. Andrija
and I agreed to go to their offices for an interview. Neither
of us liked the idea, because it looked to us, from what we had
heard, that Jaroff, the senior editor on the project, was skeptical
almost to the point of hysteria.
Our hunch was right. At Time, the atmosphere was hostile
and negative. There was no sign at all of honest skepticism. There
were a couple of magicians there, and one of them brought up the
fact that I had appeared in Germany on the same stage with magicians.
The atmosphere was not at all good for any kind of demonstration,
but I did some and they worked, including the bending of a key
and fork supplied by the editors. Andrija remarked after we left
that the entire meeting had the atmosphere of a lynch party.
I was very down when we left the Time offices. It was less
easy to sense what they were going to write, and the atmosphere
at the meeting confirmed that the rumors we heard were true. The
article appeared under the heading "The Magician and the
Think Tank" in the March 12, 1973, issue, just about the
same time that the SRI results were presented at the Columbia
It was a strange conjunction of events. The Time article
was vicious, filled with outright falsehoods and innuendoes. Without
even knowing what the SRI conclusions were, the writers tried
to make it appear that I had pulled the wool over the scientists'
eyes with a series of tricks. They always seemed to want to do
this - to make it appear that I was more clever than a whole group
of top scientists. If I were, I would have to be a lot more brilliant
than I am.
But at the same time that the Time story appeared, the
results presented at Columbia confirmed the authenticity of the
tests under controlled laboratory conditions. Newsweek covered
the colloquium with a cautious but fair article that said the
evidence showed the need for serious follow-up study. My confidence
that Nature would eventually accept the paper that Targ
and Puthoff were preparing began to grow.
So it was a mixed reaction. Actually the Time story started my
name circulating around, and I got invitations to appear on some
of the top TV talk shows in the United States.
Jack Paar was the first. It was my first big television appearance
in America, and I was really excited about it. It went fantastically
well, the demonstrations worked, and the appearance helped set
up some of the lecture-demonstrations at colleges that Yasha and
Werner were working on.
I was pleased when I was invited on the Johnny Carson show, because
I knew he commands a huge audience. I wanted very much for things
to go well, and because of that I was unusually tense and nervous.
Nothing seemed to work at first, although a spoon did bend as
Ricardo Montalban held it, and I was uncomfortable because they
were hurrying me along. Very little happened on that show, and
I felt terrible. I'll never forget it. Millions of people were
watching, and I had to pretend that I was happy and smiling. Inside
I felt this awful depression.
It was terribly embarrassing. The funny thing was that after the
show, backstage, things really started happening. A medal disappeared
and reappeared, objects flew around the room, everyone was astounded.
On the other hand, I was on the Merv Griffin show twice, and each
time it went beautifully. Rings broke in half, the telepathy worked.
With Mike Wallace on "Sixty Minutes" the results were
good in spite of his skepticism. The Carson show was the only
failure, perhaps because I wanted so much to succeed.
Meanwhile, I was getting restless living at Andrija's place out
in Ossining, even though it was beautiful. I have always liked
to be active, and I felt the strain of being hemmed in. I wanted
to meet more people. I liked the excitement of New York and wanted
to live in the city. Yasha and Werner had set up an office in
their apartment there, and it had enough room for Shipi and me.
Andrija was beginning at that time to write his book on our experiences.
We had our fights and our differences, sometimes quite intense.
But I loved Andrija, and I still do. He is like a father to me.
But there comes a time when the son grows away from the father,
and this happened with us. We agreed that, even under these strange
conditions, he could not possess me and I couldn't possess him.
I wanted to work for myself, to think for myself, to grow up,
and to advance alone.
I told Andrija this, and he agreed. I said I wanted to test myself,
at least for awhile. When I moved into New York to stay with Yasha
and Werner, I felt a new independence and a new sense of security.
I began to understand that, no matter what happened, some people
would always be against the idea of the powers, and nothing I
said or did would change their minds. This situation would continue
until the scientists confirmed that the forces were real. But
I was learning. I began to see that even critical articles served
a useful purpose, because the detractors were offering publicity
to me and keeping the events much in the public eye.
Meanwhile, I was doing follow-up experiments at SRI and making
the rounds on a lecture tour of colleges and universities. I visited
Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, Kent State, Bowling Green, North Carolina,
and many other schools. The student audiences were alive, enthusiastic,
and open-minded. They wanted things to happen.
While I was in Hollywood for the Carson show, Maria Janis asked
her old friends Jimmy and Gloria Stewart if they wanted to meet
me. I went to the Stewarts' house with Byron and Maria for drinks
early one evening. Jimmy asked me to bend a key for him, which
I did. Then he took us down the lawn to his garden, quite a way
from the house. Suddenly we all heard a loud thud, like something
heavy falling on the grass. Maria ran in the direction of the
sound, about 20 feet away, and came back carrying a stone carving
of a hippopotamus, about 5 inches long. Both the Stewarts recognized
it as an artifact from a shelf in their library. Their two golden
retriever dogs kept jumping up and sniffing at the statuette and
continued to behave excitedly after it was put into a tool shed
at one end of the garden. They stood there, pointing at it, until
we went back to the house. Many other startling events took place
with other famous people.
It seemed that phenomena would often happen when I was with Maria
and Byron. They were always sympathetic to the whole possibility
of life in other worlds. Maria's beautiful abstract paintings,
which are shown in galleries in many countries, reflect the endlessness
of the galaxies and stars. I have always felt since meeting her
that a big part of her soul and body and mind belong on higher
levels. Byron's music affected me the same way. When he plays
the piano, whether it's Chopin or Rachmaninoff, he seems to carry
the music far beyond the keyboard or even the composer.
The same strange things would constantly happen with the staff
who worked with me in lining up the details of the tours and lectures,
the motion picture that was brewing, and the album being planned.
Shipi, Melanie, Solveig, Yasha, Werner, my lawyer Larry Lighter,
and Trina Vatter, who joined us later - not one of them was interested
in only the business side. Each was intrigued by the mystery of
these forces, and nearly every day at least one of these friends
was part of the strange events that seemed to be increasing instead
of decreasing as time went on.
Each of them feels that experiencing the phenomena has changed
his life - especially Shipi, who has always been all over the
place, handling details, following them up, keeping things running
smoothly. I have never forgotten that, if it weren't for Shipi,
I would probably still be a clerk with an export company. He was
the one who kicked me in the tail and told me to get out and show
people what was going on.
The rest of the group worked as hard as Shipi, because, I guess,
they all believed that the new energies, the new forces, were
more important than what could be shown on the television screen
or on the lecture platform, what could be discovered in the science
labs. What happened in those places would happen every day in
Can you imagine your shock if during the week a glass suddenly
jumped off a desk at your office and landed on the floor without
breaking? If a light switch clicked off by itself and then clicked
on again, with no one near it? If the head of a spoon just broke
off when you were sitting at your desk and stirring a cup of coffee?
If your office clock jumped ahead a few hours? If a paperweight
lifted off your desk, disappeared, and then instantly rolled over
in the far corner of the room? If a priceless Chopin manuscript
vanished in front of your eyes, as happened to Byron, and showed
up inside a newspaper soon after? If a cigarette lighter disappeared
from one office and reappeared in another, with all the doors
in between closed?
This happens all the time, day after day, among us. There is no
accounting for these appearances, and we simply had to grow used
to them. I tried to analyze why I was being pushed from inside
my mind to communicate with as many people as I could, whether
on TV or in a lecture hall, or through an album, a motion picture,
or a book. I guess my inner feeling, my inner voice, will tell
me when to stop. In the meantime, I am compelled to let people
know more, to educate them somehow.
There are others I'm very close to, so much so that we all feel
part of each other. We are all of different religions and backgrounds,
but we all believe in one God. Bob Williamson, who managed the
Hyatt Hotel near SRI, became a close friend, and we are in touch
with each other constantly. Dr. Louis Shenkman, on the Bellevue
Hospital staff, and his wife, Edna, have made me feel I'm part
of their family. I don't have to demonstrate to friends and associates
to convince them that the powers exist, yet whenever I'm with
them the most extraordinary things take place. For instance, I
was in the Shenkman apartment overlooking the Hudson River when
I decided to try out a Polaroid camera I had just bought.
There was nothing at all visible in the sky above their balcony
except a nice view of the New York skyline. I pointed the camera
nowhere in particular and clicked the shutter. The Polaroid print
I developed a minute later showed a well-defined UFO in the sky.
How can things like this be explained? As isolated events, they
could be considered freaks or accidents of nature. But when they
become part of a pattern that goes on and on, practically every
day in the year, there is no way they can be dismissed, especially
when the effects are being confirmed by several scientists in
different parts of the world.
As 1973 went on, the list of confirmed tests, often with scientists
present, was growing, albeit in less formal situations than at
Stanford. In a demonstration, I had cracked a gold ring for Andrija,
who sent it to Professor William Tiller of Stanford University.
He had it analyzed by the Stanford Department of Metallurgy. They
used a scanning electron microscope. The break was not at all
similar to the normal kind of fracture. They tried but couldn't
duplicate it. What they saw under the microscope, they said, "sheds
little light on why the ring failed." I had touched the ring
Eldon Byrd, a physicist from the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory,
performed one of the most interesting tests.
The lab was working with a new metal called Nitinol, which has
a strange property. If Nitinol is bent by hand and then put in
hot water, it springs back to its original shape so quickly that
it almost jumps out of the water. I bent a piece by stroking it
lightly. It continued bending after I stopped, to a right angle.
Byrd was surprised, because the metal usually bends in an arc.
But the biggest shock was to follow. He placed the bent Nitinol
in hot water, and it immediately curled up in a manner exactly
opposite to the property the metal had always shown. The test
was run over and over again, with the same results. They are still
studying what happened to search for the reason.
Experiments with "psychic photos" continued. I did them
with several leading photographers. In each case, I took a picture
of myself through a solid lens cap tightly taped on the camera.
In nearly every case there would be at least one image on a roll
of their own film.
Movie films recorded the end of a fork breaking off with light
pressure. The Modern Churchman published a series of tests
on metal-bending conducted by Dr. Ted Bastin of Cambridge University.
The Kent State University Department of Physics issued a scientific
paper by Wilbur Franklin and Edgar Mitchell on metal I had fractured;
again, a scanning electron microscope had been used to examine
the peculiar way the metal broke. The report concluded that the
"Geller Effect" was new and unexplainable and that there
was definitely a connection between physics and ESP.
Momentum continued to build fast in 1973. Newspapers and magazines
joined the broadcast media in reporting on what I was doing: not
just Time and Newsweek, but Business Week, Science
(published by the American Association for the Advancement
of Science), Paris Match, Stern, Spiegel, Physics Today. Today's
Health (an AMA publication); Human Behavior, Psychology
Today, New York Times Magazine, Technology Today (MIT's publication),
and scores of others everywhere, to say nothing of the leading
newspapers and the scientific journals all over the world. Many
of the magazine articles were cover stories.
The most important part to me was that the coverage in the media
helped prod scientists into giving the forces serious consideration.
Science had to react, and I was glad that it did, now that I was
rid of my fear of it.
By the fall of 1973, I knew that the energies would eventually
be validated by science, even though it would take some time for
science as a whole to accept them. The scientists had to be cautious
and could take only one small portion of the "Geller Effect"
at a time. For instance, the first SRI paper concentrated only
on the telepathy part of the phenomena, even though all kinds
of effects with metals and instruments had shown themselves. And
it took months before the paper was finally published in Nature.
The University of London tests at both Birkbeck and Kings
colleges concentrated on the metals and instrument experiments,
and it would be a long time lag before their papers would appear
in scientific publications.
Important as all the scientific confirmation was, it wasn't the
whole story. The whole weird experience with mechanical voices
on tapes, the links with the UFO appearances, the photographs
of them, the unexpected materialization and dematerialization
of objects - these could not be controlled and brought into the
laboratory. Scientific verification of the controlled tests could
do no more than suggest that the other fantastic, incredible,
unearthly phenomena were not as insane as they sounded. In addition,
documented facts resulting from TV demonstrations all through
Europe and from the playing of my album on the air would soon
show that these powers could be triggered in other people all
over the world.
This was, of course, the most mind-blowing thing of all, because
it meant that the unknown energies were being transferred to others,
who could in turn be examined in the laboratory under repeatable
So there is no question in my mind that the earth is on the verge
of discovering a whole new power, a real and unquestionable power
that goes far beyond me or Andrija or Shipi, who helped bring
it out, or the scientists who are brave enough to test it at the
risk of being ridiculed. That's why it seems important to bring
the word to people everywhere, so that it can be accepted and
all of us in the world can put it to good use. I am convinced
that it is a power only for the good of man and the earth. I do
not think - and maybe I'm naive about this - the intelligences,
as awesome as they are, creating these energies will permit them
to be used for harm.
But nothing, absolutely nothing, of all the strange things that
have happened to me since that day in the Arabian garden was so
dramatic and awe-inspiring as what happened to me on the late
afternoon of Friday, November 9, 1973.
As I tell it in all its detail, I may have to ask you to suspend
your disbelief, as I have had to do.
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