The 61-year-old stage magician astonishes KURIER author Jörg Bobsin at his mansion in England.
For some he is a man with extrasensory capabilities, for others nothing but a charlatan: György Geller (61), better known as Uri Geller. For more than 30 years the Israeli has amazed millions of people - or put a skeptical smile on their faces - by bending spoons or making clocks tick again, apparently by the power of his mind which he accredits to "a higher intelligence". He is now searching for a successor in the TV show "The next Uri Geller" (the first of a total of nine segments was aired this Tuesday on ProSieben ), and again opinions are divided over this. KURIER author Jörg Bobsin visited Geller at his mansion in England and sounded him out.
You've been bending spoons for more than three decades now and this hocus-pocus made you a rich man!
I protest! Do you really think I made all this here, the property, the country manor near the Thames, my mansion which costs me a quarter of a million per year, do you really think I made all this and everything else with "mumbo jumbo"?
Wait! Let me show you just one single proof. Here: my Mexican passport with the number 00001, valid for a lifetime! Given to me 30 years ago by the then Mexican President Josť López Portillo y Pacheco himself in return for my special services to the state of Mexico.
What kind of services?
By express invitation of Diaz Serrano, in those days the director of Pemex, the biggest Mexican oil company, I searched and found then unknown underground oil fields which made the country rich!
Really? How did you do that?
Together with two geologists I flew in a helicopter for several days over land and sea and showed them from above quite precisely the locations where they should drill for oil.
Were you and your predictions taken seriously?
My success speaks for itself: Not only did I receive this passport, but also the Mexican citizenship, a voucher for unlimited, lifelong free first class flights with the national carrier Aeromexico, as well as a semi-automatic pistol made of pure silver with a golden coat of arms!
What do you need a shooting iron for?
Because I am still an accredited agent with the Mexican treasury department and this position entitles me to carry a weapon.
Sounds like a fairy tale.
But it isn't. If it was, would other well known oil companies have hired me?
Can you name some of those oil companies?
I could, but I am not permitted to do so.
What's your fee for such an assignment?
A million dollars, payable in advance, no matter if I find anything or don't.
Did you ever get sued? For fraud?
So you do have telepathic abilities?
Without any doubt.
Prove it, right here and now!
As you wish. What time does your wristwatch read now?
Do you have a coin with you? If yes, put it on top of the clock-face.
What's all that in aid of?
Metal works like a catalyst for me, it gives me stronger powers. By the way, I asked for a coin which comes from you so that you can't say I was cheating. We are sitting approximately one meter apart, I will not come any closer and never touch your wristwatch! As you can see, I am wearing a short sleeve T-shirt, no way I could be hiding a strong magnet in my sleeve which could manipulate the watch hands. Feel free to pat me down, check if I'm wearing some mysterious gadget on my body. Now, am I clean?
It appears so, yes. Now let's concentrate, in silence, both you and I, for half a minute on the watch you are wearing on your wrist... Done, the 30 seconds are over! Remove the coin and tell me what time it is now!
A few minutes after 6 p.m.!
That's 90 minutes later! What do you say now?
I am impressed! How do you explain your abilities?
I believe that extraordinary paranormal power was given to me.
Given by whom?
From a higher intelligence.
Like "E.T.", an extraterrestrial being?
Did you have "a close encounter of the third kind"?
Yes, nobody can argue me out of this! It happened in Tel Aviv, where I was born. I was only four-years-old, was playing in the garden, when I heard from somewhere the miserable miaows of small cats. Curious, I looked for them, crawling through the shrubbery. Suddenly a glistening bright light hit me. Like a pointed laser beam directed precisely at my eyes so that I was forced to close them because I instinctively feared going blind. The next moment the force of that beam threw me back into the grass. I was lying there for about ten minutes before I woke up from unconsciousness. Lightheaded I struggled to my feet and ran back home to tell my mother what I had just experienced.
Did she believe your story?
She thought I was bonkers.
Maybe you were struck by lightning?
No, we can exclude that. I thoroughly researched this later - there had not been a single thunderstorm in Israel that month!
Is your wife Hanna (56) sometimes scared by you?
Absolutely not, I'm rather useful.
In what way?
When the washing machine conks out or the cooling aggregate of the freezer is quirky. Small repairs I do myself, using nothing but my telepathic powers.
And that really works?
Most of the time, yes.
Who is Uri Geller?
Just a "normal" man - albeit equipped with a special talent. A talent which he himself can not explain, though.
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