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ESP Magazine - March 1977


By Howard Smuckler

 Almost all the results are now in for our September ESP experiment with Uri Geller and we feel the response was impressive. For those of you who did not follow the event, here is a summary of what took place. On September 1, 1976 the cover of ESP magazine was used in a unique mass experiment. At 11 p.m. the noted psychic Uri Geller was to focus his energies through the magazine into the waiting keys, appliances and cuttlery of our readers. If anything interesting happened, it was supposed to be reported to ESP for analysis.
 Let us start with the bent objects since this is Geller's bread and butter. We received about 25 reports of such occurences. The pictures and comments on the most interesting pieces are included in this article. We had a physicist look at the material and his feelings were that the majority of them had experienced some kind of unusual force. Several of the pieces looked like they had been heated to high temperatures, others were bent in an extremely awkward manner.
 The total number of responses was over one hundred and fifty letters. Of this group only a few claimed to have no paranormal activity. The great majority of the people experienced the repair of their watches and clocks.
 It is hard to authenticate the incredible stories of psychic repairs. At least 15 people claimed to have had watches which had been abandoned by their watch repair experts. Despite this fact, the watches actually began running at the start of the experiment. Some clocks had not worked for ten to twenty years, others started without the need for winding, one even moved backwards. One woman reported that a watch of hers had stopped at the exact time of her husband's death. It began working when the Geller experiment began and was operating perfectly when she went to bed. In the morning it had skipped several hours and had stopped again exactly at her husband's moment of death.
 Other appliances, almost too numerous to mention, began to run. Reports of TV sets, an electric typewriter, an ice cream making machine, a hair dryer, a can opener and a toaster are only a few of the things reported. Almost every one of these cases involved several observers, all of whom tended to respond with astonishment.
 The most exciting result was repoted from Providence, Rhode Island. There, the mayor gave a key to the city to Tony Lioce, a highly respected reporter for the evening paper. The key was placed in a vault on top of the magazine for the night. In the morning the key was removed and in the presence of several reputable witnesses bent over 3/8ths of an inch. The mayor apparently was furious since it was the only key the city had and he never expected anything to happen to it.
 Radio and TV results of the experiment were favorable in those places where it was given media exposure. For example, in Cleaveland at station WJW, Dr. Sheridan Speeth conducted a live demonstration on the evening news. He recieved hundreds of calls, of which 15 turned out to be documentable.
 The most discouraging aspect of the experiment was in the academic community. Over 150 copies of the magazine were sent to parapsychologists and related scientists. Only a handful of them responded and a follow-up survey found, to date, that not one unusual thing happened to any of them. It was our hope that maybe a dramatic psychic event would take place with a reputable parapsychologist, but apparently this did not happen. One imaginative researcher, Peter Uecker of the Canadian Psychic Research Association, placed a copy of the magazine under a bingo card at the Pacific National Exhibition. He won the third game.
 All in all, the results of the first mass psychic experiment in America were a qualified success. We had hoped for something overwhelmingly dramatic that no one would ever again deny the validity of psychic phenomena. We had hoped for a bent key to the White House. Instead we had to settle for the many meaningful yet personal experiences that happend to so many of our readers. Slowly, as more and more of you experience ESP events, the reality of the whole psychic world will become clear to the non-believers.


Reader's gellerized nail file"During the experiment I sat concentrating and rubbing several keys in my hand. The nail file was next to the magazine, but I never touched it during the twenty minute period. I performed the experiment with a very strong sensitive person who I think acted as a focus for any psychic energy available. After the experiment I picked up the file and for the first time noticed that it was twisted."

Nancy Folgo - East Greenwich, Connecticut

 Because of this person's reliability as a school teacher and the highly unusual nature of the bend, this is probably the most authentic case we have received.
A reader's key after Geller experiment  According to Mrs. Frey's account, she took the key still on a necklace and held it in her hand. The key was to her only jewelery box and she actually did not want to bend it.
 After about 15 minutes, she noticed a very bright light appear on the cover above Uri's eyes, which slowly turned into a star or sun, very brilliant. At 10:20, they all looked at the objects and she noticed for the first time that the key had not only bent, but broken in a peculiar fashion into two fragments. Mrs. Frey complained of a severe headache afterwards.

Wilma Frey - Hammond Psychic Club

 On September 1 a group of about 15 people met in order to try the Geller experiment. At 10:45 we had a brief meditation to relax ourselves and become attuned. Ten year old Artie Huff was holding a couple of the keys when they started to bend. In all, five keys bent, three of them only slightly, and since the experiment these three regained their normal shapes; the skeleton key that bent in two ways remains with only one bend.

MESA - Toledo, Ohio

Head of broken door key after Geller experiment  "I experienced a feeling of heat in my hand. I held the two keys in my right hand. The keys bent over and eventually broke in two. However, I misplaced the other half of the key; didn't realize you were going to ask for the object."

Marie Szykniej - Medford, Mass.

Two keys bent during the Geller test  "I am sending the keys that were bent the night of the experiment. They are a set of keys that my son who is in the service left here and up until that night were perfectly straight. I know this sounds weird but I was in the bathroom when all this took place as my husband had the TV going and my daughter was playing her radio and the bathroom was the only place in the house that was quiet. I was sitting in there concentrating on the keys and nothing was happening. So I dropped the keys in my lap and started having a mental conversation with myself. I was thinking of the key bending when a weird feeling came over my body. I felt numb, yet my whole body had a tingling sensation and the key I was holding between my fingers started bending. I wasn't scared, just excited, and I quickly turned loose of that key and another, but the numb tingling feeling was leaving my body so the second key only bent a little bit. I had thought earlier that if by some streak of luck the keys bent, I would be scared out of my wits, but it wasn't like that at all. I told my daughter, but I didn't tell my husband as he would laugh at me and tell me I am crazy. So if you want to use my story, fine, just please don't use my name. This is such a small town and people would bug me to death as everybody knows me."

It is impossible to judge the honesty of this person, but the keys were bent in an extremely difficult manner that would have been almost impossible to produce artificially.


Drawing of a star transmited by Uri Geller  One of the curious aspects of the Geller experiment was the poor results on the telepathy test. Participants were supposed to draw a picture of any image that came into their minds during the 20-minute period. Geller during this time would be trying to transmit a picture which had been sealed in an envelope.
 On September 2, I opened the packet and found two stars of five and six pointed varieties. Of the letters I received only one person, Blake Dehler of Fitchville, Connecticut correctly drew the six-pointed star and Marilyn Lamper of salman, Idaho submitted a five-pointed star. No one had both of them.
 There was an especially large number of guesses that employed the sun (which is a star) or used triangles (which are part of the star design). These were interesting partial hits, but we were a little disappointed in the total absence of a perfect hit.
 A very common feature was that of a sailboat. There were over 12 submissions which had a sailboat in them and almost all of them had double sails. Initially we felt that this was an effort to duplicate the triangle design of the stars. I mentioned the problem to Geller and he acted quite surprised. He informed me that he and a group of friends had spent the entire day of the experiment out sailing and one witness corroborated the story. We felt that on the basis of this information, the large number of people picking up a sailboat image had in fact tapped into Geller's activities of the day.
 The psychic mind has trouble seperating time and space and it would not be difficult for the thoughts at 11 p.m. to be confused with those of the preceding afternoon.

© Howard Smuckler - reproduced with permission

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