A 27-year-old former Israeli paratrooper named Uri Geller claims to bend metal with his mind. He also claims to have "a television set in my head" on which he can see other people's thoughts, and to have the power to effect a laboratory balance as though a physical force were being applied fo it.
Crazy? Well, crazier still is that fact that a growing number of scientists believe that Geller really can do these things. Tall, dark, and described by one woman reporter as "devilishly handsome," Geller has made more of an impact on American science than any previous self-slyled psychic.
He has studied for three months, starting in November, 1972, at California's Stanford Research Institute, a think tank which does highly classified work tor he U.S. military. The scientists there say that Geller scored 100 per cent success in reading figures concealed in opaque envelopes, detecting hidden objects in aluminum cans, and moving a laboratory balance without touching it.
At a recent science colloquium at New York's Columbia University, two physicists who've studied Geller, Russel Targ and Harold Puthoff, said they had observed with him "certain phenomena for which we have no scientific explanation."
There are those who call Geller a fake, a trickster, merely an extra-clever magician. But anyone who saw Geller on the Jack Paar television show must agree that he's a helluva magician. There, he gently stroked a seven-inch steel spike which Paar had provided and the spike bent. A switch seemed out of the question since Paar was securely holding the spike all the time. I'm still trying to figure out, if Geller's a fake, how he did a couple of tricks, I saw him do.
AT HIS INSTRUCTIONS I left the room and made a drawing of my choice (I drew a tree) on a piece of paper, which I then placed in an envelope and put in my pocket. A few minutes later, without touching the envelope or its contents, Geller drew an almost exact replica of my drawing. Aware of the standard tricks of magicians and mentalists, I still can't explain how he did that.
Then Geller lightly stroked a steel two-inch nail, which I had provided and was holding between my fingertips. The nail bent. He did the same thing with a key held by another person who had never met Geller before. To top it off, Geller picked up a watch from several which were broken. None of these watches would run. Yet, when somebody else held the watch between his cupped hands and Geller placed his hands over the person's - the watch started to tick.
Ask Uri Geller what he does and he calls it a power which flows through him from some outside source. And that source? Ah, that's a secret he isn't willing to reveal — yet.
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