Mysteries, Myths or Marvels?

Kevin Arnett
Sphere Books 1977 - ISBN 0722112297

... One of the best known examples of psychic talent is Uri Geller. Ever since the Geller phenomenon surfaced in 1971 there has been a continuing controversy as to whether he is a genuine psychic or a highly accomplished conjurer. Naturally, many magicians and conjurers can duplicate many of the things that Geller does but that doesn't necessarily mean that Geller himself is a fake. Despite endless scientific investigations I think that one can only speak of one's own observations and I will never forget the night that Geller appeared in the Melbourne Town Hall before a packed house of some 2,500 people. During the early part of the evening some of Geller's attempts at thought reading failed and I found myself wondering whether 'a professional magician' could afford to go on making so many mistakes.

Then came the amazing highlight of the evening when Geller invited people to come forward with their broken watches and clocks so that he could make them all work again. Hundreds of people rushed forward to put their broken time-pieces on the front of the stage. Soon there was a very large pile of watches and clocks of various shapes and sizes. Geller then took a microphone, held it over the small metallic mountain, and not a sound could be heard. Uri Geller then invited children from the audience to come up onto the stage with him and help him make the clocks go again. I had already noticed that many of his experiments had not worked with adult helpers but had worked perfectly well with children. Is it because children still have open, unaltered minds about such things and don't have the mental blocks and negative beliefs that many adults have? Is there really some power at work that can be effectively blocked by an unbelieving mind? With the assembled children, Geller formed a semi-circle with himself at the centre and, together, they all placed their hands over each others'. Geller invited them all to shout out the word 'work' at the clocks and watches. All the children joined in with great enthusiasm and then the audience were also invited to shout out 'work.' It made a grand, if not rather odd, sound. Then Uri Geller took the microphone a second time and held it over the pile of watches and clocks. This time there was a very loud ticking and ringing of alarm bells.

Suddenly that pile of used junk had become alive. At the same time members of the audience started jumping up holding their own watches and clocks aloft which they had been unable to bring up onto the stage. They were all working again. There was a young woman sitting in front of me up in the gallery. Before the performance had started she had been looking at a small oblong woman's wristwatch that had stopped. I leaned across and asked her what had happened to it and she replied that the jeweller had told her that it was no use having it repaired. She had kept it in a drawer for twelve months and had brought it along that night to see what would happen - if anything. After Geller had finished his experiment with the watches on stage, the young woman remembered her own watch and retrieved it from her pocket. Her watch was ticking away quite happily again.

Towards the end of 1976 I met a young man from Geelong in Victoria who had also been at one of Uri Geller's appearances in Melbourne. Like the young lady, he had also brought along a broken watch which he had kept in his pocket. After the show he found that the watch was working perfectly and it continued to do so - keeping perfect time - for three weeks. Then a friend of the young man's convinced him that Geller was a fake and a trickster. From the moment he started to believe that, his watch suddenly stopped again and nothing could make it start. Do we have a demonstration of the blocking off of a natural force or energy that had been set in motion by Uri Geller and then nullified by the sudden disbelief of the young man?...

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