The Probability of the Impossible:  Scientific Discoveries and Explorations in the Psychic World

Thelma Moss
Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976 - ISBN 0710085206


... One of his research projects, conducted at the prestigious Stanford Research Institute, is laboratory study of the psychokinetic abilities of Uri Geller, probably the best known psychic in the Western world.  Introducing Geller on a local television program, Dr. Mitchell explained that the informal demonstration Geller was about to give might fail, since Geller could never be sure when his capricious talent would be available to him ( a fact which SRI investigators had frequently observed).  As I listened to Edgar Mitchell, I was impressed by his last statement for, as we have seen, genuine psychics are never sure that they can produce an effect.

When Geller, a handsome young Israeli, appeared on the TV screen, he looked nervous, which was to be expected.  He had recently received national publicity in two news magazines, one commenting favorably on his work, the other giving a devastating critique.  It accused investigators Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff of poor methodology and insinuated that Geller might be much more magician than psychic.  The inevitable controversy over whether he was a psychic or a charlatan was already breaking over his head.

Geller began that evening by successfully selecting out of ten identical metal jars placed before him the one which contained a metal screw.  We have become familiar with this process, and have already discussed the Soviet film in which a young lady, trained in skin vision, picked from among six aluminum cassettes the one that contained a red piece of paper.  This is an example of reception, rather than transmission, of information through some form of bioenergy.  After this demonstration, Geller tried to perform on of his special PK effects:  bending a very strong, thick four inch nail simply by stroking it gently with one finger.  This would involve the transmission of energy to an object.  Geller was unsuccessful on the first trials, but eventually when one of the guests (a beautiful woman) held the nail in her hand while Geller stroked it with his finger, the nail was seen to bend, and it continued to bend after it was placed on the table, although no one was touching it.  Geller then held a ring in his hand.  First it bent, and then it snapped in two.  The audience and guests applauded loudly.

A few nights later, Geller appeared on a nationally televised talk show and was unable to perform any of these feats.

Question:  Is Uri Geller charlatan, magician, or gifted psychical medium? ...


At about the same time I was talking with Mme. Kulagina in Leningrad, in 1970, Dr. Andrija Puharich was acting as chairman of an international conference titled "Exploring the Energy Fields of Man" in New York City.  At that conference, Dr. Puharich was elected to travel around the world to find persons genuinely gifted with PK.  On his trip he met several mediums, but none who were willing, or perhaps even able, to perform under strict laboratory conditions until, in Israel, he met Uri Geller.  At that time, Geller was performing on stage as a "mentalist."  (Immediately, one is tempted to cry, "Fake! Fraud! Magician!")  Dr. Puharich watched Geller's performance more than one hundred times and persuaded him to do some laboratory work.  After seeing Geller, under controlled conditions, raise the temperature of thermometers 6 and 8 degrees, break a gold ring clenched in another person's fist, and move compass needles, Dr. Puharich believed he had found the ideal person for strenuous laboratory research.

Actually, none of the PK work performed by Geller was shown in the SRI film at Prague, because none of it passed the stringent criteria set up by Puthoff and his collaborator, Russell Targ.  At Prague, Hal Puthoff told me that Geller cannot always perform in the lab (sic semper psychics!), but on several occasions, when Uri spontaneously feels "the power" in him, he has demonstrated remarkable things.  One feat, which dazzled Puthoff, took place one day when he and Uri were walking past an electronics lab; the door to the lab happened to be partially open, revealing complex equipment which included several large functioning oscilloscopes.  Suddenly, like a mischievous child, geller pulled Puthoff inside the lab and cried, "Watch this!"  He lifted his hand up and then dropped it down.  Ten feet away, obediently, the oscilloscopes raised their tracings high, then dropped low.  Then Geller walked out of the lab, followed by a bemused scientist.

Eloborate trick?  (Many accomplices would have been needed).  Sleight-of-hand?  (Is there a magician who could perform that feat?  None has volunteered to do it.)  PK?  If so, how does it work?

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