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The Times (San Mateo, CA) - 18 June 1975

The Strange World of Uri Geller

Vera Graham

Suppose you sat on a sofa facing a magnetic young man who said to you, "Draw something very simple No. not so I can see it. I will turn away, and you hide it from me."

You follow his instructions and carefully hide the drawing on a pad of paper.

The young man turns around and says, "Now think of it. Just think of it, draw it on my mind. Again . . . Now slowly. One more time." He takes a pencil and on the inside of the cover of his book draws the identical figure you had drawn . . . a circle with a cross within it.

The young man, who speaks forthrightly and earnestly about the wonder of his telepathic power and has an extraordinary ability to start broken watches and bentd metal objects by touching them, is world-famed Uri Geller, 28, of Israel.

Next comes Times Photograpner Raymond Zirkel.

Geller welcomes him and asks him for a key. Zirkel takes a key chain from his pocket. Geller does the selecting because, he explains, "It is more personal to you." It is a key from the Zirkels' apartment washroom.

Geller takes it and begins to gently stroke it. He says, "It is better to be near metal." and a fascinated couple follows him, keeping keen eyes on the key every second.

The key suddenly begins to bend, and continues to bend out of shape.

The Zirkels need another key to the laundry room.

This remarkably tall, slender man has been the subject of intensive scientific study throughout the world, at Stanford Research Institute, by former Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, and most recently at the University of London. All the work is done under tight security conditions, often by locking him in sound, radio wave-proof cages within shielded rooms to make fraud impossible.

Geller was in San Francisco last weekend. Appearing Thursday on KGO-TV's A.M. program with Bob Marshall, he did remarkable things resulting in phone calls from throughout the Bay Area. People reported their watches which had not worked for months and years were ticking, that metal objects such as keys were bent out of shape.

"You see," Geller explains, "everyone has this power . . . I somehow seem to trigger it in some people. I ask only that the skeptics forget for a brief moment about skepticism and try to believe - and see for themselves what happens."

His story is told in the recently published book, "Uri Geller. My Story." Its direct and simple style is typical of Uri Geller.

He says, "I don't want anyone to think of me as Jesus No. 2, or as a fraud or faker, or magician. How could I take your key on your chain and do this?" he asks." How could what happens outside there happen, if it were not some great force and power around us?"

Uri Geller prays. He believes in God. He believes in an afterlife, in reincarnation. He says simply, "After all, what are we all made of, but energy, and energy is never lost . . . I believe there is great, great depth in inner space, and great, great depth in outer space . . . billions of galaxies."

His book tells of what may be contact with extra-terrestrial beings or intelligences, of photographing unidentified flying objects, of hearing and taping strange voices which told of a better time to come for humanity but said this is not yet the time for a revelation. He writes of his first great love.

Uri Geller moves like a meteor around the world in demonstrations, lectures, television appearances. Periodically he stays at scientific institutions so that noted scientists can study him to find out what makes him "tick."

He says. "It is enormously important to promote such scientific research. Man has yet to learn much about the physical, spiritual and psychical world about him."

Some say he does it chemically, some with laser beams, some with a radio in his tooth, some with sleight-of-hand. The scientifically controlled tests and medical exams refute all this.

"Besides," Geller adds, "if it were a corrosive chemical, my hands would have fallen off by now."

The book is replete with documentation, identification of famous scientists and photos. Geller reports that Nature magazine, the prestigious publication from England, is issuing another article on him shortly, following his latest scientific examination at the University of London.

What about this strikingly handsome man's love life?  "Oh yes, yes. I hope to indeed . . when I am about 35. I travel around so much now...." What does he look for in a girl? "Intelligence." he adds and smiles. "I would like her to be pretty" Blonde, brunette, red head? "What's the difference?" he laughs.

Asked what he thinks such commercialization of his extraordinary gift will do to his credibility, Geller replies, "Why should I not try to earn some money, to make money, like everyone else? Nobody can tell me how to live my life. Not a darned person exists who doesn't work for money. Nobody says I have to lock myself on a mountain top. Why? This world was made for humanity to live in to be happy, to be healthy and to love . . . Love is the greatest power . . I wonder if someday we can harness it for energy - that will never end in its wonderful power for good ..."

Geller also points out that this popularization and demonstration of his gifts to the general public, be it on a paid basis if only for amusement serves a definite purpose. "It helps people to think that maybe there is something beyond what they can just see and touch . . Maybe there is something greater and more wonderful than man knows about yet. Someday it will be proven to be a force of life, of nature ... "

Geller also has issued a record of songs put to his poetry. He loves writing poetry.

And he is going to star in a movie about his life. He has just signed a contract with the Robert Stigwood Organization, which produced "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Tommy." Work is expected to start in November, probably in Hollywood.

From here it's on to Denver, Portland, Seattle, Tacoma, and then to Japan next month and to Holland in September.

Geller frankly says before any demonstration, "I don't know if this will work. Sometimes it does not. It helps when people don't work against me. when they think with me, so we can do this together ... Sometimes if an interviewer is hostile. I walk out. I know what I do is real. I don't have to defend myself. Things I have done are very strange, and some of the things that have happened to me are hard to believe. It was hard for me to believe, but they happened. I hope it never happens to me again."

He was; referring to an incident of teleportation, reported in his book, which occurred in New York In which he says he was transported from East Manhattan to Ossining, N.Y., in seconds. It is a distance of 30 miles.

Dr. Adrija Puharich, who worked with Geller at SRI and elsewhere, verifies the sudden loud noise in his house led to his finding Geller had tumbled in headfirst through his screen door, and was in a state of total shock.

"I know telling these things lessens my credibility, but they happen and, I will tell you frankly, how it happens I do not know ... but I wouldn't want it to happen again." The experience was overwhelming.

He notes the Einstein theory, which says energy is never lost. In the eons ahead, he says, the planet will lose its present form and become a changing energy.

Man, too, he says perhaps within 100,000 years will be greatly changed. There will be no TV. He won't need it. He will receive the impressions he seeks telepathically. His eyes will be smaller for the same reason, he will have no need of them. He will see mentally. Man will hardly use his mouth, except for artistic expressions. He will talk telepathically ... and there will be no commuter rush.  Humanity will be able to energize and move through space. Shades of Jules Verne ... his sci-fi came true, reminds Geller.

Star Trek is not beyond any realm of possibility ... What man can dream of he can create.  "They laughed at Jules Verne. They tried to kill Galileo. When Mme. Curie discovered radiation they thought she was foolish. They didn't know what to do with it ... Someday we will run our earth with radiation."

Geller enjoys a laugh. On television he told the story of being sued by some young woman in Sweden who claimed she became pregnant after watching his metal twisting demonstration on TV. Her IUD bent cut of shape. "She could not prove it was my fault, so no suit."

Doubting scientists attest to his ability not only in telepathy but to move objects when placed in a Faraday Cage. It is a double-screened copper box which locks out all radio waves. The box, in turn, is placed inside a sealed room. SRI figures show that Geller's demonstrations represent 1.000,000 to 1 odds of likely occurrence.

Geller says his extraordinary abilities began when he had a strange experience as a tot of about three or four years of age. He loved to play in a large, weedy Arabic garden across from his home in Tel Aviv.

One late afternoon he lay in the grass, dreaming childish dreams. Suddenly there was a loud, high-pitched ringing in his ears. All other sound stopped. Time appeared to stand still. Not even the trees moved in the wind. 

Something, he says, made him look up at the sky, and suddenly a mass of silvery light engulfed him. He felt a sharp pain in his forehead. He felt as though he was knocked over backward and lost consciousness.  When he regained awareness he ran home to tell his mother ... and in time Uri Geller began to demonstrate his unusual gifts.

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