By early February 1972 the events to be described in this book had resulted in my being in a state of continual, severe pressure, and I was in need of a good rest. It was for this reason that on the morning of February 13, Uri Geller drove me to Lod International Airport where I was to catch a plane for Rome.
As Uri and I parted at the escalator going up to the Immigration Section, a customs official came up to me and insisted on escorting me. I waved good-bye to Uri as I ascended, little knowing that I was walking into a trap. The official took me into an office where, without saying a word, he carefully checked my passport. Then he asked me to follow him; we went right through Immigration and Inspection without being stopped. Suddenly I realized I was in trouble. I was led into a small room, where waiting for me were four tough-looking men in their forties.
They identified themselves as Israeli Army Counterintelligence (Shin Beth) officers. One of them politely requested my permission to search me and all of my effects. I protested vigorously and asked to see their search warrant. One of them said they were exercising normal wartime powers. I asked for permission to call one of my many acquaintances in the Israeli Army. They refused. So I consented to the search, feeling secure in the knowledge that they would find no evidence that I was any kind of "spy." However, they not only thoroughly searched my person, camera bag, and briefcase but also took possession of almost all of the contents. I became furious when they confiscated my three volumes of research journals containing data on Uri. Again I protested vigorously. One of the men look at me grimly and said, "I hope, for your sake, that we do not find what we are looking for."
After he had taken my research journals, movie films, telephone book, and letters, the leader of the group said that this material would eventually be returned to me. "Where shall we send it?" he asked. I gave him a close friend's address in Tel Aviv. He gave me a receipt for my property, and I was escorted by two men aboard the waiting plane.
As the plane took off from the soil of Israel, I looked down at the Holy Land and wondered if I would ever be permitted to return. I was suddenly aware that I was alone, all alone, for the first time in several months.
When I arrived in Rome, I telephoned friends in New York and discovered that an immense rumor mill had been started which said that I had gone mad. Many even believed that Uri was a Mephistophelian character and that I had made some kind of pact with this "devil." I was able to reach Uri in Israel by phone, and he told me that all hell had broken loose there. The Army was constantly interrogating him, in order to get more information about me. He told me that they were convinced I was a master spy and that they were now trying to figure out what country I worked for. They had also come to his apartment where I had stored my research equipment, tapes, and film documentation and seized them all for intelligence analysis. Uri told me to plan to stay away for a long time, but to keep in touch. After four days in Rome, I assessed my situation and found it to be one where I was not welcome either at home or in Israel, and I decided to take a long rest.
I left Rome by a devious route, checking to see if I was being followed. When I was sure that I was not being followed, I found my way to the Italian Dolomite Alps and the town of Cortina. I scouted around and found a small, totally isolated hotel, the Tre Croci, on the top of a mountain pass. It was the essence of Old World charm presided over by Signor Menardi and his wife.
Realizing that I might never see my confiscated journals again, I decided to try to reconstruct from memory those events that led me to be suspected as a threat to the security of a nation. On February 19, 1972, on my fifty-fourth birthday, I sat down at my desk in the Tre Croci Hotel to begin this task.
My first trip to Israel was in March 1970 to train a research group at the Tel Aviv University Medical School in my technique of electrostimulation of hearing for the deaf. I would lecture a few hours a day to the staff at the Tel H'ashomer Communications Research Unit and then rush off to see the sights of Israel. One of the places I wanted to see was the Qumran site, near the Dead Sea, where the Dead Sea scrolls had been discovered in 1947. I was fascinated by the doctrines and writings of the Essenes who had lived there.
I rented a car and drove from Tel H'ashomer to Qumran. It was a warm, balmy day, and the scent of spring was very much in the desert air. There were no tourists at Qumran, only one Arab boy as a tour guide. He volunteered to take me into each of the caves where the scrolls had been found. This was a great thrill for me, since I am an amateur archaeologist. Finally the boy left me alone, and I sat on the rocks of the community site, drinking in the smell of the Dead Sea and the sights of the Jordan Valley to the north. For me it was a happy and exhilarating hour in the sun. When it was 5 P.M., I reluctantly moved toward my car to drive back to Tel Aviv
As I started to drive, I felt a heaviness come over me that was like anesthesia. I reasoned that it must be due to all the fresh spring air and the altitude, which was about three hundred meters below sea level. But, then, why had I felt so good a few moments earlier? I checked the car's exhaust system for leaks, but it was all right. My health was perfect, and I had not used any medicines or drugs. I could not account for the sleepiness.
I had great difficulty getting through Jerusalem. Something was putting me to sleep, and I was fighting it like a punch-drunk boxer who doesn't know when to quit. I have never had to fight sleep so hard in my life. In another hour of slow, sleepy driving, I reached the town of Ramla and finally succumbed to sleep in the car. I woke up an hour later, drank a lot of coffee, got into the car, and barely made it to my hotel room in Tel Aviv, where I fell asleep on my bed fully clothed, with all the lights on. I slept for twelve hours.
When I awakened, I tried to analyze what had happened. I could only conclude that some external force had had this hypnotic effect on me. It might have been a positive ion effect in the air, but it was not the hamsin season, when the hot wind blows through the desert. But one thing was clear: I had never, in any other part of the world, experienced this sensation. It was not until eighteen months later that I was to know the reason for my sleepiness.
On my return to New York from Israel, I was offered the opportunity of being the chairman of an international conference, "Exploring the Energy Fields of Man." The purpose of this conference was to explore the energies involved in certain psychic phenomena. I welcomed the opportunity to bring together a distinguished group of scientists to evaluate these problems so close to my work. At the conference, Itzhaak Bentov, an Israeli researcher from Boston, gave a report on a young man named Uri Geller, who had recently done some amazing psychic feats in Israel. Bentov read a letter from a friend in Israel, whose son had recently graduated from the Technion. The letter said in summary: "His son saw Uri Geller, a 23 year old stage performer, do some amazing things for a group of students and their professors. He made it clear that his son does not believe in these things as being paranormal. His son thinks some kind of a trick is involved, but nobody knows the trick, not even the magicians."
His son's friend had held a gold ring clenched in his hand while Geller held his left hand over this hand for about thirty seconds. When his son's friend opened his hand, the ring was split. Geller also held his hand over the face of a wristwatch belonging to a student, and when he moved his hand away, the watch hands were displaced two hours forward. The third thing Geller did was to drive through Haifa traffic while blindfolded, with the windshield of the car on the driver's side masked with cardboard. It seems someone was required to be in the car with Geller so that Geller could "see" through this person's eyes.
This report was greeted with both incredulity and skepticism by the conference scientists. I made contact with Uri Geller in Israel by letter. Geller agreed to see me in August 1971 and to give me an opportunity to test his alleged talents. I planned to see him the week before I was to go to a conference in France.
Two weeks before I was to leave for Israel, I was suddenly faced with a catastrophic series of events much too complex and personal to report here. There were grave family problems, financial difficulties, and severe illness. For two weeks I felt stressed and stretched to the limits. I felt that I was under some kind of test, that I had to choose between my self-imposed duty to get to Israel and my personal health and comfort. Against all advice I went on to Israel on August 17, 1971. Curiously enough, as soon as I got on the plane, my illness improved, and by the time I landed in Israel I felt healthy again.
I was met at Lod Airport by the father of the boy who had witnessed Uri Geller's feats (I shall call him Jacov, since he does not wish to be identified). Jacov was a balding, sandy-haired, freckle-faced man of deep calm and quiet dignity. He explained at some length that he had arranged for the use of a friend's apartment for me in Tel Aviv. He brought me up to date on his further investigations of Uri Geller. He was frankly skeptical of Geller's powers because there had not been a decent opportunity for satisfactory private demonstrations. He welcomed my presence, just to resolve the nagging question as to whether or not these were genuine powers.
Jacov told me that Geller was performing at 11 P.M. that night at a discotheque called the Zorba in Jaffa. Would I like to go and see Geller or get some rest? In spite of my recent illness, I could not think of conserving myself; I had to go and meet Geller. After dinner, we arrived at the Zorba. It was a huge barn of a place, put together out of crepe and tinsel for the tourist trade. While waiting in the foyer for the show to start, a young man who recognized Jacov came up to us. It was Uri Geller. He introduced himself in perfect English, welcomed me to Israel, and apologized for our having to meet under the squalid roof of the Zorba.
I greeted him in return by saying I had waited for a year to meet him. I was surprised at his healthy appearance. I had expected to find some kind of a strange nebbish somehow not related to this world. Instead he was tall and very handsome, with a quick, sharp, here-and-now sense of presence. His manner was easy, even gentle. He didn't look like a man who broke metal rings by sheer willpower.
Uri soon excused himself to get ready to go on stage. Jacov and I got ringside seats and suffered through a series of rock numbers, jugglers, clowns, and comedians. Uri was the last to appear, since he was the star of this show.
He was simply introduced as Uri Geller as he appeared on stage. The crowd of youngsters went wild with applause. He was evidently very popular. He announced, "With the cooperation of the audience, I am going to try to demonstrate simple telepathy and psychokinesis. I hope I will succeed."
He then did a series of telepathic demonstrations wherein members of the audience wrote numbers, the names of cities, and the names of colors on a blackboard. Blindfolded, he would try to guess what they had written. He was correct on every attempt. I was not impressed, because any magician could do the same thing in a number of different ways by trickery, mostly by having collaborators in the audience. However, I reserved judgment on this subject because I could easily test this talent when we met privately.
Finally he came to the big event of his demonstration. He said that if anyone would volunteer a ring, he would attempt to break it. A lady sitting near us volunteered her costume jewelry ring for the test. She went up on stage, took the ring off her hand, and held it up for all to see; it appeared intact. Uri then told her to clutch the ring in her hand and to make sure that he could not touch it. This she did. Uri then placed his left palm over the lady's clenched fist for about thirty seconds. He asked her to open her hand and to examine the ring. She gasped, "The ring is broken." She held it up for all to see. There was wild applause as Uri ended his demonstration. The lady returned to her seat, and Jacov asked her in Hebrew if we could inspect the ring. She handed it over to us. It was split in two pieces, with no signs of any tool marks. The lady assured Jacov that she was not in collusion with Geller. All this was intriguing, but not convincing, since a magician with the assistance of a confederate could do the same thing.
We met Geller after the show. He was very boyish in his eagerness to find out if I liked his show. I assured him that I enjoyed his part of the show, but would have to work with him privately to assess what he was doing. He readily agreed to meet me at my apartment the next day at 1 P.M. to discuss my research interests and find out what I wanted to do.
I did not realize then how lucky I was. Later I found out that Uri had steadfastly resisted all offers by research people to do experiments. He, too, was surprised at how readily he had consented, especially since I was a total stranger.
By the time Uri arrived at the apartment the next afternoon, all of my equipment was operative and in place. Two of my Israeli friends were present, Jacov and Ms. Shifra Mor. I began by asking Uri to show me those talents of his that he felt the most sure of and to do them in his own way. Uri said he would like to do some simple telepathy for me. He said, "Think of one number from one to nine. Don't tell anyone, just keep it in mind. Got it?"
"Yes," I said. I had thought of the number four.
"Now think of another number."
"I have it," said I, having thought of the number three.
"Now the last number," Uri said.
I had selected two for this number.
Uri looked at me intently as though he were checking his own impressions Then he said very abruptly to me, "Pick up the pad on the table before you, the one I wrote on before you selected your first number. Did you notice that I had written on it then and haven't touched it since?"
"Yes, Uri, I noticed what you had done and that you haven't touched it since or tried to switch it. After all, that is part of my business as an investigator."
I picked up the pad, which was face down, turned it over, and read what Uri had written down before I had thought of my first number. It read, "4 3 2."
Uri laughed, obviously pleased with his coup.
I responded with some admiration. "That's pretty clever; you told me this would be telepathy, and I, of course, thought you were going to be the receiver. But you pulled a switch on me."
"Ah, you got it quick!" interrupted Uri. "I wanted to send you the numbers, but I knew that if I told you to try to receive the numbers, you would fight me. In this way you participated in the experiment without prejudice, and proved that you have telepathy, when I send or pass to you."
I realized now that Uri had an unusual power of influencing others' thoughts. At this point I asked Uri's permission to use my tape recorder and movie camera.
"Of course, if it is easier for you," he replied quickly. "But you probably think that since I sent those numbers to you so easily, I might also hypnotize you to see and do things that are not really there!"
"You are so right, Uri," I laughingly replied. "I can see that we're going to get along just fine."
Now that we had tested each other's mettle, we were able to settle down to some serious work. I then asked Uri to do some more telepathy with my Israeli friends. I might say that these two people were highly trained observers.
After an hour of doing Uri's telepathy with simple units of information such as numbers, letters, colors, and single words, we stopped for a break. We openly discussed our opinion of Uri's demonstration. I led off by stating without equivocation that this was genuine telepathy and I would state so anywhere.
Shifra and Jacov concurred in this opinion. They asked if Uri could get or give more complex information by telepathic means. He replied, "I can't do things like that. I stick to the simplest bits of things, so that it is like two times two equals four. Then people have to say I am right or I am wrong. If I do whole stories, it's hard to score what I do. This way it is either zero, or a hundred, and no in-between."
"Now what would you like to do?" I asked Uri.
"Does anyone happen to have a watch that does not work? I will try to fix it," said Uri.
Shifra replied first. "I have a watch that is not broken; it is not working because I haven't wound it in a few days. Can you start it without touching it?"
"Well, I'll try," said Uri. I interrupted, "Shifra, first let me inspect the watch before anything is done." She handed me the watch. It was a well-known Swiss-brand watch. I listened to it. I shook it. This made it tick a few cycles and then it stopped. I then took a motion picture of the face.
Uri said, "I don't want to touch it. Let Shifra hold it in her clenched fist."
I placed the watch in Shifra's open palm. She closed it, and then Uri placed his left hand palm down over her hand without touching it. After thirty seconds Uri said, "Okay, check it. I think it's running."
I took the watch from Shifra and inspected it. The watch ticked now and continued to do so. The hands moved for several minutes normally. Shifra agreed to let me keep the watch to see how long it would run. The watch ran for thirty minutes before it stopped.
Uri then asked if I would take my watch off and just hold it in my hand. I noted the time. It was 2:32 P.M. I placed the watch in my right hand. Uri placed his hand over mine without touching it. He concentrated for about ten seconds, then said, "Check it."
I looked at the watch. The hands now stood at 3:04 P.M., an advance of thirty-two minutes. My watch is a Universal Geneve Chronometer, with additional dials to add up stopwatch time. I noticed that two of these dials had also shown an advance of thirty-two minutes. But the stopwatch sweep-second hand should have been running for thirty-two minutes, but the stopwatch sweep-second hand was motionless. There is no known way to advance these two dials thirty-two minutes except to run the stopwatch for thirty-two minutes. This complex feat of psychokinesis was unparalleled in my experience, or in the literature, for that matter.
This ended our research session for the first day. I had only one reservation: I must wait until my motion pictures were developed to make sure that my companions and I were not hallucinating. One month later when the film was developed I had my confirmation; the film had seen the same thing as had my eyes.
The next day I repeated the telepathy tests and found the same positive results. Then I asked Uri to concentrate on a pair of identical thermometers of the bimetal type. He was able to raise selectively the temperature of one thermometer six to eight degrees Fahrenheit, while the other one remained at the room temperature. I found that he could do this equally well from across the room as when near the thermometer.
There was now no question in my mind that Uri Geller's powers of telepathy and psychokinesis were extraordinary. I now wanted to know more about him as a person: What were his interests and his motivation?
"Uri, you must have thought a great deal about your powers. What is your idea about where they come from? Or how do you think it works?"
"Yes, I have thought about them. You see, my ideas may seem funny to you because I have only had a high school education. I don't read books. But my ideas are my own, and I don't like to discuss them. I believe that in telepathy I am passing the light speed. I feel that telepathic waves travel at a speed of light or faster. Every object gives off radiation which moves out into the universe. When we pass the light barrier, we can see into the past or into the future, and we can transmute materials one into the other. Everything is based on the light speed, and once beyond that there is no end to what can be done. But as yet, we cannot find the particles beyond the light speed because they are too small. I also believe that there is no limit to the smallness of particles. This is the way I think, but let us not get into theories that we cannot work with."
I was quite taken with the depth of Uri's ideas, especially since they were so unexpected. "Someday," I said, "when we have time, I would like to tell you about Dr. Vinod, a man from India who taught me many things. One of them had to do with superconscious states of mind being due to, or related to, velocities near to the speed of light. What you say about telepathy strikes a responsive chord in me."
"There is an interesting thing I have noticed, Dr. Puharich," Uri interrupted. "Sometimes when I break a ring, it loses some of its material. With the breaking of a chain, sometimes a link disappears."
"Uri, I saw you break metals with your willpower at the Zorba. Would you try to show me that?" I asked.
"Yes, I would like to do that for you, but a little later," he said.
I asked Uri when he had first decided to show his powers in public.
"It slowly started in late 1969 when I did some small things for a friend of mine, Shipi Strang. But I really had my first show, with promotion and advertising and all that, in March 1970, because an agent said I could make a lot of money. It was in a movie house in Bat Yam. After a week of this I knew it was easy and I enjoyed it. Then I found that I really need the stimulation of working in front of people in order to do these things. When I am by myself, nothing happens. Now, there are also many people who are opposed to me. They say it is all a fraud and a trick and that I should admit it. But I don't really care whether they believe or don't believe; as you see, I have two things going for me. First, there is my plain, naive appearance. Second, I am a showman and I do have powers."
To this candid immodesty, I had to add my honest opinion about Uri. "You have not realized your full powers yet. You are just at the beginning."
"Thank you, Dr. Puharich, but what else is there for me to do? Everything is written. If we go out of the route, and we leave the third or fourth dimension, we go on into another dimension and another form of life. I believe there is life everywhere in the universe. There are advanced beings who can pass the light barrier, who can travel millions of light-years in an instant. They can transfer themselves to different dimensions; they can change themselves into any form they wish, and appear as ants, birds, people, or even UFOs. These space people now know that earth people are finally advanced enough so that they can show newer forms than they used to take in biblical times. That is, they take different forms now."
"Uri, did you ever see these things that you are talking about?" I asked.
"No, to tell you the truth, I never have. I just believe in these things, but I don't know why I do."
Uri went on. "I'm talking about these things because I see them in my mind. I believe them. I believe that we live other lives. When our energy runs out in this life, it goes into another dimension. You see, I believe that if you have telepathy, you pass the light barrier, and you go into other dimensions. People ask me, 'Why do you have powers, and I don't?' I have an explanation, and I suppose you can say it comes out of four theories, or any one of them.
"Maybe on our own earth before the Ice Age, there was a civilization, very advanced. All that I do now, they once did. Somehow they have remained, not incorporated in a body, and I somehow have their powers."
"Then maybe I am a descendant; my ancestors were people not from earth. They landed in a flying saucer. They had these powers, and somehow they came up in me. This is like a science fiction theory, that I was planted on earth."
"Or somehow while growing up, my mind split. Basically it appears okay, but something turned a little away, a little sharper. There is a warp in its makeup."
"The last one, I don't even want to say it. They are somewhere out there. They have their reasons. This is related to my second idea."
"Now I will try to split a ring for you," Uri announced in the face of our silence. Jacov's wife, Sara, had joined us. She offered her gold wedding band. I think she felt that it was perfectly safe; no one could break a ring without touching it. Uri asked her to clench the ring in her fist. He held his left hand, palm open and down, over Sara's fist.
Uri said, "I know this ring is precious to you. I won't break it badly; I'll just crack it lightly. Tell me, do you feel anything?"
Sara said after about thirty seconds, "I feel some tingling in my palm."
"Okay, I think it is broken. Open your fist," said Uri.
We all crowded around Sara. I picked up the ring first. There, clearly across the yellow gold, was a crack in the metal! Now I felt the full impact of Uri's powers. The Gordian Knot had been cut! (Several months later I got a report on the ring from the metallurgist at the Stanford University Department of Materials Science. It stated that there was no known way to cause this kind of fracture and that the electron microscope pictures were unique. )
I spent my remaining few days repeating each of the tests with Uri that I had already done, just to make sure that I was not being fooled. I wanted to make arrangements for future research with Uri. He was quite willing to work with me. I decided that the preliminary research should be done right in Israel, and Uri concurred. Before I left Israel, Uri proudly showed me his scrapbook of news clippings. One story from Israel's leading newspaper, Ma'Ariv, of February 19, 1971, caught my eye. It was about "Captain Edgar D. Mitchell, the Uri Geller of the astronauts." I told Uri that I would be talking to Captain Mitchell on my return to the States.
Since I had to be in France on August 24, I did not have much time. I had to reach key figures in the government to make sure that I would have their cooperation. Jacov understood totally what had to be done in Israel, and he undertook to be my emissary. I left for France on the understanding that if he could arrange a meeting for me with certain key figures, I would return to Israel.
At the International Conference in St. Paul de Vence, I was especially interested in a report by Dr. Hans Bender on a phenomenon that involved recording on a tape recorder voices whose origin was unknown. Dr. Bender told me of a man in Germany, Dr. Konstantin Raudive, who was doing such work. I decided to go see Dr. Raudive right after the conference.
At the conference I met a young parapsychologist from the University of Wisconsin, Ila Ziebell, who impressed me very much with her quick wit and good judgment. But more of her later, when she enters this story as a principal. I did not report on my work with Geller at the conference, since I felt it was premature to say anything about his startling powers. I knew that, paradoxically, the bigger his powers, the more proof it would take to be convincing.
From the conference I flew to Zurich, where I met my friend and assistant of many years, Melanie Toyofuku, to do some work with Dr. Raudive. I phoned Dr. Raudive and found that he was able to see me for the coming week. Since I had all my research equipment with me from the work in Israel, I was prepared to join Dr. Raudive immediately.
Melanie and I drove down along the Rhine to Bad Krozingen where Dr. Raudive lived and worked. Bad Krozingen is a spa built for chronically ill people, and I did not like its atmosphere. Therefore, as was my habit, I simply drove around the area looking for an inn that suited my mood. At sunset I drove into a small town which was guarded by a castle high on a hill. It had a warm rustic atmosphere. I found an inn that had rooms free, and Melanie and I settled in. The next morning we were having breakfast at a sidewalk cafe in the village square when we inquired as to the name of the town. The waiter informed us that it was Staufen and was famous as the place in which Dr. Johannes Faustus had lived in the sixteenth century.
Dr. Konstantin Raudive was a Latvian philosopher living in Bad Krozingen because of his wife's disability. Although he spoke many languages, English did not come easily to him, so we settled on French for our discussions with Melanie serving as the interpreter. Dr. Raudive explained how he was able to record the "voices" of people who had died. He used an ordinary tape recorder with a diode placed in series with the input jack. Sometimes he used the tape recorder with an ordinary microphone input, but this created too much noise in the recording, with the result that the "voices" were buried in the noise level of the electronic system. Therefore, one had to train oneself to hear the signal in the noise. It took me about twelve hours of such training to hear the voices that Dr. Raudive said were there. At last Melanie and I were able to hear the voices without any help from Dr. Raudive.
On August 31, 1971, Dr. Raudive conducted an experimental session in which we would try to record "spirit" voices on my Sony TC 120 tape recorder. The procedure was simple: The tape recorder was placed on a coffee table, and we sat around it. The recorder was started, and Dr. Raudive simply said, "We would like to have a message for Miss Melanie." We waited two minutes and then played back the tape recording. All of us distinctly heard the words "Melanie," "yes," following Dr. Raudive's last words. Melanie said the two words had the voice quality of her deceased Japanese grandmother who had never learned to speak English properly.
Following this attempt, the tape recorder was started again, and I asked for my mother, Rose, who had died in 1956, but I spoke in Croatian, the language in which she and I had spoken so often. When the tape was played back, we heard the phrase in Croatian "To Rosalija," and to my ear it had the voice quality of my mother as I remembered it. The phrase meant "This is Rose."
We went on working in this fashion for two more days with similar results. I was totally convinced that the effect was genuine. However, I was forced to the conclusion that in order for the effect to occur, Dr. Raudive's presence was required. This meant that we were dealing with a two-termed process in which one term was an instrument, the tape recorder, and the other term was a human being, Dr. Raudive. For example, the same effect did not occur with me at this time. A person who has such a special effect is called a medium. A medium serves as a bridge between this material world and the world of the unknown, from which the voices came. The fact that one needed a medium did not make the effect less valid; it just introduced the factor of special human dependency.
After our final sessions with Dr. Raudive, I left for London and from there drove to Cambridge University to discuss my findings on Uri Geller with a group of friends whom I considered to be on the "cutting edge" of knowledge advancement. I met with Ted Bastin, a physicist; Chris Clarke, a cosmologist; Margaret Masterman, a philosopher and linguist; and Richard Braithwaite, a philosopher; and others. My data on the Geller effects were received with great interest as a possible contribution to a fundamental revision in philosophy and in science. We began to make plans for the kind of research that we would have to do in future years, just to build a new data base for the new science to come.
On September 12 I got a phone call in London from Jacov, who was in Israel. He said he had made contact with the right Israeli authorities and that I should return immediately for a discussion. On September 13 I had extensive discussions with a key government figure in Tel Aviv about research with Uri. He told me that there was a consensus among his colleagues that the kind of things Uri Geller was doing should be taken seriously from a scholarly point of view and that I could count on cooperation in my program from his government. I was encouraged to return to Israel, to try to organize a research program on my own.
On September 14 I picked up a copy of the Herald Tribune in Tel Aviv and read a story by Walter Sullivan. It said that some American and Soviet scientists had called an international conference "to consider the possibility of communicating with life on other worlds." The meeting had been held in Byurakan in the Soviet Union. Many distinguished scientists were in attendance, including Dr. Charles Townes, Nobel Laureate from the University of California, Berkeley. This was the first time that such a conference had ever been held at so high a level.
I did not try to do any research with Uri on this trip, but spent our time together simply trying to get to know him better. I also met his two closest friends, Hannah and Shipi Strang. It was easy to see that a tight bond held these three together, and I knew that any plans for work with Uri in the future would necessarily have to include Hannah and Shipi.
By September 20 I was back in my home in Ossining. The next two months were a blur of activity in which I saw people all over the United States and Canada, trying to enlist their interest and support for the Geller research in Israel. Most of my professional colleagues simply did not accept my data on Geller, even after viewing my films of his effects on watches, metal breakage, etc. I soon discovered the reason: they were threatened. If Geller were true, then the very foundations of science would have to be questioned.
One of the more open minds was that of Captain Edgar D. Mitchell, who had just completed the Apollo 14 mission to the moon in February. He and I met for the first time in Houston, where he told me that he had completed the first moon:earth telepathy experiment. He had been the sender in space to four human receivers based on earth. He told me that the results had been just as I had predicted ten years earlier in my book Beyond Telepathy. He was most enthusiastic about the prospects of doing research with Uri, and we made some plans to do so.
By November 17 I had completed all the complex tasks necessary to launch a long-term research effort in Israel with Uri, and was on my way back to Israel. My goals were now quite clear. I had to make arrangements with the institutes of higher learning in Israel to get them to work with Uri. It was essential that others participate in the process of validating Uri's powers; and Uri had to become accustomed to working with scientists.
By 7:30 P.M. November 19, 1971, I was settled in Reuven's apartment in Tel Aviv. The next day I was scheduled to start a series of meetings with Uri, Jacov, Reuven, and others to plan how to accomplish all the goals I had set. Little did I know at this moment as I settled into bed that my lifelong quest for true knowledge was about to commence.