Best known as a spoon-bender who befriended singer Michael Jackson – and branded a charlatan by critics – it now appears that Uri Geller may have had a second career as a CIA spy.
According to a new BBC documentary, he used his psychic powers in an attempt to wipe secret Soviet computer records.
It is alleged he also tried to disable military radar and influence the mind of a Russian negotiator during Cold War arms talks in Geneva by beaming peace messages at his head.
The Israeli-born showman’s life has been littered with outrageous claims. Over the years, his tricks have baffled scientists and enraged his rivals.
Now, the BBC film, to be broadcast later this year, claims Geller was recruited to help Western intelligence services as they battled to stay ahead of their Communist enemies in the Seventies and Eighties.
In The Secret Life Of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?, film-maker Vikram Jayanti spoke to a host of scientists, intelligence agents and Washington and Pentagon insiders. Several confirmed that the U.S. authorities used – and still may be using – 66-year-old Geller in what surely must be some of the most outrageous schemes ever dreamt up.
‘I tried to execute missions that were positive. I said “No” to dark things,’ says Geller of his alleged second career as a spy.
So what did he do? And how did the man who many believe can’t even bend a fork without hiding a magnet in his hand come to captivate America’s spy chiefs?
It all started in Israel, where Geller was raised. As a young man with a popular nightclub mind-reading act, he came to the attention of the secret service, Mossad, as they sought to outwit their Arab neighbours.
At the same time, his potential was spotted in America, and it was U.S. scientists who researched his paranormal skills.
The Stanford Research Institute in California, often a front for secret CIA research, had been commissioned during the early Seventies by the U.S. government to look into whether psychic powers could be harnessed by the military – Washington believed the Kremlin was already investigating the same area.
The research with Uri went into a high gear after a phone conversation with his secret CIA contact 3,000 miles away, in which Uri correctly described a detailed anatomical illustration the agent was looking at on his desk.
With his seemingly incredible skills in telepathy, Geller became the poster boy for the paranormal. He spent months wired up in lab tests and – according to the documentary – the results convinced scientists that he really did have special skills.
For example, he was allegedly able to guess letters of the alphabet that other people were thinking about. But before the Americans could decide what to do with him, he was pressed into service by Israel.
So far, he had done only mundane work such as helping Israeli defence minister Moshe Dayan find hidden archaeological artefacts buried in his garden.
But then, having proved himself, he was later recruited to do clandestine work for Mossad.
According to his biographer Jonathan Margolis, in 1976 an Israeli agent told Geller a set of numbers and a certain time the next day when he had to concentrate on the numbers and think ‘Break, break, break’.
Unknown to Geller, he was being asked to play a key role in an audacious and secret operation by Israeli commandos to rescue 102 hostages who had been seized on a plane by Palestinian terrorists and who were at Entebbe airport in Uganda.
The crisis began when an Air France flight flying from Israel to Paris with 250 people on board was hijacked. The raid by 200 elite, Israel-led troops was a success.
Geller’s role? The numbers he had been given, he said later, related to a radar station the commandos needed to put out of action to take the terrorists by surprise.