First of all, can you explain a little bit about, well, just what the hell you were involved with on behalf of the Army?
We were watching what the Soviets were doing—we’re talking late-’70s, early-’80s—and had reason to believe they were taking the whole “Psi” area very seriously. We had what was then a classified program going. Part of it was an R&D program in “remote viewing” that became actually operational, meaning that it was being used to target a wide range of things—initially Soviet, later on drug smugglers and things of that nature. Psychokinesis, mind over matter kinds of things. I was conducting… well, beyond “experiments” because the colloquial press likes to make light of that. But the metal-bending effect was absolutely real.
Uri Gellar happens to be a personal friend, but it’s not folks like Uri. It was average, everyday kinds of, in our case, senior officers. So we were concerned because of the implications of what you could do. People would say, “What are you going to do? Bend tank barrels?” And you say, “No. We’re just going to move electrons. Make computers either not work, or render them unreliable.” This was right at the beginning of the Information Age, of course. That this worked is 100 percent real.
Were you a believer from the start, or were you skeptical at first?
Well, I considered myself the quintessential skeptic, as opposed to a debunker. Now, when you deal with Psy-cops and those kinds of organizations, they’re not skeptical—they’re debunkers. Meaning “it can’t be, therefore it isn’t.” As opposed to us, because we’ve had enough incidents happen with folks right in front of us. The problem was, they didn’t happen 100 percent of the time. And control was a significant issue, as were the theoretical models. Are you familiar with the “white crow” saying?
The saying goes that it takes only one white crow to prove all crows aren’t black. We saw absolutely certain kinds of things occur under pretty good observational conditions. We weren’t being faked. These were, as I say, everyday people. In fact, there was something called the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Princeton. It was run by Bob Jahn, a supreme astrophysicist and dean of engineering at Princeton, and because of the things that they saw, they set up their laboratory. But if you came in and said, “I’m a psychic, I’d like to be tested,” they’d say, “Thank you very much. We won’t do that.” The only people they would test were normal people. What they didn’t want was somebody to come in and run some tests and put on their business card, “As tested by Princeton.”
Do you remember the first thing you saw that made you a believer?
I had what we call a PK (psychokinesis) party at my house. We had a guy by the name of Jack Houck, who had invented a process whereby we could teach these techniques to large numbers of people. My boss, who was a three-star general, and a bunch of others were there. But we had a woman hold a folk by the bottom and this thing just dropped a full 90 degrees with no physical contact.
That’s what we said, “Wow.” It was like, “somebody needs to look at this.” And then I learned the process and was able to do it again, teaching hundreds to thousands of people over time, many of them pretty senior officials. And we protected who they were because this is not career-enhancing stuff in most cases. The final codename for the operation was Stargate. But it lasted over 20 years and had a number of different names: Grillflame, Centerlane, Sunstreak. Over time we changed the names just to protect the program. But the results are pretty spectacular. The ability to gain information at a distance? Absolutely undeniable. …
There are several different ways magicians seem to bend spoons with their minds. All are tricks.
Uri gives away one of his spoon bending tricks if you listen closely. He states that the spoons he uses are ordinary steel and that they are cold after he rubs them and breaks them. The answer is that they are not ordinary steel, or more likely, that they have been prepared through repeated bending to respond to even the slight warming caused by the rubbing he does with his fingers.