Andrija Puharich Biography - by Uri Geller

Dr. Andrija Puharich is regarded by many as the “father” of the modern American “New Age” movement. Puharich “discovered” Peter Hurkos, a Dutchman who made a name for himself as a psychic detective. Puharich also “discovered” Uri Geller, an Israeli stage magician who made a name for himself by claiming that he had psychic and telekinetic powers. Fascinated since his college days by the powers of the mind, he tramped the world in search of people who could show him what it can do. First came experiments in telepathy with Eileen Garrett, Peter Hurkos and others in his own lab. Then he was off to Mexico in search of ‘sacred’ mushrooms used by shamans to obtain information. Next stop was Brazil, where he made a detailed study of the psychic surgeon known as Arigó. Typically, Andrija wanted to get close to the action and he offered himself as guinea-pig. He was devastated when Arigó died in a road accident in 1971, though he later managed to study an equally unconventional healer, Pachita, in Mexico. He still found time for more conventional research, notably into the effects of ultra low-frequency waves on the human brain. He was the first to investigate the mysterious signal known as the Woodpecker (which is what it sounded like) coming from two huge transmitters in the Soviet Union that was disrupting radio broadcasts all over the world. Their purpose has never been revealed, and he was convinced that the Soviets were testing a new type of psychological weapon based on technology developed by Nikola Tesla. In 1983 he announced the successful treatment of tumors in mice with gaseous “superoxide” anion and ozone, a discovery that seems to have been swept under the rug. Towards the end of his life he was working on a theory of a common scientific basis for all kinds of healing, both conventional and unconventional. His last public presentation, in 1990, had the typically forward-looking title “Unification of the four forces of nature with the human mind: theory and experiment” Andrija definitely had a strange side: Back in the early fifties, after a meeting with an Indian mystic, he became convinced that human affairs were being directed by a bunch of extraterrestrials called The Nine. He really believed this, and unwittingly founded a Nine cult. Many of these utterances came through hypnotized people, and he included several pages of them in his book about me, well aware that this wouldn’t do his scientific reputation much good, as indeed it didn’t. Yet he was like that – a true maverick who refused to run with the herd. In letters to Bep and in his personal papers, Andrija gave fascinating accounts of his mushroom-hunts in remote parts of Mexico, and of the bizarre events that followed the delivery of his 1,200-page biography of Tesla to his publisher, Dell. They never published it, following alleged intervention by the CIA which, to add to the confusion, then invited him to become a research director. He flatly refused to have anything to do with them. The most poignant item that Bep unearthed was the prize-winning essay on George Washington that Andrija wrote when he was 19. In its opening sentence, he seems to have written his own epitaph: “When a man belongs to posterity, he is an alien to his contemporaries, since the effects of his work are too far-reaching to be appreciated by his own generation… There is too much of the visionary about such a man to convince the practical-minded” – Excerpted from “Tribute to a Maverick” by Uri Geller