Geller in Budapest

James Randi (geller-hotline)
Sat, 4 Apr 92 17:21 EST

Recently, super-psychic Uri Geller was in Budapest at the request
of a rich Hungarian whose 18-year-old daughter went missing 8 months ago.
Geller was asked by the girl's father to help the Hungarian police find
her. Geller arrived there in a great flurry of publicity and after
visiting with the girl's family for 72 hours, he made a number of
statements, all unsupported, about how and when the "kidnapped" girl
would be found, the names of the supposed kidnappers, and various other
vague impressions.
Some of the statements reported to me by friends in Budapest, were
quite interesting. Accoding to them, Geller said that the girl was
either alive or dead, that she was either in Hungary or outside, that if
she was outside the country she could be in Brazil -- or in Austria, and
that he would come back to Hungary if he gets further impressions.
When the great psychic then returned home to England, he was
interviewed by the London Daily Star and got front-page coverage on what
appeared to be his astounding success, under the headline, "URI HUNTS
KIDNAP BEAUTY," "Geller uses mystic powers in a kidnap riddle" and
"GOLDEN NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK." Geller is referred to as a "psychic
detective." Said Uri to the Daily Star, "The trip was a success. We got
there after conventional methods failed." The article was illustrated
with color photos of the heiress in provocative glamor poses.
Those in the scientific and skeptical community in Budapest who
heard about the Daily Star piece, were astonished at the differences
between Geller's version of his visit and what had actually taken place.
On March 18, the Hungarian newspaper "Esti Hirlap" (Evening News) ran a
front-page article titled, "URI'S HUNT: Why do the English see the
Hungarian police as stupid?" The newspaper even reproduced the Daily
News article.
I've had a translation of the article done. It is highly
critical in nature, effectively comparing Geller's claims with the
actualities of his visit, and it ends with an astute observation that,
"The gullible will believe anything."
PS: I'm now told that my essay WILL appear in TIME next week. This
time, it's almost positive.....?