Puharich, Andrija (Henry Karl) (1918-1995)

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Puharich, Andrija (Henry Karl) (1918-1995)

Physician and parapsychologist. He was born on February 9, 1918, in Chicago, Illinois, of Yugoslavian ancestry. He studied at Northwestern University (B.A., 1942) and Northwestern University Medical School (M.B. and M.D., 1946). He developed an interest in psychic phenomena in 1947 and the following year set up the Round Table Foundation, Glen Cove, Maine, to study the physico-chemical basis for paranormal phenomena. However, it was after his period of service in the army (1953-59) that his true interests emerged.

Through the 1960s, Puharich was an independent scientist and inventor operating with the funds and patronage of various funding sources including the Mind Science Foundation, San Antonio, Texas; the Belk Research Foundation, New York City; the Consciousness Research Foundation; and various industrial and scientific organizations. He holds some 50 patents. He did both psychological and non-parapsychological work; his several books reflect his exploration of hallucinogens and ESP.

In April 1971 he decided to change directions and devote himself fully to his first love, parapsychological investigation. This decision was stimulated by his brief contact in 1962 with the Brazilian psychic surgeon José Arigó, who died suddenly in an auto accident in 1971. Shortly thereafter he went to Tel Aviv, Israel, to meet metal bending psychic Uri Geller and commenced a series of tests of Geller's talents.

During these tests Geller apparently manifested psychokinetic ability and dematerialization of objects which reappeared elsewhere. Under hypnosis, a mysterious voice was heard in the same room as Geller, claiming to be a superior intelligence of an extraterrestrial nature. Similar messages had been conveyed to Puharich by a Hindu scholar and psychic Dr. D. G. Vinod in 1953, and also by Dr. Charles Laughead of Whipple, Arizona, three years later. These messages are described in detail in Puharich's biography of Geller, Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller (1974). It must be emphasized that these astonishing communications, claiming to originate from superior intelligences in spaceships, manifested in the Puharich's presence and seemed to follow him around from one psychic to another, and the reports of these voices led many of Puharich's colleagues to question his work otherwise.

Puharich continued to work quietly through the 1970s, and little has been published since concerning his direction or results. He died January 3, 1995.


Puharich, Andrija. Beyond Telepathy. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1962.

. The Sacred Mushroom: Key to the Door of Eternity. Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1959.

. Time No Longer. N.p., 1980.

. Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1974.

Puharich, Andrija, and Harold E. Puthoff. The Iceland Papers. Amherst, Wis.: Essentia Research Associates, 1979.