Uri Geller, the Israeli spoon-bender who convinced contractors for the U.S. government that he had inexplicable psychic powers in the 1970s, announced yesterday that he had discovered the location of the Ark of the Covenant while dowsing on the ground floor of his new museum of himself in Jaffa.
“I know where the Arc [sic] of the Covenant is,” he wrote on Twitter. “I will find it[;] mark my words. It will be an earth shattering historical tsunami and an archeological and a theological earthquake.” Geller, 75, used the tweet to promote his Uri Geller Museum in Jaffa, which features the world’s longest steel spoon (53 feet long) and hundreds of bent spoons.
The museum, housed in an Ottoman-era building containing the remains of an ancient soap factory, also features Geller’s collection of celebrity memorabilia, including a golden egg that Geller says John Lennon claimed had come from space aliens. The museum holds a spoon Geller says once belonged to James Dean. Geller glued it, along with 2,600 other celebrity spoons, to a Cadillac.
Geller did not provide additional information about the location of the Ark of the Covenant, but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for him to find it anytime soon. Geller’s forays into Biblical archaeology don’t end well. In 2017, he claimed to be on the trail of the “Egyptian” treasure of the fictitious Princess Scota, whose apocryphal medieval legend of taking the Stone of Scone from Egypt to Scotland he claimed to believe. That adventure went straight down the memory hole, and he never recovered the alleged riches of Egypt he claimed were buried on a Scottish island he owned.
In both the Scota and Ark claims, Geller claimed dowsing led him to the treasure he did not actually uncover. In the Scota case, the planned 2019 archaeological dig never took place, presumably because Geller never applied for the official permissions required. Similarly, the Ark claim is likely to vanish into a convenient black hole of bureaucratic red tape.
During the excavation of the soap factory beneath his museum in 2018, Geller said he planned to find the Ark of the Covenant. “I have to do it, to try,” he said at the time, and wouldn’t you know it: He discovered it by dowsing in the very soap factory he was promoting during that 2018 interview. What a coincidence! Geller first made the claim to have found the Ark of the Covenant on a talk radio show two years ago, but the claim did not gain traction at the time.
A cynic might argue that Geller is making the dramatic claim to know the Ark’s location to promote his new museum and the range of merchandise for sale within, including original art by Geller and a line of comic books that “feature Uri Geller as a superhero.”
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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