NOTE: This post was originally published in 2017. I made some edits and updates to it in May, 2023
Dr. Andrija Puharich, c. 1949
Did you know that a group of extra-terrestrial beings (who called themselves The Nine) made regular contact with a past owner of 87 Hawkes Avenue in Ossining? And that the Russians may have directed Extra Low Frequency (ELF) radio waves to that very address to try and control the mind of its occupant? And that spoon-bender Uri Geller was a frequent guest there? And that a camp of “Space Kids” operated near there in the mid-1970s? And that in 1975, war between Egypt and Israel may well have been averted by this neighbor?
Well, pour yourself your favorite beverage and find a comfortable seat — I’m going to tell you about the wild and woolly goings-on that were reported to have taken place at 87 Hawkes Avenue in the 1970s.
The white house in which Dr. Puharich lived and worked has been demolished and is now the site for Parth Knolls, a 53-unit rental apartment complex.
Andrija Puharich’s home at 87 Hawkes Avenue, nestled in the woods, c. 2016
But first, let’s go back to before the Civil War, when the above house was originally built. First, Hawkes Avenue was but an unpaved farm road then. It got its name from Professor Wooten Wright Hawkes who bought a 59 acre farm up the hill that spanned the border between Ossining and New Castle. (More on him in another post.)
In the 1860s, Thomas and Matilda Sleator owned a big chunk of land that extended across today’s Route 9A and into what is now St. Augustine’s cemetery, where they operated a big dairy farm. I have read that this house originally stood on the cemetery property and was moved to the 87 Hawkes location in about 1900.
Descendents of the Sleator family owned the property until 1983, when the house was sold and Hagedorn Insurance moved in soon after. In 2017, the building was demolished and Parth Knolls was built.
But let’s take a look at one of the more colorful occupants of the Sleator house — Dr. Andrija Puharich.
Now, Dr. Andrija Puharich (aka Henry Karel Puharic) lived at 87 Hawkes Avenue from about 1961 – 1979. The American-born son of Croatian immigrants, he was born in Chicago in 1918. He joined the Army and they sent him to Northwestern Medical School. After graduation, he may or may not have participated in several top secret Army projects exploring ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception), mind-altering pharmaceuticals and ELF (Extremely Low Frequency radio waves.) One such project might even have been Project Penguin, a Navy undertaking whose purpose was to test individuals said to possess psychic powers. Another was the Stargate Project, a top-secret intelligence project whose focus was on how psychic phenomena could be used in domestic and international spying.
(As an aside, as I was updating this blog post, the CIA declassified a whole bunch of Stargate Project documents involving Puharich. No, seriously, they did – check out the link here. I have to wonder, did they know I was researching this? Did their ELF pick up my thoughts? Are the Nine still watching over Ossining? Is my microwave spying on me?? Excuse me while I make myself a tin foil hat.)
But back to Puharich – whatever you think of his research topics, it is undeniable that Puharich made a career of studying the paranormal, attempting to apply traditional scientific research methods to various phenomena to categorize and understand them. There was Arigo, a Brazilian psychic surgeon who did impossible surgeries and cured impossible diseases with a dull, rusty knife, as well as miscellaneous mediums who served as conduits to the extraterrestrial Nine. Along the way, Puharich acquired over fifty patents for items as diverse as miniature hearing aids and methods to use water for fuel.
And now for the extraterrestrial portion of this story . . . As far as I can understand, and this comes mostly from reading Puharich’s book Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller, the Nine first contacted Puharich in 1952 through a medium named Dr. Vinod. They told him that they were the highest minds in the universe and rule over all. Later, through Uri Geller (also a medium for the Nine) Puharich learned that in fact the Hoovians are the direct controllers of Earth and other nearby planetary civilizations, but take their orders from the Nine. You could call them the bureaucrats of extra-terrestrial government. (But don’t confuse them with the Whovians from Dr. Who because they are different!)
Now, apparently during the 1970s, a city-sized spaceship called Spectra hovered over the Earth and sent messages from the Hoovians fifty-three thousand light-years away to Geller, who intermittently stayed with Puharich at 87 Hawkes Avenue.
Not only were the Nine communicating with Puharich via Uri Geller, they also contacted Puharich through voices on a self-erasing cassette tape. Finally, in 1972, the Nine directed the Hoovians to make at least one visit to Puharich’s property on Hawkes Avenue.
Below, is a description of this extraterrestrial flyover at 87 Hawkes Avenue from Puharich’s book Uri: A Journal of the Mystery of Uri Geller:
87 Hawkes Avenue, Ossining New York
August 27, 1972
At 1am, a large conch shell levitated and slowly fell to the floor. We waited for a voice to appear on the tape recorder monitor. Finally there came the voice of IS* on the tape at 1:03am as follows:
“We are Nine Principles and forces. The equation is Mi=m0c2/√(1-v2/c2) . . . One of your earth scientists, Einstein, knew about us. Just before he died, he knew the secret. You will carry on the work. Then in centuries, another and another, to keep the data rolling – until man finds infinity.” As the voice said “infinity,” the tape recorder was switched off. . . .Through the north window of my study a brilliant white light suddenly flooded the room. (My house is in a forest – away from any automobile headlights.) The light was very much the quality of moonlight, but much brighter. We rushed to the window, but could not see the source of the light, which was beyond some giant Norway Spruce trees. We rushed outdoors, but the light had disappeared.” (Puharich, 175ff)
*In the interest of clarity and brevity, Puharich began calling the voices he heard on his audio tapes IS for “Intelligence from the sky.”
This sounds completely bananas, doesn’t it? But they had an EQUATION! And they visited 87 Hawkes Avenue in 1972! And here’s a photo of some of those Norway Spruce trees that stood on the property until it was redeveloped:
Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was apparently a frequent visitor to 87 Hawkes in the 1970s, and even supposedly wrote a screenplay entitled The Council of Nine, which may or not be preserved on a recently-discovered cache of his floppy disks. (Also, don’t forget that one of the Star Trek series was entitled Deep Space Nine.)
A few years ago, I spent an interesting afternoon with Andy Puharich, Dr. Puharich’s son. A sensible, sensitive, open-minded fellow, he moved to the Netherlands at the age of five when his parents divorced. However, he told me that he had many happy memories of spending time here in Ossining with his Dad – Andy even attended Ossining High School for a year. He also fondly remembered a summer he spent at Turkey Farm on Spring Valley Road when his father was running the “Space Kids” camp, a New Agey place for adolescents whom he believed possessed extra-sensory powers.
Words fail me . . .
But you know what? As I’ve been researching and writing this post, I’ve gone from thinking that Dr. Puharich was a fanatical nutjob to developing a grudging respect for him. Because he really seemed to believe what he was researching. And he did try to use traditional, scientific methods to study the mystical and magical. (He apparently had a Faraday Cage in his lab at 87 Hawkes Avenue. That sounds legit, right?) To me, there’s something compelling about that kind of dedication and wildly imaginative thinking.
Dr. Puharich moved away from Ossining in 1979 or so, after his house had been severely damaged by arson. Andy told me he fled to Mexico in fear for his life and died penniless in North Carolina in 1995. At the time of his death (from falling down a flight of stairs) he was trying to get investors interested in his patented process to split water molecules for fuel. Check it out here.
He never gave up.
Just because it interests me, here’s an interview that he supposedly gave to “Reality Hackers Magazine” in 1988. I say supposedly, because “Reality Hackers Magazine” sounds, well, dodgy. But it’s an interesting read . . .
There’s also a documentary film in the works.
Stay tuned for more on the characters who’ve inhabited Hawkes Avenue over the years . . .