In Dr. Dale Beyerstein's letter of 7-3-1988 to Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, he mentioned about the Seiko watch materialization as researched by Sam Dalal, Magician, Calcutta.
Dr. Haraldsson in his letter dated 21-10-1988 said that the story is only a hearsay and there seem to be many editions of it and one cannot use these unverified second hand stories as argument for anything until they have been verified.
In his reply dated 6-4-1988 Dr. Haraldsson said that he had not heard about Sam Dalal and that there had been a few of them.
The story of materialization of a seiko watch was originally authored by Dr. S.Bhagavantam in 1973 and published in a Malayalam weekly titled "Malyalanadu". The editor S.K.Nair and his wife were Sai Baba devotees and to neutralise the publicity got by Abraham Kovoor, S.K.Nair started a debate in his weekly on the spiritual powers of Satya Sai Baba. He first published Kovoor's article explaining that Satya Sai Baba is a hoax and then published a series of articles by Sai Baba devotees, which included a High Court Judge and other well known personalities like Dr. Bhagawantam.
Based on the story of the Seiko watch authored by Dr. Bhagawantam, Kovoor started investigation by first writing to Dr. Bhagavantam to give him the name and address of the Japanese. And when Bhagavantam kept silent he wrote to the Japanese Embassy and got the address of the manufacturers of Seiko watches and wrote to the President, Shoji Hattori. In his reply he disclaimed any knowledge of Satya Sai baba.
A copy of this letter was sent to Bhagawantam by Kovoor asked him to inform him the correct name and address of the person if Mr. Shoji Hattori was not the person concerned with his story. Again Dr. Bhagawantam kept silent.
His investigation was published by innumerous newspapers and journals, but still Dr. Bhagawantam was keeping silent. Only when the report was published by Times of India dated 12-9-1976 titled "of Scientists and Godmen" he had no other go except to open his mouth, and in the Open Forum of Times of India dated 28-11-1976 his signed reply was published.
In the letter Dr. Bhagawantam says that he had no knowledge of Kovoor's letters to him and he did not think it worthwhile making any public statement about it.
His reply is meaningless when he says that he doesnot know malayalam and so how he could write articles in malayalam weekly.
He says that he was informed by one of his Kerala friend's about the article and his silence without taking any action against the Editor is surprising. Moreover the Editor and his wife were well known Sai Baba devotees owning big cashew factories.
If one takes each and every story published about Satya Sai Baba's miracles, until it is proved false, Satya Sai Baba and his inner circle members accept the authorship of the stories and once they are proved false, they disown them. That is what happened to Sai Krishna who was exposed by Dr. Narasimhaiah's Miracle Investigation Committee.
Dr. Bhagawantam is dead now. Most of Sai Baba's inner circle members have died of heart attack. The rural sorcerers to which group Sai Baba had belonged in his youth, murder people by twisting the head of a doll. Actually what they do is to mix a root in food which lowers the blood pressure and the person dies immediately. In 1981 he had left Satya Sai Baba. It was his articles as a scientist which boosted Satya Sai baba's image. When he left him, he had the moral duty to speak of his experiences with Sai Baba and tell the people the truth so that those who had joined the Sai Baba band wagon because of his certificate would retreat. But he did not have the courage but was afraid of murder and left India for good.
From the explanation given by Dr. Bhagawantam in his published letter about the Seiko watch story, several questions have to be answered by him which he did not answer while alive.
1. Is it necessary that one has to know malayalam language for one's article to appear in malayalam journals? If that be so how did his article in malayalam and other languages appear in Sai baba's journals "Sanathana Sarathi" in different languages?
2. If the article published in Malayalanadu by the editor who is a Sai Baba follower is not his, why did he not refute it in the journal? and if the Editor refused to publish the same go to the Press Council whose chairman was also a Sai devotee?
Dr. Bhagawantam was no exception to it. Just look to the fate of my letters dated 15-12-1981 and 17-3-1982 received by him on 15-1-1982 and 25-3-1982. Along with the letter I had sent Rs.5/- postal order to him for sending his reply by registered post. Because the miracles published in that article authored by him were proved false after investigation, he kept silent. I wanted to know whether he would refute the authorship of that article also and it was in english and published in several journals including Sanathana Sarathi the official magazine of Satya Sai Baba.
Dr. Haraldsson mentions in his letter of 21-10-1988 about his meeting Dr. Narasimhaiah recently and Dr. Narasimhaiah telling him that he did not think it would be worth while for Haraldsson to spend two days visiting me and he says such was the quality of my work. He says that my committee is practically unknown in India because of the quality of its members.
After my return from United States, I had gone to Bangalore to interview one of the old photographers of Satya Sai Baba who had to run away from the ashram leaving all his wealth there as he was to be murdered on that night. I also came to know that one of his watchmen also was murdered, and his body burnt. I phoned Dr. Narasimhaiah about Dr. Haraldsson's letter to Dr. Dale Beyerstein and his reply was interesting: "When I know of the great work you are carrying to educate the masses in scientific temper and the investigations you have done on paranormal phenomena in India, do you think I would have told Haraldsson that he would be wasting his time meeting you?" I am waiting for Dr. Narasimhaiah's letter in this matter.
More over I was called to Bharatiar University in Coimbatore by Prof. Ganesan to meet Dr. Haraldsson in October 1988. I had informed Prof. Ganesan that I would like to video tape my discussion with Dr. Haraldsson. The next day students from the University had come to take me there in the evening. At the University Campus I found Prof. Ganesan and Dr. Haraldsson missing. The students searched for Prof. Ganesan and Dr. Haraldsson missing. The students searched for Prof. Ganesan and Dr. Haraldsson everywhere in the campus and at his house. They were missing and I had to return back.
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Last update: 8 July 1998