Zak Martin - Britain's Leading Psychic
Concentrating deeply, psychic Zak Martin held a table-tennis ball to his forehead before placing it on the glass-topped table in front of him. A group of journalists from the British national newspaper, the Mirror, stood around watching closely, while a press cameraman clicked off shot after shot from every possible angle - including from below. Tiny beads of perspiration appeared on the psychic's brow as he gazed intently at the white sphere. Ten, fifteen minutes passed... and then the impossible happened: the ball began to move.
Slowly, and then with increasing speed, it began to roll back and forth across the transparent surface of the table. It continued to move for twenty minutes, rolling from one side of the table to another, each time stopping and changing direction just before it reached the edge. Martin, who did not touch the ball at any stage, demonstrated the extent of his psychokinetic control by causing the ball to spin, stop and start and move in a figure-of-eight. After a short break the same demonstration was repeated, this time using various other small articles including a stick of chalk, a torch light-bulb, a steel ball-bearing and a gold fountain pen which belonged to one of the journalists. Each item in turn was sent spinning and rolling across the table until Martin indicated that he was too exhausted to continue.
The demonstration had lasted nearly three hours. Every object used was closely examined before and afterwards to ensure that there was no trickery involved - no threads or concealed magnets. The Mirror journalist later commented that it had been "a very impressive demonstration", and quoted Martin as saying that "there is nothing supernatural about the ability to move objects, but it demonstrates that there is a hidden power within us that can be used for healing and the like".
The session I witnessed took place at the plush Sherlock Holmes Hotel in London's Baker Street, where the Irish-born psychic holds court in a private suite. It is an appropriate venue, in view of Sherlock Holmes creator, Conan-Doyle's lifelong involvement with psychic matters; and there are distinct similarities between Conan-Doyle's fictional detective and the man who is now widely regarded as Britain's leading psychic. Like Holmes, Martin is frequently consulted by police forces - including Scotland Yard - to help with baffling crimes, and he is credited with solving a number of murder and missing persons cases.
Like Holmes, Martin is an intense character, whose powers of observation are reputed to be uncanny; and, like Holmes, his clientele includes Royalty, leading politicians and famous personalities.
Zak Martin was born in Dublin, Ireland, just a few weeks following the premature death of his father, who was a well-known portrait painter. He was seven years old when he first became aware of his unusual abilities - or, as he puts it himself, "realized that other people couldn't do some of the things that I was able to do". Visitors to his home were often amazed when he was able to tell them things about themselves that he had no way of knowing - including future events!
"It was just a game to me at the time," he now recalls, "but years later a number of people admitted to me that they had always been frightened by my powers. I suppose they were afraid I might tell them something they would prefer not to hear - which I'm afraid I did, on more than one occasion."
His paranormal abilities also caused problems at school:
"Although I was terrible at maths, I was often able to solve difficult mathematical problems the instant they were set on the blackboard - the answers would simply pop into my head," he recounts, "but my teachers were more than a little suspicious when I wasn't able to explain how I'd arrived at my answers."
His psychokinetic powers first manifested when he was aged thirteen, when poltergeist-type phenomena began to occur in his presence. Objects moved mysteriously, light-bulbs exploded; cameras, tape-recorders and similar equipment went out of control whenever he was around. He did not at first realize that he himself was the source of these strange occurrences, but believed himself to be the victim of some form of psychic attack or malevolent spirit. Gradually, however, he came to realize that the energy involved in these "attacks" was coming from him, or ast least that he could exercise a degree of control over it.
Today, Zak Martin has achieved almost total command over this strange power, but there are still occasions when it appears to run out of his control, as top photographer Tisha Murtagh discovered recently when she was taking pictures of him for a London magazine:
"I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera - a trusted Nikon 35mm - when suddenly everything went black," she told me.
"It was really uncanny. I tried to roll the film forward, but it had somehow become jammed. I tried to open the back, but it had somehow become locked.
"After a few minutes the viewfinder cleared, and the camera was working normally again. Zak never touched it at any time."
Bob Couttie, a well-known BBC Radio journalist, had a similar experience while he was interviewing Martin for a program dealing with paranormal phenomena. He told Psychic News: "The tape-recorder I was using was in good condition. I'd picked it up earlier in the day and checked it out in the presence of an engineer."
In the morning Bob did some "atmosphere" recording and played it back: the machine was still working perfectly. A few minutes later he began to interview Zak Martin at the London Psychic Center.
"Suddenly," he said, "the machine, previously working without trouble, seemed to go wild and jammed. In fact the jamming was so absolute that I had to physically snap the tape to get it out of the machine."
The tape-recorder was later checked by a BBC engineer - and found to have no fault.
"Don't come near me with expensive equipment if I'm in a bad mood" is Zak's helpful advice.
Zak Martin first came to public attention in 1976, when he became involved in the search for a young Irish girl who had gone missing while on holiday with her friends at the picturesque seaside resort of Brittas Bay in County Wicklow, Ireland. Elizabeth Plunkett had left the local inn shortly before closing time and was never seen alive again. After a nationwide search had failed to discover the girl's whereabouts, Martin, who was then a student of psychology and president of the Psychic Society of Ireland, was called in to help. After visiting the area where the girl had last been seen, he told the police: "I feel that she is dead, and that she has been murdered. Two men are involved. I see her leaning across the hood of the car talking to one man; another man is walking towards the car. The next impression I have is of the car moving away, stopping after a short distance, then moving off again. Next, I see the car pulling in close to what seems to be a lake... The girl has, I feel, been beaten and strangled.
"Now I can see the body under shallow water, covered by what appears to be some kind of sack cloth or plastic material, blue or gray in color. Beside her is what looks to me like a bar or stake..."
In fact Elizabeth Plunkett was dead, and had been murdered in the way Martin described, by two men in a car. Her body was later found in the bay itself, not in a lake. But in shallow water, wrapped in a pale blue sleeping bag. It had been weighted down with a broken lawn-mower - the "stake" that Martin saw.
Over the next several days Martin was able to provide the police with more details of the murder, including a description of the men responsible and the car they were driving - details which subsequently proved to be correct. He also warned that, unless the killers were apprehended, they would shortly find another victim.
A few weeks later a second girl was murdered in a different part of the country, and the Irish police were convinced that the same two men were responsible. They could not be found, however, despite the fact that by this stage their descriptions had been widely circulated. Zak Martin was contacted again. Could the psychic find the wanted men? Martin agreed to try, and, using a dowsing pendulum over a large map of Ireland, he eventually pinpointed what he believed to be the murderers' location - in the center of the town of Galway. The police were skeptical when they received this information, because the wanted men had apparently just been sighted in a different part of the country. However, in view of the psychic's undeniable accuracy in describing details of the first murder, the search was intensified in the area he had indicated - and within hours the two men were captured in the town center. They were subsequently convicted and sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment
Since then, Zak Matin's talent for psychic detection has been in demand by police forces around the world.
In 1984 he was asked to help in the search for a violent rapist who had been terrorizing women in the Notting Hill area of London over a five year period. The police were desperate for any clues that might bring them closer to catching the man responsible.
Martin used a technique called psychometry - which involves picking up impressions about a person by handling an object that once belonged to him or her - to "tune in" on the rapist. The police provided Zak with four items to psychometrize: three strips of a strong cloth material which, they told him, had been used by the attacker to tie up several of his twenty-five victims, and a knife he had used to threaten them.
On handling the first two strips of material he gave a series of impressions which included what he believed to be a description of the rapist. When the third strip of cloth was handed to him, however, Zak appeared to draw a complete blank. After handling this item for some minutes trying to pick up psychic impressions he finally announced: "I'm afraid I can't pick up anything from this one... it's clean of impressions. I don't feel that this item is connected with the others - are you quite sure it's his?"
A Scotland Yard police officer present then admitted: "No, you are right; it isn't his". The officer apologized for the deception, but explained that they had decided to include a "decoy" among the items given to Zak to psychometrize, in order to test the psychic's abilities.
Zak was subsequently able to provide information which ultimately helped police to track down and capture the man responsible for the Notting Hill attacks.
In recent years Zak Martin has become increasingly involved in the area of healing, which he regards as the most worthwhile use of his powers, and the pendulum dowsing technique which in the past he has used to such effect in solving crimes and finding missing people, is now more often used by him to diagnose illness and to prescribe treatment. For several years he made regular rounds of London hospitals using psychic and holistic healing methods to treat patients who had failed to respond to conventional treatment, and he is reported to have achieved a number of remarkable cures.
(© 1986 King Syndicates / News of the World Magazine)