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Biography of Eyeless Sight Wonder K. B. Duke Part 1

About the scientific mystery K. B. Duke, biography and history of the Indian magican who can see blindfolded and walk on fire.

PEOPLE WITH STRANGE POWERS

Eyeless Sight and Fireproof Skin

Prof. K. B. Duke was born in Kashmir, India, in 1906. He became a magician and conjurer by trade, but he has devoted much of his time to astounding scientists with his incredible fire-walking talents and his uncanny ability to see even when his eyes are blindfolded. During his long career, he has submitted to numerous tests and appears to be the only man alive to possess a sensory talent which completely baffles science.

His remarkable career began with a job as assistant to an Indian magician. He later became a bit player in a traveling theater group. Here he met a guru who instructed him in the art of mental concentration. Under the guidance of the old man, he learned the difficult task of eradicating everything from his mind except the question or problem he wished to consider. An early part of his training consisted of concentrating on the mental image of his brother's face. After 11 years, he completely mastered the art and was able to eliminate all random ideas and images from his mind for long periods of pure, concentrated, unadulterated thought.

He took the name Kuda Bux and began to perform the most publicized fire walks in history, walks which made him a celebrity. Harry Price, a famous psychical researcher in England, staged the first fire walk in Britain by putting an advertisement in The Times on Oct. 23, 1934. It read:

FIRE WALK--To test the alleged immunity of the performers from burns, an experimental fire walk is being staged near London, under physical conditions identical to those said to obtain in India, etc. Amateur and professional fire walkers and heat resisters are invited to participate together with those who claim to know how the ceremony can be performed without injury to the walkers--Write Box S. 451.

At first there were no replies to this advertisement, but just when Price was about to give up, 29-year-old Kuda Bux came forward. He agreed to submit to any scientific test that Price or his committee could devise.

On Sept. 9, 1935, a trench was dug in Surrey, England. It was 12 in. deep, 25 ft. long, and 3 ft. wide. The trench was filled with a number of old wooden boxes, 300 logs, 10 gallons of paraffin, and 25 old copies of The Times. After Price set it alight, Bux declared that he would wait until the fire was burning fiercely. An hour and three-quarters later, having tested a piece of charcoal, Bux declared the fire ready. He then took four long strides to cross the trench. He repeated this feat three times. On examination, his feet were not burned, nor had the legs of his trousers been singed. One scientific skeptic decided to try it out for himself. He entered the fiery pit, but jumped out immediately with severe burns on his feet. This was the first of many such stunts which Bux performed in England and which he repeated to sensational acclaim in America. In 1938, at the invitation of Robert Ripley of "Believe It or Not" fame, Bux walked through a 1400 degree furnace built in Rockefeller Plaza. This time Bux's feet bore a few small blisters, but no other damage was visible. When questioned, Bux said, "Courage and faith, that's all it is." The publicity over the fire walks had one curious footnote. Bux had been roaming the world for nine years and had completely lost contact with his family, who, desperately worried, were conducting a widespread search for their lost son. One of his brothers had died during the hunt for Bux. Because he was now an international celebrity, Bux was finally found by his parents.

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