6 - The Final
a section called ‘facts
and theories’ we
have an attempt to sound scientific. I say “attempt” because
along with comments about animals not dying in the tsunami
we have the old chestnut, “we only use 10% of our brains”.
A quick point on the 10% nonsense before we continue.
One of the references cited for this momentous research was “Uri
Mind-Power Book”. They might as well have quoted
little point in spending time explaining either the 10%
brain of tsunami avoiding critters here so for those
interested in exploring the facts rather than perpetuating
myth I refer you to two excellent articles by Benjamin
Radford which I have linked at the bottom of the page.
in case you don’t read the full article I can’t
resist a quote from Radford’s article about the
you ever heard a doctor say, ". . .
But luckily when that bullet entered his skull, it only
damaged the 90 percent of his brain he didn't use"?.”
rest of the ‘theories’ are just padding
and offer no evidence for psychic powers at all. In fact
I’m not sure why they ever get mentioned. They say. “While
some scientists discount the existence of a sixth sense for
danger, new research from Washington University in St.
Louis has identified a brain region.” And?
The sentence implies that if you carry on reading it will
say something like, “and they believe this to be
the source of all psychic power.” But it doesn’t.
In fact it seems to have no relevance at all.
whole thing is a mish-mash of half-truths, mixed with a
few maybes held together by a dollop of psuedoscience.
are a total of eight psychics* who
are to be put through a series of weekly tests.
Strangely it would appear that they don’t actually
have to pass any tests at all. Each week a jury decides
who was the best performer and who was the worst, the latter
being eliminated. Presumably this means we will end up
with someone at the end who is crowned as ‘Britain’s
top psychic' or something, even though they may have
done nothing at all.
are told that around 2,000 people were tested, a number
eventually whittled down to the final eight. It’s
a bit odd then that three of them were in the pilot episode
last December. Did they do all the tests as well?
of this procedure involved being interviewed by Norwegian ‘psychic’ Deborah
Borgen. I can’t begin to work out the rationale behind
this. The host Trisha Goddard asks the question, “Are
psychic powers real or is it all in the mind?” If
this is yet to be established what expertise is Ms Borgen
bringing to the selection process?
course no psychic worth their salt could fail to point
out how close-minded people are, well at least those who
doubt their wonderful abilities. So it was interesting that
when they all met Mentalist entertainer Philip Escoffey one
of their number, Dennis Binks, says to Philip, “There
is the saying that to an unbeliever all they need is proof,
to a skeptic no proof is enough.” A curious
comment because later, during the tests, Dennis piles failure
upon failure but his faith is never so much as dented.
Perhaps a new saying is needed, “A skeptic looks for proof
but to a psychic everything is proof.” I honestly
don’t know why but I quite liked Dennis.
had a curate’s egg quality about them but considering
this is TV they were better than I hoped - in parts.
said, I think a few general comments wouldn’t
go amiss. There seems to be no attempt to find out what it
is the psychics claim they can do and to design experiments
based on that claim. The assumption seems to be that if you’re “psychic” you
can do anything that is, well… ‘psychic’.
point is that at least some of the tests are not truly
blinded, both Chris French and Philip Escoffey know the
correct answers and are present during the tests. Speaking
of which, Chris has much expertise in this area and Philip
knows about all the various ways of cheating, so why is it
that neither was asked to come up with the tests? Who in
fact did design them and what qualified them to do so? My
guess is the production team. They obviously believe their
combined experience of working in the media fully equips
them for the task.
stand a chance of Trisha’s stated goal of determining
if psychic powers are real or not they need to determine
exactly what each psychic claims to be able to do, with what
accuracy and under what conditions. One thing that seems
to be missing is an objective measure, stated in advance,
of whether the psychics have been successful or not. Some
tests are objective but if we take the ‘Great Expectations’ test
(see below) as an example, although they come out with a
definite score it is not made explicitly clear whether the
psychic has passed or failed. They just imply that the psychic
performed either well or poorly. If this was done correctly
there would be no need to have a ‘jury’ to
decide who stays and who goes.
#1: “Great Expectations”
room has ten women two of whom are in the early stages (9
weeks and 16 weeks) of pregnancy. The test is to identify the
two pregnant women.
As the psychics performed no better than chance (students
achieved identical scores) I take it that all of them failed.
There were the inevitable excuses. Open-minded Dennis said
he completed the task too quickly and others tried to rescue
a bad situation by claiming that the women would be pregnant
soon. Even if this turns out to be the case this was not
the criteria on which the test would be judged and is therefore
Amanda Jayne Hart’s turn the voice over tells
us, “Then an extraordinary moment that takes everyone
by surprise.” For a minute I thought she was going
to levitate. In fact it was simply that as she placed her
hand near one woman (Debbie, who wasn’t pregnant) and
said that she could feel her heart pounding. This was nothing
to do with the test, was not with a pregnant woman and was
not ‘”extraordinary” in the least.
I suggest it was an attempt to make us think something psychic
was going on even if in fact nothing was. I can imagine the
director, beginning to despair and desperate to salvage something,
resorted to some very generous editing. I can’t altogether
blame them. At the end Trisha fudged the scores by declaring
them as “mixed results”. The results were not “mixed”,
they all failed.
#2: Matching married couples.
basis of the test was to match 5 husbands to their
5 wives. It is by no means clear what ability this was
testing. If it was telepathy then there are far better ways
of going about it. If it was by mediumship then again this
was a strange choice of test. I am honestly unclear as to
what this was meant to prove. However this was to be the
one test where one of the psychics actually did rather well.
possible outcomes are 0/5 (achieved by open-minded Dennis)
1/5, 2/5, 3/5, and 5/5 (you can’t get 4/5). The odds
of getting 5 out of 5 correct are 120 to 1 and this was achieved
by Diane Lazarus. I concede this was an impressive result,
but why only 5 couples? This means even 100% success doesn’t
prove very much. It certainly isn’t enough to start
rewriting current scientific theory (by which I mean real
science not 10% brain nonsense). If it had been 6 couples
the odds would have shot up to 720 to 1.
a segment where the 3 sceptics (I make it 2, but hey
counting) meet to discuss events thus far it was correctly
pointed out by Philip Escoffey that staff serving drinks,
etc. mingled freely between the couples and the psychics.
This does give the possibility of an off hand comment or
worse still deliberate cheating, thus stacking the deck
somewhat. I don’t say this is what happened but those
controlling such conditions owe it to the psychics to prevent
even the possibility otherwise people like me will harp
on about it. Even finding information on one couple reduces
the odds to a mere 1 in 24. Jackie Malton’s contribution
never, doesn’t apply to… with, for this kind
of… you know the scientific approach. Um something
about energies, you know we can’t quantify it, nobody
will ever, ever be able to quantify it.”
So what do we do then? Perhaps we could just get Deborah
Borgen to pick the winner and save everyone a lot of time.
no cheating or accidental information leakage happened
we are left with the possibility that she just guessed
correctly. Okay fair enough, but as I say I’m not sure what psychic
ability this is supposed to support. If she is just ‘generally
psychic’ in some way then I would have expected her
to be similarly outstanding in the other tests. She wasn’t.
But there is another difficulty in that if she redid the
test say 3 times what would be a fair score? We know it is
possible to guess 3/5 as this was achieved by both Lisa Moore
(non-psychic) and Amanda Jayne Hart (psychic) so I submit
that 3 out of 5 is not outstanding. The other problem is
that there are additional clues that might narrow things
down a bit such as height and age. If there is a psychic
talent that enables them to match things up perhaps we should
try pet owners. Have women all of a similar age who own black
cats and match them up. But let’s make it 8 owners,
the odds of getting 8 right is (by my estimation) 1 in
40,320. This would at least reduce the possibility of dumb
#3: The Eagle
was the dumbest, loosest test of them all. Each psychic
was taken blindfolded to a pub called “The Eagle”.
This pub has a long history but during WWII it was frequented
by British and US Servicemen who used candles and cigarette
lighters to burn their names and other details into the
Here’s the psychic’s
task, as stated by the narrator;
will our 8 psychic contenders be able to decipher exactly
what happened in this room all those years ago.”
is a little vague but I suggest key phrase is, “exactly
what happened in this room”. Now we’ve
just learned that servicemen came to let their hair down
and burn information on the ceiling. I take this as being
relevant to the task at hand.
was given a
photo of Lt. Col. James Harlow (known to have drank in
the pub) sealed in an envelope (a little redundant if
the blindfold works) and, wrapped only in tissue paper,
his solid silver Bombardier’s wings. Yes you read that correctly,
tissue paper! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
It strikes me as no coincidence that the least sceptical
of our invigilators, Jackie Malton, was allotted this task.
I have a feeling both Chris and Philip would have tightened
things up considerably. Still Jackie also had the services
of air force historian Clive Stevens.
as this is largely and exercise in cold reading you might
imagine that someone would tally up everything that was
said, both hits and misses. You might think that but
the evidence of previously scoring zero Dennis eventually
manages to come up with the name “James” and
a military connection, the latter snippet of information
no doubt thanks to the tissue wrapped wings. Thus his faith
in his psychic ability was fully restored. Dennis was over
the moon. Pardon me if I don’t share his enthusiasm.
He tells us sceptics we can run but we can’t hide.
I don’t intend doing either. Which ever way you cut
it Dennis did not tell us anything about the pub, “all
those years ago.”
We have no way of knowing how long he talked for and what
more he said. Still probably not important eh?
Diane’s ‘matching people up’ ability
did her no good on this test and neither did her mediumship
skills. The star turn this time was Amanda Jayne Hart.
Amanda held the 'wings' she mentioned a “military
uniform”, “American Servicemen”, “Strange
Presence” a “war time air crash”.
She talked of an aeroplane crashing into the ground.
All this was too much for air force historian Clive Stevens
who was visibly moved by what he was hearing. He started
off her blindfold Amanda looks at Clive and with a slight
air of drama says, “Oh gosh, you’re
the man.” But presumably not the WWII pilot
who crashed. “Is it something to do with a brother?
my brother, his" (referring to James Harlow).
tells us that this convinces him completely. Alas it doesn't
The aim of the test clearly stated, “to decipher
exactly what happened in this room all those years ago.” I
feel safe in assuming the plane did not crash into the
We don’t know if James Harlow’s
brother ever drank at the pub.
When she took off the blindfold Clive was probably still
crying or at least visibly moved. It was therefore obvious
that he had some connection. “You’re the
man” conveys nothing.
Once more the Director dresses up inaccuracy so as to appear
I score all of them zero.
is my assessment based purely on performance criteria.
The only person who achieved anything of significance
was Diane Lazarus. The test was not as tight as it could
have been but that wasn’t her fault.
The jury agreed but rather than dismiss the other seven
as psychically inept they can only dismiss one of them. Arbitrarily
Soliera Green gets the boot which she takes with good grace.
Psychic powers are not decided by voting.
Next week the remaining 7 continue their quest to be the
last man or woman standing. Whoever succeeds has a glittering
have spent far too much of my time analysing this programme
and although I feel it has been worth the effort I don’t
intend to continue every week, at least not in this detail.
What I have seen and learnt to date has lead me to the
view that the show has a heavy bias towards the psychic
Despite a determined attempt to give an air of impartiality
there are simply too many loopholes to make this a credible
investigation into claimed psychic powers. The only two people
in the show capable of actually conducting a fair series
of tests are Professor Chris French and magician Philip Escoffey.
Chris has much experience in this field and Philip has shown
himself to be extremely capable. Had either of these two
been involved in the actual test design I would not have
a problem. However even listening to the voiceover shows
a determined effort to portray the psychics in the most sympathetic
far the psychics are performing so badly that they are
in danger of looking ridiculous and this is surely not
an acceptable outcome for the producers. But what
Townhouse TV probably realise is that the eventual winner
must put in a credible performance and this, in my view,
produces an unacceptable conflict of interest. Even at
this stage I am prepared to make the somewhat rash prediction
that Diane Lazarus will emerge as the victor but as I do
not pretend to possess psychic powers I could of course
be completely wrong.
embarking on this series Townhouse TV had a problem.
If they subjected their would-be psychics to properly controlled
tests they must have realised that the chances they
would all score a big fat zero were high and so getting
beyond even the pilot programme would have been difficult.
As for another series, well that would have been out of
the question. So a solution was needed but a careful balance
had to be achieved: If it was made too easy it would
be slammed. Their task was what Tony Blair might call a ‘high-wire
- The tests should not be designed by experienced sceptics.
- Tests involving an objective score must be fairly low
tests must be entirely subjective so that pass or
failure is unclear.
- The protocol should not be too tight.
- Judging should be done by people without specialised
- Programme construction should be such that someone will
be the overall winner even if they are not remotely psychic.
not get Chris French to design the tests?
not get sceptics to run the tests as opposed to merely
not have tests that are clearly defined as pass or fail?
have such sloppy test conditions?
would none of the psychics on the programme take the
JREF Challenge and win a million US dollars?
is becoming clear that the two sceptics are unimpressed
by what they have seen so far and I wonder how this is
going down with those inclined to believe in psychics
and the paranormal? The “closed-mind sceptics” mantra will no doubt
be repeated in living rooms across the land but I believe
the British public as a whole are a lot sharper than that,
it’s just that most of them will not be watching.
week offered the usual mixed bag of tests
and Jackie Malton trotted out some amazing statements.
I have also discovered a few things the viewer may be unaware
of and which seriously compromise the tests. Read on.
task required was basically to identify an ex-criminal
from a group of six men. From this we can work out that each
psychic had a 1 in 6 chance of getting it right. The task
was overseen by Jackie Malton.
test was also done by a control group of which 4 out of
10 were successful. Maybe they're psychic too?
with last week it was interesting to hear the justifications
for failure. For example Amanda lamented that she, should
have gone with her gut instinct implying that this
would have achieved a better result. The programme also
continue its attempts to bolster the idea that something
mysterious is happening even when it isn’t. At one
point Amanda said she felt ill and the irritating voiceover
pointed out she was close to the correct person. Of course
she was just as close to someone else but this is apparently
not worthy of comment. Our volunteer (Simon) is now a fully
reformed character and does volunteer work so should we
assume Amanda can detect ex-offenders as well? What about
those who get away with it, do they make her feel ill as
well? If a criminal moved in next door to her would she
permanently feel sick?
as it turns out only 3 were correct (Dave, Dennis and
Diane). Each of course just ‘knew’ they were
right. Dennis with his powers waxing to the max topped
things off with a quick reading in which he said the
man was now reformed and did voluntary work helping prisoners.
Really? And there was me thinking this guy had only just
been caught red-handed earlier that day. I imagine most
criminals would prefer to keep their dark past to themselves,
unless of course they are now using this experience in
some positive way.
the test Jackie Malton tells us, “For
me when it does happen it’s quite powerful. You
kind of go, hmmm.” Also, in the discussion
that took place afterwards, whilst Chris and Philip remained
unconvinced Jackie Malton trotted out an amazing statement
for an ex-police officer. Talking to Philip she says;
“It’s the truth as you see it. There’s
no such thing as truth. My truth is my truth, your truth
is your truth, and that’s about you and your relationship
with your soul.”
I can honestly say that if DCI Malton had brought me to
justice I would now be putting in for an appeal. Yes I was
guilty in her truth, but my truth said I was at home watching
I bet Townhouse TV wish they had three Jackies.
Not blinded and by using people as the subject of the test not possible to
blind. Only a 1 in 6 chance. Extra readings by successful psychics are irrelevant
and should not be considered in the evaluation.
task was to match a pair of boots to a Lincoln City footballer.
There were 6 pairs in all so again we have a 1 in 6 chance
of success. A control group of 10 factory workers
scored a duck. As for the psychics only Anna
got it correct.
The test was overseen by Chris French and they used three
the test the first footballer took the precaution of
wearing a pair of trainers two sizes too big but the others
bother so a quick peek at their feet could have helped.
there was something else that gave an even bigger clue.
Each pair of
boots also contained a watch and you could be forgiven
for thinking that each belonged to the owner of the boots
(as stated by the commentary), but they didn’t.
The first watch picked up (by Mary) still had a price
tag on it (see photo). It had been borrowed from a
shop. Do you think this might have reduced the odds?
this test wasn’t blinded but it could have been.
Apart from Chris being there, the footballers could have
been present but behind a screen and therefore not aware
of which boots were being considered. With odds of only
1 in 6. I would have expected people with powers greater
than us mere mortals to have performed considerably better.
Probably Townhouse were as well.
#3 (linked to test 4)
psychics returned to prison, and were shown a
stuffed Lurcher dog. Their task, as outlined by Trisha earlier,
was stated as, “Can our finalists feel its energy?” Vague
doesn’t come close but the voiceover firms up the
task slightly by asking, “What can our contestants tell
us about the story of William Clarke simply by being in the
same room as his stuffed dog?”
Before we see how the psychics performed a bit of background
research would be useful.
Clarke we were told was hanged in Lincoln Castle prison
for shooting and killing a gamekeeper. More precisely he
shot the gamekeeper in his left leg. This took place over
100 years ago (1877).
was taken from:
Clark was sentenced to death at Lincoln Assizes on 8th
March, for the murder of Henry Walker, a gamekeeper at
Norton Disney, in February. He was arrested at Lowestoft
, and at the trial two colleagues testified that they had
been with him when he shot Walker dead. He was hanged by
William Marwood on the 26th March 1877 in Lincoln .”
For even more detail go to:
Another thing to consider is something about Lurchers.
This from: http://www.lurcher.org.uk/lurchers.htm
have a reputation for being large, the typical
dog, but in truth
they can be all shapes and sizes. A Lurcher is not a breed
of but a type of dog, usually having a member of the Greyhound
family as one of its parents. Lurchers are rarely seen
outside of Great Britain and Ireland , where they originate.”
if you type in “Lincoln paranormal” in
Google, you will find this site which, amongst other things,
provides this piece of information; (See: BBC)
Castle Guide Chris Collins shows me William Clarke's
stuffed Lurcher. A very eirie thing to see looming out
of the darkness as the flashlight pans around the room
it is currently kept in.
Clarke was a poacher who murdered a Game Keeper. He was
caught and sentenced to death. He had a Lurcher dog which
was kept at The Strugglers Pub whilst William Clarke
was awaiting his execution. The dog would regularly come
over to wait at Lincoln Castle until
after Clarke was executed the dog pined away. The ghost
of the Lurcher can still be seen late at night in the castle
psychics did know they were travelling to Lincoln, indeed
they had been filming in the prison they day before (Test
#1). I understand the prison has a gift shop with details
about people hanged there. Again this is a weakening of protocol.
I feel the need to point out that I am not making an accusation
of cheating but the production team do owe the psychics an
obligation to make sure this type of allegation cannot be
So how did they do?
Mumbles about a “loyal
dog” and a bed. Wow!
Anna: Mentions “Gamekeeper”, & “1860”.
The dog would not have been alive then.
Diane : “Royalty, 14 th Century – guarding
something. Way off.
Dennis : “Hunting,
biting” and “William
the Conqueror”. As the guidebook says William the
Conqueror built the castle.
Dave : “The person who would have
been connected with this would have also had difficulty,
and I feel with this leg here.” But it wasn’t
anything to do with Clarke’s leg.
Amanda: Describes a white floppy hat.
worth repeating the full text of what Mary said, “I
can see um a river now and with the river though I’ve
got a trauma. It’s
as though some incident, some accident has taken place. I
can see that there’s um a man that’s been injured,
a gentleman that’s been injured. I’m being
drawn to his leg area with some injury. Linking to the
animal again somebody that connected or was in regular
contact um I got hanging.
I saw was the old fashioned hanging block. And Ireland
, there’s a connection with Ireland .
I’m getting like Lassie, so it must have come home.
I feel like it made it’s way back.”
come on you’re impressed aren’t you?
to repeat, “What can our contestants tell us
about the story of William Clark simply by being in the same
room as his stuffed dog?”
the exception of Mary I’d say bugger all.
only thing Mary said of real significance was, “…I
can see that there’s um a man that’s been injured,
a gentleman that’s been injured. I’m being
drawn to his leg area with some injury. Linking to the
animal again somebody that connected or was in regular
contact um I got hanging.”
I’m prepared to accept this as a hit
but I do have a few caveats. Overall the comments are a little
light on detail and perhaps seem more relevant as they tie
in with the information we’ve been told by the programme.
However to be fair if you read the account in the link
given above you will also notice a brook (river?) is mentioned
as indeed is Ireland.
consider what we are being asked to believe. In the account
of the murder no mention is made of the dog and there is
nothing to make you think that it might have been. How
then did the dog acquire this knowledge and even if it
did how does its preserved skin manage to convey the information?
here’s something else you didn’t know,
for this test and the next one Deborah Borgen was
present and knew what tests were being carried out. I’m
assuming you remember just who Deborah
Borgen is? The ‘Advocate’ who
having apparently already been accepted as psychic is supposed
to, “act as a counterweight to the sceptical panel,
encouraging and defending the contestants as appropriate.” In
my opinion this fact alone makes the whole test null and
void. How can you have a claimed psychic who is there to
support the finalists while the tests are going on? More
to the point why was this not made clear to the viewers?
the discussion that followed Jackie Malton comes up with
another classic statement. She accuses Chris and Philip
won’t believe anything because
you apply logic to it.” She’s got them there.
Mary’s reading certainly impressed Jackie Malton.
She quotes her as saying a man had been shot in the leg” which
Philip reminds her was not said at all. An nice example
of retro-fitting power of cold reading.
sort of ties in with the previous test but I have classified
it as separate because here the scoring is at least straight
forward. The aim was to determine which of 5 covered
headstones belonged to the previously mentioned William
Clark. The chances of guessing correctly are obviously
a mere 1 in 5.
the men managed to get the right answer, Austin, Dave and
Dennis. So what?
next test skirts the borders of good taste but I feel
a lot of credit should go to the young man’s mother
Jo. This can’t have been an easy thing for her to do.
Her son, Andrew Marcon was killed in a road traffic accident
on May 4 th 1997 . He was only 23 years old. Jo Marcom was
present during the tests (and as Philip later pointed out
should have been witnessing this on a monitor or something).
the first phase of this test the psychics were given
a sealed envelope containing Andrew’s photo and were
asked to give their impressions. When this produced little
in the way of results they were each allowed to remove the
photo, were told the person’s name and handed his watch.
They were then told that a location nearby had “significance”.
This was not made clear during the programming. Also not
made clear was that the watch was clearly damaged.
purpose of test can be gleaned from comments from Tricia, “Psychics
believe that a tragic event like this produces powerful energy
which may remain in objects worn at the time and may even
still exist in a place where it happened. So with Jo’s
help we’ve decided to put this to the test.”
Vague to say the least.
the voiceover makes things a little more specific, “What
can they tell us about his tragic story? Can they lead
us to the scene of the accident?”
They were placed halfway between the scene of the accident
home. If they found the spot were Andrew died then I assume this would fulfil
the requirement for a successful outcome?
led them to the scene but they did get to the home, however
why would there be “Powerful energy” here?
The strange thing is that all of them were driven passed
the location but never picked anything up.
So the clues were;
They are in the street in a residential area.
They were given a photo of a young man and his smashed
A woman (Jo) was also there to verify what they said.
This could really only be one of two things, an assault
by someone or a road traffic accident.
Talks about tragic circumstances and an incident with
a car. He gives the names Martin & Sally which are
later made to fit.
Got nothing but was then shown the photo and given a
watch. She said she “felt he was your son” and
talked about working with angels. It turns out Jo has a
lot of angel figures in the house.
mentions a female and later (after presumably being but
right on the matter of gender) asks something about whether
he was good at do-it-yourself? Good grief!
Anna: “Sad & tragic,
stabbed in the side (assault?) A lot of blood”
Doesn’t identify location so gives a reading
I would class as a convincing demonstration of psychic
ability. In fact it’s a lesson in how clues
can be used (even if unconsciously) to come up with an
apparent psychic reading.
here’s another fact of which the viewing public
were blissfully ignorant. Once again, present during
this test was good old Deborah Borden who was fully aware of all
aspects of the test. This fact alone gives it no validity
at all. Perhaps Townhouse should explain this to Jo Marcon?
week’s Star: Dave Summerton
out: Amanda Jayne Hart (who ‘knew’ she
had to go).
way of interest here’s my own scoring so far.
Scores this week:
Depressing isn't it.
can I say? The tests are getting worse. The first
test this week asked the psychics to identify
three ghosts that evidently reside at The Black Swan Hotel
I was under the impression that there was supposed to
be at least a smidgen of scientific merit to these tests
but the very idea that this could prove anything at all
is ridiculous – whether you are a skeptic or a psychic.
The basis of the test was that the psychics had to identify
the three ghosts most frequently sighted by staff and members
of the public. Think about it, first of all the show is trying
to discover whether psychic powers are real. Secondly, ghosts
have never been proven to exist, so in essence they are asking
a group of people whose powers are unproven to find something
that science does not believe exists anyway. Talk about looking
for a non-existent black cat in a dark room.
So from a scientific standpoint this is nonsense on stilts,
but is it any better if you actually believe in psychic powers
and/or ghosts? We are told that the hotel is steeped in 500
years of history and the psychics have to zoom in on three
ghosts that have been reported by non-psychics. Presumably
after 500 years there could be loads of them, indeed Dennis
Binks seems to find plenty.
The test was completely pointless as far as testing psychic
In test number 2 they
had to identify which of four people made a piece of
pottery. With a 1 in 4 chance it’s virtually certain
someone will be correct and sure enough Diane Lazarus and
Mary White manage to get a hit, as do 4 out of 10 people
picked at random from the street.
just to blur the edges of the test the psychics are asked
to tell us something about the other three non-potters.
We listen to their cold reading skills which achieve varying
degrees of success but as we do not know how much was said
and what clues might have been around this is of little
use. Mary held the pot (which had nothing to do with the
other three) and gave an excellent reading to no one in
particular. Were the ‘jury’ at the end of the
show told about how cold reading works and given the chance
to see all the footage? I doubt it somehow.
Next up in test 3 the six remaining hopefuls
are asked to match 2 handbags to 2 of 10 different woman
and of course they are once again invited to give a cold
reading to the two women in question. None of them manage
to match up bags to owners.
Lastly in test 4 our pick of the bunch
psychics are taken to a pub and asked to identify what the
cellar was once used for. This
website gives a clue:
“… The pub was once used by Cromwells Roundheads
as a hospital & mortuary.”
nice, subjective test wouldn’t you say? The test
is overseen by an extremely helpful Jackie. For example
Dennis begins by being characteristically way off and
asking (yes asking!), “Could this be anything to do with Guy
then he mentions about it being “part of a hospital.” To
stop him making any further mistakes, ‘skeptic to the
max’ Jackie jumps in and says, “Go with it,
just go with it.” And sure enough he does.
week Dave Summerton gets the wooden spoon and once again
Diane Lazarus got the golden envelope.
problem with keep writing this up is that every week
Townhouse TV trot out a few more badly designed tests that
prove nothing (except perhaps that producers of television
programmes shouldn’t test psychics) and thus there's
a danger I'll keep repeating myself.
1 - Hide & Seek
is hidden in a large wooded area and the psychics have
to use their powers to find them. Well not find them
exactly but get within 15 metres, which we’re told
matches the precision of the GPS satellite navigation system.
They have 30 minutes to achieve this.
test how well hidden the ‘body’ is, a bloodhound
(called Homer) and ex-Sargent Major Richard Nauyokas
(Bad Lads Army), are asked to find him. Homer takes 5:08
minutes and Richard 20:11.
you need to understand that this was not dense forest
and you could see where you were going. The floor was obviously
covered in brown leaves. Philip
each psychic that the person is hidden somewhere “forwards
of this path”.
the segments we were shown everyone just looked like
they were wandering about hoping to stumble across the target.
it was me I would be working on the assumption that they
would not be hidden in the flat areas, which made up
a good deal of the forest and would focus my efforts on
fallen trees and bushy areas. The camouflage used was mainly
green and therefore did stand out a little. That’s
not to say the test was easy, after all it took Richard
Nauyokas 20 minutes and he was running.
went first, ran out of time and by pure chance finished
within the required 15 minutes. Anna just went round
in circles and Austin drew
a blank. Dennis
actually find the person but as with Mary got with in
the 15 metre area – except Dennis did it in just
over 9 minutes.
said he would have been more impressed if Dennis had
actually found the body not just the approximate area. Diane
Lazarus was about to do just that.
found the person in 7:04 minutes
which is pretty damn good. However I’d like to
nit pick a bit.
would prefer to move the body to a different location
each time and no one who knew the location would be allowed
to leave the area. Brown leaf camouflage would have been
better. The test itself is not easily quantified in as
much as you can simply say it’s “very difficult” or
something equally imprecise. Therefore I would like to
have seen this done later on in the series when there
so many people left which would have allowed each person
to have more than one go. I would suggest that if you
are psychic you should be able to get it right in at
least 3 out of 3 attempts. I would have also hidden a
number of ‘dummies’ in a similar way to the
would have been nice to see an equal number of randomly
chosen people searching as well.
the circumstances I think it was entirely possible for
someone to fortuitously come across the hidden person.
We did this all the time as children but this is no criticism
of Diana who was given a task that she successfully completed
in record time.
2 - Is that a sledgehammer in your pocket…
was ridiculous, even the psychics thought so. Can male
aggression ‘energy’ be retained in a hammer?
Do we know that such an energy actually exists?
Have any of the psychics on the show claimed they can sense
Could they get the right answer just by guessing?
What do we expect to achieve by this test?
Filling about 10 minutes of programme time.
Did any of the psychics succeed?
What have we learnt about the psychics ability to find
something that isn’t there?
3 - Guessing murder
were on much safer ground. Let’s test the psychics
ability to give a cold/warm reading. Just to make it
difficult we’ll give them a few clues.
do we know if someone has succeeded? Presumably by telling
us the full facts of the case. On second thoughts that
might be too hard so we’ll see who the jury thinks
are told about a local Disk Jockey who brutally murdered
his ex-girlfriend with a hammer in 1985. This eventually
resulted in her lover taking his own life and the murderer
hanging himself in prison.
each contestant is given a photo of the female victim.
A short time later they are given a picture of the murderer.
Now what would you say? “I’m getting the
feeling that this man went on to become a gas fitter
and the woman is some how connected. Did he service her
central heating and over-charge her?
of them pieced together bits of the actual story but
no one could identify them by name or give us the full story.
Of course there were a few things that inevitably fit
but nothing to indicate psychic ability.
confess though to being mildly amused by Diane Lazarus
who said the woman’s spirit was pushing her away
and telling her she shouldn’t be there. It certainly
sounds better than ‘I haven’t a clue’.
the end though Mary once again showed that she was by
far the best cold reader.
just prior to the broadcast of programme 5, Channel Five
apologised as they (Townhouse TV) did not get permission
from one of the families involved. I have therefore avoided
compounding the felony and avoided naming them here.
At the time programme four was shown the voiceover categorically
stated that permission had been sought and given. I’m
prepared to assume that this was a genuine
4 - Guess the illness
people with 5 different illnesses and each of the finalists
randomly chose 2 of them. Their job is to guess or psychically
determine (don’t know how you tell the difference
but at least guessing is a real phenomenon) what illnesses
chooses Noel who suffered a heart attack 9 years ago.
She says it’s a respiratory problem but mentions
angina. Turns out Noel is shortly to be tested for angina.
Let me see…. That’s a ‘miss’ then.
She likewise misses on her second ‘patient’.
uses his “third eye” which, just like his other
two, apparently needs some correcting. He is wrong with
the first subject but for his second mentions hip, head & stomach.
Yes she does have a ‘hip’ problem caused
by her sciatica. Whilst I don’t claim to have medical
knowledge ‘sciatica’ might well affect the
legs and hip but the source of the problems is in the
back (an inter-vertebral disk pressing on the sciatic
bombed as did Diane Lazarus although she used the increasingly
common ruse of naming more than one illness so that she
could claim she was nearly right.
was wrong on her first attempt but guessed better on
Charles along with his third eye was regarded as performing
least worst this week and Dennis
finally sent packing.
is it Tricia Goddard keeps telling us that the psychics
(i.e. guessers), “face our most demanding tests
yet” when in actual fact the new tests are
just as lame as all the others?
week took place in Newmarket and
had a distinct horsey theme. Test 1 kicked
off with them trying to guess which horse, out of four,
had an injury. They were also asked to say what they
thought the injury was. Interestingly in the control
group of 10 non-psychics (as opposed to the remaining
four non-psychics) all of them picked horse number 4.
Not only that but so did horse whisperer Kelly Marks.
Unfortunately the correct answer was horse number 1 (called
test was supervised by Philip
first out of the trap was Diane Lazarus who correctly
guessed it was number 1. We hear but a snippet of her
diagnosis which is that Darth Vader needs “injections
in his back” which is not the same as the
actual injury of a fractured pelvis. She was supposed
to tell us the injury not the treatment.
Galliers went for number 2 as did Mary White but Austin,
taking advice from his spirit guides, guessed correctly.
two of this test was to try and guess, using a horse
brush, which stable lad looks after Darth Vader. There
were 2,000 stable lads to choose from – only kidding
it was just the usual 4. Anna got it wrong again and this
spirit guides were having a tea break as he failed too.
However both Diane Lazarus and Mary White guessed
this test I nominate Diane Lazarus as being the winner
but the problem is that this proves absolutely nothing.
It’s worth asking why it is that of all the people
who have taken the JREF $1 million dollar challenge,
none have passed even the preliminary test? Psychics
and believers in general will say that the reason is
obvious - it’s “unfair”.
Really? Well here’s a challenge, tell me what it
is about the test that you regard as unfair. What possible
reason is there for a psychic not to take this test?
Kramer (who deals with JREF challenge applications) is
eagerly waiting for your call. Well not eager exactly
but certainly willing to deal with any genuine claim.
And just so you don’t have to travel to Florida
ASKE will offer to test you right here in the UK.
I digress. In test 2 each psychic is
given 5 envelopes each containing a photo of a celebrity.
As they sit blindfolded, a large image of the photo is
projected behind them. Their task is to decide which
celebrities are alive and which are dead but, as is the
pattern in this series, to make things a little more
imprecise and woolly they can give us the obligatory
reading. In fact many of the readings were spectacularly
wrong, e.g. boxer Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay) didn’t
and Austin got 1 correct. Mary 3 and Anna 4. So this
time Anna is the winner and again I have to ask, “So
nothing else our quartet of professional guessers are inconsistent.
going to pause here and look at the tests to see what
is wrong. First the test with Darth Vader the horse. The
rationale for this test would be if a psychic made the
can tell when a horse is sick and pinpoint the illness” furthermore,
implicit in this, is that they would have to see the
horse in the flesh.
that’s the claim I suggest that we assemble at
least 25 horses (a number plucked at random out of my
head) 3 of which had a specific complaint that was verified
by a vet. As with BPC’s test none of these problems
would be apparent just by looking at the horse. So perhaps
one has a problem with its pelvis, another has laminitis
and a third navicular disease. However I’m not
a vet so I would take advice from one. This would take
place at a riding school/stables which would be different
from race horses which are most likley to have muscular-skeletal
this instance I would expect a score of 100%. The claimant
would have to give a very accurate description of the
illness and no one present during the test would have any
idea of the correct answer. Comments such as, “this
horse feels sad” would be unverifiable and
the second ‘living or dead test’ I assume
the claim to be, “I can tell just by holding
a sealed envelope containing a photograph of someone
whether they are dead or alive.”
would assemble a number of photos, say 100 (50 living,
50 dead) and allow the psychic to randomly choose 25
of them. They would then go through the procedure as outlined
on the show and I would expect a score of at least 23
(92%). Again the experimenter would not know if the answer
was correct or not (the photos do not need to be of celebrities)
until the procedure was completed.
the next test (number 3) the psychics
are asked to identify a celebrity by their aura. Now
there is no evidence that an aura exists and it would
be easy to test their ability to detect one at all but
if we accept that they can identify a celebrity just
by being near them and sensing their aura then lets do
just that. Obviously we wouldn’t test them on lots
of horsey things and then ask them to identify someone
strongly associated with horses – that would be
stupid. In this instance each blindfolded psychic was
stood in front of the subject and asked to name them.
test was interesting because of the way the answers were
interpreted. The celebrity in question was horse
racing pundit John McCririck
and in my opinion this was to some degree guessable.
I suspect this thought crossed the minds of the test
designers at Townhouse TV.
results. Anna mentioned the letter ‘J’ and
after removing her blindfold and seeing John said
she actually thought of him at one point. Gosh, nearly
a hit then. Mary basically bombed but the voiceover saves
her pride with the following comment, “As any
psychic will tell you reading someone whose not open
to being read is almost impossible. John
McCririck definitely falls into this category” So
let me see if I have this correct, Townhouse TV are telling
us that this test was basically unfair and not something
any psychic would claim to be able to do. We can therefore
infer that the people designing this test were pretty
clueless. Who would that be now? Why Townhouse TV of
Diane bombs but in a similar vein to Anna immediately
knew it was you!” Yes of course you did.
Austin is credited with more success. He says that ‘J’ is
the first letter and later says “I know John links
in. John is
a connection.” The
voiceover rejoices by telling us, “At last we
put a name to the face. For Austin
a real coup.” But Austin didn’t
say, “…the person in front of me
is called John”.
His words could be interpreted in many ways. John might
be the celebrity's Dad, brother, son, uncle, middle name,
or best friend and anyway it’s a very common name.
this very point.
number 4 introduces
famous jockey Fred
Archer who committed suicide in 1886.
To start off with each of the psychics is given a cardboard
tube containing Fred Archer’s whip and their
task is to “tell us about his life and his
is first to have a go and says she links to a gentlemen, “who
got shot with this” tapping the cardboard
tube for emphasis. I take this to mean he was shot with
his own whip – which is nonsense but the mere fact
that she mentions shooting (albeit not suicide) is enough
to gain her more Brownie points. Austin flops
and Anna mentions a bi-plane. Diane tells us he’s
got a bit of a beard (incorrect) but that he likes horses
as well. She doesn’t mention any connection with
racing or that he was a jockey. When asked about the
period she mumbles something about ‘57’ which
we are told is significant because he was born in ’57.
Of course if he had been married, won his first race
or died in ’57 this too would be wonderful.
problem I have with
this test is that it is being overseen by Jackie Malton
who is not averse to giving out clues and from what I’ve
seen is overly sympathetic to the psychics. As always
we do not get to hear all of what was said, but regardless
of what actually went on if the task was to tell us about
Fred Archer’s life and
tragic end they have all failed.
because of their dismal performance or maybe it was planned
anyway they are all given a second stab at coming up
with something useful. They are taken to a location where
ghost was reported to have been seen 10 years earlier
by some stable boys (gosh this is really scientific)
and given an envelope with two framed photographs and presented
with the whip.
Lazarus comes up with nothing of interest, unless you
count the fact that Fred wore boots. Jackie does try to
help by reminding her that they are in Newmarket.
I wonder if she ever helped suspects remember their alibis.
whose spirit guides had by now gone for lunch, thought
it all began in the current location and that he died
in his sport. Wrong!
thinks he fell and got hurt. He probably did once or
attempt was most interesting. Having decided the gentleman
she linked into wasn’t shot with his whip she changed
tack (there’s a pun there) and said she thought
it was to do with Red Rum. Okay that’s it Mary
wrong. Thanks for coming. But wait! Jackie steps in again
and tells her it isn’t anything to do with Red
Rum and Mary has yet another go. Now she goes back to
the shooting and tells us the man links to this room
and mentions the name ‘Mat’. Wouldn’t
you know it Mathew Dawson was Fred’s trainer and
Fred eventually married his niece.
Jackie’s helpful hints no one achieved the tests
they put a camera in a room in what was once Oliver Cromwell’s
home along with a woman called Nora who was on the end
of a phone to tell the psychics if they were on the right
track. The room had a sort of wax model of Cromwell sat
at his desk with a quill pen and a portrait of him on
the start we were told that remote viewing was researched
by the CIA although they didn’t explain how it
turned out to be a complete waste of money. Still, just
to help research this subject a little further and to
add naff all to the some total of human knowledge they
come up with what I’d call ‘remote viewing
that was needed for this was for a camera to be placed
in the empty room and have Nora there just looking around – without
the bloody phone.
got the name Charles by which we all assume he meant King
Charles I. Mary mentioned a quill pen, Diane was rubbish
and Anna told us that there was a table and that there
was an object on the table and a few other things besides.
But despite being guided by Nora’s helpful “yeses
and no’s” never
mentioned Ollie but nevertheless did better than the rest.
out that this was not how you go about testing remote
viewing. True enough - so basically this was a glorious waste
of time. I also find it a Little suspicious that they knew
the location was inside and not out in a field somewhere
starring at a cow's backside. Just how much help were
they given? What's happening with Deborah Borgen these days?
week’s jury deemed Austin was
best, though I’m not entirely sure why and Anna Galliers
was kicked out. If I accept the rationale of the tests
(which I don’t) I would say that Mary should have
6 Hooray it’s the final.
show has come to its inevitable end. Someone gets to
be crowned the winner without ever actually having
to prove they are psychic. The final was very interesting
though. In fact it was unbelievable.
think it’s worth a quick review of just why this
programme could not achieve its stated objective. The
following is taken from the home page of Britain’s
you think you're psychic?
so, you're not alone. An estimated 150,000 people
in the UK claim
to have psychic powers, and as many of us believe
in parapsychology as we do in God. Of course, the sceptics
rubbish all claim to psychic ability.
what can people who claim to be psychic actually do? Could
there be rational scientific explanations for some of the
things they claim to be able to achieve, or is it just
a matter of luck, trickery and the need to believe? Five
is going to find out once and for all by putting some of
these so-called psychics to the test... (my
ambitious goal that had no chance of success.
they used a parapsychologist he played no part in the
test design. We can only guess who did. Equally Philip Escoffey
who I single out for his outstanding contribution was
not asked to design the test either.
of the tests were low probability such as a mere 1 in 4.
test outcomes were vague and there was no objective way
of determining if the test had been passed or not.
tests were not designed around the claimed abilities
of the psychic.
psychic readings were (perhaps of necessity) edited and
we were shown the more significant segments. In assessing
ability it is vital to count the misses as well as the
tests were contaminated by the fact that those conducting
them were aware of the required result. Having three
(actually two) sceptics would allow one to set up the test
and another to carry it out. Not only that but the camera
team knew as did the Assistant Director, psychic helper
Deborah Borgen and God only knows who else. The test site
should have been ‘sealed’ so that no one else
knew the correct answer. The way it was actually set up
leaves open the accusation that clues, both deliberate
or inadvertent, could be given. That’s not to say
they were, as we have no idea, but the possibility cannot
success or failure of those taking part depended on the
vote of a jury that were unaware of how psychics work.
Test carried out by JREF are designed so that no judging
is necessary, the result is self evident for all to see.
of course a winner would be found regardless of whether
they were psychic or not.
Pre-test – Clogged
pair of clogs were sealed in a box and the psychics had
to use this to determine where the test would take place
Mary said “ears” and then Jersey, Austin
went for Norway.
the first real test they flew to Amsterdam and
were required to come up with information about two assassinations,
those of political leader Pim Fortuyn and controversial
film maker Theo Van Gogh.
these links for more detail:
finalists are told nothing about what happened and just
given a sealed envelope.
talks about anger and people getting their revenge. He
also mention pain around the head area and breathing difficulties.
brother Martin Fortuyn is present and confirms Pim was
shot twice in the head and also in the chest.
mentions a man in authority and connections with the
government. As she is about to hear the story from Martin
Fortuyn she adds, “Nothing to do with shooting?”.
This is punctuated by dramatic music so as to drive home
she learned the facts of the story she said she, “..kept
seeing the rifle and kept stopping myself.” My
understanding is that he was shot with a hand gun and
not a rifle.
kept getting the word “mystery” which was
made to fit the fact that there were numerous conspiracy
theories around the death and rather cryptically she
feel because of the system, it’s not getting justices
but systems do create injustices.”
day they have a similar test this time for Theo Van Gogh.
up is Austin,
blame, a charge was put on his shoulders, that wasn’t
directly to do with him. He was blamed for something
he didn’t do. And I keep being drawn to my throat
area. I’m being told ‘stabbed in the back’”.
sure if this last bit in metaphorical.
Theo Van Gogh had his throat slit by his attacker this
was seen as highly significant although he was also shot
on the back and stabbed twice in the chest as well. There
is though a certain vagueness about “being
drawn to the throat area”. For example I believe
Pim Fortuyn was also shot in the neck and this would
also match with Austin’s
says Theo was a Jekyll & Hyde character and “five
people in one”. Thomas Ross who wrote about
the case asked about his profession and here Diane is
picking up this person was in the media. I’m
seeing cameras all the time”.
also gets credit for mentioning the initials V and G.
As Chris French later points out these are more common
initials in Holland than
in the UK.
Of course TVG would have been even better. For all we
know Mary might have thought it was to do with Van Gogh
the psychics are taken to the actual crime scene and
given the obligatory sealed envelope.
task seems to be, “Will any of the psychics
be able to describe the killing?”
correctly mentions shooting, “Somebody got
shot on here, somebody else vary hurried situation here.”
phenomenal understatement Diane says, “I feel
there was a bit of a dispute here.” She continues, “A
brawl. I can see a lot of blood here. Loads of blood, blood
pumping from somebody. Killings going on. A connection
between the killings.”
does not adequately explain the events here but the “blood
pumping” is seized upon as being a hit.
being taken back now. A lot kafuffle in the street.
Incident to do with the law.”
asks him if he has any final thoughts on the link for
and yesterday’s tests might be.
says they “were well known people who were either
murdered or assassinated”. Which is true.
Hide & Seek
next test is a reply of the soldier hiding in the forest
and to be very brief Mary and Austin do not pass – but
for a second time Diane is spot on.
young boy, Sam, is hidden by Chris French in a 2 square
mile area on the NorthNorfolkCoast (Holkam
Nature Reserve). Before the test begins a tracker dog
(Biscuit) is used and finds Sam in 36 minutes. Next the
Coast Guard are given the task and fail. In their words “It’s
Diane goes she sets off in the right direction “After
just a moment’s hesitation.” She finds
Sam in just 10 minutes. Chris French is rightly impressed
however I think the voiceover sums things up for me.
Unbelievably it’s taken Diane just 10 minutes
to locate Sam.”
that’s just what I thought. Unbelievable.
now with trepidation we move to the
dealt with the murder of 14 year old schoolgirl Joanna
Young, something which I found wholly distasteful. Firstly
because her death was being used in a silly test on a
light entertainment show, secondly they seemed to imply
that psychics can come up with useful information – for
which the evidence is zero and lastly because someone
may one again find themselves accused simply on the say
so of a psychic. The test was supervised by Jackie Malton.
again we can dismiss Mary and Austin out of hand and
the time was instead devoted to just how clever Diane Lazarus
disembodied voiceover tells us,
always our psychics have been told absolutely nothing
about the case in advance. All they have to go on is
Joanna’s photograph. They don’t know that
she’s been killed let alone where the evidence
or the body was found.”
we are told that, “Diana immediately heads
towards the wooded lane where Joanna’s trainers
and jeans were found.”
this sequence what I would call ‘mood music’ was
played continually for effect.
walked this path before. I know she has. Joanna’s
walked this path before okay.
bit of a tomboy really. I will say that as well because
she’s, she’s pulling her socks up and sort
of, you know, it doesn’t matter she gets a bit
Malton asks Joann’s ex-headmistress Jan Godfrey
she a tomboy?” or “Was she a tomboy?”.
I can’t be sure which.
Godfrey replies, “That was her strength at
feel we should note the word was.
continues, “I can hear somebody walking behind
her. I can hear the crunch”. She wipes away
a tear. “It happened. She’s smiling.
not obvious what happened to her. It’s not obvious.
She was facing something she couldn’t see from.
She was pushed into a situation where she was facing
something and she couldn’t see anything. I can’t
comment was later attributed to the fog but I don’t
feel that quite fits. It could easily mean something
voiceover then tells us, “Diana’s now
standing near the spot where her trainers were found.” And
at this point the camera swings from Diane to the path.
Although Diane has her back to the camera I consider
this a risky move.
been looking and I keep seeing the bike. I’m
looking for the bike, ‘Can you see it? Can you
see it? Can you see it?’ and it’s a clear
vision, she’s working very hard here, show me
this bike. It’s important you see.”
nothing about trainers or jeans. And what’s this
about a bike?
has been told absolutely nothing about the relevance
of the bike, nor the note sent to the local newspaper.”
Nothing has been said about the bike other than a drawing
of one shown on a card that was sent to the local newspaper.
As far as I know this bike may not be of any relevance
at all. Diane has mentioned a bike but without context.
Did she mean Joanna’s bike or the killer’s
or just a witness? She continues about the bike in a
moment but I want to draw your attention to the above
has been told absolutely nothing about the relevance
of the bike” Does this mean she was
told about a bike but not it’s relevance? If she
was told “absolutely” nothing this goes without
know she was lying here. I dunno if she came off the
bike or… because I’ve got more on the
bike and I’ve got her off the bike. And I can’t
do anything about it. ‘I want to go home’,
but she can’t go home”.
far as I, the viewer, has been made aware none of this
is known and therefore is pure conjecture.
commentary continues, “We’ve told Diane
that we’d like her to try and identify a second
significant location. Unprompted she steps off across
the fields. She walks fully half a mile until finally
she stops by a small copse.”
wanna go down there…”
feel she’s been murdered. I wanna go down there.”
has been drawn to the very spot where Joanna’s
body was found.”
little later Diane says, “….I know the
man involved in this. See he was following her. I know she
was being followed. I feel 100% with that. She was being
followed, and she was aware of him being there. She panicked,
she went and he was there. I know he
have emphasised the word ‘know’ as Diane’s
voice was emphatic on this point. However I beg to differ.
She couldn’t ‘know’ and all this is
completely unverifiable and therefore nothing to do with
the test. In fact Diane’s success boils down to
only two things. She identified the path used by Joanna
and also the place she died. Don’t get me wrong
I’m not saying
these are insignificant details because they’re
not. But I would say Diane stood out in this series for
one main reason and that was she identified certain locations.
Namely the body in the car boot in the pilot programme,
the soldier in the wood, young Sam on the beach and lastly
the significant sites in the case of Joanna Young. I
realise she matched up the married couples but that may
have been chance.
that doesn’t mean I can accept that she is psychic
and neither should anyone else, for the reasons I gave
above. Chris French expressed a willingness to test her
again (sans Townhouse TV I hope) so let’s
see it happen. Better still she could try to win a million
I’ll indulge myself in an ‘I told you so’ moment.
When I wrote up programme 2, I made the following comment,
at this stage I am prepared to make the somewhat rash
prediction that Diane Lazarus will emerge as the victor
but as I do not pretend to possess psychic powers I
could of course be completely wrong.”
could have been wrong - but I wasn’t.
use this is the sense of “psychic claimant” but
for brevity I’m just using the word ‘psychic’ rather
than ‘would-be’ psychic or ‘testee’.
Voice of Reason: The Myth of Tsunami Survivors' Sixth Sense
from the Skeptical Inquirer
posted: 21 April 2005
06:43 am ET
The Ten-Percent Myth
By Benjamin Radford
Psychic Challenge website