13 December 2012

Investigative Methods for the Skeptic

In this workshop from TAM 2012, a lineup of top paranormal investigators teach the best methods for examining extraordinary claims. Featuring JREF fellow Dr. Karen Stollznow, author Ben Radford, Bryan Bonner and Matthew Baxter of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society, Carrie Poppy and Ross Blocher of the "Oh No! Ross and Carrie" podcast, and Blake Smith of "MonsterTalk".

12 December 2012

Inside Out North East and Cumbria Investigate Psychic Stephen Holbrook

Chris Jackson reports on the man who says he can talk to the dead.

You can watch the video on BBC iPlayer at

Not sure how long it will be up for, so if anyone can copy the part of psychics and put it on youtube, please do and post a link in the comments section.


4 December 2012

Psychic Readings Live Gone Thanks to BP Forumite!

The last 30 minutes went with a whimper with 3 calls, a space of 20 minutes before the last caller at 02.04 and so it ended at 02.06, Irelands TV3 Psychic Readings Live turned off the green screen and went back under its rock with a few passing shots that might be regarded as breaches of the BAI code.

Speculation started yesterday at about 2pm yesterday when Flathan Huerter their golden boy posted

"My Friends and Fans in Ireland. I'am sad to inform you that tonight, is the last show Psychic Readings Live on the Irish TV..... "

later he updated it with

"The Broadcaster wanna change the concept of the show, to make the calls cheaper for the people, put the channel don't want it, so the broadcaster quit the contract! this is the information i get from the broadcaster. the broadcaster is the company i working for the psychic shows."

Wayne Isaacs posted

"Goodbye TV3 Psychic Reading Live Ireland tonight is the last show ;-(".

For the next few hours we were wondering was it real or another so called "last appearance" as it was still on the television listing on TV3 and RTE, also if true how was TV3 going to tell their side. We had a inkling something was going on with Danielle appearing on the forum and another new poster appearing that was suspicious, a possible TV3 plant or sympathiser a few days prior to this. At 8.30pm the Irish Times newspaper broke with "Psychic Readings Live cancelled" and had "The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has so far upheld seven complaints against the show and results for the authority’s compliance committee are set to be published next week."

How did all this start? The show started on the 16th June and it was the 20th June I went into Twitter and saw all these tweets about some psychic show that was on TV3. Curious I switched on and ended up watching the remaining hour or so of what could only be described as car crash TV and I was hooked.

Wayne Isaacs was asking people to call a number at €2.44 per min for their "psychic" readings. Checking an Irish forum I found a thread on the program and that's where it really began. A group from a previous show take-down were there giving advice and links to look at on how to complain. I don't know how long into the show it happened as time disappeared like some alien abductees story but one of our trusty twitter people called in.

His question was about the Irish Soccer, if we would every win anything and what was going to happen to the team. Wayne dragged it out with vague answers and said that it looked like there would be 3 changes to the team. The sceptic I am I went onto google and started looking for answers and found a newspaper article about the team and that 3 members would re-evaluating their futures. Now it crossed my mind that he might have someone on the google machine looking for answers. Another caller come “I was just wondering what are the chances of you getting a BAI complaint for false advertising?”

Laughing at the pictures used for the psychics the hunt started and people were posting up the stock version of the pictures. Alan Rice wrote up a blog with the pictures and stock links, it spread like wildfire and his site was having problems keeping up with the traffic. It hit the news on the 26th June with "TV3 distances itself from Psychic Wayne TV broadcast", TV3 issued a statement to clarify that the Psychic Readings Live broadcast is an “infomercial window”.

The psychics also kept saying they were in Ireland and hunting on the internet found the producers and studios to be in Budapest Hungary. Wayne at one stage was on his Facebook page while he was presenting, showed him in Budapest, poor Erick kept getting mixed up one minute saying lovely in Ireland and next saying its late here in Budapest, another night Flathan posted on twitter about his dinner before the show of the vending machine with the time 1 hour ahead of Irish time. So that was out of the bag. Each time a new psychic would appear a hunt for information on them started and details posted.

All laughing aside on the 26th June the so called "Entertainment Service" showed it's true colours when Sue Hudd took a call from a lady wondering about her hospital results, she had breast cancer and was wondering if it was good. Sue tells the caller "what we've got here the 3rd card that I pulled for you and it's saying to you it will be a time of celebration, something for you to very proud of. So good news, good things happening to you, we don't need to keep our fingers and toes crossed because this is about you now being in the right space, so well done you."

I was disgusted that someone could give false hope to a vulnerable person and sent off a complaint to TV3 quoting the whole call. I said it breached code relating to health. Again on the 5th July Erik told a caller they make be suffering from depression, another complaint sent off.

In Ireland when you complain to the broadcaster they have 21 days to get back, if you are not happy with the reply you then send it off to the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) , they get onto the broadcaster and this can take another 21 days. The BAI get back with another response and you have to reply with yeah or nay. This is then reviewed and if it is worth note they will take it up at their next meeting to see if it did breach code.

The first BAI meeting with the complaints was on 11th September and 3 complaints were upheld, 2 of those were of the cancer call and the depression call. At the same time complaining I was also posting videos of the calls including funny moments, trolls and slipping in the possible breaches. It became a running joke that if something funny happened with Flathan he'd say that's another Youtube video for Spookwoman.

The videos piled up and the complaints kept going in from the others on the forum and myself. While some others were enamoured by the "psychics" I was not, I saw them as leeches with no morals and no amount of flamboyancy would change that. I tried different areas to complain and even contacted Comreg about 1 caller who rang in 19 times over a few months. On the forum we had also started logging the calls, the time they came in, names and later estimated on air costs for the callers. We knew we were being monitored by the show and we wanted them to see we were also monitoring them. With my name already out there I didn't care and made public my distain for the show on Twitter often using #septicpsychics which was thought up by one of the forum members. Wayne would make comments at me then go into protected mode so I couldn't post back which shows the mentality of some of the presenters.

Slowly I started taking down the funny clips and leaving only the questionable readings along with a parody intro I made up called Psyick Readings Liv€, no rules were broken as it contained no actual PRL clips or anything linked to them. Not long after that I got the Youtube take down notice for my calls. TV3's replies to my complaints also changed tone saying I was complaining too much, I had an agenda and told me if I didn't like the show to switch off. Flathan even went on a rant about me on air at one stage. With all this I knew we were starting to get to them and I was rubbing my hands in glee. I scrutinized all calls and replies picking holes and backing it up with research, anything that added credence to the complaints.

Another BAI meeting on the 11th November found another 4 complaints upheld, 1 by me relating to pregnancy which TV3 said is not health related. Each time the BAI published their results the news got hold of it and published the details giving out more bad publicity. With the complaints upheld, bad press and having to broadcast BAI statements they would only follow the book for a few days before talking about health again. The Irish Times say there are another 10 complaints still to be processed and I know more are still being sent in. The show may be finished but we are still working with complaints so this does not happen again. If it wasn't for the forum or "Boardies" as we are known as by the psychics I would probably have gotten disheartened and bogged down with the process. It was a long and hard haul but we got there in the end even if some say it was canceled due to lack of interest.

Leah Burgess

12 November 2012

Remote Viewing Results. Target Revealed!

I was first approached via email by someone calling themselves "kimbote" with regards to doing a remote viewing test.

Due to them not adhering to the protocol that THEY THEMSELVES created, they have now been disqualified from this experiment.

HOWEVER I will still publish their prediction, and I will allow you the general forumites to judge how well they did.

The target image was as follows

As you can see it was a photo of a religious crucifix or a cross.

Here is a video of me opening the envelope!

And despite receiving over 20 entries, ALL different which was a surprise, no one got it!

Since Kimbote gave more info in his prediction than anyone else, even though he was disqualified, I will still have a look at what he came up with, and also see if I can make anyone elses guesses fit


Object,synthetic, metallic -Wrong it is wooden
White (with silver areas, black areas) -Hard to see on video, but it is dark brown and white, so wrong again.
Chemical, acrid taste -Wrong
Cylindrical, lengthy -Wrong
Snub nosed -Wrong
Extendable parts, arms etc -Wrong
(mental image of torpedo, shuttle, Tie fighter) -Wrong
fins or blade-like aspects jutting out from side -Wrong
concept of ‘telemetry’ -Wrong
(mental image of white extendable telescope) -Wrong
two silver cylinders silver ring at some point along cylinder -Wrong
curved, rotating pipes and tubes -Wrong
sense of air release, some kind of pressure valve -Wrong

So the professional remote viewer got every aspect completely wrong. Better luck next time. But since he was disqualified, it doesn't really matter.

The following are the submissions from the forumites.

a tortoise on a brown paper bag -Wrong

Lots of flowers a shack and a woman -Wrong

A Horse -Wrong

Mr Jinx
It's a building with smoke rising from it. Low sun in the sky, clouds. -Wrong

I see a roundish shape filled with people and water, lots of seats and tables. My guess would be a swimming pool, possibly one you have used Jon -Wrong

I think the photo is of Felix Baumgartner, sitting on the edge of the capsule waiting to launch himself towards the ground. -Wrong, however when I first was thinking about doing this, I did consider Felix, but thought that would be too obvious!

Drawing of a light bulb, lit, upright, not in anything. -Wrong

a tree -Wrong, although the cross is wooden, so the material is right.

Derek Acorah -Wrong although he does claim some of the powers of Jesus

I think the photo is of a man sitting at a table, smiling whilst raising a white teacup to his mouth. The matching white saucer is in front of him and there are windows behind him. -Wrong

photograph of a small squashed green pea -Wrong

Man doing the ironing, with countryside in the background. -Wrong

I see a clothbound red book printed in the 19th century with some gold lettering on the cover and spin -Wrong

A tall cylindrical building - white -Wrong

New York came flying into my mind when I saw the envelope. The more I thought about it I also thought of some form of racing but thats all. -Wrong

The o/h said a river in the foreground with a waterfall at some point towards middle of the pic. -Wrong

We also had some submissions from psychics/believers on the Spiritlove forum, here are their entries

A bike -Wrong

Some kind of round ball with criss-cross marks on it and a horizontal line coming out of it. -Wrong HOWEVER this is the ONLY person to say the word Cross, even if out of context, this person is easily the closest person to getting it right, so well done!

A ball of string? -Wrong

Something round--clouds/ balloon. -Wrong

KitKat (Also known on BP forum as Scaramouche)
A pair of shoes with laces, cream/white coloured with some blue and red -Wrong

White pillars -Wrong although white pillars could be entrance to Heaven!

A cup -Wrong - Although a cup could be the Holy Grail!

an orange ( fruit) -Wrong

tin of beans -Wrong

10 November 2012

The BadPsychics Remote Viewing Experiment

The BadPsychics Remote Viewing Experiment for November 2012 has now begun.

The Rules:
A photo has been taken, and sealed in a brown envelope. Along with a randomly generated 8 digit number. The photo could be of anything, an object, a person, an event, a location.

For anyone who wishes to try and remote view, all you need to do is private message me on my forum with your prediction.
Click Here To Send Me Your Prediction

The test will end on midnight 11th of November, any entries received after this time will be ignored and consider void. I will make a note on this page when it has been closed.

I do not want essays on what the picture is of, the more specific you are the better.

Once the test is over, I will list everyone's guesses on here along with a score out of 10 that I personally will judge.

Once all the results are in, any discussion can continue.

I have no interest in interpretation, subjective opinion and so on.

I have deliberately made this experiment as easy as possible. I am not a scientist and claim no academic qualifications to hold such a test. I do it purely out of my own interest.

Anyway here is a photograph of the envelope with the photo inside. Use which ever method you so choose to try and "Remote view".