The James Randi Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge (see last blog) has attracted a host of people claiming to have rare abilities worthy of the prize. I took the liberty to wade through the first 5 of the pages of, er, "applicants". I would have done more, I was prepared to, but after 5 pages I had filled my Insane Quota for the day and had well enough for a Blog post. The applicants page can be found here and I strongly recommend you have a look because there is plenty of hilarious up there.
Here is the best I saw on the first few pages:
- NATAL'YA VOROTNIKOVA - Man in a Box
Natal'ya Vorotnikova applied, with all required documents, with the claim that she will be able to identify a box containing a male who speaks Russian in a warehouse type setting.
According to Ms. Vorotnikova's Challenge claim, she will be able to identify a box amongst many identical boxes if there is a Russian male inside. None of the other boxes can contain people, and the test should take place in a large room, like a warehouse.
Suggested Protocol - Mrs. Vorotnikova has approved of a protocol that will use a school corridor lined with classroom doors and agreed that she will be able to identify which classroom contains a person, even without touching the doors or pausing at them while music is playing in the corridor.
- ADAM BIALECKI - X-ray EyesAdam Bialecki has applied with the claim that he is able to diagnose individuals using 'x-ray eyes'. He has provided both media presence and academic affidavit.
- COLIN ROSS - Eyeball EnergyColin Ross has applied with the claim that he can cause a tone to sound by shooting energy out of his eyeballs.He has provided both academic affidavits and media presence.
- GREG PRICE - Dowsing Circles
I thought this guy really had it in him. Greg Price entered the competition before there was a requirement for media presence, his claim is that he is able to dowse circular paths that he had recently walked on.
"I will walk four times clockwise in a circle. I will then mark that circle by using two brass dousing rods. I will do this walking forwards and backwards and blindfolded if you wish.
The area for this demonstration can be a parking lot or lawn or golf course, etc. I would first walk the area before and check for pipes, wires, water, etc. that could complicate the demonstration."
He received the following reply
"Thank you for your continued interest and patience. I am still unable to see how your claim constitutes a paranormal ability. Please clarify. Are you saying that, after walking a circular path a few times, you are able to walk the same circular path with dowsing rods? Surely remembering where you walked is not a paranormal ability?"
Unable to clarify how his ability is paranormal, his file was closed.
- Marcus Tisdale - Street Light Controller Claims to, by paranormal or otherwise unknown circumstances, turn regular street lights on and off solely as a result of my presence and not by coincidence. The request for the required 3 affidavits has remained unmet. He was recommended to ask an electrical engineer to sign one. Kramer, who used to handle the claimants, said to him that "Perhaps the answer you seek is simpler than the one you have imagined." As he never replied I guess he may have been right.
- Kirti Betai - The Confident Inventor
These are quotes taken from the page from Kramer and Mr Betai respectively
"This claim arrived in 1999, on the official stationary of India's MODERN VASHTU ENERGY SCIENCE organization, in Agra. As this applicant's file contains no evidence that any response from the JREF was offered, I must assume that my predecessor felt it unworthy of one. One can hardly blame him. Since my arrival here, no claim letter has gone unanswered." - Kramer
"WHAT WILL CONSTITUTE TEST: 1- Your representatives will bring 5 plates of freshly cooked vegetables. Of these 5 plates your representatives will put snake poison of your choice in 4 plates. 2- Pendulum Querying System will be used to detect the quality of the vegetables. I will detect the plate of vegetables that is without any poison & eat a portion of it to demonstrate the zero-error capability of pendulum querying system designed and developed by me." K. Bertai
- The PROPHET YAHWEH - UFO Summoner
I read through too much on this page, it was painful, funny and frustrating. I recommend you read it at its page. This is a very cut down version, if you read it properly it actually gets a bit of a plot line going. I guess I better put in a SPOILER WARNING. Essentially Prophet Yahweh (Yes, really. He legally changed his name to this from Ramon Watkins) claims to essentially be able to summon spaceships. He begins by saying he is too good to be able to sign the necessary documents to get the claim, but they can feel free to give him money anyway. He then goes on to say he will do it and give it to charity and later that because of the publication of his application he is getting death threats, Subsequently this leads to a lot of what I call "shitting around" on his half. He goes on for a long time only to say, just before the challenge, that there will be armed guards, to which Kramer responds
"The JREF cannot be involved in any Challenge test at which firearms of any kind are present. I deeply regret to have to say this, but if you insist on having armed security present at the test location, the test will be immediately cancelled. This point is not negotiable."
It was then discovered that the Prophet Yahweh was a client at Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health at their Mental Health Authority called "The Village." Here you can see that site that worried Kramer, 'PROPHET YAHWEH DECLARED MENTALLY ILL',
'Yahweh gives him some funny advice after that, so read the page already.
ebullient \ih-BUL-yuhnt\, adjective:
1. Overflowing with enthusiasm or excitement; high-spirited.
2. Boiling up or over.
Sent to me by Robbie mann.