Saturday, December 02, 2006

Psychic Investigators

Well, EoR watched the first episode of this scientific show (it wasn't the episode EoR mentioned previously, but it seems that might be a forthcoming one).

There are a number of problems with the show, not least being that it's all a recreation or reenactment (though not labelled as such) and, even assuming the psychics are telling the truth about what they "saw" (which is not proven), they're only going to be mentioning the hits and not the misses. As Cineflix says:

These spellbinding [sic!] stories, interwoven with suspense, intrigue, and twists and turns, feature stylized dramatic reconstructions.

The episode detailed the disappearance of Jason Williams in Wales. After a lack of news his wife consulted psychic Sue Evans (or Psychic Sue as she prefers to be known). Though stating she could "feel" if someone had passed over, her initial consultation with Mrs Williams via the tarot cards only told her she was suffering from a trauma and stress (on her site she seems to tell almost everyone they're suffering stress - a likely scenario if they're driven to consulting psychics). Ms Evans knew the reason for Mrs Williams' visit and could have told her this without the stage props. In fact, anyone could have told her this. Ms Evans apparently couldn't tell that Mr Williams was dead though.

At a subsequent visit Ms Evans called in her sister (who is the remote viewing specialist) and described Mr Williams' murder by a "younger man" while an "older man" watched. Names! Dates! Places! Give us specifics!

Despite repeated pleas from Mrs Williams, the police refused to utilise the incredible services of Ms Evans. In fact, the crime was solved through doorknocking, confessions and DNA evidence, and convictions obtained, entirely without psychic evidence or input.

Calling in a third psychic (it was like a scene from Macbeth or maybe a psychic version of International Rescue) the ESP SWAT team fondled what was presumably an item of the dead man's clothing. With the increased ethereal energy Ms Evans "saw" a broken tree branch, and three celtic crosses. She said the body was near them. Again, no specifics. At this stage Mr Williams was dead, wrapped in bin bags and buried. Yet, if he could see those few details why couldn't he see others like where he'd been taken? Why couldn't he give specific directions?

Searching the Brecon Beacons Ms Evans and Mrs Williams discovered a churchyard with three celtic crosses together (though the camera failed to make clear whether there were only three crosses) but, alas, no body. Their search continues. Years later.

Ignoring for the moment that Ms Evans contributed absolutely nothing to the investigation there were two items where she appeared to spookily be in touch with the dead man.

The police discovered (non-psychically) where the body had been taken, though it was no longer there. Near there they found a broken tree root. Now, EoR isn't sure how many broken tree roots there are in the woods, though he's certain there's an awful lot of broken branches, which is what Ms Evans predicted. Yet, from now on the narrator referred to Ms Evans' accuracy in describing the broken root or, as it quickly became, the "broken tree". Call it a hit, call it a miss, call it a desperate clutching at something that might have come close to matching one of Ms Evans' guesses.

The other is her "vision" of Mr Williams' death as he was indeed killed by a young man (the partner of a woman he had been seeing) while an older man was in the room (though the two convicted people differ somewhat in the details).

While Mrs Williams was quite adamant about Ms Evans' accuracy (luckily, she never quite said "There was no way she could have known that!") as EoR has pointed out, this is a psychic claim post facto. What was really said at the time? What was said that Mrs Williams may be ignoring or forgetting because it wasn't accurate? How much is confused by trial evidence that she feels vindicated statements by Ms Evans? We are not told.

Mrs Williams is now campaigning for police to use psychics.

A psychic-free report of the incident.

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