Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 4
stevemagegod

James Randi $1,000,000 Foundation Prize

74 posts in this topic

So i noticed that a lot of people on this website are always trying to get people to challenge the Foundation. But i beat most of you have never even been to the Website including myself until today/this thread. I was curious as to what some of the conditions/previous claims where and i actually took the time to read it and look through the website. It is very interesting.

Has anyone ever gotten past the preliminary test?

No. Some people use this fact as a reason not to apply – and yet the protocol is never altered once the applicant agrees to it. In fact, we ask the applicant to design the test.

Has anyone taken the formal test?

No. Applicants must pass the preliminary test in order to move on to a formal test. So far, no one has ever performed the paranormal ability they claimed to have.

To me a lot of these challenges on the forum seem like the Sci Fi TV show Fact or Faked Paranormal Challenge. I mean these guys went to extraordinary lengths and spent a tremendous amount of time to try and debunk the claims. After reading through the forum a couple of threads peaked my interest:

Psi Ball Claims.

http://forums.randi....ead.php?t=58555

Disembodied Voices out of thin air. I remember that i watched a documentary about a similar case in which a team was using these same techniques and got some good results. To bad i don't remember the name of the project. :cry:

http://forums.randi....ead.php?t=50828

Surprisingly a Ouija Board claim lol.

http://forums.randi....ead.php?t=43349

Street Light Controller: I have watched a couple of videos on Youtube about this Phenomena, and have read a little about this however i am a little skeptical.

http://forums.randi....ead.php?t=50014

A guy claiming that he isn't human. Probably trolling the foundation :alien:

http://forums.randi....ead.php?t=33883

Astral Traveler :yes: But they basically denied his claim before it can actually be tested. :no:

http://forums.randi....ead.php?t=28931

What do you guys think about some of these claims? Discuss Please.

Edited by stevemagegod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have great respect for James Randi and his contributions to free-thought and skepticism. As Carl Sagan said "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" I believe anyone claiming these powers should demonstrate them, and Mr. Randi has provided a great platform for it. Regardless of whether you want the money or not, in the spirit of scientific investigation and the expansion of knowledge.

9 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Street Light Controller: I have watched a couple of videos on Youtube about this Phenomena, and have read a little about this however i am a little skeptical.

The Magnetic Ballast needed for the HID (high intensity discharge) bulb is faulty causing intermittent operation.The photo resistor located on top of the lamp that controls whether the lamp turns on, or off for day, or night is faulty.

Either of these conditions make the lamp shut off, and restart the ballast.Meanwhile the faker times it to make it look like his/her presence is causing this, because the lamp with these conditions becomes predictable to when it shuts off.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Magnetic Ballast needed for the HID (high intensity discharge) bulb is faulty causing intermittent operation.The photo resistor located on top of the lamp that controls whether the lamp turns on, or off for day, or night is faulty.

Either of these conditions make the lamp shut off, and restart the ballast.Meanwhile the faker times it to make it look like his/her presence is causing this, because the lamp with these conditions becomes predictable to when it shuts off.

Is that all it takes to do this? Dam i had a faulty street light next to my own house for a couple of months and it was pretty dam annoying going on and off every couple of hours randomly. I could be getting 1,000+ Views on Youtube if it weren't fixed. :whistle:

Edited by stevemagegod
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that all it takes to do this? Dam i had a faulty street light next to my own house for a couple of months and it was pretty dam annoying going on and off every couple of hours randomly. I could be getting 1,000+ Views on Youtube if it weren't fixed. :whistle:

Yup.

Just keep filming yourself walking near it, then "Taa Da!", and edit the results.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup.

Just keep filming yourself walking near it, then "Taa Da!", and edit the results.

My town in AZ street lights turn off in sync to save power. It's weird because if I time it right, I could ride home in complete darkness.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Discuss Please.

I'm thinking that you shouldn't quote so many topics from a forum that is not this forum. It seems like, recruiting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My town in AZ street lights turn off in sync to save power. It's weird because if I time it right, I could ride home in complete darkness.

Seriously Brian, you have a talent of making me laugh :w00t:

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So i noticed that a lot of people on this website are always trying to get people to challenge the Foundation. But i beat most of you have never even been to the Website including myself until today/this thread. I was curious as to what some of the conditions/previous claims where and i actually took the time to read it and look through the website. It is very interesting.

(...)

Astral Traveler :yes:But they basically denied his claim before it can actually be tested. :no:

http://forums.randi....ead.php?t=28931

That´s my favorite one, the "Hand In The Mirror" saga. :clap:

Have set the randi page to favorites for entertaining purposes.

Edited by toast
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone seen clips of James Randi's TV show?

It shows the sort of people that make these claims. And what happens to them when they are under pressure an their 'trick' is taken away from them.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking that you shouldn't quote so many topics from a forum that is not this forum. It seems like, recruiting.

Not really considering a lot of people on this forum always use the James Randi prize foundation as a type of "insult" when people make claims in the Psychic Ability section of the website. I just thought we could have a healthy discussion on the actual website itself since people on here are always directing people to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really considering a lot of people on this forum always use the James Randi prize foundation as a type of "insult" when people make claims in the Psychic Ability section of the website. I just thought we could have a healthy discussion on the actual website itself since people on here are always directing people to it.

When some one makes claims like "I can move objects" or "I can summon demons" or "I can control people's mind" or "I can levitate" ETC, Then it is an open invitation for people to make that challenge. Any way, If they are legit, THEY GET A 1 MILL dollars! Even if they do not want the money, donate it to charity.

There is no excuse, If they have these powers then show the world, shut up the skeptics and make us all believers for I would love to be wrong about some one having these gifts/powers!

mic-drop.gif

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have great respect for James Randi and his contributions to free-thought and skepticism. As Carl Sagan said "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" I believe anyone claiming these powers should demonstrate them, and Mr. Randi has provided a great platform for it. Regardless of whether you want the money or not, in the spirit of scientific investigation and the expansion of knowledge.

I disagree with you concerning the Carl Sagan quote. ''Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence'' What is considered ''extraordinary'' is enterily a matter of belief and perception. What may be considered as such by one may not be for another. I think it is not in the benefit of science to seek only extraordinary evidences in the matter of extraordinary claims of phenomenon. Knowledge and discoveries can be acquired bit by bit, morcel by morcel among many reasearchers and experiencers over many years and generations unveiling new grounds to improve our scientific understanding. One thing we know from the history of science is that all is not black or white.

Here is a good article of Psychology Today that expand on this: http://www.psycholog...dinary-evidence

The problem with this platform is that it's objectivity and true purpose can be questionned and doubted. Is there really a scientific curiosity to prove and explore the implication of these paranormal claims or the intention is merely to debunk and dissmiss to satisfy a conviction? As much as I respect James Randi and his collegues, they do not hide the fact that they already consider every claim of paranormal phenomenon to be frauds, mesinterpretations, wishful thinking ect. The organisations does not met the objectivity criteria that any sound and serious research should have. One has to convince them of the contrary to gain a prize, according to their standards of evidence.

I see it more as a contest, meant to fortify a position that these skeptic organisations advocate, satisfy a conviction or even turn into derision the concept of paranormal phenomenon with no true purpose of scientific curiosity and exploration of ideas.

Edited by sam_comm
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to me that, even if all that you're saying was true, if you have these powers you'd still have these powers, the deck being stacked a bit wouldn't matter all that much

How would you go about making "objective" tests?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no excuse, If they have these powers then show the world, shut up the skeptics and make us all believers for I would love to be wrong about some one having these gifts/powers!

Exactly. The blind believers think sceptics would be annoyed if actual proof came out. I think most sceptics here at UM would be over the moon if undeniable proof of bigfoot, ghosts, psychic powers or whatever came out.

The annoying part is constantly seeing the exact opposite. Every time.

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to me that, even if all that you're saying was true, if you have these powers you'd still have these powers, the deck being stacked a bit wouldn't matter all that much

How would you go about making "objective" tests?

Of course it depends what you mean by ''powers''. I think we all agree with the fact that many such claims are untrue and unfounded, not always made to deceive others but also for the effect of mental health issues, fantasy prone personality ect. It is my understanding with regards to the parapsychological documentation and data available about phenomenon such as extrasensory perception, psychokenisis, NDE ect that these are more than often unconsciously experienced and directed, the subject are not in plain and obvious control of them. It makes sens and may account for the unconsistency of the phoenomenon if this is somehow an unknown faculty of the human mind, that a person does not comprehend how to use consistently, if such thing is even achievable.

This contest seems to disregard that possiblity, claiming that as an obligation to be real, these phenomenon should be easily detected and proved according to their own methodology. I'll have to be skeptical of this approach, prefering to consider the real researches that have been made since the 1940's though not without controversy and debate, but certainly not just a show seemingly meant to descredit this field in which we know Mr Randi has been a strong advocator against all his life.

Edited by sam_comm
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the most interesting thing about the challenge is that there seems to be an impression out there that the rules and tests are so onerous that claimants can't possibly win. Yet that couldn't be farther from the truth.. As the OP quotes, it is UP TO THE CLAIMANTS to design the tests!!! Yes, those tests have to be fair and reasonable and be scrutinised by experts to ensure they don't allow any cheating, but the process is open to scrutiny and if anyone is not happy with the rules it is all out in the public eye. I've heard one or two people claiming they were unfairly done by but when you look at the actual tests that were agreed, no they dang well weren't. So it is the claimants themselves that, clearly in error, believe that they can do something paranormal and then when it comes to the crunch, they fail their own tests...

I really don't think Randi and his crew could have possibly made this a fairer challenge, especially when you look at the enormous lengths that some fakers and hoaxers will go to. That's one of the reasons I love watching Derren Brown's stuff - he does some jaw-droppingly clever and apparently paranormal feats, but then he gives you just enough clues to work most of it out for yourself.. Apart from Randi, he's the sort of guy I'd like to see watching for fakery in a paranormal claimant - if he couldn't work out how it was cheated, I'd be willing to consider it genuine..

7 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the most interesting thing about the challenge is that there seems to be an impression out there that the rules and tests are so onerous that claimants can't possibly win. Yet that couldn't be farther from the truth.. As the OP quotes, it is UP TO THE CLAIMANTS to design the tests!!! Yes, those tests have to be fair and reasonable and be scrutinised by experts to ensure they don't allow any cheating, but the process is open to scrutiny and if anyone is not happy with the rules it is all out in the public eye. I've heard one or two people claiming they were unfairly done by but when you look at the actual tests that were agreed, no they dang well weren't. So it is the claimants themselves that, clearly in error, believe that they can do something paranormal and then when it comes to the crunch, they fail their own tests...

I really don't think Randi and his crew could have possibly made this a fairer challenge, especially when you look at the enormous lengths that some fakers and hoaxers will go to. That's one of the reasons I love watching Derren Brown's stuff - he does some jaw-droppingly clever and apparently paranormal feats, but then he gives you just enough clues to work most of it out for yourself.. Apart from Randi, he's the sort of guy I'd like to see watching for fakery in a paranormal claimant - if he couldn't work out how it was cheated, I'd be willing to consider it genuine..

The following article was posted on UM in 2008. Personally, I have my doubts about the fairness of Randi's challenge, and after reading the following article, I have my doubts about Randi's character too. I think he is blowing smoke up all the skeptic's asses. A skeptic that blindly believes all other skeptics is just as bad as a believer that believes all other believers.

http://dailygrail.com/features/the-myth-of-james-randis-million-dollar-challenge

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/viewnews.php?id=120381

Edited by Shami
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know Shami, You seem to have some beef with the skeptics here. Heck, You made claims that are questionable and you put down other people stories of paranormal. All I have seen from your posts is the atitude "My situations are real, every one else is fake and any one disagree on my views, i will scoff at them". Maybe I am reading it wrong but that is the impression i am seeing.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree with you concerning the Carl Sagan quote. ''Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence'' What is considered ''extraordinary'' is enterily a matter of belief and perception. What may be considered as such by one may not be for another. I think it is not in the benefit of science to seek only extraordinary evidences in the matter of extraordinary claims of phenomenon. Knowledge and discoveries can be acquired bit by bit, morcel by morcel among many reasearchers and experiencers over many years and generations unveiling new grounds to improve our scientific understanding. One thing we know from the history of science is that all is not black or white.

Here is a good article of Psychology Today that expand on this: http://www.psycholog...dinary-evidence

The problem with this platform is that it's objectivity and true purpose can be questionned and doubted. Is there really a scientific curiosity to prove and explore the implication of these paranormal claims or the intention is merely to debunk and dissmiss to satisfy a conviction? As much as I respect James Randi and his collegues, they do not hide the fact that they already consider every claim of paranormal phenomenon to be frauds, mesinterpretations, wishful thinking ect. The organisations does not met the objectivity criteria that any sound and serious research should have. One has to convince them of the contrary to gain a prize, according to their standards of evidence.

I see it more as a contest, meant to fortify a position that these skeptic organisations advocate, satisfy a conviction or even turn into derision the concept of paranormal phenomenon with no true purpose of scientific curiosity and exploration of ideas.

What qualifies as "extraordinary" would be something that completely defies the laws of nature as we currently understand them. There is no evidence to suggest that it is possible for someone to be decapitated and then grow a new head, therefore if someone claimed this, extraordinary evidence would be needed to prove it. Extraordinary again meaning defying the laws of nature. A personal anecdote would not be sufficient.

I do agree with you that Randi and his colleagues view all of these claims as false. The majority of scientists would be in a default position of disbelief, which I find no problem with. The burden of proof falls onto the person claiming the phenomenon, not the one disbelieving. However, what I disgree with is what many people say, which is that if these powers were proven to be true, that scientists would try to cover it up. That is just not true. This would open up an entire new field of science! It would change our worldview in a way we never dreamed of before. Scientists love when theories are proven wrong and new ones replace them, because it means we are getting closer to understanding the true nature of reality, which is all science aims at.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know Shami, You seem to have some beef with the skeptics here. Heck, You made claims that are questionable and you put down other people stories of paranormal. All I have seen from your posts is the atitude "My situations are real, every one else is fake and any one disagree on my views, i will scoff at them". Maybe I am reading it wrong but that is the impression i am seeing.

You've said that exact same thing about someone else too. You claimed that person acted as if " My situations are real, every one else is fake ." Perhaps you do read people wrong. Or perhaps, your statement is a passive/ aggressive way of putting me down since you couldn't easily debunk my experience? Ahh, see there how easy it is to read way more into a statement than was intended?

I shared a story that I would dare say you did not believe. You even provided links to youtube videos trying to disprove my experience. Yet my story stayed the same, and I debated the "evidence" that you used to debunk my experience. Without attitude I might add. I even explained my views on skeptics, and mentioned that I don't have a problem with skeptics.

But when I read someone else's paranormal experience and I see inconsistencies that makes me not believe their story, I can't bring those issue to light? Now that doesn't seem fair does it?

Edited by Shami

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've said that exact same thing about someone else too. You claimed that person acted as if " My situations are real, every one else is fake ." Perhaps you do read people wrong. Or perhaps, your statement is a passive/ aggressive way of putting me down since you couldn't easily debunk my experience? Ahh, see there how easy it is to read way more into a statement than was intended?

I shared a story that I would dare say you did not believe. You even provided links to youtube videos trying to disprove my experience. Yet my story stayed the same, and I debated the "evidence" that you used to debunk my experience. Without attitude I might add. I even explained my views on skeptics, and mentioned that I don't have a problem with skeptics.

But when I read someone else's paranormal experience and I see inconsistencies that makes me not believe their story, I can't bring those issue to light? Now that doesn't seem fair does it?

Actually you act like the proverbial 'I'm special' person who only can experience things and everyone else just isn't up to the standard to experience anything because they aren't you. I get that feeling about you too and we can't all be wrong. Maybe you are just blunt and it comes across as rude.

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following article was posted on UM in 2008. Personally, I have my doubts about the fairness of Randi's challenge, and after reading the following article, I have my doubts about Randi's character too. I think he is blowing smoke up all the skeptic's asses. A skeptic that blindly believes all other skeptics is just as bad as a believer that believes all other believers.

http://dailygrail.co...ollar-challenge

http://www.unexplain...s.php?id=120381

First, read the JREF FAQ - http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge/challenge-faq.html

It answers pretty much every question I've ever seen mentioned about the Challenge.

Claimant sets up their own challenge. The JREF team reviews it to make sure that nothing underhanded can be done, that it's repeatable and actually testable, that better than "coincidental" results will be achieved and that no one will be hurt by the challenge.

The link you posted brings up a few complaints (excuses) about the challenge. One that made me chuckle was that a claimant was worried about the JREF using/releasing all information regarding the challenge. ANY scientist or group would demand the same thing. Jeesh, the "winner" gets millions.

Also, each incident mentioned in the article is available for research on the JREF page. You can view for yourself many of the "complaints" are disingenuous.

Randi himself doesn't make all the decisions. The man is in his mid 80's.

Face it, the people who complain about the JREF Challenge are usually those who are looking for an excuse for not winning.

Nibs

6 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What qualifies as "extraordinary" would be something that completely defies the laws of nature as we currently understand them. There is no evidence to suggest that it is possible for someone to be decapitated and then grow a new head, therefore if someone claimed this, extraordinary evidence would be needed to prove it. Extraordinary again meaning defying the laws of nature. A personal anecdote would not be sufficient.

And yet extraordinary depends enterily on what you consider to be as such. If one does not know that it can snow in winter, doubtless it would be extraordinary for him to see a snowfall at that time of the year. That is the problem with the Carl Sagan quote: extraordinary depends on one's perception and there is no universal criteria for it.

Still, I can agree with you that we should not rely solely on the witness's account of such events as the sighting of an headless men for instance. But the witness needs not provide extraordinary evidence to convince us that a further and thorough investigations might be necesserely. He could provide us with a blood sample, a hair or the location of the event so that we could analyze the data and posibly find a suspect. Perhaps that will allow us to prove that this headless men is dead indeed. But even so, it might not satify us, and we will investigate even further to make sure this dead men is not actually alive.

I do agree with you that Randi and his colleagues view all of these claims as false. The majority of scientists would be in a default position of disbelief, which I find no problem with. The burden of proof falls onto the person claiming the phenomenon, not the one disbelieving. However, what I disgree with is what many people say, which is that if these powers were proven to be true, that scientists would try to cover it up. That is just not true. This would open up an entire new field of science! It would change our worldview in a way we never dreamed of before. Scientists love when theories are proven wrong and new ones replace them, because it means we are getting closer to understanding the true nature of reality, which is all science aims at.

It is one thing to be skeptical of concepts, ideas, it is another to advocate against them. James Randi calls any such concepts and ideas to be ''woo-woo''. (http://web.archive.o...ebrowne.html#i7)

When used by skeptics, woo-woo is a derogatory and dismissive term used to refer to beliefs one considers nonsense or to a person who holds such beliefs.

Source: http://www.skepdic.com/woowoo.html

Personally I am skeptical of any such ''scientific research'' that clearly does not meet the objectivety criteria. Is it just to prove a point, to fortify the position of the skeptic communities? There is a high risk of bias in this contest which can potentially compromise the data.

Don't get me wrong though, I've great respect for James Randi and his achievements. His crusade to expose frauds and skills as a magician is very helpful to demistify certain alleged paranormal phenomenon and can only serve this field of research.

That said, not all claims of paranormal phenomenon are to be easily proven, if indeed real. It could be very subtle. ESP, PK, claivoyance, intuitions, remote viewing, NDE ect. Paranormal phenomenon encompass a wide range of phenomenon, not just spoon-bender and medium claiming to speak with the dead. Parapsychologists are studying these phenomenon for a long time now, and though there is not as yet any definitive answers, mathematical and statistical advancements such as meta-analysis brings very interesting results.

“The recent focus on meta-analysis in parapsychology has revealed that there are small but consistently nonzero effects across studies, experimenters and laboratories . . . It may be that the nonzero effects observed in the meta-analyses can be explained by something other than ESP . . . Nonetheless, there is an anomaly that needs an explanation.”

- Dr. Jessica Utts, Statistician

Source: http://carlossalvara...ogical-studies/

Edited by sam_comm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 4

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.