Psychic Shoots! Psychic, Erm, Misses By A Mile…

Here at the Merseyside Skeptics Society, we’re not ones for gloating when a psychic does something stupid. It’s just not our style. We prefer to rise above it, stay classy, and make only a few gags about builders bums and nipping to the loo. See – classy.

Still, for a change, I’m going to write about an abject psychic failure that doesn’t involve Joe ‘the Power’ Power. You see, sometimes, in order to give the impression that they’re able to see the future, psychics will make predictions about things. And sometimes, they’ll make those predictions somewhere that ends up in the news cycle, and documented on the internet. And sometimes, just sometimes, they utterly fail to realise how much scope this gives for their duff predictions to come back and bite them on the behind. Case in point:

U.K Psychic: Ghana Will Win The World Cup

It’s not the prediction England fans in the county wanted – but Fabio Capello’s men will not be bringing home the World Cup this summer.

In fact – if Ipswich medium Sue Knock’s information from the psychic world proves true – an African side will lift the trophy for the first time.

She is predicting Ghana – the team of Essien, Muntari and Appiah – could take home the coveted cup.

For any non-football fans out there, Ghana will not be winning the World Cup, at least not in 2010, having lost to Uruguay in the Quarter Finals.

Now, any psychic with half a brain would stop there. You’ve made your prediction, now seal it up and hope it comes true. But not so our Sue Knock, who follows the wild prediction up with a few safe bets:

“England and Germany will both make very good starts but then fade, while Italy and France will do well. Ghana – the name which comes to me most strongly – will win it,”

Ordinarily, these would be great bankers. Bear in mind, Italy and France were the finalists at the last World Cup, and England tend to do alright before the Quarter Finals. How was Sue to know that neither France nor Italy would progress from their (relatively easy) groups, the latter of the two coming bottom in a group that included footballing superpower New Zealand? And how was she to know that England would start the group stages with two shocking, tedious draws, before limping past Slovenia to be culled by the rampant Germans?

Well, she’s meant to be psychic, THAT’s how she could know.

Not to dwell on the misfortune of others (after all, doing so would be to muscle in on Psychic Sue’s patch), but here are a few of Sue’s other winning predictions:

  • A Royal birth – a canny guess – William’s past his mid 20s, Harry’s settling down – this has the potential to come true… and of course if it’s not one of the princes, then Sue could claim it was a lesser Royal. However, as far as I can see, 7 months into the year, there are no pregnant Royals. (Update: I think we’ve found the lesser Royal Sue can claim she was predicting! To illustrate how good a chance guess this was, bear in mind a quick Google search reveals that between 1993 and 2007, Royal babies arrived in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999,  2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007 – so it’s hardly so rare an occurrence).
  • A major volcano eruption – this one seems to be the stand out prediction – with the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano doing its thing earlier in the year, this has to be proof of Sue’s psychic skill. However, as Wikipedia notes: “Seismic activity started at the end of 2009 and gradually increased in intensity until on 20 March 2010”. Hardly a stretch, then, to foresee a volcano erupting once it had already been observed to be increasing in activity.
  • Earthquakes in northern England which will be felt in Suffolk – little to be said here, really. Suffice to say, we’ve not been hit, and I presume Suffolk remain untroubled by the shockwaves.
  • A terrorist alert at the Port of Felixstowe connected with a chemical – again nothing so far, but who knows – maybe Al Qaeda’s next target is indeed the Suffolk port. We’ll see.
  • A huge row over the axing of a popular TV star over their age – this still has the potential to be true, but is hardly a revelation – in fact on Righteous Indignation, during our predictions game, we made exactly the same prediction.
  • Conservatives will win the General Election – I’m sure this looked like a safe bet too, with the horror show predicted for Labour in the polls… except with the popularity of the Lib Dems, and Labour’s unexpected late rally, the hung parliament meant the Tories didn’t win the election. Did her psychic skills not foresee the possibility of a hung parliament? Or do the dead not play by the rules of First Past The Post?
  • A nice hot summer – if all else fails, at least you can rely on the weather

In short, I don’t think Sue’s psychic, and I’m sure she’s regretting not putting her psychic dime on Spain like everyone else has.

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  1. #1 by Jon d on July 7, 2010 - 18:34

    Those sporting, royal and weather predictions have reminded me of old moores almanack. You should get hold of a copy if you haven’t seen one. Dunno if they’re still at it but a free bonus was the adverts almanac for fraudulent treatments and crank cures…. Oh and some tide tables that I guess were probably accurate.

  2. #2 by Ian Willmore on July 8, 2010 - 10:48

    Ah ah! But!! What about Paul the psychic octopus, then, eh, eh?


    And every other newspaper on the planet.

    Refute that, so called “Skeptics”!

    (PS Please delete this post if Paul gets the final wrong)

  3. #3 by SkeptKeith on July 9, 2010 - 13:49

    Ha….but the Queen is to become a great grandmother with the news that Peter Phillips and his bint are successfully growing a human!!!!! Your argument starts to unravel……

  4. #4 by Marsh on July 9, 2010 - 15:29

    @SkeptKeith: I just saw that too! I think this actually supports my assertion that it was a canny guess, given that there are enough within the extended royal family to give a reasonable chance of a birth in 2010.

  5. #5 by Mike on July 9, 2010 - 18:10

    So it’s a hit for you if there is a royal birth, and a hit for you if there isn’t a royal birth? This seems fishy to me, Mr Marshall! 😉

  6. #6 by hughcumber on July 11, 2010 - 12:59

    Did she say it was the Royal Family here? If not her scope for Royal births increases somewhat I would think.

    And I suppose the winter will be “a bit nippy” as well?

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