Archive for November, 2011
Fairies, body voltage and Alice in Wonderland. Plus nicotine, geopathic stress and missing roofs. With only minor negative health effects, it’s Skeptics with a K.
Last week, we offered ‘Psychic’ Sally Morgan the opportunity to demonstrate to all that she is able to talk to the dead, and therefore does not rely on well-known illusions and trickery in her stage shows. As I’m sure many people are aware, she declined the opportunity – however, we wanted to leave things as open as possible for her, which is why we kept our word and gathered at the Adelphi Hotel at the appointed hour, in case she changed her mind.
The challenge we offered to Sally, which she did not take up, is still open – if at any point Sally feels that demonstrating to her critics, and indeed to her fans, that the services she sells are genuine, she need only get in contact and we’ll happily arrange for the test to take place. Collaborating with the JREF, we had the test set up as an official preliminary test for their $1m challenge, and a future test for Sally would fall under a similarly official remit.
Each Halloween, we intend to give those with paranormal claims the opportunity to demonstrate what they believe they are able to do. More details of the focus of next year’s challenge will be announced late next year.
Below you can watch the press conference we held, including talks from Simon Singh, Chris French and myself.
Part 1: Introduction from Mike Hall, and talk from Dr Simon Singh:
Part 2: Talk from Prof Chris French
Part 3: Prof Chris French Q&A
Part 4: Talk from Michael Marshall and Q&A
Note: Although it shouldn’t need to be pointed out, it’s worth clarifying that the Merseyside Skeptics Society don’t condone or support people publishing contact details for Sally, her office, her lawyers or anyone, nor do we support anyone sending her abusive phone calls or emails (if indeed anyone has done this). Our challenge was offered in an open and respectful way – we wish Sally no personal harm, we just want to establish whether the extraordinary claims she makes and the wholly-unproven services she sells are genuine, or not.
Ronald Roland Emmerich, Dana Ullman, Psychic Sally and William Shakespeare. Plus Francis Bacon, Alan Smithee, John Benneth and Russell T Davies. With cries of ‘Penny Halloween!’, it’s Skeptics with a K.