Real-time, Real-Life Abduction Tests Psychics
April 15, 2011
Yesterday I wrote a piece posted on Discovery News about a supposedly accurate psychic prediction about one of the victims of an apparent serial killer stalking Long Island. I examined the claim, which was widely discussed on the Internet, and showed that the psychic's information was completely wrong.
In the posted comments below the story, I got into a discussion / debate with a few women who claimed to be psychic, or work with psychics. Over the course of a few hours we exchanged some comments, and then I noticed a story on ABCNews.com about a young woman who had been abducted just hours earlier. It was a breaking story, and I realized that it would be a perfect opportunity to test these psychics. I posted the following message on the boards at Discovery News:
If you and your psychic friends have the abilities you claim, there's another case that you can help solve right now: A kidnapped 22-year old woman named Holly Bobo in Tennessee. See link below. Here's a perfect chance to prove your abilities: Please tell us where she is. You could save this woman's life.
To my surprise, one of the women said that they were already on the case, and invited me to look at the discussion board on a web site called PsychicCrimeFighters.com. I logged in and found an ongoing discussion thread about the case populated mostly by people who claimed to be psychic. I read through the posts, copied the information given about the case from about a half dozen different psychics, and posted the resulting description of the case:
The man who abducted Bobo is white with dark brown or salt and pepper hair, a full and shaggy moustache, and dark brown eyes. He is in his early 30's and around 5 ft 11 in weighing 210. He has nasty rash on his elbow, that itches dug raw. He is older than Bobo, a Scorpio, and the relative of Bobo's boyfriend, or the father of an ex-boyfriend. He may be a paratrooper. Bobo was abducted in a red truck with bales of hay in the back, and is being held and raped at his victimizer's home about 20 miles outside of nashville, in a log cabin about 26-30 miles north of where she was abducted. Bobo's abductor makes lots of mistakes and will be captured within 5 days.
More people were posting, but that was all the information provided by the forum members at that point. As of the time of this writing, neither Bobo nor her abductor has been found. The next few days and weeks will likely determine whether or not the descriptions provided by these psychics were accurate or not. I will do a follow-up post when and if new information comes to light.
#1 Benjamin Radford on Friday April 15, 2011 at 10:37pm
UPDATE: I did some research and found another psychic’s information about the Bobo case:
One psychic, a Diana Haymond, gave the following information about Holly and her abductor:
“I first got a B name, like Bob. I feel West, and 7th, or just 7. A green truck. He may have had a weapon, a gun probably… I also got the feeling that she may have casually met him somewhere but didn’t really know him. Her abductor is scrawny, or medium build, blondish hair, little social skills, a country boy. He may not have harmed her yet. I get a feeling she fought him hard and may have bitten him, he might have a bite mark on his hand. I feel that she may be alive and very scared, in a house. I hear something that sounds like Mango, then Manderin. I have no idea what that means…. Then I heard Robert/Bob but that still might be a name or sounding name. She may be held about 20 minutes away from where she was abducted, on the west side of Tennessee….I get Bingo and Lounge, then Manderin again and Best Buy.”
Already we can see that some of the psychic information cannot be correct, since it is contradictory.
#2 gray1 on Monday April 18, 2011 at 8:19am
If ever and when ever a person claiming psi abilities starts to “help” with such things, such “help” should always be kept under guard in the most strictly secretive category of things. It serves no one to hear reports that the victim “is” suffering in a specific manner or “is” already dead. This kind of thing only causes additional and perhaps unnecessary grief along with a potential for some serious backlash including a lawsuit against its originators.
#3 asanta on Thursday April 21, 2011 at 2:06am
Ben, it’s not ‘contradictory’, it’s just that the one who is correct, will claim to be the ‘real’ psychic.Or so their story will go…
#4 charles Mclean (Guest) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 at 12:47pm
There is a golden cache of debunking material on TV’s Psychic Investigaors. Rather than considering 1 feeble investigation see (Skeptiko)to suffice as a wholesale refuting of psi, and rather than use the excuse you cant investigate everything, why not concentrate of that show. Can you not refute every detective, psychic, eyewitness who is interviewed on that show. I mean if psi is not real, you should be able to cast much doubt by debunking all those episodes and witnesses. Its a treasure chest of proof against psi is it not? Any serious skeptic could refute psi in general or its purveyors by that show alone. Or is it the case that any skeptic knows that that many credible witnesses might be on to something that goes against your clear biases. Do you really have a stake in avoiding it by spreading your “investigations” willy nilly with the easiest cases hoping a scattergun approach will cast doubt over the whole spectrum of psi. How about it Ben. It was a pretty feeble Psychic Investigator investigation. Are you avoiding the program now or just too busy with the scattergun?