Go Beyond Now
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|The recent NBC television program Phenomenon
provided a great service to the paranormal research community.
Each week we watched contestant after contestant display some mind-boggling
performances. Many of the tricks could have been presented
as evidence for supernatural abilities had the performers chosen to go that
route but, with one notable exception, the Phenomenon
contestants did not
claim that anything supernatural was involved with their acts. One contestant did try to "go paranormal" on us,
and that provided Criss Angel with the opportunity to stage his now infamous display of contempt for
anyone making such claims.
A lesson to be learned from Phenomenon is that
with skill, practice, and preparation, ordinary people can appear to accomplish
some "extra-ordinary" feats, assisted greatly by the fact that our
eyes can so easily deceive us. As
paranormal investigators, we need to be open to all possibilities and
that includes being open to the possibility that something being reported as
"paranormal" could -- no matter how unlikely or even impossible it might
seem to us at the time -- could be the result of trickery. Either deliberate intentional
trickery, or unintentional trickery, as when we simply trick ourselves into
believing that what our eyes and ears tell us is unerringly
In Week 4 of NBC's Phenomenon, contestant Angela Funovitz performed what I found to be one of the most interesting bits of the series. Not as death-defying as firing a nail gun at your head, or as eye-popping as making a motorcycle materialize on stage perhaps but . . .
Because of the dubious claims
made by certain people who are known for using Polaroid cameras in their
demonstrations of alleged supernatural phenomena, I'd like to know how
Angela did this one:
Click on the photo at left to
access the Phenomenon website.
here to learn more about Angela Funovitz
Here's another curious twist from Phenomenon: During the series, Criss Angel had made it known that he was keeping a sealed envelope containing a secret hand-written message in his pocket and he offered $1 million dollars to anyone who could "psychically" derive the secret message. In the show's finale, Criss gave Uri Geller one final chance to come up with the message. Geller began rambling on about birthdates and years in seemingly random free-association fashion until Criss abruptly cut him off. What slipped by everyone's notice at the time was that, as he was talking, Uri Geller had actually uttered each of the words that were contained on Criss's secret paper, just not in the same concise form! Furthermore, although Geller's associative ramblings about years and dates seemed irrelevant to us as he was speaking, it could later be argued that he was right on course before Criss stopped him from reaching the target.
Thanks to YouTube we can see it again, this time with captions: Should Uri Geller get the $ Million ???
The material on this website (except where otherwise indicated) has
been prepared by J. Hale.
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