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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 correct.

There's an old saying about not being so open-minded that you have a hole in your head. Here at gobeyondnow.com we encourage you to keep that saying plugged into the back of your open mind at all times. Being open-minded doesn't mean that you accept every paranormal claim that comes hopping down the trail, only that you are willing to objectively consider all the possibilities, while remaining free to reject claims that don't satisfy the standards of proof.

J. Hale


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:

Somehow the letters of a man's name (a name which the celebrity volunteer had been secretly thinking about) mysteriously appeared in the Polaroid photo she snapped of the celeb onstage. How did she do that?

Click on the photo at left to access the Phenomenon website.
Choose the video clip labeled The Final Four to see Angela's illusion involving the Polaroid camera.


Click here to learn more about Angela Funovitz
and the other Phenomenon performers.

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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