Paranormal

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Edmund Scientific Blows Credibility

Edmund Scientific, a normally respected provider of science-related laboratory supplies widely used for teaching at all levels, just lost its crediblity bigtime by offering for sale a "3-in-1 Paranormal Research Instrument". Read about it here: http://scientificsonline.com/product.asp?pn=3151280&cmss=paranormal&bhcd...

"Designed exclusively for paranormal investigators, this incredible tool has everything you need to track and detect the presence of ghosts" Cost is $149.

Psychic Detective Seeks Money for Nothing


There are still signs posted on telegraph poles throughout the Bay Area, seeking information about missing 8-year-old Sandra Cantu who disappeared from outside her home in Tracy, CA, on March, 27. Tragically, we now know that the little girl was murdered.

San Mateo psychic pleads 'no contest' in fraud case

R.I.P. Senator Pell: Champion of college education and ESP

Senator Claiborne Pell passed away on New Year's day. The 90 year-old former Senator from Rhode Island is fondly remembered by the tens of millions of students who have been able to go to college thanks to the financial aid grants named in his honor.

Skeptics have their own reason to mourn the six-term Senator. He earned the nickname "Senator Oddball" from Time magazine for his obsession with ESP. The Washington Post's obituary explains that he earned the moniker because of:

a 1987 incident when, fearing an extrasensory perception gap with the Soviets, he invited carnival-level spoon bender Uri Geller to Washington to demonstrate his skills. Sen. Pell also attended a symposium on UFO abductions.

San Mateo psychic charged with theft

Janet Adams' booking photoJanet Adams, a self-described psychic, was arrested for bilking an 85-year-old woman out of $80,330. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Adams told the victim "that her husband would die of a heart attack if she didn't immediately pay $13,000 for 'special prayers,' the prosecutor said."

On subsequent visits, the purported psychic extracted more and more money from the elderly victim, until her (still-healthy) husband noticed the odd transactions.

Bay Area "Psychic" Exposed

San Francisco resident Lisa Marie Miller bilked a Santa Clara woman out of $108,000 and a sports car by giving her "spiritual cleanings", according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (available here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/09/BA8H14KOHF.D... ).

For positive qi, put the ghost in the southwest corner

An Apartment Therapy San Francisco reader asks:

I am considering buying my first home. It is a renovated 1924 Edwardian style San Francisco flat, very charming with original details. After doing some research on the building, I discovered that there was a murder in the building in 1966. A young single woman was found stabbed to death in the apartment, the killer was never found. The thing that made my hair really stand on end is she came from the same small town as me and went to the same high school.

My question to your readers: Do I buy this place?? I feel like I'm being a bit superstitious, but the coincidences are just too bizarre. I like the flat, it has a good feel, but I would hate to move in and feel scared and uncomfortable. It will be the biggest investment of my life. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

The Sacramento Scene

By: 
Terence J. Sandbek
Originally published in BASIS
Volume: 
1
Number: 
4
September 1982

Gullibility knows no boundaries: It infects young and old, rich and poor, male and female, educated and uneducated. What happens in Sacramento happens in San Francisco and Chico. People who fall for psychic foolishness here are no different from people all over the world. As we report happenings in our area, remember that we in metropolitan Sacramento are neither more nor less gullible than people elsewhere.

A Challenge to All Psychics

Originally published in BASIS
Volume: 
1
Number: 
4
September 1982

We are the Bay Area Skeptics (BAS), a group of people who support the testing of paranormal claims, but are unconvinced by any of the supposed proofs of psychic powers that have been presented so far. We are committed only to finding out the truth about so-called psychic powers, whatever that truth may be. Nothing would be more exciting than to discover the existence of a genuine psychic power, if such a thing exists.

More Tracking

By: 
Michael McCarthy
Originally published in BASIS
Volume: 
1
Number: 
3
August 1982

[Ed. Note: Both Ken Bomben and Mike McCarthy did excellent analyses of Jeanne Borger's predictions. Although J.B. is not strictly Bay Area, she is widely known enough that an analysis seems instructive. Since we published Ken on the specifics, let's see the fine job Mike did on the methods.]

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