Bay Area Skeptics

The San Francisco Bay Area's skeptical organization since 1982

BAS Founding Party


Robert Sheaffer

Originally published in BASIS




July 1982

The first organizational meeting and social bash of the Bay Area Skeptics was held in Bob Steiner’s home on the evening of June 26 (as announced in the first “BASIS”). Before the partying started, the Directors held a brief meeting. No permanent editor for “BASIS” stepped forward. Bob Steiner will continue to edit the newsletter on a temporary basis (pun intended). The Directors were also informed that $135 had been contributed thus far. (The money will be used for stationery, copying, mailing, etc.) The Charter of BAS was discussed. After discussion, the Board voted to adopt the Charter as is. (Anyone wishing to receive a copy of the Charter, send a SASE to me.) The business meeting was then adjourned, and the partying started!

At the party was good food, good fun, and best of all, stimulating conversation of a very intelligent kind. Among those in attendance were Board members Jerome, Sampson, Sandbek, Sheaffer, and Steiner; psychologist Ray Hyman, one of the founding Fellows of CSICOP; Jack Patterson, Professor of Engineering at Iowa State University; inventor Ridgway Banks, authority on nitinol; chemist Kenneth Bomben; astronomer Donald Goldsmith; psychologist William McConnell; writer Michael McCarthy; magician Charles Nyquist; “Chronicle” reporter Michael Robertson; and many others too numerous to mention (or whose names disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle after the first few drinks). My apologies to anyone who might feel slighted.

Bob Steiner demonstrated his amazing psychic abilities to all assembled by doing such paranormal feats as psychically determining the identity of several freely-chosen cards, precognitively identifying a sentence from a newspaper article that had not yet been selected, and psychokinetically transporting a silk handkerchief into a parallel universe. The audience was vastly amused, but still not convinced that any of it was real. Then Terry Sandbek performed psychic feats, including telepathically discovering the identity of a card selected by Lawrence Jerome. My turn came, and I telepathically transmitted to my wife, who was in another room, the identity of a card known only to the people in this room. By this time, the audience was QUITE sure that it was all just a trick ??? but what do you expect from a bunch of skeptics?

[Ed. note. The above was all in fun and was all tricks. No one has permission to quote any of the above without also quoting this Editor’s note.]

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