Wishful of that gift, I thought only a chosen few had possessed, I’ve always been intrigued by people claiming the ability to communicate with the “other side”. Psychic detective stories on TV are portrayed as being real, and are so convincing, never have I questioned their abilities. On the contrary, I was always amazed and in awe. However, after reading about how psychic detectives purposely state vague, and often times conflicting details when giving information to the police, or family members, was an eye opening experience (Lawson, 2007). According to (Lawson, 2007), so called psychics describe all sorts of visions and feelings surrounding the missing person, so that after the person is found, a few of those visions may fit, and the ones that don’t are forgotten. Sometimes these people go too far, making the situation even worse for the families involved. In 2007, Anderson Cooper exposed Sylvia Browne, a self-proclaimed psychic, as a phony. While on the Montel Williams show in 2003, she told the grieving parents of Shawn Hornbeck who had been missing for several months, that their son was dead. She went as far as to described the area of where his body was located in vague detail, then four years later, Shawn was found alive sixty miles away from his home (Smith, 2015), (Cooper, 2007).
According to Randi, (2005), there are two types of so called psychics, the innocents (those who truly believe in their powers), and the fakers (those that practice deception to gain followers). Officially, there has been no missing person found as a direct result of information given by a so-called psychic detective, and to this day, neither type of psychic has been able to collect on the James Randi Educational Foundation, Million Dollar Challenge by proving their powers scientifically (Randi, 2005), (Denman & Adams, 2015).
Cooper, A. [Anderson Cooper]. (2007, January 30). Anderson Cooper takes on Sylvia Browne pt1 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L9hki5Nlyo
Lawson, T. J. (2007). Scientific Perspectives on Pseudoscience and the Paranormal: Readings for General Psychology. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Education, Inc.
Randi, J. (2005). Fakers and Innocents: The One Million Dollar Challenge and Those Who Try for It. Retrieved from http://www.csicop.org/si/show/fakers_and_innocents_the_one_million_dollar_challenge_and_those_who_try_for