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Pigasus Awards PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jeff Wagg   
Pigasus

The Pigasus Award is the name of an annual tongue-in-cheek honor recognized by noted skeptic James Randi. The awards seek to expose parapsychological frauds that Randi has noted over the previous year. Randi usually makes his announcements of the awards from the previous year on April 1.

The awards are announced via telepathy, winners are allowed to predict their victories, and the Flying Pig trophies are sent via psychokinesis. We send; if they don't receive, that's probably due to their lack of paranormal talent.

 

PigasusHistory
The award was originally called the Uri Award, after asserted psychic Uri Geller and was first announced in the appendix of Randi's book Flim-Flam!. The 1982 book listed the award's "recipients" in 1979, 1980 and 1981.

In Flim-Flam!, Randi states:

"The trophy consists of a stainless-steel spoon bent in a pleasing curve (paranormally, of course) and supported by a base of plastic. Please note that the base is flimsy and quite transparent. I am personally responsible for the nomination of the candidates. The sealed envelopes are read by me, while blindfolded, at the official announcement ceremony on April 1. Any baseless claims are rationalized in approved parapsychological fashion, and the results will be published immediately without being checked in any way. Winners are notified telepathically and are allowed to predict their victory in advance." (Randi 1982:327-28)

The bent spoon trophy is a reference to Geller's claimed spoon-bending abilities.

The logo of a winged pig was designed for Randi's website by German artist Jutta Degener in 1996. The name "Pigasus" was chosen by Randi from suggestions e-mailed to him. The term is a portmanteau pun combining the word pig with the mythological Pegasus, a reference to the expression "when pigs fly" (see Pigasus).

Randi did not make any Uri Award for a number of years after its inception in Flim-Flam!, but in 1997 it was revived and the name was changed to "Pigasus" after the winged pig. Randi announced the recipients through his e-newsletter SWIFT! in which he said: "The awards are announced via telepathy, the winners are allowed to predict their winning, and the Flying Pig trophies are sent via psychokinesis. We send; if they don't receive, that's probably due to their lack of paranormal talent."


PigasusCategory
Flim-Flam! specifies the four categories under which winners of the Uri (Pigasus Award) may fall, in 2005 a fifth category was added:

The Current Categories:

  1. To the Scientist who said or did the silliest thing relating to parapsychology in the preceding twelve months.
  2. To the Funding Organization that supports the most useless parapsychological study during the year.
  3. To the Media outlet that reported as fact the most outrageous paranormal claim.
  4. To the "Psychic" performer who fools the greatest number of people with the least effort in that twelve-month period.
  5. For the most persistent refusal to face reality.
 

 

Commentary

edge evolution Category #1: To the scientist or academic who said or did the silliest thing related to the supernatural, paranormal or occult: Michael Behe, for his new book "The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism." An American biochemist and Intelligent Design promoter, he is professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, and a senior fellow of the infamous Discovery Center for Science and Culture, which has nothing to do with discovery nor science, and has only promoted a culture of science-bashing and irrationality. Lehigh University will doubtless rejoice at sharing this honor.


Washington DC Category #2: To the funding organization that supported the most useless study of a supernatural, paranormal or occult claim. With our present “faith-based” White House, this category is simply so full of contenders, that no decision could be made. We continue to babble about various “Star Wars” scenarios, try to sidetrack important scientific issues, and withdraw funds from legitimate projects that may never again be brought back to public attention. In there is any major contender here for this category, it can be found at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, DC, 20500.


montel williams Category #3: To the media outlet that reported as factual the most outrageous supernatural, paranormal or occult claims. To Montel Williams, who stated on a radio interview that he did not believe in psychics, did not believe that Sylvia Browne had any such powers, but continued to support her by featuring her on his show because his sponsors were delighted by the viewership she brought them. In other words, Mr. Williams falls into the “media whore” category.


montel williams Category #4: To the "psychic" performer who fooled the greatest number of people using the least talent. Reader Tommy Finke, in Germany, nominated Vincent Raven (www.vincentraven.ch) for the Pigasus Award in this category. Says Tommy,

Raven’s tricks on “The Next Uri Geller” program were all very explainable, and since he says he is married to his raven, he might like to have a flying pig around that could flit about with the bird when he’s not busy talking to dead people.


Category #5: Most persistent refusal to face reality.
No winner for this category for this year.

 

Pigasus

For the Performances in the year 2006 - Full page (Here)

  • Scientist: Rupert Sheldrake
  • Organization: Templeton Foundation
  • Media: Montel Williams
  • Psychic Performer: Uri Geller

For the Performances in the year 2005 - Full page (Here)

  • Scientist: Brenda Dunne
  • Organization: Auckland City Council of Auckland, NZ
  • Media: ABC "Primetime Live" for Airing the special John of God
  • Psychic Performer: Allison DuBois, NBC-TV show "Medium."

For the Performances in the year 2004 - Full page (Here)

  • Scientist: Dr. Rogerio Lobo
  • Organization: United States Air Force Research Laboratory
  • Media: the film "What the #$*! Do We Know? John of God
  • Psychic Performer: Sylvia Browne