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As Predicted: A Psychic Failure PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Stephen Packard   

For the past eight years, September 11th has been a day that stands out as a date to remember and reflect on the worst terrorist attack in US history and one of the most shocking events in many of our lifetimes. The attacks of that day have caused a lot of pain and lead to a great deal of disagreement over the cause and the response and the things done in the name of security and safety.

However, I'd like to consider another aspect that is rarely discussed: the events were never in any way predicted by any of the self-proclaimed psychics or future-seers out there. While some have claimed that the vague words of Nostradamus or some other cryptic phrase contains clues, the fact is that nobody, no professional nor amateur psychic gave any indication that there would be a major terrorist attack in New York City or Washington in September 2001. None said that the year 2001 would see commercial aircraft turned into weapons to bring down skyscrapers. None stated that the World Trade Center would be destroyed. Nothing like that has ever been verified.

I find this incredibly significant because it is one event which would be nearly impossible to miss, even if one only received the most scant and varied information on the future. One thing that many self-proclaimed psychics have claimed is that they can't be expected to be right 100% of the time or to get every event before it happens. They will tell you that they don't always have complete control over their powers or what they see. Sometimes it works better than others and sometimes it does not come in very clearly. One might imagine that their visions are like a cell phone or television with very poor reception. It fades in and out, and sometimes you can make out a good picture through the static, but sometimes you can't.

Fair enough. One can easily see how the imperfections in psychic powers might mean a certain event would be obscured, but the attacks of 9/11/2001 were not a single event. They were the beginning of a number of events that changed things across the US and across the world. If a psychic had even the briefest vision of what New York City would look like in years to come, it would be impossible not to notice that the twin towers were absent. Anyone who had been to the city in 2001 or 2002 will also be aware that it was a very different place. Much of lower Manhattan was covered in dust, pictures of lost loved ones were hanging on temporary walls in Grand Central and everywhere signs and memorials hung in windows. If a person from the year 2000 were taken into the future and dropped in the city, it would be immediately apparent that something major and tragic had happened.

Beyond that, the attacks shaped life in the US and around the world. For months, hardly a single newspaper front page did not mention the attacks or the war in Afghanistan afterward. "Terrorism" and "9/11" were on the lips of everyone, especially politicians. The TSA was formed as was the Department of Homeland Security. Airports stopped allowing liquids, even beverages to be brought through security. Political debates were dominated by talk of terrorism.

How is it possible, how is it even conceivable, that a psychic could see the future, even bits and pieces of the future and not pick up something verifiable. It could be a statement as simple as "The numbers 9 and 11 will be significant and connected with a tragic event that is of a scale large enough to dominate politics for some time thereafter."

But no. No such thing. The simple explanation is that psychic powers don't exist.

Stephen Packard is the author of the blog Depleted Cranium. He lives in Connecticut.

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The Great Sign..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
Belief
written by Beelzebub, September 11, 2009
This will not make the slightest difference - people will still want to believe that "There is something out there", that "There is something greater than ourselves", that "There is more to life than this". Exemplified, perhaps, by Hamlet "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy".
People will continue to yearn for the magical - maybe to make more sense of life, or to create the illusion of certainty in an uncertain world.
Like religion, it meets a need in some people that can't be quelled by any amount of evidence - "There's more to life than Evidence!!" they might say.
Sad, really, but there you have it. smilies/sad.gif
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written by LuigiNovi, September 11, 2009
Thank you, Stephen. 9/11 illustrates not only how psychic powers do not exist, but how those claim to have them are shameless beyond the depths of human indecency in exploiting tragedy. My favorite failure of Sylvia Browne is when she tried to tell a woman in the audience of a taping of Montel Williams' show that her boyfriend, whose body they never recovered, was "in water". Browne didn't realize, until the woman pointed out to her that her boyfriend didn't merely disappear or was kidnapped, but was in one of the Towers on 9/11, making it impossible for him to be "in water". Unfazed, Sylvia tried to rationalize this by speculating that her boyfriend may have been trying to put out the fire. Never mind that this would not make him "in" water, or that the firemen never had a chance to begin fighting the fire, because they never reaches the floors where the fires were before being ordered back down the stairs.
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What about..?
written by BrokenTrain, September 11, 2009
... those psychic twins, Terry and Linda Jamison? That's one of the major selling points for their psychic business. They claim to have predicted 9/11 on a radio program in 1999.
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Mad TV
written by StarTrekLivz, September 11, 2009
Mad TV did a hilarious routine, where a woman called a Psychic Friend, and wanted to know if she was working on September 10th ..... and why didn't she notice anything.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSR-uefPmME
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Sylvia and Randi 2001
written by TDjazz, September 11, 2009
And don't forget when Sylvia Browne and Randi were on Larry King Live on September 3, 2001--just eight days before the attack. Nary a peep from SB about any impending attack. It's unbelievable that psychics were still in business after 9/11.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vggtBUJ0kE
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written by alexthemagician, September 11, 2009
Please do not forget one brilliant soul, who really predicted the importance of the year 2001...,

the genius and brilliant Arthur C. Clark!
"The Lost Worlds of 2001", and "2001: A Space Odyssey"

One really great quote from him: "It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value."

Something big happened...

We must have a real answer for the really simple question:what happened in 2001, what happens since 2001?
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written by daveg703, September 11, 2009
"There's more to life than Evidence!!" they might say.

I suggest that there isn't anything in life BUT evidence!
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written by Alan3354, September 11, 2009
Don't confuse them with facts.
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BS after the fact... absolutely shameless!
written by CasaRojo, September 11, 2009
I saw Gary Spivey in October 2001 in Las Vegas give a Power Point presentation where he's showed photos of Central Park where he was standing when he had his "vision" of impending doom. There were radio talk show hosts there and he ask them to verify that he had made predictions about the terror attack previously on their radio show. At first they acted surprised and then backed him up. You could tell that it was an off the cuff remark by Spivey. He was on a roll of BS and threw that out there. He had several epic fails that evening. It's very hard to believe that people fall for this BS more than once.
From Spivey's website: "Sept 11th Terrorist Attacks-
In November of 1999 Gary started having visions of New York being engulfed in black smoke from a downward-like explosion, caused by terrorists,leaving thousands of people dead. Gary said it would happen in the third quarter of 2001.He stated this on numerous radio shows most notably "The Morning Zoo"in Las Vegas.
September 11, 2001 Terrorists flew two commercial airliners into the World Trade Center buildings in New York City, bringing both buildings to the ground, and killing thousands of people." http://www.garyspivey.com/predictions.html

Too bad his predictions aren't in print or weren't televised or even recorded by the radio stations.
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Misunderstood me?! :(, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Willy K, September 11, 2009
Well Stephen, there WAS a prediction about impending attacks using planes as the weapon. The August 6th "Daily Intelligence Briefing" given to then President Bush.

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/capitalgames/63/the_9_11_warning_game_blame_for_bush_and_many_others

The really amazing thing is that it was ignored. smilies/angry.gif

I guess that a rational prediction can't be understood by the irrational.

P.S. This is not a partisan political attack on the GWB administration. The Clinton administration made its share of bone-headed errors too.

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written by Steve Packard, September 11, 2009
@Willy K: I do understand that predictions had been made before this about the use of civil aircraft as a WMD in a suicide attack. I even recall that being speculated about long before 9/11. There was someone in the 1970's (sorry the name escapes me) who tried to hijack an aircraft with the intention of crashing it into the Nixon Whitehouse. Also in 1994, a disgruntled employee of FedEx attempted to hijack an aircraft with the intention of crashing it into the main distribution hub.

Having intellegence that terrorists had been considering using an aircraft in that capacity hardly counts as being "psychic"
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written by Willy K, September 11, 2009
Steve, I didn't mean to imply that the predictions made by intelligence agencies were psychic, far from it. They were predictions based on "actionable" intelligence. Totally rational predictions based on known human behavior and activities. No woo at all. smilies/wink.gif

It still bewilders me why some people would believe psychics and mediums when there isn't a drop of evidence to support their claims. Even more bizarre is that some even deny the factual accounts of that terrible day in September, i.e. the "9/11 Truthers" smilies/cry.gif
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written by Squid, September 11, 2009
Regarding people who made logical guesses... Tom Clancy wrote a book in the Jack Ryan series that ended with a disgruntled Japanese pilot crashing an airliner into the Capitol during a joint session of Congress. The book was titled "Debt of Honor" and was published in 1994. So the idea was around for quite some time before 9/11.

Squid
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@Squid
written by Alan3354, September 12, 2009
I always thought of that when that dufus Rice asked, "Who could have ever thought they'd fly airplanes into buildings?
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The Prediction of Princess Di's Death
written by Gord_in_Toronto, September 12, 2009
Sometime after the Peoples' Princess died I did an extensive on line search for any prediction of her death. Given her interest in things wooish, you would have thought one of her psychic friends would have given her some warning!

The best I found was the someone had "predicted" that Charles would have what amounted to a "Bad Hair" day.

Gord
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@Alexthemagician
written by StarTrekLivz, September 12, 2009
Arthur C. Clarke posited some of his fiction in 2001 because he knew, with nit-picking thoroughness, that that was the first year in a new millenium in the common era (unlike 2000). As a rationalist and opposer of all things spiritual, psychic, and supernatural, he did not attribute any other significance to that date (the fact that he insisted in his legal documents that any and all memorial services for him should avoid all references to the supernatural, no mention of any gods, spirits, or other influences indicates his standing on the matter). To attempt to represent that he believed that 2001 had any kind of significance for any other reason would be to do violence to his memory and intellect.

If our common era followed the enumeration of AUC (Foundation of the City [Rome], AM (Jewish Year of the World from Creation), AH (Year from the Hegira of Mohammed), Year of the Republic (France), Year of Independence (USA), The Olympiad, Mayan, Aztec, Chinese, he would have made appropriate adjustments, and regarded all these as what they are: arbitrary denotations of a timekeeping system of use to the hominids on the 3rd rock from the sun.
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Alex Magic Art
written by alexthemagician, September 13, 2009
"Arthur C. Clarke posited some of his fiction in 2001 because he knew, with nit-picking thoroughness, that that was the first year in a new millenium in the common era (unlike 2000). As a rationalist and opposer of all things spiritual, psychic, and supernatural, he did not attribute any other significance to that date (the fact that he insisted in his legal documents that any and all memorial services for him should avoid all references to the supernatural, no mention of any gods, spirits, or other influences indicates his standing on the matter). To attempt to represent that he believed that 2001 had any kind of significance for any other reason would be to do violence to his memory and intellect. "

Maximally agree, and I must apologize for the misunderstanding (may be because of my very poor english), or confusing the main aspects of the great article here..., which is more than impressive..., important, I would say historical...

I`am more happy for that brilliant article than some readers could imagine... smilies/smiley.gif

Things change... smilies/smiley.gif

Thank You...
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oh, the iron knee
written by Quakeulf, September 14, 2009
Predicting a psychic failure? Are you clairvoyant? Quick! Call the skeptics! Oh, wai- smilies/grin.gif
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John Edward on Larry King, 9/10/2001
written by expedient, September 14, 2009
I'm late to to the party, but John Edward was Larry King's guest on September 10, 2001.

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/10/lkl.00.html
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written by DKrap, September 14, 2009
Let us not forget that 9/11/2001 was not only an abject failure for the psychic community, which has no exclusive insider information as to the actions of terrorists, but it was also a failure for the government's intelligence organizations. If this event could not have been even remotely predicted by those who had extensive access to intelligence information then it is highly unlikely that someone who is staring into a crystal ball, reading tea leaves or dealing cards could predict. Psychics are bogus and this proves it beyond a reasonable doubt.
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written by AndyD, September 16, 2009
They will tell you that they don't always have complete control over their powers or what they see. Sometimes it works better than others and sometimes it does not come in very clearly.

A bit like guessing really.
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written by Steve Packard, September 19, 2009
Predicting a psychic failure? Are you clairvoyant? Quick! Call the skeptics! Oh, wai-


You don't have to be a psychic to predict something accurately. There are things which can be predicted based on recurring patterns or probability. I predict that tomorrow the sun will rise - or rather appear to rise due to the rotation of the earth. I also predict that I will not have lunch until after 2 o'clock today.
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written by jr335, September 23, 2009
This idiot's been saying that he predicted 9/11

http://www.scottrussellhill.com.au/about.html
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written by Tebtenri, September 27, 2009
I guess nobody predicted the WTC events, however the idea of an aerial assault, goes back to the last Tsars, whereby they banned the Proletariat from flying, because there was a danger of them flying the planes into the palaces etc.

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written by Quakeulf, October 01, 2009
There are things which can be predicted based on recurring patterns or probability.

I wonder what the psychics know about this.
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written by lvmj1314, January 03, 2011
Apple TV, PSP, PS3, Youtube (web), Creative Zen, iRiver PMP, Archos, MP4, various mobile phones and many other digital video and audio players.
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