I may try to win the $250,000 prize by demonstrating a paranormal ability

I have been a scientist and skeptic for decades, and I still am. I am a scientist with a strong scientific background. I used to not believe in paranormal abilities such as clairvoyance, but now I do because I have learned how to train for it, I’ve put effort into it, and I’ve developed it to a very basic level so far (I want to stress “basic”). I think there is a physical and biological basis for how this works, which is that matter has quantum mechanical entanglement relationships that we can detect and process similar to visual stimuli. Most people who believe in these things have many other irrational beliefs. What is different about me is that I have the mindset of a skeptic.

Here is what I would like to demonstrate:
I’ve been working with my daughter on developing these paranormal abilities, and she would be my assistant in the demonstration. While I am blindfolded, my daughter is elsewhere. Her location doesn’t really matter, as long as the location is far enough away to ensure there is no “leakage” of clues. My daughter rolls a die to randomly determine whether she will wiggle her thumb on either her left hand, or her right hand. My task is to determine, while blindfolded in a separate location, whether she is moving the thumb on her left hand or right hand.

I know that to demonstrate a paranormal ability to other skeptics there would be a high bar to clear, so I am posting this to begin the process. I’m not 100% sure I’ll go through with it, but I am strongly considering it. If for no other reason, I believe the implications for physics and biology are substantial. And $250,000 would be nice too.

Obviously the demonstration I outlined 2 paragraphs above is statistically a 50-50 outcome, so one or ten demonstrations would not be enough. What I want to find out from CFI members are, what significance of P value would be required? I think it would be acceptable to define criteria ahead of time, such as what kind of statistical analysis would be done with the trial data (should be easy, it’s like the statistics of flipping a coin), and how significant of a P value is needed? For example, would P < 0.000001 be acceptable, which is better than one in a million by chance? I would want to know the statistical criteria in advance, so that while I continue to train privately, I can see what my success rate is, and then in a controlled setting I’d propose a trial number large enough that I could “comfortably” get to the pre-determined significance level, assuming I can perform similarly under scrutiny.

Then there are logistical concerns to establish that I am not cheating. Since I am a skeptic, I know how skeptics think. If I was to try to do this demonstration, the conditions would need to leave no doubt. How would I prove that I don’t have some secret hidden transmitter? The best I can come up with is that I’d have to remove all of my clothing, my watch and jewelry, go through an airport security scanner with a qualified operator who could judge that I have nothing hidden, then to do the test clothed I would need to wear clothes provided by a neutral 3rd party to ensure I don’t have something hidden in my clothes. If I go forward with this, I’d be willing to go through that level of scrutiny. My daughter would be involved, but I would not want to subject her to that, nor would it be necessary if it is sufficiently established that I have no conventional means to receive information from her.

Another consideration is that I doubt I could do all the necessary trials in one session. So far, when I do this the ability gets fatigued. Maybe I might only be able to do 5 trials at one time, and I might need to do this on 20 separate occasions for 100 total trials, for example. I’m not sure yet, I need to train more.

Is there any documentation of previous attempts at winning the $250,000 prize? I would like to see what other people have tried in the past.

Any input people have is welcome.

OP here. In addition to the post above to kick things off, I’ve emailed the general info email. I can’t find anything on the site about a $250,000 prize. I came across that information from Wikipedia, so I’m not sure if that information is current or accurate.

OP again. For reference, I was looking at this wikipedia entry:

And it lists CFI as having a $250,000 prize, but the reference goes to a dead link. So I’m thinking the prize is not being offered anymore. Still, I would like to know what community members think about trying to demonstrate a paranormal ability to other scientists, like how would I go about doing it? I’m no stranger to science, I have a BS in biochemistry, an MS in immunology and cancer biology, and I’ve worked professionally as a pharmaceutical scientist for about 20 years.

I have a possible method of testing predicting Pi

Drop the needle from 18" and mark the times that the needle falls between the line or crosses a line. The more drops you make the more accurate you can calculate Pi.

Predicting the results will tell you if you have special powers in that respect.

write4u, I really don’t get your proposal. And besides, doing such a thing is way beyond my very limited ability. I had to think quite a while to come up with something objectively testable with such limited ability I have. My post was long so I’ll summarize the proposal here: my daughter will roll dice to determine whether she wiggles her left or right thumb. I am in another location, and I determine which thumb she wiggles. Repeat as needed to generate sufficient statistical significance.

I found the formal application for the $250,000 prize and submitted it.

1 Like

I wish you luck. Here’s the program

This is just the CFI forum. Staff doesn’t hang out here that I know of.

I don’t understand the paranormal ability you’re trying to demonstrate, guessing which of two options are occurring with some measure of accuracy? Is “being a good guesser” a paranormal thing? How about just I give you the street address of a bookstore in Chicago let’s say. And you tell me which magazine is on the bottom shelf, third to the right. Now that would be something.

I stressed in my post that I only have very limited abilities. I still need to do a lot of training to get to the point of doing a proper demonstration under scrutiny. What you suggest would be very advanced, far beyond anything I am claiming I can do.

The point of the demonstration, if I didn’t make it clear, would be transfer of information that could not be obtained by any conventional means. So for right now, I am focused on having my partner, who will be isolated in a different location than me, use a random process (e.g. rolling a die) to determine which of 2 choices is taken. I can’t “see” hardly any details, only very vague shapes, and only when they are in motion. I see no details, no colors, and I can’t see anything that is stationary. There has to be something moving relative to another thing. So my demonstration, if only a few trials, would not be impressive at all. It will take repeated trials with statistics to show that it is more than simply guessing.

What I am going to do is train for the simplest, most reliable demonstration of information transfer at a distance. I’m not going to try to do anything grandiose like what you suggested. I looked at the previous attempts for this prize and the Randi prize. Every attempt before me was some combination of totally crazy and/or way too grandiose.

Consider this: if I train, verify, and over-train for a particular demonstration of correctly “guessing” the outcome of a 50-50 proposition, if the hit rate is high enough the statistics pile up quickly. I plugged in some numbers. If I did 100 trials, and 86 were correct, the chances of that happening by chance are 1 in a trillion. The main thing to ensure, from a skeptical standpoint, is that I don’t possess any sort of hidden transmitter. I’m going to think a lot about what measures need to be taken. Because I know that if I can do a successful demonstration, the skeptic will naturally not believe it was real and will look for fraud as the explanation.

Hmm, okay so what exactly will the training be? I can’t imagine any type of training other than guess, guess, guess, etc.

And right off the bat I’d say using your daughter will evoke skepticism. How about use a stranger you’ve never met, or only met for the purpose of your test?

Come to think of it, why even use another person. Seems like your idea amounts to guessing heads or tails of a coin flip, that someone else flips. Even disregarding practicing flipping coins, etc. you should at the very least be able to do that.

1 Like

The practicing and training is done blindfolded to eliminate any normal visual input. Once acclimated, I can “see” a limited short distance, but it is vague greyish black shapes on a greyish black background. I can hold up a book or bowl or other object and “see” an outline & depth. I would describe the visual experience as like the blurry sight of opening your eyes up while under water, in dirty water, while dimly lit, and everything is made of non-colored Jell-O. Depth perception is very poor, and the semi-transparency issue is both a pro and a con. Pro is that everything is transparent and can be seen through, Con is that anywhere I look, I’m looking through everything in that direction, so everything in the line of sight is causing interference.

One thing I look at often is my hand, and I can somewhat see individual fingers wiggle. Now while I haven’t made much recent progress in “seeing” in additional detail, I made progress in changing my point of view. What I mean is that instead of perceiving from the normal orientation of where my eyes are, I can perceive from locations not inside my head. For example, lying on my back, facing up to the ceiling, I can watch my toes moving. It is only possible to see things that are in motion.

Next I tried an experiment with my daughter, focusing my intent on watching her hands move, and it worked pretty well. The way this stuff works, I have to have a high specificity of intent to view somewhere else. My daughter is a familiar and unique person to me. Motion of hands is something I am familiar with and can recognize. I can’t see a coin in a coin flip. I certainly can’t see which face is up. And I don’t know how it would work doing the demonstration with a stranger, I suspect it would be more difficult because in my mind I would not be able to have the same specificity of intent. When perceiving at a distance, I have to have something very specific to “lock on” to. If it is something unique and familiar, wherever it is (any distance) I’ll see that thing and a bit of the surroundings. I’m still exploring how it works.

I suppose I could train to do this with lots of different people and see how that goes.

Interesting, okay so you’re specifically doing a visual thing, not guessing per se. I’d call what you’re doing is remote viewing, though as you say, it’s not like you can read a book down the block in a bookstore. :slight_smile: How about this - have someone go into the next room and have them wave either a big stuffed animal or say a small object, like a book (you can tell I’m a book person). So you get the motion thing. The objects are distinct. But honestly even that is sort of guessing. It has to be some activity that you can’t guess at at all. Like she’s running in circles, or juggling, etc etc but something you have no clue about and wouldn’t even be able to guess about. It could be anything, juggling, playing musical chairs/dancing, etc etc. And then the test seems like it would be to identify (not guess) what activity is being performed. How about that?

1 Like

I am motivated to try to “see” as many distinct things as possible, that helps to reach greater statistical significance faster. I did figure out that remotely watching hands clap looks quite distinct from opening/closing a fist.

The bottom line is I need to train a lot more. I started this account here and started the process of applying to test for the prize when I had a breakthrough in training. I’m doing relatively very good at changing my point of view, which is very exciting, but I’m relatively poor at distinguishing conventional colors.

I’m currently training hard for distinguishing colors. Where I’ll excel compared to others is understanding the physics and biology of this perception, concepts like neuroplasticity & how to make the most of it (e.g. keep up with vigorous exercise to jack up my BDNF to grow new neurons), and I have a real knack for devising ways to train (generically) that I can apply to this topic specifically. Most who are involved with paranormal perception have no idea how it works, and little idea how to train, and have the baggage of lots of illogical ideas.

From how I’ve seen my training go so far, I started from very close to zero ability at the beginning of May 2022. Progress is slow, but when I look back I’ve made decent progress. I think I have a ways to go to be able to demonstrate this outside my close family though.

Well good luck. I’d say my example was better, identifying activities, i.e. something that can’t be guessed at. Identifying colors is still guessing, since there are a limited number of colors.

BTW, if you do win, my “consulting fee for services rendered” will be reasonable. :slight_smile: Kidding of course.

Just watched a bunch of memorable Magicians and Mentalists on America’s got Talent. Astounding stuff, I mean really, really confounding.

Wow! Just amazing, assuming they weren’t in on it, which often times is the case. I hope the OP sees this.

I was a part of the IIG testing for a few years. And I was part of the teams that built the protocol.

We always did whatever the person felt most comfortable with, if it is your daughter or a coin flip we could work with that. If the paranormal exists, then it probably would have some kind of weird kink in it.

If you proposed this to the (now called) CFI IG then it would need to be more blinded. Your daughter would not be allowed to roll the die. Everything would be filmed and synced with observers. The statistics just to pass the first test would be pretty high, not a trillion to one but high. They do not cover your costs and you would have to come to them. I don’t know if you said where you are located, but the main group that tests is in Los Angeles. They will sometimes allow other groups that are very trusted to do the first test.

Several problems I see right away are that there is no way they could rule out some kind of signal between you and your daughter. Even in modern chess tournaments they are having issues with people wearing some simple tool that sends a ping to a body part that would give a code. I believe that they are even thinking they use the tool in the “private parts” of the body. In your case it would be just a simple 50/50 signal. One twinge/beep/spark/nudge/whatever for Right and something else for Left.

We are talking about $250,000 - no one is going to simply give that to someone who has figured out a clever way to send a message without being detected. Plus the reputation of the organization. If they truly found someone who had paranormal powers that would be amazing! But they have to be beyond careful. So even if they waved a metal detector over you and your daughter it wouldn’t be enough. No one is going to do a full search, it could be implanted under your skin.

I just can’t see how you would be able to arrange this protocol where there are several options for cheating?

What we encountered over and over and over again were people who said they tested themselves using the exact same protocol, and then didn’t. Then they waste a bunch of money and everyone’s time to do the test and then fail. You can’t take the test again for another year, and I believe to retest you have to convince them.

I haven’t been a part of the IIG for years, but this was what it was like back then.

NO ONE has ever passed the first test.

The odds of passing the second test are far higher than the odds of the first one.

Everyone who participated from the IIG bent over backwards to make the subject comfortable, to make sure the conditions were as close to possible to the protocols.

Lastly OP I feel this needs to be said, and I say it with the best of intentions. But as a mother and someone who has dealt with people who think they have a paranormal ability.

Why are you spending so much of your time on this? You have a daughter and you are setting the example of what? Do you want her to see you in this fantasy? I know you mention the money, but you will have to spend money to achieve even the first test. And the time, look at how much time you have already committed to doing what? Remote viewing is what this is called. There is no good evidence this is even possible.

You have a daughter that is willing to spend this much time with you. As a mother I beg you, please use your time with her to be quality time devoted to real activities, whatever you really enjoy doing together, walks, movies, reading, cooking, singing, museums, gossiping whatever. Kids grow up in a snap and she should not be spending hours and hours wiggling her thumb for her parent to partake in imagining what her thumb is doing. Years from now do you want your daughter to look back on this time and think “yeah that was a good use of our time together?”

So this is just my opinion. You didn’t ask for it, but I’m offering it. Think about what you are doing.

When I read your OP I thought, this is just science word salad. It means gibberish.

One more thing. Watch this video of James Randi and a magnet man and his son. Randi removed the child from the stage so he wouldn’t see his fathers dream be busted. This must have been crushing for the father who probably really thought he could put metal on the body and it would stick. Imagine your daughter in this boy’s place and think about what she would be thinking when her parent was totally embarrassed.

You already have the greatest prize, you have a daughter. Right now that daughter probably loves and admires you. Do not waste your time practicing to do something that is impossible to test. In the long run it isn’t going to go over well.


Here are the past IIG (now CFIIG) tests - some of these I was a part of


Thanks Susan for the detailed information, that was helpful. I’m on the East Coast, so I’ll it won’t be trivial to test in California.

You said there is “no good evidence” this is possible. I used to be a skeptic, but that was wrong. There are good peer-reviewed studies from reputable authors published in good journals, along with meta-analysis showing numerous replications for things like the ganzfeld telepathy experiments, precognition, remote viewing etc. The problem is not the paranormal science, it is that skeptics refuse to accept science on this topic. For example, Daryl Bem in 2011 published a precognition paper with odds by chance of 1 in 74 billion, then in 2015 published a meta-analysis of dozens of independent replications with odds by chance of 1 in 10 billion. In 2018, the best skeptical response was written to the prestigious journal that published the original 2011 paper, urging the journal to retract the 2011 paper. The skeptical claim was that Bem’s work was not replicated. These skeptics included in their references the 2015 replication paper, so they were aware of numerous replications, but they simply lied that there were no positive replications.

I’ve continued to read large amounts of past research on these topics while doing my own training, development and experimental testing with my daughter. A recent incident has removed all doubt about non-local perception for for my daughter and me. While we started this journey having zero psi abilities or experiences, that isn’t the case anymore. There are basically 2 modes of psi functioning, the small amount in everybody that can be measured statistically, and the rare events that are profound and unpredictable. My daughter had one of those events, it was a sudden flash of information happening elsewhere, on a computer screen for a game she left running in another room while she was making eggs. She never had this before, it intruded on her senses, and she felt it was real. There are no audio cues from this game, and there was no line of sight nor reflections from the game to her location where she got the flash. Something negative was happening in her game and the non-local perception flashed the information to her. She saw a very detailed image in her head, and she ran over to the computer
to check, and what she saw in her head matched the computer screen exactly. The number of specific things in her mental image, all combined, had odds we later calculated to be about 1 in 10,000 by chance.

You ask why I do this. Mainly, I am a scientist and have always been interested in science and the progression of science for the betterment of society. I understand reasonably well now how the physics of this non-local information works. Quantum physicist David Bohm’s model is closest to reality. We’ve had paradigm shifts in the past, such as Einstein’s work. The physics of psi will bring another paradigm shift, with new technology and new levels of human achievement.

If you are using Bem and the Ganzfeld experiments for your research and stopping there and not reading the research on those from the science side, then you have not done your research. I suggest you continue reading.

1 Like