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.

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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.

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?

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.