Thursday, March 23, 2006

3/23/06 (PMP) But The News Said Psychics Are Real!

Today's guest writer is Luke T., a member of the James Randi Educational Foundation forum.

But The News Said Psychics Are Real!

By Luke T.

Occasionally, a media outlet will report on psychics. You’ve probably seen or read them. Many of these reports are not critical, and are often supportive, of psychics. As a result, these reports give the psychics validity, and the psychics are then free to claim their skills were featured on a news program or in a newspaper, as if this is some kind of bona fide which establishes them as being genuinely psychic. This perception of validity depends on the assumption that the media outlet performed an exhaustive investigation of a psychic’s claims and abilities prior to making their report public.

Media outlets are failing to see they are a part of the problem. They are failing to see they are greasing the skids of despair for grieving families who fall victim to predator psychics.

This article is going to examine one of many such reports which appear regularly on our televisions and in our newspapers. The report which is the focus of this article appeared on a Fox network affiliate in Portland, Oregon, both in print on the internet (http://www.kptv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4044386&nav=menu156_1) and on television. The internet article once contained a link to the video report, but it does not any longer.

Sometime between Saturday, October 30, 2004 at 10 p.m. and the following morning, a 48 year old Hood River, Oregon woman, Kimberly Forbes, disappeared. Her disappearance has still not been solved as of this writing.

There are a lot of ways a news outlet can redraw attention to a missing person case. For example, they can publish the missing person’s photos, give all the details of the disappearance that are known, and interview the police to see what progress has been made. Stick to the facts. With any luck, such a report might trigger a memory in the mind of a witness in the viewing audience and lead to a break in the case.

A responsible news organization does not aid and abet the criminal responsible for the missing person’s disappearance by tripping the light fantastic through the Twilight Zone, casting suspicion on innocent people and relating events which in all likelihood contradict what actually occurred, thereby discouraging witnesses from coming forward. Not when a crime of such terrible proportions is at stake. Such gross irresponsibility would be beyond the pale.

But that is precisely what one news outlet chose to do. To highlight the anniversary of Kimberly Forbes’ disappearance, Fox affiliate KPTV hired Nancy Myer, who they referred to as a “nationally known psychic.” Myer has appeared on “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Sightings”, has authored the book "Silent Witness: The True Story Of A Psychic Detective", and purportedly has “a long, distinguished history of assisting police and law-enforcement officials on both homicide and missing-person cases -- over 500 of them to date.” (http://www.shadowsofmoundsville.com/nancy.html). Not “solving” cases. Assisting.

One can only guess how deeply KPTV investigated to see how much assistance Myer had been in murders and missing persons cases.

Myer claimed to be able to “read” Forbes’ photo and gather magical insight into Kimberly’s disappearance. Myer then proceeded to give KPTV her impressions.

In the report Myer claimed Forbes was kidnapped by a married co-worker and taken into the hills and shot to death.

KPTV is now complicit in the implication of every married man Forbes ever worked with in the matter of her disappearance and possible murder. Without a shred of evidence, KPTV and Myer have cast a shadow on several innocent people. Very nice.

Then, according to the report, despite being from the exotic and remote location of Pennsylvania, Myer was miraculously able to pinpoint the exact location where Forbes’ car was found in Oregon a year prior. Myer then drew a map of where she believes Forbes’ body is located.

So what do the police have to say about this bounty of information provided by a woman who it is claimed has assisted police in over 500 murder and missing person cases?

The police said the map was too vague. So Myers told KPTV that the body won’t be found by the police. She said the body will be found by hunters in the fall. That was last November. It is March now. Fall came and went. No Kimberly Forbes. No body.

If Kimberly Forbes has been murdered, it is certainly not to be expected that the police are still searching the countryside over a year later. If her body is ever found, it will be found by chance, or after her murderer has been caught and led police to the location.

As for Myer pinpointing the exact location where Kimberly’s car was found, according to KPTV the police “were amazed”. In the video report, Detective Sergeant Gary Tiffany said, “You know, you talk about where the car was parked, all the media coverage on that was after the car had already been moved from that spot. So she really keyed in on that for whatever reason. That's kind of an uncanny thing."

Myer pinpointed not just a general area. Not just an address. Myer pinpointed the very spot where the car belonging to Kimberly Forbes was found.

Another victory for psychics? A validation from the police. The police were amazed! Do we have have a genuine “psychic detective” here?

Do you suppose they have the internet in Pennsylvania? Call me psychic, but I sense that they do.

Let’s take a look at the following news item which appeared three weeks after Kimberly’s disappearance: http://www.theoutlookonline.com/article/5382

The article gives a pretty precise location of where the car was found. “Meanwhile, Pedro Sanchez noticed a red car in a vacant lot behind his restaurant Don Pedro in the 18800 block of Southeast Stark Street.”

A quick search on Mapquest reveals the location of the restaurant.

But Myer was more accurate than an address. According to the news report, she gave a pinpoint location of where the car was parked. So take a look at the photo accompanying the article. It shows a policeman collecting evidence from where her car had been parked.

Folks, I found that article showing the pinpoint location of Kimberly Forbes’ vehicle in less than a minute.

Did Nancy Myer divine the location of Kimberly’s car by supernatural or electronic means? Was she perhaps given clues by the reporter of the story? As Fox News says, “We report, you decide.”

If Nancy Myer was able to give a pinpoint location of an object whose exact location was public knowledge for a year, why was she unable to give a pinpoint location of Kimberly Forbes, whose location is unknown to anyone but the person responsible for her disappearance? Why was Nancy Myer only able to draw a scribble of an excuse for a map which no one could interpret?

What else that Nancy Myer claimed about events surrounding the disappearance of Kimberly Forbes can be verified? Nothing. A psychic can depend on that. What assistance has Nancy Myer actually provided to help find Kimberly Forbes? None.

Not only has Kimberly Forbes’ kidnapper and possible murderer gotten away with his crimes up to now, so has Nancy Myer, with the able assistance of a news program.

Until now.



We understand that many people believe that psychics are effective in solving crimes and finding missing people. Please keep in mind that the goal of this series is to help families understand techniques used by persons making these claims and make better decisions about the use of psychics.

Project Jason and its volunteers cannot act as a clearinghouse for persons claiming success in using paranormal means to locate missing persons. We will be unable to respond to emails or other correspondence sent to us from persons making these claims or persons offering information about or referrals to psychics.

We instead invite those persons to present their evidence to the members of the James Randi Education Foundation. They have a forum available for you to discuss your claims. http://forums.randi.org/forumdisplay.php?f=7

Jump to the next story:
http://voice4themissing.blogspot.com/2006/03/33006-pmp-sylvia-and-friends-part-i.html

1 Comments:

Blogger muffinbutt said...

A few years ago, back when Chandra Levy was missing, I was on a true-crime board discussing her case and I found a post by a "map dowser" who claimed he could look at a map and somehow "know" where a body was buried. He had scanned a portion of a map and circled the spot where he thought Chandra was buried.

The location he indicated turned out to be a parking lot.

4:51 PM  

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