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Well respected academic psi researcher Richard Broughton, in his 1992 book Parapsychology, The Controversial Science makes the case for a systematic wide ranging investigation of psychic detectives. In the nearly two decades since, all we have still are anecdotes. This is a pity.

"*"Combative" ... or, frankly, sort of obnoxious. I wouldn't write it like that today."

Awww, c'mon Michael, don't be shy. That was an informative, fun to read article. Let 'er rip!

In my country the police no longer seriously investigates tips from "psychics", even though they receive many many tips everytime someone goes missing. It has been concluded that the "psychics" are never right (on discovery tv they are ofcourse right every time, but in real life...)

SBU,

How about some more specifics on that, such as the country name at least?

Cheers,

Matt

Wow not a lot of comments here. I have a couple things.

Michael, your psychic detective article is great. The only part I found strident was your somewhat ad hominem against the "circus barker" fellow or whoever he was. He himself was doing ad hominem, so it was sauce for the gander. But we try to rise above that, right? That's the only thing I saw, so perhaps you are being a bit overly self-critical.

As for the main issue, the reason why the police followed up on this Texas psychic's tip is that she, according to them, knew things about the interior of the house that she could not possibly have known. Also, when they went to the house, they found blood on the door, which the occupants said was due to an accident. So... it's not as though she had absolutely nothing here.

Was she wrong about the bodies? Quite possibly.

Are psychics wrong all the time about crimes? Most likely. But we have a world in which anyone can stand up, call him/herself a psychic, and try to help the police.

That would be like holding Olympic games without any qualifications. After watched a botched 500 m race, would we conclude that running fast (without tripping, etc.) was impossible? Or that we need better qualifications for the race?

And, in terms of qualifications, I would suspect that generic psychic ability is not enough for cases such as these. Rather, a good psychic detective would have specific "forensic psychic skills" AND general training in missing persons investigations, etc.

Police resources are limited. A trained psychic detective would know how to make the best use of manpower and time to get the best results, instead of following up hunches willy-nilly.

Skeptics can guffaw if they wish, but to do so is like laughing at attempts at antisepsis in the 1860s or genetic research in the 1940s. People are just beginning to work out the real science and method of such work, even while surrounded by naysayers.

For psychic detectives to be consistently effective, a long road lies ahead. But my belief is that, in the future, they will be a key part of investigations (unless actual machines to see back in time have not been invented by then, which I think is entirely possible).

Anybody heard of Keith Charles billed as the 'psychic cop'?:

http://www.keithcharles.biz/

On Coast to Coast AM in 70 minutes (at 10 PM Pacific time)a show on NDEs:

Fri 06-10

In the first half, George Noory will chat with Near Death Experience researcher P.M.H. Atwater. Open Lines follows.

Richard Broughton, in his 1992 book Parapsychology, The Controversial Science makes the case for a systematic wide ranging investigation of psychic detectives. In the nearly two decades since, all we have still are anecdotes. This is a pity.

Good points, Matt Rouge. I think that's a very intelligent way of looking at it. Tips received from professed psychics over a hotline are probably worthless nearly all the time. But if a particular individual has a track record of being helpful to the police, it's a different story. This is the kind of situation Vernon Geberth was talking about in his book.

The times in my life when I've had mystical or transcendental experiences they happened spontaneously. I didn't make them happen. Precognitive dreams, moments of telepathy with my wife, synchronicities, ADC dreams, etc. I can't make them happen on command. They just spontaneously occured.

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