This target has been hit twice at the top with one near miss at the bottom right.I suppose that psychics missing their targets is not really news. It happens all the time; I’ve blogged on various such things before, including one example of this phenomenon which disrupted people’s lives. The problem is that “miss” stories are not really newsworthy enough to get any attention. The latest one I’ve come across is this story from Australia, reported by the (UK) Sun (WebCite cached article):

A “psychic” hunting the body of a missing child found the headless torso of an adult woman instead. …

Aboriginal elder Cheryl said: “I had a dream about a little girl being murdered and that her body was about here.”

So the psychic was wrong. Nevertheless, authorities couldn’t seem to just come right out and admit it; instead we have some equivocating:

Det Chief Insp Pamela Young said: “It’s interesting that a woman had a feeling it was worth coming to this particular part of the park.”

You may find it “interesting,” Detective, if perhaps you’re wondering whether the “psychic’s” information hadn’t come from a more mundane source, such as genuine knowledge about the crime (such as having directly seen the dumping of the body, or having been told about it from a witness). I have to wonder, however, if maybe you’re trying to justify having examined the area on the say-so of a “psychic,” only to find something other than what was reported to you.

Authorities have no business taking “psychics'” tips seriously, as happened once — unfortunately — in Barrie, Ontario. (On that occasion, too, authorities attempted to rationalize leaping to action and targeting a family, merely on the word of a “psychic.”)

Beyond that, however, other folks appear also to have no problem whatsoever shoehorning this “psychic’s” tip into the actual discovery; take for example this comment on the Sun article (scroll down the page a bit):

Wether you believe in here soothsayer skills or not, she pointed them to where a body was. Still pretty impressive. Unless of course there are bodies strewn in ponds and lakes all over the country and the chances of finding one is nearly 100%.

Let’s be perfectly clear on this: The “psychic” said she had dreamed about “a little girl being murdered”; this dream also revealed that this particular girl’s body would be found at the spot in question. The “psychic” did not have some amorphous dream about some sort of female person being murdered and dumped there … her dream was, specifically, about “a little girl.” Not about “a woman.”

The psychic was wrong. Period. End of discussion. No amount of rationalizing or shoehorning can change that.

Photo credit: Felix.

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