A few weeks ago I teamed up with Chris French and the good folk from Goldsmith’s APRU to test medium Patricia Putt (details here). We were carrying out an initial test for the James Randi 1 million dollar challenge, and Patricia was asked to write down readings for ten women. These ten participants were then given copies of the readings and asked to choose the one that best described them. None of them chose the correct reading.
At the time I was really impressed that Patricia didn’t make any excuses, and said that she thought it had been a fair test. However, yesterday she appears to have changed her mind and left a long comment on the blog. You can read the whole thing under the comments section of the above link (and look at Phil Plait’s comments about it here), but I just wanted to pick up on a couple of points…
Patricia: After my initial shock at the results when Professor French was showing them to me….
Actually, I went through the results with Patricia, not Chris.
Patricia: …he [Wiseman] remembered on seeing me that we had met in May 2000 at Hampton Court ..
Actually, I explicitly told Patricia that I didn’t remember that.
Patricia: I also got the meet Professor French a man I had seen on TV and have great respect for, I also renewed my meeting with Professor Wiseman.
Patricia: …with hindsight I realised that every girl had accepted each and every message that I had written down not one had been discarded, not one thrown away each and every one of the ten girls had gone away with something to me this makes a total of 10 out of 10.
This is very silly. The participants were asked to choose the reading that best applied to them, so that fact that they each chose one is meaningless. The important point is that they did not choose the reading that was intended for them.
Patricia: I am very well aware that scientists and Mediums are diametrically opposed but perhaps one day scientists will open up their field of vision a bit more and be prepared to work with people such as myself.
Patricia ends by challenging Chris French and I to another test that involves her being taken to a location she has never been to before. If Patricia has this new claim accepted by James Randi then I am sure that Chris and I can sort something out.
I was impressed that Patricia went through with the test and took the results so well on the day. It was a good natured investigation, we all parted on good terms and I wish her well in the future.
Update: A few people have emailed me asking whether Patricia’s comments mean that each participant chose a different reading (i.e., no two participant chose the same reading as theirs). This is not the case. The list of participants, and the readings they chose, was as follows….
Participant number Chose of the reading of participant number
(note: although we had 10 participants, they were chosen from a pool of 15 people, thus having participant numbers higher than 10).