Hey, How's the Hunt for OBL Going?

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The Scotsman reports:

The [British] Ministry of Defence funded a secret study to ascertain whether people with psychic powers could help protect the nation, it emerged last night.

A former Ministry of Defence employee who received a copy of the report has claimed that the timing of the study suggests security services wanted to "remotely view" hidden weapons caches in Iraq and find Osama bin Laden.

The study, which actually took place way back in 2002, had "novice" psychics guessing the contents of envelopes. It didn't go so well (one psychic fell asleep while divining an answer), but at least one former MoD employee is upbeat:

"I don't think this was a waste of public money. Many people will say so, but I think it is marvellous that the Government is prepared to think outside the box. And this is as outside the box as it gets."

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  1. I for one would be much more impressed with talk about ‘thinking outside the box’ if there were any evidence at all of thinking. How bout they worry about that before worrying about whether the thoughts are in or out of some box somewhere?
    And what do you suppose ol’ Rainy Daycart would think of the notion of providing spatial locations for thoughts?

    Shirley Knott

  2. If by “outside the box” you mean “gullible as a frat pledge”, then yes.

  3. “I don’t think this was a waste of public money. Many people will say so, but I think it is marvellous that the Government is prepared to think outside the box. And this is as outside the box as it gets.”

    Outside the box == outside the skull. Kinda makes me wanna send in The Amazing Randi with a tazer for some corrective treatments.

  4. Novice psychics? Ha! A Novice psychic couldn’t find Atlantis on a map!!

  5. I guess that the Brits weren’t watching Anderson Cooper’s coverage of Sylvia Browne the last few weeks.

  6. Psychics cause AIDS! It’s all becoming clear to me now!

  7. The problem with keeping an open mind is that there’s no telling what might crawl in.

  8. An absolutely ridiculous idea, a horrible waste of taxpayer dollars, and a great idea for a comic book. *steals*

  9. Life imitates Monty Python…..

  10. As a permanent resident of the noosphere I must protest that this study, as well as the government that produced it, is RETARDED.

  11. You know, several decades ago it probably made sense to do a few studies like this, just to settle the matter once and for all. I mean, they don’t require terribly expensive equipment, if it had worked out it would have been tremendously useful, and even a negative result could have at least been educational.

    I think we’re well past that point. (Yeah, some could say that we passed that point millenia ago, but the past few centuries saw a lot of advances in statistics and experimental design. So one could argue that it was worth doing it with modern tools to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.)

    Unless the studies really gave positive results decades ago, and since then they’ve been releasing a steady stream of negative results just to trick the public into thinking that they don’t have psychics on their payroll! And maybe those who dismiss this idea are really doing it at the behest of powerful telepaths with mind control abilities!

    Teach the controversy, man.

  12. I knew you were gonna say that…

    where’s my grant?

  13. I think we need to get the Verizon network guy to knock on the Whitehouse door every 5 mins asking “Did you find him now?”

    How many psychics does it take to say Afghan/Pakistan border?

    We know what region he is most likely in. The problem is Bush is not interested in commiting the military force needed to do the job.

    You get results where you put your efforts, Saddam is down, OBL is not. I think that speaks volumes about the priorities of the Bush admin.

  14. “KoWT | February 23, 2007, 4:00pm | #
    I knew you were gonna say that…

    where’s my grant?”

    *thinks location*

    there. 🙂

    Weren’t there experiments with ESP and other stuff during the 50s in the context of the cold war? And don’t psychics show up at crime scenes? And wasn’t there a psychic on a recent CSI?

  15. Wait…wait…I’m getting something…mountains, yeah, something about mountains, he’s either in some mountains or he passed through them to get where he is…I’m also seeing a body of water, water of some kind, maybe a stream…he’s in a room, the walls are…not wood, but something hard like rock or brick or adobe…or maybe a cave…and there are people around…I see lots of people with guns, oh yes, lots of guns…

    Does any of that help?

  16. I think he’s in a mountainous region, and a few of the guys he’s with have beards and AK-47’s.

    You can wire the reward money to my account in the Bank of Nigeria.

  17. Windy, that was great.

  18. VM, One of the FBI’s criminal profilers has suggested that small police departments trying to solve serial-killer-style murders could benefit from bringing in a psychic if they can’t find a profiler because the way psychics find clues about people is similar to what profilers do.

  19. Didn’t the CIA do this sort of thing with remote viewing in the in the 1970s? I sort of remember a Bullshit! episode that referenced it.

  20. Sorry, Windypundit, you just locked on to a Aryan Nation Preparedness camp in Colorado.

  21. Nothing changes, it seems.

    The US Government spent $20 million from the 1970s through 1995 on Project Stargate – which looked for exactly the same thing? Eventually they realized it doesn’t work and gave up. (At least the UK government only wasted $35K.) The PsiTech organization supposedly purchased the “technology” from the US government, and are having a similar consistent lack of success in being able to remote-view anything correctly (eg they remote viewed the location of Elizabeth Smart’s dead body. Oops!)

  22. Yeah, thoreau, I got the beards too. And I think one of the guys has a name beginning with the letters M or A.

  23. I, for one, feel there is no doubt that psychics could find OBL.

    I’d start with about 50,000 of them, armed, doing a sweep of Tora Bora.

  24. Whoops, I need to read all of the posts…sorry for stealing your joke, Tricky

  25. Windypundit-

    I think at least one of them also has a name that ends with the letter “L” or “N”.

    Ooh, I have a strong hunch on this one: Dark complexions!

  26. This was studied extensively in the 1980’s at Washington University in St. Louis. The only successful “psychics” were plants who managed to fool the researchers until they revealed how they were doing so. It was called Project Alpha.

  27. I’m getting a feeling they’re also wearing weird hats.

  28. Thanks Windy! Appreciate that you’re not just blowing hot air!

    🙂

    Timothy – you’re needed on the spanking thread.

    “I’m getting a feeling they’re also wearing weird hats.”

    OMG! We should be going after… Shriners????

    Do you also see funny little cars?

  29. “The study, which actually took place way back in 2002, had “novice” psychics guessing the contents of envelopes. It didn’t go so well…”

    I speak for every rational person when I say: “No duh!”

  30. OMG! We should be going after… Shriners????

    Do you also see funny little cars?

    No little cars, VM. They can’t pack enough explosives into those things.

  31. But what if the cars are solar powered and carry dilithium crystals?

    What about the SUV versions?

    good call, tho. Will meditate on this further. Oh! They just moved south on backalackadacka street!

    One of them is named Haaid di Salaami.

    He is in cahoots with the dirty bomber I Szheet Mi Drawrz.

    Speaker Fenson is here with the details

  32. BTW, how long has it been since OBL had anything to say?

  33. Actually there are a number of psychics who are quite reliable. So reliable, in fact, that they know what would happen to them if the government found out about their abilities. Therefore they diligently avoid getting involved in studies.

  34. “Actually there are a number of psychics who are quite reliable. So reliable, in fact, that they know what would happen to them if the government found out about their abilities. Therefore they diligently avoid getting involved in studies.”

    I’ve never heard ‘Absence of evidence is evidence of absence’ phrased quite that way before.

  35. Larry A,

    Wow! That’s so….convenient!

  36. “And this is as outside the box as it gets.”

    Just another “failure of imagination.”

  37. The [British] Ministry of Defence funded a secret study to ascertain whether people with psychic powers could help protect the nation, it emerged last night.

    I’m seeing…run-on sentences?

  38. Grammar God

    No, you’re seeing faulty subordination.

  39. Ahh, they’re reactivating UNIT. Didn’t the Slitheen kill them all in ’05?

  40. OTOH they found Saddam H. by looking in the box.

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