About VFF
  IIG Test
  TAM Demo
  Seed Test

Independent Investigations Group IIG
Preliminary Demonstration November 21 2009
- attempting to detect which of persons is missing a kidney

Every good skeptic needs one good woo to keep them busy - I found myself saying to a skeptic I wrote an e-mail to

Me and members of the IIG Skeptical organization after our test in November 2009

Test in November 2009
Independent Investigations Group IIG
I acchieved statistical odds of 3.8%
... meaning that if 100 people were guessing randomly, only 3 or 4 of them would be expected to do as well as I did.

Kindly note that I am not affiliated with the IIG, nor is my claim or this investigation, and that I do not represent their organization. Please see the official IIG report of our test for their version also. The IIG says that I acchieved odds corresponding to 25%, or a 1 in 4 chance of guessing to the accuracy, yet they do not award partial credit for correct person in trial 3. The IIG considers my claim falsified.

Paranormal Claim

When I look at people I experience feeling a landscape of a vibrational pattern across them. In my mind this felt shape automatically translates into an image, and these images happen to depict the insides of a person's body and health information. Most of the time I am not aware of the perceptions, and I usually only notice them when my mind is not occupied on other things, or when I have the perception of a more serious health problem that catches my attention more strongly, or at times when I choose to actively form the perceptions. The perceptions in themselves are nothing remarkable at all, as they could be just another aspect of my synesthesia. But what I do find interesting are the cases of accuracy in my perceptions of health, even in cases where I can not find a rational explanation to how I could have known. That is why I am investigating this. I expect to discover either that the accuracy falls within the chance predicted by odds of guessing or that if there is significant accuracy beyond what random chance would dictate, I would hope to find the rational explanations and the sources of my information; such as if there are subtle external clues on a person that I am unintentionally picking up and that translate into the images that I see. In this investigation I am working to find the normal explanation to this seemingly paranormal experience, and once I reach that far, that is when this paranormal claim is "falsified".

Why test the claim on kidneys?

When I decided to have a test for my claim of health perception, I had to figure out what specific types of health information to test it on. I begun to study my claim to learn more about it for the test design. Of course I do not offer psychic readings, and it is rarely an appropriate situation to tell someone what I perceived of their health to check for accuracy and to learn more, so I involved Skeptics in the study, well, because they are not going to take my readings seriously so they can't be harmed by what I do or do not say. During one such reading with a Skeptic, I perceived that he was missing a kidney. I was testing a questionnaire that listed several different health conditions, and I was going through the list and looking for a match in the person. There were too many things to go through on the list so I quickly got bored and decided to just make note of what I perceive freely instead. Once I reached to feeling into his back, I was confused. I felt a significant difference in the feeling from the right side and left side, and the left side had a feeling of empty in it. I was puzzled as to what it was. I had never come across this before. I spent several minutes trying to make sense of what I was feeling. Eventually I figured that he is missing a left kidney. But then logic started to interrupt. I was thinking that he looks too young and healthy to have had a sick kidney removed, so my logic was trying to convince me that what I was perceiving was wrong. Healthy kidney donors did not cross my mind, so I was logically convinced the perception was wrong. Yet, this was the strongest clearest perception I have ever had. For minutes I debated whether to write it down or not, and I eventually decided against it. "Knowing" that I would be wrong, I feared that the IIG test, which was already scheduled, would be cancelled because of this inaccuracy. And then the past cases of interesting accuracy would never get a test or an explanation. I decided for myself that my claim is falsified, and settled with that thought in my mind, and decided I would announce my inaccuracy after the IIG test had taken place. But turns out the man is missing a left kidney.

To test the entirety of my claim on missing kidneys is the natural choice. The experience I had was compelling for several reasons. First of all, I had not suggested to myself to look for whether a kidney would be missing so in other words I did not give myself the expectation. And in this case you simply could never tell just by looking at the person, because I was really searching for confirmation to what I felt, and had to conclude logically that he couldn't possibly be missing a kidney. And, it was the clearest health perception I have still had to date. So the detection of a kidney being missing is the easiest example for me to try to perceive, kidneys are so large and the absence of one produces a sense of imbalance between both sides. But this also happens to be one of the best forms of health information for test purposes as well. It should be impossible to detect that a person is missing a kidney just by looking at their clothed body from behind. But furthermore, as the claimant, I am fully convinced that detection of missing kidneys is the best of what my claim can do, so if I fail at that, I will be very happy to conclude on the claim as falsified and never have to wonder whether a different choice of health information would have produced a different answer. So, that is why these tests now focus on the detection of kidneys being missing, and not on any of the other forms of health information.

The IIG Test

The Independent Investigations Group IIG is a Skeptical organization that offers to test claims of the paranormal. I submitted my claim to them and then did a study of my claim in order for me to learn more about how it works under different conditions so that I could design a test protocol. Two years later and thanks to what I learned in the study I was able to submit a test protocol that the IIG agreed to. The test had three trials. For each trial, six subjects were brought in and I had 27 minutes to look at all six and decide which one of them is missing a kidney and whether it is the left or the right kidney that is missing. A different set of six subjects were used in each trial, and there was a 10 minute break in between trials. At the end of the third trial, the accuracy of my answers were determined by an ultrasound technician. The full test protocol is available at the IIG website. The test itself was shown live and is still available in two parts at UStream.

Results of the IIG Preliminary demonstration

Trial 1wrong person, wrong side
Trial 2correct person, correct side
Trial 3correct person, wrong side

One in six people, in each of three trials, was the target person thought to be missing a kidney. So in each trial, it was a 1 in 6 chance to guess the correct person. After choosing the person, you then have a 1 in 2 chance to guess the correct side that the kidney is missing, left or right. I have no training in statistics (all of my college math was calculus and differential equations) so I have to rely on others to give us the statistical understanding of my results.

IIG says that...
As a Challenge, I had to get all three trials correctly, correct person and correct side, in order to pass this Preliminary Demonstration part of the Challenge. So, with these results, I failed the demonstration and did not get to proceed to the second, official test, that would have followed had I had all trials fully correctly. The IIG does not consider this as a two-step process to find the person and then find the side that the kidney is missing. The IIG says that the test had 12 equivalent slots, just like putting something into one of twelve identical shoeboxes. Based on this premise, the odds calculated are that my results were within a 1 in 4 chance to acchieve by guessing. But they consider the third trial to be fully wrong as the first trial and without any "partial credit". Such an analysis might not be justified, as the way I make my answer is more of a two-way process. Also I found that not all people are equally easy for me to feel into, that being like not having identical shoeboxes after all! But IIG's official statement is that the odds of acchieving my results were 25%.

Guessers at home...
Internet Skeptics came out after the test and said that some 50 to 70 of them had been guessing at home while the test was taking place, and that two of them guessed as well as I did, and that none guessed better than I did, and the rest did worse than I did. If you are one of those who has the documentation around this at-home test please send it to me so that we can have it here and so that it is presented accurately here. Well, one of these lucky guessers is beloved internet Skeptic GeeMack and he loves to say that he guessed his way to results as good as mine. Since he is a foremost opponent of my investigation, he lacks the credibility for me to take his word on it, so if there is any documentation I would love to have it. But my assertion is... that we have to remember that these were 50 to 70 people guessing together! So if we were to consider the statistics from these at-home guessers, my results would be something like (if two people out of 50 got the results I did) 4%, or (if two people out of 70, for the upper estimate) 2.9% to get the results I did by guessing. I was only one person guessing, that is why GeeMack's results, although if as good as mine, still suggest odds of 2.9% to 4%, which is pretty awesome.

Someone calculated for us...
Someone (I will see if the person wants to take credit) calculated the following odds for the test, considering each trial as a two-step process, each with 1 in 6 for the person and then 1 in 2 for the side, and repeated three times. The calculated odds were as follows, and please be cautious as I have not had these figures confirmed and as I can not personally support the numbers since I lack the skills in statistical analysis, but here they are:

The ten possible outcomes in accuracy are listed. A "one" means a hit.
0x0x00x0x01331 / 172877%<--- all wrong answers
1x0x00x0x0726 / 172842%
1x1x00x0x0396 / 172823%
1x1x10x0x0216 / 172812.5%
1x0x01x0x0121 / 17287%
1x1x01x0x066 / 17283.8%<--- my results
1x1x01x1x011 / 17280.6%
1x1x11x0x036 / 17282%
1x1x11x1x06 / 17280.3%
1x1x11x1x11 / 17280.06%<--- all correct answers

And we should now have the statistics of this test:
Through a tedious but accurate process and without any statistical skills I have derived the statistics of the IIG test. My score corresponds to a 2.89% probability through random chance. statistics.html

Table from. This odds of 3.8% agrees with the 2.9% to 4% range provided by the at-home guessers, both of which do consider the answers to be a two-part assignment: to pick the person, and to then pick the side, giving me partial credit for the correct person in trial 3. IIG's 25% comes from the simplification that all persons are considered identical like shoeboxes and with disregard to it being a two-step process. In scientific research, results that fall within 5% or below are considered significant and worthy of further consideration, and such research hypotheses are not falsified and are entitled to additional testing.

If you think about it... if IIG's analysis that the odds of guessing one's way to the results I had would be 1 in 4 or 25% should we not expect to see this trend among the large group of guessers at home? If 50 people were guessing, 12 or 13 of them should have had the results I had and if they were 70 persons guessing, 17 or 18 of them should have had the results I had. Since only two out of 50 to 70 people had the results I did, equaling 1 in 25 or 1 in 35 at odds of 2.9% to 4%, we can assume that out of the two different analyses suggested (IIG's 25% and the other one of 3.8%), the 3.8% is more realistic than the 25%. But I would really like to see some documentation around the guessers at home. Did they only count a full hit (person and side) as correct and neglect considering any correct person/wrong side as partially correct? But regardless, a second test will make things more clear.

I knew the accuracy of my answers beforehand

I knew the accuracy or inaccuracy of my answers beforehand. Before I describe how this is so, please carefully note that this is not a statement that I make after the fact. There is no ad hoc here. My knowledge of the accuracies is namely captured on the test video and proven unrefutably to be stated before the results were in, because I speak this before the ultrasound was performed. After each trial and as soon as the subjects had left the stage, I was very talkative and grabbed a hold of any of the IIG members that were around and I told them how a trial that had just passed, had went.

After trial 1 I was complaining that I knew my answer in trial 1 would be wrong. I knew I had failed the test because one wrong answer is all it takes. On the video you can see that I am disappointed with this trial. My body language and what I said require no interpretation to see that.


After trial 2 I was very excited, because I knew that I had made the right answer. But believe it or not, I was not excited because I was confident in being correct... I was excited because, as I say in the video, "The second one [...] I like it because I was sure about seeing all but two. So [...] if the target was one that I think I saw, then [...] the claim is definitely over, and that's nice." I was happy to have made an answer that was based on a perception that was consistent and repeatedly so, and completely clear and compelling to the point where I could never hope for the perceptions to be more clear than this. So in trial 2 I was able to make the most compelling of what the claim tries to do, and the reason I was happy was because if I were to be wrong in this trial, I would falsify the claim as I would be fully convinced that it could never do better than this.


By trial 3 I was exhausted. After an hour already of intense concentration I was having a headache and not feeling well, and the claim stopped forming the perceptions. I wrote this down many times and clearly on my draft papers, that were signed by James Underdown and stapled to the back of the answer sheet. I managed to conclude on the person, but, as I say in the video, I ran out of time and had to guess on which side the kidney was missing.

I knew the accuracy or inaccuracy of each trial perfectly. I felt trial 1 was wrong, and it was. I felt trial 2 was right, and it was. I was confident in the person I chose in trial 3, and it was right, and I had to guess on the side, and it was wrong. I was very clear in my statements of confidence and these are not vague statements nor ones open for interpretation. Again, there is no ad hoc here. As best as I can recall, even after this test, it still applies that when ever I make a health perception that I am confident in, then when accuracy is checked, the perception turns out to be correct. I do not recall a single case where I would have had a confident perception that turned out to be incorrect. This confidence in the accuracy of my perceptions is something I make beforehand. Again, no ad hoc here.

Below are video excerpts from the test video showing what I say about my confidence in my answers of each trial. They are all from the breaks in between trials, except for one that is a short time before the ultrasound is to be done to determine the results. The first and second clip show what I had to say about trial 2, immediately after that trial and during the break before trial 3, well before the results were established. The third clip is from Part 2 of the videos. It takes place just before the ultrasounds are about to begin. While the ultrasound is being set up, I confide in Mark Edward that I am confident in my answer in the second trial, and that I know that my answers in trials 1 and 3 would be incorrect. The fourth one is after trial 1 and it is obvious I am not happy with this trial. Start times of these video excerpts can be found in the information section in the YouTube account: just select one of the clips and expand the information below the video. There you also find in writing what is said in that clip.

Excerpts from the IIG Test Video

.. Immediately after trial 2:
Me to James Underdown:
"This one went very well. Can I tell you? Or no?"

James to me:
"You said this one went better?"

Me to James:
"I put an x when I see it, and a question mark when I don't see it, so this one was quite obvious, but this one I never saw, either, but this one was more apparent, and I feel really good about it. Well, at least all of these were very clear to me, so if it is one of those, it is clearly just nonsense."
"So, that's nice."

Me to Karen:
"This one went better, and it was between two only, and I was very sure it's one of the two. So if it isn't one of the two, it is obvious, that this isn't anything, and, I can't do it."

"I feel good about this..."
Sound cut off.

.. Also in the break between 2nd and 3rd trial:
Me to James:
"I'm excited about the second one, because..."

Me to Karen:
"As long as I'm sure, like, if, if I'm sure, that, I saw a kidney, and, it wasn't there, then that would be good, because that would prove for me, that it isn't true, what I'm seeing, but if I wasn't sure about what I am seeing, then I would be left thinking, well, you know, was it or wasn't it. But in this trial, I was very sure, of all of the kidneys, except two, so if it, so if I made a mistake, then that's a good thing, then it's really obvious, and reliable, so, this round went very well."
"I'm not trying to pass, I just want a result I can really, that convinces me."
"I'll be darned if it's the other one. 'Cause there were two. And I couldn't see either of them. So if it's the other one..."

Me to John Suarez:
"The second one, I like, because all but two kidneys... yeah, I'm talking about the second... I like it... I like it because, I was sure about seeing all but two. So, if it, if the target was one that I think I saw, then it's, the claim is definitely over, and that's nice."

.. Right before the results will be established with the ultrasound:
Me to Mark Edward:
"I know I failed, but..."
Mark to me:
"Yes! Yes! I got very tired on the third round, it, I could just, it just stopped working."
"I feel myself using the back of the head, which is where images are formed, in the brain. It just shut off, and I was getting headaches, and everything."
"Well also because you're focusing, your concentration..."
"It was hard, I had to just pick one. Why? Do you know the answers?"
"No I don't know anything, I'm just saying..."
"I feel good about the second round, even though it was between two. First round..."
"Why do you feel good about the second one?"
"Because it was between two, and, it, it, well..."
"Did it happen when you're focusing?" (I think that's what Mark said)
"No, but it was confirmed many times, when ever I went through it. Oh my gosh!"

.. Right after trial 1:
This is right after trial 1, during the break and until I leave the stage for a while. The IIG had the sound cut off during the break, I wish they hadn't done that!

I uploaded this clip to show that I wasn't nearly as cheerful or confident-looking in my answer in trial 1, as you see me being in trial 2. Although there is no sound, I recall myself complaining that my answer in trial 1 would be incorrect.

There are several moments in this seven-minute clip where I look quite concerned. Such as at times,

0:15 You can tell from the sound of my voice when James Underdown asks me a question that I am not quite pleased. I rarely sound so dismayed like that.

0:43 I look concerned.

1:52 Close-up, very telling of how I feel as I glance over toward the answer sheets.

4:05 I walk over to look at the answer sheets and my body language expresses disapproval and some irritation. Well, that was how I felt about my performance in that trial.

You may want to see this in the YouTube window, because then if you expand the information below the video and click on any of the times, it takes you directly to those times.

And I proceeded to being accurate in that which I felt beforehand would be accurate (all of trial 2 and person in trial 3) and being inaccurate in that which I did not feel good about beforehand (all of trial 1 and side in trial 3). And I was so confident in my answer in trial 2 that I made it very clear before the results were in that would I be incorrect in trial 2, I would be convinced that the claim is falsified.

Perceptions of something such as a kidney either build up gradually, or are clear and compelling right away, depending on the person and the side (left or right) that I am feeling into. I came across great variety among the subjects in the test, in terms of whose kidneys I felt I was able to feel as clearly absent or clearly there, and others that took me a great deal of effort to decide on one way or the other. The outcome of this test has left me wondering. How would I do if the two difficulties that I came across were to be addressed in a next test, namely that larger persons take longer for me to feel into, and that three such trials are too many all in one day. And if test conditions were stepped up and made a bit even more rigorous from the test standard point of view, using screens that only enable one to see a cut-out portion of the person's clothed back. I can not form a conclusion as to whether I can detect kidneys with the use of a "felt perception" and to an extent of accuracy that well exceeds what one might otherwise be able to acchieve with using known senses of perception and other means of deriving the answers such as guessing or cold reading too. Therefore I need to arrange for another test, one which this time will hopefully give more conclusive results, rather than something in the middle that has left me undecided, as here.

The sound was cut off in between trials during the breaks, so most of it can not be heard on the video. There were other cameras as well, and most likely those captured more of what I was saying. I am also expecting copies of the draft papers.

Does the fact that I was perfect at knowing the accuracy of my answers beforehand, or as I gave them, grant me any kind of incentive to proceed with this investigation? Of course it does. I have already known that I am unable to perceive every health information that is known to exist in a person. For instance, of course everyone has at least one kidney, but in several of the subjects in this demonstration, it still took me a long time to perceive either of theirs.

Before beginning the demonstration I was backstage behind the screen with James Underdown and I told him that I had decided that if I were unable to form a conclusion as to who is missing a kidney, that I would rather pass on that trial than to guess so that I would thereby be depicting what the perceptions are, rather than taking part in a guessing competition. However, I ended up not honoring that decision. This test indicates that my claim has low frequency and high accuracy! And does that still warrant further investigation? I certainly think so. I am not trying to pass as a psychic. People who want to be psychic don't even have tests to investigate their claims. I am just curious about this.

If I had only given the answers for which my claim and perceptions were working I would have decided to submit all of trial 2 and the person in trial 3 as my answers, and passed on trial 1 because the particular subjects were more difficult in this trial and because I ran out of time, and the side in trial 3 because I was having headaches and was exhausted and could not proceed. I would have had 100% accuracy.

Failing a challenge same as falsifying a claim?

I both acknowledge and embrace the results of my IIG test and I absolutely do not refute the fact that I failed the test. The objective of this investigation is not to pass as a psychic, but to document the journey involved in investigating and learning more about a paranormal claim based on an unexplained phenomenon, before concluding on the claim as falsified, which is when it has been shown through experimental evidence (tests!) that the claim either can not acchieve accurate information to an extent that would make it significant, or that if it does acchieve such significant accuracy, that accuracy is found to come from normal, as opposed to paranormal, sources. I treat my investigation as a scientific research hypothesis, even if one whose subject matter is controversial and perhaps provocative, and even if we assume to know what the end result will be, I enjoy the learning experience and skeptical exercise.

I failed to meet the criteria that were set by the IIG for their cash prize challenge. But does failing a challenge equal falsifying a claim? I argue that it does not. My background is in chemistry and physics, not in the study of the obviously ridiculous claims of the paranormal. So I tend to handle my claim in the way that I do a chemical investigation. Perhaps we are pleased to conclude on paranormal claims as falsified after only a single test even if that test provided results below the 5% mark, and perhaps even before there was a test at all. But much of chemistry requires, or allows, a quick and simple experiment in the laboratory just to test an idea, because most of chemistry is not done in the theoretical sense, but is based on observations and experimental data, as chemical behavior is often difficult or impossible to predict. Chemistry is often researched with the starting point being an observation, that is then attempted to recreate and to explain. Hypotheses are then formed around that observation and by research is followed through to conclusions.

Two issues hinder the treatment of my paranormal claim as a chemical experiment. One is that this is not an easy test to set up. It requires human subjects, and new ones each time. And skeptical participants are needed who can provide those subjects, and much of the work I can not do since I am the claimant. So there is always a huge need for resources from willing participants. So this is not as easy as setting up a series of test tubes and pouring chemicals into them. The other problem is one that I frequently have to remind myself to set aside, being that many Skeptics - and I am dependant on Skeptics in this investigation - are willing to conclude on this claim as falsified prematurely. Many say that the claim is falsified before there even was a test. Others look at the results of my IIG test and do not realize that my results were below the 5% line that grants the claim the right to further testing.

I was hoping to do worse than I did on my IIG test. I am willing to embrace falsification of this claim, but I feel that has not happened to my satisfaction yet. Rather, the test compels me even further than did prior experiences with the claim, to have one more test. The fact that I correctly predicted each case of my accuracy and inaccuracy in all trials, bothers me. There were also two issues that I identified during the test, that I could not have foreseen in the stages of test design. One being that each person is differently difficult for me to feel into, and that larger persons would be much harder for me to feel into. The other is that three trials was just too much for me. Fortunately I gave both of these complaints during the test in between trials, and they are documented, and so again there is no ad hoc here, ie. post rationalization, ie. excuses made after the fact. And thirdly, the results that I did acchieve, even with my two complications, were still below the 5% mark that signifies the right to further testing.

The seemingly interesting results of this test do not support evidence in favor of the claim. It could have been that I happened to be lucky. Every now and then some person will pick the winning lottery ticket, and even if it is one in a million, it does not mean that there was anything paranormal going on. If a large number of people are making any set of answers (or lottery numbers) regardless of what trick they are using... some people use their birthdate numbers, others try paranormal psychic methods to get some spiritually inspired numbers, well, some are going to be lucky! GeeMack, one of the people guessing at home, certainly was lucky, claiming to have done as well as I did. But he is not claiming some paranormal ability.

But if we have a person who claims to be able to produce winning lottery numbers, or the people missing a kidney, they must do so to a satisfactory extent, in a repeated set of tests. If someone wins the lottery once, that doesn't mean anything. But if they try again and they win again, it starts to seem interesting. I find the results of the 3.8% very interesting, and if all it was, is normal statistical behavior that happened to be in my favor this time, then the next test by the same statistical analysis, would most likely not grant me the same luck. I also urge GeeMack to be guessing at our next test. Because maybe if he is lucky again we would have to test GeeMack.

Other than it being a possible case of statistical chance in my favor, another possible source of error is possible external clues. I know I do use vision to initiate the feeling that then becomes a different type of vision in my mind from what I feel, so perhaps there is something subtle and visually available on a person that makes it possible to know these things. That is why the next test will have better screens, only the backs of the persons will be visible, and are unlikely to indicate clues as to the number of kidneys in a person. If anyone wishes to object, do tell me.

But what bothers me the most, and makes me hesitant to accepting the accuracy in my results to being the case of statistical luck being on my side, is that I was not guessing, and that I was sure of the accuracy and inaccuracy as it came to be. But in spite of any analyses of the test results, a second test will provide the answers. Again, as I said, this is a hypothesis best settled with experimental data and not theoretical work.

I can not disregard the fact that when I know I can't do it, I can't, and that when I know I am right, I am right. I feel that there is still more work to be done, before we're done with this claim. Of course all of this is leading toward falsification, at least that is what we must expect, and even I as the claimant and regardless of my own curious experiences. But we are not quite there yet.

Arranging a second test

Another test will not challenge the results of this IIG test. Not only I but the IIG have invested a great deal of time and work into making this test happen, and I assert that our test took place under proper conditions and I hold my results from the IIG test as very valuable and they most certainly can not be disqualified. Another test will simply answer a few more questions and add to the results already obtained.

Having another test does not hurt skepticism. The changes that will be made for the second test will not make it easier for a non-ability to do better, they will simply better respect the limitations of my performance, and the test conditions will be even more rigorous. For instance only the backs of the subjects will be seen, and possibly without giving me a pre-determined number of one-kidney persons to find.

Some overly suspicious Skeptics fear that my whole investigation is just a way for me to prepare for a scam and a career as a woo practitioner. But that is not the case. I truly have this experience of feeling and then seeing and experience an interesting accuracy that I can not deny or explain. And if I were interested in passing as a psychic I would be afraid to enter another and more rigorous test.

I need to first of all adjust the testing conditions both in favor of the limitations of my performance (ie. no larger persons and no more than the equivalent of two trials in a day) but I am also curious to block more of the possible known sources of information to see how that affects the accuracy or experience of the claim. I want to see whether this data will be consistent with that of the IIG demonstration, or whether lower, or whether higher. Any Skeptics who dislike me having another test should instead reassure themselves that if all I am doing is making lucky guesses or reading twitches or other cold reading then such a non-ability, as I call it, will be exposed even better than ever. And then we can all celebrate, because I will have reached a conclusion, and yes, one that I will be happy with.

I was tremendously happy with every single aspect of the protocol for the Preliminary, well, I should be, I designed most of it. However, as I was taking this test, I did think of additional improvements that are actually both in favor of myself but especially in favor of the integrity of the test.

Some of the subjects had long hair that was hanging down their backs. And it was distracting to me. They also had their own choice of pants, which were all a bit different for each person. And at least for several of them, their bare arms were visible. After the demonstration, audience members noted that the man I had chosen in trial 2 had tattoos on his arms and were suggesting to discredit my choice based on that somehow being a clue. That made me very unhappy, because it indicates a flaw in the test design. When ever results end up being questioned like this, it indicates a flaw in procedure. The results would be more reliable if less visual information were available.

One past experience *anecdote, no formal evidence available

Before the IIG test I had the experience that led me to base the remainder of this investigation and tests on the detection of missing kidneys. To prepare for the IIG test, I was studying the claim by testing the perceptions under various test conditions and doing practice readings with Skeptics as the volunteers. I had designed a health questionnaire that listed up to a hundred different types of health problems and I was looking at a person trying to feel a match with one listed condition after the other. I quickly became bored of the lengthy list and decided to do a free head-to-toe reading instead, where I simply feel into a person starting at the head and moving downward and noting anything that I detect, not searching for anything in particular.

When I reached to his back, I was surprised to feel a clear feeling of emptiness in the left side, and a feeling of imbalance, like a tilted balance scale between the left and right sides. I had never come across this before. I felt and saw the right kidney clearly, but never saw the left one. I checked many times to confirm what I was feeling. There were no external symptoms of what I was detecting. I was about to write down not just "missing kidney" but "missing left kidney". I sat with the pen against the paper for several minutes and looking again and again at what I was detecting but I chose not to write it down. Although I was entirely certain of the perception my logical thinking could not believe it and I was worried about being wrong, I thought that if I were wrong I'd never hear the end of it. So I did not write it down.

I mentioned nothing about a kidney but after the reading the person announced that he is in fact missing a left kidney. I wanted to kick myself. I said nothing about it, of course no one would have had any reason to believe me. Although later I e-mailed the person and gave a confession and told him all about it.

There is no formal evidence that I could share to others to prove that I did indeed detect that a kidney was missing. However what matters is that I have completed what the study was meant to do: for me to form a specific and testable claim. I can claim to have detected that a kidney was missing and I can submit that claim to a test.

There are two special reasons why I would not lie about this, other than that I will not lie in general: it would be terribly inconsiderate against the person if I were to make something up that involves personal information about him. Also, I would never form a paranormal claim and submit it to a test if I were not personally very convinced that I could in fact do this.

How I see a kidney *personal impression and not proven to be real

When I look at people I feel a landscape of small-scale vibration across their body. It is similar to when you feel a landscape of temperature above a hot stove or above icecubes, it is a pattern that is felt. Although I do not use my hands and do not need to touch the person or bring my hands closer to them. And it is like reading. You could be surrounded by lots of text and you see it but you can ignore it most of the time. The vibrational information is all around at all times but most of the time I am occupied with other things and ignore it. Sometimes text has a bold heading in big black letters, and it catches your attention and you can't help but to read it. That is what my perception of serious health problems is like, like big loud text that is hard to ignore. Or you can choose to take the time to start reading. And I can do that with the vibrational information. You can either skim through real quickly, looking for certain keywords, or you can choose to read very carefully, not missing a single word.

At this point I have no formal evidence that my health perceptions would be based on actual information that I perceive from people and that they would depict actual health information. They could be another expression of synesthesia, although I have not found any examples in literature of synesthesia that forms images and perception of tissues and health. I have had interesting cases of correlation between my perceptions and with actual health information, even in cases where I shouldn't have been able to know what I knew. Unfortunately most of these took place under circumstances that did not make it possible to form evidence of the event, or, as in the case where I claim to have detected that a kidney was missing, I could have made evidence but because of my choices ended up not getting evidence. That is what the tests are for. Tests provide documented evidence for or against the claim.

When I look at the abbreviated form of writing chemical elements, I see colors. And when I feel the landscape of vibrations across people, I see pictures of organs, tissues, cells, chemicals, atoms, or vibration, depending on what scale of magnification will show the most relevant picture of the information. The images do not form from my own chosen imagination. I know that for a fact since very often the images do not make sense to me logically, for instance they depict something that I could never have guessed based on what I see with my eyes or what I know about the person. Yet very often even the medical perceptions that contradict with my logic are proven to be accurate. Like when I detected that a person would have had his scull crushed in the past and I could not believe but it turned out to be true, or when I detected that a kidney was missing and could not believe it and did not write it down, but it was true. I do consider the health perceptions to be at the very least an expression of synesthesia, which is when one form of information becomes automatically translated into another.

I can choose to do a general search of health information by feeling across the entire vibrational aspect of the person and looking for something that stands out as being different or out of balance. Health problems stand out because they do not feel smooth and their vibrational aspect does not blend in with the rest, it can feel like jagged edges and can also look like dark areas across the tissues where I feel that the problem is. Things that are unusual or unexpected but not necessarily a health problem will also stand out, such as missing a kidney, but then not because of a feeling of imbalance but simply because it doesn't feel like what I am used to feeling in that area.

The way I will be looking to detect that a kidney is missing will be easier since it already involves a specific area of the body and will be the same general area for all persons so I do not have to search across the body. Also I already know the feeling that corresponds to the absence of the feeling of a kidney. But the most important technique is that I will be able to compare with the opposite side to feel if the left and right side at where the kidneys should be feel vastly different. I could not imagine a better test for my health perceptions.

Looking at my own kidneys as an example, I can say that the kidneys are large enough and easy to detect. I experience it as a form of sonar, although that doesn't mean that it necessarily is a true ability and not an experience of synesthesia. Ground-penetrating radar is a technology that sends microwave electromagnetic radiation into the ground. The radiation is reflected back to the instrument and has picked up a pattern that corresponds to the densities of structures and material under the ground and will display that pattern on a screen. Example of radar images. Similar technologies are also used in medical imaging to form pictures of tissue layers. Humans have been measured to emit electromagnetic radiation in the extreme low frequency range. I do not know whether that could be used in imaging purposes. Whether such electromagnetic emission will pick up information from human tissues, be reflected back to the source, and then whether the human would be able to consciously process that information and to translate it into corresponding meaning and pictures of tissue.

However, the pictures I do see are not something I choose to sit and imagine into existence. They are images I see in my mind, automatically, just like when I read Li for lithium and see the color yellow. The images are not superimposed on the world surrounding me, I see the images in my mind. At times I can choose to place an image over a human body just to match-fit it into place and find out more information, but that is something I do artificially.

The clarity and detail of the pictures depends. It can be just like a photograph at times, and at other times it is just a faint misty looking image. An image starts out as clear if it depicts a health problem, because those are just like I said earlier like bold letters. I can always choose to focus the image and make it clearer. I focus an image by looking at a closer magnification of the vibrations themselves, the vibrations that form images of atoms that form images of molecules and that build up to images of cells, tissues and organs.

The images are in actual color of tissue. Muscles come in various colors ranging from purple-toned to different shades of red or with pink or orange. The images are never a flat two-dimensional picture but have plenty of depth and shape to them. But most interestingly, I can see things from many angles at the same time and on many levels of magnification at the same time and several cross-sections at the same time. Sometimes I can also feel the tissue, as if I were touching them. Sometimes, but rarely, I can also smell, hear, and taste things in the tissues that I am sensing.

Some of the things that carry a scent is the stomach organ. It smells like hydrochloric acid, and I know what that smells like since I've worked with it in the chemistry lab. The stomach also smells like some type of sausage. It can be very pungent at times if I look closely. And the brain has the scent of sugars and water. And sodium has a bitter scent and taste, found in many places in the body. In some people, but not all people, the liver smells terrible if I look too closely. Like some type of metals. The health perceptions are not just images. I also feel the textures and the surfaces of tissues in detail. Also with the perceptions comes an interpretation and understanding of what I am seeing.

The perceptions are a different entity from what is otherwise my logic and normal perception. My eyesight, hearing, sense of taste, smell, and touch are all otherwise perfectly normal. What I see with my eyes is the same as what we all see. I hear the same sounds and taste, smell and feel touch in the very same way as everyone else. The perceptions come from an additional subtle feeling of a vibrational pattern across things. The perceptions that arise from the feeling of vibrations is not an experience in the same way that my other sensory perception is. It is different, and more like when you look at a painting or work of art and it makes you feel something, or when you are contemplating on a memory. The perceptions are clearly distinct from my ordinary senses and never blend in. There is no automatic sense of reality to the perceptions, and in fact often my logic contradicts with the medical images (like when I detected that a person was missing a kidney, but he was). Living with the health perceptions is like living with synesthesia otherwise. They are not a distraction and they do not form the basis of how I experience the world or the decisions I make. The perceptions, as with my synesthesia, simply make the world a little bit more colorful and beautiful.

A kidney feels relatively large, it has a well-defined boundary and does not blend into surrounding tissue. It is fairly heavy and is firm and dense as an organ. I can also clearly see the branching pattern of large blood vessels inside the kidney that lead into the ureters. In many people I see effects that medicines have had on the kidneys. The kidney tissue then looks harder and has a darker color and a tinge of white.

I can practice this experience by looking at my own kidneys and other people's kidneys. The tests will ultimately conclude whether I do in fact perceive tissues or whether it is all an imaginary expression of synesthesia. The first test did not answer that question for me, so another test hopefully might.

How do we test this claim skeptically?

I am accused of not being scientific enough in the way that I investigate my interesting experience. What have I done wrong, I wonder? I immediately begun talking to Skeptics. I presented one main claim that I am investigating, the medical perceptions, but some insisted that I test other things and then turned against me when I was reluctant to, and I wanted to test what my claim actually was. I joined a local Skeptics group and they helped me set up a study involving readings with members of the public - done appropriately without the persons finding out what I would have perceived, to protect them from any inaccurate or distressing suggestions about their health. I did readings with several of the members of FACT. For the first time I investigated with them as my volunteers several of the conditions around those readings. What distance do I require? Do I need eye contact? Do I need a dialogue with the person? Do I fish for hints or suggest a big laundry list of things and remember the hits and forget the misses? How much time does it take me? I was learning vital things for the design of an actual test to see if there is anything interesting going on. I was studying the claim for a long time, just as suggested by real Skeptics with the IIG and FACT, and then internet Skeptics grew very impatient and accused me of avoiding to have a test.

I am accused of being attention seeking. I happen to be a somewhat shy person and something of an introvert and the last thing I enjoy is attention, especially the negative attention that some are giving. All I wanted was to discuss my claim with Skeptics, a claim that is based on interesting and actual experiences, a claim that is entitled to some investigation, and still is, I feel. And I am definitely not trying to be special, as I am accused of. Not my fault that I feel health information when I look at people.

I am accused of not investigating my claim in a scientific manner. I did my very best to investigate the claim before having the actual test to fully define the conditions required and those allowed for a test, but I was not prepared for larger persons to take so much more time - I had never had that experience before - nor could I expect to become so exhausted just before the third trial. Luckily I made these complaints at the test and before the results were determined. If you are a scientist and you have a hypothesis, you treat that hypothesis with great care. It doesn't matter whether you like that hypothesis or not. Scientists investigate lots of things that we wish weren't true, such as cancerous effects of various chemicals. A scientist may favor the hypothesis or the null hypothesis, but has to make very sure to remain impartial and capable of acchieving accurate results. I certainly don't enjoy the personal attacks that are due to my claim, and perhaps I would prefer to conclude that there is not sufficient accuracy to my perceptions and to find a natural source of the information for those times that I am accurate. My hypothesis certainly is not that I would be psychic.

Also as a scientist you make sure not to conclude too soon. If you are preparing a chemistry experiment and you encounter formerly unaccounted for possible parameters that may affect the outcome, or if you encounter any possible malfunction that may be suspected of having prevented the phenomenon under study from manifesting you need to make adjustments to your experimental procedure and try again. Then at least you will know. Yes it takes more work yes it is tedious, but research requires repeated experiments and adjustments to the procedure before arriving at a final procedure and then a final conclusion. You sincerely attempt to set up the most favorable of testing conditions that will enable the hypothesis or phenomenon to perform, meanwhile of course certainly being well aware of what test conditions are involved so to understand what the outcome indicates. Science is rarely as easy as a single test with a single set of conditions.

Human eyesight works by the eyes detecting light that has reflected off the surface of objects and that enters the eye. Human eyesight is not supposed to be able to see inside human bodies. My visions from feeling begin with eyesight and I can not form the internal images without looking at the person first. I experience that the reason I need to see the person is to get a sense of distance and location to the person and to find the vibrational material, regardless of why I need to see the person, one of the conditions of the claim is that I see the person. One should expect that I am using subtle external clues that I collect by looking at the person with eyesight, that then in my mind form assumptions of their health and organs that translate into images and felt perception. And I could be doing this unintentionally and unaware of the processes that are involved, such as is the case with synesthesia.

I understand that a claimant's own point of view in their claim must be considered questionable at all times and there will always be a credibility issue, which is why Skeptics need to be involved in a paranormal investigation. I permit that as the claimant my credibility must be questioned, and that is why we need Skeptics to run the tests. Still after the first test, I have reason to want to arrange for another test to settle the question.

My own understanding of the claim is further ahead than the understanding that others have of it, since I have witnessed the claim first-hand so many times. I discuss my claim on the JREF Forums and both they and I have felt frustration because our understandings of the claim are at different levels. Not because of how I interpret it, but because I have personal evidence and they do not. Others may insist that I am making all this up or that there is no claim to study, while I am deeply compelled to find the answer. Let's hope the next test answers the question.

While cold reading is available to several of the types of health perceptions I have, there have been several cases where I fail to see what cold reading would have been available. There definitely is a paranormal claim, a phenomenon that I can not explain.

I'm willing to falsify the claim!

A reading I had just before the IIG test, check this out: Here is an interesting story that I for one thought was very exciting while it was happening. I am a member of my local Skeptics group FACT, and I think this must have been in our November 2009 meeting which was only three days before the IIG test. At the end of the meeting I was doing a reading on one of the newer members, and so I asked him to turn around because I can focus better without the person looking at me, and of course also to eliminate a large list of available cold reading and unintended interaction. Well, it was taking a little while and I suppose he got bored and he started asking me if he had various organs that everybody has and can't live without, just to be funny, asking things like if he has a brain. Then he said something about missing a kidney and asked me to see which ones I see and which ones not. The way he said it sounded sincere. Yikes, I thought. The man is missing a kidney, and that hadn't showed up at all during my general reading and it should have been very obvious, like it was with the previous person.

I felt into his back and thought I was feeling both kidneys. I was stunned. I turned to look to my friend who was standing nearby and signalled to him that I'm not detecting the missing kidney, that I'm in trouble, and that the claim is over. I continued to try, and I thought that this is a turning point in my investigation. I did my best to try to select one side over the other, but in both I sensed the kidney. I then said that I have to inform that I am detecting both kidneys and that my claim is falsified, but that I want to go ahead and have the IIG test anyway. I concluded that it was over. And I was able to accept that. The perception of both kidneys was just that strong, enough to convince me that the claim is false. I can't say I was sad, I almost felt relieved and glad that the work involved with the investigation was over. But once I had said that, the man then said that he was only kidding. He has both kidneys. So that was further confirmation for me to continue with the investigation.

The moral of this story is that I am willing to falsify the claim if I make a perception of a kidney that is clear and compelling to me and it turns out to be inaccurate. But that has never happened yet, and even after the IIG test that is the case. Inaccuracy is one thing, but if I make an answer that I believe in and it is wrong, then that is against my claim. And that did not happen at the IIG test. So let's see what happens on the next test...

Written about my test

Mark Edward
During the IIG Preliminary there was a man who kept a close watch on me. I had not been told about him in advance or that someone would be assigned to watch me closely like that. But this man was wonderful and he was often the first one there when I wanted to talk in between trials during the breaks. After the test and backstage again, I found out that this was famous mentalist Mark Edward (and of course I insisted that he demonstrate one of his tricks with me, which he did). Read Mark's thoughts on the IIG Preliminary:

Women Who Stare at Kidneys

We had a hard time figuring out how to attach the microphone box to my dress and Mark figured out how to use a paperclip. And the magic trick he did was to ask me to think of a number and later he asked me what it had been and he made it appear as if he wrote the number before I said it. It was very well done.

Mark Edward's website http://www.themarkedward.com/. Mark has also written several books.
Also check out his blogs at the Scepticblog. His blogs are actually my favorite Skeptical reading and I bought one of his books which should be arriving shortly.

The IIG has a page where they write about our test http://iigwest.org/anitaikonen.html.

More from me:
I have also written about the various things that I have learned from the IIG Preliminary, at IIGtest.html.