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Psychics Strike Out (Again) in 1995

Psychic Predictions

Gene Emery

December 31, 1995

Amherst, NY — According to the folks at the Skeptical Inquirer magazine, the world’s best psychics seems to have cracks in their crystal balls.

According to the top psychics who published their prognostications in the supermarket tabloids such as the National Enquirer, the National Examiner and Weekly World News, 1995 was supposed to be the year Rush Limbaugh was forced to go on welfare, Whitney Houston married Mike Tyson, Peter Jennings became the first journalist in space, and Disney World was wiped out by a hurricane.

“Once again, even the most talented psychics seem to have had trouble predicting the major unexpected events of the year,” said Gene Emery, a veteran science writer who compiled the 1995 predictions for the new issue of the Skeptical Inquirer, the country’s first magazine devoted to scientifically exploring claims of the supernatural.

The National Enquirer's stable of psychics, in the tabloid’s January 10 and June 20, 1995, issues, predicted that:

The National Examiner's top psychics said 1995 would be the year that:

The psychics at Weekly World News predicted that in 1995 a volcanic eruption would create a new land mass that ties the United States to Cuba, frog legs would become the rage in fast-food restaurants, and 80 percent of Americans will totally shave their heads.

Jeane Dixon, one of the country’s best known psychics, in the July 25, 1995, issue of the Star forecast “a stunning outcome to the O. J. Simpson trial will bring a result no one predicted. I can see that O.J. will walk.”

She was right. But Dixon could just as easily claim success if Simpson had been found guilty or the jury had failed to reach a decision.

“A guilty verdict or hung jury will keep O. J. Simpson in jail through most of this year,” she predicted in the January 17, 1995, issue of the Star. “I don’t see him walking away a free man until an appeal,” Dixon predicted in the April 25, 1995, issue of the tabloid. And in the October 10, 1995, issue, published after the verdict, Dixon predicted that “O.J. will be released from jail, but there will be a second trial and he will be incarcerated at least one more year.”

As always, there were the typical forecasts: of celebrities taking new occupations (psychic Shawn Robbins said Hugh Hefner will give up his Playboy empire and become a sunflower cultivator); promises of cures for AIDS, arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease; and predictions that space aliens would be discovered.

Also, there was the usual crop of vague predictions that left plenty of wiggle room in case they didn’t come true.

In the December 13, 1994, issue of the Globe, for example, Mystic Meg forecast that Liz Taylor “will stumble across a formula that could [emphasis added] spell an AIDS breakthrough.” Jeane Dixon said, “A scandal in a religious cult could [emphasis added] lead to murder, suicides, and a doomsday vigil in the spring.”

Sometimes the predictions are laughable because they reflect so little knowledge of the real world, such as when psychics predict that someone will be elected president during the years when a presidential election isn’t scheduled.

Dixon falls into that category with her prediction in the January 17, 1995, issue of the Star, saying, “A new, antibiotic-resistant strain of influenza causes coast-to-coast misery in early winter and again in early spring. Scientists will trace the virus to polluted water.” It’s not surprising. Antibiotics don’t work on viruses, which is why you don’t prescribe them for the common cold, flu, AIDS, etc.

Unfortunately, the psychics gave no warning of the Oklahoma City bombing, they haven't been able to find the Unabomber, and they apparently had no inkling of Christopher “Superman” Reeve’s tragic accident.

As for 1996, the psychics have already said it will be the year Hawaii sinks into the ocean, banana peels are found to cure cancer, Rush Limbaugh becomes the Republican nominee for President, Lance Ito becomes Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, the federal government decides to turn the Grand Canyon into a nuclear waste dump, and all the athletes in the ‘96 Olympics are forced to undergo species tests—after officials learn that a woman who won the gold medal in the shot put is really a girl gorilla.

Gene Emery

Gene Emery manages the Massachusetts bureau of the Providence Journal, reviews computer software and video games, and frequently writes about science, medicine and technology. He'll be accepting predictions through Jan. 15 from professional psychics, although they must be for unexpected events guaranteed to make the headlines in 2005.