Predictions They'd Rather Forget No.1

DrPaulLee

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#1
Over twenty years ago, I purchased a book called "The Book of Predictions", listing informed prognostications (from experts) and some not-so-informed "wild stabs in the dark". One of the sections listed the predictions of psychics, and now I thought it would be a good time to analyse each one of their predictions in turn. My comments are in square brackets. Hopefully, I'll get this published on a site such as www.badpsychics.co.uk ...

Comments, including discusions, corrections etc. are very welcome

Predictor: Bertie Catchings

On her first day at a new job in 1969, Texas seeress Bertie Catchings gave a psychis reading to a co-worker. Her prediction
came true that night. She began making pyschic forecasts in local newspapers and on radio, achieving a sonsistently high degree
of accuracy that propelled her into the national spotlight. She writes sever columns on psychic phenomena and is organising a
statewide "psychic detective squad" in Texas. Her son, John Catchings, is also a psychic.

Predictions

1982-1983
Libya will pose a threat to France as well as English-speaking nations in Africa. Armed with Society weapons, Libya's leader
Muammar el-Qaddafi, will lead his country into several major conflicts. He will give the Soviets a naval base on the Mediterranean.
[Libya seemed to be distancing itself from western Politics at about this time; I can find no records of any Soviet agreements,
or conflicts in the area at this time]

Argentina and Chile will dispute ownership of several small islands. Peru and Bolivia will side with Argentina.

[In 1982, Argentina invaded the UK's Falkland Islands; Peru proposed a peace plan according to Wikipedia; ]
[I can find no record of Chile disputing ownership of any islands]

1984
New energy sources will be discovered when scientists learn to convert electricity into ultra-high frequency magnetic forces for space travel.

[No]

Iraq and Iran will declare war on each other.

[This occurred in 1980]

1985.
Norway and Finland will exchange fire in the Barents sea over fishing rights.

[I can find no reference to this]

A bloody conflict will erupt between India and Pakistan.
[I can find no reference to this: but ref.3 below credits this as a "hit"]

Syria and Israel will continue to be military hot spots, but Israel and the PLO will achieve peace.
[Israel did not achieve peace with the PLO in 1985; quite the contrary- the Israeli Airforce bombed the PLO Tunis HQ in October of that year!]

Road maps will actually be computers, built into the dashboard of your car. If you get lost in a city, you'll punch your
present cross streets and destination.
The map will light up in large, bright letters and lines, giving directions even a child could follow.
[A precursor of GPS systems in cars? If so, about two decades too early!]

1986
An extra television channel will be used to give computer information that outdoes the Yellow Pages. If you need to find a
mechanic near your home or your hotel, all you have to do is feed the question into the computer, and your television screen
will light up with the addresses and telephone numbers of shops in your area.
[The UK had a "similar" TV-based system called Teletext, which started in the 1970s, although the above information does
seem reminiscent of the WWW- but sadly about 5 years or so too soon!]

Space stations will be in orbit, and the people who live there will begin to manufacture prefabricated space cities.
[The Russians have had Space Stations in orbit since the early 1970s, and Mir was launched in 1986. The US declared in 1984 that
a space station would be in orbit within "a decade" - another prediction that wasn't right!]

1990.
Everyone will have a portable telephone that can be carried in a purse or pocket. The telephone book will be a minicomputer.
[Mobile phones were first introduced about this time]

Near the Arctic Circle, a lost tribe will be found. Its members will know of a secret passage through the ice to a place deep
within the earth where beautiful gardens flourish. Though few in number, these people have lived comfortably for many centuries.
[!]

The Titanic - salvaged from the North Atlantic and restored - will be made into a museum.
[The Titanic was found in 1985, and salvaging of artefacts from her shattered hulk began in 1987. No attempt to raise the ship has been made to date]

1992
An underground railroad tunnel will be constructed in the US between Chicago and Dallas. "Bullet" trains travelling over 100mph
will carry passengers as well as freight.
[!]

In the Aleutians, on the island of Adak, a cave will be found filled with gold.
A young boy with curly blond hair will find it and claim he is the reincarnation of the person who put it there.
[?]

Several satellite stations, floating above major cities, will convert solar energy into microwaves which will be beamed back to
earth. Here the waves will be converted into conventional electrical energy.
[Not as far as I know!]

1995
Space miners from earth - searching for iron, nickel, lead and other metals -
will
discover instruments and mining tools left not only on the moon but on several
asteroids. They were abandoned by space miners from other worlds.
[wrong!]

A presently unknown hybrid plant similar to rice will be grown in seawater. It
will be rich in nutrients and become a staple food popular around the world.
[??]

A dam will be built across the Bering Strait between Alaska and the Soviet
Union.

[Incorrect; anyway, the Soviet Union ceased to exist in 1991]

1996
In a desert area of Southern California, a ship will be unearthed that holds a
great store of pearls.
[??]

1998.
A shiny armor resembling that worn in battle long ago will again be used by
soldiers. It will give them ten times their normal strength. This armour
will be equipped with laser weapons that can be discharged by merely lifting
an arm
or pointing a finger. It will also have built-in laser deflectors to protect
against
attack.
[If this has happened, I haven't heard about it yet!]

2000
People will be living up to 150 years. By this time, we will be only a decade
away
from finding a cure for every know illness of the 20th century.

[I wish!]

You will be able to walk across the Atlantic Ocean. There will be many cities
on this ocean, linked by flexible bridges.
[No!]

Parents will no longer worry when their children get lost in public
places. Each child will wear a tag - resembling a watch or bracelet- which is
tuned in to the parent's matching tag. Either the child can be signalled to
return or the parents can tune in and see as well as hear what the child is
doing.
People who let their pets out of the yard will have a similar device to keep
them from getting lost or stolen.
[I "suspect" that this is true, and the year is about right]


Space cities will be built. They will be complete with trees, houses, lakes
and mountains. Independant of earth, they will be supplied by mines on the
moon
and nearby asteroids, and they will support themselves by selling solar
energy,
unique manufactured goods, scientific information and astronomical
photographs.
[Wrong]

I do not foresee disarmament. War weapons will continue to proliferate. The
fear
of nuclear war will always be present, but such a war will never actually come
to pass.

[Correct - so far]

Wars of the distant future will be fought largely by robots, on electronic
battlefields, hopefully far away from the planet earth.
[Wrong]

Other references:

1. http://www.ntskeptics.org/1989/1989janu ... ry1989.htm
2. http://www.columbian.com/news/strange/q ... atural.cfm
[for predictions up to 1997]
3. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ ... i_19267327


--
http://www.paullee.com
http://www.btinternet.com/~dr_paul_lee/zzq.shtml
 

GNC

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#2
I have this book, and it's full of stuff like that. In fact it gets a bit repetitive with all those hopeless predictions, although the chapter on predictions that came true is interesting.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#4
One of the predictions that linked both psychics and futurists during the late 1970s and very early 1980s was that World War III would break out between the Soviet Union and the Free World circa 1984-1986 and last through most of the rest of that decade, ending with the fall of the Soviets and the triumph of the West.

Question - were these people foreseeing the end of the Soviets, and erroneously assuming that that was going to have to be incredibly bloody, or was this all simply a meaningless co-incidence?
 

filcee

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#5
DrPLee said:
...Argentina and Chile will dispute ownership of several small islands. Peru and Bolivia will side with Argentina.

[In 1982, Argentina invaded the UK's Falkland Islands; Peru proposed a peace plan according to Wikipedia; ]
[I can find no record of Chile disputing ownership of any islands] ...
Chile, although officialy neutral during the war, provided intelligence support to the UK, and considered a border offensive against Argentina to draw troops away from the Falklands.
BBC News item - June '05
In 1978, 150+ years of tension over three islands in the Beagle Channel nearly resulted in war between Chile and Argentina. This conflict was only resolved in 1984 after the intervention of the Pope.
Wiki article
 

Forever_S

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#7
http://www.network54.com/Forum/249341/

This must be the worst psychics site on the internet. Since May they have been trying to psychically solve what happened to Madeleine McCann. There were about 2000 posts on there, some of them were nasty psychological messages to the abductors, trying to make them feel guilty for what they did. They were so convinced important people were reading the forum they did that. What a bunch of....

Anyway, they deleted all the posts for fear of being wrong, no explanation to anybody who inquired. Mine were also deleted, all I had written were that I thought roadworks were significant - it got deleted as well.
 

escargot

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#8
That site has a 'find psychic services in your area' section. I had a look at my county, and found a service offered by a group led by a former neighbour of mine.

I bet strange things happen when they turn up. Stuff disappearing for a start, as their leader is from a notorious local family of thieves. :lol:
 

Fizz32

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#9
But shouldn't they contact you? Surely you should get a phone call out of the blue saying "I sense you need a psychic." ;)
 
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#10
I used to get a lot of junk mail from some psychic claiming that my name and address had "leapt out at her" from a list and that I urgently needed to buy a psychically charged amulet right away.

The letters were written in that particularily annoying style of junk mail writing where they use your name at least once in every sentence. Mr Graylien - don't miss this unique opportunity to attract good fortune! This unique amulet will be personally charged with magical energies for you, Mr Graylien! And so on.
 

Fizz32

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#11
graylien said:
I used to get a lot of junk mail from some psychic claiming that my name and address had "leapt out at her" from a list and that I urgently needed to buy a psychically charged amulet right away.

The letters were written in that particularily annoying style of junk mail writing where they use your name at least once in every sentence. Mr Graylien - don't miss this unique opportunity to attract good fortune! This unique amulet will be personally charged with magical energies for you, Mr Graylien! And so on.
Was this about four or five years ago, Graylien? I had some very similar mail for a while. I wasn't falling for that, especially as the letter was addressed to Mr, followed by my fairly unambiguously female first name, followed by my wrongly spelt surname. This person may have been psychic but these powers did not extend to their word processing software.
 
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#12
Yeah, it would have been around then. If I remember rightly, the psychic was based in Switzerland. The letters were often at least 3 pages long, and very repetitive.
 

Fizz32

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#13
That sounds just like the ones I got, Graylien.

Obviously we have very distinctive names and addresses that "leap out" at psychics. I don't know about you, but my name and address obviously leaps out at the Reader's Digest and loan companies, too.
 

Forever_S

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#14
Yes I got a couple of those but anyone with any sense knows it's a marketing ploy. Some people would have responded and that fake psychic would have made thousands of pounds conning the public. Personally I think if you have the gift you shouldn't charge for helping people because it's the sort of thing that can go wrong at any time and psychics don't seem to know the difference between paranoia, creativity and real natural psychic energies. I've had more trouble with people who think they are psychic than you know, they are a total nightmare. And yes I think I may be tapping into something now and again but I look at it as... reading a record rather than disturbing the dead or the future or whatever.
 

Rrose_Selavy

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#15
I still want to know when we are going to get all this really cheap energy that was supposed to come with Nuclear Power, solar, etc - with each technological breakthrough it never comes does it?

You can bet that if Fusion becomes a reality the cost of energy won't be drastically reduced to the consumer.

-
 

OldTimeRadio

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#16
Fizz32 said:
Obviously we have very distinctive names and addresses that "leap out" at psychics. I don't know about you, but my name and address obviously leaps out at the Reader's Digest and loan companies, too.
In the United States it's possible to purchase Zip Code mailing lists with the addresses pre-selected for wealthy neighborhoods, university neighborhoods, a high percentage of elderly and so on.

With my fingertips held to my temples AND those mailing lists spread out before me wealthy retired university faculty members would psychically "leap out" at me, too.

Then all I'd need extra is a second-hard Nehru jacket and a terry-cloth towel turban.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#17
One of my own entirely non-psychic predictions I'd like to forget is one I made around 1995 that come 1999 some tin-horn dictator of some really obscure third world country would rise up and claim to be the Antichrist....just to grab his 15 minutes of world fame.

I genuinely believed this was a safe bet, even a sucker one.

Turns out I was the sucker.
 

stu neville

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#18
Rrose_Selavy said:
...you can bet that if Fusion becomes a reality the cost of energy won't be drastically reduced to the consumer.
Yeah, it's a fair wager that the power companies will all start claiming that it's the delivery that costs, as opposed to the generation (which water companies do already - when our rivers, lakes etc were much more polluted they used to state that purification was the expensive bit, but now it's all about the infrastructure. Have bills gone down? No. Have they got shareholders, though, he asked rhetorically...)
 
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#19
OldTimeRadio said:
One of my own entirely non-psychic predictions I'd like to forget is one I made around 1995 that come 1999 some tin-horn dictator of some really obscure third world country would rise up and claim to be the Antichrist....just to grab his 15 minutes of world fame.

I genuinely believed this was a safe bet, even a sucker one.

Turns out I was the sucker.
Maye you were just a bit out. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the Iranian Dictator wants to prepare for the coming of the Mahdi. Maybe Allah will reveal to him that Mahmoud himself is the Mahdi.
 

rynner2

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#20
Bill Gates and Sir Alan Sugar made some of worst technology predictions of all time
Microsoft boss Bill Gates and millionaire British businessman Sir Alan Sugar have made two of the worst technology predictions of all time.

By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Editor
Last Updated: 5:02PM GMT 09 Dec 2008

They are both included in a list that highlights how even the brightest and the best have got it spectacularly wrong.

The list of the ten worst predictions is published by T3, the gadget magazine.

Bill Gates back in 1981 allegedly said that nobody would ever need more than 640 kilobytes of memory on their personal computer. Most machines now are [] sold with at least 2 gigabytes of memory – 3,500 times the amount Mr Gates supposedly predicted.

The Microsoft founder makes another appearances in the list, saying at the 2004 World Economic Forum: "Two years from now, spam will be solved." There is clearly much work to be done on that front.

People have variously written off television, X-rays, telephones and jumbo jets as well as predicting that nuclear vacuum cleaners would become a feature in people's homes.

But perhaps the prediction that was proved wrong almost instantaneously was the one made by Sir Alan in an interview with the Daily Telegraph in February 2005. The founder of Amstrad said: "Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput."

Since he shared this prediction, iPod, the digital music player from Apple has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the must-have gadgets of the last decade. There have now been 174 million of the players sold since launch.

Michael Brook, the editor of the magazine, said: "Despite their massive success, both Gates and Sugar have clearly made the odd suspect call and it's easily done.

"What seems like the greatest idea to an educated, complex mind may well slip through the cracks and miss the mass market by a country mile. As with everything, winning the gadget game is generally a case of 'the simpler, the better.'"

1. The iPod will never take off – Sir Alan Sugar in 2005

2. No need for a computer in the home – Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corp in 1977

3. "Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years" – Alex Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Corp vacuum company

4. TV won't last because people would, "soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night" – Darryl Zanuck in 1946

5. In 1933, after the first flight of the Boeing 247, a plane that could hold ten people, a proud Boeing engineer reportedly said, "There will never be a bigger plane built."

6. "We stand on the threshold of rocket mail" – US postmaster general Arthur Summerfield in 1959

7. Nobody would ever need more than 640KB of memory on their personal computer– Bill Gates in 1981, allegedly.

8. "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys" – Sir William Preece, chief engineer at the Post Office in 1878

9. Spam will be solved – Bill Gates, 2004.

10. "X-rays will prove to be a hoax" – Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, in 1883.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandte ... -time.html
 

crossetti

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#21
We have a book at home from aroung 1993 or so about Nostradamus predictions (or, at least, the author's interpretation of them). Quite funny to read what was apparently to take place in the past decade without anybody noticing, including aliens landing and revealing themselves to the whole world. There's even a prediction about Tom Cruise contributing to some charity - good to know Nostradamus could forsee such important things!
 
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