Scott C. Frank of Homosassa, Florida ("Claimant"), was referred to the Tampa Bay Skeptics ("TBS") by
the James Randi Educational Foundation for screening/pre-testing. Claimant had previously contacted
JREF in quest of its $1,000,000 prize for scientific proof of paranormal ability.
Mr. Frank claims to possess "psychic" ability. Although he expressed a preference to demonstrate
his ability by doing personal "readings," we explained to him that such "cold readings" are too
subjective and too easily performed by non-psychics to qualify as evidence of psychic ability. Mr.
Frank then agreed that, instead, he would be able to successfully demonstrate to TBS the ability to
divine the contents of a sealed box, using only his mind (a test proposed by TBS Executive Director
Mr. Frank claims to possess "psychic" ability. Although he expressed a preference to demonstrate his ability by doing personal "readings," we explained to him that such "cold readings" are too subjective and too easily performed by non-psychics to qualify as evidence of psychic ability. Mr. Frank then agreed that, instead, he would be able to successfully demonstrate to TBS the ability to divine the contents of a sealed box, using only his mind (a test proposed by TBS Executive Director Gary Posner).
1) The formal testing shall not begin until and unless two copies of this document have first been signed by both the Claimant and two official representatives of TBS, signifying their agreement to all conditions specified herein and that the actual test conditions on site appear to be mutually satisfactory such that the Challenge may proceed.
2) Prior to the commencement of the formal testing, TBS shall surrender its $1,000 check to a mutually agreed-upon observer. The check shall be made out to Scott C. Frank.
3) TBS shall supply four sealed boxes, each containing one or more objects. The boxes shall remain in clear view of all parties throughout the test.
4) Claimant shall be allowed to lightly touch the boxes if he wishes, but will not be permitted to shake, lift, or in any way move any box. He may take as long as he wishes, in order to "psychically" determine their contents. He shall then declare to TBS which one of the four boxes he is getting the clearest "reading" from, and that box will become the official test box, and the others shall then be removed.
5) At any time prior to the completion of the test, should the Claimant or a designated TBS representative find that the test conditions have been violated or have otherwise become unsatisfactory, the Challenge shall immediately be temporarily suspended or voided. Completion of the test shall occur as soon as Claimant officially announces the contents of the selected box. TBS shall then declare the Challenge to have been concluded, and the contents of the box shall then be divulged.
6) Claimant must accurately describe the contents of the box in order to "win" the TBS "$1,000 Challenge." Some representative examples of the minimum degree of specificity required:
|Object in box||Minimum specificity||Insufficiently specific|
|Ace of spades||Playing card||Piece of paper|
|Dime||Coin||Piece of metal|
|Spoon||Fork or Spoon||Piece of metal|
|Candy bar||Wrapped chocolate||Piece of food|
|Can of soda||Can of food or drink||Piece of aluminum|
7) One must bear in mind that, even should Claimant succeed in winning the Challenge, the possibility of a fluke 1-in-?-million "lucky day" cannot be excluded as a possible explanation. Further testing, with similarly "successful" results, would be necessary in order to conclusively "prove" to TBS, and to the scientific community at large, that the Claimant truly possesses genuine "psychic" ability.
8) Should Claimant "win" the Challenge, TBS shall be obliged to:
a) immediately have the $1,000 check presented to Claimant (payment personally guaranteed by this document's signatories representing TBS). Should Claimant not win, the check shall be returned to TBS.
b) promptly issue a Press Release and write an article for publication describing Claimant's successful performance
c) promptly engage the James Randi Educational Foundation to test Claimant for its $1,000,000 prize
9) Should Claimant fail to win the Challenge, TBS shall have the right to:
a) issue a Press Release announcing Claimant's unsuccessful performance and inability during this experiment to demonstrate for TBS sufficient evidence of his "psychic" power
b) write articles about the test for publication
c) use the videotape(s) in any appropriate and lawful manner
10) All signatories to this agreement declare that the above conditions have been mutually agreed upon, are fair, and appear to constitute a valid means of scientifically testing for the Claimant's alleged "psychic" ability.
11) By entering into this agreement, Claimant surrenders any and all rights to legal action (as far as this may be done by existing statutes) against Tampa Bay Skeptics, Inc., and its representatives. This clause applies to injury, accident, or any other damage of any kind, including physical, emotional, financial and/or professional.
Signed freely and without reservation on this 15th day of December, 2001.
Scott C. Frank ("Claimant")
Return to Spring 2002 TBS Report
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