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Lightning Man
June 25, 2020
In what might be a first, skeptics tested a prize-seeking paranormal claimant during a pandemic.  On Saturday June 20th, 2020 the Center for Inquiry Investigations Group tested an applicant for our $250,000 Paranormal Challenge. Representing the CFIIG in the CFI West parking lot were Jim U., Jim N., Spencer M., Paula L., Mike S., Michael …
 
Dead or Alive?
June 24, 2020
By Lou Hillman and Stan West The Center for Inquiry Investigations Group (CFIIG) offers $250,000 to anyone who believes he or she has a paranormal power that can be demonstrated under controlled conditions. Mirko Janchevski, from Macedonia, applied for our challenge in October of 2018, claiming to be able to tell if someone is alive …
Tyler Henry Still Silent after $250,000 Offer from L.A. Skeptics
January 29, 2020
For Immediate Release Hollywood Medium Dodges Proof of Ability Los Angeles, CA: The Los Angeles-based Center for Inquiry Investigations Group (CFIIG) has heard nothing for months after challenging Tyler Henry, the reality star of the TV show Hollywood Medium, to demonstrate his “extraordinary” ability. The skeptic group offers $250,000 to anyone who can prove psychic ability under scientific …
Resources
The Skeptic’s DictionaryDefinitions, arguments, and essays on occult topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies. The Fallacy FilesLogical fallacies in action. QuirkologyUsing mainstream methods to investigate unusual topics, and unusual methods to investigate mainstream topics. Skeptic EyeFrom the United Kingdom, An educational resource on the paranormal, pseudoscientific, and the supernatural. Bad PsychicsShowing up the bad psychics …
Home
Can You Prove The Supernatural? The Center for Inquiry Investigations Group wants to investigate! If you can prove your ability under scientific testing conditions, you can win $250,000. Who We Are The CFI IG is the largest paranormal investigation group in the world, with affiliates in several countries. Join Us Learn how to help us …
 
Salton Sea Earth Curvature Test
June 7, 2018
Greetings! The Independent Investigations Group is seeking Flat Earth proponents to participate in a test of the Earth's surface to be held at the Salton Sea. National Geographic will be on hand to film the proceedings, and noted Flat Earth YouTuber Mark Sargent will be participating in the ..
 
Light Bulb Luminosity Demonstration
March 20, 2018
On September 23, 2017, the IIG Los Angeles tested an applicant’s claim that he could alter the brightness of a light bulb using only psychic ability. A special thanks to Mike Skor who lent advice on light meters and testing methodology. The Venue Photography lab dark room in the Oklahoma City area. The Applicant The …
Indie Bohemians’ Podcast
July 7, 2016
CFI: Dissecting the Paranormal, Pursuing Reason Ron Placone and James Underdown discuss the concept of pseudoscience, the strong-hold of religion and tradition, the definition of atheism, Scientology, Roswell, Mediums and so so much more.
10th Annual IIG Awards This Sunday
May 20, 2016
For Immediate Release The IIG has announced the finalists to be honored in their 10th Annual IIG Awards ceremony recognizing the promotion of science in popular media. These include the TV series Adam Ruins Everything (TruTV), the feature film The Martian (20th Century Fox), the podcast Oh No! R ...
Dan Schneider: The Unexplained
April 23, 2016
Dan Schneider Video Interview #85: The Unexplained Host Dan Schneider interviews Matthew Lowry, the Skeptical Teacher, and IIG Chair James Underdown.
JU on The Sharin’ Hour
March 10, 2016
IIG Chair Jim Underdown chats with Laguna Beach radio host Sheran James about wild claims and how skeptics in the IIG go about testing them. The Sharin' Hour 3/6/16: THE INQUIRING MIND ($100,000 reward)
JU on the MOMO Show
February 12, 2015
IIG founder and CFI-LA executive director Jim Underdown joins comedic actresses Mo Gaffney and Morgan Walsh on The MoMo Show, a weekly podcast hosted by the two performers. This week they talk about God, ghosts, and crushing the hopes and dreams of believers.
Dice Test
January 14, 2015
The Independent Investigations Group recently tested a man from Texas who claimed he could use his mind to beat the "law of averages". . . would he astound the IIG or would the "law" finally catch up with him?
IIG Looks at the IAC
December 17, 2014
On November 13, 2014, a few representatives from the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) in Los Angeles visited one of the 3 U.S. locations for the International Academy of Consciousness (IAC) in Culver City, CA.
 
Telekinetic: Sam Chacon
September 21, 2014
In the summer of 2014, Sam Chacon applied to have his claimed telekinetic abilities tested by the IIG. Chacon, a gentleman in his 80's, claimed he could move a floating toothpick in a bowl of water using "emanations" from his hands. This is typical of telekinesis claims, in that t ...
The ‘Iggie’ Trophy
Recognizes a significant contribution for a specific project (movie, TV episode, article, book, etc.) related to the scope of the awards over the preceding 12 months (roughly). It’s usually given to the people responsible for producing the item (producer, director, writers, and so on). Past Winners 2012 Tim Minchin International live performer “Big Bang Theory” …
The Houdini Hall of Honor
There is another, special category of award, which is the induction of an individual into the CFIIG “Houdini Hall of Honor,” named after Harry Houdini, the role model for the CFIIG and all other investigators of the supernatural, and the first inductee. Houdini was really a major force attempting to educate the public about phony …
2nd Annual IIG Awards
The second annual IIG awards were held on June 23rd, 2008 (ignore that the poster says 2007 – long story). This was a quantum leap forward for the awards ceremony, as we began a practice we continue to this day – using comedians as presenters. Also, our lifetime achievement award was going to someone still …
5th Annual IIG Awards
IIG members and guests alike had a fantastic time at this year’s awards party on Friday, September 30th. There were appearances by Stevie Ray Fromstein, Ron Lynch, Emery Emery, musical group LA3Way (led by Karen Hart, the hard-rocking wife of IIG member Brian Hart) – not to mention a tiny UFO which may have tried …
1st Annual IIG Awards
The first annual IIG Awards took place on August 20th, 2007. We honored two TV shows, and were excited that representatives from the shows actually showed up to receive them in person. Mainstream Entertainment The first IIG award went to the episode of Fox’s “The Simpsons’ titled “Monkey Suit” which dealt with creationism in a …
4th Annual IIG Awards
The fourth annual IIG Awards coincided with the tenth anniversary of the IIG, thus leading to a confusingly titled event. This year, we packed the house with some of the great skeptics, skipped the Truly Terrible Television award, and made it a more high brow event. Mainstream Entertainment Two television shows got Iggies this year …
3rd Annual IIG Awards
The third annual IIG Awards was a star-studded spectacular featuring some of Hollywood’s greatest comics, and one of skepticism’s greatest investigators. It also featured the first time a TTTV award “winner” appeared on stage to receive the award, thanks to a little theatrical license. Truly Terrible Television/Mostly Miserable Movie Two awards for bad entertainment were …
7th Annual IIG Awards
There was no seven year itch for the IIG. The Iggies were still going strong, and we had another star-studded event. Musician Eric Schwartz opened the evening with a few of his delirious songs. We then saw the first appearance of “Denise” the overly aggressive stage manager of the Steve Allen Theater (actually actress Kipleigh …
6th Annual IIG Awards
The sixth annual IIG Awards brought musician Gary Stockdale, a new category – best web site – and also saw the return of Frank Conniff to present the TTTV. We’d post some video, but the master tape was destroyed. Eyewitnesses describe a man resembling Uri Geller fleeing from the editing bay. Okay, that second sentence …
8th Annual IIG Awards
The eighth annual IIG awards brought with it a new category – “Classic” – for those great TV shows of the past that never made it to the Iggies. Also, a major television show sent one of its stars to accept an award, and Ron Lynch accepted a TTTV award on behalf of the actual …
9th Annual IIG Awards
On June 28th, 2015, at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, the Independent Investigations Group (IIG)–a network of skeptical organizations affiliated with CSI–presented its ninth annual IIG Awards recognizing the promotionof science in the popular arts. The “Iggies” are the only such award offered in North America and the event drew the usual unique crowd …
10th Annual IIG Awards
On May 22nd, 2016, the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) presented its tenth annual IIG Awards recognizing the promotion of science in the popular arts. This was a big year, and science-lovers from all over Southern California flocked to the Steve Allen Theater to meet guest of honor Ann Druyan, the co-creator of Cosmos and the …
The Flying Reindeer Challenge
March 15, 2014
IIG member Dan Geduld gives us a rare, behind-the-scenes look into one of the world's most enduring extraordinary claims.
Our Friday the 13th Bash on KABC
October 21, 2013
Courtesy KABC-TV Los Angeles
James Underdown at SMC
October 19, 2013
The IIG's James Underdown spoke to the skeptics club at Santa Monica College on September 19th. To the presentation, Underdown came prepared like a devoted crusader with tools to demonstrate how the human eye can be easily fooled.
Our Friday the 13th Superstition Bash
September 25, 2013
In case you missed it, here's a great write-up from our friends at Park La Brea News Beverly Press: Members and supporters of the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles on Friday the 13th tested their (bad) luck by walking under ladders, hanging out with black cats and, of course, smashing mirrors. ...
2013 IIG Award Honorees Announced
July 19, 2013
For Immediate Release Eugenie Scott, The Onion, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" to be honored by Hollywood Skeptics at Annual Awards Ceremony on July 29th. Hollywood, CA. The Independent Investigations Group (IIG), the international skeptical research and science advocacy orga ...
Remote viewing case
July 1, 2013
IIG NW is currently working with a remote viewing claimant. More information will be published here as soon as we are able to do so.
Robbie Thomas and “Psychic Justice”
June 10, 2013
IIG Investigator Jarrett Kaufman reports on The BadCast about the self-proclaimed psychic Robbie Thomas. Listen to episode 14 here.
FAQs
How can I become a member? Email us (info@iighq.org), or phone+1(323) 666-9797, ext. 101for further details. Feel free to just show up at a meeting – walk-ins are always welcome! How do I find a meeting? The CFIIG-Los Angeles meets on the third Saturday of every month at 11 a.m. at the Center for Inquiry …
Join Us
The Center for Inquiry Investigations Group investigates fringe science, paranormal and extraordinary claims from a rational, scientific viewpoint, and disseminates factual information about such inquiries to the public. Although our testing is scientifically based, you don’t need to be a scientist to be a skeptical investigator. In fact, numerous charlatans have fooled professional scientists. All …
 
Robert Mooreland
June 1, 2012
Robert Mooreland, tested in June of 2012, claimed he could identify photographs without the use of sight. Date of demonstration: June 10, 2012 Lead Investigator: Wendy Hughes Co-lead investigator: Paula Lauterbach Article Wendy Hughes and Paula Lauterbach Photography Courtesy Paula Lauterbach, B ...
Awards
Paul Provenza, James Randi and James Underdown Being located in Hollywood, the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) was looking for a way to connect to our show business neighbors, and we decided to present an annual award for the promotion of science and reason in the popular arts. We decided to call it the “IIG Awards” …
The $250k Challenge
Can you demonstrate paranormal ability? Are you interested in earning $250,000 dollars? The Center for Inquiry Investigations Group (CFIIG) at the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles offers a $250,000 prize to anyone who can show, under scientific testing conditions, significant evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power. The CFIIG works with the applicant in designing …
In the Media
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About
What is the Center for Inquiry Investigations Group? Originally called the Independent Investigations Group (IIG), the CFIIG was founded in 2000 as the brainchild of CFI-Los Angeles Executive Director James Underdown. Underdown’s goal is to “spread a plague of skepticism across the world” by pooling the talents of inquiring minds to investigate wild claims and test those who made …
Investigators To Test Dowser In Hollywood, CA
March 15, 2012
For Immediate Release $50,000 Award on the Line Hollywood, CA:The world's largest paranormal investigations team, the Independent Investigations Group (IIG), has for over 12 years examined claims concerning psychics, dowsers, wacky medical claims, telepaths, UFOs, and ghost stories. The gro ..
 
Lewis Rees
February 1, 2012
Lewis Rees visits the IIG in Hollywood in the attempt to showcase his dowsing abilities. Date of demonstration:March 17, 2012Lead Investigator:Spencer MarksArticle:Spencer MarksPhotography:Courtesy Brian Hart and Mark Johnson Source of Contact On January 23rd, 2012, the Independent Investigation ...
 
Nick Nelson
November 1, 2011
Nick Nelson, tested by the IIG in April of 2011, claimed that he could create "vortexes" around himself that changed the size he appeared in photographs. Date of demonstration:April 30, 2011Lead Investigator:Mark Edward and Steve MuscarellaArticleMark Edward and Dave RichardsPhotograph ..
 
Phillip Lee
February 1, 2011
In August of 2011 the IIG tested Philip Lee's claim that he could hear people speaking from great distances and through soundproof barriers; he believed himself to be the most powerful clairaudient in the world. Date of demonstration:August 21, 2011
 
Power Balance Experiment
November 1, 2010
On October 21, 2010, the IIG Los Angeles conducted a test of the "Power Balance" bracelets in conjunction with Yahoo! News. The Power Balance products are said to allow athletes to perform at their best, maximizing strength, balance, and flexibility . The active component giving the bracelet this ability is a hologram embedded in the plastic wristband.
 
Regen Traynor
August 26, 2010
Preliminary Demonstration - Regen Traynor failed the Preliminary Demonstration.
 
Anita Ikonen
November 30, 2009
On July 16th, 2007, a Swedish national who, as of 2010, is a science undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, contacted the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) to inquire about our $50,000 Challenge. Anita claimed that she could look into the human body and diagnose many different types of physical or medical anomalies. She claimed many other paranormal powers including:
 
California Board of Registered Nursing Investigation
November 1, 2009
The Independent Investigations Group investigates pseudoscience; particularly therapeutic touch in professional nursing. Just how well regulated is nursing in California? Presentation Video Presentation of CBRN Investigation by Brian Hart at the 2010 TAM8 Conference in Las Vegas Part 1
Psychic “Eyes” $50,000 Prize!
October 25, 2009
For Immediate Release Hollywood skeptics to determine if applicant can “see” inside the human body Hollywood, CA, October 25, 2009 – The Independent Investigations Group – L.A.’s premiere skeptical organization – has been challenging would be psychics by offering them $50,000 cash if they can prove their abilities. Now, Anita Ikonen – a 26 year …
IIG on KCET’s Life and Times
December 19, 2007
On December 11th, Val Zavala of KCET'sLife and Times filmed a story about the IIG and its parent organization, the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles . Coming to the end of its 16 year run,Life and Timeshas chronicled local stories and current events in Southern California. CFI and IIG were hon ...
 
Steven Greer Speaks at MUFON
November 10, 2007
The event was held at the Costa Mesa Community Center. Here's the link to the program announcement: http://mufonoc.org/past_speakers.htm This report is from memory, reinforced by later visiting some of the websites listed here. I didn't take notes, so the facts, figures and quotes may not be exact.
Hollywood Investigation Group to Present Annual Awards
August 9, 2007
For Immediate Release Hollywood, CA.The Independent Investigations Group (IIG) at the Center for Inquiry–Los Angeles has announced their annual awards recognizing the advancement of science in movies and television. The IIG is the oldest and largest investigative group, and premier skeptical organization, in Los Angeles. The IIG awards program recognizes movies, television shows, and people …
 
Aulterra Neutralizer
November 18, 2006
The Aulterra Company sells a product called a "Neutralizer" which they claim protects the user from cancer-causing radio waves emitted by cellular phones and other appliances.
 
Carla Baron, “Psychic Detective”
August 23, 2006
The Independent Investigations Group has been examining the public claims of Carla Baron – a self-proclaimed "psychic detective" who has solved fifty cases in the past twenty years, or has solved no cases in the past three years, depending on whether you believe her or us.
 
Gravity Hill
January 7, 2006
In the fall of 2005 it was suggested the IIG investigate a "mystery spot" just to the North of Los Angeles nicknamed "Gravity Hill" by the local residents. This spot was described as a place on a road where vehicles roll uphill. It was felt this would be a fun outing and a wa ...
 
See Clearly Method
October 1, 2005
In the Summer of 2004 the IIG launched an investigation into the so-called "See Clearly Method" for vision improvement. This was a product being heavily advertised on radio and television, with celebrity spokesperson Mariette Hartley . One of our members called the toll-free number and
 
The Fullerton Phantom
September 10, 2005
In January of this year, a family in the city of Fullerton, California contacted the IIG regarding strange occurrences in their home. An IIG delegation visited the home in April to investigate the report. The family consists of a husband and wife, their 11-year old son, two daughters under the a
Bad Psychics Interviews IIG
December 17, 2004
Bad Psychics asks about the history of IIG, our investigation of Carla Baron, and plays a word association test.
UFO Believer Fails Challenge To Prove His Claim!
March 3, 2004
For Immediate Release Proponent Unwilling to Provide Evidence to Back His Claim Los Angeles, CA: For the past three years, Michael Horn, the self-described Authorized American Media Representative for The Billy Meier Contacts, has been claiming that the Center for Inquiry-West (CFI-West) has failed to prove that the Billy Meier photographs are a hoax and …
Skeptic Group Refutes Famous UFO Claim Fakes Indistinguishable from “Real” UFOs
February 13, 2004
For Immediate Release Los Angeles, CA: Recently, an article appeared in the Sun tabloid and on a UFO website (www.theyfly.com) claiming that the Center for Inquiry-West and the Independent Investigations Group (IIG) have by default proven that Billy Meier’s UFO photos are real. This is false for at least two reasons: First, our delay in …
 
Alien Skull Investigation
February 12, 2004
The IIG was contacted on December 15, 2003, by a gentleman claiming that he believed that he was in possession of an "alien skull." He subsequently submitted numerous photographs of the object, which on first glance looked like a rock that resembled a face, the "features" of
Spoonbending
April 6, 2003
Marla Brucker, Ph.D., RHA, makes good money teaching spoonbending at Los Angeles’s notorious Learning Annex. She claims she can teach you to use psychokinesis (telekinesis’s kid sister) to bend a spoon using the power of your mind. We attended one of her classes, where she did indeed teach people to bend spoons – by holding …
The Oklahoma Ghost
January 2, 2003
The night watchman at an auto graveyard in Oklahoma saw something strange on the security camera. He rewound the tape, and saw what looked like a glowing humanoid figure hovering over the cars! The IIG has obtained the tape, and we suspect it is either a bug flying very close to the lens (thus appearing …
James Van Praagh
January 1, 2003
In our most clandestine operation to date, we attended a taping of James Van Praagh’s syndicated series “Beyond,” in order to document the difference between what actually occurred at the taping and how it appeared on TV after editing. As we suspected, there were many significant differences. Our favorite Van Praagh moment:   “You almost …
The Hollywood Haunted House
January 1, 2002
“David” and “Eileen” believed that their house in the Hollywood Hills was home to ghosts. They both provided vivid descriptions of their sightings, including an animal hovering by their bed, and other ghastly presences. We visited their home where the experiences took place, and interviewed them separately. We discovered their descriptions of their shared “sightings” …
Aura Reading
August 1, 2001
Pamala Oslie claims that she can read the invisible “color-energy field” surrounding humans, and tell us about their personalities, their health, relationships, career aspirations, etc. We presented Ms. Oslie with 19 individuals who had filled out questionnaires addressing these topics for us in advance. Then, Ms. Oslie attempted to discover those details via reading the …
Psychic Mutt Discovered!
January 25, 2001
But can Sparky really read minds? With a $1 million prize at stake, professional skeptics at L.A.'s Center for Inquiry -- West are about to put the "wonder dog" to the test. Originally published by New Times Los Angeles January 25, 2001 ©2001 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved. F ...
Telekinetic Box
September 1, 2000
Mark Joramo’s Telekinetic Box Mark Joramo had constructed an ingenious device–a cardboard box containing a suspended foil-wrapped index card under a small fan. Mark claimed he could flip the card using telekinesis–the ability to move physical objects with the power of the mind. In our controlled tests, we determined the foil card flipped about 50% …
Sparky the Wonder Dog
July 1, 2000
Gordie Rosenberg’s dog Sparky was our first non-human applicant. Rosenberg claimed that Sparky could bark a number between one and six by reading the chosen number from Gordie’s mind. We suspected that Rosenberg was sending unconscious non-verbal cues (body language) to Sparky, and when we conducted our test with Rosenberg out of Sparky’s sight, Sparky’s …
Dowsing for Truth
May 1, 2000
Frank Mashenko came to us claiming to be able to dowse for hidden metal using two thin wires, not unlike coat hangers. As agreed in advance, we placed copper wire in one of several rolled-up newspapers (the others had nothing in them), and asked Frank to find the newspaper with the wire in it. Frank …