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 group, in conjunction with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI, formerly CSICOP), offers $50,000 to anyone who can prove paranormal ability under scientific test conditions.
A preliminary test for the $50,000 prize is scheduled
for this Saturday, March 17th, at 4pm PDT (-7 UTC/GMC)
at the Center for Inquiry in Hollywood
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
The press is welcome to attend, but must register with the IIG to observe. (see contact numbers below)
The Preliminary Demonstration will be live streamed on UStream
This weekend’s test features Lewis Rees, 71, who claims to be able to detect water using dowsing rods. Rees will travel to Los Angeles this weekend from Phoenix, AZ to be tested for his alleged ability. To confirm this age-old belief, Mr. Rees will dowse 15 cardboard boxes, each of which conceals a 1 gallon plastic jug. Fourteen of the jugs will contain dry sand, and one of the jugs will be filled with water. He will have to accurately choose the jug with the water in each of three trials. Rees claims he can do this with 100% accuracy, and so must guess correctly all three times to qualify for the $50,000 prize.
The odds to do this by chance alone are 3375 to 1. If Rees fails, he will become ineligible to apply for the $50,000 for one year.
The IIG was founded in January of 2000 in Los Angeles by James Underdown, Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry– Los Angeles, an educational not-for-profit dedicated to scientific inquiry and secular values. There are now six IIG groups in the U.S. and Canada. The original group in Los Angeles is joined by groups in Denver, Washington D.C., Atlanta, San Francisco Bay Area, and Alberta, Canada.
“The whole idea was to get people participating in their own quest for the truth about extraordinary claims.” Underdown said. “Being
a partof an investigation is a much more powerful experience than just reading about it or seeing it on TV.”
CSI and IIG investigations and investigators have been featured in numerous television shows including
Weird or What?, Oprah Winfrey Network’s
Penn & Teller: Bullshit!,and many others. Numerous books are based on these organizations’ inquiries; countless articles have appeared in
Skeptical Inquirermagazine and dozens of other publications.