Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Alleged Psychic Sylvia Browne's 2007 Predictions: Success Rate

My recent writing of a summary of the predictions of alleged psychic Sylvia Browne for the year 2008 lead to a discussion among some friends and I about Browne’s success rate for the predictions she made on Montel for the year 2007. With a little research I was able to find both a succinct list of her predictions, given on a December 27, 2006 airing of Montel, and enough information to determine if they were either a “hit,” correct, or a “miss,” incorrect. Before I get to the success rate of Browne’s 2007 predictions, I feel I must mention the website http://www.mondoskepto.com/, where I found the succinct list of Browne’s 2007 predictions. (Specifically, this page: http://www.mondoskepto.com/node/192)

As with my previous note, the predictions, 13 in all, will be presented in a simple list format along with some of my own commentary and a link to a news story or other source, should such a source be applicable. The quotes of both Browne and Montel Williams were obtained from http://www.mondoskepto.com/

1. Browne predicted that Jennifer Lopez will not have a baby in 2007, saying that Lopez wants to but that “there’s something wrong there.” Technically, this prediction came true. However, according to an article in People Magazine, Lopez confirmed in 2007 that she is pregnant with twins. There doesn’t seem to be anything “wrong” with Lopez at all.
Prediction #1: Miss
Source: http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20159086,00.html

2. Browne predicted that reality TV star Nicole Richie will end up in the hospital. “I mean, this is serious,” Browne said, “We’re not talking about some little, ‘Let’s go and check you out.’” According to an article in US Magazine, Richie was briefly hospitalized in March of 2007. Quoted from the article, “At the hospital, Richie was given fluids and promptly released.” It seems that Richie’s hospital stay was exactly what most people would describe as “some little, “Let’s go and check you out.’”
Prediction #2: Miss
Source: http://www.usmagazine.com/nicole_richie_hospitalized

3. Browne predicted that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will “be instrumental in helping the campaign,” here I’m presuming that Browne means the presidential campaign. In the whole of 2007, Speaker Pelosi did not announce her candidacy for president or do anything else that would be deemed news-worthy having to do with any Democratic candidates for president.
Prediction #3: Miss

4. Browne predicted that there will be a “breakthrough in Hepatitis C.” The only breakthrough I could find was reported in 2006.
Prediction #4: Miss
Source: http://www.wqad.com/Global/story.asp?S=3340337

5. Browne predicted that polio and whooping cough will be “coming back.” This is simply untrue. As of December 25, 2007, there were 895 reported cases of polio globally; that’s compared to 1848 reported cases globally in 2006. Source: http://www.polioeradication.org/casecount.asp I was unable to find any figures for cases of whopping cough globally, but chances are such a disease “coming back” would have made the news.
Prediction #5: Miss

6. Browne predicted that depression would be linked to the one’s diet. The Guardian reported on a paper making this exact same statement in January of 2006.
Prediction #6: Miss
Source:http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1686730,00.html?gusrc=rss

7. Browne predicted that a new drug will be released—having something to do with amino acids, she was not specific—to combat AIDS. Montel asked if it would put AIDS into remission, and Browne answered in the affirmative. A new drug was released, but does not put AIDS into remission and has nothing to do with amino acids. Plus, it was reported in 2006.
Prediction #7: Miss
Source: http://www.aidsmeds.com/news/am20060623.html

8. Browne predicted that the East Coast will have “one of the mildest winters ever.” Now, presuming she means the winter in the leading months of 2007, January, February, etc, Browne was correct. However, the National Weather Service made the same prediction in October of 2006, a full two months before Browne’s prediction. Source: http://www.weather.gov/climate/l3mto.php The winter in the trailing months of 2007, November, December, etc, was anything but mild. Quoted from the USA Today, “The Northeast region's latest winter storm has left several more inches of snow, causing major problems with holiday travel Friday at Boston's Logan International Airport.” Source: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/delays/2007-12-21-holidaytravel_N.htm
Prediction #8: Miss

9. Browne offered a vague warning about tsunamis, about which Montel asked if they were going to cause flooding in the southern United States, to which Browne answered in the affirmative. There was no tsunami which caused any sort of flooding in the southern United States.
Prediction #9: Miss

10. Browne predicted “volcanoes erupting everywhere,” offering her usual level of specificity. Montel asked about Mexico, Hawaii and “the pacific,” to which Browne answered in the affirmative. No volcano erupted in Mexico in 2007, and Kilauea in Hawaii has been erupting effusively, read: non-explosively, since the mid-1990s.
Prediction #10: Miss

11. Browne said that she has “always been worried about a tsunami hitting New York” and made it seem that this was going to happen in 2007. No tsunami hit New York in 2007.
Prediction #11: Miss

12. Browne predicted that terrorist attacks would occur in England, Spain and France. No such events happened in 2007.
Prediction #12: Miss

13. With regards to terrorism, Browne said that she was “worried about trucks and trains in the Unites States.” No such terrorist attacks happened in the United States in 2007.
Prediction #13: Miss

I’ll admit, I was a bit disappointed when Montel failed to review Browne’s predictions for 2007 at the beginning of the episode in which Browne offered her predictions for 2008. But now, the reason why Montel did not has become all too clear: Browne utterly failed on every single one of them.

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