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Tags phil jordan , psychic detectives

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Old 10th February 2008, 08:22 PM   #1
Rodney
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Post Phil Jordan and the 1975 Tommy Kennedy Case

I just watched a"Psychic Investigators" show on the Biography channel that is well summarized on this link -- http://www.victorzammit.com/afterlif...etectives.html

"Five year old Tommy Kennedy disappears. Parents frantic. Over 100 voluntary searchers fail to locate Tommy. No clues left. Situation, desperate and hopeless. Detective Dave Redsicker from Tioga County Sherrif Department calls in a gifted psychic because he knows time is of the essence to locate the missing five year old boy, Tommy Kennedy. Brilliant gifted psychic Phil Jordan is called by the police to locate the boy. Although psychic Phil Jordan had never been in the woods where the lost boy was believed to be missing, this gifted psychic draws a most vital map. This map showed among other things: near a lake; three boats beside the lake; a building across from the boats; a waterfall; a field; a young boy under a tree. The chief of the local volunteers Richard Clark said he was stunned at the accuracy of the map and the leads. Detective Dave Redsicker said it was his first case working with a psychic. The leaders of the search, the police and the Tigoa County Search & Rescue gave unqualified credit to Phil Jordan for finding the missing boy. So much so that the Tioga County Sheriff had him sworn in as a Deputy to assist in other cases."

Now, let's consider Joe Nickell's version of events at http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-116585761.html --

"Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details. It was apparently of little use in the search, during which Jordan supposedly received vibrations telling him "to go here, to go there" . . . Jordan had, by his own admission, chosen an area of the woods that 'no one had searched' . . . 'Just as I was ready to give up, he says, 'I looked down and saw the footprint of a young barefoot human headed up the trail.' Even with such good luck, Jordan happened to be elsewhere--in a ravine--when other searchers in the party actually located the lost child."

From Nickell's account, you would never know that Detective Redsicker gives Jordan full credit for saving Kennedy's life and that the Tioga County Sheriff had Jordan sworn in as a Deputy. Does Nickell have anyone that contradicts the County Sheriff? He doesn't seem to, he merely vaguely contends that his investigation revealed inconsistencies and contradictions. But his trump card appears to be that Jordan could not see through the fact that Nickell later presented himself to Jordan as "Johnny Adams" and disguised his appearance! Yet another case of a supposedly objective skeptic employing the very deception that they accuse psychics of. But, of course, it's in a worthy cause because everyone knows that there is no such thing as a true psychic detective -- no matter how many police officers disagree.
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Old 11th February 2008, 02:34 AM   #2
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So you have 2 conflicting accounts.

What additional information did you use to come to the conclusion as to which was correct?

Last edited by chillzero; 11th February 2008 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 11th February 2008, 03:13 AM   #3
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How come they only solve random criminal cases of little consequence (in comparison to what they could be doing with their gifts) to society as a whole?

That's what I would like to know.
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Old 11th February 2008, 08:18 AM   #4
Rodney
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Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
So you have 2 conflicting accounts.

What additional information did you use to come to the conclusion as to which was correct?
The television show, which featured several people involved in the search stating categorically that it was Jordan who led searchers to the missing boy. Does Nickell have anyone who contradicts them?
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Old 11th February 2008, 08:30 AM   #5
Rodney
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Originally Posted by Normal Dude View Post
How come they only solve random criminal cases of little consequence (in comparison to what they could be doing with their gifts) to society as a whole?
Are you conceding that psychics have solved some cases, such as this one?

Originally Posted by Normal Dude View Post
That's what I would like to know.
You're raising a philosophical question that isn't relevant to this thread. But, if you want my opinion (and I'm sure you do ), if psychics could foresee everything, the world would be a very dull place.
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Old 11th February 2008, 09:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
The television show, which featured several people involved in the search stating categorically that it was Jordan who led searchers to the missing boy. Does Nickell have anyone who contradicts them?
So you have no further research or information or evidence, other than these two conflicting reports?
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Old 11th February 2008, 09:57 AM   #7
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Rodney, chillzero's question is a legitimate one, and the key to all of this.

You've presented quite a few media-reported "psychic-solves-mystery" case, and the best that has ever happened is that they have not been actively disproven. Not a single one actually has legitimate evidence supporting the claim.

Law enforcment officials say the psychic helped? Okay. As has been discussed ad nauseum, law enforcement officials are as susceptible as anyone to confirmation bias and what have you. Without the actual evidence and case notes demonstrating that the psychic helped, it still means nothing.

But that assumes it's taken alone, as if in a vacuum; taking it that way would be a mistake.

Does the sheriff really think Jordan solved that case? Great. How many subsequent cases did the sheriff get Jordan to help solve? Hundreds? Twenty? Even dozen? One? Or is it none? Where are the follow-on cases that this amazing psychic solved after proving himself so ably on the Kennedy case?

You are one of the smarter and better informed believers on this forum, Rodney, so your behavior as it relates to this sort of claim is doubly puzzling.

You know about confirmation bias.

You know about the need for the actual evidence and not filtered testimony tailored for television.

You know about statistics and how a one-off demonstrates nothing (how many hundreds or thousands of people claim to have psychic abilities good for solving crimes? And out of those hundreds or thousands the best you've got is someone who drew an erroneous map and found a footprint but himself was looking where the boy was not?)

You know this and other things and yet you continue to present exactly the same level of non--evidence that you have been presenting since you got here. Just like the homeopaths over the course of nearly two hundred years, your evidence doesn't get better. It simply moves to the margins and relies on the gray areas of probability.
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Old 11th February 2008, 11:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
Are you conceding that psychics have solved some cases, such as this one?
I'm sure a few have by pure luck, or non-psychic means, but other than that, no.

Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
You're raising a philosophical question that isn't relevant to this thread.
It's doesn't address the case in question, no. And I don't see how it is strictly philosophical. But you are right, shouldn't derail on this.

Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
But, if you want my opinion (and I'm sure you do ), if psychics could foresee everything, the world would be a very dull place.
We are agreed on this.

As for the case in question:

Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
From Nickell's account, you would never know that Detective Redsicker gives Jordan full credit for saving Kennedy's life and that the Tioga County Sheriff had Jordan sworn in as a Deputy.
I suppose you missed this bit, taken from your Nickell's link:

Originally Posted by Nickell
Jordan, who was made an honorary sheriff's deputy for his efforts in the Tommy Kennedy case ... snip
I also see references accompanying his claims. No, I haven't looked at them myself. But saying he has given "vague references" is misleading. Maybe people would catch those references if you didn't edit them out of your quote of his piece:

Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
"Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details. It was apparently of little use in the search, during which Jordan supposedly received vibrations telling him "to go here, to go there" . . . Jordan had, by his own admission, chosen an area of the woods that 'no one had searched' . . . 'Just as I was ready to give up, he says, 'I looked down and saw the footprint of a young barefoot human headed up the trail.' Even with such good luck, Jordan happened to be elsewhere--in a ravine--when other searchers in the party actually located the lost child."
Original:

Originally Posted by Nickell
Moreover, Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details. It was apparently of little use in the search, during which Jordan supposedly received vibrations telling him "to go here, to go there" (Feder and Park 1994). Jordan had, by his own admission, chosen an area of the woods that "no one had searched" (although Randles and Hough [2001] report otherwise). "Just as I was ready to give up, he says, "I looked down and saw the footprint of a young barefoot human headed up the trail." Even with such good luck, Jordan happened to be elsewhere--in a ravine--when other searchers in the party actually located the lost child. They had heard him "yelling for help" (Jordan 1999, 58-63).
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Last edited by Normal Dude; 11th February 2008 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 11th February 2008, 01:04 PM   #9
Rodney
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Rodney, chillzero's question is a legitimate one, and the key to all of this.

You've presented quite a few media-reported "psychic-solves-mystery" case, and the best that has ever happened is that they have not been actively disproven. Not a single one actually has legitimate evidence supporting the claim.

Law enforcment officials say the psychic helped? Okay. As has been discussed ad nauseum, law enforcement officials are as susceptible as anyone to confirmation bias and what have you. Without the actual evidence and case notes demonstrating that the psychic helped, it still means nothing.

But that assumes it's taken alone, as if in a vacuum; taking it that way would be a mistake.

Does the sheriff really think Jordan solved that case? Great. How many subsequent cases did the sheriff get Jordan to help solve? Hundreds? Twenty? Even dozen? One? Or is it none? Where are the follow-on cases that this amazing psychic solved after proving himself so ably on the Kennedy case?

You are one of the smarter and better informed believers on this forum, Rodney, so your behavior as it relates to this sort of claim is doubly puzzling.

You know about confirmation bias.

You know about the need for the actual evidence and not filtered testimony tailored for television.

You know about statistics and how a one-off demonstrates nothing (how many hundreds or thousands of people claim to have psychic abilities good for solving crimes? And out of those hundreds or thousands the best you've got is someone who drew an erroneous map and found a footprint but himself was looking where the boy was not?)

You know this and other things and yet you continue to present exactly the same level of non--evidence that you have been presenting since you got here. Just like the homeopaths over the course of nearly two hundred years, your evidence doesn't get better. It simply moves to the margins and relies on the gray areas of probability.
Let's compare the two versions of how Tommy Kennedy was located after being missing for 16 hours and being feared drowned in a nearby lake:

(1) The Biography TV program shows several people -- including police officers -- involved in the search for Tommy, crediting Phil Jordan with locating the missing child. They note that Jordan calmed their fears that Tommy had drowned, drew an accurate map of the area into which Tommy had wandered, and found Tommy's footprint in the mud. The program also states that the Tioga Sheriff's Department was so impressed by Jordan's efforts in this case that he was deputized, and shows Jordan wearing a badge.

(2) Nickell claims that Jordan did not provide any useful information, that he accidentally found Tommy's footprint, and that other searchers located Tommy.

Which account is more believable? I would say that, if Nickell had refuted the many searchers who can be seen on the Biography program crediting Jordan with solving the case by citing other searchers to the contrary, the evidence would be difficult to evaluate. But Nickell does not even attempt to refute those who contend that Jordan solved the case. Indeed, to read Nickell's account, the reader would conclude that the only basis to believe that Jordan had anything to with solving the case is Jordan's own biased version of events.

So, while the Biography program is not proof positive that Jordan was responsible for locating the missing child, it does present several witnesses that support that position. Nickell, on the other hand, does not seem to have any witnesses who support his position that Jordan had nothing to do with locating the missing child.
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Old 12th February 2008, 01:44 PM   #10
Garrette
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You are presenting nothing new, Rodney--nothing that has not been discussed in previous threads and even mentioned in this one.

Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
Let's compare the two versions of how Tommy Kennedy was located after being missing for 16 hours and being feared drowned in a nearby lake:

(1) The Biography TV program shows several people -- including police officers -- involved in the search for Tommy, crediting Phil Jordan with locating the missing child. They note that Jordan calmed their fears that Tommy had drowned, drew an accurate map of the area into which Tommy had wandered, and found Tommy's footprint in the mud. The program also states that the Tioga Sheriff's Department was so impressed by Jordan's efforts in this case that he was deputized, and shows Jordan wearing a badge.

(2) Nickell claims that Jordan did not provide any useful information, that he accidentally found Tommy's footprint, and that other searchers located Tommy.
You're still editing out what Normal Dude pointed to. You mention the deputization in the television program but ignore, again, that Nickell mentioned it, too. Why do you feel a need to paint a false picture of Nickell ignoring information favorable to Jordan? He mentions it all.


Originally Posted by Rodney
Which account is more believable?
Believable? They are both believable. It is believable that several people, including the sheriff, believe Jordan to have provided valuable assistance. From your description, the television program did a bang-up job of proving that several people believe in Jordan.

The television program did not, however, even begin to prove that their belief is well-founded. Not by a long shot.

So Nickell's piece is just as believable. He admits everything that the television program proved, i.e., several searchers and the sheriff believe in Jordan's abilities. He then demonstrates how that belief is not supported by the evidence.


Originally Posted by Rodney
I would say that, if Nickell had refuted the many searchers who can be seen on the Biography program crediting Jordan with solving the case by citing other searchers to the contrary, the evidence would be difficult to evaluate.
Nonsense. It's exactly like the perpetual motion machine people who never quite show you the working machine. Lots of high profile investors, even some engineers saying they're convinced, but ultimately no working machine.


Originally Posted by Rodney
But Nickell does not even attempt to refute those who contend that Jordan solved the case.
Poppycock and fiddlesticks. He doesn't attempt to prove that they don't have their belief. He does demonstrate that their belief is not warranted.


Originally Posted by Rodney
Indeed, to read Nickell's account, the reader would conclude that the only basis to believe that Jordan had anything to with solving the case is Jordan's own biased version of events.
Nickell plainly states that the sheriff credits Jordan and that Jordan was made an honorary deputy. How you get to this conclusion is beyond me.


Originally Posted by Rodney
So, while the Biography program is not proof positive that Jordan was responsible for locating the missing child,
It isn't proof of any sort that Jordan was responsible. It didn't attempt to prove it, though it appears to claim that it attempted to do so. What it set out to prove and what it did prove is that several people, including the sheriff, believe Jordan was responsible. Belief and fact sometimes coincide, but they are not identical.


Originally Posted by Rodney
it does present several witnesses that support that position.
No. It presents several witnesses who believe in the claim and whose statements do not conform to the evidence (i.e., the map wasn't accurate after all; Jordan was looking elsewhere when the boy was found).


Originally Posted by Rodney
Nickell, on the other hand, does not seem to have any witnesses who support his position that Jordan had nothing to do with locating the missing child.
You mean he doesn't have any testimonials. He does have those pesky facts, though: The map isn't accurate after all, and Jordan was looking elsewhere when the boy was found.
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Old 12th February 2008, 08:06 PM   #11
Rodney
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
You are presenting nothing new, Rodney--nothing that has not been discussed in previous threads and even mentioned in this one.

You're still editing out what Normal Dude pointed to. You mention the deputization in the television program but ignore, again, that Nickell mentioned it, too. Why do you feel a need to paint a false picture of Nickell ignoring information favorable to Jordan? He mentions it all.
Read Nickell's account again, Garrette. He only says that "Jordan . . . was made an honorary sheriff's deputy for his efforts in the Tommy Kennedy case." He never challenges the searchers who credit Jordan with finding Tommy.

Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Believable? They are both believable. It is believable that several people, including the sheriff, believe Jordan to have provided valuable assistance. From your description, the television program did a bang-up job of proving that several people believe in Jordan.

The television program did not, however, even begin to prove that their belief is well-founded. Not by a long shot.

So Nickell's piece is just as believable. He admits everything that the television program proved, i.e., several searchers and the sheriff believe in Jordan's abilities.
Please show me where Nickell did that in his account.

Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
He then demonstrates how that belief is not supported by the evidence.
What evidence does Nickell have? Assertions are not evidence.

Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Nonsense. It's exactly like the perpetual motion machine people who never quite show you the working machine. Lots of high profile investors, even some engineers saying they're convinced, but ultimately no working machine.

Poppycock and fiddlesticks. He doesn't attempt to prove that they don't have their belief. He does demonstrate that their belief is not warranted.

Nickell plainly states that the sheriff credits Jordan and that Jordan was made an honorary deputy. How you get to this conclusion is beyond me.
Show me where Nickell "plainly states that the sheriff credits Jordan."

Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
It isn't proof of any sort that Jordan was responsible. It didn't attempt to prove it, though it appears to claim that it attempted to do so. What it set out to prove and what it did prove is that several people, including the sheriff, believe Jordan was responsible. Belief and fact sometimes coincide, but they are not identical.

No. It presents several witnesses who believe in the claim and whose statements do not conform to the evidence (i.e., the map wasn't accurate after all; Jordan was looking elsewhere when the boy was found).

You mean he doesn't have any testimonials. He does have those pesky facts, though: The map isn't accurate after all, and Jordan was looking elsewhere when the boy was found.
So because Nickell contends that "Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details" and that "Jordan was looking elsewhere" makes those charges so? What is Nickell basing his contentions on? Who supports his account, other than his own investigators?
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Old 13th February 2008, 03:01 AM   #12
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*checks back*

So... still no additional sources or evidence?

*goes back to browsing*
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Old 13th February 2008, 09:06 AM   #13
Garrette
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Originally Posted by Rodney
Read Nickell's account again, Garrette. He only says that "Jordan . . . was made an honorary sheriff's deputy for his efforts in the Tommy Kennedy case."
You’re right. Why do you leave out that he credits the sheriff with crediting Jordan?


Originally Posted by Rodney
He never challenges the searchers who credit Jordan with finding Tommy.
You’re right. He doesn’t. Then again, zammit provides only generalities and one name. He says “chief of the local volunteers Richard Clark was stunned at the accuracy of the map,” and “The leaders of the search, the police and the Tigoa County Search & Rescue gave unqualified credit to Phil Jordan for finding the missing boy.”

The first, which mentions Richard Clark, only says the map was accurate.

The second gives no names, and further research gives no reason to think any law enforcement official beyond Detective Retsicker gave Jordan the credit. If you have information to the contrary, please provide it.

Reference Richard Clark, this is from the book “Dreams and Premonitions” by Vikas Khatri, which is partially scanned onto Google Books.

”Finally, Richard Clark, a fireman who was taking part in the work, suggested they call Phillip Jordan, a prominent local psychic, who happened to be the firefighter’s tenant.”

So the only searcher whose name Zammit provides who gives Jordan credit is someone who has a standing relationship with Jordan. Not that I’m really arguing much from this book; the entry on the Kennedy case is not reliable on the face of it; it gives the wrong year for the case and is wrong about who first contacted Jordan. Then again, “Dreams and Premonitions” is the only source I can find where Clark is mentioned at all. Clark is not even mentioned in Jordan’s summary of the Kennedy case on his website. Of course, we can expect to learn all the wondrous details if we’ll only buy Jordan’s book about being psychic. I wonder if the book reveals if Dr. William Seaton (Jordan’s spirit guide) is the obscure Scottish poet/academic?


Originally Posted by Rodney
Please show me where Nickell did that [admit that the sheriff and the searchers credited Jordan with finding the boy] in his account.
From here:

”Jordan, who was made an honorary sheriff's deputy for his efforts in the Tommy Kennedy case”

That takes care of crediting the sheriff. I already admitted he didn’t credit the searchers. But let’s look at a possible reason why, which you yourself provide us:

Originally Posted by Rodney
What evidence does Nickell have? Assertions are not evidence.
What evidence does Nickell have? He cited his sources. Feel free to read them. I do enough of your homework for you as it is.

But as you say, assertions are not evidence. Everything you presented in the OP in favor of Jordan is an unsupported assertion. Everything.

Where did Zammit get the name Richard Clark? What evidence is there that Clark credited Jordan with finding the boy?

Where is Zammit’s evidence that the searchers gave credit to Jordan?

Where is the stunningly accurate map?

Where is anything in your OP that is not simply an assertion? Anything, Rodney. Anything.

Originally Posted by Rodney
So because Nickell contends that "Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details" and that "Jordan was looking elsewhere" makes those charges so?
Nope. First, Nickell cites his source. Zammit cites nothing except Jordan’s website which cites nothing except Jordan.


Originally Posted by Rodney
What is Nickell basing his contentions on?
Read the sources. Better yet, find the primary evidence in support of the bald assertions in your OP.


Originally Posted by Rodney
Who supports his account, other than his own investigators?
He cites his sources. Zammit does not. Jordan does not.



Now, then. This case has been discussed on this forum before. Its weaknesses were shown then. Search the forum if you want that thread. I found this transcript of a CNN interview of Jordan and Detective Retsicker in that thread (errors are in the original:.

Originally Posted by CNN interview
ANNOUNDER: It is every detective's nightmare, a small child lost in the woods on a stormy night. Hundreds of volunteers search in vain.

UNIDENTIIFED MALE: If he wasn't in the lake, exposure was certainly going to take its toll.

ANNOUNCER: As hope fades, they are joined by a psychic who can see through the fog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I felt like I was losing touch with him, then I would hold onto the sneaker even more.

ANNOUNCER: But can a psychic compass lead them in the right direction?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Nancy Grace from Court TV, in for Larry tonight. Thank you for being with us.

An incredible story of so-called psychics helping to crack a case. But do they ever have happy endings? Here is a parents' worst nightmare, a 5-year-old boy dressed in nothing but a swimsuit missing in a giant national forest. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOD CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: Don and Mary Kennedy bring their 5-year-old son Tommy to Empire Lake for a family picnic. After lunch, the little boy has a temper tantrum and runs off. When the Kennedys go looking for him, it is as though the woods have swallowed him whole. Their son has disappeared.

After an hour of fruitless searching, they go to a park ranger for help. He, in turn, connects the Tioga County Sheriff's Office and detective Dave Retsicker. Retsicker heads to the lake and questions the Kennedys. By now he knows Tommy could be anywhere.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: With us tonight from bing hamton, New York, retired detective Dave Retsicker. Also with us, psychic Phil Jordan. Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us here on LARRY KING LIVE. Very quickly to you, detective, tell me how the case first started off.

DAVE RETSICKER, RETIRED DETECTIVE: Well, the lake where this occurred was out in a rural area of our county, and I was off that particular day and received a call from my office that there was a missing boy. And so I responded to the scene and that would be security guard there, and he filled me in on what had happened.

We notified the local fire departments and emergency squads to form search parties, and commence the search parties. This was early in the afternoon on a Sunday. By nightfall, the weather had turned very poor, a thunderstorm came up. We had to call off the searches. And at that point, we were going to wait until morning.

GRACE: Oh, gosh, with a 5-year-old boy lost near a lake. I'm sure the parents were beside themselves, detective.

RETSICKER: Yes, they were. The father actually contacted Phil, who in turn contacted me. Turns out that he was requesting Phil's help to help us up at the scene. Although Phil and I have known each other for years, at the time I hadn't thought about contacting him yet.

GRACE: So Phil, what was the first you knew of the case?

PHIL JORDAN, PSYCHIC: Well, the first I knew of the case, I had been on a trip down in Pennsylvania and I got back right about 7:00 that night, when we were having a very bad electric storm. And I ran from the garage to my apartment, and as I ran across the back yard, the landlady stood in the back door of the house and the fire siren was ringing and I was wondering what was going on. I thought maybe lightning had hit something. And so I asked what was going on, and she informed me that a little boy was missing up at Empire Lake.

GRACE: So detective, you had actually sounded a siren and called for volunteers to start looking for the boy until you finally had to call it off for the night, right?

RETSICKER: That's correct, yes.

GRACE: So, let me ask you this, Phil Jordan, what was your first initial feeling regarding the case and how did you help the family?

JORDAN: My first initial feeling was that the boy was alive, because I could see him lying down with his headresting on his arm, as if he were sleeping under a tree. And they had assumed he may have gotten in the lake and drowned, because he was wearing a swimsuit, last seen with a swim toy. He was barefoot so they thought maybe he had gone into the lake and drowned, but I felt he was very much alive. I felt he was sleeping under a tree.

GRACE: Now, how did you lead them actually on the search through the forest?

JORDAN: Well, as night fell, I really -- and the father did contact me later on, and as night fell, I really felt that I couldn't go to the scene in the dark, because I might miss a clue. And so I took a piece of paper and drew a map of where I felt the little boy would be found. And I felt that I would arrive at the lake and there would be three overturns boats on the shore and across from that, there would be a building and I'd go in the lake or into the woods behind the building across the lake, and we would find an opening where there would be some stones gathered together, as if somebody was getting ready to build something. We continued on...

GRACE: Had you ever been to this lake before?

JORDAN: No, never, never. Even though it had been somewhat in my area, just not a place I had ever been.

GRACE: Well detective, when he shows up then with this map he's drawn during the night, what did you make of it?

RETSICKER: Well, I was surprised at the accuracy of it as far as around the lake and the three boats that were overturned on the shore, and the building that was actually a wall tent, but it was exactly where he had placed it on his map.

GRACE: Well in fact, it was going in a different direction that you all had initially presumed the boy went.

So you followed the map through this very dense forest. I've seen photos of it, video of it, and what ultimately happened detective?

RETSICKER: Well, very short period of time, actually, we had spent well over 12 hours with a couple hundred searchers without success, and it was actually less than an hour before Phil led us right to the boy.

GRACE: Were the parents there with you at the time?

JORDAN: No, they were still at the lake. We brought the boy back to them.

GRACE: And detective, a 5-year-old Tommy, what was his condition when you finally found the boy?

RETSICKER: Remarkably, he was very well: dirty, cold. We brought him back to the camp by the lake, and we had the emergency squad there and we had several of the EMTs check him out, and then he was taken to the hospital just for follow-up. He turned out nothing more than a few scratches and a little dirt.

GRACE: Man, what a story. And finally, a happy ending. Gentlemen, thank you. An incredible, incredible story, the 5-year-old boy, alive and well, just as psychic Phil Jordan had predicted. Finally, a happy ending.

This story and others just like it, can be seen every Wednesday night on Court TV on "Psychic Detective." In fact, Friday night, 10:00 p.m., a Court TV special episode of "Psychic Detective."

I'm Nancy Grace, signing off for tonight. I want to thank you for being with us. Tonight. Bye-bye.
Key points:

1. Your OP link is wrong about how Jordan got involved in the case:

From the victorzammit site: ” Detective Dave Redsicker from Tioga County Sherrif Department calls in a gifted psychic because he knows time is of the essence to locate the missing five year old boy, Tommy Kennedy. Brilliant gifted psychic Phil Jordan is called by the police to locate the boy.”

From Detective Retsicker himself in the interview quoted above: ” The father actually contacted Phil, who in turn contacted me. Turns out that he was requesting Phil's help to help us up at the scene. Although Phil and I have known each other for years, at the time I hadn't thought about contacting him yet. “


2. Phil Jordan lived near the lake. We have only his word that he never visited it before.

From his own website:

His mailing address is in Candor, NY, 8 miles from Empire Lake.

He is pastor-in-charge of a church in Caroline Center, NY, 17 miles from Empire Lake.

He went to Corning Community College in Corning, NY, 42 miles from Empire Lake.

He attended the State University of New York in Brockport, NY, 131 miles from Empire Lake.


3. Detective Retsicker knew Jordan before this event.

From the CNN interview: ” Although Phil and I have known each other for years, at the time I hadn't thought about contacting him yet.”


4. Jordan has police training, which may account for his deputization.

From his website:


” A short time thereafter, the Tioga County Sheriff had him sworn in as a Deputy to assist in other cases.” The Tommy Kennedy incident was on August 4th, 1975.


Also from his website (the beginning of the very next sentence, in fact):

” He graduated from New York State Municipal Police Training Academy in 1976…”


5. The map wasn’t accurate:

From the victorzammit site:

” This map showed among other things: near a lake; three boats beside the lake; a building across from the boats; a waterfall; a field; a young boy under a tree.”


From Phil Jordan in the CNN interview:

” And so I took a piece of paper and drew a map of where I felt the little boy would be found. And I felt that I would arrive at the lake and there would be three overturns boats on the shore and across from that, there would be a building and I'd go in the lake or into the woods behind the building across the lake, and we would find an opening where there would be some stones gathered together, as if somebody was getting ready to build something.”


From Detective Retsicker in the CNN interview:

”Well, I was surprised at the accuracy of it as far as around the lake and the three boats that were overturned on the shore, and the building that was actually a wall tent, but it was exactly where he had placed it on his map. “


So Zammit says:

Near a lake. Duh. The father told the volunteers and Jordan that the boy was lost by Empire Lake.

Three boats beside the lake. Apparently a hit. Jordan said three overturned boats, and Retsicker confirms it.

A building across from the boats. A miss. There was a “wall tent.”

A waterfall. Not mentioned by either Jordan or Retsicker. Apparently not relevant to finding the boy.

A field. By a lake? In the woods? Hoodathunk?

A young boy under a tree. In the woods? Hoodathunk? Still, Retsicker doesn’t say if this is how the boy was found.


Zammit doesn’t mention the gathered stones. Neither does Retsicker. Apparently of no importance and not confirmed.


From Jordan in the CNN interview:

"I really felt that I couldn't go to the scene in the dark, because I might miss a clue. And so I took a piece of paper and drew a map of where I felt the little boy would be found."

So the “stunningly accurate” map wasn’t accurate enough to show to someone familiar with the area and let them use it to find the boy.

The map, in fact, turned out to have nothing to do with finding the boy. Jordan spoke to Retsicker, whom he had known for years. Based on that conversation, Jordan basically said “Look where you haven’t looked yet.”

Jordan found a footprint that may have been the boy’s.

Jordan did not find the boy. (Actually, this part is unclear. Retsicker says Jordan “led us right to the boy.” Feder and Park apparently say otherwise).

---

You baffle me, Rodney. You truly do.

You post, as usual, bald assertions in support of psychic claims and accuse detractors of relying on bald assertions.

Your OP says ” From Nickell's account, you would never know that Detective Redsicker gives Jordan full credit for saving Kennedy's life and that the Tioga County Sheriff had Jordan sworn in as a Deputy.

yet the link to Nickell that you provide clearly says Jordan, who was made an honorary sheriff's deputy for his efforts in the Tommy Kennedy case”.

And still you argue that Nickell does not give due credit.


As usual, you do nothing to check out the claims of the case on your own.

Do you know what I’ve done?

I’ve found the contact information for the Tioga County Sheriff’s Office.

I’ve downloaded the Freedom of Information request (it’s called a FOIL there).

And I’ve emailed Phil Jordan asking details about the case, specifically about the map and about his deputization.

Oh, yeah, I also bothered to find out how close Jordan lives and has lived to Empire Lake.

And I found the CNN interview.

And that Retsicker and Jordan had known each other for years.

And that the police did not contact Jordan.

And that Richard Clark was Jordan’s landlord before the incident.


Do you truly believe you are presenting strong evidence? Or are you posting in the hope you will sway those already disposed toward belief?

Given that zammit is widely known here as being almost entirely without credibility whose logic is highly flawed, whose research is both shoddy and cherry-picked, and who is perhaps third only to Jeff Rense and David Icke for looniness among high-profile believers, and given that you know this, I lean toward the second explanation.
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Old 13th February 2008, 09:25 AM   #14
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Garrette, thanks for the effort.
In the transcript above I noticed:
Quote:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I felt like I was losing touch with him, then I would hold onto the sneaker even more.
Was any reference made as to whether this voice over was Jordan, or was reading exact quotes assigned to Jordan?
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Old 13th February 2008, 10:04 AM   #15
Garrette
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Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
Garrette, thanks for the effort.
In the transcript above I noticed:


Was any reference made as to whether this voice over was Jordan, or was reading exact quotes assigned to Jordan?
There is no explanation that I can find. I took it be the boy's father (or a voice actor portraying the father).
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Old 13th February 2008, 10:11 AM   #16
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It's placement here:
Quote:
ANNOUNCER: As hope fades, they are joined by a psychic who can see through the fog.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I felt like I was losing touch with him, then I would hold onto the sneaker even more.

ANNOUNCER: But can a psychic compass lead them in the right direction?
Seemed to me to imply that it was the psychic.
The reason it intrigues me is because one report says he held a t-shirt, and others don't mention anything. Now we have a sneaker.
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Old 13th February 2008, 11:07 AM   #17
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Rodney:

I'd still like to know WHY you took the time to edit out the citations in Nickell's quote, and then claim he had vague references, when you could have simply copy-pasted that entire paragraph unedited.

Should I be charitable and just assume you don't understand how citations work?

Quote:
"Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details. It was apparently of little use in the search, during which Jordan supposedly received vibrations telling him "to go here, to go there" . . . Jordan had, by his own admission, chosen an area of the woods that 'no one had searched' . . . 'Just as I was ready to give up, he says, 'I looked down and saw the footprint of a young barefoot human headed up the trail.' Even with such good luck, Jordan happened to be elsewhere--in a ravine--when other searchers in the party actually located the lost child."
Original:
Quote:
Moreover, Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details. It was apparently of little use in the search, during which Jordan supposedly received vibrations telling him "to go here, to go there" (Feder and Park 1994). Jordan had, by his own admission, chosen an area of the woods that "no one had searched" (although Randles and Hough [2001] report otherwise). "Just as I was ready to give up, he says, "I looked down and saw the footprint of a young barefoot human headed up the trail." Even with such good luck, Jordan happened to be elsewhere--in a ravine--when other searchers in the party actually located the lost child. They had heard him "yelling for help" (Jordan 1999, 58-63).
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Old 13th February 2008, 07:21 PM   #18
Rodney
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
You’re right. Why do you leave out that he credits the sheriff with crediting Jordan?
Because he doesn't. Nickell states only that Jordan "was made an honorary sheriff's deputy for his efforts in the Tommy Kennedy case." Made a deputy by whom? For all we know from Nickell's account, it could have been a mayor or Tioga County executive who made Jordan a deputy -- perhaps even over the objections of the sheriff. The fundamental point is that Nickell tries to create the impression that Jordan is simply a clever con artist who has hoodwinked the gullible into believing that he located a missing child, but that Nickell's crack investigative team has exposed the truth. And yet, Nickell's team doesn't seem to have come up with even one person who contradicts the searchers, including Detective Retsicker, who fully credit Jordan with finding Tommy.

P.S. I appreciate your efforts in pursuing the facts in this case. I conclude that either:

(a) You are a dedicated seeker of the truth, or

(b) You have way too much time on your hands.
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Old 13th February 2008, 07:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Normal Dude View Post
Rodney:

I'd still like to know WHY you took the time to edit out the citations in Nickell's quote, and then claim he had vague references, when you could have simply copy-pasted that entire paragraph unedited.

Should I be charitable and just assume you don't understand how citations work?
No, you should be rational and realize that those citations were clutter irrelevant to my point. And I did not state that Nickell had vague references, I stated that he "vaguely contends that his investigation revealed inconsistencies and contradictions." For example, Nickell contends that Jordan's map "contained erroneous details." What erroneous details, and how -- if at all -- did those allegedly erroneous details impact the search?
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Old 13th February 2008, 07:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
No, you should be rational and realize that those citations were clutter irrelevant to my point.
Right. On ignore you go.
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Old 14th February 2008, 03:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
For example, Nickell contends that Jordan's map "contained erroneous details." What erroneous details, and how -- if at all -- did those allegedly erroneous details impact the search?
That's a very good question.

Have you seen a copy of the map? Have you been able to compare it to the actual area? Surely such a vital piece of evidence would be stored somewhere, and used to back up Jordan's claims?

See - this is why I was asking about what additional evidence you had examined before concluding which story was correct.
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Old 14th February 2008, 06:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
Because he doesn't. Nickell states only that Jordan "was made an honorary sheriff's deputy for his efforts in the Tommy Kennedy case." Made a deputy by whom? For all we know from Nickell's account, it could have been a mayor or Tioga County executive who made Jordan a deputy -- perhaps even over the objections of the sheriff.
This is nonsense. Only the sheriff can deputize. This is blatantly obvious to me, but just so I can keep my "One True Skeptic" label, I confirmed with a call to the Tioga County Sheriff's office. I spoke with the sheriff's receptionist, Penny, who spoke off-phone to Sheriff Howard. When she asked, I told her my question was in reference to Phil Jordan. Sheriff Howard said (as reported through Penny) that he was there when Jordan was put on "Road Patrol Service," though he could not remember the date. (She gave me a name at the County Clerk's Office to call later to possibly find the date)

There is no doubt that Nickell is crediting the sheriff. However, on your side of the ledger, Rodney, is this tidbit: neither Penny nor Sheriff Howard knew anything about being made an "Honorary" Sheriff (or deputy). As far as they knew, a person is either a deputy or not.

Which means Nickell's use of the term "Honorary" either applies to something which existed then but does not now, or is a label that should not be there as it tends to detract from the status.

To carry it further, if Jordan wasn't an Honorary Deputy, then he was an actual deputy, which Sheriff Howard's recollection substantiates. But to become an actual deputy (or part of the Road Patrol Service) one has to complete training. And that belies the claim that the deputization was as a reward for solving the Kennedy case and was more likely a result of Jordan completing law enforcement training, as I already suggested.


Originally Posted by Rodney
The fundamental point is that Nickell tries to create the impression that Jordan is simply a clever con artist who has hoodwinked the gullible into believing that he located a missing child, but that Nickell's crack investigative team has exposed the truth. And yet, Nickell's team doesn't seem to have come up with even one person who contradicts the searchers, including Detective Retsicker, who fully credit Jordan with finding Tommy.
So you've chosen not to look at Nickell's sources, and you've chosen to gloss over the fact that Retsicker has presented nothing to substantiate his claim. And you've chosen to ignore the problems in the claim like was there a t-shirt or not, and was there a sneaker or not, and why are the only two people who give credit to Jordan whose names are provided (Retsicker and Clark) the two people who just happen to have had a prior relationship with Jordan.

Fair enough.

Let's assume you are correct and that Nickell is a biased skeptic with an agenda and nothing he says can be trusted. Where does that leave us?

1. Victor Zammit's site: Zero evidence. He cites only Phil Jordan's website.

2. Phil Jordan's website: Zero evidence. He cites nobody and gives fewer details than even Zammit gave.

3. "Dreams and Premonitions": Zero evidence. No sources cited and significant facts misreported.

4. CNN Interview, Phil Jordan's statements: Zero evidence. In fact, his statements indicate he was not crucial to finding Kennedy. His map was not accurate enough to allow somebody familiar with the area to look at it and find the boy.

5. CNN Interview, Retsicker's statements: Decent evidence as it is presumably a firsthand account of Jordan leading the search team directly to Kennedy. (I say presumably because we don't even know if Retsicker was with the team/individual who actually found the boy, though I will easily grant he was part of the search).


So your entire case boils down to this:

Retsicker says Jordan found the boy but has shown no evidence and has left out the details that would verify the claim.


Originally Posted by Rodney
P.S. I appreciate your efforts in pursuing the facts in this case.
You're welcome. You should try it yourself sometime.


Originally Posted by Rodney
I conclude that either:

(a) You are a dedicated seeker of the truth, or

(b) You have way too much time on your hands.
You forgot devastatingly handsome with a winsome smile.
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Old 14th February 2008, 06:43 AM   #23
Garrette
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Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
That's a very good question.

Have you seen a copy of the map? Have you been able to compare it to the actual area? Surely such a vital piece of evidence would be stored somewhere, and used to back up Jordan's claims?

See - this is why I was asking about what additional evidence you had examined before concluding which story was correct.
Again, chillzero is correct.

1. You asked about erroneous details; I already pointed out one. Jordan indicated a building where Retsicker said there was only a "wall tent."

The fact that Retsicker calls this accurate should lead you to be wary of his other claims.

2. You ask how the erroneous details impacted the search. That is the wrong question. You should be asking how the correct details impacted the search. I've already pointed out that the map seems to have been of no benefit at all.

Jordan drew three overturned boats? Great. The boy wasn't near there and they didn't point to where he was.

Jordan drew a building that was actually a wall tent? Great. The boy wasn't near there and it didn't point to where he was.

Jordan drew some "gathered stones"? Great. The boy wasn't near there and it didn't point to where he was.

Jordan drew a waterfall? Great. The boy wasn't near there and it didn't point to where he was.

Jordan drew a field? Great. The boy wasn't near there and it didn't point to where he was.

Jordan drew the boy under a tree? Great. There were tens of thousands.


But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the boats pointed to the building that was fifty paces from the waterfall that faced the field that narrowed to an end where stones were gathered in an X oriented east where the boy was under a lone tree. If that's the case, Jordan/Retsicker need to verify it.

You have an empty claim and nothing more.
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Old 14th February 2008, 07:47 AM   #24
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Quick update:

The County Clerk's Office for Tioga County cannot quickly find out when Jordan was made a deputy; they may not be able to find out at all. When someone is deputized, they sign an oath of office and are given an appointment letter, but the practice has been inconsistent. The Clerk said he can check his records, but the absence of an oath or appointment letter will not indicate that Jordan wasn't deputized. He doesn't know how long this will take.

In the meantime, he suggested I speak to the county personnel department, which I did. They very politely said they could verify dates for me as soon as I provide Mr. Jordan's social security number. As Mr. Jordan has not answered my email, I suspect I am at a dead end here.

I do plan to file the FOIL request. The sheriff's office website indicates that they have a self-imposed turn-around time that is very reasonable. From receipt of the FOIL request to release of the information (or provision of reason why it can't be released), could be as short as five business days to no more than a month. I'll do that this weekend.

As a simple note of interest: When I told the County Clerk Phil Jordan's name, his response was, verbatim: "Phil Jordan the psychic?"
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Old 14th February 2008, 12:39 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Which means Nickell's use of the term "Honorary" either applies to something which existed then but does not now, or is a label that should not be there as it tends to detract from the status.
And which do you think is more likely? Try pretending you know nothing about the Tommy Kennedy case and re-read Nickell's account of it. To make it easier for you, I'll quote it below:

"The case--the rescue of Tommy Kennedy in Tioga County, New York--began on August 3, 1975. Young Kennedy had wandered away from his family at Empire Lake, and some searchers feared he might have fallen into the water and drowned. Using psychometry (or object-reading, an alleged type of ESP) Jordan supposedly received impressions from the boy's discovered T-shirt. Jordan announced, 'He's alive,' and, producing a sketch, said, 'that's where they will find him.' Subsequently, Jordan led searchers into the woods where 'they found the exhausted five-year-old, under a tree in the exact location sketched by the psychic the night before' (Randles and Hough 2001).

"Unfortunately, the story has become 'mythologized,' according to Kenneth L. Feder and Michael Alan Park, who investigated the Kennedy case for my book Psychic Sleuths (Nickell 1994). They demonstrated how facts have been exaggerated and the story subjected to various embellishments. For example, the psychic's own accounts (Jordan 1977, 1999) fail to mention the T-shirt, a detail given in Arthur Lyons and Marcello Truzzi's The Blue Sense: Psychic Detectives and Crime (1991, 74), citing Fate magazine and the tabloid National Enquirer. It is repeated by Jenny Randles and Peter Hough in their credulous Psychic Detectives (2001, 86-88), which, astonishingly, ascribes the Kennedy case to 1982!

"Moreover, Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details. It was apparently of little use in the search, during which Jordan supposedly received vibrations telling him 'to go here, to go there' (Feder and Park 1994). Jordan had, by his own admission, chosen an area of the woods that 'no one had searched' (although Randles and Hough [2001] report otherwise). 'Just as I was ready to give up, he says, 'I looked down and saw the footprint of a young barefoot human headed up the trail.' Even with such good luck, Jordan happened to be elsewhere--in a ravine--when other searchers in the party actually located the lost child. They had heard him 'yelling for help' (Jordan 1999, 58-63).

"A 1989 television re-creation further exaggerated the story, leading Feder and Park (1994) to conclude, 'It is curious indeed that this case, with all of its contradictions and odd coincidences, is considered an example compelling enough to be singled out in a television documentary more than a decade after the fact.' And, of course, it has also been featured in mystery-mongering books such as that by Randles and Hough (2001).

"Revealingly, the powers of Jordan and his ilk were illuminated by something of a national test case, when Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy went missing for many months. Thousands of self-proclaimed psychics offered 'clues'--Sylvia Browne, for example, visualized 'some trees down in a marshy area'--but their offerings were of no use whatsoever. After Levy's remains were accidentally discovered in late May 2002, some of the failed psychics attempted to match their vague speculations with the known facts (Radford 2002). This is a technique called "retrofitting" and is a mainstay of alleged psychic detectives (Nickell 2001b, 125-126).

"Makeover

"In 2001 Phil Jordan's fame as a psychic seemed in decline. However, in that year he purchased The Gould Hotel in Seneca Falls, New York, and began offering 'Psychic Dinner Floorshows' twice a week. Also on Saturdays he scheduled 'The Spirit Connection,' which his promotional literature describes as 'a show similar to The John Edwards [sic] Show on TV' ('Phil Jordan' 2003).

"Jordan, who was made an honorary sheriff's deputy for his efforts in the Tommy Kennedy case, is also a licensed funeral director and ordained minister of a non-denominational Christian church . . ."

First, you will note that Nickell slips in the part about the "honorary" sheriff in a different section -- after his irrelevant Chandra Levy anecdote -- than his account of the Tommy Kennedy case. Second, you will note that, despite all the references that apparently impressed Normal Dude to no end, there is no reference to the television documentaries that feature searchers -- including Detective Retsicker and Tommy's mother -- who fully credit Jordan with finding Tommy. So, I think an open-minded person might be inclined to think that Nickell has an agenda and cannot be trusted to present anything resembling an objective account of this case. And what might be an objective account? How about acknowledging that Jordan has many supporters for his work on this case and then analyzing why they all have it wrong. It would be particularly helpful if Nickell could find a searcher with a different version of events than the one featured on the TV documentaries. For example, Nickell contends that "other searchers in the party actually located the lost child." Did Nickell's investigators interview any of these searchers? If so, what did they have to say? Weren't any of them a little upset that Jordan was claiming credit for something they did?

In conclusion, while I look forward to learning what more you find out about the Tommy Kennedy case, I submit that Nickell's version of it does not withstand scutiny.
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Old 14th February 2008, 12:49 PM   #26
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And again you miss the critical part.

Assume that your take on Nickell is 100% accurate. What is left in support of the contention that Jordan either (a) found the boy, or (b) found the boy with psychic abilities?

You have exactly one thing: Retsicker's undetailed attribution of credit, and Retsicker wasn't the sheriff.
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Old 14th February 2008, 12:56 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
Second, you will note that, despite all the references that apparently impressed Normal Dude to no end, there is no reference to the television documentaries that feature searchers -- including Detective Retsicker and Tommy's mother -- who fully credit Jordan with finding Tommy.
You keep telling us that, repeatedly. So tell us where we can find statements by these people, describing in detail how Jordan led searchers to the missing boy. Or, tell us yourself just how Jordan lead rescuers straight to the boy and in what respects Nickell's statements below are wrong - especially the bolded part:
Quote:
Unfortunately, the story has become 'mythologized,' according to Kenneth L. Feder and Michael Alan Park, who investigated the Kennedy case for my book Psychic Sleuths (Nickell 1994). They demonstrated how facts have been exaggerated and the story subjected to various embellishments. For example, the psychic's own accounts (Jordan 1977, 1999) fail to mention the T-shirt, a detail given in Arthur Lyons and Marcello Truzzi's The Blue Sense: Psychic Detectives and Crime (1991, 74), citing Fate magazine and the tabloid National Enquirer. It is repeated by Jenny Randles and Peter Hough in their credulous Psychic Detectives (2001, 86-88), which, astonishingly, ascribes the Kennedy case to 1982!

"Moreover, Jordan's map was vague and contained erroneous details. It was apparently of little use in the search, during which Jordan supposedly received vibrations telling him 'to go here, to go there' (Feder and Park 1994). Jordan had, by his own admission, chosen an area of the woods that 'no one had searched' (although Randles and Hough [2001] report otherwise). 'Just as I was ready to give up, he says, 'I looked down and saw the footprint of a young barefoot human headed up the trail.' Even with such good luck, Jordan happened to be elsewhere--in a ravine--when other searchers in the party actually located the lost child. They had heard him 'yelling for help' (Jordan 1999, 58-63).
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Old 14th February 2008, 12:58 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
You forgot devastatingly handsome with a winsome smile.
I'm curious as to how that helps you over the intertube or the telephone?

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Old 14th February 2008, 01:41 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
And again you miss the critical part.

Assume that your take on Nickell is 100% accurate.
You don't need to assume anything, Garrette, the facts are rather clear. And isn't Nickell one of the leading luminaries of the skeptical movement? I mean, some people might get the impression he can't be trusted to do an objective investigation. And, if he can't be trusted . . . no, it can't be . . . I read it in my skeptical catechism -- Nickell is THE MAN! Randi, please, restore my faith . . .

Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
What is left in support of the contention that Jordan either (a) found the boy, or (b) found the boy with psychic abilities?

You have exactly one thing: Retsicker's undetailed attribution of credit, and Retsicker wasn't the sheriff.
What about the other searchers who credit Jordan with finding Tommy -- his mother, for instance? How about Tommy himself? Yes, he was a little boy in 1975, but he can be seen on the recent TV documentary crediting Jordan with saving his life. I would think that, by this time, someone might have told him the "real story" of how he was found and he might have turned on Jordan.
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Old 14th February 2008, 02:00 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by sophia8 View Post
You keep telling us that, repeatedly. So tell us where we can find statements by these people, describing in detail how Jordan led searchers to the missing boy. Or, tell us yourself just how Jordan lead rescuers straight to the boy and in what respects Nickell's statements below are wrong - especially the bolded part:
Again, searchers can be seen on the TV documentary I saw crediting Jordan with locating Tommy. I don't recall if the documentary mentions where Jordan was when Tommy was found, but Jordan could simply have pointed searchers in the right direction. Maybe the response to Garrette's FOIL request will clarify.
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Old 14th February 2008, 02:06 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
the facts are rather clear.
No, they aren't. There are two conflicting stories, and so far, no additional information or evidence upon which to draw, to determine which is true.

Why are you ignoring my questions?
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Old 14th February 2008, 02:09 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
What about the other searchers who credit Jordan with finding Tommy -- his mother, for instance?
She was not amongst the searchers. She was back at "camp" with her husband when the boy was found. Therefore, she was not an eyewitness to Jordan finding the boy.
Quote:
How about Tommy himself? Yes, he was a little boy in 1975, but he can be seen on the recent TV documentary crediting Jordan with saving his life.
Ah. Semantics. Credited with *saving* his life, but not actually, physically being present when found. A large difference, since this is what is being argued here. The differences between the accounts of the child being found.
Quote:
I would think that, by this time, someone might have told him the "real story" of how he was found and he might have turned on Jordan.
So, you're now saying that Tommy's testimonial to Jordan is *not* valid?
It is quite possible that a 32 years after the event, that a 5 year old child's memory of an event might be a little vague, even given the potential trauma. So can we take Tommy's word on this account or not. Does he say Jordan physically found him, or is he merely crediting him in the search effort?
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Old 14th February 2008, 02:12 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by fls View Post
I'm curious as to how that helps you over the intertube or the telephone?
It shows in the lilting manner in which I type.
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Old 14th February 2008, 02:16 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
Again, searchers can be seen on the TV documentary I saw crediting Jordan with locating Tommy. I don't recall if the documentary mentions where Jordan was when Tommy was found, but Jordan could simply have pointed searchers in the right direction. Maybe the response to Garrette's FOIL request will clarify.
1. I agree nearly completely with EHocking.

2. The only thing that keeps me from agreeing completely with EHocking is him letting the boy's testimony off the hook so easily. The five year old's memory cannot reliably be his own. Even adult memories after a few months are suspect. A lost, frightened, cold five year old would not know who found him or how; he might simply know that finally a grown up showed up and took him to his mother. Any "memories" he has about Jordan finding him are simply the stories of others that he adopted as his own.

3. You did not link a documentary as your evidence. You linked to a Victor Zammit summary. While you may argue that Nickell spins the evidence, it is abundantly clear that Zammit is factually wrong. The police did not contact Jordan for his help. The map was not correct about the building. Your scales of relative merit need calibrating, Rodney.
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Old 14th February 2008, 02:18 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
You don't need to assume anything, Garrette, the facts are rather clear. And isn't Nickell one of the leading luminaries of the skeptical movement? I mean, some people might get the impression he can't be trusted to do an objective investigation. And, if he can't be trusted . . . no, it can't be . . . I read it in my skeptical catechism -- Nickell is THE MAN! Randi, please, restore my faith . . .
Ah. So the OP wasn't about establishing the truth of Jordan's psychic abilities. It is meant as a demonstration of Nickell's falsity.

To demonstrate that falsity you establish bias and/or spin on Nickell's part by leaving out the portions countering your stance and most tellingly compare him to a factually incorrect, unsourced summary by one of the biggest woos around.
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Old 14th February 2008, 02:39 PM   #36
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First of all, thank you Garrette for the master class in fact checking and showing us all how it's done.

Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
...To carry it further, if Jordan wasn't an Honorary Deputy, then he was an actual deputy, which Sheriff Howard's recollection substantiates. But to become an actual deputy (or part of the Road Patrol Service) one has to complete training. And that belies the claim that the deputization was as a reward for solving the Kennedy case and was more likely a result of Jordan completing law enforcement training, as I already suggested...
Yes. The opening post contains a quote that explicitly states that the deputization was a direct reward to Jordan for solving the case. If that was not the situation, then the Victor Zammit summary is deliberately misleading. Here is the quote...

Quote:
The leaders of the search, the police and the Tigoa County Search & Rescue gave unqualified credit to Phil Jordan for finding the missing boy. So much so that the Tioga County Sheriff had him sworn in as a Deputy to assist in other cases.
I would be curious to know what other cases Jordan has investigated as a result of his deputization. Certainly there must be many more that followed? after all, that was why he was deputized.
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Old 14th February 2008, 02:59 PM   #37
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This might have been mentioned before but Phil Jordan and this case were also examined in an episode of National Geographic Channel's "Is it Real?".

They interviewed Jordan for it and he, of course, gave the same version of events as ever (and wasn't modest about it), even when confronted with evidence to the contrary.
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Old 14th February 2008, 04:06 PM   #38
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So Jordan had never been to the area and yet he drew a map of the spot where Tommy, supposedly, could be found. When he joined the searchers, why didn't he go right to the spot? If he was psychic enough to draw the map, which he felt pinpointed Tommy's location, why didn't he get even clearer messages when he got to the search area? Oh, that's right, the map wasn't helpful. Then what exactly did Jordan do? How exactly did he help at all?

And by the way, in the ensuing decades, how many hundreds of missing people has he found?

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Old 14th February 2008, 04:08 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
1. I agree nearly completely with EHocking.

2. The only thing that keeps me from agreeing completely with EHocking is him letting the boy's testimony off the hook so easily. The five year old's memory cannot reliably be his own. Even adult memories after a few months are suspect. A lost, frightened, cold five year old would not know who found him or how; he might simply know that finally a grown up showed up and took him to his mother. Any "memories" he has about Jordan finding him are simply the stories of others that he adopted as his own.

3. You did not link a documentary as your evidence. You linked to a Victor Zammit summary. While you may argue that Nickell spins the evidence, it is abundantly clear that Zammit is factually wrong. The police did not contact Jordan for his help. The map was not correct about the building. Your scales of relative merit need calibrating, Rodney.
No argument from me on point 2. My post was badly worded. I really to leave it open for Rodney to have the opportunity to produce evidence for any of the possibilities I was posing.
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Old 14th February 2008, 07:43 PM   #40
Rodney
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
She was not amongst the searchers. She was back at "camp" with her husband when the boy was found. Therefore, she was not an eyewitness to Jordan finding the boy.
I believe that Tommy's mother participated in the search initially, and she can be seen on the TV documentary I saw praising Jordan.

Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
Ah. Semantics. Credited with *saving* his life, but not actually, physically being present when found. A large difference, since this is what is being argued here. The differences between the accounts of the child being found.
According to Detective Restsicker: "[W]e had spent well over 12 hours with a couple hundred searchers without success, and it was actually less than an hour before Phil led us right to the boy."

Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
So, you're now saying that Tommy's testimonial to Jordan is *not* valid?
It is quite possible that a 32 years after the event, that a 5 year old child's memory of an event might be a little vague, even given the potential trauma. So can we take Tommy's word on this account or not. Does he say Jordan physically found him, or is he merely crediting him in the search effort?
I don't recall on the documentary Tommy saying that Jordan physically found him, but I do recall Tommy crediting Jordan with saving his life. The point is that, if Nickell's version of events were accurate, Tommy might now be bad-mouthing Jordan as a phony who took credit for something he didn't do.
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