Anita Ikonen

The Open Test

When Anita was satisfied with the conditions (she asked that the temperature in the theater be raised) the Steve Allen Theater was opened to the remaining IIG member and invited guests. The group proctors were alerted via walkie-talkie that the team onstage was ready for the open test -- the part of the demonstration that preceded the actual test in which Anita would be given an opportunity to apply her claimed ability with the basic trial conditions in place. If she found anything about the conditions to be unacceptable, or if she was having any trouble using her ability, she was to speak up at that point.

Shirts and Hats
Shirts and Hats

Two men wearing the same t-shirt, hat and veil as the official subjects were seated backwards in two of the six small padded chairs lined up near the back of the stage. Anita was told the status of each of the men – the one on Anita's left had both kidneys, and the one on the right was missing the left kidney. Anita sat in a chair behind them for about five minutes, and confirmed that her ability was working and that conditions of the test were acceptable. The open test subjects were then allowed to sit in the theater to watch the remainder of the demonstration as they would not be participating in the actual test. The projection screen was lowered and the proctors went back upstairs, returning a few minutes later with the first trial group. The subjects and proctors entered through a backstage door and were guided to their chairs.

The Trials

The individual trials ran without incident. Throughout the testing, IIG member Mark Edward, who has a background in mentalism and psychic trickery, kept watch for anything suspicious. He witnessed no signaling or anything else in Anita's manner to indicate she was doing anything other than what she'd promised.

The job of the proctors was to shuttle the subjects, group by group, from the upstairs holding area to the viewing area and back again. The subjects remained onstage throughout the trial and were instructed to keep verbiage of any kind to an absolute minimum. During each trial Anita moved back and forth along the taped line separating her from the subjects, sometimes standing, most of the time sitting in a chair. She occasionally made notes on the scratch form on a clipboard. Before each trial Anita was asked if she was comfortable and she affirmed so at every point.

The subjects were well-rehearsed and conducted themselves superbly. Except for a few body shifts and slight head or foot movements they remained quite still. Their vigilance was greatly appreciated considering that Anita used all 27 minutes of viewing time in each trial. She'd only needed five minutes to confirm the status of kidneys of two people (2.5 minutes per person) during the open test, so we were hopeful she might not use the entire allotted 4.5 minutes during the trials, but she did.

Jim Underdown and Mark Edward were deliberately kept ignorant of which subjects were targets and which were decoys. However, after each trial it was important for them to know if Anita had scored a hit so adjustments could be made to guard against any leakage or cheating. A protocol was put in place to keep the effect of this information to a minimum. After each trial Jim Underdown would write down the number and left/right status of Anita's choice on a piece of paper. IIG member Owen Hammer would run the paper upstairs and hand it to IIG member Spencer Marks. Spencer would write H for hit or M for miss on the paper, fold it and hand it back to Owen who would run it back downstairs for Jim Underdown to read.

  • Trial 1 In Progress

    Trial 1

  • Trial 2 In Progress

    Trial 2

  • Trial 3 In Progress

    Trial 3

The Trial Results

The target in trial #1 was subject 11, missing RIGHT kidney. Anita selected subject 14, missing LEFT kidney.

The target in trial #2 was subject 24, missing LEFT kidney. Anita selected subject 24, missing LEFT kidney.

Trial 2 Selection

Trial 2 Verification

The Target in Trial #3 was Subject 36, missing RIGHT kidney. Anita selected Subject 36, missing LEFT kidney.

Trial 3 Selection

Trial 3 Verification

Anita chose the left kidney at every trial. During the Q & A that followed the demonstration she was asked if she knew the left kidney was more likely than the right to be removed in the case of kidney donations, and she admitted knowing about it and conceded that it might have been in the back of her mind when she made her selections.

Providing Anita with scratch paper with human figures and kidneys was a last minute accommodation. We were hesitant to give her something she might use to try to re-interpret the results. On the other hand, post-diction is unavoidable with paranormal claimants and amorphous doodles on a piece of blank paper could be just as easily exploited. They have no bearing on the outcome or results of the test and we include them here for the record, without comment.

Trial 1 Scratch
Trial 1 Scratch
Trial 2 Scratch
Trial 2 Scratch
Trial 3 Scratch 1
Trial 3 Scratch 1
Trial 3 Scratch 2
Trial 3 Scratch 2