The world’s best psychics seem to have cracks in their crystal balls, says the Skeptical Inquirer.

Top psychics who published their prognostications in US supermarket tabloids such as the National Enquirer, the National Examiner and the Weekly World News, indicated 1995 was supposed to be the year Rush Limbaugh was forced to go on welfare, Whitney Houston married Mike Tyson, Peter Jennings became the first journalist in space, and Disney World was wiped out by a hurricane.

“Once again, even the most talented psychics seem to have had trouble predicting the major unexpected events of the year,” said Gene Emery, who compiled the 1995 predictions for the magazine

The National Enquirer‘s stable of psychics predicted in the tabloid’s January 10 and June 20 issues that:

  • The president’s cat would be kidnapped and held for $1,000 ransom by a homeless driver who would be captured after he also tried to snatch the Vice President’s poodle.
  • Burt Reynolds and Loni Anderson would remarry.
  • Peter Jennings would do the evening news from orbit aboard the Space Shuttle.
  • “A child genius will stun judges at a 7th-grade science fair when he presents a working time machine” made from parts of a microwave oven.
  • Jay Leno would become David Letterman’s sidekick on Letterman’s Late Show.
  • “Scientists will discover a beneficial virus that can turn ordinary rocks into a protein-rich food. And some experts will predict the find will lead to the end of world hunger.”
  • Tonya Harding would be “denied permission to open the nation’s first all-nude ice skating rink.”

The National Examiner‘s top psychics said 1995 would be the year that:

  • President Clinton was shot in the jaw by a disgruntled postal worker.
  • “A meteor the size of a Buick will strike a used car dealership in Las Vegas. No one will be injured in the crash, but the crater will open up a vast underground reservoir of drinking water, solving the desert town’s water shortage.”
  • Basketball player Shaquille O’Neal quit basketball to become Rookie of the Year in baseball.
  • Michael Jackson’s “already weakened schnozz” would “permanently collapse” after an outraged mom punched him in the nose during a public appearance.
  • Rush Limbaugh would “lose his fortune and become destitute. Forced on welfare, Rush will become a Democrat.”

The psychics at the Weekly World News predicted that in 1995 a volcanic eruption would create a new land mass that tied the United States to Cuba, frog legs would become the rage in fast-food restaurants, and 80% of Americans would totally shave their heads.

Jeane Dixon, one of the country’s best known psychics, in the July 25 issue of the Star forecast “a stunning outcome to the O.J. Simpson trial will bring a result no one predicted. I can see that O.J. will walk.”

She was right. But Dixon could just as easily claim success if Simpson had been found guilty or the jury had failed to reach a decision.

“A guilty verdict or hung jury will keep O.J. Simpson in jail through most of this year,” she predicted in the January 17 issue. “I don’t see him walking away a free man until an appeal,” she announced in the April 25 issue. And in the October 10 issue, published after the verdict, Dixon predicted that “O. J. will be released from jail, but there will be a second trial and he will be incarcerated at least one more year.”

As always, there were the typical forecasts: celebrities taking new occupations (psychic Shawn Robbins said Hugh Hefner would give up his Playboy empire and become a sunflower cultivator); promises of cures for AIDS, arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease; and predictions that space aliens would be discovered.

Also, there was the usual crop of vague predictions that left plenty of wiggle room in case they didn’t come true.

In the December 13, 1994, issue of the Globe, for example, Mystic Meg forecast that Liz Taylor “will stumble across a formula that could spell an AIDS breakthrough.” Jeane Dixon said, “A scandal in a religious cult could lead to murder, suicides, and a doomsday vigil in the spring.”

Sometimes the predictions are laughable because they reflect so little knowledge of the real world, such as when psychics predict that someone will be elected president during the years when a presidential election isn’t scheduled.

Dixon falls into that category with her prediction in the January 17 Star, saying, “A new, antibiotic-resistant strain of influenza causes coast-to-coast misery in early winter and again in early spring. Scientists will trace the virus to polluted water.” Antibiotic resistance is hardly surprising — antibiotics don’t work on viruses, which is why you don’t prescribe them for the common cold, flu, AIDS, etc.

Unfortunately, the psychics gave no warning of the Oklahoma City bombing, they haven’t been able to find the Unabomber, and they apparently had no inkling of Christopher “Superman” Reeve’s tragic accident.

As for 1996, the psychics have already said it will be the year Hawaii sinks into the ocean, banana peels are found to cure cancer, Rush Limbaugh becomes the Republican nominee for President, Lance Ito becomes Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, the federal government decides to turn the Grand Canyon into a nuclear waste dump, and all the athletes in the ’96 Olympics are forced to undergo species tests — after officials learn that a woman who won the gold medal in the shot-put is really a girl gorilla!

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