Sisyphus prize

Prize
€25.000

We, the Belgian and European Skeptics, are willing to examine any serious claim about strange or paranormal phenomena.  We recently decided to increase the prize amount to 25 000 euros.

We are willing to test persons who claim to possess such capacities. Any person who can demonstrate the ability to accomplish feats that are paranormal or impossible according to present scientific knowledge will be paid the sum of 20 000 (twenty five thousand) euro by the Belgian SKEPP vzw (non-profit organisation).

 
We will only test claims that can be objectively verified in the presence of our witnesses. The test has to be devised and agreed upon so that the results are clear, undisputable and not decided by votes or subjective evaluation. If need be, we are willing to advise and help you formulate your claim.

Some claims will NOT be accepted for the challenge:

  • Religious claims about the existence of gods, devils, angels, etc.
  • Claims about making the sun, moon or other celestial bodies move.
  • Claims about influencing the weather or climate
  • Claims that could be dangerous for human or animal health or well being, such as poisoning, suffocating, starving, drowning, inflicting pain, use of illegal drugs, and use of lethal weapons or apparatus.
  • Claims that involve a breach of the laws of the state.
  • Magical tricks, mentalism, etc.
  • Claims about curing any disease or human disability.
  • Claims that take more than one day to see the results.

 

Before you can participate in the final test for 25 000 euro, you must first pass a pre-test.

The final test will be held in Belgium but the pre-tests will be organized in your own country, by the national skeptics organization. Please consult our website to see which organizations are authorized.

If you want to know if your claim is acceptable, send an e-mail to your national skeptics organization (see contact-addresses in the list) with a description of what you can do and how you propose to demonstrate it. We will let you know if it can be accepted as a valid claim, or we may suggest helping you reformulate your claim. Sometimes we might propose that you first do a self-test in the privacy of your home before you go public. 

If your claim is sufficiently formulated and you are certain that you want to be tested, then complete, print and sign the contract-application form and send two copies to the contact address for your country.
Your application will only be officially accepted if you also pay the sum of 50 euro as guarantee into the account of your national skeptics. This money serves as a safeguard against frivolous applications and practical jokers. It will be completely re-imbursed, together with the prize of 500 euro, if you succeed in the pre-test.
(Note: the national skeptics organization can modify the amounts of 50 or 500 and the way of payment according to local financial circumstances)

Please take care that your identity and complete address are readable and verifiable. If possible also include your e-mail address and phone number(s). 

Without the completed and signed form and without the 50 euro payment, there is no valid application and there can not be any negotiations about the test procedures.

Once the two completed and signed forms are in our possession we can discuss and agree on the details of your test and finalize a mutually agreed test-protocol, including the time, place and the objective criteria for pronouncing the test successful. The probability of succeeding in the test by pure luck or guessing should be calculated at approximately 1/1000 or below for the pre-test and 1/1000 000 or below for the final test. 

When two copies of this mutually agreed protocol are signed by both parties the pre-test can be done. If you succeed on the test, then we will pay you 500 euro plus the 50 euro of your registration. (amounts can vary per country)
If the 10 000 euro prize is awarded, then all other testing stops and the remaining candidates are reimbursed their 50 euro. 

Carefully read the following contract, print and sign it, and send two copies to your national skeptics organization: (see the list for name, address and email for correspondence).

IMPORTANT: applicants must be clearly identifiable as real persons. Do not forget to write your complete name, address, phone numbers, email or other useful information that may help us decide you are a real person, not an anonymous practical joker.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please do not waste your time and ours by sending us elaborate reports of feats that happened in the past. Only tests devised according to a mutually agreed protocol and witnessed by experts of the skeptics organisation will be considered.

Please do not send us long theoretical explanations why the test should work; we are only interested to see if it works during a demonstration that we have witnessed.

(the text and protocol are being rewritten and will soon be available again on this page)

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