PSI-TECH: Not so Smart

2003, Apr 1st | Emner: New Age, Predictions, Pseudoscience, Psychic Powers

by Claus Larsen

This is a grisly tale. It will not please many people. It is a story about an abducted girl, a family in grief and fear and a bunch of vultures, who prey on parents with a missing child, while marketing their own, bogus claims of being able to find dead bodies.

The tale begins…

…with a serious crime: On June 5, 2002, 14-year old Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah. The search was extensive. The police spent many hours searching for her. They couldn’t find her. Not a trace, no leads, no suspects. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

A company called PSI TECH saw a golden opportunity. PSI TECH claims that, by “utilizing Technical Remote Viewing, an individual can gather information about any person, place, or thing, anywhere in time or space”. On their own initiative, they began a psychic investigation, where they assessed that Elizabeth was killed almost immediately after her abduction.

In his agony, Elizabeth’s uncle, Dave Smart, contacted PSI TECH. He had heard of this company, and was snared by their wild claims. The travesty could begin.

During the months, PSI TECH issued several statements, describing how their work was progressing. They had already announced that Elizabeth was dead, and that she was killed almost immediately after her abduction. As the months went by, they published more material on their website, so everyone could read for themselves how their investigations went. More and more details emerged, not just about Elizabeth’s condition, but also about her abductor and where to locate her body.


On March 12th, 2003, Elizabeth Smart was found alive and well. Her captors were arrested. Not a single thing PSI TECH had claimed turned out to be true. From then on, PSI TECH showed their true color.


Almost immediately after Elizabeth was found alive, all material concerning the search for her was removed from the PSI TECH website. Almost. A few, very quick skeptics managed to save some of the material before it was removed. Today, PSI TECH is busy repairing their tainted image with some of the most vile, self-serving crap you will ever read. But, thanks to the quick skeptics, you can read what PSI TECH doesn’t want you to read.

The recovered pages

Here are some quotes from a couple of press releases from Dane Spotts, CEO of PSI TECH.

“On the day after Elizabeth’s abduction, PSI TECH issued a Preliminary Report on her status. Sadly, we concluded that she was deceased.”
PSI TECH website, June 6, 2002

Please note, that PSI TECH was well under way with their own investigation, when Dave Smart contacted PSI TECH, which he did in July.

“The data that we have collected so far is as follows: Elizabeth is dead & hidden inside of a man-made structure. Part of this structure has sloped sides and also has a long shaft connected to it. Her body lies near or underneath a pile of rocks close to a grate which lies in an enclosed, narrow space. There is possibly a beam of light shining down a shaft and we can hear voices and mechanical sounds (possibly cars.) There is a dirt road above her location and one of the site identifiers was a hill where children use to play or they play winter games during the winter months. There is liquid nearby, possibly a river. The surrounding region is mountainous with desert like terrain.

Due to the difficulty in finding a target in homogenous terrain we look for the closest unique feature or landmark. In this case we found that the closest landmark to her present location is a historical monument in a park like place (possibly with religious significance) where people wander about. A cemetery and an old mill of some sort is there and could be the “This Is The Place Monument.”
PSI TECH website, August 22, 2002

“A few hours after we learned of the abduction event last June, Joni and myself and a few of our top people tasked our TRV skills to see if Elizabeth was still alive. Unfortunately she wasn’t. Using Technical Remote Viewing we can tell with great accuracy, if a person is deceased in a matter of minutes. In Elizabeth’s case, we knew she had already been killed by her abductor. At the time we were overloaded with other cases so we sent our preliminary report to the Salt Lake City Police Department, and turned our attention back to our current project. We felt it would only be a matter of time before the Police or the volunteer searchers located her body.”
“Over the following months, however, we received numerous emails from the search volunteers, friends and neighbors of the Smart family asking us to work the case. Due to our massive work load we were unable to immediately shift our resources. Then, Dave Smart contacted us. We had just finished our work on the Bradley girls’ abduction case and we were free to re-dedicate our resources to locating Elizabeth.”
PSI TECH website, August 30, 2002

The Hunt at the Burial Place

PSI TECH apparently digged up – if you’ll pardon the pun – some information about where Elizabeth’s body was hidden:

“All of the PSI TECH data indicated Elizabeth’s body is located in or near a concrete structure buried underground into a hillside or mountain. A long shaft is present, used for drainage or as an air vent of some type.”
“All of the data matches. The metal fence/grate over a slanted concrete structure buried underground. What this site turns out to be is a burial tomb. The State of Utah built it ten years ago to house the bodies of 75 caskets filled with Native American skeletal remains that were found in an archeological site some hundred miles away. ”

“The PSI TECH session data indicated Elizabeth was located in a religious or sacred site, possibly a cemetary. We had no idea until we arrived in person that we had sketched a tomb.”
PSI TECH website, August 22, 2002

CEO Dane Spotts and President Joni Dourif of PSI TECH both travelled to the burial place. They also managed to drag out a couple of police officers, as well as the state archeologist, Kevin Jones. The crypt was searched, and no trace of Elizabeth was found.

This was not good for PSI TECH, and, true to form, they began to invent all sorts of arguments to explain why Elizabeth Smart wasn’t there. They even cast doubt about the state archeologist’s motives for denying them access to the burial place.

“Does he have something to hide? In light of the circumstances, Kevin’s behavior made no sense to any of us.”
Dane Spotts, CEO PSI TECH

The implication is clear: Because PSI TECH cannot force their way, they instead cast suspicion on those who oppose them. It’s the game of guilt: They can’t have their way, so somebody else must have something to hide. Concern about the bodies buried there – be it a thousand years or one year – be damned. PSI TECH wants to have it their way, and if they can’t…well, what do you have to hide?

Luckily, you don’t find that kind of arrogance too often.

Vigilante Psychics

PSI TECH issued a profile of the abductor and even claimed they had found a match from a group of suspects. These people were only suspected by PSI TECH, not by the police. The information and identity of the person matching the profile (well, sort of…) were – according to PSI TECH – turned over to law enforcement.

Yes, you read it right: PSI TECH accused a person of this crime and turned his name over to the police. Now, citizens should do this, if they have information that can help solve a crime, but you cannot do this unless you have real information. If you try to falsely blame a person, you are guilty of a crime. What PSI TECH did, was to try to pin the blame on an innocent man, only so they could be right.

Nice guys, eh?

Spin Doctoring

PSI TECH failed in all of their three goals: Find out if she was alive. Locate her. Identify her abductor.

The PSI TECH company is a complete sham: They have behaved in a fashion that can only leave a parent disgusted and horrified that anyone will make these claims and then attempt to make money from them. To say that PSI TECH is now in the business of polishing their tainted image is to make the understatement of the year. Did they acknowledge that they were wrong? Only partly; You see, they were right, too. All they did was to misinterpret the data, despite earlier claims that this was not the case:

“What’s so amazing is not only that a skilled Technical Remote Viewer is able to gather specific information related to the target but when we task a team working in the blind with the same target cue, they deliver up different pieces of the puzzle that fit together in a very profound way. The target data begins to form an extraordinarily accurate picture of the target site. We never rely on a single session, but use numerous blind TRV sessions to corroborate and validate the collected information. We are looking for data which overlaps and coincides. In the case of homogenous terrain, we look for the closest surrounding unique terrain features. The next step in our process is to analyze the raw data and assemble the puzzle pieces, comparing them to physical ground features. We use topographic maps, aerial photos, and site descriptions to discern where in the world our target location could be. From this we compile a report and deliver it to the appropriate parties. “
PSI TECH website, August 30, 2002

Now, PSI TECH sings quite a different tune: (All quotes are from “Elizabeth Smart Search: What Went Wrong & What Went Right” By Joni Dourif, PSI TECH President, March 14, 2003)

“The news on Wednesday broke of the retrieval of Elizabeth Smart. Since that day, PSI TECH has been inundated with hate mail because we announced early in our investigation that she was deceased. Personally, I must tell you, I am devastated. I can only imagine how upset and angry I would be if my daughter had been abducted and missing and I was informed by a reputable intelligence gathering company that she was dead. ”

“To begin with, when Elizabeth went missing in June, we were just finalizing the last report from the four month project of the missing Bradley girls case in Chicago. We were exhausted and we, along with our 14 member team, were dreading the thought of digging into another missing child case so soon.”

There was absolutely no mention of this before. In fact, PSI TECH initiated the sessions themselves.

“The initial sessions we performed right after Elizabeth’s abduction were performed by only a few of us. We concluded then that she was “barely alive.” But our first dire mistake was our rush to conclusion that Elizabeth was deceased in our initial public spot report. We “assumed” that because we found her unmoving and lying still in one place. The assumption was backed by follow up sessions containing the same data that “she was lying still curled up in one place with the same immediate surroundings.”

This is an outright lie. Nowhere does PSI TECH mention that Elizabeth Smart was “barely alive”. They clearly said that she was deceased.

“It will be insightful for us to discover more about where Elizabeth had been taken and if she was drugged and constrained to the point that she was lying still for any lengthy periods of time. Regardless of the fact that we pronounced her deceased, it appears as though our geographic data matched the location where she had been taken.”

No, it didn’t. The “This is the Place” Memorial Park, where PSI TECH placed Elizabeth Smarts dead body, is nowhere near where Elizabeth Smart had been kept prisoner.

“Our search was derailed when the scent dog from the canine team reacted to The Native American Burial Tomb at “This is Place Monument Park.” That tomb was never identified by us as data of “Elizabeth’s location.” It was identified by us as one of the “Unique features en route to her location.”"

Elizabeth Smart was never near the place. And nobody said anything at the time about being “derailed” by the dog – in fact, it was because of the dog that they wanted to search the place.

If you feel sick, you are not alone.


When all else fails, should we employ companies like PSI TECH to solve crimes? If they really can do what they claim, sure! But they have to prove first that they can. And they can’t. Not a single missing child has ever been located by any paranormal means, be it psychics or remote viewers. PSI TECH should not play on the fears of every parent, nor should they – when they fail – resort to excuses not even the lowest rat would stoop to.


Be advised that this site changes content, depending on when reality kicks in.

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