Originally Posted by Friend of Nina
Hello, my mother out on errands today, when a man came up and said out of the blue I have a message for you. Someone you care for very much is alive and on an island by Tasmania. Of course she was shocked as my brother and crew were lost in the Tasman Sea June 2013 on the 1928 Schooner Nina. Later her granddaughter decided to check on this person who was not there, but a cashier said he even told her something she hadn't told anyone.
My question when looking at the map, could it be possible? Do people live on those islands . Is there anyone we could contact that are cruising the Tasmanian islands. My daughter thought it was a scam but he even mentioned Tasmania. Who mentions that when she is living in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Any thoughts or direction we should turn to? Any input would help. Thanks, Friend of Nina.
I carefully read the original post more than once. I am aware of the Nina loss, and read about it. What follows is written in a truly friendly tone of voice, with gentle honesty, and with compassion for your loss.
What follows is written with the sole intent to help you.
Because we know so little of the encounter your mother had with a stranger, what I bring up below may not fit at all. But it might, and that is why I am taking the time to share it with you here now. I hate to see people scammed and false hope is heartbreaking.
My take on the story up above?
What you described sounds like a classic SCAM perpetrated by "mentalists" and mind-readers and is called "cold reading" someone and it usually starts with very general comments such as:
READER. "You are missing someone."
MARK. "Yes I am, my son."
READER. "He is far away?"
MARK. "Yes, he was lost somewhere in the Pacific, how did you know?"
READER "He is on an island. A small island."
MARK. "Amazing! How did you know?"
READER. "I can't tell you more now." (Leaves the mark hanging.)
MARK. "But wait, I want to..." (Amazed and desperately wanting to know more..)
How does the mind reader learn the details no one should know?
Usually through careful questions and suggestions. But it can also happen in other ways.
Later, the victim of the scam remembers the dialog and subconsciously inserts unknown information, putting pieces of the puzzle in place for the scam artist or reader. When the victim tells others about this later, the story grows or is subconsciously embellished, often to reach the desired subconsciously desired end goal.
If the scam artist or reader does this cold reading to two or more victims who then speak to each other, they tend to reinforce their own accounts and belief in what they saw or heard. In your example the cashier reinforced the effect on your mother. In turn he may have read a friend of hers who later reinforced his reputation.
In some cases the victims can create elaborate stories, subconsciously, and disregard any scepticism, because of their desire for some outcome.
The victim may add very concrete details, subconsciously and after the encounter, or when speaking or being manipulated by the scam artis or reader. The victim may later attribute this special knowledge or ability to the scam artist reader.
The belief in things like this is commonly seen in instances such as seances, magic acts with mind readers, etc.
For people who are grieving the loss of a family member
, they can be especially susceptible and vulnerable to this. We tend to believe in things we want. This is human.
Harry Houdini is a classic case of someone who grieved the loss of his beloved mother. He went to seances seeking a connection through spiritualists. He later debunked them all, and exposed many of their tricks and manipulation so. While he did this 100 years ago, scam artists and palm readers still use the same cold reading techniques to fool people today.
In the case above, the person who did make the initial remarks to your mother may have known absolutely nothing about the Nina or your son's loss, prior to speaking with your mother. It could have been simply a choice to approach an older person as a likely "mark" or victim. Why an older person, and why an elderly woman? Because they tend to have money
, they may be more vulnerable, and they usually have experienced more loss of loved ones during their long lives. If a scam artist sees a woman who is 84 years old, it is highly probable that she is either a widow or may have had a child die, and most likely has had parents or siblings die before her.
The fact that the person disappeared after speaking with your mother does not surprise me either. Why? Because it adds to the mystery of that person's appearance. It increases your mothers desire to find them, in order to learn more. I would not be surprised if a scam artist in Florida
approaches many older women each day with the very same opening lines ("You are missing someone."). Sooner or later they arrouse the response they want, then they have a fish/mark on the hook. The manipulator could be fishing
in an area for marks, and could come back to that location "by chance" running into marks who remember them, were impressed by them, and want badly to learn more. A likely place would be a coffee shop or store that people tend to visit frequently. I can imagine if your mother saw the reader in a Starbucks the first time, and then returns there to find the reader again, or vice versa, that your mother would be very eager to learn and tell more to the reader. Something scam artists depend upon: People want to believe.
Most people don't believe they can fall prey to a scam or mind reader. Smart people can be fooled too. I have studied the classics and would have thought I would not be fooled myself. I use to study stage magic (illusions) and despite knowing how something is done, can still be "tricked" by a good magician.
Similarly, I know that mind reading is a trick and never really happens. But one time in New York
, a total stranger in a store knew some personal facts about me I never told them. I was shocked, awed, and flabbergasted! It seemed mystical or magical. Spooky. How could they know, as I had never seen this person before. For a minute or two I suspended disbelief. That I am a skeptic made this powerful. That is what they count on to go to the next step, when they cause you to wonder. Luckily for me, the man who showed me this was honest and explained how he did it. It was amazingly simple technique he had done to many people before me! In other words he had fooled many people. It can happen to anyone.
I hope you find this helpful. I am sorry to hear of your loss too.