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RemieV 6th June 2008 04:01 PM

PAVEL ZIBOROV - Clairvoyant
Pavel Ziborov has applied for the JREF Challenge claiming the ability to tell what photographs are placed inside envelopes without being able to see them.

For an academic witness, he provided an affidavit from the University of North Carolina Psychology Department with detailed information on a test they ran of his abilities.

He has also provided proof of media presence, a notarized application, and a summary of his ability.

We are ready to begin protocol negotiations for a test of Mr. Ziborov's claim, and will begin after TAM (which ends on June 22nd).

Stick around for more information!


RemieV 31st July 2008 04:16 PM

Please see to watch the process of the protocol negotiations with Pavel.

RemieV 12th January 2009 01:44 PM

The following protocol has been submitted to Pavel Ziborov, Startz, and the JREF's statistician for review.

If the protocol is approved by all, it will be presented to Randi, who will request any changes he feels are necessary, and re-submitted to the claimant.

PAVEL ZIBOROV, Clairvoyant

Materials Required

200 size 10 envelopes
200 size 7 envelopes
20 3x5 inch photographs, each photocopied 10 times for a total of 200 photographs
100 Post-It notes
100 paper clips
10 Post-It notes of a different color from the 100 noted above
A 6' folding table
2 pieces of masking tape
Magic Marker
List of pairs
2 Walkie-talkies
A digital clock
A mask
Ear plugs
OPEN TEST MATERIALS: 1 photocopied pair of photographs selected at random double enveloped with two Post-It notes in a third color affixed to the exterior of each envelope correctly indicating which photograph is inside each


No speaking except as noted within the test.

No walkie-talkies, aside from those used by testers, within the test.

No cameras, camcorders, camera-phones, etc. aside from those used by the JREF or testers within the test.

No sleight-of-hand, trickery, or cheating.

No manipulation of the envelopes besides as is outlined in the testing protocol.

If any of the above listed are violated, or if it is determined the subject has attempted to tilt the results in his favor due to trickery of any kind, the test will be halted immediately and considered a failure.

If there is a setup or technological problem, or if for any reason the test must be halted due to extenuating circumstances rather than trickery, the test may be conducted at a future date. Claimant will bear the cost of additional runs of the test.

Failure of the test will not constitute reason for a re-test. The claimant may re-apply one year after the date of the original test in the case of failure.

Stipulations Made by Claimant

Additions by JREF will be noted in bolded text.

Pavel may put on and take off the eye mask and ear plugs at his discretion.

No talking or any kind of distraction with light or sound or any other ways of interruption during the test except as specified within the protocol. No cell phone use or text messaging will be allowed during the test. No photography during the test will be allowed. (Except for video taping by JREF.) No substance with a strong odor will be allowed in the room same, including perfume. No photos or pictures of any kind will be permitted in the room nor visible from the test room, except for those used in the test. Subject to mutual agreement and the convenience of both parties, an attempt will be made to conduct the test during good weather and beginning in the afternoon. Each party may bring up to four observers. Ziborov will not be permitted observers for the testing procedure. All parties will attempt to maintain a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

Before the test begins, Pavel will affirm that the environmental conditions are satisfactory. Time keeping will then begin. When suitably comfortable and relaxed, Pavel will ask for the first pair.

During the test any person present may raise his or her hand to inform the others of suspicious behavior of anyone in the room. However, no shouting or interruptions will be allowed during the process of identifying the photo. If there are any doubts or suspicions, the person shall raise his/her hand silently and inform the others after Pavel has finished with identification of the current pair and announced his answer.

Testing Protocol

In advance of the test, JREF staff or volunteer testers chosen by the JREF will photocopy the twenty photographs provided by Pavel ten times each, for a total of 200 photographs, which will be paired in accordance with Ziborov's wishes (to be determined), for a total of 100 pairs of photographs.

The photographs will be sealed inside size 7 envelopes. The size 7 envelopes will then be sealed inside size 10 envelopes.

The pair of associated photographs inside the double-envelopes will be paper clipped together, and a Post-It note will be affixed to the exterior of the envelope, identifying the two photographs. The order of identification will always be the same, such that a lamppost and the moon would always be identified as “lamppost/moon” and never “moon/lamppost,” regardless of the order of the envelopes, which should be randomly shuffled (within their pair) before being paper clipped by another party who is not aware of which envelope contains which photo.

The paper clipped pairs of envelopes will then be arranged in sets of ten, such that each set of ten contains all twenty photographs, and will result in ten sets of ten pairs of photographs.

The ten sets of paper clipped and double enveloped pairs of photographs will be arranged on the 6' folding table side by side, and the ten Post-It notes of a different color from the ones affixed to the envelope will be used to note the set number, 1-10.

At the end of the table, a clipboard with a list of all photo pairs will be placed, with a pen attached. Beside this, a digital clock with numbers large enough to be read at a distance of twelve feet will be placed for time-keeping purposes.

The following protocol requires four JREF staff members or volunteer testers at a minimum. One will stand next to Ziborov for the duration of the test. The another will move back and forth between the envelopes and Ziborov. The remaining two will be relief testers, and will be used in the case that JREF Staff or volunteer testers request a break. Their specific functions will be detailed below.

At the time of the test, Ziborov will enter the testing room. The moment he enters the room, the eight hour time limit will begin counting down. He will not be permitted to approach the table where the sets of photographs are, and must always remain at least five feet away from the table. The five foot mark will be indicated by a piece of masking tape affixed to the floor.

OPEN TEST: (The following paragraph indicates an open test, wherein Ziborov will ensure his abilities are working using envelopes he knows the contents of. The protocol for an open test differs from the rest of the testing, and should be treated as a separate entity.)

Ziborov will be handed the double-enveloped photocopied photographs with Post-It notes of a third color correctly identifying the contents of the envelopes by a relief tester before the test begins to ensure that his abilities are working. He will be permitted to handle these two envelopes in any way he wishes, including opening them and examining the photographs. After he has ensured his abilities are working, the relief tester will exit the room with the envelopes, Post-Its, and photographs from the open test and dispose of them by tearing them in half outside the testing room.

JREF staff or a volunteer tester will, when Ziborov indicates he is ready, remove the first set of ten pairs of photographs from the table, and place each paper clipped pair side-by-side on the floor no less than three feet from Ziborov. The three foot mark from Ziborov will be indicated by a piece of masking tape affixed to the floor.

Ziborov may point to the pair he wishes to work with.

JREF Staff or the volunteer tester will remove the Post-It note from the exterior of the chosen pair and announce aloud which two photos are contained inside the envelopes. The tester will read from the Post-It note, in the order the photos are identified there.

JREF Staff or the volunteer tester will place the Post-It note on the floor where the pair was sitting, remove the paper clip from the envelopes, place the paper clip on top of the Post-It note on the floor, and approach Ziborov with the double enveloped photos.

Ziborov may hold the envelopes. He can not examine the envelopes, attempt to see through them, or open them. He can not bend them. He can not mark them.

Ziborov will decide which photo one of the envelopes contains. He will indicate which he wishes to identify by placing the one he does not wish to identify on the floor. Only after the envelope he does not wish to work with is on the floor will he be permitted to announce what he believes the content of the other envelope is. He must identify the photograph using a single word decided upon in advance. He cannot, for example, say “light” for “lamppost” if the descriptor for the photograph has already been decided to be “lamppost.”

After the announcement is made by Ziborov, the first JREF staff will take the unused envelope back to the three foot mark and re-affix the Post-It note to the exterior of the unused envelope. They will use the Magic Marker to mark through the selection on the Post-It note that Ziborov announced, and replace the envelope in its position on the floor at the three foot mark.

At the time that the first JREF staff member or volunteer tester is replacing the unused envelope to its position, the second JREF staff member or volunteer tester will open the envelope selected by Ziborov and check its contents. The second JREF staff member will announce “yes” to indicate a hit or “no” to indicate a miss.

The first JREF staff member or volunteer tester will note on the clipboarded list whether or not Ziborov's selection was correct by writing either “Y” for a hit or “N” for a miss next to the pair on the list.

All opened envelopes will remain behind Ziborov (assuming he is facing the table). All unopened envelopes will be immediately returned to an area beyond the three foot mark.

Ziborov may say “Pass” if he is unable to identify one of the photos of a pair. The pair will at that time be paper clipped back together, the Post-It note will be re-affixed to the exterior, and the pair will be returned to its place at the three foot mark.

Ziborov will select the next pair, and the process will be repeated until all pairs of the set of ten have been used.

At this time, JREF Staff or a volunteer tester will stack the remaining ten unopened envelopes with Post-It notes affixed to each with the selection Ziborov made for each pair marked out to the table in the corresponding area for the set number.

JREF Staff will bring forward the next set, in accordance with the Post-It note number affixed to the table, to the three foot mark and repeat the process until all ten sets have been identified.

Ziborov may take as much time as he wishes to identify the photograph in one of the envelopes so long as he follows the requirements for their handling. However, Ziborov's test can total no more than eight hours. If the test goes over the eight hour time limit, it will be halted and considered a failure.

At any point between pairs, Ziborov may request a break. He will do so by saying the word “Break.” Any time Ziborov takes for a break will be deducted from the eight hour time limit. JREF Staff or volunteer testers may break at the same time as Ziborov so long as at least one tester remains in the testing room during the break to ensure all testing materials remain as placed when Ziborov exited the room.

JREF Staff or volunteer testers may also request a break, but may only do so between sets of ten. JREF Staff or volunteer testers may not simply leave the room. They must speak into the walkie talkie issued to them in the following manner “Testing group one to testing group two, break request.” The relief testers will then reply in the following manner, “10-4,” if they are on their way, “10-9” to request that the group repeat their statement because it was unclear, or “10-6” to indicate testing group one should stand by unless it is urgent. If it is an urgent request, testing group one can respond “9-1-1.” If testing group one receives the message and is okay with it, they should respond “10-4.”

If sixty-seven or more of Ziborov's announced responses match the photographs within his chosen envelopes, the test will be considered a success and Ziborov will pass to the final Challenge. However, Ziborov will not be announced as the winner even in the case of getting sixty-seven or more correct responses until all the unopened envelopes on the table have been opened by JREF staff or volunteer testers (in the presence of Ziborov, if he so chooses) and it is confirmed, using the marked-out Post-It notes, that the remaining selection written on the Post-It note indicates the photograph sealed inside the remaining envelope from the pair. This will be done at the end of the eight-hour period, and will not deduct from Ziborov's eight hour limit.

Time required: No more than eight and a half hours.

RemieV 13th January 2009 11:12 AM

Pavel has made the following requests:

1. Pavel would like to have observers and that the observers be permitted to make recordings as JREF is. Observers are permitted at most Challenge events. Could you figure out a way, perhaps a ribbon separating off an observer area, that would let Pavel have supporters present while meeting JREF’s security requirements?
2. Photographs rather than photocopies (you’ve already approved this one). Preferably 4 by 6 rather than 3 by 5. Pavel will supply digital files as the original.
3. JREF observer next to Pavel to be seated rather than standing, a few feet away, and not directly behind Pavel.
4. Post-its removed from envelopes before Pavel sees envelope.
5. “Plain” envelopes, no bubbles or colored lining.
6. Results board out of sight of Pavel.
7. Pitcher of water and glass on table for Pavel.
8. Pavel permitted to hold envelope to his forehead.

To which the following responses were given:

These are the alterations I can try... And I do warn that this setup is becoming extremely complex. I do not know if Randi is going to approve this or not.

1. Pavel can have you as an observer, and one person to film. Pavel's observers will not be permitted to speak. They will not be permitted to move. They will either be in a cordoned area or in chairs. If they need a break, they will be permitted to raise their hands at which point the testers will wait for the current pair to be complete and then allow his observers to leave. The test will halt at that time. Breaks by Pavel's observers will be deducted from Pavel's time limit. If Pavel's observers speak, they will be warned once. If they speak a second time, the test will be halted and considered a failure.

2. That's fine.

3. That is fine if, and only if, there is a mirror setup that allows the person in the chair to see Pavel from all sides.

4. My biggest suggestion here would be to tell him not to look at the Post-Its. They are necessary for identifying the contents of the remaining, unopened envelope. The Post-Its, as according to the current protocol, don't ever get closer to him than three feet. If he cannot restrain himself from looking, I do not see a way to safely alter that portion of the test.

5. Originally we were going to use large, manila envelopes. Do those work, or are those a colour?

6. The results will be on a list on a clipboard. Pavel would have to exert effort in order to see it. I would suggest that if he doesn't want to see it, he not exert effort. Beyond that, I do not think a change in protocol is required there.

7. Pavel will not be permitted to approach the table, nor will he be permitted to speak beyond the noted statements in the protocol. In other words, he can't approach the table, and he can't ask for water. If he wants water, he should ask for a break and get some outside of the testing area.

8. If Pavel is going to hold the envelopes to his head, they're going to need to be those white cardboard ones. Since they cannot have any colours on them, this might be a difficult type to find. And they're going to be expensive. If that doesn't matter, then I'll write it in.

RemieV 26th May 2009 07:19 AM

Sent e-mail to re-commence protocol negotiations on 5/14. Awaiting response.

RemieV 11th June 2009 03:00 PM

Received most recent protocol from Ziborov, and forwarded to other JREF staff for review.

RemieV 22nd August 2009 03:13 PM

In accordance with the suggestions from other JREF staff, Pavel was given one last opportunity to simplify his protocol. He has declined, and his Challenge file has been closed.

Pavel will have the opportunity to re-apply for the Challenge in one year, assuming he qualifies under the guidelines governing the Challenge at that time.

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