An inquiring mind gets down to the business of counterpredicting those National Enquirer seers

The National Enquirer has rounded up the usual 10 top seers and published its predictions for the second half of 1987, and, as usual, I am counterpredicting.

I have been doing this for three or four years now, and so far not one of my counterpredictions has failed.

The predictions this year, it seems to me, are more bizarre than ever. That doesn’t make it any easier to counterpredict. Bizarre things do happen every day. All you have to do to know that is read your newspaper.

But the seers don’t predict the things that happen. Why didn’t some seer predict that the United States would secretely sell arms to Iran; that Gary Hart would fall in a sex scandal (that should have been easy); that a Delta pilot would pull a knob instead of pushing a button and cause a jet airliner to fall within 600 feet of the ocean?


Most of the seers are identified as having made some astonishingly accurate prediction in the past, but I am inclined to doubt those claims in the absence of chapter and verse on the publication of such predictions.

As usual, I don’t counterpredict on all the predictions. Some are so vague, or obvious, that counterpredicting would be as chancy as predicting them is safe.

For example, New York psychic Shawn Robbins predicts that Jane Fonda will become the nation’s first film star astronaut, being scheduled for a space shuttle flight next year.

What could be more logical? Jane is fit, psychologically strong, popular and photogenic, and we know she has courage. Wouldn’t it be a thrill to see her striding along with the crew to board the shuttle, her hair bouncing? Just what NASA needs to restore public faith in the shuttle program.

Psychic Irene Hughes of Chicago predicts that Prince Rainier of Monaco and Jackie Onassis will become involved in a serious romance this fall, with talk of marriage.

A year or so ago, it seems to me, one of the Enquirer’s stable of psychics predicted that Rainier would marry Elizabeth Taylor. What’s happened to that one?

Psychic Beverly Jaegers of St. Louis predicts that England’s Prince Edward, who quit the Royal Marines, will “wipe away his wimpy image when he bravely throws away a live grenade hurled at the Queen.”

That isn’t impossible. I just don’t believe it will happen.


Psychic John Monti of Long Island predicts that a 9-year-old Washington State farm boy will be found sheltering an injured Bigfoot in the family barn, nursing it back to health after rescuing it from a hunter’s trap.

It is more likely that a 9-year-old Scottish lad will catch the Loch Ness Monster with a bent pin on the end of a string.

Monti also predicts that Sean Penn will punch out Don Johnson when Sean catches Johnson in a friendly embrace with Sean’s wife, Madonna, after a concert.

I do not attempt to counterpredict the affairs of the rich and famous.


Los Angeles seer Maria Graciette, who is said to have predicted the Manson murders “in chilling detail,” predicts that researchers will discover the brain’s “ESP spot--and will learn how to give ordinary people incredible psychic powers by electrically stimulating the area.”

If we all had psychic powers, that would put Maria Graciette and her colleagues out of work, wouldn’t it?

Graciette also predicts that Shirley MacLaine will announce that she is “in direct contact with a space alien, who speaks through the actress and tells of life on his distant planet.”

I thought Miss MacLaine had already done that, down in Peru. Anyway, I predict that she can’t do it again.


Psychic Barbara Donchess of Massachusetts predicts that Elizabeth Taylor will have a terrifying brush with death in a hotel fire. “After rushing to the roof clad only in her underwear she will be rescued by a helicopter.” I counterpredict.

Donchess also predicts that Paul Hogan, star of “Crocodile Dundee,” will be attacked by a giant snake while fishing in Australia. He will kill the snake with his hunting knife.

If this happens, it will be a publicity stunt for Dundee’s next movie. Giant snakes attack people only in the movies.

Donchess--a very busy seer--also predicts that Monaco’s Princess Stephanie will be kidnaped by terrorists, and, like Patty Hearst, will join the gang, only to be captured by police.


I almost hate to counterpredict. Princess Stephanie does appear in public places that terrorists might frequent; and her papa is thought to have a lot of money. What a great story that would be. Sex, beauty, violence, money, police and terrorists!

If it does happen, it might turn out that Prince Rainier doesn’t have enough cash to ransom his daughter. We don’t really know that Monaco is solvent. All that pomp costs money.

Donchess also predicts that a meteorite will plunge into the South Pacific, severely damaging a cruise ship. “Luckily, a cargo freighter will rescue most of the passengers.”

That’s possible, surely. Meteorites strike the earth periodically. Still, unless Donchess really is psychic, which I doubt, predicting that one will strike a tiny ship in the South Pacific is a pretty long shot. I counterpredict.


My favorite prediction, aside from Jane Fonda’s becoming the first film star astronaut, is Miami psychic Micki Dahne’s prediction that the White House will be “shaken to its foundations when it is discovered that rats killed there have KGB radio transmitters embedded in them.”

I can hear the President exclaiming “Now it’s real rats!”

I regret that I have to counterpredict.