Since 1973 Stuart Landsborough has been running a successful and unusual business that specializes in the unusual near Lake Wanaka, in the South Island of New Zealand - www.puzzlingworld.co.nz
In 1994 Stuart added a psychic challenge to compliment the business theme of eccentricity. Stuart has always been skeptical about the supernatural and this challenge was not only an interesting business addition but also a way to investigate and prove, if only to himself, that there is nothing in any of the so-called powers of the super-natural.
Stuart offered a substantial prize to anyone who could prove by psychic ability that they can indicate the exact location of a $50,000 promissory note hidden within five kilometres of Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling World. Just six months after the start of the challenge, to make the task easier on potential challengers, Stuart reduced the search area to a smaller radius of just 200 metres.
Over the next twelve years, Stuart accepted five challengers with each one failing to indicate the correct location or come even close to the hidden promissory note.
In 2006 Stuart again made the challenge apparently easier by reducing the radius once more to just 100 metres of the Psychic Challenge Display located in the entrance area of Puzzling World. It has been a policy of Stuart to hide/locate the promissory note in an easily recognisable location rather than somewhere such as in the middle of a large lawn or wooded area in an effort to make it as easy as possible for a challenger to visualize a landmark, thus recognize the location and therefore offer a better chance of success.
The problem with continually reducing the search area for the promissory note and with the challenger's knowledge that the note is hidden near a very distinct object is that if enough "psychics" do take up the challenge then eventually someone is likely to either hit on the true location by accident or get a very close hit. Stuart does not regard "nearly finding the note" as a true test of psychic skills – it has to be seen as just a lucky guess. Psychics should be able to get it right!
Therefore, not only has the search radius been reduced to just one hundred metres but the promissory note has been divided into two halves and each piece has been located in a separate place. In this way if someone finds only one of the promissory notes it can be regarded as just lucky but if they find both locations the odds are so much against this that it must be seen that the challenging psychic has true ability. Stuart does not believe that a "true psychic" should find it any more difficult to indicate two locations than one. To balance the fact that the promissory note has been divided in two, the reward for succeeding has been raised to $NZ100,000 (approx $US75,000).
It has been said by some people that "true psychics" would not accept a challenge like this for money. Stuart would encourage them to accept the challenge and if they win give the money to charity.
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