Additional Explanations of Cliff Pickover's ESP Test

The ESP Test is conducted here.
The first round of explanations for how the ESP experiment works is here.

Below are some more recent explanations from people who have suggested how the ESP experiment may actually work. The mystery continues....

B. Drummond (Glasgow): The experiment has nothing to do with flickering cards as some people suggest. I tried it twice and the cards were predicted correctly. I then phoned a friend and he chose a card without seeing the screen. Again the correct card was removed. I then chose his card and tried clicking adifferent eye. It worked. I phoned my daughter - correct again. I then tried twice without taking any time to look at the screen. Correct again. I know about the probability of people choosing certain cards and tried to be clever but I couldn't beat the computer

Grigoris Lionis (Greece): Hi Cliff,
I am very fascinated from your ESP expereriment. All of my colleagus in out lab are very verey afraid of your technology. Our best explenation is that you have developed a thought->TCP/IP protocol which enables you to actually guess a lot of things regarding our thoughts. Be carefull because the military might be very interested in your technology, They might harn you to obtain it!!!!
Keep up the good work

From Emlyn Jones (UK): This really spooked me initially. Three out of three! Then I noticed that the mouse cursor naturally ends up pointing to the card I selected. I think your program measures how long the mouse has been pointing to each card and selects the longest, hence the advice to stare at the chosen card for a while.

Its still a great program though. If the cursor had been less obvious it would have taken me a lot longer to figure out. Emlyn

From Matt (UK): Spooky. I guess it must have something to do with the way you move your mouse when looking at a particular part of the screen. So far it has always got the card I was looking at - irrespective of the one I was actually thinking of.


From Ellie: I tried your ESP thing about 10 times and it got it wrong about 5 times, so HA HA HA!!!!! and you thought you were good!!!!!!! so its not 98% right, is it? NO!!!

From Toby: It didn't work at all. How are you meant to be doing this anyway?

Regards Toby

From Rabban: My childhood mathmatics is hazy, but I recall this same trick being used and in the end you keep getting the number you thought of in the first place...i did not understand it then and i don't now, could you fill in the blanks?

Akos Barati (Hungary): Dear Mr Pickover! I must tell,that I enjoyed your project,and would like to add my humble two cents. Of course,we know,that there are no magicians,according to this,it is a very interesting experiment. If I can tell my theory,here it goes: The black background is important,just like the six tarot cards. However,it is no wonder,or miracle in that play.It is depending on the participiants personality. Your brilliant computer program contains the time limit,how long we react to a card.Therefore,you can extract a dominant male(king),a dominant female(queen),and a servant-like people,who will choose the third type of the card. Which color is it,is only important for the acceptance of obedience,or the will of striking freedom. Therefore,we can conclude,how many time it takes for someone,who gives or takes orders,which card and color he will choose,and it will be always right,since we ourselves will give the answers.

I would like to hear a reply from you,if it is possible.

Akos Barati,Hungary

Ochianna: Well that was downright spooky.... You must have some sort of spyware program. That's my only guess. :)

Veronica: Dr.Pickover, i honestly cant figure this out as such but it works really well caz i tried it out like 10 times or so n all the time it came rite even at the fastest possible speed i could go at....i guess the computer is incapalbe of readin ones thoughts so the chances of any tricks being played are not there..i feelthat when we actually concentrate and choose the card and the fact that we have to shout it out aloud means that we send signals out and we literally will it to happen and so it does..but honestly this was


Rob: before I loose any more sleep trying figure this out, could you tell me
Rob Beachy

jessica doyle: Ummmm. Maybe Bayes' theories- probability? I don't really know. I saw an episode of Assignment: Discovery a couple of years ago. I thought about ESP, and how it could be possible for certain sub-conscious calculations to manifest in a conscious state. However unlikely it may seem that such anomolies could occur for any person consistently or with the frequency required to establish enough proof of the existence of this ability. Personally, I could experience ESP-like phenomenon everyday, and I would still doubt that I have a special gift. Sometimes wierd stuff just happens, and it's fun to wonder how, and why.

Greg & Jan Mayer-Gawlik: I noticed that it will take out more than one card, so it seems like it is taking more of a guess then anything else. But man is it every crazy. I CAN"T GET IT TO FAIL, BUT I WILL PREVAIL.

Eric Sutic: Hi, I have seen the light. Every time my subconscious is thinking of sex and such, your ESP-program comes up with the correct answer. But it fails 100% when I'm drunk and nonthinking. It took about 15 minutes and 10 cl of aged pure single malt water to outwit your program. Happy for ever after /Eric

henry osita: good day sir i must say you are very intelligent to have known such a wonderful experiment(ESP) I regard you as one of my mentor in mathematics and i feel like i have a great man beside me Mr.Pickover i will like to know how i can be able to do this experiment on my sytem, is there a software that i will download to be able to do this?? sir i really want to be able to do this experiment on my sytem thanks for your co-operation henry

Ross: i was mainly right to see if it is normal for for esp to apear and get stronger with age and 2nd do most people with this are they offten dyagnoast with mental inparements from what in our society considers a illness.. 3rd how do we determine the difference in the variables...

Kathy Lamoreaux: i tried the experiment twice it was crazy please send more info you know who i am

Dan: how does it work? I would love to put that on my site.. but even more interested in knowing how it works because I tried so many times,, and it was right every time! please reply, or my brain will fry! Dan

PsychoFuzzGuy: I've done the test numerous times and it has removed my card 100% of the time. However, I don't believe that the web page is reading your mind. Everyone has some esp abilities, whether they know it or not. When their mind is focussing on one thing, intently trying to figure it out, they in turn choose the eye that reveales the card they were thinking of. Much like Zenar cards. But of course, that's just my opinion.

Lenore Lucas: Wow! That was amazing! Does it have anything to do with what day of the week it is? I picked my card on a Tuesday and clicked the link on Wednesday morning ad it still woorked. Thanks for the entertanement.

Ken Su: dear cliff: me and my boyfriend were browsing the net for gay lover porn when we discovered ur site. the trick totally threw us off but during some intimate times with my friend i quickly developed some theories. 1. the earths dimensional field tips when everybody which case the world would be tipping a buzzing if u will. I believe you have found a formula which relates the way the world tips inversly with what card the person was thinking.
2.there is a master computer at ur house where u connected five cameras into five eyes which stretch out into the world wide web. the camers have sound energy absorbers which abosrbs the sound u say which is the card u just said at loud.
3. the eyes can see the brainwaves using radioactivy and can easily produce an accurate selection.
4.ur an alien from outer space and u have mind reading abilities

Asher P: Good job. I tried it a bunch of times and the computer predicted the card correctly every single time. I am amazed. I used to be a skeptic, but now i dont know what to think. Impressive indeed.
Asher P

Funny Face HuntP: How in the world did you do it wish i was you.

denisepusey: You guessed it you little freak. I am impressed. I love it. Hey if you think I would be of great humor please phone me back.Denise [[phone number given in original email]

Aznkween1: ur esp experiment is scary. i was just wondering how u do it.cuz its really frecking me out i never thought somebody can do this over the internet.

Butik Standardt: Pissing me off now... I've done this 30 times now. And it took away the damn right card everytime. Tried everything to "fool" it...

# Thought it may react if I moved the mousepointer over the card I choose... So I tried to stay away from the cards as far as I could.

Didnt work...

# Choose the same card 6 times and pressed different eyes in random order every time.

It "guessed" right everytime anyways.

# I picked different card 6 times and pressed the SAME eye all 6 times...

It got it right anyway????!

30 times... Every single time correct... And I tried every possible combination of pressing.

This is.... frustrating....

Anthony Mendez: I think the esp test DOES in fact work. I've tried the test multiple times and always had a correct answer. I even tried picking THREE cards at the same time and ALL THREE were eliminated. I have no hypothesis on how this works but it's interesting anyways.

Denny Kunkerz: Actually... I found that this test is slightly lame, because it is nothing more than clicking on the correct eye... It seems like a hoax.

It definately didn't remove the right card..

Heather: Cliff, I am absolutely baffled at this. I've tested your site numerous times now, and have yet to receive an incorrect answer. I want it to tell me more!!!! Lotto numbers?? Okay, not really, that wouldn't be fair. But I really want to know how this works.


Clareneedles: You are one spooky and fascinating man. Absolutely spot on with 4 attempts at the cards and you guessed my friut correctly as well. Off to have another go now! bye, Clare.

Saazee: i did the experiment 3 times and twice your experiment failed to acknowledge the correct card. i believe that your system works based on the phycological manner of people ddoing what they are told. I find that if you say a random card but commit another to your memory. The experiment will fail to chose the card you commited to your memory but instead picks the one you have said. i do not think that your have used a voice activated system but am still in the process of figuring your system out. However, i am postively certain that you do not use paranormal activties to figure this card out. Great Website...just needs a bit improving.

Captain Krishnan: hey you were correct all the time! I do believe in ESP and I too have experieced such powers. I have for instance power to make people turn towards me by looking at them from their behind! Even at a distance of over 50 meters! Captain Krishnan

Jennifer M Heller: So what gives? I read all the explanations of your "ESP experiment," and you cut off all the people who actually figured it out. I know that there's some kind of technical explanation for this, I already figured out the trick behind, but that one is a lot less complicated. I'm not a college professor or anything like the other people who've e-mailed you, and I don't have the time or patience to sit around, trying this thing out, trying to figure it out on my own. Are you going to explain how it works or what? Would you explain it to me? Jen Heller

Vasantha: Mr.Clifford, I tried your esp expt.In my computer the cards did not get loaded.But I went ahead and clicked one of the eyes.Then, the card in thesame place as the eye I clicked was shown to have been removed.Hence I feel the expt is based on the fact that we unconciously click the eye corresponding to the card .Am I right? Vasantha.

Andrea: Before reading readers comments/choices, my choice was #6, the small reproduction of "The Thinker". I believe the statue would best represent mankind in a general sense that would not pass along any potentially harmful or misleading impressions of "us". The edible products, we cannot assume they would eat the food items and what conclusions could they draw or might they draw from those had they eaten them, let alone just investigate them. The frog and egg case - what would that tell them about us as human beings? These items would allow them to derive only opinion or assumption. As for media, any media immediately opens pathways to judge us before knowing us. That is, if they understood how and why we use them. Mind you, I am aware that the statue does not tell them much either, however it is a doorway to possibly peak their curiosity and give them a reminder of our initial meeting. I suppose I am assuming that they will judge us by our appearance - human nature to judge instantly by appearance. But how could the alien in the room explain to the others based on any of the other objects who or what we are without allowing an opinion to be formed about "us"? The Thinker is simply an image of man and simple is all that is needed to avoid misguidance or misinterpretation. I'm sure I pale in comparison to the others' comments, but I stand by my choice even after reading their opinions. I apologize for being wordy or repetitive or unable to express my opinions more clearly. That's probably why I chose a simple little statue of man. Thank you for allowing my say.

Nicki: I tried just using the tab button so I wouldnt give any clues with the mouse. I tried the trick 10 times and it was right all expet for one because i was saying two cards. How is it done?

kinkeexd: how does this work? i am very curious.. on the last screen if I think of a card, and push back, its not there!

Sathees (India): Fantastic - I Don't Believe this - 3 out of 3 was true for me - I read this in Reader's Digest - Jan 2004 issue - India.
I can only is it is Amazing - Please keep up with the good work of yours

Satheesh S Bangalore

Slvrclss24: I think I have an explanation to your ESP Experiment. I guessed a card, Queen of clubs, and I wasn't looking at the screen when I made the decision. I selected an eyeball and the program removed the wrong card. I think the program is based on the movement of the experimentee's eye and where he positions it. I hope that this is an correct explanation. Please let me know of the results, I would greatly appreciate it. I had a great time.

Naveen Agarwal: Hi Sir, I am amazed with the experiments at your site. You are able to guess the files on my computer quite correctly. Furthermore I tried your card trick a couple of times and at each time your guess was 100% correct. I am really fascinated with your site. Infect its infectious.
Naveen Agarwal

skecherzgirl07: Wow! How did that happen? I tried it several times, but it can still figure out what my card is. Would you explain it to me please??? I don't even yell out the card or anything.

Fiddlinkayla88: I'm not sure how you get the answers when the experiment does work, but I do know I've found a way to trick your system. If I pick the card I want before I go in and click the eye without looking at the cards, the choice is never right. It missed 10 of 10 choices that way. So it seems that that obviously means that you have software that tracks eye movement because if there is no eye movement, the choice is wrong.

Bigjay (New Zeland): worked one out of five, the first time I followed my instinct and your program guessed right, the following four times I randomly picked any eye and no results.

walkabout15: Fascinating. I chose one card then said it out loud and then changed my mind and picked another and repeated it out loud. Low and behold the TWO CARDs was taken from the pack. Brilliant. Now my theory is: I looked for a long time for a card, Card # 1 K Hearts jumped out at me, then I noticed the Queen of Diamond jump out at me so I started to say out loud Q/d for a long time. When ready to check the answer to my amazement BOTH cards was laid out. So I think that you make the cards larger. How the both came out well !!!. Bigjay J

amin: hey cliff u got it rite so many times all de tiems please pelase please let me know what and how u did it take care amin

James C. Orlando: Ok scary stuff.. must be some sort of trick.. but I tried it a few times and even picked 2 cards and the program removed both.. on both tries.. I know it is some sort of trick with the eyes.. but.. it is a good one… James C. Orlando

Steve: I have taken your esp experiment several times, on different days, and it is always 100 % correct at removing the card I select. I have always thought that esp was real, and I believe you have cracked the computer / internet / human consciousness connection. Perhaps we at the dawn of a new era where machines and computers are expanding our mental capacities. Bravo to you for being at the forefront of this new age! Steve

j. vogeltanz (austria): dear mr. pickover

my son(13 years)and i curiously tried your test several times and it worked 100%... even when i tried to THINK of a card but SAY an incorrect one... the CORRECT one was sorted out. this is really disturbing... normally i´m sceptic but open minded... but THIS is out of this world, even for my imagination. i can imagine no trick within this test. what´s the secret (if you are willing to tell)?

thank you for this great thing,

best regards,
j. vogeltanz, austria

Fred Teo (Brunei): Dear Cliff, I am from Brunei, a little country on the island of Borneo (SE Asia). I am greatly impressed with your ESP. I tried out the card game and honestly, I just couldn't figure out how you did it. I have a little request to make. Is it possible for you to give me a four digit number which I would like to try out in our local lottery draw.

Much appreciated and all the best to you.
Many thanks,
Fred Teo

Travis Kaim: I am a college student at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. As it is one of the 15 best universities in America, I would normally consider myself a smart and educated young man. This test has got me stumped though and that is especially saying something considering my mom is a psychologist. Please clue me in as to how this things works, as I would really like to know.

easeman (France): Well, I did the experiment more than ten times and the result was always righ. At this time I have no explanation of my own but I really want to know how u did that ? This is a cray thing ! The amazing thing about it is that I am french, so I thought in french while I had my card in memory. What the hell is the Quantum consistency ? thanx

Morgan Jenness: Ok – this is amazing. I tried to trick the computer by choosing different card, same eye – then same card, different eye…very rapidly – got it every time – did about ten… No idea how it’s done… Are you ever going to reveal it? Impressed.

Steffan32663: it got me every time, no mater what i did or didn't do, till i got bored with it,,, too strange

Barry Foster (UK): Very clever. It even worked when I read out the choices to another person without them seeing the screen at all. I'll be pleased to know how it's really done!

Scarecrowyrd: hi clifford im floored by this your esp experiement really works!!! i didnt say it out loud and i also did it in the dark and it worked everytime, like 10times in a row, so whoever said its the hearing of the voice or following the eyes can think again! this is awesome!!! ciao bella shannon anastasia;)

shannon anastasia: i think i have esp to see in the future only happeneds when i space out right after listning to you think music is triggering my esp?

Dr A.M.Elhage (Lebanon): Dear Dr Pickover I am a psychologist who currently live in Lebanon, but lived in Australia, Canada & USA. I have seen it all, from Uri Geller to Kreskin. I have been a Magician and a Stage Hypnotist. Must admit, your esp experiment beats everything I have ever seen. Wonder if I can get more info re ESP Experiment and how it is done?? If not, can we at least install this system on our computer for educational purposes. We are willing to pay whatever is required. Regards Dr A.M.Elhage

Tom Holbrook (UK): Your program guessed right one out of two times. I realise that this is hardly a statistically significant sample. But supposing it were, here is a possible explanation for the many emails:

You are conducting an experiment but not into ESP and quanta; your program actually gives the correct answer in much fewer than 98% of cases (but possibly more than 20% if you have some simple predictive algorithm based on say mouse movements). Rather you are testing whether having had their choice "guessed" correctly makes people more likely to email you than having it guessed incorrectly. From the testimonials, this certainly appears so (assuming they are all genuine!)

Kind Regards
Tom Holbrook


craigda george: Hello,
My name is George & i stumbled on your site by mistake .Anyway i just want to congratulate you & and also ask you how it's done.Is it possible that you connect with peoples thought.Is it possible for someone such as myself to develop esp & is it inherent in all humans.Can you give me an explaination on the mothman incidences.

Matt6644221: Yo Mr P That is some well freaky stuff you got on that test man! How u do that? I'm runnin man, runnin from you and your freaky mind powers! Solomon

Yasir Khan (UK): I've dedicated my life to finding out how you conduct that stunt. I stopped working and providing for my family too. I really want to know how you do it! Tell me damnit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the 2434 e-mail I've sent you, REPLY!

Dr. G. R. Yugandhar (India): this is dr, yugandhar from india. your site is marvellous.i am a surgeon by profession and also a pyramid meditator with so many third eye and astral projections.i would like to know more about you. awaing your reply

ehubler: I believe magic was created by bhuddist monks as a lesson. The mind can be fooled and therefore perception is relative, reality is how you choose to construct it. Is the wind moving? Is the flag moving? The Master says neither, it's your mind that moves.

Jamilul Huq: I have experimented a number of times and all the time, you were correct. I hadn't known how you did it. I went through most of the mail and they seemed to be a bit naive as far as their reasonings are concerned. It has nothing to do with highlighting, nor clicking a particular eye, shadowing or anything. No I am not advocating ESP. There is an explanation. I, myself am a Mathematecian, a Statistician and an avid reader of all scientific and pseudo-scientific papers. But it did baffle me. Then, I tried it again keeping a record and guess what? I found that all the earlier cards were removed. So, the experiment has to be corect. So, that is the secret. Isn't it? So, what is the secret?
Md. Jamilul Huq

Randall Feuerlein: COMPLETE INSANITY! My theory was that the guess had to be based on how long it takes a user to look at the page, say a card name, and then click an eye. Each card name would have a different length of time spent saying it and thusly the computer would probably be right one in ten times AT BEST! I tried it like 9 times, and chose random cards based on a random number I chose, I then counted cards starting at the begining and counted until I hit a card, then randomly picked a number and did the same with the eyes at the bottom. RIGHT EVERY TIME! I even made sure that I did not mouse over the cards I chose, I even made a point of it to move the mouse over cards that I did not choose! Right every time. I feel stupid, because I must be doing something the same, every single time, without even knowing that I did it, and even when trying to imagine what it could be, I could not keep from doing it! I would REALLY like to know how this program works, if you ever decide to reveal it let me know!
-Randall, Utterly Baffled.

Pamela Martin (UK): Dear Sir,
I had to give this a try as I am a curious being but, the card that I had stared and whispered to myself was still there. And would you like me to tell you which one it was or would you prefer to guess. As it was not removed. Thanking you in advance, I await your comment on this fascinating experiment.

Melinda Ho: Cliff:
That experiment proved right the first time, but then I tried to do it again a second time and wasn't able to. Instead, I was directed to another web page. Some of the explanations that people came up with were quite imaginative. How did you design it so that the program could figure out the card we would pick most of the time? The majority of the comments said the computer was right.


Lenachka87: how did you do that esp i tried to trick it so many times, not looking at the card just thinking and it guessed correct.. i never met anything like this before.. i was forced to go on the site by my teacher as part of hw and stundled on this esp test. I ussually hate all hw sites but this one is great. can u esp anything else besides what card we choose? thanx my name is lena by the way goodnite

Walter Ruteck (Canada): Hi Cliff,
If I may respond about your ESP comments I would say that we are all connected by aninvisable thread and thus thoughs to tranpose from one person to another. Two people in the car, thinking of nothing, yet they come up with the same thought. Another example, a man at war is dying and his last thought of his mother or family. Just befor he dies, his mother pickes up his last thought and know that he has died. If we take the premise that God does exixt, and that God created us, therefore we are God. Not only did he create the physical part of life, but the soul or innner part of our beings. This connectiveness of each of us is GOD,

Ronald: i think its the type of computer you got thats what makes it work not esp but hey neat hacking game lol i do have esp expiriments in telepathic messages and yes it worked but i must have conscentrated too hard cause my books fell by itself.

Paul Walsh (UK): Dear Doug,
It's astonishing. I tried the test countless times. Everytime you successfully removed the card. It's crazy. Imagine some of the things you could do if you could use this technique quickly and easily in your interactions with people on a day by day basis. It's true, the human mind is limitless.

Sylvia Mann: couldn't it just be a matrics which is formed with all words and that they are somehow connected being what we use to express ourselves.

Irene Glue (UK): Hi Cliff I am from London England, I have just found your web site esp experiments, I am fascinated by it, I cannot believe that I have tried it so many times and each time you are correct, I would have liked to have seen a photo of you on your web site but as yet cannot see one, thankyou for a wonderfuk site, regards to you regards Irene