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Chapter 8

Reflections of an IIG Applicant

 

                                                                                                                                                                                    Posted:9/12/18

 

                                                                                         A bit of history

     On Christmas Day, 2017, I launched the Smoking Gun Challenge website, introducing empirical data from the Old Testament that I maintain is an alien Bible code. My purpose in creating the site was to attract the attention of the world’s best skeptics and skeptic organizations, with the hope that it would convince at least some of them that what I call the Newton Bible Code, even though it’s clearly an extraordinary claim, has enough substance to it that it merits a serious, science-based investigation.

     It worked! On January 16, 2018, my code claim was accepted for investigation by the Independent Investigations Group (IIG), a prestigious skeptic organization, founded in 2000, that features its own daring summons: the $100,000 IIG Challenge. Headed by founder James Underdown from its Los Angeles headquarters, the IIG, on its website, invites advocates with sensational claims that are supported by testable evidence to fill out an online registration form. If accepted as an Applicant, the claimant has the opportunity to win $100,000 if his or her claim successfully passes a series of tests. It begins with a pre-investigation, and, if it survives that analysis, concludes with a more rigorous final demonstration. I filled out the form and sent it in on Dec. 25, 2017, the same day the Smoking Gun Challenge went online.

     Three weeks later I was officially accepted as an IIG Applicant. From that moment, it was game on - Challenge versus Challenge. My Challenge to the IIG is that I am confident that any tests that it administers on the Newton Bible Code will only serve to reinforce my claim. IIG’s perspective is that they are confident that they can prove, by independent investigation, that the Newton Bible Code is not a code at all, but something more mundane. Though IIG and I are now locked into a classic adversarial relationship, in a larger sense we are both working in a collegial manner towards the same goal: to determine the truth.

 

                                                                           What is the IIG Challenge?

     The IIG $100,000 Challenge, underwritten by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), is a legal contract between the Applicant and the IIG. As the Applicant, my responsibility is to provide IIG with testable evidence that I maintain proves my claim. After fulfilling that obligation, which I have done, IIG promises to pre-investigate the evidence, which they are currently doing. When the IIG pre-investigation is completed, and if I qualify for the next stage, IIG will work with me to set up a mutually agreed upon public demonstration, a test that produces either negative results that falsify my claim beyond a reasonable doubt, or positive results that confirm my claim beyond a reasonable doubt.

     Contrary to what many people think, not all sensational claims are advanced by pranksters, scam artists, and people who are delusional. Some advocates are rational thinkers and honest truth seekers. I count myself as one of the latter. What makes the IIG an invaluable resource to citizen scientists like myself is that it is extremely difficult, almost impossible, for us to break through institutional barriers so that our voices can be heard by mainstream scientists and our evidence treated in a serious and respectful manner. I am deeply grateful to the IIG for turning a long-term dream of mine into a reality.

     Skeptic organizations like the IIG and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), and skeptics like Richard Dawkins and James Randi, play a vital role in science. In testing evidence for sensational claims, they separate the wheat from the chaff, only allowing claims to get through to the scientific mainstream that have passed intense critical analysis. The reality is that few extraordinary claims ever make it through the skeptic filter, either because there is no evidence to test, or the evidence offered, when tested, is accounted for in a very non-extraordinary way. What the IIG does with my claim and my evidence will either push me into quiet retirement, or make me famous and $100,000 richer. Considering what’s at stake, I never expected a quick or easy process, and my expectations are turning out to be true.

 

                                                                               The correspondence

     Now that the world’s largest and most influential skeptic testing organization, the Independent Investigations Group (IIG), has formally accepted my Bible code claim as part of its $100,000 IIG Challenge, I am pleased to share with you the details on how it all came about.

My original submission to IIG, which I wrote on its online submission form, is as follows:

 

TO: Independent Investigations Group

Dear Sirs:

     This notice is to inform you of the putative discovery of an alien Bible code. I am the claimant. I am also a long-time disciple of the late Carl Sagan. My claim and the evidence, that are being taken seriously by mainstream scholars and scientists, are posted at: www.smokinggunchallenge.com. I cordially invite you to try to debunk my claim, and will do all I can to assist you in your efforts.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Donald L. Zygutis

 

On Jan. 14, 2018, I received the following email from IIG representative, Spencer Marks:

Hello Donald,

     Thank you for your letter. Generally we are not in the business of trying to “debunk” claims made by people, but rather we offer a $100,000 prize to anyone that can prove their paranormal or fringe-science claims in a controlled environment.

     If you would like to apply for our challenge, we would welcome that discussion and would work with you to set up a protocol that would be satisfactory to both you and the IIG. There is nothing in your letter that tells us what your specific claim is, but if it is similar to other “Bible Codes” that we have seen, then can we assume that you are finding words or phrases by entering a specific algorithm to the text of the Bible? If so, then we would have to work out a protocol so that we can find a predictive value to the algorithm and to the text.

Please let us know if you would like to apply for the Challenge and we will be happy to move forward.

Sincerely,

Spencer Marks,

Independent Investigations Group

     Of course, I was absolutely thrilled to hear from Spencer. The IIG was at the top of my list of skeptic organizations that I was hoping would take an interest in my research. Two days later, on Jan. 16, I sent Spencer the following email:

TO: Spencer Marks, IIG

     Spencer – Thank you for your response. To answer your primary question, yes, I am applying for the $100,000 IIG Prize. My claim is that I have discovered an encrypted code in the Old Testament. I look forward to working with you and your team in a collaborative manner to establish a mutually satisfactory protocol to test my thesis.

     Rather than put the code in my last letter, I referred you to my website: www.smokinggunchallenge.com where it can be found in Chapter 3. If you are unable to access the site or download the data, please let me know and I will send it to you directly. Unlike other Bible codes you may have come across, what I call the Newton Bible Code is unique in that it does not require an exotic intermediate process for extraction. The code is embedded in the surface text.

     The code consists of 46 triadic sequences, 16 of which are “grain, wine, and oil.” The remaining 30 sequences are symmetrical but generically modulated. For example, rather than “grain, wine, and oil,” a modulated sequence might be “field, vineyard, and oliveyard.” In addition to the 46 sequences that comprise the code, there are 8 others that are asymmetrical.

     The specific test that I envision is a code identification process known as a linear cryptanalysis. It would establish predictive values by addressing such metrics as statistical probability analysis, sequence repetition analysis, and pattern recognition analysis. It would also, hopefully, factor in the compositional complexity of the Old Testament.

I look forward to moving ahead on this project. I thank you and others associated with IIG for your service to humanity.

Cordially,

Donald Zygutis

 

     To recap, on Christmas Day, 2017, I submitted my claim for the IIG Challenge. On Jan. 14th, 2018, I received a letter from IIG that, before accepting my claim, I needed to specifically declare my intent to win the $100,000 prize, which I did in a return email two days later. My application completed and accepted, IIG began to “move forward” on my claim with its pre-investigation of the data. From that point on, IIG as the testing agency, and I as the Applicant, became locked into a legally binding contractual agreement.

 

                                                            Why is the pre-investigation taking so long?

     The IIG pre-investigation of the Newton Bible Code seems to be taking a long time, which suggests that the IIG team may be having difficulty falsifying my claim. From Spencer Marks’s email I knew that an extended pre-investigation was possible, even probable, when he asked the question:

     “. . . can we assume that you are finding words or phrases by entering a specific algorithm to the text of the Bible. . . ”

     Spencer’s question suggests that he and other IIG officials may have assumed, falsely, that the Newton Bible Code, like previous Bible Codes, is the product of an artificially contrived process known as equidistant letter sequencing (ELS) that involves the manipulation of the letters of the Bible to form grids that can be read up and down, backwards and forward, and both ways diagonally. The ELS algorithm occasionally produces a string of words or phrases that appear to convey sensational, and sometimes prophetic, messages.

     Public interest in ELS Bible codes peaked in 1997 with the release of Michael Drosnin’s book, The Bible Code. After a lot of hype and excitement, the ELS bubble burst in 1999 when Australian mathematician and skeptic Brendan McKay and a few of his colleagues applied the ELS algorithm to books other than the Bible - and came up with similar results. McKay’s work conclusively demonstrated that what ELS advocates found in the Bible weren’t codes at all, but rather the random and completely predictable results of a human-invented process.

     When I read Spencer’s email, it appeared that he and his fellow IIG associates may have jumped to the conclusion that the Newton Bible Code is the result of a manipulative process that has been thoroughly investigated and dismissed as a human invention. Had that been the case, the Newton Bible Code could easily be explained away and I would not win the $100,000. It likely came as a surprise when, on further analysis, IIG officials learned that there is no algorithmic process in the Newton Bible Code. The triadic sequences that make up the code are exactly as they appear in Scripture, with no manipulation of letters, words, or anything else.

     This means that the IIG team, if it intended to use statistical probability analysis as a falsification strategy, which is how ELS claims are routinely handled, would have to calculate the mathematical odds of 46 out of 54 grain, wine, and oil sequences, all sharing a deep common symmetry, and all located in a disjointed collection of Jewish books written by a motley and unknown number of authors, over an 800 year span of time - and hope that the results showed that what I am calling a code is nothing more than a random coincidence.

     Years earlier, following the dictum that every researcher needs to first try to debunk their own work before asking others to do it, I approached Sean Rule, math professor at my local community college, and asked him if he would solve a thought problem for me. Not wanting to inject the Bible, religion, or extraterrestrials into the equation, I asked Sean to imagine three bingo balls, one red (representing grain), one white (representing wine), and one blue (representing oil). The balls are dropped into a Plexiglas air blower like they use to pull up winning numbers in a lottery drawing. The balls bounce around awhile until a chute is opened and, at random, they are sucked, one-by-one, into a tube and the color sequence recorded. This process is repeated 50 times. My question to Sean was: What would be the odds that in 40 of the 50 sequences, or 80%, the red ball (grain) comes out first, the white ball (wine) second, and the blue ball (oil) last? Note that the symmetry percentage in the Newton Bible Code is 86%, six points higher than in my thought experiment.

It didn’t take Sean long to send me the following email:

 

  Hey there, Don!

 

  OK...I've got it now.  What you have in this bingo game is a textbook binomial distribution

  problem.  Here's how we can proceed:

 

  There are 6 possible sequences that the balls can take on any one trial (of the 50 of which you spoke):

  RWB, RBW, WRB, WBR, BWR, BRW.  The chance of getting a sequence of RWB on any one of the 50

  trials is 1/6.

 

  Now, you need the chance of a set number of successes (i.e., RWB sequences) out of 50; in particular,

  the chance that you get at least 40 out of the 50.  We can find this by summing the following:

 

  Chance of getting at least 40 out of 50 = chance of getting 40 + chance of getting 41 + chance of getting  

  42 + ... + chance of getting 50.

 

  Each one of those terms that we have to add is a binomial expression. Here's a link       <http://web.cocc.edu/srule/MTH243/lessons/5.3.5.4.pdf>  to a lesson I use on the binomial, if you're interested. 

  Let's sum them all up:

 

  (50 nCr 40)(1/6)^40(5/6)^10 + (50 nCr 41)(1/6)^41(5/6)^9 + ... + (50 nCr 50)(1/6)^50(5/6)^0 =......a very,

  very, very small number.  It's basically zero.  If you need a number, it's in the neighborhood of 10^(-21).  Wow. 

  Very unlikely. (makes sense; you would expect to get about 8 such runs; nowhere near 40)

 

   Let me know if you need anything else, Don!

 

     Sean’s results were stunning. The odds that the Newton Bible Code is the result of blind chance are less than 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or one in ten billion trillion. At that moment I understood why not one of the many skeptics I have engaged over the years has resorted to probability theory as a falsification mechanism.

     When IIG accepted me as an Applicant, thinking that the odds of my Bible code claim being confirmed were extremely small, it may have made a tactical mistake. Now that I have official Applicant status, IIG can’t back out of its contract and deny me Applicant status without facing serious legal consequences. To keep its commitment and preserve its integrity, IIG must see the process through to the end, hopefully with a high degree of transparency, even while knowing that the final demonstration will likely verify my claim. I have full confidence that IIG will honor the terms of a contract that it crafted, go through with the final test, and accept the results. This is my commitment, and it should be IIG’s commitment as well.

 

                                                               If not random coincidence, then what?

     Another falsification strategy that Newton Bible Code skeptics have advanced in the past is literary convention. It involves looking in Ancient Near Eastern literature for triadic sequences identical or near identical to those in the code. The idea behind this approach is to demonstrate that the sequences, in both their primary and modulated forms, were a common idiom of the times, the natural result of historical, cultural, linguistic, or religious influences.

     Again, doing due diligence, I spent a lot of time working the literary convention angle before creating the Smoking Gun Challenge, and found not a single scrap of evidence that it’s true. But that didn’t mean that others wouldn’t try, and perhaps be more successful. Skeptic Jason Colavito gave it his best shot, and came up with the same results I did. In a research essay posted on his blog, Colavito cites only a couple of solitary instances in non-biblical ancient literature where grain, wine, and oil are mentioned in proper sequence, certainly nothing that comes even remotely close to resembling the Newton Bible Code. And, for some inexplicable reason, he completely ignores the 30 modulated sequences that use generic equivalents of grain, wine, and oil that make up two thirds of the code.

     To make his point, Colavito needed to find a substantial number of primary grain, wine, and oil sequences, in that specific order, and also, in the same body of literature, find generically modulated sequences. If you go to his blog archives, under December 2017, you can see that he found neither. In the end, Colavito’s research supports my code argument. Still, though he failed to debunk my claim, I appreciate Jason’s efforts and strongly recommend that skeptics thinking about using this particular strategy to check out his work.

     Had either of the above strategies succeeded in falsifying my claim, there would never have been a Smoking Gun Challenge and I would never have bothered submitting my claim to the IIG. Instead, Sean Rule’s statistical probability analysis generates overwhelming evidence that the Newton Bible Code is real, and Jason Colavito’s analysis supports the conclusion that the Newton Bible Code is unique in human literature. So, rather than having my claim debunked, I can now point to both tests as proof that my claim is true beyond a reasonable doubt. If the symmetry of the sequences in the Newton Bible Code is not a random coincidence, and not a common idiom, the only rational conclusion one can draw is that they are what I claim – an encrypted code, almost certainly extraterrestrial in origin.

 

                                                                            Stumping the skeptics

     I’d be very surprised if, in its nearly twenty year history, the IIG has ever been confronted with as daunting a challenge as it now faces in the Newton Bible Code. According to director James Underdown, no previous Applicant has ever come remotely close to winning the $100,000 prize. In prior entries, it was always a confident IIG facing down nervous Applicants with cold hard facts. This time, as the IIG team scrambles to find a way to falsify the code, it appears that the cold hard facts may be on the side of the Applicant.

     Additional evidence that IIG may be having a problem falsifying my Bible code claim came on August 4, 2018, when I sent the following email to the man who referred me to IIG, Dr. Jon Peters, a leader in the Portland chapter of the IIG and a prominent figure in the Greater Portland atheist community:

Jon,

     A few years back I had the privilege of meeting you at an atheist meetup in Bend at McMenamin’s [a local pub]. Afterwards I emailed you and told you about a code I thought I discovered in the Old Testament. You advised me to forward it to the Los Angeles chapter of the IIG. Still deeply involved in research, I waited until Dec. 2017 to send in my application for the $100,000 Challenge. It was officially accepted by Spencer Marx on Jan. 16 of this year.

     I waited six months, without hearing anything, so I emailed Spencer, and, a week later, James Underdown. Never heard back, which suggests that IIG may be having a hard time falsifying my claim. My research is posted online at www.smokinggunchallenge.com.

     The reason I am writing you is that I used your name as the person who referred me to IIG, so if I win the prize, which I fully expect to do, you will receive a $5000 reward! I thought you would like to know what is going on, and I take this opportunity to thank you for referring me to IIG. If you have any more advice, please let me know.

All the best,

Don

 

Soon afterwards, I received the following reply:

     The details are above me. Good luck and I hope they have the resources to adequately evaluate your claim. I’m glad you were able to submit your entry and have it accepted.

Best,

Jon

 

     While I appreciated Jon’s reply, I found it odd that he hinted that IIG may not have the resources to adequately evaluate the code. For IIG to fail to falsify my claim because of a lack of resources is not a reason for it to deny me the $100,000. In addition, IIG, with its broad-based international support, has the best resources in the world at its disposal. I think all skeptics would agree that if IIG can’t falsify my claim, it is highly unlikely that another institution or individual could.

     I am confident that when the IIG process is finished, it will confirm that the Newton Bible Code is real and that I will win the $100,000 IIG Challenge. Unless someone does a James “the Amazing” Randi and pulls a rabbit out of a hat, there appears to be no other debunking strategies available. Barring some unforeseen development, I stand to be the first Challenge winner in the history of the IIG.

     But, as of this writing, IIG has not conceded. With its affiliate organizations having access to some of the world’s best intellectual and technical firepower, if there is any conceivable way to explain away the 46 sequences short of them being a code, I’m absolutely confident that IIG will find it. This is the way it should be and the way I want it to be. If the Newton Bible Code is not real, it needs to go away. Conversely, if it is real, it is a historic discovery that would call for extended professional analysis.

     Talented skeptics generally relish the opportunity to engage claims that have a fighting chance of being confirmed. If an extraordinary claim ever turns out to be true, the names of the skeptics who first investigated it would be featured in the press and in scientific journals. If IIG confirms the Newton Bible Code and I win the $100,000, James Underdown and the IIG team will become famous for being the first to formally test and verify what may be the long-sought Smoking Gun: credible scientific evidence of extraterrestrial activity on Earth.

     Below are two excerpts from IIG’s website I think you will find informative. The first describes IIG’s commitment, and the second, the Applicant’s commitment:

 

Excerpt 1:

     The Independent Investigations Group (IIG) is committed to providing reliable information about paranormal abilities and events, both supporting and conducting original research into such abilities/events.

     The IIG offers $100,000 to anyone who can demonstrate, under properly controlled and mutually-agreed observational conditions, any testable, measurable or similarly verifiable supernatural, occult or other paranormal ability or event (jointly referred to hereafter as “paranormal claim”) in a way that rules out chance or any other natural explanation.

     Very briefly, the basic steps of the IIG Challenge are: (1) Application – which you are now reading and need to complete and submit to IIG; (2) Preliminary Demonstration – a controlled test of both your paranormal claim and of the protocol custom-designed with and approved by you; and (3) Final Test – if you obtain a positive result in the Preliminary Demonstration, you will need to reproduce a positive result in a Final Test using a more stringent version of the same protocol. (4) Payment & Fame – and automatic qualification for James Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge!

 

Excerpt 2:

     AGREEMENT • I, the undersigned Applicant, have read, understood, and agreed to all of the Terms and Conditions in this Application and request acceptance for IIG’s $100,000 Paranormal Challenge. • I acknowledge that IIG suggested I conduct a controlled, double-blind test of my paranormal claim before submitting this Application and that IIG offered to help me design such a test. • I understand previous applicants have experienced public embarrassment, humiliation or other emotional states after their demonstration’s negative result, and I am willingly risking the same. • I have clearly described my paranormal claim, proposed how to test it and how to judge the results, identified all known limitations of it, and explained when and how I discovered it. If IIG needs further information, I agree to provide additional details as requested. • I understand that unless otherwise agreed with IIG in the protocol, a Preliminary Demonstration and/or Final Test will take place in the Los Angeles area, and I that I will need to pay my own travel costs, plus any agreed expenses for equipment, technicians, etc. • If my demonstration result is negative or if I’m disqualified or withdraw from my demonstration, I understand I must wait at least one full year before submitting another Application.

 

                                                                                    Please, Kill the Code

     My goal is to have IIG do all they can to “Kill the Code,” so that when I am awarded the $100,000 Challenge Prize, no one will be able to point to any corners that were cut or promising strategies overlooked. This will take time, no doubt, but I think reasonable people would agree that the IIG pre-investigation can’t go on indefinitely. How long will it last - one year, two years?  Considering what is at stake, and the profound consequences that would surely follow if my claim is confirmed, I’m willing to wait for a reasonable period of time, as long as I am assured that IIG is actively working on my claim and not stalling. Obviously, for IIG to sit idly by and not be investigating the data, as it promises to do in its contract, would be unacceptable. The IIG process, properly conducted, ends with a test that results in a verdict, after which I walk away, either empty-handed or with a fistful of cash.

     For most folks, myself included, $100,000 is a lot of money, and that’s the whole idea behind the IIG Challenge. IIG’s mission is to publicly demonstrate, in a palpably dramatic way, that modern science has a solid and comprehensive grasp of Reality. IIG, believing that extraordinary claims in fundamental disagreement with mainstream scientific consensus should not go unchallenged, uses a large sum of money to attract the purveyors of such claims, daring them, in effect, to subject whatever testable evidence they have to open and independent critical scrutiny.

     The inherent flaw in IIG’s philosophy, if you want to call it that, is that in the history of science there are numerous examples of mainstream scientific consensus being wrong, and theories regarded as totally preposterous by the scientific establishment, sometimes for decades, turning out to be true. In science, extraordinary discoveries that overthrow existing paradigms are not uncommon events, making it only a matter of time, one would think, before the IIG would be confronted with an extraordinary claim that it couldn’t falsify. I believe now is that time.

     IIG’s philosophy, however, rather than being flawed, is in reality a win-win situation. By that I mean, if it falsifies my claim, it will have contributed to science by eliminating a bad idea. Should that happen, I will not hesitate to accept the verdict and applaud IIG’s effort. But if IIG confirms my claim and awards me the $100,000, I think it will have made an even greater contribution by gifting scholars of all types with the opportunity to seek to find out who encrypted the code, and, perhaps more important, to extract whatever information it might contain. If this were to happen, $100,000 would be a modest price to pay for the notoriety that IIG and its staff would get in return.

     It should be pointed out that the Newton Bible Code is no “ordinary” extraordinary claim. It not only involves ancient writings that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity consider sacred, it infringes on many of the fundamental teachings of these faith systems, in such a crucial way that, if IIG confirms the code, there is no question that the leaders of these religions will do everything in their power to fight back. On the other side of the ledger, a Bible code confirmed by IIG could create an opportunity for secularists to co-opt the Bible away from religion and integrate it more fully into non-sectarian interests - in much the same way that the theory of evolution allowed science to co-opt the subject of origins away from young earth creationists, to the point where it is now securely under the purview of science.

     “Independent Investigations” in the IIG title implies that IIG team members approach a claim with a high level of neutrality; that they simply test evidence in the most rigorous way possible and accept the results, whatever the results turn out to be. If IIG is willing to publicly conduct a final test that it knows will confirm my claim and make me the first IIG Challenge winner, and then post it on its website, it will have truly met the gold standard of independence, integrity, transparency, and, perhaps most important, courage. I expect nothing less from an organization that represents the core ethical values of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, an institution co-founded by Carl Sagan. For almost twenty years IIG has enjoyed remarkable success, with a sterling record of providing skeptics and rational thinkers around the world with the intellectual and scientific resources they need to combat pseudoscience in their local communities. In accepting me as an Applicant, the IIG may now have an opportunity to do what it has never before done, confirm an extraordinary claim.

     So where are we at in the IIG pre-investigation? Only IIG officials know, and they aren’t talking, at least not to me. As the Applicant, I do not receive regular status updates, so I am not privy to what is going on behind the scenes. What I know for certain is this: No one disputes that 46 symmetrical sequences in the Old Testament constitute real physical evidence of a possible code, and that after nine months of intensive investigation by the world’s leading skeptic testing agency, what I claim is the Smoking Gun, the Newton Bible Code, has not been falsified. I leave this chapter open-ended because the IIG pre-investigation isn’t finished. It’s an unfolding story. As more information becomes available it will be added to this site - so stay tuned.

9/2/2019   Conclusion

     On November 18, 2018, I was notified by IIG Director James Underdown’s office that every test IIG applied on the data during its ten month long cryptanalysis of the sequences led to a single verdict: The Newton Bible Code is real, with no reasonable possibility that it could have been encrypted by humans. My alien Bible code claim was confirmed, making me the first winner of the IIG Challenge.

     Unfortunately, Mr. Underdown then informed me that I would not be awarded the $100,000 prize because of a clause in the IIG contract that allows him, at his discretion, to demand that either I change my claim and turn it into something that IIG can debunk, or be disqualified.

     No, I am not kidding!

 

     After consulting with my attorney, who agreed that IIG was unfairly moving the goalpost, I chose disqualification. IIG’s passive verification of the Newton Bible Code is worth far more to me than the prize money. The bottom line: I win on the science, and, in the end, that is all that matters.

    

     Another unfortunate situation is that Mr. Underdown denied my request that the research that went into IIG’s historic investigation be released to the public. Consequently, there is zero transparency.

 

     This raises the question: What is the Center For Inquiry, IIG, and Mr. Underdown trying to hide?

 

     Despite these glitches, I want to publicly thank the Center For Inquiry, James Underdown, and the IIG staff for accepting me as an Applicant, and for their herculean effort to debunk my claim. My dream of having a mainstream scientific entity test the Newton Bible Code, and then seeing it fail to debunk my extraordinary claim after a ten month long investigation, sets the stage for my next project: a new website that will be rolled out on December 20th of this year, the 23rd anniversary of Carl Sagan’s death.

 

     The goal of this website will be twofold:

 

     First, to generate a meaningful dialogue between atheists and evangelical Christians over a serious question that both sides have been avoiding for decades: Could Jesus have been an extraterrestrial? Few people know that a young Carl Sagan is on record as stating, very adamantly, that Jesus Christ was an extraterrestrial. In light of extraordinary new developments, this is no longer a dumb question to ask.

 

     Second, to conduct and promote continued high level research of the Newton Bible Code.

 

                                                         THE $1,000 SMOKING GUN CHALLENGE

 

     Finally, I am attaching $1,000 to the Smoking Gun Challenge, to be awarded to the first skeptic who can do what the Center For Inquiry failed to do: explain away the sequences, by scientific cryptanalysis, as being anything other than an alien Bible Code. This may not be a large sum of money, but one thing is certain - it is $1,000 more than what anyone could ever hope to win from the ethically challenged IIG.