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Looking for Carroll Beckwith; A detective's search for his past life.

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  • Very conservatively throwing out (assuming cumulative probability of 1) all the items pointed out by Paul C. as probably correlated I still get total odds against chance of about 10**17, not figuring Ersby's objections. I invite someone to check this and do the simple arithmatic. So I ask Ersby to individually and specifically correct each of the items in such a way as to bring the cumulative odds down to 1 in 10**6 or less (down 11 orders of magnitude or more). Then we will see what is reasonable and how erroneous common sense can be. I'm really curious.


    • Hmm, that's a lot of work considering that I suspect neither of us will be persuaded to change their mind.

      I took a look at the first seven and, not counting guess number one, I work out odds of 1 in 484 for your figures and odds of 1 in 15 for mine. And that's just multiplying everything together which - as Paul points out - probably isn't the right method.

      One example of where we differ is in "Did he die in a big city". You gave it 0.33 (small, medium, big) whereas I gave it 0.8 (the approx percentage of the population living in urban areas at the time).

      As I see it, in the first six statements he makes after identifying the artist with the first guess, only three have any real chance of being demonstrably wrong. The other three are either obvious or allow room to be reinterpreted.


      • And don't forget that once you've settled on a probability, you have to explain what it means.

        Hint: It does not tell us the probability that a person matches the criteria.

        ~~ Paul


        • Book received. I'll start reading it tonight.

          ~~ Paul


          • Well, I finished reading Snow's book today. Overall, I'd say I didn't find anything surprising in the book.

            I find it somewhat too convenient that there isn't a photograph of the hunchback painting in the book. I also find it hard to believe that Beckwith never mentioned translating The Hunchback of Notre Dame, given the excruciating detail in his diary and scrapbooks.

            At least one of Snow's 28 points was confirmed by inference instead of direct evidence.

            No matter what kind of year he had financially, Beckwith seemed to never feel that he was making enought or had enough money. This also answered item #17. If Beckwith and his wife fought, and I've never know of a married couple who didn't, it would have been over money.
            There definitely were details that he described in his regression that didn't end up on his list of 28 items. For example, on page 34 he mentions that "Amanda" wore a red dress with a big bustle.

            When he discovered the hunchback painting in New Orleans, he did use information from a short bio of Beckwith to match the discovery with his regression.

            ~~ Paul


            • Hey guys, Ive just saw the case of Robert Snow and I was quite sure it is easaly debuncable story, however It seems to lack a lot of criticism and skeptic reviews as most other such cases.
              Anyway I was wondering if some of you are still interested in discusing it, maybe some of you who did read the book, because I couldnt find it.

              8/9.Did he paint portraits but hate doing it but he needed the money?

              11.Did he use the name Jack?

              14.Did he express an almost desperate need for money?

              15.In my regression, I saw myself arguing with someone about poor lighting
              for one of my paintings.
              Can I find an incident of Beckwith doing this?

              21.In my regression, I said my wife and I were happy, even though we didn't
              have children.
              Were the Beckwith's happy?

              22.In my regression, I saw myself working in a studio with lots of windows
              and skylights.
              Did Beckwith work this way?

              23.Did beckwith ever visit or stay at an estate with a large garden?

              26.I said, "I'm a good painter, but it took so long".

              27 Did Beckwith feel at the end of his life that he was finally successful or a good painter?

              28.In my regression I said "I don't think they liked me, but they liked my

              Im wondering how did Snow prove the claims? Did he quote Beckwith?

              Also about the experiance with the picture... Could it be that it was deja vu = knowing the name of the artist + the association between the artist name and "hunchback of notre dame" + the drawing of hunchbacked woman + anxiety must have produced the feeling of familiarity where it was just the sum of several diferent familiar facts