In a case that is sure to have the science world unravelling, a man who claimed that he could 'read people's minds', and tell them exactly what they were thinking about, did just that.
The man made the astonishing claim in front of a large crowd of people in Hull's Queen Victoria Square, which is actually circular. He stood at the top of the monument steps, clad in black, a man about 55 years old.
Hull isn't short of hecklers, and several of them were in attendance, but the Mind Reader turned a deaf ear. He introduced himself, and maintained the audience's attention by promising that, no matter whether they believed him now or not, they would in a few minutes. The audience mumbled amongst themselves. The Mind Reader began.
He addressed the crowd as 'Ladies and gentlemen', though, in truth, there were few people present who warranted those labels. He said:
"I shall now tell you exactly what you are thinking. Actually, I can't tell you EXACTLY what you are thinking, but you are thinking one of three things.
There was silence.
"Some people here are thinking the simple thought 'No, you can't!' in response to my wild claim."
The crowd murmured, and some people quietly shuffled away. He went on:
"Some of you are thinking 'How does he know what I'm thinking about?', because, as you now know, I do!"
At this, there was another slight delay, before more shuffling of feet signalled the exit of a larger group. There was a real tension in the air now. The Mind Reader spoke again:
"For those that still remain, the task becomes that much harder. You are the ones who have, with your more powerful and far superior inner strength, so far, resisted my attempts to dig down into your innermost thoughts; to probe the hidden depths of your minds; to poke my nose into places where it doesn't belong; and to rummage around and reveal what it is that you are all hiding from me!"
The crowd was still, the air thick with anticipation. The Mind Reader said:
"You are all thinking 'Oh, for fuck's sake, get on with it!'"
Nobody spoke. One man coughed, nervously. Slowly, the crowd started to disperse, no doubt thinking about what they'd just witnessed.
Police later released a photofit picture of the Mind Reader after 35 people reported having wallets or purses stolen whilst they were watching the performance.