An April 21 article about Vicki Monroe refers to her as a “Maine psychic” (“Maine psychic Vicki Monroe stars in new TV show”).

There are no Maine psychics, just as there are no Maine unicorns or Maine werewolves.

If Monroe believes she is a psychic or wants to call herself one, fine. But responsible reportage should not foster beliefs in nonexistent entities.

In a sidebar (“Reporter gets surprise psychic reading while interviewing Vicki Monroe”), reporter Ray Routhier relates he was “surprised” by Monroe’s vision of a nearby deceased friend or family member as “someone, a friend … more like a brother, and it was like his heart exploded.”

She also reported the friend now had a full head of hair.

Routhier immediately thought of a close friend, who died at 45, with an enlarged heart and a receding hairline: in other words, someone with normal male pattern baldness whose heart did not, like, explode.

Unfortunately, such people are not thin on the ground. Nor are middle-aged males, hirsute or otherwise, who die of heart attacks.

Considering the “like” in both descriptions and the unknowability of the revenant’s hairline, I can immediately think of people who might qualify as well as Routhier’s friend: my wife, a relative and close friend, who all died of a burst aorta; two close friends who died in auto accidents; and one who died in an airplane crash – whose hearts may well have “exploded.”

All had full heads of hair at their death, so a vision of them with full heads of hair “now” would seem merely accurate, rather than remarkable, as in the case of Routhier’s friend.

Routhier’s account, rather than evidencing Monroe’s supernatural powers, shows the extent to which even a skeptical interlocutor may unwittingly collaborate with a self-described psychic to create a meaningful or comforting portrait from a vague, equivocal and highly probable description.

William Lee

Portland