The Pigasus awards are basically a mockery program. Every year, on 1st April, these awards are given to the eligible people.
The list of nominees and winners is uploaded online. They have many categories. Not only is it fun but informational too.
The awards have a fantastic history and a strong background. It is a well-thought campaign and created to bring a positive change in society. Let’s go through the story behind this weird-looking trophy, and see what is so special about it.
Background of the Pigasus Awards
James Randi, a Canadian-American retired stage magician, initiated this award program in 1982. The concept of it was to praise the work of fake psychics and paranormal activists. The awards simply mock the people who believe in such activities.
It gives a shout-out to those who succeed in fooling the public with their fake talent. All the nominations are based on their work. James personally looks over each of them and then decides the winner.
According to the award producers, the distribution is done through a telepathy service. So, if someone is a real psychic, they will receive it. If not, then they are lying about their capabilities.
It is a fun way to debunk the liars and false practitioners. Of course, it would be easy, to tell the truth about them, but unfortunately, not many people believe in the news. People follow them blindly with no proof of their powers.
In such circumstances, these awards are a unique way to expose such activists—people who claim to know the future or believe in doing any kind of paranormal activity. This program is specifically made for them.
James Randi, the Founder of the Pigasus Awards
James Randi is a former magician. He has entertained the public with his amazing tricks for decades. Due to his marvelous performances, he got the stage name “The Amazing Randi”.
When Randi retired, he started working as a skeptic. He closely followed the work of certain psychists, and after that, debunked them if they were fake. He showed people that there is no such thing as magic. It is all about tricks, and he would expose them. For these services, he is now called a debunker. But he likes to call himself an investigator.
He never believed in paranormal activities. So, he made his mission to expose every single person who promoted them. Every time a new psychist enters the market of paranormal work, he has to go through the investigation of James.
Sometimes, he would expose fake magicians through the award campaign, and other times on national television. He had many programs with the sole purpose to debunk psychics who fool the innocent people.
Not only that, but he also challenged the whole world that if someone claims to perform any actual paranormal activity, he will reward them with one million dollars.
Even though a lot of people tried to win the prize of his challenge, no one succeeded. From so-called expert psychics to magicians, everyone failed. Until finally, in 2015, this challenge was officially over. Randi terminated the program because he was stepping down from his seat in the organization that he collaborated with, for the prize money.
In short, he was a man of his word. He believed that paranormal science has no reality to it. And, he was willing to take every step to prove his point. Thus, he founded the Pigasus Awards.
The Uri Trophy
When James started this campaign to debunk false psychics, he named it the Uri Trophy. He did so because his inspiration for the program was a famous psychist, Uri Geller.
Uri is a self-taught magician and psychic who has been a star of television shows for decades. He got famous because of his spoon bending illusions. Wherever he went, a huge amount of people followed him.
With all this popularity, he caught James Randi’s attention. He was never a fan of people who claimed to have paranormal powers. Thus, he started this program and named it after him.
To mock the famous magician’s claims, the award was designed in a spoon bending shape. This trophy was the original design of the Pigasus Award.
The New Name of Awards
In 1996, Randi changed the name of the campaign to The Pigasus Awards. This idea was suggested to him by a fan, in an email.
It symbolized the combination of a pig and a hypothetical animal Pegasus (a flying horse) to represent the paranormal beliefs. The new trophy was created by Jutta Degener, who is a German artist. The design features a pig with some angel wings.
This is the story behind the infamous trophy of Pigasus Awards. It has been representing this program for years now.
Categories of the Pigasus Awards
The following are categories of the Pigasus awards:
The Silliest Scientist of the Year
This category is all about the geeky science guys. From doctors to laboratory workers, everyone. Its principle is quite simple. The person who has done the stupidest work gets the trophy.
For example, in 1979, a professor was awarded because he said that even though there is no evidence of paranormal activity, we should still believe in it. Similarly, in 2008, a scientist won because he claimed to shoot electromagnetic waves from his eyes.
The Stupidest Funding Organization of the Year
Frankly speaking, this category is a little offensive. But if you think about it, it makes sense. It covers all the helping organizations who instead of working for better things, aid in useless creations. It mostly includes the trusts who help with nonsense parapsychological studies.
In 1979, this award was given to the McDonnell Foundation that gave five hundred thousand dollars to Washington University in St. Louis for studying spoon-bending children. Also, in 2010, CVS pharmacy was presented with this award because of their work for homeopathic medicine.
The Irrelevant Media Source of the Year
This category is a fun one. It is all about the news, and those reports, that are very far from reality. It includes the media sources that get presented as facts to the general public. It debunks all the fake reporters.
In the year 1980, a channel received this for showing a trick as genuine magic. Other than that, a reporter won this award in 2010 for promoting medical quacks on national television. Also, in 2011, TLC won one for airing a show on paranormal beliefs.
The Perfect Psychic of the Year
This one is special. It is for the fake psychics who fool their audience. The winner of this category is the person who fools the greatest number of people in a year.
In the year 2008, the winner of this category was an activist. He won due to his work in the anti-vaccination movement. Likewise, in 1979, a trainer won this award for his efforts to choose people based on their aura.
The Epitome of Denial
This one is a new category, which started in the year 2003. It is for all the workers who live in paranormal dreams. People who refuse to face reality and keep living in fantasies. This category of the Pigasus Awards gives a shout-out to them.
For instance, a scientist received this award for his constant work in the ghost theories in the year 2011. In the next year, a doctor received it for promoting quackery.
The Pigasus Awards have been a fun way to debunk all those people who claim to be very powerful. But instead, they are completely ordinary, just like us. The person behind this program is an amazing magician James Randi.
He was the face of many programs. With his organization, Randi has done some wonderful work. He has tried to prove paranormal work as complete nonsense on many platforms. And this award campaign is one of them. His other works include his TV shows, his books, and his one-million-dollar challenge.