It’s been a while since the Operation Peach Pit investigation we completed on medium Matt Fraser. To catch up quickly, here is the NYT’s article and Kenny Biddle’s article with details of the experience. I promise I haven’t ignored him. All the footage I’ve seen of Fraser shows him to be a very quick and experienced reader of people. There is no doubt that Fraser is a good live performer; the audience eats it up and loves it. People leave the reading feeling really great about the communications. He hands out hugs and jokes with the sitters; he’s very entertaining.
Everything I’ve seen shows the hallmarks of a very good cold reader. But in the one video I reviewed of Fraser reading NBC Connecticut Morning News host, Shannon Miller, I saw something completely different. Fraser went directly to speaking about Miller’s dead grandfather, that he was a military man, and that he was proud of Miller. That was quite a tease. And then Fraser said, “You were just looking at photos of him.” Through tears, Miller responds that she had been. YEP, she sure had been. It took my team just a couple of minutes looking at her Instagram page to find three sepia photos that stood out from all the color photos. They were of a man in military uniform, along with a comment that it was Miller’s grandfather. I suppose Fraser would say that “Grandpa came through with a message to his granddaughter.” I have a skeptical mind and think that it is more likely that Fraser sneaked a peek at her Instagram page. If so, that is classic hot reading.
In September 2019, I noticed Fraser was going to be in the same town I was and decided to attend his show. Three of us attended at $65 dollars per person. It was open seating and sold out. I counted 280 in the room, which was divided up into quarters, with half the room facing the other half so Fraser could wander around the rows in the middle. All seats were good seats; I was impressed. Fraser was well dressed, if a bit shinny with a white sequined shirt. He was fun, friendly and high energy the whole two hours of the show. He did not take a break and was speaking non-stop. It must be exhausting to be him.
Cold reading is a learned skill that some people excel at: people who are outgoing, fun and friendly; people who are happy to talk, talk, talk, are quick on their feet, and keen observers. The best at this skill are amazing to watch as they work the room. The audience (or the specific sitter) usually has no resistance to thinking quickly enough to understand what is going on. The word play used by a medium who is cold reading is only something you can understand if you slow it down and replay it. The statements made are usually so general that they would fit most people of a given generation. But the performer adds enough dialog to make it sound really personal and specific to the sitter. Emotions are high for the sitter who very likely believes that the medium is in contact with their loved one on “the other side.”
To illustrate this, I have transcribed directly a random exchange during the performance we attended. Keep in mind that this is typical of the whole two hours, with a couple of good hits and many misses. And this whole exchange takes four minutes. For best results try reading this out loud.
Can you all stand up? (pointing to a row of ten people)
Oh boy—I got a couple different souls … when I come over there they all are trying to get my attention, like a frickin’ operator on the other side.
(Fraser directs this exchange to a woman who appears to be in her mid-sixties.) So this is your dad’s way of acknowledging you that he is here at the moment I’m connecting with him; I let my lights go out which is his way of acknowledging that there was light issues before his departure. Do you understand that? When I’m connecting with him he said he does not want to be in that wheelchair, which is his way of acknowledging that even though he couldn’t walk or move that it is his way of letting you know on the other side that he can move fine, ’cause he is running up and down with me as I’m connecting with him. Understand that? And he says to me while I’m speaking to him to let her know that more importantly I was not losing my mind at the end cause he is acknowledging that. So, did you think he was losing his mind? ‘Cause he is bringing that up when I’m speaking to him. And your father is telling me he was as sharp as a tack here in the psychical world. I wanted to have my independence and I wanted to live as long as I could, he is acknowledging that. And some of the hardest things was when his eye went out here in the physcial. He is talking about the infection, what was the infection about?
Sitter: “He had colon cancer. So … . “
But your dad also tells me when I connected with him stomach bloating up when I am connecting … right before he passed I felt it was a bloat or a big issue with you here and I felt it was sepsis or it was sepsis that was going on.
Sitter: “Ohhhh okay.”
Did you know that?
Sitter: “No I did not.”
‘Cause when I’m connecting with him he is showing me that when I’m speaking to him it is his way of letting me know and you know that he wasn’t going to make it here in the physcial world even though he was fighting and going through this in this world
Sitter: “Yes he was fighting”
‘Cause when I’m connecting with him the first thing you need to let her know I look so good on the other side. ‘Cause he’s like combing his hair, he’s all dressed up, and this is how you remember him.
And did he wear Old Spice in this world? All I keep smelling is Old Spice.
Sitter: “He wore something.”
‘Cause I smell your father in the same way I’m connecting with your loved ones is the same way I’m connecting to you. So, all of a sudden you start smelling things. Your dad’s cologne or aftershave. Know that that’s his way of acknowledging that he is there and he’s with you. He is also talking about the dogs that have passed as well. He has dogs that are there with him. And what was the German Shepherds?
Sitter: “Uhhh … it was yeah … they were his … “
Perfect, he says the dogs are here. Your dad got more excited that he’s not even excited to make it to heaven, he’s more excited the dogs are here. (laughing in room) ‘My dogs are here!’ He is so excited about that. Do you understand that? So know that those two souls are on the other side it’s your dad’s way of acknowledging that they are there.
He says I want her to know that I’m the one watching over you and I’m the one that is there, because you feel a presence in the house, and you feel a soul that’s there. And you are like ‘Who the Hell is this?’ He goes, know that that’s me. I’m the one that’s haunting you, I’m the one that’s in the house.
Sitter: “Everybody says my house is haunted.” (laughter in room)
It’s your Father!
Know it’s his way of bringing that through ’cause I want you to know that I am okay and more importantly by me, correctly thought it means I’m still your father on the other side and I still watch over you every day so know that when you feel me you sense me, it’s okay to talk to me. He says because I’m right there by your side, know that the dogs are here and they are safe and at peace with me, cause they were like his kids when I’m connecting with him and you are going to know that this goes for us all that when we lose animals here in the physcial world they go back with our loved ones on the other side. You should see my frickin’ (intelligible) it looks like Ringling Brothers and Barnum … all these souls are with them it’s his way of bringing that through and letting you know that he’s okay, he is safe and at peace and that he is with you.
That took four minutes folks—even with the laughter. Comes at you very fast if you are the sitter. Anyone on the receiving end of this reading would be overwhelmed, and probably feeling pretty good that dad came through to let them know that he is in heaven with the dogs, and at peace.
But we have the advantage of being able to read this over slowly and think it though. Let’s break it down:
It appears that Fraser got a lot of hits and no misses.
Remember this is a transcript, so you can’t see all the non-verbal feedback that the sitter is giving Fraser during the reading that lets him know he is on the right track. There is also at play a known phenomenon that happens when a magician calls on someone in the audience. The audience member is more likely to agree to whatever is said and nod in agreement based on visual and voice cues from the magician. The magician picks the audience member and is looking for someone who looks like they are going to play along, someone that isn’t likely to embarrass the magician. Now consider that this audience member is being called on by a medium who is claiming to be speaking to their dead father. That person is more likely to keep the reading moving along and if something is partly correct, they are going to make it fit, so the reading continues. Again. don’t forget this is happening very quickly.
Fraser picked a woman in her mid-sixties and told her that her father was dead. She nodded in agreement. Hit. Well, how likely was that? Her father would be in his late eighties, which is far past the male life expectancy; it was pretty likely her father was dead. And if he had not been, then Fraser could very quickly change it to grandfather, who would for sure be dead. Also remember, Fraser has a row of ten people standing up. When he says he is getting a dead father, he can appear to be directing that statement at several people at once, looking at their faces to see if someone reacts. In fact, during this two-hour event, I remember at least once someone asking, “are you talking to me?” because it wasn’t clear who Fraser was addressing.
What is “light issues before he departed” and he “didn’t want to be in the wheelchair” as well as he wanted to “live independently”? He appeared to be losing it, but actually he was “sharp as a tack” is typical. This exchange of him knowing that he wasn’t going to make it, yet he was fighting to live was a bit odd. All these statements probably would fit anyone at the very end of life. What timetable are we talking about? Months before? Days before? An hour before death he was having “light issues”? I’m not sure but it does sound pretty specific … I guess.
This next part about sepsis, bloating, and infection is really interesting. Many of the readings Fraser gave during this event concerned medical issues. Did I mention that Fraser is a trained emergency medical technician?
The daughter says he died of colon cancer, but she isn’t aware of any of these other medical issues. She is open to whatever her dad is telling Fraser.
Her father is dressing up and combing his hair in heaven? Well, okay I guess. And he is wearing Old Spice. That seems pretty specific, right? Well I know my father wore Old Spice and I think a lot of men wore Old Spice. I couldn’t find a reliable source to tell me what the most common after-shave product for American males was over the years, but according to Wikipedia, Old Spice was first sold in 1937, so it would have been around at the time this father was alive. Another point—the daughter didn’t know if her father wore Old Spice or not. She said, “he wore something.”
The dogs are with the father in heaven. Well, considering that this man lived at least sixty years, it is pretty likely that he had dogs at some point. Most people do. The way it was phrased was this “… he’s also talking about the dogs that have passed as well.” That is pretty broad. “The dogs that have died” That could be family dogs, the daughter’s dogs, or whatever to fit.
But Fraser knew they were German Shepherds. That is a good hit alright. It could have been a very good guess, or it could have been playing the odds as this is a very common dog breed. According to Wikipedia, it was very popular after World War I but dropped in popularity after World War II because of German sentiment. But after 1993, it became the third most popular breed in the United States. One more possibility is that the daughter just agreed to the breed of dog even if it was not exactly correct. When he asks her about the German Shepherd, she says “uh … it was, yeah … they were his.” Not very convincing.
Wait just one minute. Reading over the transcript again, I missed this. Fraser is talking about the father having dogs with him in heaven. THEN Fraser stops and asks, “And what was the German Shepherds?” Fraser didn’t specifically say that the dogs with the father were German Shepherds, they could have been unrelated to the father in heaven, they could be currently living dogs belonging to the daughter or another family member. The daughter could have said that her child had been really scared of the neighbors’ barking German Shepherds, and that would have been a hit. Only after the daughter said “they were his” did Fraser link them to her father. Ohhh that was good, I almost missed that.
All the rest was just general filler that seems pretty specific, but after watching readings all the time you see it for what it is: feel-good fluff. Your father is watching over you. He is at peace. He is haunting your house. You feel him around you. He is at peace and is safe. He is in heaven. He is healthy, running around, combing his hair, and playing with the dogs. Nothing we can check, all things the daughter would want to be true.
What always interests me is how many people this would fit. My father would be about the same age as her father had been. Everything but the German Shepherd would be a hit. Bloating stomach, darkness, hating the wheelchair, wanting to live independently, appearing to not be clear minded, maybe even the sepsis.
More importantly, we have been looking for what fits. But we should be thinking of what is missing. Just about everything is missing. No names were given, not even a first letter. The father didn’t call his daughter by her name—even by a nickname. Dad didn’t mention anyone else in heaven with him, so what about his wife? Is she there? Didn’t he have a message for his daughter other than he is watching over her? No message for her siblings, or her children, or his wife if she is still alive? We don’t know his name either, or the dogs’ names. Why not? Dad talks about combing his hair and getting dressed up; why does he still need to do these things? Do they shower in heaven also? Do the fleas that were on the dogs when they died go to heaven with them? Do dogs in heaven scratch themselves? Why has dad forgotten everyone’s names, including his own? Why does dad appear to be an old man, why not appear as the daughter remembered him when she was a child? Why does dad want to talk about wheelchairs, bloating, and sepsis and not vacations, hobbies, family, and great memories? Can’t he give us some help with what is going to happen with current politics?
If Dad is communicating through Fraser, then maybe he can help out with some of those missing children cases we haven’t solved here in the present. Looking at the website for Missing and Exploited Children, it says that there were 424,066 reports of missing children in America in 2018. Can dad check with his sources over there in heaven and help out some desperate families? If so, why not do it? When I ask these questions, people who believe in mediumship tell me, “Oh Susan it doesn’t work that way.” Really? What way does it work? Dad wants to talk about combing his hair, but he can’t be bothered to find a missing child? Sigh.
Maybe in Fraser’s spare time, he is busy at the local police department looking through the cold-case files. I’m looking at Fraser’s Wikipedia page now and according to the South Florida Gay News and the Lowell Sun, Fraser works with police departments finding missing children. Odd that neither article mentions any names. Odd that they only have Fraser’s word for it. In the Lowell Sun article, Fraser says that it is up to the police to solve the crime; they only come to him when there are no leads. The reporter asked Fraser for a specific name of a case he solved, and Fraser talks about a woman whose dogs were lost after a break-in. “I pointed on the map. They were in the complete opposite direction of the search. They brought in the dog trackers, and they picked up the scent. They followed it for a long time, until they lost it.” Not sure what that means, did they find the missing dogs or not?
Where does this end? Two hours of non-stop readings is exhausting for me; I don’t know how Fraser does it. He had events both the day before and the day after the event we attended, neither near Southern California. He mentioned that he had two people at the event that were helping him, along with his manager/mother and also his fiancée, Alexa Papigiotis. I think the two helpers were local people, so he has three flights to pay for, and two hotel rooms at the Marriott for one night, plus food for everyone, and transportation to and from the airport. I don’t know what the Marriott charged for the room. But I’m sure it was a good chunk of money. Fraser had his book for sale for $10, and there was a long line to get it autographed. I wouldn’t be surprised if he sold at least 100. So, I don’t know what the expenditures were, but with book sales and attendance he should have brought in just under $20K for the day. Good work if you can get it.
So, stay tuned. Matt and his fiancée, Alexa Papigiotis, have a TV show coming out in early 2020 called “Meet The Frasers.” We are going to be able to watch and laugh along with everyone at his hilarious exploits with his growing Italian family. This will be on E!, the same network that brought us Tyler Henry. I don’t know about you, but I’m stocking up on popcorn now. Let’s hope that Fraser can find some time in between the hilarious exploits of a medium meeting his new family, and planning a big Italian wedding, to help out some of these desperate families who have missing children. I’m on pins and needles.
My thanks to Mark and Paula who attended the live event with me. And thank you James Randi for the money to be able to do so without dipping into my pocket. And one more thank you to Jim Preston and Rob Palmer for catching my typos and making this article more readable.
And one last addition—a few times a week I receive messages and emails (and even one letter) from people learning about the work I and my team do to research mediums. These are people who still believe that it is possible to communicate with the dead, but they are beginning to question some of the things they witness. This morning a woman named Sandra reached out to me after stumbling across an article about Operation Bumblebee (Chip Coffey) written by Sheldon Helms. This was the first of our Operations from 2014. Sandra and I had a really great exchange that ended in her telling me that she has been to many mediums and then mentioned Matt Fraser. I won’t get into the details here but after seeing him four times, she was done with him. She knew something wasn’t quite right about they way he always seemed to be right. If he stated something to a specific person and it was incorrect, someone a few rows over would say “that’s me” and off he would be to continue the reading elsewhere. Sandra, thank you for reaching out. To anyone else that has questions or would like to share your experiences (good or bad) with mediumship, I would love to hear. And if you have audio you would like to share, even better. Please be in touch via Facebook Messenger or by email SusanGerbic@yahoo.com.