For the past eight years, September 11th has been a day that stands out as a date to remember and reflect on the worst terrorist attack in US history and one of the most shocking events in many of our lifetimes. The attacks of that day have caused a lot of pain and lead to a great deal of disagreement over the cause and the response and the things done in the name of security and safety.

However, I'd like to consider another aspect that is rarely discussed: the events were never in any way predicted by any of the self-proclaimed psychics or future-seers out there. While some have claimed that the vague words of Nostradamus or some other cryptic phrase contains clues, the fact is that nobody, no professional nor amateur psychic gave any indication that there would be a major terrorist attack in New York City or Washington in September 2001. None said that the year 2001 would see commercial aircraft turned into weapons to bring down skyscrapers. None stated that the World Trade Center would be destroyed. Nothing like that has ever been verified.

I find this incredibly significant because it is one event which would be nearly impossible to miss, even if one only received the most scant and varied information on the future. One thing that many self-proclaimed psychics have claimed is that they can't be expected to be right 100% of the time or to get every event before it happens. They will tell you that they don't always have complete control over their powers or what they see. Sometimes it works better than others and sometimes it does not come in very clearly. One might imagine that their visions are like a cell phone or television with very poor reception. It fades in and out, and sometimes you can make out a good picture through the static, but sometimes you can't.

Fair enough. One can easily see how the imperfections in psychic powers might mean a certain event would be obscured, but the attacks of 9/11/2001 were not a single event. They were the beginning of a number of events that changed things across the US and across the world. If a psychic had even the briefest vision of what New York City would look like in years to come, it would be impossible not to notice that the twin towers were absent. Anyone who had been to the city in 2001 or 2002 will also be aware that it was a very different place. Much of lower Manhattan was covered in dust, pictures of lost loved ones were hanging on temporary walls in Grand Central and everywhere signs and memorials hung in windows. If a person from the year 2000 were taken into the future and dropped in the city, it would be immediately apparent that something major and tragic had happened.

Beyond that, the attacks shaped life in the US and around the world. For months, hardly a single newspaper front page did not mention the attacks or the war in Afghanistan afterward. "Terrorism" and "9/11" were on the lips of everyone, especially politicians. The TSA was formed as was the Department of Homeland Security. Airports stopped allowing liquids, even beverages to be brought through security. Political debates were dominated by talk of terrorism.

How is it possible, how is it even conceivable, that a psychic could see the future, even bits and pieces of the future and not pick up something verifiable. It could be a statement as simple as "The numbers 9 and 11 will be significant and connected with a tragic event that is of a scale large enough to dominate politics for some time thereafter."

But no. No such thing. The simple explanation is that psychic powers don't exist.

Stephen Packard is the author of the blog Depleted Cranium. He lives in Connecticut.