The Doc Project

Lost your pet? This self-described psychic's mission in life is to help you find it

Robert Lindblad's services are purr-fectly legit, swear two different pet owners.

Robert Lindblad's services are purr-fectly legit, swear two different pet owners

Robert Lindblad, a 56-year-old self-described psychic, claims he can locate missing children and pets anywhere in the world. (Alison Cook/CBC)

By Alison Cook

After Lisa Lieberman's beloved dog Lucy went missing last December just outside Portland, Ore., she received a voicemail from a Montreal man.

"He told me that he searched for lost pets and lost people — 24-hour service, free of charge — so of course I figured we have nothing to lose," Lieberman said, of the mysterious message.

The man was Robert Lindblad, a 56-year-old self-described psychic, who lives in Montreal's southwest borough of LaSalle. He had learned about Lucy through the local news.

Lindblad claims he can locate missing children and pets anywhere in the world, and after her dog had been missing for a week, Lieberman was hopeful. After all, Lucy, a dachshund-yorkie mix, is extremely special to Lieberman's husband, Craig, who has multiple sclerosis and is a quadriplegic.

Lisa Lieberman's husband Craig has multiple sclerosis, and is a quadriplegic. He is very attached to their dog, Lucy. (Submitted by Lisa Lieberman)
Lieberman also received a call from someone who had spotted Lucy about six kilometres from home. She immediately called back Lindblad, and he agreed to help.

Using Lucy's last sighting and Google Maps, Lindblad directed Lieberman in real time to specific addresses. The first two proved fruitless, so when he gave her another address, she began to feel leery.

"I got a little annoyed and I said, 'Robert, that's really far. How could she have travelled that far?' He said, 'No, it's 600 feet.' He was absolutely right.'"

Three different times he told me where she was, and she was right there. Now you want to say that's a coincidence? I don't think so.- Lisa Lieberman, Lucy's owner

Lieberman had been thinking about how to navigate to the second address in her car, but there was a shortcut between the two addresses that a dog could easily take.

Lucy is a Dachshund-Yorkie mix. (Submitted by Lisa Lieberman)
While following his directions in her car, Lieberman turned a corner and spotted Lucy — but the dog took off. At the next intersection, Lucy fled again. Finally, Lindblad directed Lieberman to an intersection where Lucy was flushed out by a passing car. This time, Lieberman was able to catch her.

"Three different times he told me where she was, and she was right there," said Lieberman. "Now you want to say that's a coincidence? I don't think so."

For Lindblad, the experience of guiding Lieberman over the phone was particularly satisfying.

"It's the first time I heard it live," he said. "So that was great."

Lisa Lieberman's husband, Craig, reunited with Lucy. (Submitted by Lisa Lieberman)

'He is a diviner'

Though Lindblad claims he's always had some kind of psychic ability, friends suggest something changed after Lindblad was struck by a vehicle, dragged some 12 feet and hurled into a ditch when he was seven years old.

To this day, Lindblad is semi-paralyzed on the left side of his body, can't bend his right leg past a 90-degree angle, and only has peripheral vision in his right eye.

"I was dead for one minute, in a coma for one month, and in Montreal Children's Hospital for three months," recalled Lindblad.

"My friends think that's probably where it began."

Robert Lindblad, circa 1969. (Submitted by Robert Lindblad)

More than three-quarters of Canadians believe that certain things that happen on Earth cannot be explained by science, according to a 2016 Angus Reid poll. And nearly half of Canadians — the majority women — believe some people have psychic powers that enable them to predict future events.

Lindblad said, "Everyone and everything has their own vibration."

His go-to tool is an amethyst pendulum, though he said he doesn't actually need it. The way the pendulum swings is interpreted to answer certain questions, he said.

He picked it up in the early 1990s from his friend, Gilbert Girio, who says Lindblad had a natural knack for it. Girio said he would hide items in the living room that Lindblad would later find with ease.

"He is a dowser. He is a diviner," Girio said.

"I can't really speak to the fact as to whether he's a psychic or not. But when it comes to finding things, that's a pretty material provable kind of talent."

Robert Lindblad's pendulum, which is made of amethyst. (Alison Cook/CBC)
Since 1991, Lindblad has been working pro bono and claims to have assisted in some 54,000 cases, a number Girio contests but "regardless he has found many, many, you know. He has a very, very high success rate."

Finding Titite the cat

To help support his work as a psychic, Lindblad goes door-to-door, selling homemade CDs.

During his rounds in an east-end Montreal neighbourhood last year, he met Guillaume Forget and Geneviève Fortin, whose cat, Titite, had escaped a few days earlier.

Hoping Lindblad might spot the cat while in the neighbourhood, Forget gave him a poster with a photo of Titite.

Guillaume Forget and Geneviève Fortin put up this poster of Titite, offering a reward, around their neighbourhood of Rosemont, in Montreal's east end. (Submitted by Geneviève Fortin)

"At the moment I bought the CD I thought, 'Hey, maybe this guy can find my cat,'" Forget said. "If he's around the block, maybe he can look for her too."

Instead, Lindblad took the picture home with him.

Later that night, Lindblad phoned Forget, saying the cat was three blocks away. The couple looked, but Titite wasn't there. But two nights later, the two returned to the location Lindblad had identified, and found Titite there. 

Titite the cat escaped out the front door of Forget and Fortin's home on Rue Joliette. Following Robert Lindblad's directions, the couple found their cat several blocks over. (Emilie Quesnel/CBC)
Before leaving their house the night they found their cat​, the couple had sent Lindblad an email, asking him if he knew where Titite was now. But the couple left before hearing back from him.

When they arrived home with Titite, Lindblad had just responded. He wrote that he "sensed" the cat behind their house, a coincidence that is not lost on Forget, as they were coming home with Titite at that moment.

One person said, 'I think you need professional help.' I just laughed.- Robert Lindblad, psychic

"What I found fabulous was that he sensed her here," Forget said. "I really believe he has some psychic power. I don't really believe in these things. But after this, my perspective might have changed."

Geneviève Fortin and Guillaume Forget show the location where they found their lost cat, Titite. It was the location Robert Lindblad had told them to go to, two nights before. (Alison Cook/CBC)
Lindblad encounters his fair share of skeptics.

"One person said, 'I think you need professional help,'" he said. "I just laughed."

How police treat psychics' tips

While Montreal police won't comment on Lindblad or any individual psychic, police spokesperson Insp. André Durocher says they are bound to investigate when someone provides them with information.

"Whether the information comes from a psychic or from any concerned citizen, for us it is treated equally," he said.

Titite when she was found by the couple. (Submitted by Geneviève Fortin)
"Could you imagine if we were to ignore any information given, and it would turn out to be helpful or useful in finding a suspect or a missing person?"

Durocher checked Montreal police records going back 35 to 40 years and found that psychics had not solved any cases. 

"So far we have not been able to recover a body, a suspect or anything with tips from psychics," he said.

"But if talking to someone makes them feel good, who are we to judge?"

To hear more of Robert Lindblad's story, click on Listen Now at the top of this article. Or download and subscribe to our podcast so you never miss a show.

This documentary was produced by Alison Cook.