Skeptical Inquirer #30:6

The latest issue of Skeptical Inquirer has been released, and as usual some of the articles have been made available for free on the SI website:

  • Forget swamp gas and the planet Venus. According to Joe Nickell, an owl is all you need (explaining the 'Kelly Green Men' case, after already producing the owl explanation for the Flatwoods Monster and Mothman).
  • Massimo Polidoro gives Lesson One on 'The Devious Art of Improvising' (with the help of James Randi).
  • Benjamin Radford goes in search of Noah's Ark (to Noah Vale).
  • Kendrick Frazier tells how Richard Leakey is fighting a church to protect the importance of fossil finds.

Full details of the latest issue, including more free content, can be found at the SI website, as can the full index of online articles.

News Briefs 12-12-2006

Today's news leans heavily towards the strange. Put on your tin foil hat and venture on in, brave explorer...

  • Twenty years on, the pilot of JAL1628 still doesn't know what he saw. He only knows he paid a price for telling the rest of the world. Some mistakes in the story (no passengers disembarked, as JAL1628 wasn't carrying passengers) - for the full details of this case, you can't go past Bruch Maccabee's comprehensive investigation (if you can forgive the flashing text).
  • Psilocybin trials offer hope for sufferers of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The irony of an OCD 'cure' coming from something that grows in cow sh*t is inescapable. By the way, Mind Hacks has a good rundown on some of the other psychedelic research going on at the moment as well.
  • Exorcism: psychiatry meets faith (with video). Get thee behind me, TDG reader!
  • Ghost hunter says ghosts are a misunderstood part of the natural environment, which can be explained through the careful application of science. Oh, and don't cross the streams. That would be...bad.
  • Mass hysteria forces evacuation of school.
  • Bob Heironymus claims to be the man inside the Bigfoot suit in the famous Patterson-Gimlin movie.
  • Psychics aid police in search for missing teen.
  • Why is seeing dead people (all the time) suddenly the hip thing in Hollywood?
  • Journalist debunks the Gulf Breeze UFO case.
  • The ten most bizarre people on Earth. David Icke makes the list. Mind you, I reckon on a Saturday night in the valley I could find a few worthy of the list too.
  • FOI in the UK. Government secrets now up for inspection.
  • The Antikythera Mechanism: a masterpiece of technology which raises more questions than it answers.
  • Richard Hansen, consultant on Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, acknowledges some creative licence was used in the depiction of the Maya. NG has video of Maya expert Zachary Hruby explaining how the movie's take on human sacrifice stretches "far beyond the truth" (text story here). Allan Boyle has a good round-up over at his Cosmic Log.
  • India's Pompeii uncovered.
  • Geothermal testing halted after it causes a quake.
  • Why a hydrogen economy just doesn't make sense.
  • Chinese rock formation resembles a face. He doesn't look very happy either...not sure I'd be driving beneath him in that mood.
  • Regional nuclear war could devastate global climate. I think it's a given that the local climate will be influenced.
  • Does our sense of smell depend on quantum mechanics?
  • Stumped on a Xmas gift? Why not give your loved one some jewelry made from your body. Be careful which part of your body...

Quote of the Day:

If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day.

J. A. Wheeler

Fortean Times #218

Issue 218 of Fortean Times will be in store this Thursday (14th December), and to get into the seasonal spirit the cover story is "How the Nazis stole Christmas":

If the Nazis were sworn enemies of Christianity, why were they so obsessed with Christmas? And how did they square celebrating the season of goodwill with their racialist policies? In a seasonal story of politics, propaganda and paganism, David Sutton finds that the truth about the struggle for Christmas in the Third Reich is both complex and disturbing.

Also in this issue, Paul Devereux celebrates the 'Cinderella' of UFO research, and traces the evolution in our understanding of 'earth lights' and other luminous mysteries. Plus...startling simulacra; California crazies; suicidal dogs; Christmas monsters; out-of-place artists; lightning visions; eating dirt; Stonehenge seen as an ancient spa; aromatic oddities; exuding glass; school ghost panic; ghost-hunting squaddie – and much more. Pick up your copy this week, or alternatively you could subscribe to the mag and get it sent directly to you (see the FT website for details).

Radio 12-12-2006

Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.

Fate Radio: This week is an encore presentation of Hilly's interview with Peter Davenport, Director of the National UFO Reporting Center in Washington (Real Audio or mp3).

Coast to Coast AM: On Monday clinical psychologist Dr. Allan Botkin probes the profound implications of apparent contact with departed loved ones. On Tuesday Alex Jones will be discussing the North American Union, New World Order sponsorship of terror groups, and the plunging dollar. Wednesday's guest is writer and documentary filmmaker Ken Klein, who will discuss his research on the supernatural origins of the pyramids, UFOs, aliens, and fallen angels, while on Thursday Linda Moulton Howe will present news on the planned moon base. She'll also take a look back at 2006 and her reports on such subjects as military UFO accounts and mysterious animal deaths.

More details including relevant guest links are available at the C2C website.

News Briefs 11-12-2006

The news isn't sorted by theme today, it's random madness.

Thanks Kat, Pam and Neil G.

Quote of the Day:

What shakes the eye but the invisible?

Theodore Roethke

Analysis of Randi's Challenge

Michael Prescott has some good reads over on his blog analysing James Randi's famous "million dollar challenge" for claims of the paranormal. Due to the length, he's split it into 3 parts (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), plus an addendum. Michael points out just how objective and scientific the challenge is. Plenty of other great writing on Michael's blog, so browse through.

News Briefs 08-12-2006

Dear Santa, Here's what I'd like for Christmas. Since I've behaved myself exceptionally well this year, please bring me a pair (for later breeding) that are only 6-8 weeks old, so they'll still be in their language acquisition stage. Love, Kat

Thanks, Greg.

Quote of the Day:

I was walking past on my lunch break and a brick almost hit me in the head. I looked up at a house and half of it was missing. A bath tub fell out and landed on the street. The noise was deafening and we saw what looked like smoke swirling in the air. You could tell it was a tornado – from what you've seen on films – and it had bits of wood and other things swirling around.

Eddy Toroosian, 17

Weekend Roundup 08-12-2006

A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...


Radio 08-12-2006

Here's the rundown on the radio schedules for the second half of the week:

Whitley Strieber's Dreamland: This week Whitley talks to Laird Scranton about the hidden knowledge of one of the world’s most mysterious people, the Dogon tribe of Mali in West Africa. Afterwards, Linda Howe reports on what has been found so far by Projects Stardust and Deep Impact.

Coast to Coast AM: Friday is open lines with Art Bell, while early show Saturday Ian speaks with Biblical Studies scholar, Mike Heiser, who'll share electronic resources for studying texts of the ancient worlds. Afterwards, Art Bell talks to alien abductee Jim Sparks about his new book The Keepers: An Alien Message for the Human Race. Sunday's guest is Nick Begich who will discuss recent news about cell phones, electro-smog, and privacy related technologies.

More details including relevant websites are available at the linked pages above. Remember also that while Coast to Coast is subscription, Dreamland is free. Dreamland also now offers a podcast of the most recent show.

CSICOP Changes Its Name

The Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (better known as CSICOP) is no more. But before you celebrate, it's simply due to a name change - the organisation is now calling itself the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Neatly, the new name abbreviates to CSI (and yes, they do appreciate the benefit of that pop culture acronym...what would you expect from an organisation which aims to influence the media and public opinion). You can read more about the name change in Kendrick Frazier's editorial.