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.
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
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).
Here's the alternative radio schedule for the first half of the week.
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.
The news isn't sorted by theme today, it's random madness.
- The Mojave Desert was once a giant's doodle pad. No, it's nothing like the Cerne Abbas Giant!
- Speaking of Mojave petroglyphs, Gary David's The Orion Zone: Ancient Star Cities of the American Southwest is a must read if you're interested in Native America (my review is in Sub Rosa 6).
- Five years of drought have left Australian land parched and towns on the brink of economic ruin.
- Two species of fish are being discovered each week by an ambitious program.
- A radical new cancer treatment uses highly accelerated ion particles to target tumours without the dangerous side-effects of current methods.
- A 4800-year-old artificial eyeball has been discovered in Iran's Burnt City.
- NASA launches its first night-time space shuttle lift-off in four years. Here's a pic to show why they should do it every year.
- Is caffeine a possible cause of psychological disorders in the long term? Better that than the psychological disorder I suffer if I don't get my cup of tea in the mornings.
- Posthuman Blues explore cryptoterrestrials -- beings not from space, but from within a Hollow Earth.
- Lactose tolerance in East Africans points to a recent human evolution.
- We [think we] know who created the Nazca lines -- but why did they do it?
- Why some old books are stirring up a new debate about the meaning of Jesus. Instead of Santa Claus at the local mall, I saw kids sitting on Dan Brown's knee!
- The Other Side of Truth has a video link with Stan Friedman discussing UFO frauds and Bob Lazar.
- For scientists at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, global warming is not a matter of debate, it is a simple fact.
- If it's not a chupacabra, then is it a Shunka Warak'in?
- A superefficient, cost-effective solar cell breaks conversion records, and the Energiser Bunny's heart.
- Before the Wright Brothers, there were UFOs.
- The remains of Snippy the horse, one of the first reported cases of the animal mutilation phenomenon in 1967, are at the centre of a custody battle.
- Scientists spot a tsunami-like shock wave on the surface of the Sun.
- Jupiter, Mercury and Venus will form a threesome in the sky just before dawn this Sunday.
- New DNA evidence proves the driver of Princess Diana's car was drunk on the night of her fatal crash.
- Yarr, here be sea monsters, and no landlubbin' scientists be disagreein' with me or they be meetin' ol' Davey Jones!
- The strange case of a Bishop in the back of a Mercedes chucking children's toys out of the window and announcing: "I'm the Bishop of Southwark. It's what I do!"?
- Perhaps he was shocked by the news that Swiss Army Knives never had a device for removing a stone from a horse's hoof.
Thanks Kat, Pam and Neil G.
Quote of the Day:
What shakes the eye but the invisible?
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.
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
- Neanderthal women joined men in the hunt.
- 'Little Foot' skeleton too young to be our ancestor.
- Buried babies suggest prehistoric compassion.
- Egyptian archaeologists find 4000-year-old doctor's mummy, bronze surgical tools. But try this site for an interesting misspelling of our favorite Egytologist's name.
- Ancient Irish tomb a big draw at winter solstice.
- From ruins of Afghan Buddhas, a history grows.
- St. Paul's tomb found under altar.
- Lost hoard of 2,000-year-old Afghan gold now on display for the first time.
- See what the Maya Empire really looked like, according to National Geographic artists and ancient murals.
- Original Edison light bulbs to be auctioned.
- Displaying horrific table manners, a giant black hole has been caught in the act of guzzling a star.
- Critics say the Space Station's original goals are barely recognizable now.
- An amazing first: Two species cooperate to hunt.
- Ebola is killing thousands of gorillas.
- If your aging cat has bats in the belfry, it may be suffering from feline Alzheimer's.
- A pelican has fallen in love with the woman who nursed it back to health.
- Enviro-cateclysm of the week: New data show global warming kills marine life. Plastics are also poisoning the world's seas.
- Global warming: a few skeptics still ask why it's happening.
- Natural selection for everyone: A review of Sean B. Carroll's The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution (Amazon US & UK).
- Scientists think they can slow the progress of human 'mad cow disease' by genetically altering the brain. Britain threatened with fresh outbreak of vCJD.
- Researchers find clue to why drug trial almost killed six healthy men in March.
- Weird finding: Smoking causes knee pain.
- Tongue test may pinpoint chemical causes of depression.
- Can virtual experiences trick the brain into creating false memories?
- How romantic partners respond to each other's triumphs may be the most important factor in tightening a couple’s bond.
- Simultaneous dreaming: Can two people dream the same dream? Greg says Martin Luther King probably hoped so...
- Scientists say imaginary friends (and enemies) are good for kids.
- London suburb devastated by 20-second tornado. UK has highest tornado rate in the world.
- The lowdown on working in Antarctica.
- Positive disintegration: growth through dark nights of the soul.
- You're invited to take part in a scientific study of two great seasonal rituals, Christmas cards and cracker jokes.
- The dark forces of political correctness are crucifying Christmas. Bah, humbug?
- Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering explains how Santa Claus can deliver all those presents in just one night. Greg expects an expose about a perverted fat man with a gift fettish in the next issue of Skeptical Inquirer.
- Volcano myths and rituals: Hawaiians traditionally regarded an eruption as the menstruation of the goddess Pele.
- Encounter with an Alien.
- JAL pilot's UFO story surfaces after 20 years.
- Why ...there's no place like Oz, ...there's no place like Oz, ...there's no place...
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
A few things to keep you busy over the weekend...
- Skeptical Investigations has two new essays from Ted Dace: "Is it Real Science?", and "Corporate Skepticism: Turning Doubt Into Dollars".
- Also at the SI website, Guy Lyon Playfair presents part five of his series "Has CSICOP Lost the 30 Years War?", the latest instalment being titled "CSICOP's Stalinist Godfather". Previous instalments can be accessed here.
- The RU Sirius radio show has an mp3 of their interview with cyberpunk novelist John Shirley, about his new book The Other End.
- David Gelernter and Ray Kurzweil debate machine consciousness at KurzweilAI.net.
- Lesley from Binnall of America writes about "The Language of Ufology".
- Filer's Files #49 has the latest news on ufology from around the globe.
- SurvivalAfterDeath.org has an essay from the archives, "The Phenomena of Spiritism", by Thomson Jay Hudson.
- Cryptomundo hosts M.K. Davis' excellent stabilisation footage of the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot video. Might take a while to load on slow connections.
- ABC Radio's "The Philosopher's Zone" has an interesting show on neuroethics (mp3 download, or text transcript).
- Over at the Book of Thoth, Sol writes about "Ormus", Stephen Bassett says "UFO RIP", and Gerald O'Donnell gives an explanation of remote viewing.
- Spooky Paradigm reviews The Mothman Prophecies - both the book and the movie.
- The Psychedelic Salon has more Trialogue mp3s from Sheldrake, McKenna and Abraham.
- Paul Kimball has posted some clips of respected ufologist, the late Karl Pflock, discussing ufology and also about exopolitics and the Disclosure Project.
- Nexus Magazine have a sample from their new issue, part 1 of "The Criminal History of the Papacy". You can get a full rundown on the latest issue's contents here.
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.
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.