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Joe Nickell

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Joe Nickell, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and "Investigative Files" Columnist for Skeptical Inquirer. A former stage magician, private investigator, and teacher, he is author of numerous books, including Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1998), Pen, Ink and Evidence (2003), Unsolved History (2005) and Adventures in Paranormal Investigation (2007). He has appeared in many television documentaries and has been profiled in The New Yorker and on NBC's Today Show. His personal website is at joenickell.com.

Ghost Hunters

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 30.5, September / October 2006

Investigative Files
Ghost Hunters

Belief that spirits of the dead exist and can appear to the living is both ancient and widespread.

Snake Oil: A Guide for Connoisseurs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 16.3, September 2006

Investigative Files
Snake Oil: A Guide for Connoisseurs

In an earlier article, "Peddling Snake Oil" (Nickell 1998), I addressed the question of snake oil’s existence.

Shame on Shamus Sham

August 24, 2006
Shame on Shamus Sham

In addition to the portrait, Allison predicted the killer would have "connections" to Germany and Georgia, and gave details.

Riddle of the Crystal Skulls

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 30.4, July / August 2006

Investigative Files
Riddle of the Crystal Skulls

Around the world are found mysterious artifacts, crystal skulls that many New Age enthusiasts believe possess mystical powers.

Postmortem on ‘Alien Autopsy’

Skeptical Briefs Volume 16.2, June 2006

Investigative Files
Postmortem on ‘Alien Autopsy’

Britain's Manchester Evening News termed it a hoax that "fooled the world". Well, not exactly...

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The ‘New’ Idolatry

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 30.3, May / June 2006

Investigative Files

For a live, prime-time television program, I was asked to evaluate claims that a statue in Sacramento streamed tears of blood.

Lake ‘Monster’ Resurfaces

March 15, 2006

"Is there a monster in Lake Champlain?" asked Good Morning America, on their February 22, 2006, program.

Argentina Mysteries

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 30.2, March / April 2006

Investigative Files
Argentina Mysteries

While visiting Argentina, I was also able to take a look at some local mysteries with which I already had some familiarity.

Sherlock Holmes, Paranormal Investigator

Skeptical Briefs Volume 16.1, March 2006

Investigative Files
Sherlock Holmes, Paranormal Investigator

Sherlock Holmes was not just the world's "only unofficial consulting detective."

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Robert A. Baker (1921-2005)

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.6, November / December 2005

News & Comment

Robert A. Baker—one of the world's preeminent authorities on such phenomena as ghosts, alien abductions, religious apparitions..

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‘Winking Jesus’ Statue: Mystery Solved!

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.6, November / December 2005

News & Comment

On July 28, 2005—according to a Hoboken, New Jersey, street "preacher"— a plaster Jesus statue he had installed...

Legends of Castles and Keeps

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.6, November / December 2005

Investigative Files

During the Middle Ages, the castle arose as the private fortress of a monarch or nobleman.

Psychic Sleuthing: The Myth-making Process

September 26, 2005

In July, a Pittsburgh news magazine cover story presented a rather confusing picture of the effectiveness of psychic detectives.

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Italy’s ‘Miracle’ Relics

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.5, September / October 2005

Investigative Files

In October 2004, after participating in the Fifth World Skeptics Congress in Abano Terme, Italy—near Padua, where Galileo...

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Mystical Experiences: Magnetic Fields or Suggestibility?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.5, September / October 2005

Article

Some skeptics have embraced Persinger's studies which supposedly demonstrate that electromagnetic stimulation of the brain...

Sylvia Browne’s Latest: Ghost-Written?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.5, September / October 2005

Book Review
Sylvia Browne’s Latest: Ghost-Written?

Review of the book by Sylvia Brown

Healing Waters - Part I: Spas

Skeptical Briefs Volume 15.3, September 2005

Investigative Files

Here we look at ancient baths and later spas; in Part II we discuss legendary "fountains of youth" and reputed healing shrines.

Winking Jesus Statue: Mystery Solved!

August 9, 2005
Winking Jesus Statue: Mystery Solved!

According to a New Jersey street preacher, a Jesus statue he had installed as part of a sidewalk shrine suddenly opened one eye.

The Case of the ‘Psychic Detectives’

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.4, July / August 2005

Investigative Files

Although mainstream science has never validated any psychic ability, mediums continue to sell their fantasies to the public.

Return from the Dead

Skeptical Briefs Volume 15.2, June 2005

Investigative Files
Return from the Dead

She had suffered a fever of 104.5 and experienced shortness of breath, whereupon she declared, "Mother, I'm going to die."

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Second Sight: The Phenomenon of Eyeless Vision

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.3, May / June 2005

Investigative Files

Natasha Demkina claims a special ability: She can supposedly peer inside people's bodies, observe their organs, and diagnose...

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Joe Nickell Replies

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.3, May / June 2005

Follow-up

Ray Rogers largely sidesteps my criticisms. He claimed to have uniquely found cotton and madder on the shroud's radiocarbon...

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Rebuttal to Joe Nickell

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.3, May / June 2005

Follow-up

Joe Nickell has attacked my scientific competence and honesty in his "Claims of Invalid 'Shroud'...

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Claims of Invalid ‘Shroud’ Radiocarbon Date Cut from Whole Cloth

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.3, May / June 2005

Special Report

A Longtime Shroud of Turin devotee now admits there is the equivalent of watercolor paint on the alleged burial cloth of Jesus.

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Alleged Reagan Astrologer Dies

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.3, May / June 2005

News & Comment

Joyce Jillson, the self-styled "Hollywood Astrologer" who claimed to have cast horoscopes for the Reagans, died October 1, 2004.

Claims of Invalid “Shroud” Radiocarbon Date Cut from Whole Cloth

March 2, 2005
Claims of Invalid “Shroud” Radiocarbon Date Cut from Whole Cloth

Longtime Shroud of Turin devotee Ray Rogers admits there is the equivalent of a watercolor paint on the alleged burial cloth.

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Intuition: The Case of the Unknown Daughter

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.2, March / April 2005

Investigative Files

In the fall of 2003, my life was transformed by the news that I was the father of a beautiful, thirty-six-year-old daughter.

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Holy Grilled Cheese?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.2, March / April 2005

News & Comment

A Hollywood, Florida, couple received $28,000 when they auctioned a reputedly ten-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bearing...

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Mystery Painting: ‘The Shadow of the Cross’

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.1, January / February 2005

Investigative Files

An enigmatic painting is exhibited at the church of San Francisco de Asis (St. Francis of Assisi) at Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

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Betty Hill, First ‘Alien Abductee,’ Dies

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.1, January / February 2005

News & Comment

Eunice "Betty" Hill—whose claimed 1961 encounter with extraterrestrials spawned the alien-abduction mania—died October 19,2004.

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