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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.

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

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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Alien-Abduction Guru Mack Killed in Accident

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 29.1, January / February 2005

News & Comment

John E. Mack—whose position as a Harvard psychiatrist seemed to add legitimacy to his endorsement of alien abduction claims...

The Lake George Monster Hoax

Skeptical Briefs Volume 14.4, December 2004

Investigative Files
The Lake George Monster Hoax

Called "one of the grandest hoaxes of all times", the Lake George Monster has occasionally resurfaced since its debut in 1904.

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Psychic Sylvia Browne Once Failed to Foresee Her Own Criminal Conviction

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 28.6, November / December 2004

News & Comment

Self-claimed "psychic, medium, clairvoyant, channel" Sylvia Browne has gained notoriety by appearing on...

Rorschach Icons

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 28.6, November / December 2004

Investigative Files
Rorschach Icons

People arrive in droves to view them: holy images that appear—many believe miraculously—in the most unlikely places.

Abraham Lincoln: An Instance of Alleged ‘Spirit Writing’

Skeptical Briefs Volume 14.3, September 2004

Investigative Files
Abraham Lincoln: An Instance of Alleged ‘Spirit Writing’

Modern spiritualism began in 1848 at Hydesville, New York, when two schoolgirls pretended to communicate with a ghost who...

Police Psychics: Do They Really Solve Crimes?

April 29, 2004

Is it a matter of science versus mysticism as some assert, or an issue of having an open mind as opposed to a closed one?

The Stigmata of Lilian Bernas

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 28.2, March / April 2004

Investigative Files
The Stigmata of Lilian Bernas

Canadian Lilian Bernas claims to exhibit-"in a supernatural state"-the wounds of Christ.

Riddle of the Glowing Statues

Skeptical Briefs Volume 13.4, December 2003

Investigative Files
Riddle of the Glowing Statues

Two women noticed it first. The eyes of the Virgin Mary statue on the church's bell tower had begun to glow.

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