Skeptical Briefs is the quarterly newsletter of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. It is available by subscription. A subscription to Skeptical Briefs is independent of your subscription to the Skeptical Inquirer. It is published four times per year (in March, June, September, and December), and includes articles; news from skeptical groups across the country and around the world; and regular columnists Joe Nickell ("Investigative Files"), Lewis Jones ("Inklings"), Victor Stenger ("Reality Check"), Henry Huber ("Group News"); and Benjamin Radford ("Briefs Briefs"). It also includes a Hidden Messages puzzle in each issue by New Mexico physicist and skeptic David E. Thomas.
I consider an archive like a dark, still pool. I like to give it a stir and see what pops up to the surface.
by Kenneth Biddle
In August of 2009, I was asked to tag along with a ghost-hunting group that was going to do a paranormal investigation of a private residence. Despite the fact that there were simple and very plausible explanations for everything he experienced, the owner was completely convinced he had purchased a haunted house.
by Chip Taylor
With a half a century plus of interest in UFOs, astronomy, and science, I’ve despaired that in all that time I’ve never seen a real UFO. (With emphasis on what the “U” stands for of course.)
by Joe Nickell
Combining myths of the American Sasquatch—better known since 1958 as “Bigfoot”—and various swamp monsters, Florida’s “Skunk Ape” is reportedly a large, shaggy, man-beast that haunts, especially, Florida’s wilderness areas.
I turned my attention to those on the ground at Loch Ness that I had met during my trip there in March thinking that they might know something that the rest of the world didn’t. They didn’t disappoint.
by John Rael
A review of Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium, by Mark Edward.
by Joe Nickell
After years of crossing paths with it, I finally met up with the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima, which has been traveling the world to relate the “message” of the Lady of Fatima—that of world peace.
by Joe Nickell
Cassandra Vanzant’s claims are legion. At one time or another she has acted as a tarot-card reader and instructor, ghost hunter, spiritualist medium, angel communicant, ordained minister, professional psychic, and of course, telepathic “Master Alien Communicator.”
by Sharon Hill
Science by press release is an unprofessional form and often is a bust upon peer review. Melba Ketchum asked the public directly to buy into an extraordinary claim: that she has categorized Bigfoot DNA and understands its origin, proposing not one but two unknowns—Sasquatch and an unknown ancestor of Sasquatch.
by Noah Nez
There are many myths and misconceptions found in every culture around the world. Some are more fanciful and colorful than others.