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Skeptical Briefs — Volume 26.4

Volume 26.4

July / August 2002

The Mirror in the Last Haunted House

The Mirror in the Last Haunted House

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 27.1, Spring 2017

I sought a pure, genuinely foreign experience, something unmistakably supernatural that could not be the product of a tired mind, a mild hallucination, or a half-forgotten memory of a scary film scene…

The New Zealand Moa: From Extinct Bird to Cryptid

The New Zealand Moa: From Extinct Bird to Cryptid

by Joe Nickell
Volume 27.1, Spring 2017

Investigative Files

Cryptids are of two types: either (1) unknown species, such as Bigfoot or at one time the Mountain Gorilla; or (2) known species that supposedly become extinct but may have survived and could be rediscovered.

Curated Crowdsourcing in UFO Investigations

Curated Crowdsourcing in UFO Investigations

by Mick West
Volume 27.1, Spring 2017

Since this flying object was unidentified, the video footage ended up at the Committee for Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA), the official UFO investigating body of the Chilean DGAC.

For What It’s Worth

by Mark Edward
Volume 26.4, Winter 2016/2017

We have a glut of non-information. Most of it coming from people who have a proprietary interest in self-promoting garbage they may even consciously know to be false.

George Cherrie’s 
Dark Tales

George Cherrie’s 
Dark Tales

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 26.4, Winter 2016/2017

It’s a good lesson for skeptics to question all extraordinary claims—not only from those with whom we may disagree or who may hold a different worldview, but also those whom we consider friends.

Steller’s Sea Ape:
 Identifying an Eighteenth-Century Cryptid

by Joe Nickell
Volume 26.4, Winter 2016/2017

Investigative Files

Since its appearance in 1741, a mysterious creature has remained controversial—a so-called “sea monkey” that puzzled naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller.

To Be More Skeptical about Anti- Vaccination and Vitamin Supplements: An Interview with Paul Offit

To Be More Skeptical about Anti- Vaccination and Vitamin Supplements: An Interview with Paul Offit

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 26.4, Winter 2016/2017

Interviews

I think once you scare people, it’s hard to un-scare them; once you open the Pandora’s Box, it’s hard to close it.

A Champlain ‘Croc’ of Mythic Proportions

A Champlain ‘Croc’ of Mythic Proportions

by Scott Mardis
Volume 26.3, Fall 2016

The idea that the “monsters” of Lake Champlain (assuming they exist) are either crocodiles or animals with a crocodilian metabolism is poorly supported by the available evidence.

Mystery Coin of 
the Yukon

Mystery Coin of 
the Yukon

by Joe Nickell
Volume 26.3, Fall 2016

Investigative Files

According to raconteur Ed Ferrell in his Strange Stories of Alaska and the Yukon (1996, 120), the coin “appeared to have been minted before the Ice Age”

Reflections on Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture

Reflections on Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 26.3, Fall 2016

Skepticism and Science

Carroll is a poetic naturalist, and he does a great job throughout the book of differentiating fundamental from emergent phenomena, highlighting that both are real.

A Guide to Ghost Hunting Guidebooks: NO MORE! Please! (Part 2)

by Sharon Hill
Volume 26.2, Summer 2016

Book Review

Such incredible claims should have equally incredible documentation provided. Nope. Nothing. It’s practically lying.

‘Career’ in Exorcism 
in Argentina

‘Career’ in Exorcism 
in Argentina

by Alejandro Borgo
Volume 26.2, Summer 2016

Imagine hundreds of people being “exorcized” by these “professionals,” spreading superstition and magical thinking.

Ghosts at New Orleans’ Secret Horror Chamber

Ghosts at New Orleans’ Secret Horror Chamber

by Joe Nickell
Volume 26.2, Summer 2016

Investigative Files

Perhaps such antics will inspire a new generation of ghost hunters.

The Discovery of Gravitational Waves: 
An Interview with Lawrence Krauss

The Discovery of Gravitational Waves: 
An Interview with Lawrence Krauss

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 26.2, Summer 2016

Skepticism and Science

Gravitational waves were the last aspect of general relativity that needed to be tested directly; it’s completely right.

Chemtrails Kill… Dude!

Chemtrails Kill… Dude!

by Ian Harris
Volume 26.3, Fall 2016

We have all probably run into at least one person who is convinced there is a government conspiracy at hand.

Did Joseph Smith Predict Doomsday?

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 26.1, Spring 2016

My inclusion of Joseph Smith as a failed doomsday prophet was not intended to disparage the Mormon faith but instead a historical fact based on Smith’s own writings.

A Guide to Ghost Hunting Guidebooks: NO MORE! Please! (Part 1)

by Sharon Hill
Volume 26.1, Spring 2016

Book Review

No ghost handbook has ever led anyone to catch and identify ghosts; they can only lead you to interpret something as a ghost.

Otherwordly: Mysteries of Newfoundland and Labrador

Otherwordly: Mysteries of Newfoundland and Labrador

by Joe Nickell
Volume 26.1, Spring 2016

Investigative Files

According to the tale, if one were driving at night from Deer Lake toward the city of Corner Brook one might encounter “a woman in a white dress.”

Twice the Skepticism: An Interview with the Evil Twins

Twice the Skepticism: An Interview with the Evil Twins

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 26.1, Spring 2016

Skeptical Podcasts

The Evil Twin Podcast is a loosely structured show involving twins Brad and Thad exploring, as they put it, the strange underbelly of “belief” in American culture and what it means to identify with various beliefs.

The Great New Mexico Elk Murder Conspiracy

The Great New Mexico Elk Murder Conspiracy

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 25.4, Winter 2015/16

Livestock deaths, by themselves, are not unusual—there are many things that can fell large animals in our desert climes, including predators, poachers, a natural or man-made toxin, disease, drought, heat, starvation, and even lightning.

The Jamestown Evolution/Creationism Debate

by Norman Carlson
Volume 25.4, Winter 2015/16

I have no sympathy for creationism. By 1999, I had had enough of its low quality claims and tracts, and I attacked it in one of my letters in the paper. Creationists responded more tenaciously than liberals had responded to my conservative statements. They wouldn’t let go, and neither would I.

In the Stars? Personal Investigations of Astrology

In the Stars? Personal Investigations of Astrology

by Joe Nickell
Volume 25.4, Winter 2015/16

Investigative Files

Something wonderful happened to me in 2003 that I never saw coming. Had it been foreseen by stargazers in their forecasts for me in that year?

Fascinating Psychology Experiments

Fascinating Psychology Experiments

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 25.4, Winter 2015/16

Skepticism and Science

The question of whether or not psychology is a science is not new. However, when science has been applied to the study of cognition and behavior, scientists have uncovered interesting phenomena through very clever experiments.

Skeptical Activism of the Investigation Network

by William M. London
Volume 25.3, Fall 2015

This is not a group that merely discusses skepticism; it’s a group focused on the intellectual stimulation and fun of skeptical activism in education and investigation.

To Better Understand Science and the Universe: An Interview with Lawrence Krauss

To Better Understand Science and the Universe: An Interview with Lawrence Krauss

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 25.3, Fall 2015

Skepticism and Science

Lawrence Krauss is a renowned theoretical physicist at Arizona State University. He was one of the first to suggest that most of the energy of the universe resides in empty space, an idea that today is called dark energy.

Murder in the U.S. Capitol and the Ghost of William P. Taulbee

Murder in the U.S. Capitol and the Ghost of William P. Taulbee

by Joe Nickell
Volume 25.3, Fall 2015

Investigative Files

After my centennial article on Taulbee’s assassination appeared (Nickell 1990), I learned of a follow-up claim: Taulbee’s unrequited ghost haunts the steps that are still marked with his blood.

Critical and Thinking: The Ian Harris Interview

Critical and Thinking: The Ian Harris Interview

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 25.3, Fall 2015

A standup comic doing explicitly skeptical material on a regular basis as part of his act is unusual.

Adventures in SkeptiCamp

Adventures in SkeptiCamp

by Susan Gerbic
Volume 25.3, Fall 2015

We need face-to-face interactions. Some of our people tell me that our meetups are where they can be themselves; they don’t have to guard their language, and no subject is taboo.

Facing Art and Skepticism: Caricaturist Celestia Ward

Facing Art and Skepticism: Caricaturist Celestia Ward

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

Interviews

In 2014, Skeptical Briefs Editor Benjamin Radford attended a caricature conference in Reno, Nevada. Inside a hotel ballroom full of ridiculously talented artists from around the world, he happened to meet Celestia Ward, a caricaturist who’s also a skeptic. Naturally, he had questions for her.

Bigfoot Roundup: Some Regional Variants Identified as Bears

Bigfoot Roundup: Some Regional Variants Identified as Bears

by Joe Nickell
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

Investigative Files

Having long observed that many Bigfoot sightings seem consistent with bears, I have for some time been expounding on the subject—showing that, when bears stand upright on their hind legs, they become North America’s foremost Bigfoot lookalikes.

Studying Up with A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy

Studying Up with A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

Skeptical Podcasts

Now, in the age of the Internet, Bohler has decided to put his research on these fascinating topics online in the form of a blog and a podcast titled A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy. Since 2011, he’s been putting all his exhaustive and thorough research to good use by providing a valuable resource for anybody looking for skeptical information about conspiracy theories.

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Reflections of a Scientist in Wonderland

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

Skepticism and Science

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Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and Joe Schwarcz Win CSI’s Balles Prizes in Critical Thinking

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

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Astounding Tales of Science Comic

by Greg Thelen and Celestia Ward
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

You Can Lead Believers to Knowledge, but You Can’t Make Them Think

by Barbara Mervine
Volume 25.1, Spring 2015

“Give a person an answer, they will know Bigfoot isn’t real. Teach a person skepticism, and they’ll think Bigfoot isn’t real, aliens aren’t visiting from Venus, and they’ll vaccinate their children.”

Bitter(s) Medicine

Bitter(s) Medicine

by Joe Nickell
Volume 25.1, Spring 2015

Investigative Files

Bitters bottles are a window into an earlier era of quackery (although sometimes perhaps well-intentioned), as well as into the related worlds of unbridled advertising, liquor sales and consumption, and, of course, the very human need for relief from myriad ailments.

Myths about Nutrition

Myths about Nutrition

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 25.1, Spring 2015

Skepticism and Science

As a PhD student in medical sciences, people often ask me questions about diet and nutrition. The problem is that several bogus claims have spread and are widely believed.

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Not Seeking the White Whale or Tanystropheus

by Scott Mardis
Volume 25.1, Spring 2015

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Fighting for Equality in the Bible Belt with No Religion Required

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 25.1, Spring 2015

Skeptical Podcasts

Paul McCartney Really Is Not Dead

Paul McCartney Really Is Not Dead

by Loren Collins
Volume 24.4, Winter 2014/2015

Paul McCartney was twenty years old when the Beatles came to fame, and only twenty-four when, as legend has it, he was killed in a car accident in 1966 and replaced with a lookalike.

Fortean Frog Falls: Facts and Fallacies

Fortean Frog Falls: Facts and Fallacies

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 24.4, Winter 2014/2015

The most likely explanation for how small frogs get up into the sky in the first place is meteorological: a whirlwind, tornado, or other natural phenomenon.

Dr. Pierce: Medicine for ‘Weak Women’

Dr. Pierce: Medicine for ‘Weak Women’

by Joe Nickell
Volume 24.4, Winter 2014/2015

Investigative Files

In the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, alleged cures for “female weakness” were among the nostrums marketed by quacks.

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Carbon Dating: Humor in a Skeptical Vein

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 24.4, Winter 2014/2015

Skeptical Podcasts

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Pseudoscience and Bad Science in the Brazilian Scientific American

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 24.4, Winter 2014/2015

Skepticism and Science

Playing Witch Doctor: Hidden Ethics in Skeptical Ghost Investigation

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 24.3, Fall 2014

The drive from my apartment to the haunted house was about twenty minutes, but I found myself wishing it would take longer. I wanted more time to get a handle on what I was going to say, how I was going to tell the family that their house was not haunted by a demon or angry ghost.

The Harper’s Mansion Ghost Study

The Harper’s Mansion Ghost Study

by Paul McCaffrey
Volume 24.3, Fall 2014

The building of Harper’s Mansion began in 1834 by James Harper, a wealthy landowner in the town of Berrima, New South Wales. It has had many occupants since then and many claims of paranormal activities.

Poltergeist at Amityville?

by Joe Nickell
Volume 24.3, Fall 2014

Investigative Files

On December 18, 1975, George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into a six-bedroom Dutch colonial home in Amityville, New York. But soon they were driven out, they claimed, by horrific supernatural forces. Ghosts? A poltergeist? Demons? Let’s take a look, as new claims continue to surface.

To Better Understand Evolution: An Interview with Jerry Coyne

To Better Understand Evolution: An Interview with Jerry Coyne

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 24.3, Fall 2014

Skepticism and Science

Jerry Coyne is an evolutionary biologist at the University of Chicago and an important popularizer of evolution and science in general.

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Confessions of a Rock Shop Clerk

by Joseph Gagné
Volume 24.3, Fall 2014

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Sunday School for Skeptics

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 24.3, Fall 2014

Skeptical Podcasts

The Kaspar Hauser Mystery

by Romeo Vitelli
Volume 24.2, Summer 2014

On May 26, 1828 (Easter Monday), two men were talking together in the Unschlittplatz near Nuremberg’s New Gate when they were approached by a teenage boy. By all accounts, he was a fresh-complexioned boy of about seventeen years of age dressed like a peasant.

Five Myths about Airport Security

by Richard E. Wackrow
Volume 24.2, Summer 2014

An estimated $57 billion has been spent on airport security since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Yet, since its inception in November 2001, the Transportation Security Administration has neither prevented nor failed to prevent a terrorist from hijacking or taking down a passenger plane.

The Yukon’s Bigfoot Bears

by Joe Nickell
Volume 24.2, Summer 2014

Investigative Files

Despite a lack of convincing evidence for Bigfoot, belief persists, and Bigfoot buffs are active almost everywhere, including the sparsely populated Yukon.

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Trusting Evidence

by Barbara Mervine
Volume 24.2, Summer 2014

Book Review

A review of In Evidence We Trust: The Need for Science, Rationality, and Statistics by Jamie Hale

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The Skeprechauns: A Skeptical Pot­-o-­Gold

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 24.2, Summer 2014

Skeptical Podcasts

Soul Theft through Photography

by Matt Crowley
Volume 24.1, Spring 2014

Consider the notion that taking a photograph of a person “steals his or her soul.” It’s an easy concept to dismiss, as it seems so simplistic and overtly fallacious. But I claim there is value in actually considering this notion more carefully.

The Lake Monster That Predates Nessie

The Lake Monster That Predates Nessie

by Terence Hines
Volume 24.1, Spring 2014

Book Review

A review of The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America’s Loch Ness Monster, by Robert E. Bartholomew.

Song of a Siren:
 A Study in Fakelore

by Joe Nickell
Volume 24.1, Spring 2014

Investigative Files

Lorelei is described variously as a “sorceress,” “siren,” “water nymph,” “mermaid,” and even, in the plural, “mermaids.” In any case, at least she represents a romantic legend of the Rhine—or does she?

Skeptical Activism Online

Skeptical Activism Online

by Amanda Devaus
Volume 24.1, Spring 2014

The “woo” crowd—the psychics, the charlatans, the “healers” and others—are out there in the public; they are writing the books, setting up conferences, and getting themselves extensive media coverage. We need to match their exposure with our own and be there to give the counterpoints.

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‘Ex-Muslim’ Tries to Revive Reputation and Sues Critics

by Ryan Shaffer
Volume 24.1, Spring 2014

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Confessions from a Secret Bunker of Conspiracy Skepticism

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 24.1, Spring 2014

Skeptical Podcasts

Maria Monk: A Nun’s ‘Secrets’ Revealed

Maria Monk: A Nun’s ‘Secrets’ Revealed

by Joe Nickell
Volume 23.4, Winter 2013–2014

Investigative Files

It turns out that the fantastic assertions she made were investigated thoroughly at the time by Protestant clergymen who were permitted to inspect the actual convent, discovering that its interior was incompatible with Monk’s descriptions.

He Is Kenny Biddle

He Is Kenny Biddle

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 23.4, Winter 2013–2014

Skeptical Podcasts

Since July of 2012, Kenny Biddle has been releasing episodes of a video blog titled I Am Kenny Biddle. His videos, which range between six and fifty minutes, feature Mr. Biddle's rants about such topics as paranormal fraud, ghost investigations, orbs, and the ways that people can be fooled.

Fifty Popular Mistaken Beliefs

Fifty Popular Mistaken Beliefs

by Leo Igwe
Volume 23.4, Winter 2013–2014

Book Review

“Harrison doesn’t use a condescending approach, something skeptics are often accused of using in addressing irrational believers and in challenging and debunking paranormal claims. Instead Harrison humbly acknowledges the cultural universality of unreason. . . .”

Carl Sagan, Cosmos,
 and Everything

Carl Sagan, Cosmos,
 and Everything

by Barbara Mervine
Volume 23.4, Winter 2013–2014

I consider an archive like a dark, still pool. I like to give it a stir and see what pops up to the surface.

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Lessons from The Central Park Five

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 23.4, Winter 2013–2014

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How I Was Scammed by Kevin Trudeau

by Cherry Teresa
Volume 23.4, Winter 2013–2014

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Forbes’ Salzberg, CSI’s Nickell Receive Balles Prize in Critical Thinking

by Paul Fidalgo, Communications Director
Volume 23.4, Winter 2013–2014

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Briefs Briefs

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 23.4, Winter 2013–2014

Briefs Briefs

Ghost Hunting: Conditioning Phobias

by Kenneth Biddle
Volume 23.3, Fall 2013

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.

Investigating the Rhode Island UFO

Investigating the Rhode Island UFO

by Chip Taylor
Volume 23.3, Fall 2013

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.)

Tracking Florida’s Skunk Ape

Tracking Florida’s Skunk Ape

by Joe Nickell
Volume 23.3, Fall 2013

Investigative Files

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.

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Paperback Evil: The Review

by Michael Doyle
Volume 23.3, Fall 2013

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Amateur Hour with The Amateur Skeptics

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 23.3, Fall 2013

Skeptical Podcasts

The Monster That Never Sleeps—An Investigation into the Latest Loch Ness Monster Photo

The Monster That Never Sleeps—An Investigation into the Latest Loch Ness Monster Photo

by Hayley Stevens
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

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.

A Book Not for the Faint of Heart

by John Rael
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

Book Review

A review of Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium, by Mark Edward.

‘Miracle’ Statue of Fatima

‘Miracle’ Statue of Fatima

by Joe Nickell
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

Investigative Files

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.

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We’re Here to Help

by Rick Duffy
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

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One Skeptic’s View of the Global Warming Controversy*

by Gary Posner
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

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Reply to Critique from Gary Posner, MD

by Stuart Jordan
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

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The Myth of Native American Religion

by Noah Nez
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

Native Skeptic

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Tuning in with John Rael

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

Skeptical Podcasts

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Briefs Briefs

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 23.2, Summer 2013

Briefs Briefs

Messages from ‘Star Families’—in the ET Language

by Joe Nickell
Volume 23.1, Spring 2013

Investigative Files

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.”

The Ketchum Project: What to Believe about Bigfoot DNA ‘Science’

by Sharon Hill
Volume 23.1, Spring 2013

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.

The Myth of the Rain Dance

by Noah Nez
Volume 23.1, Spring 2013

Native Skeptic

There are many myths and misconceptions found in every culture around the world. Some are more fanciful and colorful than others.

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Exposing Pseudoastronomy with Stuart Robbins

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 23.1, Spring 2013

Skeptical Podcasts

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Briefs Briefs

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 23.1, Spring 2013

Briefs Briefs

Uncovering Secret Messages

Uncovering Secret Messages

by Joe Nickell
Volume 22.4, Winter 2012/2013

Investigative Files

Among my many interests as a boy was cryptography—the study of codes, ciphers, and other secret writings. I sent and received nighttime Morse code messages by flashlight between neighbors’ houses and mine, made and solved cryptograms, used my forensic chemistry lab to make various invisible inks and developers, and even compiled a treatise on the subject.

The Gore Orphanage Hauntings

by Josh Hunt
Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

According to legend, a place called Gore Orphanage housed a hundred or so orphans. One night, either by malicious intent or by a tragic accident, the orphanage burned to the ground. I was told this story when I was a kid growing up in Ohio and thought that it was time to find out if there was any truth to it.

The Wisdom of Not Understanding

The Wisdom of Not Understanding

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

When people don’t understand something they are told, there are three possibilities or root causes.

A Fiery Death: Murder or ‘Spontaneous Combustion’?

A Fiery Death: Murder or ‘Spontaneous Combustion’?

by Joe Nickell
Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

Investigative Files

This is the story of a fiery death that became a cold case—a mystery unsolved since 1847. It begins with an elderly Frenchman, whose badly burned body suggested to authorities that it may have been set afire to conceal evidence of foul play.

Wisdom from the Origins Conference

by Noah Nez
Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

Native Skeptic

A quick search on the background of some of the speakers and sponsors reveals much of the same brand of pseudoscience that is found permeating through the entire institute, its offered programs, and the Wisdoms of the Origins conference.

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‘Psychic Detective’ Loses Two Court Appeals, Plans Yet Another Lawsuit Against Skeptic

by Gary Posner
Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

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Ask an Astrobiologist

by David Morrison
Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

Ask an Astrobiologist

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Briefs Briefs

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

Briefs Briefs

Near-Death Experience Expert Arrested in Daughter’s Torture / Conspiracy Theorists See UFO over Antarctica / NOAA Denies Existence of Mermaids

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End of the World Looms According to Maya’s Calendar

by J.B. Goodbody
Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

Humor

Ghosts at a Shaker Village

Ghosts at a Shaker Village

by Joe Nickell
Volume 22.2, Summer 2012

Investigative Files

In 1774 a “visionary” named Ann Lee—as charismatic as she was uneducated—sailed from Manchester, England, to New York to spread her new faith. In time “Mother Ann’s” United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming would found nineteen utopian communal villages.

Ask an Astrobiologist

by David Morrison
Volume 22.2, Summer 2012

Ask an Astrobiologist

What is the history behind Astrobiology? How could we find life on other planets? Why is the U.S. government building bunkers to house the elite in case of a global disaster? Are we headed for another ice age?

Geronimo’s Hair

by Noah Nez
Volume 22.2, Summer 2012

Native Skeptic

While there might be some variability in the details regarding the reasons for long hair from tribe to tribe, there is one major component that has remained consistent: long hair has never been about aesthetics but instead is a religious concern.