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Skeptical Inquirer

Skeptical Inquirer is the official journal of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Six times per year Skeptical Inquirer publishes critical scientific evaluations of all manner of controversial and extraordinary claims, including but not limited to paranormal and fringe-science matters, and informed discussion of all relevant issues. In addition to news, articles, book reviews, and investigations on a wide variety of topics, Skeptical Inquirer has a stellar stable of regular columnists including Joe Nickell (“Investigative Files”), Massimo Polidoro (“Notes on a Strange World”), Massimo Pigluicci (“Thinking About Science”), Robert Sheaffer (“Psychic Vibrations”), and SI managing editor Benjamin Radford's reader-driven (“The Skeptical Inquiree”). Yale University neurologist Steven Novella, M.D., founder of the New England Skeptical Society and executive editor of the Science-Based Medicine blog, contributes a new "The Science of Medicine" column, and contributing editor Kenneth W. Krause adds a regular science column, "ScienceWatch."

Eyewitness to the Paranormal: The Experimental Psychology of the ‘Unexplained’

Eyewitness to the Paranormal: The Experimental Psychology of the ‘Unexplained’

by Matthew J. Sharps
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Article

Research in experimental psychology has shown that many paranormal sightings fall directly within the realm of eyewitness memory. Experiments reveal that such “sightings” derive from the psychology of the observers rather than from supernatural sources. Experiments show these proclivities.

Enfield Poltergeist

Enfield Poltergeist

by Joe Nickell
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Investigative Files

In August 1977, a series of disturbances that were soon characterized as a case of poltergeist phenomena or even demonic possession began in Enfield, a northern suburb of London.

The Non-Mysterious Mass Illness in Le Roy, New York

by Steven Novella
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

The Science of Medicine

The “mystery illness” has become a Rorschach test of sorts: people see in the illness a diagnosis that fits their worldview or pet cause. But now that the dust has settled somewhat on this outbreak, what can we reliably say about it?

What’s Going On in Our Minds?

What’s Going On in Our Minds?

by Paul Brown
Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Book Review

A review of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

The Roswellian Syndrome: How Some UFO Myths Develop

The Roswellian Syndrome: How Some UFO Myths Develop

by Joe Nickell and James McGaha
Volume 36.3, May/June 2012

Article

An analysis of four classic flying-saucer incidents reveals how debunking can send a mundane case underground, where it is transformed by mythologizing processes, then reemerges—like a virulent strain of a virus—as a vast conspiracy tale. Defined by the Roswell Incident (1947), this syndrome is repeated at Flatwoods (1952), Kecksburg (1965), and Rendlesham Forest (1980).

We Can’t Treat Soldiers’ PTSD without a Better Diagnosis

We Can’t Treat Soldiers’ PTSD without a Better Diagnosis

by Peter Barglow
Volume 36.3, May/June 2012

Article

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a diagnosis fully accepted by the U.S. Veterans Administration, psychiatrists, and the American public. But PTSD does not meet the criteria for a real psychiatric-medical disease.

The Ongoing Decline of Religion

The Ongoing Decline of Religion

by Elie A. Shneour
Volume 36.3, May/June 2012

Article

The inexorably growing impact of science is our most significant tool discrediting religion.

Famous Alien Abduction in Pascagoula: Reinvestigating a Cold Case

Famous Alien Abduction in Pascagoula: Reinvestigating a Cold Case

by Joe Nickell
Volume 36.3, May/June 2012

Special Report

Among reports of extraterrestrial encounters, the 1973 claim of two Mississippi men to have been taken aboard a flying saucer remains controversial. Was it a real encounter or a hoax? Or is that a false dichotomy?

Thinking: An Unnatural Act

Thinking: An Unnatural Act

by Harriet Hall
Volume 36.3, May/June 2012

Book Review

A review of Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed! by Robert Todd Carroll.

Ghost Author? The Channeling of ‘Patience Worth’

Ghost Author? The Channeling of ‘Patience Worth’

by Joe Nickell
Volume 36.3, May/June 2012

Investigative Files

Pearl Lenore (Pollard) Curran (1883–1937), wife of John H. Curran of St. Louis, began in 1913 to receive poems and novels, via Ouija board, from a seventeenth-century Puritan english woman named “Patience Worth.”

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