Skeptical Inquirer — Notes on a Strange World
In continuing our discussion on “mystery” paintings from the past: a special place is held by paintings that are said to hold hidden meanings—especially when they do.
The Lure of Mysterious Paintings
The evil eye is a lucrative business for many psychics and charlatans. However, the risks run by those who decide to rely on these frauds are often much worse than just a bloodletting to their pocketbooks.
Leonardo da Vinci not only epitomizes genius and creativity, but he is also one of the most sought-after sources of mysteries, both real and invented.
The Mystery of the Sicilian Avengers
The Thought Reader Craze
“Searching for Hitler’s DNA in Antarctica.” This is the bizarre headline that made the news a few months ago, launched by Russian news agency Ria Novosti and picked up by the world media after scientists were able to successfully drill into Antarctica’s Lake Vostok.
Paranormal legends about paintings have always existed. Some think that a picture falling off the wall represents a bad omen for the person depicted or photographed in it. Others feel watched by some portraits whose eyes seem to follow onlookers as they move through a room. And still others claim that paintings can come alive...
Once you take out those plainly fake and the more suspicious looking ones all you are left with are about ten photos. These are, essentially, “mug shots” of wanted extraterrestrials. Here is my personal list of the best (or worst) photos of aliens.
Stairway to Heaven: A Firsthand Account of a UFO Sighting
Ten Myths about the Titanic
After magician and skeptic Harry Houdini died on October 31, 1926, scores of mediums claimed they had received a genuine message from the “soul” of the once-great skeptic and medium-basher.
Last May, newspapers in Italy and abroad reported that the iconic image of a Madonna had wept tears in the Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas in Milano. It was the second time that this phenomenon had reportedly happened there.
The Lost Girl: Investigating a Case of “Psychic Detection”
The Myth of Chastity Belts
Seeing photos of ghostly faces and figures floating around in the air must have been quite a shock to our ancestors.
As a guest on a popular Italian TV show, L’Istruttoria (The Inquest), I had a chance to test a theory I was rather curious about.
A Lesson Worth Remembering
The Legend of Creating Artificial Life: From the Golem to Pinocchio
Some time ago, we received a letter from a woman, R.G., who claimed she can peer inside sealed boxes with some sort of X-ray vision and describe...
Dutch police experts gather around a TV screen. They are watching footage from a hidden camera that was positioned to monitor a supposed case of vandalism at...
The Shroud of Turin Duplicated
The Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CICAP) celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a special three-day conference...
Eusapia Palladino, Queen of the Cabinet, Part 4
How is it possible that well-trained and respected scientists and investigators could be deceived by a clever...
Eusapia Palladino, Queen of the Cabinet, Part 3
There suddenly came a wild, yelling scream. It was such a scream as I have never heard before in my life, not even in...
Eusapia Palladino, Queen of the Cabinet, Part 2
Eleven extraordinary séances with medium Eusapia Palladino were held in the now-defunct Hotel Victoria in Naples.
Eusapie Palladino, the Queen of the Cabinet, Part 1
...it was essential that the investigators were knowledgeable of the methods of trickery. But were they really?
Along with the Holy Grail, the Ark is the most sought after and elusive of relics.
What would you think if street lamps kept turning off when you passed them by?
The hot, still night was illuminated by a full moon. The two shadowy figures moving along the empty road wondered if this...
‘I Am Houdini! And You Are a Fraud!’
Though it seems that everything has already been said and written about magician Harry Houdini, every now and then something...
The Legend of the Pied Piper
It is 1284, and the little German town of Hamelin is infested by a plague of rats. In desperation, the mayor advertises for...
Spook hills, also known as antigravity or magnetic hills, are natural places where cars in neutral seem to move uphill.
The Man Who Fooled Edison ... but Not Houdini
In one of the earliest letters exchanged between magician Harry Houdini and Sherlock Homes Creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...
The Quest for the ‘Real’ Robin Hood
Once upon a time, there lived in Sherwood Forest a wronged noblemand whose lands, home, and woman had been stolen and who had...
The Devious Art of Improvising: Third and Final Lesson
"You say that Uri Geller is a psychic because he did this. Now if I were able to do it, would you say I'm a psychic?"
The Devious Art of Improvising, Lesson Two
Both Henning and Wilson were staring, quite curious to see how Randi would escape from such an impossible situation.
The great fake psychics are great improvisationists.
Behind the Mask
"A masked man lived in the Bastille for years and, still wearing a mask, there he died."
For years, Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle were friends. One was an arch-skeptic while the other was a true believer.
Circles of Light
A new enigma is spreading on the Internet. Some call it a new kind of miracle. According to various Web sites, for the past...
I recently had the opportunity to travel through Europe in search of the reality behind some famous ancient legends.
Did you know that Paul McCartney, the ex-Beatle, never left the band because he died in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike?
Beware of Poltergeists
Poltergeist is a German word that literally means "noisy ghost." It is, in fact, believed that poltergeists...
The Story of a ‘Greata’ Medium
There once was an Italian Spiritualistic medium who had both the pleasure of astonishing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator...
There’s a UFO in My Painting!
"UFOs are not a recent invention, they were seen by our ancestors as well!"
In the search for the identity of Jack the Ripper, a recent discovery has attracted the attention of Ripperologists worldwide.
Investigating historical mysteries is one of the most fascinating and rewarding aspects of the work of a skeptical researcher
What if the Holy Grail was not the legendary cup that held the blood of Christ, but was itself a bloodline?
On July 11, 2000, a popular Italian prime-time science program, presented a short segment highly critical of homeopathy.
The next World Skeptics Congress will be held October 8-10, 2004, in Italy.
Some of the most astonishing feats ever (supposedly) accomplished by men are the demonstrations of Indian fakirs and gurus.
We all know that humans and dinosaurs actually coexisted, even if that only happened in The Flintstones