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Benjamin Radford

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Benjamin Radford, M.Ed., is a scientific paranormal investigator, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and author, co-author, contributor, or editor of twenty books and over a thousand articles on skepticism, critical thinking, and science literacy. His newest book is Bad Clowns; his next, Investigating Ghosts: The Scientific Search for Spirits, will be out in Fall 2017.

The ‘Science Can’t Explain!’ Fallacy

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 19, 2017
The ‘Science Can’t Explain!’ Fallacy

When reading claims of baffled scientists and skeptics, remember: “Can’t” isn’t the same as “didn’t try.”

Burying the C.B.S.

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 4, 2017
Burying the C.B.S.

An innocuous press release for a new book on Darwin raises some red flags.

The West Palm Beach Killer Clown Case: A Closer Look

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 28, 2017
The West Palm Beach Killer Clown Case: A Closer Look

The mysterious 1990 killing of a Florida woman by someone dressed as a clown may finally be solved.

How a Puerto Rican Hurricane Spawned El Chupacabra

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 21, 2017
How a Puerto Rican Hurricane Spawned El Chupacabra

Hurricanes are well known in the Puerto Rico, but lesser known is how a storm twenty-eight years ago, Hurricane Hugo, helped spawn the world’s most famous cryptozoological vampire: the chupacabra.

Behind the Scary Clown Juggalo March on Washington

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 19, 2017
Behind the Scary Clown Juggalo March on Washington

Washington D.C. has more clowns in it than usual over the weekend: Juggalos protesting their FBI designation as a criminal gang. Here’s the story. 

From TV miniseries to the Silver Screen: Pennywise Returns

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 5, 2017
From TV miniseries to the Silver Screen: Pennywise Returns

Pennywise the evil clown returns later this week in the new version of Stephen King’s It. Here’s a look back at the film and character.

Ethics in Spirit Mediumship and Ghostly Communications

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 28, 2017
Ethics in Spirit Mediumship and Ghostly Communications

Usually when people think of ghostly communication it’s in a positive or light, but there are real ethical issues with the practice.

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Orbs as Plasma Life

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 41.5, September/October 2017

Skeptical Inquiree

A Good Analysis of Bad UFO Information

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 41.4, July/August 2017

Review
A Good Analysis of Bad UFO Information

Robert Sheaffer is one of the—if not the—world’s top experts on the subject of unidentified flying objects and claims of extraterrestrials, and he shares that knowledge in his new book Bad UFOs.

The Phoenix Driveway Ghost

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 41.4, July/August 2017

Skeptical Inquiree
The Phoenix Driveway Ghost

Ben Radford explains a strange mist found in a Phoenix woman’s driveway.

Favorite and Memorable Investigations

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 10, 2017
Favorite and Memorable Investigations



I was recently asked “What are your favorite investigations and what made them memorable?”

Unco Junto: The Nature of Hypocrisy

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
July 21, 2017
Unco Junto: The Nature of Hypocrisy

Hypocrisy seems to be a running theme on the news and in social media, especially in the political sphere. But what is the nature of hypocrisy? Michael Hartwell, Ian Harris, and Celestia Ward join me in examining the question.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Emmys: An Amelia Earhart Special (Non)Mystery Post-Mortem

Special Report
July 18, 2017
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Emmys: An Amelia Earhart Special (Non)Mystery Post-Mortem

Going beyond the evidence is routinely seen on reality television…

Chupacabra and the Nightjar: Response to Colavito

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
July 6, 2017
Chupacabra and the Nightjar: Response to Colavito

Following up on my book Tracking the Chupacabra, I have occasionally written about varied speculative pseudohistories of the chupacabra, including a reputed link to a nightjar bird.

Broom Balancing on the Equinox

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 22, 2017
Broom Balancing on the Equinox



We are just past the 2017 summer solstice and amid the celebrations, pagan rituals, and Stonehenge treks, there were many who performed a trick seemingly unique to that day. 

Megyn Kelly, Alex Jones, and Conspiracies

Special Report
June 22, 2017
Megyn Kelly, Alex Jones, and Conspiracies

For skeptics it’s often a no-win situation: If we ignore whatever bogus claim (UFO, Bigfoot, ghosts, conspiracies) then what happens is that believers say to themselves: “There must be something to it…

Moral Panic Du Jour: The ‘Blue Whale Game’

Special Report
June 15, 2017

“The Blue Whale ‘suicide game’ is believed to be a hidden online social media group which its main aim is to encourage our children to kill themselves…

Was the Nightjar an Early Chupacabra?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 1, 2017
Was the Nightjar an Early Chupacabra?



Is the history and lore of the European nightjar bird related to the chupacabra?

The Mirror in the Last Haunted House

Skeptical Briefs Volume 27.1, Spring 2017

The Mirror in the Last Haunted House

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 Lore and Lure of the Northern Lights

Special Report
May 18, 2017
The Lore and Lure of the Northern Lights

“I didn’t just want to write a science book… I wanted to celebrate the beauty and magic of the aurora and how captivating it is, and also explore the history of Arctic exploration and the cultures there…”

Can Electromagnetic Fields Create Ghosts?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 41.3, May/June 2017

Skeptical Inquiree
Can Electromagnetic Fields Create Ghosts?

If you are sure that ghosts are real (and not the product of EMF-induced hallucinations), there is no logic or point in using a device to detect those EMFs.

Case Study in Flawed TV Ghost Investigation: ‘Kindred Spirits’

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 1, 2017
Case Study in Flawed TV Ghost Investigation: ‘Kindred Spirits’

The ghost hunting TV show ‘Kindred Spirits’ offers an example of how not to investigate ghosts. 

George Cherrie’s 
Dark Tales

Skeptical Briefs Volume 26.4, Winter 2016/2017

George Cherrie’s 
Dark Tales

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.

Mystery of the Paulding Light

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 41.2, March/April 2017

Skeptical Inquiree
Mystery of the Paulding Light

Of course, it’s more fun to imagine the distant glimmer is a ghostly railroad brakeman’s phantom lantern than the headlights of a 2005 Honda Civic.

What Ghosts Mean

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 41.2, March/April 2017

Review
What Ghosts Mean

“I have to admit that I’ve come to envy the people who reported having poltergeists in their home; they have a ready explanation for anything amiss in their household”

Checking the Safety Check

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 11, 2017
Checking the Safety Check

Many people use Facebook’s “Safety Check” function to alert friends and family that they are safe during attacks and disasters. But how useful is it? 

How Russian Conspiracies Taint Social Activist ‘News’

Special Report
April 5, 2017
How Russian Conspiracies Taint Social Activist ‘News’

The idea that Russians are intentionally fomenting social unrest and government distrust in the United States through news media sounds itself like a conspiracy theory, but it is not.

When Talking to the Dead Leads to Death

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 5, 2017

People claiming to speak with ghosts have at times led to serious consequences, including death.

Ghost Hunters in the Dark

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 41.1, January/February 2017

Skeptical Inquiree

Why do ghost hunters look for ghosts at night with the lights off?

QuickTake: A Skeptical Look at CIA Spying Revelations

Special Report
March 22, 2017
QuickTake: A Skeptical Look at CIA Spying Revelations

The problem that intelligence agencies face is not having too little data, but precisely the opposite: having too much.

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