You searched for james randi - Benjamin Radford

Nov 262012
 
Advertisers spent tens of millions of dollars for the chance to be in the new Bond film Skyfall. But is it worth it? After all, just because James Bond is seen driving a particular type of car, or drinking a particular brand of beer doesn't mean that audiences will rush from theaters to buy that car and that beer. Read the piece HERE.
Nov 152017
 
As a teenager I was fascinated by books about the strange and mysterious world around us. In the summer I’d walk to the local used bookstore and pull out a handful of crumpled allowance dollars to scoop up some old paperbacks from the Fifties. Along with Doc Savage and Tom Swift pulp novels, I’d pick up some “true mystery” books. In particular I recall buying several books by Frank Edwards, with titles like Stranger Than Science. Inside I found a banquet of odd and mysterious stories and phenomena, spilling from page after yellowed page. These weren’t ghost stories, or silly pulp fiction novels; these were, as the cover blurb read, “Astounding stories of strange events! All authentic —all absolutely true!” I loved these snippets of mystery, of supernatural coincidences, prophecy, terrifying creatures, and all other manner of oddity. They had titles like, “The Invisible Fangs” and “The Girl Who Lived Twice” and “A Voice From The Dead?” A blurb on the cover from the Colorado Springs Free Press called it a “fascinating collection of weird, fully-documented stories taken from life that modern science is powerless to explain!” Yet the assertion that the stories were “fully documented” was perhaps the strangest claim in the book, since none of Edwards’ stories cited sources, references, or in fact any documentation whatsoever! The “science cannot explain” line was quite popular, and also appeared on many other similar books, such as Rupert T. Gould’s 1965 book Oddities, subtitled “Mysterious, true events science cannot explain!” I pictured worried scientists—imagined as balding men in horn-rimmed glasses and white lab coats—huddled together chain-smoking and fretting about the mysteries they couldn’t explain. A few years ago when researching the famous Coral Castle in Florida I came across this claim repeatedly. In Homestead, not far from Miami and off the South Dixie Highway, sits the world-famous structure. Though not really a castle—and not really made of coral—it is nonetheless an amazing achievement. More than 1,000 tons of the sedimentary rock was quarried and sculpted into a variety of shapes, including slab walls, tables, chairs, a crescent moon, a water fountain and a sundial. “You are about to see an engineering marvel that has been compared with Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Egypt,” touts an information sheet available at the site. Many sources claim that the castle, originally called Rock Gate Park, is scientifically inexplicable. According to the attraction’s website, “Coral Castle has baffled scientists, engineers and scholars since its opening in 1923.” Despite researching information about the site, I was unable to find any references to all the baffled scientists. Who were they? When were they there? What were their credentials? What exactly did they test or examine that left them perplexed? When I put these questions to the staff at the Coral Castle I got baffled if bemused shrugs. How can you boldly claim that scientists can’t explain it, if you have no record of any scientists actually trying to explain it? They may or may not be able to, but unless they have made a sincere effort you can’t honestly claim that they failed. I was recently reminded of this when I was contacted via Twitter by someone with the handle “Ninel Kulagina Fans.” They wrote “In 50 years, no magician has replicated the filmed 1967 Kulagina/Naumpv macro telekinesis demonstrations under the same observer conditions.” I promptly and politely replied: “Which magicians tried, where, and when?” It was a sincere and simple request: I was told unequivocally that “no magician has replicated the telekinesis demonstrations under the same observer conditions,” and in order to determine the validity of that claim I’d need to know more about the times that magicians had tried and failed to replicate said experiments. The afternoon came and went without a reply, so the next day I repeated my request: “So: Which magicians tried, where, and when? Still waiting for a response.” Eventually the fan (or fans) of Ninel Kulagina realized that I was serious and asking for evidence of their claim. Instead of the names of one or more magicians who had tried to “replicate the filmed 1967 Kulagina/Naumpv macro telekinesis demonstrations under the same observer conditions” (along with the dates, published research on the topic describing the experimental conditions, etc.) I got the following reply: “Doesn’t say ‘tried.’ A success by a magician would require a famous parapsychologist, science film crew. No reports in 50 years of success.” This answer—and its tacit admission—was quite revealing: The person admitted up front that no magicians had even attempted to replicate those telekinesis demonstrations under the same conditions (or any other, for that matter). It certainly is true that skeptical magicians (most prominently my colleague James Randi, as well as other including Ray Hyman, Banachek, and Dan Korem) have tried to replicate alleged claims of telekinesis by performers such as Uri Geller, James Hydrick, and others; the magicians were successful in those attempts—but only because they tried in the first place! Kulagina’s claims have been analyzed and discussed by many skeptical researchers including Randi, Martin Gardner, and Massimo Polidoro. Stating that no magician has replicated a specific telekinesis performance is only meaningful if one has attempted to do so but failed—which is the false conclusion implied in the tweet by Ninel Kulagina Fans. We don’t know whether or not a professional magician could replicate Kulagina’s performance because it hasn’t been done, and there’s no reason to think that the magician would fail. I responded with a final reply: “So you’re claiming that X has never happened, yet acknowledge that X has never been attempted. Do you see the faulty logic there?” Fans of Ninel Kulagina responded, “I see a red herring or avoiding the issue fallacy or both. As you know, Randi et al have simulated, but not under same conditions. Thanks.” The red herring claim was especially rich, but at any rate I’m still waiting for any Kulagina supporters to provide the name(s) of the professional magician(s) who tried to replicate Kulagina’s effects, where and when these attempted replications took place, under what conditions or controls, under whose supervision, etc. If and when those are provided (and validated) I’ll be happy to concede that no magician has replicated the Kulagina demonstrations under the same conditions. When it comes to claims of baffled scientists and skeptics, there’s a simple lesson to remember: “Can’t” isn’t the same as “didn’t try.”

Course Part 2

 

Using Science to Investigate the Paranormal

Hello there! Welcome to Part 2 of my ten-part introduction to the basics of scientific paranormal investigation, adapted from my book Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries, and the workshop I give of the same title. It’s intended to give the layperson a taste of how a science-based paranormal investigator goes about solving mysteries. This time we’re going to take a look at what it means to use science to investigate the unexplained. Let’s begin with definitions. A few years ago, following a talk at a conference, I was challenged by an obviously-less-than-skeptical attendee. “How can proven scientific methods of research be used,” he asked, “when by definition, the paranormal is that which defies scientific explanation?” It’s a fair question, but based on a faulty premise. Paranormal does not mean something that defies scientific explanation. Using that definition, consciousness (something everyone experiences most of their lives) would be considered paranormal, since science can’t fully explain what it is or how it comes about. Or, to use another example, if the paranormal was simply something that science doesn’t understand, then germ theory (how germs cause disease) was “paranormal” in the 1700s, simply because scientists didn’t understand how it works. Many “paranormal” things can be (and have been) scientifically tested, from Bigfoot hair to psychic powers. No, “paranormal” simply means something that appears to be supernatural or seems to violate natural laws. James Randi, in his Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural, defines paranormal as “an adjective referring to events, abilities, and matters not yet defined or explained by science.” Joe Nickell provides a definition of paranormal in his book The Mystery Chronicles: More Real-Life X-Files, that which is “supposedly beyond the range of science and normal human experience.” Many so-called paranormal topics are not “outside the realm of science,” instead, if they exist, they will be incorporated into science. Contrary to many critics of skepticism, the reason that many mainstream scientists don’t study the paranormal is not because they are too timid to tackle something outside their worldview, but instead because there’s little hard evidence upon which to base an experiment or conduct research. Science is simply a way of examining the world, a very effective method of analysis and investigation. You don’t need to be a scientist to do science (or to investigate unexplained mysteries), but you do need to understand the principles involved. As you follow my lessons and investigations, these principles will be illustrated again and again. Drawn largely from the scientific process, psychology, criminal investigation techniques, and logic, these are not boring rules to memorize, but powerful, real-world ideas for critically examining everything from crime scenes to psychic powers to personal decisions. Improbable occurrences do happen; just because something seems bizarre or unusual is reason only to look more closely, not dismiss it out of hand. A good scientific investigator is a skeptic, not a debunker or cynic. The Goal of Investigation If the goal of investigation is to understand an unexplained phenomenon, then the methods that produce information solving the mystery are the right ones; the methods that do not help solve the mystery are the wrong ones. It’s as simple as that. Paranormal subjects are investigated just like any other subject: through critical thinking, evidence analysis, logic, and scientific methodologies. Of course, some methods of investigation are better than others. The best way to approach investigation is the same one that professional investigators and detectives use everyday: the scientific method. Police detectives and crime scene investigators, for example, use time-tested, proven techniques and methods to solve crimes. Let’s say, for example, police are called to investigate a burglary. There are many different methods that detectives could potentially use to solve the crime. Police could consult a local psychic to identify the criminal, or they might simply wait for the criminal to turn himself in. Another way would be to carefully search for and scientifically examine evidence at the scene for fingerprints or DNA evidence. Any of these methods could theoretically solve the case, but only one way—methodical, scientific investigation—has proven useful in solving crimes and mysteries. Why Scientific Investigation? There are many ways humans find out about the world around us. The most common is through personal experience; we see or hear something, learn from it, and move on. For the most part personal experience works well for everyday things like learning not to lock your keys in the car. But personal experience can sometimes mislead us, especially when dealing with things that we don’t encounter every day—such as the paranormal. Personal perception and experience tells us that our planet revolves around us. The sun moves across the sky from east to west, while we don’t appear to be moving at all. But personal experience is of course wrong; it is instead the Earth that revolves around the sun. Science reveals that the earth we walk on is also revolving at over 1,000 miles per hour (at the equator), contrary to personal experience. Another example is lightning. For much of human history lightning was a mysterious, perhaps paranormal, phenomenon. Was it thunderbolts from the gods? Until experiments in 1752 (one of which was performed by Benjamin Franklin), the electrical nature of lightning was likely but unproven. Today scientists have a far better understanding of lightning; what was once mysterious and supernatural has now been largely explained. We know it is an electrical atmospheric discharge; yet science, as always, doesn’t have all the answers. Lightning yet holds many mysteries, including how it can generate X-rays. Though science doesn’t have all the details, it has many of them, and those parts that scientists still don’t understand won’t be filled by the earlier “mysterious” explanations. Science, not mysticism or pseudoscience, created most of the conveniences and essentials we enjoy daily. So hopefully this has helped give you a grounding in what the paranormal is, and how science can be used to solve mysteries. In the next installment I’ll discuss the differences between ”unexplained” and “unexplainable,” and “possible” versus “probable.” Understanding these distinctions is critical to approaching the paranormal from a scientific point of view.  
Part One || Part Two || Part Three || Part Four || Part Five || Part Six || Part Seven || Part Eight || Part Nine || Part Ten
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Oct 142012
 
I'm a guest speaker on the James Randi Educational Foundation's 'It's Not the End of the World!' Caribbean cruise in December. I'll be speaking on 2012 prophecy, crystal skulls, and Mayan monsters! Other great speakers include James Randi, D.J. Grothe, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Carrie Poppy, and others. See Honduras, Mexico and Belize, snorkel, scuba, and visit Maya ruins! You can book your stateroom HERE, and mention my special code word MONSTERS to receive a $50 discount.
Sep 122012
 
I will be joining The Amazing Randi and a team of star skeptics (including D.J. Grothe, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Brian Thompson, Carrie Poppy, and Toni Van Pelt) for a cruise held by the James Randi Educational Foundation. Some claim that the Mayan calendar predicts that the world will end this December, but we're a bit skeptical. That's why we're setting sail on an unforgettable cruise from Tampa, Florida to the heart of Mayan civilization, with stops in Honduras, Belize and Mexico, to see some of the most beautiful Mayan ruins and celebrate skepticism while the world doesn't end. Once on land, you will soak up the sun on the Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras, teeming with marine life and home to some of the best pillar coral in the Caribbean. And the beauty of Tabyana Beach is always a sight to see. Belize City, Belize was once home to a complex Mayan civilization, and today, many of the architectural treasures from that amazing lost culture remain for you to explore in virtually untouched verdant jungles. In the jungles of Costa Maya, an unspoiled coastal paradise in the Yucatán, you might spot brilliant butterflies, exotic tropical birds, deer, monkeys and even jaguars. And the island of Cozumel off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula continues to be known for its fantastic snorkeling and diving opportunities. Despite the growth of tourism in recent years, the island and its only town, San Miguel, retain much of their original warmth and charm. The cruise goes from December 9 to 16 and leaves from Tampa, Florida. To reserve your stateroom, call (415) 952-JREF or e-mail cruise@randi.org. More information can be found HERE. 
Jul 122012
 
I will be appearing this weekend at TAM, the annual meeting of the James Randi Educational Foundation, in Las Vegas.  I will be participating in a workshop on conducting scientific paranormal investigation, along with my MonsterTalk podcast co-hosts Dr. Karen Stollznow and Blake Smith, as well as Ross and Carrie of the Oh No, Ross and Carrie! show. I will also be giving a short presentation Saturday 8 to 8:30 AM: Doomsdays and 2012 Mayan Prophecy The world was supposed to end last year, and a few years before that—and this year too. What’s going on, and why do some people think doomsday is once again upon us? Join me for an overview of doomsday predictions, focusing on the 2012 Mayan prophecy that some claim foretell our doom. You can register for TAM HERE.

Podcast Compendium

 
Listen to the dulcet tones of Mr. Radford in this very-nearly-entirely complete compendium of all his podcasts ever. Click on any title to download or listen in!

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The Edge of the Unknown radio show On this episode of The Edge of the Unknown radio show, I discuss skepticism, some of my famous investigations, urban legends, and much more!

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Strange Frequencies Radio SFR 267 – Ben Radford Investigates “Stonehenge Surprise” Crop Circle My look at the best case for crop circles, a seemingly unexplainable fractal pattern that appeared near Stonehenge in 1997—an investigation that appeared as the cover story for Fortean Times magazine!

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Strange Frequencies Radio SFR 250 – Ben Radford on Media Myths and Media Influence

My discussion of media myths, based on my book Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us. Check it out!

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Project Archivist podcast Episode 61 Ben Radford, Sex Demons and the Sexy time. Welcome back for episode 61. For this week we welcome back good friend of the show Ben Radford. Ben talks with us about the weird world of sex demons and sexually oriented entities. We take a look at the folklore behind Lilith and the Succubi, the Tokoloshe, the Djinn, “Sexy time” with Kesha and a African ghost, the “Oily Man” Orang Minyak. Then finally in this weeks moment of WTF?!? Roejen wigs out and attempts to channel a bad Christian Bale Batman to bring up Popobawa, the bat-winged sodomizing demon of Zanzibar.

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Sasquatch Detective Radio January 17, 2011 Steve Kulls along with co-host Chris Bennett delve into the Bigfoot mystery each week. Tonight's guest, Ben Radford, Managing Editor of Skeptical Inquirer Magazine. As well challenge his disbelief in Sasquatch, as he challenges ours in a friendly exchange of differing opinions.

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Beyond Ghosts paranormal podcast Episode 66, June 16, 2010 The science and pseudoscience of ghost investigations!

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Think Atheist Show on Blog Talk Radio July 8, 2012

Mr. Benjamin Radford is one of only a few people actually doing real scientific-minded investigations into paranormal phenomena and cryptids like Bigfoot, lake monsters, and the chupacabra. Mr. Radford has appeared in the past on The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, The National Geographic Channel, BBC, and CNN and in The Wall Street Journal, Wired, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair. He is both the deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine and a Research Fellow with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has authored or co-authored six books including Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us; Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking; and Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. We asked Mr. Radford to join us to talk about how what he does as an actual scientific-minded investigator differs from what those termed “paranormal investigators” tend to do, about the fascinating stories of bigfoot and chupacabra and about his investigations into each, and about critical thinking generally.

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Paradigm Shift radio April 22, 2011 Guest: Benjamin Radford, author, editor, speaking on the chupacabra mystery

“Among the monsters said to roam the world’s jungles and desolate deserts, none is more feared than the chupacabra—the blood-sucking beast blamed for the mysterious deaths of thousands of animals since the 1990s. To some it’s a joke; to many it is a very real threat and even a harbinger of the apocalypse. Originating in Latin America yet known worldwide, the chupacabra is a contradictory and bizarre blend of vampire and shapeshifter, changing its appearance and characteristics depending on when and where it is seen. Rooted in conspiracy theory and anti-American sentiment, the beast is said to be the result of Frankenstein-like secret U.S. government experiments in the Puerto Rican jungles. Combining five years of careful investigation (including eyewitness accounts, field research, and forensic analysis) with a close study of the creature’s cultural and folkloric significance, Benjamin Radford is the first to fully explore—and solve—the decades-old mystery of the chupacabra.”

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Grand Dark Conspiracy Podcast #108: March 5, 2012 Episode features an interview with Benjamin Radford on the mystifying oracle Ouija board.

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MonsterTalk is a free audio podcast that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves. Hosted by Blake Smith, Benjamin Radford, and Dr. Karen Stollznow, MonsterTalk interviews the scientists and investigators who shine a spotlight on the things that go bump in the night. For once (and unlike mystery-mongering television shows) a monster-themed program gives skepticism more than just a couple minutes of lip service! Click here to add the Monster Talk Podcast to a feed reader.

2011 Index

December 21st: Squatching with The Krampus By popular demand, we take a brief aside into fantasy to talk with one the more sinister figures associated with the Winter Holidays: The Krampus. Then we get a bit more serious as we welcome one of the co-hosts of the popular podcast The Bigfoot Show, documentarian and comedian, Scott Herriott. Scott has made several films about walking the Pacific Coast Trail and about his personal quest to find Bigfoot—and the people he’s met in that search. This MonsterTalk interview includes a detailed recounting of his own brush with what he believes may have been a Sasquatch. December 7th: Unbottling some Jinn If you think Genies are funny like in Aladdin, or sexy like in I Dream of Jeannie get ready to have your assumptions challenged. In the Middle East, Jinn aren’t whimsical characters of fantasy. They are considered to be frightening, real entities that haunt desolate places and can perform terrible magic. In this episode of MonsterTalk we interview author Robert Lebling about his book Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar. If you miss this episode you’ll wish you hadn’t! November 15th: MonsterTalk meets Skeptiko: The Psychic Detective Finale In September of 2008, Ben Radford appeared as a guest on the podcast Skeptiko, hosted by Alex Tsakiris. During that interview, he agreed to take up Alex’s challenge to investigate the best case of the efficacy of psychic detectives. What followed was months of research, numerous interviews and a follow-up which ended in acrimony. Now, three years after the initial challenge, Skepticality presents a discussion between the hosts of MonsterTalk (Blake Smith, Ben Radford and Karen Stollznow) and Alex Tsakiris about Skeptiko, the interface of skeptics and believers, and the matter of whether or not Ben’s investigation disproved the psychic’s claims. November 9th: Paranormality: Psychic Dogs, Ghosts and Silly Voices—an Interview with Richard Wiseman While at TAM9, the hosts of MonsterTalk sat down to talk with psychologist Richard Wiseman about his new book Paranormality: Paranormality: Why we see what isn’t there. It was supposed to be a chat about the paranormal, ghosts and Wiseman’s findings. But a conversation with Richard Wiseman is rarely so simple as that. October 26th: Crypt O’ Zoology: Dinosaurs in Africa! From The Lost World to Alley Oop to The Flintstones, the idea of dinosaurs and humans living together has captured the imagination of readers across the globe. But there are some who believe that this idea isn’t fictional. Is there a population of sauropod dinosaurs living in Africa in modern times? In this episode of MonsterTalk, we interview paleontologist Dr. Donald Prothero at TAM9 about his research into the creature known as Mokele Mbembe! Cryptozoology, paleontology and creationism converge in the jungles of the Congo. October 5th: Bad Wolf On November 8, 2005 Canadian geological engineering student Kenton Carnegie went for a walk. He told people that he’d be back by 5 pm. When he hadn’t returned by 7 pm, a search party went out and discovered his remains in the woods. In this episode of Monstertalk (a follow-up to last week’s), we interview professor Valerius Geist about the true cause of Kenton Carnegie’s death. Some people thought he was killed by a bear, but more likely he was killed by a myth. September 21st: The Big Bad Wolf Chances are if you listen to MonsterTalk you probably like nature documentaries. No doubt you’ve seen stories about wolves and heard words to the effect that wolves are often maligned and that wolves have an undeserved reputation for being killers. Yet how does one reconcile the idea that dangerous wolves are a myth with the many myths and fairy tales which feature wolves as the villain? In this episode of MonsterTalk we take on the legend of the big, bad wolf and what we find may surprise you. This episode features an interview with author Jay M. Smith, about his book Monsters of the Gévaudan: The Making of a Beast. September 7th: Dead Men Are a Ghoul’s Best Friend In this episode of MonsterTalk we discuss Ghouls and their real world counterpart: cannibals. The hosts are joined by Carole A. Travis-Henikoff, author of Dinner With A Cannibal: The Complete History of Mankind’s Oldest Taboo. This episode also features guest MonsterTalker Adam Levenstein, a long-time friend of the show whose background combines anthropology and skepticism. August 10th: A Connecticut Haunting in a Keen Author’s Court The 2009 film The Haunting in Connecticut is purported to be based on true events. Similarly, there was the 2002 documentary A Haunting in Connecticut (which aired on The Discovery Channel and helped spawn the series A Haunting). These true events have been compiled by author Ray Garton into his book In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting. The shocking tale contains adult elements of a graphic nature, and if true, described a terrifying case of a demonic and ghostly attack on a family. But Garton now says that the allegedly true events weren’t quite what they seemed. Content Advisory: This episode of MonsterTalk contains adult themes and coarse language. July 27th: Ancient Alien Astronauts: Interview with Ken Feder Did ancient humans gain their technological achievements through the assistance of creatures from other planets? This week on MonsterTalk, Dr. Feder, an archaeology professor who has taught a course on the topic, shares his thoughts. Feder is the author of Frauds, Myths and Mysteries—a book with more good scientific content on the cover than most TV shows have in an entire season. July 6th: Hayley Stevens’ Lake Monster Mysteries There are very few people who make their living hunting monsters. For most of us who investigate such mysteries, it is a labor of love. Today on MonsterTalk we get to talk with one of our listeners about her investigation into a lake monster. In her investigation she went where few would dare to tread. Join us as we talk with amateur investigator Hayley Stevens about her dive into lake monster mysteries. June 8th: Searching For Sasquatch Is cryptozoology science or pseudoscience? Do scientists ever really study cryptozoology, or merely ignore the field entirely? This week we dig into the history of Cryptozoology itself—focusing on the search for America’s most famous cryptid: Sasquatch. This week on MonsterTalk, we’re joined by Dr. Brian Regal to talk about his latest book, Searching For Sasquatch: Crackpots, Eggheads and Cryptozoology. May 11th: The Zombie Autopsies This week on MonsterTalk, we interview Harvard medical doctor Steven Schlozman, author of The Zombie Autopsies and get inside the walking dead to discuss a plausible mechanism for the zombie apocalypse. April 20th: Tracking the Manbeasts Renowned investigator Joe Nickell returns to MonsterTalk to discuss his latest book Tracking the Man-beasts: Sasquatch, Vampires, Zombies, and More—a survey of a human-like monsters that runs the gamut from Almas to Zombie. The book covers scores of monsters from legend and lore, and many entries include insights from Joe’s personal investigations. March 30th: Resurrecting the Extinct Plenty of people have hypothesized about being able to bring back an extinct animal, but (so far as the MonsterTalk team knows) the only person who has successfully brought an extinct animal’s gene back to be able to express itself in a living organism is Dr. Andrew Pask and his team of genetics experts. Tasmania’s marsupial tiger, the Thylacine, appears to be extinct. But today MonsterTalk interviews Dr. Pask about his experiments, the best chances of resurrecting dead species, and what makes the Thylacine so interesting to evolutionary science. March 16th: Is The Skookum Fair Dinkum? In the year 2000 startling claims of a body cast of a Bigfoot emerged from the deep woods of Washington State. More than a decade later, MonsterTalk interviews Bigfoot researcher Daniel Perez about the facts behind this contentious artifact — which some still claim to be one of the best pieces of evidence for the existence of Bigfoot. March 2nd: Tracking the Chupacabra This week MonsterTalk co-host Benjamin Radford becomes the interviewee! Radford discusses his newest book, Tracking the Chupacabra. The culmination of a five-year investigation, this book may provide an actual solution to these mysterious humanoid sightings. February 25th: Tracking the Chupacabra (exclusive preview) Exclusive for MonsterTalk listeners, an audio preview from Ben Radford’s latest book Tracking the Chupacabra, read by the author. This 32 minute selection contains material from the opening of this new book, which provides the solution to the mysterious bloodsucking beast known as El Chupacabra. We hope you enjoy this free sample. Please feel free to share it with your friends. January 26th: Unmasking the Ninja This week the hosts of MonsterTalk take on the mysterious, mystical, legendary menace of the ninja! Should ninjas be considered monsters? They come out at night, have mysterious powers and use fear and lethality to wreak havoc. But to be sure, we Ask a Ninja. Also, we interview Matt Alt, co-author (with Hiroko Yoda) of Ninja Attack: True Tales of Assassins, Samurai and Outlaws. January 12th: Ethnobiology: A Lizard’s Tale In this episode, the MonsterTalk crew interviews Dr. Tony Russell, a professor at the University of Calgary who studies evolutionary and functional morphology in geckos. Dr. Russell’s work includes ethnobiology — the utilization of folklore to guide his research. He discuss the uses and limitations of this mode of research, as well as the remarkable features of the lizards that he studies.

Download any or all of the 2011 episodes here.

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2010 Index

December 22nd: A Bestiary of Creatures Author Christopher Dell has collected an astonishing array of art from around the world depicting many obscure and mysterious creatures in his new book Monsters: A Bestiary of Devils, Demons, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Magical Creatures. Christopher Dell joins the MonsterTalk crew to discuss why humans are so fascinated by these bizarre entities. December 1st: The Iceman Goeth Late in the 1960s, in the era which gave us the famous Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film, fairgoers in Minnesota were confronted with a marvel: a hairy, primitive-looking humanoid frozen in a block of ice. Was it an anthropological relic? Was it a sasquatch? As investigators from the Smithsonian Institute and cryptozoological researchers studied the frozen creature, they came to very different conclusions as to what it represented. The MonsterTalk hosts interview Bigfoot researcher and former side-show performer Matt Crowley — and try to crack the case of The Minnesota Iceman. November 3rd: On Monsters This week on MonsterTalk, author Stephen Asma (Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago) speaks about his comprehensive book surveying Western monster-lore. Is humankind’s fascination with monsters broader than any single cause? Asma’s On Monsters examines hundreds of legends — and their cultural, psychological and social implications. October 20th: The Rise of Bat Boy In the pantheon of American monsters, only one truly dominated the newspapers of the 1990s. Checkout lines everywhere were haunted by the bald-headed, wide-mawed visage of Bat Boy. What was Bat Boy, and where did he come from? The MonsterTalk team interviews cartoonist Tye Bourdony, a former employee of the Weekly World News. Bourdony shares his insights about Bat Boy and the rise and fall of the famous tabloid paper. September 29th: Dragon*Con’s Skeptrack 2010 This week’s episode was recorded before a live studio audience at Dragon*Con’s Skeptrack 2010 (in Atlanta, Georgia). MonsterTalk hosts Ben Radford and Blake Smith bravely faced the horror of live questions from listeners — including Australian skeptical activist Dr. Rachael Dunlop, Skeptoid’s Brian Dunning, and others! September 15th: Just Scratching the Surface MonsterTalk frequently explores tales of imaginary monsters — creatures of myth, fiction, and folklore. Today, the hosts consider a real creature, one that preys on humans and their closest animal companions. It is often invisible. It drinks blood to survive. And, it is responsible for many of the sightings of the dreaded chupacabra. Podcast audiences may cringe and recoil in horror to learn the true facts of the creature known as — Sarcoptes scabiei! September 1st: Cryptozoology & Science, Part 2This week, MonsterTalk continues its discussion of the intersection between science and cryptozoology. The hosts interview Dr. Donald Prothero and Daniel Loxton, who are working on a book that will give a deep overview of the field of cryptozoology and how it intersects with actual science. This interview was recorded at The Amaz!ng Meeting 8 in Las Vegas. August 11th: Cryptozoology & Science, Part 1 What is cryptozoology? Is it science? Is it folklore? Does it make predictions? In part 1 of a 2-part series, MonsterTalk examines cryptozoology as a field, including speculation on the cryptids most likely to turn out to be real. Guest Dr. Darren Naish, paleontologist and science blogger, makes some surprising statements about the field, its role in science and culture, and the intersection of amateur and professional science. July 21st: The Columbus Poltergeist (featuring James Randi) In 1984, objects began to fly around the room in the presence of a Columbus Ohio teen named Tina Resch. The local paper claimed this was a poltergeist attack, and published photos to prove it. Tina’s story caught the attention of a young organization called the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal [CSICOP, now Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI)] and its chief investigator, James “The Amazing” Randi. In this episode, Randi tells the MonsterTalk hosts about the outcome of this case — and shares his personal views about the unfortunate impact it may have had on Tina’s life. June 16th: Cthulhu Rises In this special literary edition, MonsterTalk ventures into a dark domain that can be confidently called fiction: the monstrous, genre-defining oeuvre of horror writer Howard Philips Lovecraft. Joined by noted Lovecraft scholar Robert M. Price and biologist PZ Myers, the MonsterTalk hosts discuss Lovecraft’s life and works, and dare to confront his most famous creation: the vast alien monstrosity Cthulhu. Can the hosts gaze into the shrieking outer darkness and return with their sanity intact? Find out on this episode of MonsterTalk! May 26th: Bringing Light to a Moth In this episode, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (formerly CSICOP) investigator Joe Nickell joins the MonsterTalk crew for a look into the West Virginian legend of Mothman — allegedly a human-sized creature with wings and glowing red eyes. Nickell discusses the ways monsters evolve following a community’s initial reports, and the cyclical nature of spates of sightings. May 5th: Monsters from the Lab In this week’s episode, MonsterTalk looks once again at genetics and creatures created in the laboratory. Dr. Marcus C. Davis joins the hosts to discuss what constitutes a “monster.” In his work, Davis deals with paleontology, as well as embryological manipulation — which, by some definitions, means he literally creates monsters. What kinds of creatures are scientists making in labs today? What is the scope of their power? What guides their ethics? Learn more this week on MonsterTalk! April 21st: Historical Ghost Investigations Part II: Sinking the Watertown This week, MonsterTalk continues its two-part discussion of historical ghost investigations. Blake Smith describes his investigation into a famous photo that allegedly shows two dead sailors floating off the side of a 1920’s oil tanker. Methodology for conducting historical investigation is detailed, using Ben Radford’s upcoming book on scientific paranormal investigation as a basis for the talk. Did two sailors haunt their fellow shipmates? Does the photo really show two ghosts? Find out the answers in this informative conclusion — and find out how you can solve your own cases! April 7th: Historical Ghost Investigations Part I: Kimo / Therapy Ghost investigations often feature in television shows and other media. Typically, these amount to people wandering around at night with EMF detectors, talking into the darkness and jumping at shadows and noises. But how does one do a scientific paranormal investigation? On this first half of a two-part MonsterTalk, the hosts review two past ghost investigations (Ben Radford’s “Kimo Theater Ghost” and Dr. Karen Stollznow’s “Waverly Hills Sanatorium” investigations) and discuss some of the techniques that can help solve such cases. What steps are common to this type of research? Learn more this week on MonsterTalk. March 24th: Ghost Bird What happens when a creature thought to be extinct is spotted alive in the swamps of Arkansas? Can such a creature have survived? Can scientists verify the story? And when a town’s hopes and a school’s grant money are on the line, to what lengths will people go to find proof? This week on MonsterTalk we discuss these issues with Scott Crocker, the documentary filmmaker behind Ghost Bird — a feature length exploration into the mystery of the Ivory-billed woodpecker. March 3rd: Getting into the Spirit of Things Things get spooky this week on MonsterTalk, as the hosts venture into the science of ghosts. What does neuroscience have to say about the possibility of consciousness or mind existing outside the body — or continuing on after the body has died? This episode’s guest is neurologist Dr. Steven Novella (veteran of on-site ghost investigations, and host of the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast), who shares his insights on brains, minds, and specters from beyond the grave. February 17th: Suitable for Framing In this episode, the hosts of MonsterTalk talk with Greg Long, author of the 2004 book The Making of Bigfoot (which was reviewed at the time by Skeptic’s own Daniel Loxton). Long’s book is built from hours of interviews with surviving contemporaries of Roger Patterson, the filmmaker who shot the influential Patterson-Gimlin footage. For many people, this film remains the best evidence that Bigfoot is real. However, Long’s research uncovered a side of Patterson most people had never heard of before — and it isn’t pretty. According to Long, the famed Bigfoot film shows nothing more than a man in a modified gorilla suit. Moreover, Long may have found the man who wore it… February 3rd: Bigfoot: First Impressions In the world of Bigfoot, good evidence is hard to come by. Anecdotes and blurry photos keep the documentaries coming, but most skeptics agree that a body or a living specimen are needed to confirm the existence of a large North American mystery mammal. But what of alleged Bigfoot footprints? One expert claims that at least some track castings contain proof of an actual unknown ape. That expert is retired law enforcement agent Jimmy Chilcutt — and he’s agreed to come talk with the skeptics on MonsterTalk. January 13th: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum! Giants appear in cultures around the world: Biblical tales of giants more than ten feet tall; Roman and Greek stories of titans and heroes; European stories of giants of mountain and hill. They all have one thing in common: enormous monsters. On this episode of MonsterTalk we chat with archeologist Dr. Ken Feder about giants, biblical archeology — and one of the biggest hoaxes in American history.

Download any or all of the 2010 episodes here.

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2009 Index

December 23rd: I’m Gonna Get You, Goat Sucker! The most famous of the Latin American cryptids is El Chupacabra, the goat sucker. This episode of MonsterTalk examines the lore behind this slinking, sinister, blood-sucking creature. Is it a real animal? A creation of secret scientific experiments? An alien’s pet accidentally released on Earth? Co-host Benjamin Radford takes the guest spot this week as we discuss the research behind his upcoming book (tentatively titled) Tracking the Vampire: Chupacabras in Fact, Fiction and Folklore. December 9th: They Came From Outer Space! Are creatures from other planets visiting the earth, trampling our crops to create cryptic messages, violating people in their sleep, and doing terrible things to our livestock? How plausible is it that we are being visited by intelligent beings from beyond Earth, or that we’ve been visited in the distant past? This week on MonsterTalk, astronomer Dr. Phil Plait, author of Death from the Skies! joins us to talk about monsters — from outer space! November 18th: Horrifying Hybrids In this episode, MonsterTalk examines monsters that genetically blend humans with the other. Hosts Blake Smith, Ben Radford, and Dr. Karen Stollznow explore the plausibility of alien-human hybridizations, dig into the real science of genetics — and consider the ethical questions involved. Weighing in on these issues is Dr. Steven Jones — noted geneticist, teacher, and television presenter. (He is also the author of many books including Darwin’s Ghost, Introducing Genetics, Coral: A Pessimist in Paradise.) Did Stalin really want to build an army of gorilla-human hybrids? Is the upright-walking chimp called Oliver really some kind of chimpanzee-human mix? The plausibility of such creatures may surprise you… October 28th: Darwin vs. the Wolfman In this week’s Halloween episode, MonsterTalk ventures into the realm of the werewolves — and asks what Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species implies for this fearsome monster’s plausibility. Guest Dr. Brian Regal (Assistant Professor for the History of Science at Kean University) discusses his lecture about whether Darwin slew the last of the werewolves. Professor Regal also explores the relationship between creationists and cryptozoology, and introduces his new book, Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia. October 12th: Pterosaurs Paleontologist Dr. David Martill joins us to talk about prehistoric flying reptiles and his visit to Papua New Guinea with the TV show MonsterQuest to search for the legendary Ropen, an animal which some say is a modern day surviving Pterosaur. Dr. Martill is a reader in Paleobiology with the University of Portsmouth and he joins us to talk about the current state of Pterosaur science and to discuss the plausibility of surviving populations of these fascinating creatures. MonsterNEWS: Wake the Muck Up The recent sighting of waves in the Lake Worth Lagoon, near West Palm Beach Florida, caused a brief monster stir. MonsterNEWS: Sloth in the Media Well, the “Montauk Madness” has returned but this time from Panama (Central American, not Florida). MonsterNEWS: Thunderbirds & Winged Bigfoot We cover three recent stories with wings: the Parking Lot Thunderbird, the Argentine Windshield Pterosaur, and a winged Bigfoot photo that turns out to be a bird. August 31st: The Plesiosaur Hypothesis Is there a mysterious prehistoric “living fossil” lurking beneath the waters of Loch Ness? The idea that a colony of Plesiosaurs might have survived into modern times in the deep dark waters of Loch Ness has long captured the imagination of cryptozoology fans. But what do we know about these mesozoic marine animals whose fossils disappear from the record at the same time as the dinosaurs? MonsterTalk found an expert to answer some of our questions about what science can tell us of these magnificent beasts. Dr. Adam Stuart Smith is a specialist in aquatic prehistoric reptiles. He runs the website www.plesiosauria.com and works for the National Museum of Ireland where he is part of a team dedicated to documenting and databasing the Natural History collections. August 16th: Fins & Fossil Footprints Did a Japanese fishing vessel catch the body of a prehistoric aquatic dinosaur? In this week’s MonsterTalk, we interview Glen Kuban to discuss the 1977 case of the Zuiyo-Maru, dinosaurs, paleontology, cryptozoology and why so many creationists want to find living dinosaurs. Kuban has done extensive research on two cases important to monster enthusiasts. His article explaining the true nature of the “mysterious” carcass netted by the Japanese fishing vessel Zuiyo-maru and his decades long investigation into the alleged “giant humanoid tracks” in the Paluxy fossil bed in Texas both highlight the importance of a thorough investigation before assuming the remarkable is true. INTERVIEW: Animals in the Okanagan Blake Smith is interviewed on AM770 (CHQR) about Canadian Lake Monsters and a recent animal sighting in Lake Okanagan. July 27th: Anatomy of a Beast In this week’s MonsterTalk, we interview Michael McLeod, a writer, producer, and director who has created documentaries for PBS, the PBS series Frontline, the Discovery Channel, and other national venues. His book Anatomy of a Beast is an in-depth look at the origins of the Bigfoot mythology that culminated in the Patterson-Gimlin film. He examines the lives and beliefs of the men (for it was mostly men) whose writing, research, hoaxes, stories and films brought us the Bigfoot we know today in popular culture. The book gives a very humanizing look at people whose efforts range from the silly to the desperate. July 2nd: Bigfoot DNA Our panel (Ben Radford, Dr. Karen Stollznow and Blake Smith) interview Professor Todd Disotell, PhD. Todd has been a guest on multiple television shows to examine potential Bigfoot and Yeti DNA. We ask him about the science of DNA analysis, his thoughts on cryptid-TV, and what he’s found in his studies.

Download any or all of the 2009 episodes here.

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Oct 062011
 
“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” –Benjamin Franklin   I was recently and publicly called a “fat hater” on Facebook by someone I know. It was in response to an article I wrote for Discovery News about a rhyming children’s book for 4 to 8 year olds called Maddie Goes On a Diet.  The article was about a controversy surrounding the book, in which an overweight 14-year-old girl loses weight and gains self-esteem through diet and exercise. Outraged critics were concerned that the book could harm children, and I interviewed one expert (and quoted another) who claimed the book was damaging. I also analyzed their criticisms, and pointed out several logical errors and mistaken assumptions that critics were making about the book (for example that the diet Maddie goes on is an unhealthy, calorie-restricted diet, and that the book was likely to have a significant influence on children or their diets). I spent about half a day researching and writing the column, and the final product provided a much deeper level of analysis and critical thinking than most of the other news stories on the topic (do a Google search for the topic and see for yourself). Many Discovery News readers agreed with my analysis. Yet others dismissed my piece—not because my facts or arguments were wrong, but because it was just another example of my well-known “fat hating” bias. My article could be safely ignored and dismissed (or perhaps not even read) because anything I wrote was clearly driven by an anti-fat ulterior agenda. I would have welcomed some substantive criticism or comments explaining where my logic or arguments were faulty, but none were offered. This is, of course, a version of the logical fallacy of the ad hominem attack: Criticizing the person, not the argument or claim. We see it all the time in skepticism; it’s nothing new. But when a colleague and ostensible critical thinker does it, it’s disheartening. I should confess that I have also been publicly accused of hating both gays and dwarves. No, I’m not making this up. Interestingly, as far as I know I’ve never been accused of hating (or bias against) Blacks, Jews, Asians, or Muslims. Then again, the week’s not over. As it happens, I am not at all shy about identifying targets of my hatred; George W. Bush and psychics who exploit grieving families pretty much complete the list. If I hate you, I’ll make that perfectly clear; you won’t need to read between the lines. But gays, dwarves, and fat people (not to mention fat gay dwarves) are fine by me. The claim that I hate gays would surely come as a surprise to my many lifelong gay friends, including James Randi, to whom I dedicated one of my books. And the idea that I hate overweight people would also surely come as a shock to nearly all of my ex-girlfriends, few of whom are svelte. A few years ago, I even lost a friend who refused to speak to me because I had written an article that included a discussion of false rape claims. She (apparently) badly misread the piece and somehow concluded that I was suggesting that real rapes don’t occur, or that real victims shouldn’t be believed. I of course wrote no such thing. On very rare occasions I’ve even heard the suggestion that I am somehow biased in favor of sex offenders (whatever that means) because I have written about the sex predator panic scares, explaining to parents that family and friends pose a far greater danger to children than any convicted sex offender. In fact a child is far more likely to be physically or sexually abused, abducted, or even killed by his or her parents than a sex offender stranger. This is a well-established statistical fact, and how that could be interpreted as a bias toward sex offenders is beyond me. I am used to attacks and criticism; it comes with the territory. Any time you are challenging someone’s beliefs or claims, and especially when you do with references, sound arguments, and sources, people get upset. In my twelve years of doing skeptical investigations and science literacy work, I’ve been threatened with both violence and lawsuits (including from a New York Times reporter—involving a predator panic piece I wrote, in fact). I get hate mail of some sort nearly every week; I’m told that I’m stupid, willfully ignorant, and an embarrassment to journalism. Some people leave comments on Discovery News articles saying I should be fired. I think writing is the only profession where people who have read a few paragraphs of your work feel entitled to tell you what a horrible, incompetent person you are, and on a fairly regular basis. I don’t mind the criticisms, it’s the bias accusations that annoy me, and it’s instructive to briefly analyze them. When I question claims about aliens and UFO photographs, critics assert that the only logical reason I would do so is because I have a bias or agenda as part of a government conspiracy to keep the truth from the public. When I question claims about alternative medicine and homeopathy, it’s not because I have researched it and know a lot about it, but because I’m being paid by Big Pharma. When I question claims made by psychics, critics say it’s because I have a bias toward protecting the scientific status quo—or that if I were to accept the reality of psychics it would devastate my worldview. And when I question claims about the links between media images and eating disorders, it can’t be because I know something about it—having studied it for years and written a book about the mass media—but because I hate fat people. All of these folks have one thing in common: The assumption that the reason I’m criticizing their claims or arguments because 1) I haven’t done adequate research into the subject, and if I did, I’d realize that they were right; and 2) I have a hidden agenda, some bias or ulterior motive that compels me to write my ill-informed rubbish despite all the obvious evidence against my position. Often the basic logic goes something like this: “You are saying something that’s different than what I heard (or believe), so you must be wrong.” It rarely seems to occur to them that maybe what they heard (or believe) might be wrong, and that the author who has spent hours (or days or years) researching it might know more about it. Truly open-minded people who are willing to listen and consider information and arguments that contradict their beliefs are discouragingly rare. Many of these accusations of bias and hatred would of course not happen if I stuck to safe, non-controversial claims (among skeptics, anyway). If I restricted my critical analyses to UFOs or Bigfoot or psychic claims, I would only garner criticisms and attacks from the believers (and there’s plenty of those). My friends and fans, skeptics and otherwise, are happy to have me fight the good fight against woo, pseudoscience, and New Age bullshit day in and day out, month after month, year after year. But some of them get very uncomfortable when I write and discuss topics that touch a nerve, especially issues about gender or sexuality (religion, as you might expect, isn’t really a point of contention among this crowd). Things get a little awkward when I question whether or not, for example, the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying campaign actually had any effect, or whether the “epidemic” of gay teen suicides last year was real. Things get a little awkward when I question whether sex offender notification laws are useful, whether false rape claims are a problem, or whether fashion models and a rhyming kid’s book actually lead to anorexia. I apply my skepticism across the board, asking for evidence behind any and all claims. I don’t like it when people whose ideas and policies I oppose lie and repeat false statements to make their points, and I don’t like it when people whose ideas and policies I agree with lie and repeat false statements to make their points. I try hard not to be selectively skeptical. I believe that there should be no sacred cows, no taboo topics. I will continue to write about body image and sex offenders and bad statistics and faulty arguments wherever I encounter them. I will endure the barbs and personal attacks, because I believe that these things should be openly discussed, and the arguments, pro and con, should be carefully analyzed instead of ignored or dismissed because of some perceived bias. Truth is best served when everyone asks, “What is the evidence?” not only for claims and ideas they oppose, but also for those they support. The principles of free speech are not tested by popular speech, but by unpopular speech. In the same vein, the true nature of open and skeptical inquiry is not tested when a person says something we agree with, but in how we react when a person says something we disagree with.
Aug 282011
 
ABC News recently carried a piece I wrote about the failure of psychic detectives, and the James Randi Educational Foundation's $1 Million Challenge. I'm especially proud of the article because it goes in some depth about psychic claims, and credits Randi for his expose of faith healing scoundrel Peter Popoff. Even Carla Baron herself, one of the psychics mentioned in the piece, commented on it! She wrote,
This "challenge" has provided an unending source of amusement for me personally. Keep it up, and never let us REAL psychics out of your sight! We could possibly get away with something utterly unfathomable. ;)~ Carla Baron
You can read the story HERE. 
Aug 222011
 
The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) has announced that it is publicly offering $1 million to celebrity "psychic mediums" including James Van Praagh, Allison DuBois, Convicted Felon Sylvia Browne, Carla Baron, John Edward, and others if they can prove their abilities in controlled experiments. Put up or shut up! Read the full story on Discovery News HERE.

Scientific Paranormal Investigation Reviews

 
"Ben Radford has provided us with an excellent primer on how any reasonably observant person interested in looking into paranormal, supernatural, or occult claims can do so without having to invent the art from scratch. To prepare his reader, Ben relates how easily even he - as a highly experienced investigator - has been deceived by his own mistakes in perception, and how he has learned from those errors. This is of course an important lesson for anyone who wants to provide accurate information about these matters. He goes into detail on how one has to be informed in the basics of science and of the design of scientific protocols with which to handle the various puzzles that an investigator will inevitably come up against, and he gives us a selection of examples described by such experts as Martin Gardner, Joe Nickell, Susan Blackmore, Massimo Polidoro, and Richard Wiseman - to name only a few with whom I am closely connected. I'm flattered to be included in these pages among those savants. Occam's Razor, the tedious Ghost Hunters shows that bore us on TV, Bigfoot, spectral "orbs," and spoon-benders are also examined, but the real paydirt here is found in Ben's own detailed accounts of events he's personally looked into and revealed as errors, jokes, misperceptions, or outright frauds. First-person descriptions and details - again - are persuasive items that catch the reader's attention and respect. Ben Radford knows his calling. Read, consider, and learn. It's all here." --James Randi, magician, investigator, author, and founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation "From case studies to detailed instruction on the best paranormal investigative methods, Radford has written a book that is sorely needed, especially as a corrective to the popular TV mystery mongers who seem reluctant to use good science. Radford dares to argue that investigators of the paranormal should approach their work scientifically, and then shows the reader precisely how to do so. Now when someone asks me how she can get involved investigating the paranormal, I have the perfect handbook to refer her to. This is a must-read for any skeptic interested in the front-lines of the war between undue credulity and the scientific worldview." -- D. J. Grothe, President, James Randi Educational Foundation "This is the best book I have ever read on the subject of paranormal and ghost investigations... It's dead-on target about how to do real, scientific investigation. I can't recommend it enough." --Tim Yancey, Encounters Live Paranormal Radio "This book is about practical, applied skepticism. As a regular participant in TV shows, Radford gives us an insiders view on how these shows are made and their ultimate purpose. With his enthusiasm for pop culture, he is able to deftly connect the influences and effects of culture to paranormal popularity. I have not seen any comparable insight anywhere else. True gems of wisdom are richly strewn throughout the book. This book is a necessity for all paranormal investigators. It ought to be required for those questionable 'home study' courses for ghost hunters. At least, then, they might learn how to solve some mysteries instead of inflate them." --Sharon Hill, Doubtful, "Solving Unexplained Mysteries: A review of Scientific Paranormal Investigation by B. Radford," June 21, 2010, http://idoubtit.wordpress.com/category/books/. "Radford is one of only a handful of professional, scientific paranormal investigators in the world. He has a proven track record of explaining the unexplained and in this book he reveals the scientific principles that can be used to shed light on the most mysterious of phenomena." --Prof. Richard Wiseman, psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire and author of many books including Guidelines for Testing Psychic Claimants. "What does it take to do scientific investigations of ghost stories, the claims of psychics, or the appearance overnight of complex designs in corn fields? Radford not only explains what tools the investigator needs, but shows the reader how he applied those tools in real-life cases. If you're thinking of becoming a paranormal investigator, Radford's book is essential.... Some prefer their mysteries unsolved. Others enjoy the chase and the hunt, the tracking and the inference from evidence to hypothesis, the testing of possible explanations, and the ultimate solving of the mystery backed by logic and clear reasoning. If you're one of these latter types, you'll enjoy this book. If you want to become a paranormal investigator, Radford's book is the first thing you should put in your toolkit." --Robert Carroll, emeritus professor of philosophy at Sacramento City College and author of The Skeptic's Dictionary and Becoming a Critical Thinker. "If you are inclined to believe we are being observed by bug-eyed aliens in UFOs, or in the reality of ghosts, psychic powers, crop circles, clairvoyant cats, sea monsters, Bigfoot, psychics who find murder victims, or mediums who channel the departed, then you probably won't buy this book. If you do, it won't alter by two degrees your mindset. On the other hand, if you care to know how professional investigators of bogus science go about solving mysteries, and the amazing - and often amusing - facts they uncover, then this fascinating book is a must. Ben Radford has been there, he has seen and heard and smelled it all!" --Martin Gardner is the author of many books about science, pseudoscience, mathematics, philosophy, and literature. "Science and skepticism are the best tools ever devised for baloney detection, and Benjamin Radford has written a brilliant and highly readable manual on how to solve mysteries, investigate claims, and detect baloney. Every student, teacher, and congressman should have a copy at the ready." --Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, author of Why People Believe Weird Things "I've investigated several paranormal claims... and this book definitely resonated with me. If any of you read my blog on a regular basis and enjoy it when I research some paranormal claim, I highly recommend reading this book... it's fascinating stuff." --The Dumbasses Guide to Knowledge, http://www.dumbassguide.info/
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Scientific Paranormal Investigation

 
Scientific Paranormal Investigation By Benjamin Radford. Rhombus Publishing Company: 2010, 300 pages. Paperback, 80 photos and illustrations, index, $15.25. ISBN: 978-0-936455-11-2

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What is it like to travel the world investigating the paranormal? To not just sit back and wonder about the world's famous unexplained mysteries, but actually go out and solve them? To investigate haunted houses, searching for evidence of ghosts and spirits? To search the world's lakes for giant, fearsome monsters? To investigate - and create - the mysterious phenomena of crop circles? To talk to people who speak to the dead, solve crimes for police, or use ESP? (Download Ben Radford's "Top Five Ghost Hunting Mistakes: Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Hunting" [pdf]) Scientific Paranormal Investigation is the first book to give the public an inside look at the life, methods, and work of a real-life scientific paranormal investigator. I have pursued "unexplained" phenomena for over twelve years - not just read or written about them, but actually gone out to see what's there. In a nutshell, Scientific Paranormal Investigation is the literary equivalent of The X-Files meets CSI: Crime Scene Investigations: applying scientific methods and principles to real-life mysteries, and coming up with explanations when it seems none are possible. Whether the subject is a crime scene or a haunted house, the questions are the same: What did eyewitnesses see? What does the evidence show? For the millions who have an interest in the paranormal but who are not necessarily familiar with what skeptics are or what they do, this book provides an understanding of skepticism and how science can be applied to modern mysteries and the paranormal. With contributions by James Randi, Joe Nickell, Martin Gardner, Susan Blackmore, Ray Hyman, David Clarke, David E. Thomas, Richard Wiseman, Karen Stollznow, James Underdown, Daniel Loxton, Gary P. Posner, Massimo Polidoro and Blake Smith. Index Part I: Skepticism and the Paranormal Chapter 1: Understanding the Paranormal and Skepticism Why Scientific Investigation? Unexplained Vs. Unexplainable The Importance of Scholarship Chapter 2: The Psychology of the Paranormal The Psychology of Experience Eyewitnesses and Personal Experience Case Studies in the Psychology of the Paranormal Part II: Conducting Scientific Paranormal Investigation Chapter 3: Investigation Principles and Guidelines Mystery as Missing Context Finding Mysteries Types of Mysteries and Investigations Researching the Mystery Applying Scientific Methods to Paranormal Investigation Analyzing Claim Clusters Logical Fallacies Guidelines for Scientific Paranormal Investigation Nuts and Bolts of Investigation Field Investigations Interviewing Eyewitnesses Investigating Photographic and Video Evidence Investigation Equipment Other Perspectives on Scientific Paranormal Investigation Chapter 4: How Not to Investigate the Paranormal: Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Investigations Part III: Case Studies in Scientific Paranormal Investigation Chapter 5: The Demonic Ghost House of Buffalo Chapter 6: The Psychic and the Serial Killer: The "Best Case" for Psychics Chapter 7: Riddle of the Crop Circles Chapter 8: Ogopogo, the Bloodthirsty Lake Monster Chapter 9: The Mysterious Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost Chapter 10: The Amazing Lee B., Remote Viewer Chapter 11: The Mysterious Pokémon Panic Chapter 12: The White Witch of Rose Hall Chapter 13: Slaying the Vampire: Solving the Chupacabra Mystery

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Published Works

 

{Learn more about Ben's books here}

Articles (1998-2011); for more recent pieces consult the Google! Doomsdays: Dubious and Deferred Web published at news.discovery.com May 20, 2011 Sexy Sex Offender List Causes Outrage Web published at news.discovery.com May 14, 2011 Baby's Death Raises Questions About Midwife Safety Web published at news.discovery.com May 12, 2011 What Do Teens Really Want? Web published at news.discovery.com May 10, 2011 Bin Laden Conspiracies Rely on Complex Scenarios Web published at news.discovery.com May 6, 2011 Where’s Bin Laden’s Body? Web published at news.discovery.com May 2, 2011 Anti-Vaccination Doctor’s ‘Deliberate Fraud’ Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 35(2), March/April 2011 CSI Helps Crack Los Angeles UFO Mystery Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 35(2), March/April 2011 The Mysterious Morgellons Malady Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 35(2), March/April 2011 Debunking the Trauma Myth Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 35(2), March/April 2011 Why Obama Birther Conspiracy Theories Linger Web published at news.discovery.com April 27, 2011 Children Often (Literal) Victims in Parental Disputes Web published at news.discovery.com April 27, 2011 Russian Dead Alien Video Surfaces Web published at news.discovery.com April 21, 2011 Should Sex Abuse Victims Name Names? Web published at news.discovery.com April 20, 2011 Psychic Tip on Long Island Serial Killer? Web published at news.discovery.com April 14, 2011 Secret FBI File Exposes Roswell UFO -- Or Not? Web published at news.discovery.com April 12, 2011 2 Percent of Americans Identify as Gay Web published at news.discovery.com April 11, 2011 Most Women Would Not Trade Anything to Be Thin Web published at news.discovery.com April 7, 2011 Measles: The Human Cost of Vaccine Fraud Web published at news.discovery.com April 4, 2011 Seeking the Puerto Rican Chupacabra Weekly Alibi newspaper, 19 (35), September 2-8, 2010 Miracle Muscles, Only $14,615 Weekly Alibi newspaper, 19 (21), May 27-June 2, 2010 Jerusalem UFO Video: Case Closed Web published at news.discovery.com March 31, 2011 Disaster Relief: Contrasting Haiti and Japan Web published at news.discovery.com March 29, 2011 Barry Bonds: Drugging Victim? Web published at news.discovery.com March 28, 2011 Are Chupacabra Recollections Real? Web published at news.discovery.com March 24, 2011 Japanese Radiation Victims Offered Worthless Treatment Web published at news.discovery.com March 15, 2011 Tsunamis and Animal 'Sixth Sense' Warnings Web published at news.discovery.com March 11, 2011 Mysterious Mass Fish Deaths Web published at news.discovery.com March 10, 2011 Who Owns History? Egyptian Looting Raises Questions Web published at news.discovery.com March 7, 2011 North America's Lake Monsters Web published at news.discovery.com March 2, 2011 Do You Have a Chupacabra? Take the Alibi Quiz! Weekly Alibi newspaper, 20 (9), March 3-9, 2010 Psychic Predictions, Past and Future Weekly Alibi newspaper, 20 (1), January 6-12, 2011 Life on the Loch Weekly Alibi newspaper, 19 (28), July 15-21, 2010 A Closer Look at the Famous Fiji ‘TV Causes Anorexia’ Study Web published at SheThought.com, January 24, 2011 Will the Royal Wedding Spur Anorexia? Web published at SheThought.com, May 12, 2011 Reactions to a Poll on Girls and Fashion Photos Web published at SheThought.com, August 16, 2010 Claim: Psychic Predicted Japanese Earthquake Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com April 7, 2011 Dead Alien Found in Siberia Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com April 19, 2011 Bogus Ghost Video Goes Viral Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com April 5, 2011 Do Body Cells Regenerate Every 7 Years? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com April 4, 2011 Hoax in the Holy Land: UFO in Jerusalem? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com February 7, 2011 Magnetic Boy: Mystery or Simple Physics? Web published at news.discovery.com February 24, 2011 Pirate Hostages: Ransom or Death Web published at news.discovery.com February 22, 2011 Investigation Clears Toyota Electronics in Crashes Web published at news.discovery.com February 18, 2011 Is eHarmony Scientific? Web published at news.discovery.com February 14, 2011 Homeopathy's Ineffectiveness Saves Lives Web published at news.discovery.com February 9, 2011 Centenarian Advice on a Long Life Web published at news.discovery.com February 2, 2011 Doomsday Facts (or Fictions) Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com May 19, 2011 Claim: Psychic Predicted Japan's April 7 Aftershock Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com April 7, 2011 Russian Government to Fund Yeti Search: What Will They Look For? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com April 4, 2011 UFO Battles Captured On Video? Not Likely, Expert Says Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com May 4, 2011 'Magnetic Boy' Ivan Just a Very Sticky Kid Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com May 11, 2011 El Chupacabra Mystery Solved: Case of Mistaken Identity Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com March 22, 2011 Hoax in the Holy Land: Jerusalem UFO a Proven Fake Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com February 7, 2011 How to Make Accurate 'Psychic' Predictions for 2011 Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 3, 2011 UFO Cover-up? Britain’s Roswell Files Missing Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com March 4, 2011 Could Cockroaches Survive Nuclear Winter? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com August 9, 2010 What are the Dead Sea Scrolls? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com August 11, 2010 What are the Oldest Rocks on Earth? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com August 9, 2010 When Does Ramadan Begin? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com August 19, 2010 What Causes Anorexia? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com August 9, 2010* What’s the Longest Film? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com August 9, 2010* Why is the Bald Eagle the National Bird? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com August 9, 2010* What Is a Petri Dish? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com August 30, 2010 Why Do Bridges Ice Over Faster than Roads? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 31, 2011 What’s the Difference Between White and Dark Chocolate? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 12, 2011 Red Eyes in Photos: Why and how to Eliminate Them Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com February 7, 2011 When Did the First Ghost Photos Appear? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com February 1, 2011 Claim that ESP is Real Stirs Outrage in Scientists Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 6, 2011 Do You Need an Exorcism? Take the Quiz! Web published at news.discovery.com January 27, 2011 Indonesian Crop Circle Prompts Rumors of Aliens Web published at news.discovery.com January 26, 2011 Cold Fusion Claims Resurface Web published at news.discovery.com January 21, 2011 Tucson Shootings: Why Criminal Profiling Failed Web published at news.discovery.com January 20, 2011 How Astrology Is Like Racism Web published at news.discovery.com January 18, 2011 Arizona Shooting Tragic, But Not 'Senseless' Web published at news.discovery.com January 13, 2011 Anti-Vaccine Doctor Planned to Profit from Scare Web published at news.discovery.com January 11, 2011 Power Balance Maker Admits Bands Are Worthless Web published at news.discovery.com January 10, 2011 'Flawed' ESP Study Sparks Uproar Web published at news.discovery.com January 6, 2011 Vaccine-Autism Doctor Accused of 'Deliberate Fraud' Web published at news.discovery.com January 6, 2011 Can Fright Kill Animals? Web published at news.discovery.com January 5, 2011 What Are Sunspots? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com July 21, 2010 How Does a Curveball Curve? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com July 20, 2010 Which Jobs Require Celibacy? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com July 7, 2010 How Does Air Conditioning Cool the Air? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com June 7, 2010 Is Sugar Bad for You? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com June 11, 2010 What’s the Shroud of Turin? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com June 8, 2010 What Causes Bioluminescence? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com June 16, 2010 Why Does Pepper Make Us Sneeze? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com June 14, 2010 Is the Amityville Horror House Really Haunted? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com May 25, 2010 What Is a Kraken? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com April 4, 2010 How Were the Great Pyramids built? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com June 1, 2010 Why Does Bottled Water Have Expiry Dates? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com June 9, 2010 What Is an Air Pocket? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 25, 2011* Do We Only Use 10% of the brain? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 25, 2011* What Are Antibiotics? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 25, 2011* Does Acupuncture Work? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 25, 2011* Why Are Buttons on Mens and Womens Clothes Reversed? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 25, 2011* Why Are Sponges Moist in the Package? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com January 25, 2011* What Is the Organic Liaison Diet? Web published at LifesLittleMysteries.com March 18, 2010 Cancer Vaccine Developed -- And Ignored Web published at news.discovery.com December 28, 2010 Teen Birth Rate at All-Time Low Web published at news.discovery.com December 23, 2010 Poll: Belief in Evolution Increases Web published at news.discovery.com December 21, 2010 Group Blasts Media Blackout on Child Abuse Web published at news.discovery.com December 14, 2010 Does ‘Black Swan’ Encourage Anorexia? Web published at news.discovery.com December 13, 2010 Forty Percent of Overweight Women Don't Know It Web published at news.discovery.com December 10, 2010 Psychics and Airline Security Web published at news.discovery.com December 2, 2010 Alone on the Loch: One Man’s Search for Nessie Skeptical Briefs, September 2010 Lying Liars and Paranormal Investigation Skeptical Briefs, December 2009 Charles Darwin, Skeptic Skeptical Briefs, March 2010 Camp Inquiry 2010: Summer of Science and Skepticism Skeptical Briefs, September 2010 A Skeptic’s Visit to Macchu Picchu Skeptical Briefs, September 2009 2012 Disaster Film Contains Pro-Science Themes Balloon Boy Hoax Based on Eyewitness Testimony Study: Sex Offenders Not a Halloween Threat Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2009 Hide the Kids and Wake the Neighbors: The Montauk Monster Returns! Wikipedia Fuels Rorschach Controversy Twitter Experiment Fails to Find Evidence for ESP Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, September 2009 New Texas Chupacabra Revealed as.... Montauk Monster? New Minnesota Sasquatch Photo: Bigfoot Wears Jackets! Israeli Army Organ Theft Accusations Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, June 2010 Obama the Muslim Antichrist? Vatican Investigates Virgin Mary Miracle Losing Weight with the Placebo Effect? Psychic Sorcerer Condemned to Death Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, March 2010 Study: Home Births Increase Risk for Babies Another Season, Another Texas Chupacabra Glucosamine Found Worthless for Back Pain U.K. Study: Cell Phone Towers Do Not Raise Cancer Risk Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, September 2010 China Latest UFO Hotspot Denver Votes on UFO Commission Claim of Gay-Teen Suicide Epidemic Debunked Former Airmen: UFOs National Security Threat Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2010 Left Brained or Right Brained? Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 35(1), January/February 2011 CSI Cracks Manhattan UFO Mystery Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 35(1), January/February 2011 Infrared Cameras and Ghost Hunting Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(6), November/December 2010 Study: If Asked, God May Improve Vision and Hearing Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(6), November/December 2010 Ghost Hunter Killed Seeking ‘Ghost Train’ Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(6), November/December 2010 Ghost Hunting Mistakes Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(6), November/December 2010 WikiLeaks: The Ethics of Revealing Secrets Web published at news.discovery.com November 30, 2010 TSA Opt-Out Protest Likely Ineffective Web published at news.discovery.com November 22, 2010 D.C. Forum: Bed Bugs a National Threat Web published at news.discovery.com November 18, 2010 African Albino Official Fears for Life Web published at news.discovery.com November 16, 2010 Junk Food Studies Ignore Parent Responsibility Web published at news.discovery.com November 16, 2010 Examining Official Explanation of the Mystery 'Missile' Web published at news.discovery.com November 11, 2010 Baby Organ Theft Rumor Circulates as News Web published at news.discovery.com November 10, 2010 Elizabeth Smart Case Busts Abduction Myths Web published at news.discovery.com November 9, 2010 UFO Conspiracy Theories has Holes Web published at news.discovery.com November 2, 2010 Chasing the Ghost Bird Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(4), May/June 2010 Vaccine-Autism Doctor Guilty of ‘Dishonesty,’ Study Retracted Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(4), May/June 2010 Mr. Pringle Solves Crop-Circle Mystery Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(4), May/June 2010 Miracle Coma Patient’s Story Told via Facilitate Communication Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(4), May/June 2010 CSI Investigation Used in University Critical Thinking Course Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(4), May/June 2010 Sweating the Small Stuff Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(4), May/June 2010 Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behaviors (book review) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(4), May/June 2010 The Truth About 9/11 Truthers Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 35(4), July/August 2010 The Mysterious Invisible ‘Rods’ Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(4), May/June 2010 Limitless Brain Potential? Web published at LiveScience.com March 16, 2011 The Reality of Holloway Suspect's Insanity Plea Web published at LiveScience.com March 10, 2011 Bigfoot Video: Blurriest One Yet? Web published at LiveScience.com March 24, 2011 UFO Mystery Video Explained Web published at LiveScience.com March 17, 2011 FBI’s UFO File: Proof of Roswell? Web published at LiveScience.com April 16, 2011 Why Match.com Effort to Screen Sex Offenders Won't Work Web published at LiveScience.com April 18, 2011 Psychics Offer Tips in Search for Missing Woman Holly Bobo Web published at LiveScience.com April 19, 2011 Proposed Law Fines Bad Psychics Web published at LiveScience.com February 11, 2011 Real or Hoax: Lake Monster Photographed Web published at LiveScience.com February 20, 2011 Egyptian Beheading Threats: A History of Decapitation Web published at LiveScience.com February 4, 2011 Indian Court: Astrology is a Science Web published at LiveScience.com February 14, 2011 Failed Predictions & Apocalypse Web published at LiveScience.com January 3, 2011 Birds Falling from the Sky Web published at LiveScience.com January 5, 2011 Tucson Shooter’s Conspiracy Beliefs Web published at LiveScience.com January 12, 2011 Tips for Making Accurate Psychic Predictions Web published at LiveScience.com January 3, 2011??? Exorcism and Reality Go Hollywood Web published at LiveScience.com January 25, 2011 Are Facebook Cartoon Profile Pics Fighting Child Abuse? Web published at LiveScience.com December 6, 2010 Do Hidden Bible Code Messages Warn of Nukes? Web published at LiveScience.com December 8, 2010 Pope Blames 1970s Society for Pedophile Priests Web published at LiveScience.com December 21, 2010 Virgin Mary Makes Trio of Holiday Appearances Web published at LiveScience.com December 30, 2010 Lake Blob Identified as Alien Brozoan Web published at LiveScience.com November 8, 2010 Denver’s ET Vote: UFO Commission Web published at LiveScience.com November 2, 2010 Mystery Missile off LA Coast Possibly Jet Contrail Web published at LiveScience.com November 9, 2010 Why the Opt Out Protest Failed Web published at LiveScience.com November 24, 2010 Halloween Sex Offender App Fuels False Fears Web published at news.discovery.com October 28, 2010 Body Parts! Get Your Body Parts Here! Web published at news.discovery.com October 26, 2010 'Catfish' Film Exposes Lies, Mental Illness Web published at news.discovery.com October 15, 2010 Chemical Attacks: Assault or Terrorism? Web published at news.discovery.com October 13, 2010 Protests Over 'The Dilemma' Film's Gay Language Web published at news.discovery.com October 12, 2010 The Allure of Bad Statistics: Gay Teen Suicides and Online Predators Web published at news.discovery.com October 8, 2010 Fraudulent Claims Surface in Gulf Coast Web published at news.discovery.com October 8, 2010 Rutgers Suicide: Sex Columnist's Simplistic Solution Web published at news.discovery.com October 1, 2010 Why China Has Produced 8 UFO Sightings in 4 Months Web published at LiveScience.com October 6, 2010 Bigfoot Cousins Claimed in Many Countries Web published at LiveScience.com October 12, 2010 Was Rutger’s Clementi Suicide a Hate Crime? Web published at LiveScience.com October 5, 2010 Is There a Gay Teen Suicide Epidemic? Web published at LiveScience.com October 8, 2010 UFOs Sighted Over Manhattan Web published at LiveScience.com October 14, 2010 Here to Hereafter: Can Psychics Really Talk to the Dead? Web published at LiveScience.com October 20, 2010 Mysterious Livestock Attacks in Mexico... Chupacabra? Web published at LiveScience.com September 8, 2010 The Culture of Blasphemy Among Non-Believers Web published at LiveScience.com September 10, 2010 Devil in the Details? O'Donnell and Satanism Web published at LiveScience.com September 20, 2010 Did UFOs Disarm Nuclear Weapons? Web published at LiveScience.com September 30, 2010 Psychic Claim of Life on Mars Debunked Web published at LiveScience.com August 23, 2010 Fidel Castro’s Conspiracy theories Web published at LiveScience.com August 19, 2010 Medical Journal Retracts Jesus Miracle Paper Web published at LiveScience.com August 13, 2010 Teen Girls Not Fooled by Airbrushed Images Web published at LiveScience.com August 12, 2010 Why Americans Think Obama is Muslim Web published at LiveScience.com August 19, 2010 African Belief in Magic and Witchcraft Poll Web published at LiveScience.com August 30, 2010 Acts of God: Why Lightning Strikes Religious Symbols Web published at LiveScience.com June 30, 2010 Swine Flu: The Epidemic that Wasn’t Web published at LiveScience.com July 6, 2010 Home Births Increase Risk for Babies Web published at LiveScience.com July 9, 2010 Avoidable Disasters: Major (and Deadly) Human Screw-Ups Web published at LiveScience.com July 21, 2010 Ugly Beast Found in Texas: Another Chupacabra? Web published at LiveScience.com July 15, 2010 Why Americans Think Obama is Muslim Web published at news.discovery.com September 2, 2010 FAA: Requiring Airline Seats Endangers Children Web published at news.discovery.com September 8, 2010 Media, Public Legitimize Koran Burning Pastor's Fears Web published at news.discovery.com September 9, 2010 Pastor Terry Jones and What The Koran Says Web published at news.discovery.com September 13, 2010 Rumors Fly in the Wake of Devastation Web published at news.discovery.com September 15, 2010 What’s in a Name? High Fructose Corn Syrup’s Pseudonym Web published at news.discovery.com September 17, 2010 Acid Attack Hoax Spurs Racism Web published at news.discovery.com September 20, 2010 Atheists Best Informed About Religion Web published at news.discovery.com September 20, 2010 Study: Dogs can Detect Prostate Cancer Web published at LiveScience.com June 17, 2010 70 Million Swine Flu Vaccine Doses Wasted Web published at news.discovery.com July 2, 2010 Are The Elderly More Easily Scammed? Web published at news.discovery.com July 6, 2010 Glucosamine Worthless For Back Pain Web published at news.discovery.com July 8, 2010 Study: Cell Phone Towers Don’t Raise Cancer Risk Web published at news.discovery.com July 10, 2010 Mel Gibson’s Rants: Are They Real? Web published at news.discovery.com July 15, 2010 Inception’s Flawed Science and Logic Web published at news.discovery.com July 18, 2010 Anatomy of a Fad: Aboard the Silly Bandz Wagon Web published at news.discovery.com July 27, 2010 British Minister: Photos Dangerous to Body Image Web published at news.discovery.com July 28, 2010 Human-Animal Hybrids: Splice Web published at news.discovery.com June 2, 2010 Beautiful Math Equation Found in Crop Circle Web published at LiveScience.com June 8, 2010 Physicist calls UFO Cover-Up Cosmic Watergate Web published at LiveScience.com June 10, 2010 Mysterious Monster Washes Up on Canadian Shore Web published at LiveScience.com May 24, 2010 Pope Nearly Endorses Shroud of Turin Web published at LiveScience.com May 3, 2010 Indian Mystic Claims Not to Eat for 70 Years Web published at LiveScience.com May 10, 2010 Reality of River Monsters Web published at LiveScience.com May 5, 2010 Canadian Man Fights African Witchcraft Murders Web published at news.discovery.com June 2, 2010 Is Chocolate Good for the Heart? It Depends. Web published at news.discovery.com June 7, 2010 Experts: Kill, Don’t Clean, Oiled Birds Web published at news.discovery.com June 8, 2010 Natalee Holloway: Serial Killer Victim? Web published at news.discovery.com June 11, 2010 Reusable Shopping Bags: Green But Unclean Web published at news.discovery.com June 25, 2010 Why Soccer is Rife with Cheating Web published at news.discovery.com June 28, 2010 A Short History of Noah’s Ark Discoveries Web published at news.discovery.com May 1, 2010 DNA Frees Innocent Man, but What About Eyewitnesses? Web published at news.discovery.com May 7, 2010 NY Bomber CSI TNI: Good Reporting or Aiding Terror? Web published at news.discovery.com May 5, 2010 Freddy Krueger and The Myth of Repressed Memories Web published at news.discovery.com May 4, 2010 Man Claims to Survive Without Food Web published at news.discovery.com May 11, 2010 Sandra Cantu Murder: How Rare Are Female Child Killers? Web published at news.discovery.com May 12, 2010 How Different Are Male and Female Brains? Web published at news.discovery.com May 20, 2010 Gulf Oil Spill: Natural, International Disaster Web published at news.discovery.com May 27, 2010 Sack Tapping: Parents’ Threat Du Jour Web published at news.discovery.com May 31, 2010 Yeti and other Mangy Monsters on the Rise Web published at LiveScience.com April 8, 2010 Near-Death Experience Tied to Oxygen Deprivation Web published at LiveScience.com April 19, 2010 Psychic Sorcerer Condemned to Death Web published at LiveScience.com April 5, 2010 Is 3-D TV Dangerous? Web published at LiveScience.com April 19, 2010 Mysterious Sheep-Pig’s Identity Revealed Web published at LiveScience.com April 22, 2010 Runaway Toyotas: What’s the Real Risk? Web published at LiveScience.com March 5, 2010 Ides of March: Diary of a Doomed Day Web published at LiveScience.com March 15, 2010 New Toyota Troubles: Copycat Complaints? Web published at LiveScience.com March 17, 2010 Solid Find: Natalee Holloway’s Body.... Or a Rock Web published at LiveScience.com March 22, 2010 Viagra for Children? Web published at news.discovery.com August 3, 2010 Study: If Asked, God May Improve Vision and Hearing Web published at news.discovery.com August 5, 2010 What’s the Frequency, Kevin? Infomercial King Recycles ‘The Secret’ Web published at news.discovery.com August 9, 2010 Cancer Hoaxer Steals Funds, Goodwill Web published at news.discovery.com August 12, 2010 Story Before Facts: Steven Slater’s Media Rise and Fall Web published at news.discovery.com August 13, 2010 How Rare Are Female Child Killers? Web published at news.discovery.com August 17, 2010 Big Fat Lies: Fibs Skew Obesity Statistics Web published at news.discovery.com August 18, 2010 Was Toyota Right? Govt Tests Find No Flaws Web published at news.discovery.com August 20, 2010 Facebook Friending Leads to Jail Web published at news.discovery.com August 27, 2010 ‘Orphan’ Film Adoption Fears Unfounded Web published at news.discovery.com August 30, 2010 Why People Fake Illness Web published at LiveScience.com February 17, 2010 Is Water Birth Safe? Web published at LiveScience.com February 2, 2010 Sweat Lodges Can Be Deadly but Not Cleansing Web published at LiveScience.com February 5, 2010 Link Between Vaccines and Autism Retracted Web published at LiveScience.com February 2, 2010 Michele Obama and Obesity Web published at LiveScience.com February 10, 2010 Tiger Woods and Sex Addiction Web published at LiveScience.com February 18, 2010 When Does an Otter Look like a Drowning Man? Web published at LiveScience.com February 18, 2010 New Chupacabra Revealed as Montauk Monster Web published at LiveScience.com January 20, 2010 Vampires Among Us: Bats to Psychics Web published at LiveScience.com January 7, 2010 Why Placebos Didn’t Kill Alexa Ray Joel Web published at LiveScience.com January 14, 2010 Charles Darwin: Family Man, Scientist, and Skeptic Web published at LiveScience.com January 21, 2010 To Haiti’s Long List of Curses, Add Pat Robertson Web published at LiveScience.com January 14, 2010 Good and Bad Angels in Hollywood & Bible Web published at LiveScience.com January 22, 2010 Obama the Muslim Antichrist? Survey says... Web published at news.discovery.com April 5, 2010 Mining Disasters: Why 'Never Happens Again' Always Happens Again Web published at news.discovery.com April 8, 2010 Breast Cancer and the 'Fat Taboo' Web published at news.discovery.com April 12, 2010 UK Government Study: Homeopathy Worthless Web published at news.discovery.com April 19, 2010 How the Internet Fuels Cell Phone Scares Web published at news.discovery.com April 21, 2010 Demonic Possession, Reincarnation, and Xenoglossia Web published at news.discovery.com April 23, 2010 Losing Weight With the Placebo Effect? Web published at news.discovery.com April 26, 2010 The CSI Effect: How TV Influences True Crime Web published at news.discovery.com April 28, 2010 Alt Med Supplement Guru Nearly Killed By Own Product Web published at news.discovery.com April 30, 2010 Amid Desperation, Fake Cures and False Hope in Haiti Web published at news.discovery.com March 2, 2010 Missing Persons and Abductions Reveal Psychics' Failures Web published at news.discovery.com March 5, 2010 New TV Show Perpetuates Anorexia Myths Web published at news.discovery.com March 8, 2010 Vatican Investigates 'Virgin Mary Miracle' Web published at news.discovery.com March 17, 2010 Human Error: Technology's Weak Link Web published at news.discovery.com March 23, 2010 E. Coli: Not Just for Carnivores Anymore Web published at news.discovery.com March 24, 2010 Arrest in Girl’s Murder Highlights Sex Offender Myth Web published at news.discovery.com March 26, 2010 Pope’s Saint-Making Miracle Questioned Web published at news.discovery.com March 29, 2010 Hyperbaric Therapy for Autism: Airy Promises Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(1), January/February 2010 Cryptozoology Museum Opens in Maine Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(1), January/February 2010 Latest Texas ‘Chupacabra’ Exhibited in Creationist Museum Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 34(1), January/February 2010 Vaccine-Autism Doctor Guilty of ‘Dishonesty and Misleading Conduct’ Web published at news.discovery.com February 1, 2010 Celebrity Deaths: Homicidal and Accidental Web published at news.discovery.com February 8, 2010 Good News Study: 3 out of 4 Teen Girls Happy with Their Bodies Web published at news.discovery.com February 11, 2010 Miracle Coma Patient’s Inspiring Story Proved Fictional Web published at news.discovery.com February 17, 2010 Mr. Pringle Solves Crop Circle Mystery Web published at news.discovery.com February 19, 2010 King Tut’s Many Curses Web published at news.discovery.com February 22, 2010 Who Said Tiger Was a Role Model? Web published at news.discovery.com February 24, 2010 Jenny McCarthy Dismisses Pediatrics Study on Autism Web published at news.discovery.com January 10, 2010 The Curious Case of Potato Pareidolia Web published at news.discovery.com January 11, 2010 The Great Pyramids’ Amazing Non-Mysteries Web published at news.discovery.com January 12, 2010 Do Animals have a 'Sixth Sense' About Earthquakes? Web published at news.discovery.com January 14, 2010 Meteorologists as Climate Change Deniers? Web published at news.discovery.com January 15, 2010 Diets Don't Work' a Dangerous Myth Web published at news.discovery.com January 20, 2010 New Darwin Film Creates Controversy Web published at news.discovery.com January 26, 2010 Bomb Detecting’ Dowsing Rod Demonstrates Danger of Pseudoscience Web published at news.discovery.com January 27, 2010 Gingko Biloba and other ‘Natural’ Remedies May Be Dangerous Web published at news.discovery.com January 28, 2010 Psychic Exploits Horrific Abduction Case Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(6), November/December 2009 The Myth of the Walking Tree Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(6), November/December 2009 10 Failed Doomsday Predictions Web published at LiveScience.com November 4, 2009 The Truth about 2012 Doomsday Hype Web published at LiveScience.com November 5, 2009 Review: As a Disaster Film, 2012 Succeeds Web published at LiveScience.com November 12, 2009 Thinspiration: Do Web Sites Encourage Anorexia? Web published at LiveScience.com November 19, 2009 The Real Science and History of Vampires Web published at LiveScience.com November 30, 2009 Validity of Repressed Memories Challenged in Court Web published at LiveScience.com September 15, 2009 New Shroud of Turin Evidence Web published at LiveScience.com October 7, 2009 Chupacabra? Creationist Museum Displays Mystery Beast Web published at LiveScience.com October 16, 2009 The World’s Greatest Hoaxes Web published at LiveScience.com October 19, 2009 Investigator Checks out Haunted House for Sale Web published at LiveScience.com October 21, 2009 Sex Offenders Not a Halloween Scare Web published at LiveScience.com October 30, 2009 New Champ Lake Monster Video Surfaces Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(5), September/October 2009 Exercising the Brain Gym Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(5), September/October 2009 Modern-Day DaVinci’s ROM Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(5), September/October 2009 Cammy: A New Canadian Lake Monster? Web published at LiveScience.com September 21, 2009 “Paranormal Acitivity” Disappointingly Normal Web published at LiveScience.com October 1, 2009 Mermaid Sighting in Isreal Web published at LiveScience.com August 13, 2009 Human-Dog Hybrid Hoax Web published at LiveScience.com August 18, 2009 UK Health Program Encourages Masturbation Web published at LiveScience.com July 14, 2009 Human Lifespan Nearly Constant for 2,000 Years Web published at LiveScience.com August 21, 2009 Jaycee Dugard's Abduction Case Highlights Psychic Failure Web published at LiveScience.com August 12, 2009 The Truth Behind Secret Recipes Web published at LiveScience.com July 7, 2009 40 Years After the Moon Landing…Why Are We No Smarter? Web published at LiveScience.com July 16, 2009 Fetal Memories? Not so fast! Web published at LiveScience.com July 21, 2009 CSI Solves New Jersey UFO Mystery Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(4), July/August 2009 Borneo’s River Monster Photo: Living Legend or Hoax? Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(4), July/August 2009 Michael Dennett, Skeptic and Bigfoot Investigator, Dies Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(4), July/August 2009 The Deadwood Ghost Photo (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(4), July/August 2009 Do Dinosaurs Still Exist? Web published at LiveScience.com June 4, 2009 America's Loch Ness Monster? Web published at LiveScience.com June 5, 2009 Green Screens for Iran: How Much Does it Help? Web published at LiveScience.com June 23, 2009 April's Mom Hoax Played on Faith Web published at LiveScience.com June 15, 2009 Forum on Betty and Barney Hills’ UFO Abduction Haunting in Connecticut Revives Demons The Obamas Visit ‘Haunted’ D.C. Hotel Knowing Film Highlights Superstition Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, June 2009 Why We Mourn for Strangers Web published at LiveScience.com May 10, 2009 Return of the Montauk Monster Web published at LiveScience.com May 14, 2009 Flawed Survey Says 99% of Women Hate their Looks Web published at LiveScience.com May 28, 2009 Cheney vx. Obama: Dueling Unprovable Claims Web published at LiveScience.com May 25, 2009 Twitter: This Era’s Hula Hoop? Web published at LiveScience.com May 21, 2009 Resurrection: A History of Myths Web published at LiveScience.com April 9, 2009 Alien Abduction: Looking Back at America’s First Case Web published at LiveScience.com April 17, 2009 The Reality of Reincarnation Web published at LiveScience.com April 27, 2009 UFO Hoax was Social Experiment Web published at LiveScience.com April 1, 2009 The Pseudoscience of Personalysis (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(3), May/June 2009 Ghosts, Doughnuts, and A Christmas Carol Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(3), May/June 2009 Curious Contrails: Death from the Sky? Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(2), March/April 2009 Why Evidence of the Paranormal Doesn’t Improve Web published at LiveScience.com March 3, 2009 God’s Wrath Is Near (Again) Web published at LiveScience.com March 10, 2009 The Psychology of “Knowing” Web published at LiveScience.com March 19, 2009 The True Story Behind the Haunting in Connecticut Web published at LiveScience.com March 26, 2009 The Remote Viewer The Skeptic (Australia), March 2009 The Pseudoscience of “The Secret” Web published at LiveScience.com February 3, 2009 100-Foot Borneo Monster Said Photographed Web published at LiveScience.com February 19, 2009 Why Hollywood Serial Slashers Wear Masks Web published at LiveScience.com February 13, 2009 Movie to “Push” Dubious Psychic Powers Web published at LiveScience.com February 5, 2009 Why Obama’s Hotel is Haunted Web published at LiveScience.com January 5, 2009 Top 5 Faked Meoirs Web published at LiveScience.com January 12, 2009 NJ UFO Likely a Hoax Web published at LiveScience.com January 6, 2009 Why People Fake their Deaths Web published at LiveScience.com January 20, 2009 I Must Be Psychic: Benjamin Radford’s 2008 Predictions Weekly Alibi newspaper, 18 (2), January 8 to 14, 2009 XanGo Juice: Miracle or Myth? (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(1), January/February 2009 Kansas Gym Ghost Video Mystery Solved Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 33(1), January/February 2009 Teen Self –Esteem May Be Too High Web published at LiveScience.com December 5, 2008 Bernard Madoff Redefines Ponzi Scheme Web published at LiveScience.com December 16, 2008 Senator’s Spontaneous Cure: Miracle or Misdiagnosis? Web published at LiveScience.com December 11, 2008 Police Often Bungle Missing Child Cases Web published at LiveScience.com December 24, 2008 Top 5 Predictions that Thankfully Failed Web published at LiveScience.com December 30, 2008 Health Study Distorted by Media Web published at LiveScience.com November 7, 2008 The Obama Conspiracies Web published at LiveScience.com November 24, 2008 The Reality of Mysterious Medical Maladies Web published at LiveScience.com November 20, 2008 Georgia Bigfoot Hoax Draws Global Attention Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(6), November/December 2008 Secrets of Spectacularly Skewered Skin (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(6), November/December 2008 The Value of Endorsements, from Hollywood to the Pulpit Web published at LiveScience.com October 2, 2008 Stress and Suicide in Hard Times Web published at LiveScience.com October 10, 2008 Safe Haven Laws Encourage Baby Disposal Web published at LiveScience.com October 27, 2008 Kansas City Gym Ghost Mystery Solved Web published at LiveScience.com October 14, 2008 Top Ten Scary Movies Web published at LiveScience.com October 28, 2008 Hoax Led to Polygamist Sect Raid Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(5), September/October 2008 The Amazing Randi Strikes Again! Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(5), September/October 2008 The Sweet Spirit Sounds of Rosemary Brown (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(5), September/October 2008 Psychic’s False Sex Abuse Claim Threatens Family Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(5), September/October 2008 Autism and Vaccines: Why Bad Logic Trumps Science Web published at LiveScience.com September 6, 2008 Why Thin Will Always Be In Web published at LiveScience.com September 11, 2008 Fringe Science and Stargate Web published at LiveScience.com September 18, 2008 The Flip Side of Flip-Flopping Web published at LiveScience.com September 23, 2008 Popobawa! In Search of Zanzibar’s Bat-Winged Terror Fortean Times magazine (London, England), 241, October 2008 Senator Pete’s Miracle Cure: A Closer Look Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (51), December 18 to 24, 2008 Vaccine/Autism Link Again Refuted Bad Journalism and Small Numbers: Statistical vs. Social Significance New ‘Fringe’ TV Series Mines the Paranormal Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2008 The Definitive KiMo Ghost Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (43), October 23 to 29, 2008 A Skeptical Visit to Machu Picchu Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (47), November 20 to 26, 2008 Teen Pregnancy Pact Just a Rumor Web published at LiveScience.com July 5, 2008 Paranormal Investigations: Hellboy vs. Isaac Asimov Web published at LiveScience.com July 10, 2008 Psychic Nearly Destroys Family Web published at LiveScience.com July 17, 2008 Alarming Study on Teen Dating is Flawed Web published at LiveScience.com July 24, 2008 Apollo Astronaut Believes in Aliens, Psychics, and Mystics Web published at LiveScience.com July 26, 2008 Bigfoot Bounty: Reward Offered for Mysterious Creatures Web published at LiveScience.com June 22, 2008 Aliens Ogled My Teen Daughters! Web published at LiveScience.com June 15, 2008 The Water Shortage Myth Web published at LiveScience.com June 23, 2008 Re: FWD: Beware Hoax E-mails! Web published at LiveScience.com June 20, 2008 A Savage Hoax: The Cave Men Who Never Existed Web published at LiveScience.com June 25, 2008 World to End in 2012: Check Back for Updates Web published at LiveScience.com May 8, 2008 Secrets of the Real Crystal Skulls Web published at LiveScience.com May 21, 2008 Hazing: Why Young Men Do It Web published at LiveScience.com May 15, 2008 Texas Polygamy Case Based on a Lie Web published at LiveScience.com May 22, 2008 Logic 101: Mayor Chavez vs. Sex Offenders Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (15), April 10 to 16, 2008 Selling Secrets to Suckers Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (17), April 24 to 30, 2008 Karmas and Dogmas Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (11), March 13 to 19, 2008 Descansos: A Closer Look at Roadside Memorials Weekly Alibi newspaper, 18 (12), March 26 to April 1, 2009 The Mysterious Phoenix Lights (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(4), July/August 2008 NASA’s Mysterious ‘Man on Mars’ Photo Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(3), May/June 2008 Pregnant Man: Real or Hoax? Web published at LiveScience.com March 28, 2008 Study Debunks Web Predator Myths Web published at LiveScience.com March 6, 2008 A Closer Look at Racist Conspiracies Web published at LiveScience.com February 22, 2008 The Truth About Sensational Kidney Thefts Web published at LiveScience.com February 19, 2008 Cheating in Sports: Oh, the Inequity! Web published at LiveScience.com January 31, 2008 Why People Use Unproven Remedies Web published at LiveScience.com March 14, 2008 Drug Company Conspiracy Debunked Web published at LiveScience.com January 2, 2008 Bad Journalism Encourages Psychic Detectives Web published at LiveScience.com November 27, 2007 Female Figure on Mars Just a Rock Web published at LiveScience.com January 24, 2008 How UFOs and Bigfoot Could Save the Earth Web published at LiveScience.com January 22, 2008 Britney vs. Hillary: The Role Model Myth Web published at LiveScience.com January 16, 2008 Recession Worries Help Fuel Recession Web published at LiveScience.com January 23, 2008 Can Dying People Hang in There for the Holidays? Web published at LiveScience.com December 21, 2007 The Loch Ness Monster Returns to Hollywood Web published at LiveScience.com December 19, 2007 Faked Abductions Common, Rarely Punished Web published at LiveScience.com December 11, 2007 Men: Hidden Victims of Domestic Violence Web published at LiveScience.com December 6, 2007 The Truth About the Abominable Snowman Web published at LiveScience.com December 3, 2007 Ask the Skeptic (as Elmer Beauregard) Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (13), March 27-April 2, 2008 Perfection Is All Around Us Web published at LiveScience.com February 22, 2008 How I Became a Skeptic Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (8), February 21-27, 2008 Haunt Your House… and Get Rich and Famous Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (4), January 24-30, 2008 Talking to the Dead: Who’s Answering? Weekly Alibi newspaper, 16 (49), December 6-12, 2007 Convincing Yourself—And Others—You Talk to the Dead Weekly Alibi newspaper, 17 (7), December 6-12, 2008 A Closer Look at Psychic Predictions Weekly Alibi newspaper, 16 (51), December 20-26, 2008 The Big Holiday Depression Myth Web published at LiveScience.com November 21, 2007 Saving Birds After Oil Spills: Feels Good, Costs Fortune, Accomplishes Little Web published at LiveScience.com November 13, 2007 Violence and Virginity Pledges: Do They Work? Web published at LiveScience.com November 16, 2007 The Multiple Mysteries of Sybil Web published at LiveScience.com April 17, 2008 Top Ten Conspiracy Theories Web published at LiveScience.com April 15, 2008 Faith in Prayer Kills Children Web published at LiveScience.com April 10, 2008 Mysterious Phoenix Lights a UFO Hoax Web published at LiveScience.com April 17, 2008 Fat People Have Bigger Carbon Footprints Web published at LiveScience.com April 30, 2008 Bark at the Moon (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(2), March/April 2008 Bad Journalism Misleads Public About Psychics Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(2), March/April 2008 Natalee Holloway Disappearance Unsolved; Case Closed Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(2), March/April 2008 The Science of Chemistry Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(1), January/February 2008 Haunting Evidence Follow-Up: TV Psychics Fail Again Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(1), January/February 2008 How to ‘Haunt’ a House Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 32(1), January/February 2008 Satellite Searches Could Spot Monsters Missing Girl Case Highlights Real Threat Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2007 The Other Side of the Story: Ghost Hunting Skeptical Briefs, December 2007 How Monsters Are Made Web published at LiveScience.com November 7, 2007 Capturing the Santa Fe ‘Courthouse Ghost’ Fortean Times magazine (London, England), 229, November 2007 Catching the Courthouse Spirit Weekly Alibi newspaper, 16 (43), October 25-31, 2007 The Top Ten Most Famous Ghosts Web published at LiveScience.com October 31, 2007 Frightening Trend: Ghost Tourism Booms Web published at LiveScience.com October 29, 2007 Halloween Hysteria: Phantom Fears About Sex Offenders Web published at LiveScience.com October 30, 2007 Real Problems Hidden Behind Thin Models Web published at LiveScience.com October 11, 2007 Ghost Stories Haunt American Culture Web published at LiveScience.com October 4, 2007 Interview with Roy Richard Grinker Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(6), November/December 2007 A Time to Die? (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(6), November/December 2007 Cartoon Seizures: Are They Real? Web published at LiveScience.com September 27, 2007 Satellite Searches Could Spot Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster Web published at LiveScience.com September 25, 2007 Warning: Life Can Be Hazardous to Your Health Web published at LiveScience.com September 5, 2007 Loch Ness Monsters Surfaces Again 'Prophetic' Murder Mystery Solved Numerology Fails Again: 7/7/2007 A Bust Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, September 2007 Suicide More Common Than Homicide Web published at LiveScience.com August 29, 2007 Alternative Medicine Threatens Beasts With Extinction Web published at LiveScience.com August 13, 2007 Spaceflight Less Safe Than You Think Web published at LiveScience.com August 15, 2007 Killing With Kindness: America's Big Fat Problem Web published at LiveScience.com August 13, 2007 Corrales Library: A True Fish Story Corrales Comment newspaper, August 11, 2007 Santa Fe 'Courthouse Ghost' Mystery Solved Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(5), September/October 2007 The (Non)Mysterious Orbs Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(5), September/October 2007 Returning Home, Searching for Corrales Corrales Comment newspaper, April 21, 2007 Barbie Vs. Her Critics Playthings magazine, February 2007 Randi's Amazing Meeting Returns Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(3), May/June 2007 Superhero Science Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(4), July/August 2007 Might Fright Cause White? (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(4), July/August 2007 Philadelphia Psychics Shut Down, Then Allowed to Reopen Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(4), July/August 2007 Luck Turns Bad: First 7/7/7, not Friday the 13th Web published at LiveScience.com July 12, 2007 Spooky Foretelling of Wrestler Benoit's Death Debunked Web published at LiveScience.com July 9, 2007 Phantom Clowns Fortean Times magazine (London, England), 226, August 2007 The Green Crop-Circle Maker Philadelphia Psychics Temporarily Shut Down Frank Sinatra, Still Dead, Helps Record Album Severed Head an Unlucky Charm Canadian Member of Parliament Burned by Bigfoot Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, June 2007 Strange Things Do Happen at Full Moon Web published at LiveScience.com June 13, 2007 New Video Not Likely Loch Ness Monster Web published at LiveScience.com June 5, 2007 Sylvia Browne's Biggest Blunder Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(3), May/June 2007 Secrets and Lies Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(3), May/June 2007 Measuring Near-Death Experience Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(3), May/June 2007 The Nonsense and Non-science of Sasquatch (book review) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(3), May/June 2007 Endangered Species Protection Sought for Bigfoot Web published at LiveScience.com May 25, 2007 Public Farce: Pundits Clueless About School Shootings Web published at LiveScience.com April 21, 2007 Traveler's Notebook: Inverness, Scotland, April 2006 Corrales Comment newspaper, July 22, 2006 Male Pregnancy Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(2), March/April 2007 SciFi Investigates, Finds Only Pseudoscience Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(2), March/April 2007 New Report Casts Doubt on Gulf War Syndrome Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(1), January/February 2007 Soul Scales (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(1), January/February 2007 Mass Hysteria at Starpoint High Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 31(1), January/February 2007 Popular 'Energy Healer' Debunked September 11 Children's Book Teaches Numerology Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2006 Documentaries Highlighted at High Falls Film Festival Corrales Comment newspaper, December 16, 2006 La Importancia de la Investigacion y la Amenaza de los Mitos Pensar magazine (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 4(1), Enero/Marzo 2006 Searching to Noah Vale (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(6), November/December 2006 Ghost Photos: A Close Look at the Paranormal Web published at LiveScience.com October 30, 2006 Exorcisms, Fictional and Fatal The Skeptic (Australia) 26(1) Autumn 2006 The Shady Side of Ghost Hunting Web published at LiveScience.com October 27, 2006 Science Looks for Bigfoot, Finds Bison The Skeptic (Australia) 26(3) Spring 2006 Mystery Monster Dogs Maine Web published at LiveScience.com September 24, 2006 What Makes Ice Cubes Cloudy? Web published at LiveScience.com September 22, 2006 Why Do Air Traffic Control Towers Have Slanted Windows? Web published at LiveScience.com September 21, 2006 Do People Really Use Just 10 Percent of Their Brains? Web published at LiveScience.com September 8, 2006 Noah's Ark Discovered ... Again and Again Web published at LiveScience.com September 5, 2006 Alleged Psychic Convicted of Murder Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(5), September/October 2006 New Psychic Detective (Un)Reality Series: Haunting Evidence Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(5), September/October 2006 Predator Panic: A Closer Look Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(5), September/October 2006 Go, Go, Ghost Gadgets Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(5), September/October 2006 Pet Psychic Fails to Recover Gay Tabby Bad Karma, Low Energy, and Poor Judgment 'Real' Psychic Debunks Fake Psychics Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, September 2006 CSI TV: Science or Psychics? Web published at MediaMythmakers.com August 30, 2006 2006 Toronto Film Festival Web published at RadfordReviews.com September 20, 2006 Body of Evidence (review) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(4), July/August 2006 Please Pass the Globster (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(4), July/August 2006 The Wrong Stuff: Men's Magazine's Psychic Columnist Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(4), July/August 2006 Medical 'Miracles' Not Supported by Evidence Web published at LiveScience.com July 29, 2006 Digerdoo-Playing Psychic Tries to Steal Infant Police Officer Suspended for Consulting Psychic Ghost Gadgets! Get your ghost gadgets here! Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, June 2006 Turning From Science to Psychics Searching to Noah Vale The Skeptic (Australia) 26(4) Spring 2006 Stranger Danger: How Real Is It? Web published at CSICOP.com April 8, 2006 The Mysterious Coral Castle: A Fanciful Myth Web published at Livescience.com March 28, 2006 Body Image: Do We Have a Problem? Web published at Skepchick.org March 15, 2006 The Education of Shelby Knox Free Inquiry magazine, 26(3), April/May 2006 Fat and Happy: Why Most People Don't Diet Web published at Livescience.com March 2, 2006 Cuarto 'Encuentro Asombroso' de James Randi Pensar magazine (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 3(2), Abril/Junio 2006 Ghost Hunters Arrested Psychic's Crystal Ball Torches Apartment Psychics Still, Yet Again, Fail to Locate Missing Persons Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, March 2006 Rare Woodpecker, Presumed Extinct, Found in Arkansas Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(2), March/April 2006 'Natural' Childbirth (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(2), March/April 2006 Art Bell's Show Broadcasts Sylvia Browne Failure about Mine Tragedy Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(2), March/April 2006 Examining the Self-Esteem Crisis Myth Web published at Mediamythmakers.com February 8, 2006 Superbowl Surprise: A Self-Esteem Ad Web published at Livescience.com February 6, 2006 Science Sheds Light on Giant Squid Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(1), January/February 2006 Science Looks for Bigfoot but Finds Bison Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(1), January/February 2006 The First Ibero-American Conference on Critical Thinking Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(1), January/February 2006 Geller Revisited (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(1), January/February 2006 Ogopogo the Chameleon Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 30(1), January/February 2006 News Media Exploits Mine Tragedy Web published at Mediamythmakers.com January 8, 2006 Deconstructing Barbie Web published at Skepchick.org Issue 1, January 15, 2006 Star Wars Episode 6: Revenge of the Sith The Open Society magazine (New Zealand), 77(4), Summer 2004 (pub 2005) The Science of Sea Monsters Web published at Livescience.com December 9, 2005 The Aristocrats The Open Society magazine (New Zealand), 78(2), Winter 2005 Fertile Seeds in Fallow Ground The Open Society magazine (New Zealand), 78(1), Autumn 2005 Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy / Brothers Grimm The Open Society magazine (New Zealand), 78(1), Autumn 2005 Dark Tales in Latin America South American Explorer, Summer 2005, Issue 79 The High Falls Film Festival 2005 Web published at Radfordreviews.com November 14, 2005 The Exorcism of Emily Rose Web published at Radfordreviews.com September 28, 2005 Reality Check: Video Game Violence Web published at Mediamythmakers.com December 14, 2005 Bigfoot in Life and Legend (book review) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(6), November/December 2005 New-Agey Feldenkrais (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(6), November/December 2005 Woman Fakes Abduction and Rape to Ditch Date Bigfoot Fiasco on Pay-Per-View Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2005 Teen in Aruba, Others Still Missing Despite Psychics Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(6), November/December 2005 Plane Crash Survival: Miracle or Skill and Science? Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(6), November/December 2005 Kate Moss in no Role Model Web published at Livescience.com September 27, 2005 The News Media’s Dismal Hurricane Katrina Coverage Web published at Livescience.com September 25, 2005 The Mythical ‘Miracle’ Plane Crash Free Inquiry magazine, 25(6), October/November 2005 The Politics of Media Reform Free Inquiry magazine, 25(6), October/November 2005 The News Media’s Dismal Hurricane Katrina Coverage Web published at Radfordreviews.com September 28, 2005 Report from the 30th Toronto Film Festival Web published at Radfordreviews.com September 24, 2005 Chasing Cressie The Downhomer magazine (St. John’s, Newfoundland), September 2005 Rotting from the Head down: The Bush Administration’s Moral Decay Web published at RadfordReviews.com August 26, 2005 Deadly Rituals: Nun Dies During Convent Exorcism Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(5), September/October 2005 Issac Newton, Astrologer? (column) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(5), September/October 2005 Exorcisms, Fictional and Fatal Web published at Livescience.com August 30, 2005 Psychics Yet Again Fail to Locate Missing Persons Mayor Uses Public Money for Psychics JAMA Study Debunks Cherished 'Will to Live' Myth Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, September 2005 Police, Psychics Search for ‘Abducted’ Runaway Bride Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(4), July/August 2005 Leyendas urbanas sobre el robo de organos Pensar magazine (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 2(3), July/September 2005 ‘World’s Most Documented Psychic’ Fails to Find Abducted Granddaughter Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(4), July/August 2005 Labyrinths and “Alternative” Medicine The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, 8(2), Fall/Winter 2004-2005 Psychics Again Fail to Locate Missing Persons Chupacabra Identified as Jenny Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, June 2005 Academy Award-nominated Film Promotes False Hopes Web published at LiveScience.com February 28, 2005 News Media Ignores Cluster of Murderous Moms Web published at MediaMythmakers.com February 27, 2005 De-Ghosting The Amityville Horror Skeptical Briefs newsletter, March 2005 'World-renowned Psychic' Charged in Theft Hoax E-mail Used in Effort to Bring Soldier Home Brain Discovery Helps Explain Eyewitness Unreliability Herbal Cold Remedy Found Worthless Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, March 2005 Psychic Detectives Fail in the Real World but Succeed on TV Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(2), March/April 2005 Despite Popularity, Psychic Detectives Fail to Perform Web published at Livescience.com February 4, 2005 Ringing False Alarms: Skepticism and Media Scares Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(2), March/April 2005 Media Mythmaking 101: Katie Couric’s “The 411 on Teens and Sex” Web published at Mediamythmakers.com January 28, 2005 Psychics (Don’t) Explain Missing September 11 Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(1), January/February 2005 Critics Ravage ‘Hoax’ New Age Film Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 29(1), January/February 2005 Giving up the Ghosts Web published at Livescience.com December 10, 2004 'Miracle' Plane Crash Kills 13 Missouri UFO Mystery Solved Zombie Cowrites Bigfoot Comic Mass Hysteria Hits British School Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2004 Glory, Honour, Love, Revenge (etc) The Open Society magazine (Auckland, New Zealand), 77(1), Autumn 2004 Defying Entropy: A Jungle Hiking Primer South American Explorer magazine, 76, Summer 2004 Say Goodbye to Voice-over Artists Web published at RadfordReviews.com December 8, 2004 Senate Intelligence Committee Highlights Need for Skeptical Inquiry Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(6), November/December 2004 Rwanda Revisited: Hotel Rwanda Web published at Radfordreviews.com December 21, 2004 Prayers, Psychics Fail to Find Missing Women Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(6), November/December 2004 Fortuneteller Allowed at Fair Despite Law Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(6), November/December 2004 Say Goodbye to Voice-over Artists Web published at Radfordreviews.com December 8, 2004 New Details Emerge About Psychic’s Airline Bomb Threat Tip Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(6), November/December 2004 Mysterious Horse Attacks Solved Dead Mouse Leads to Arrest Deputy Arrested for False Report Persons Remain Missing Despite Psychics Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, September 2004 Labyrinths: Mazes and Myths Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(5), September/October 2004 Psychic’s False Bomb Tip Cancels Flight Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(4), July/August 2004 The Real Story Behind The Exorcist Web published at www.csicop.org August 18, 2004 Niagara Indie Film Festival Web published at Radfordreviews.com July 7, 2004 Acupuncture Claimed to Ease Headaches Hypodermic Needles in Hamburgers? Ohio Sniper Case Evidence Hoaxed Psychic's False Bomb Tip Cancels Flight Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, June 2004 Reports: Policy, Not Science, Drives Bush Administration Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(3), May/June 2004 Hooking for Hype: Quote Whores and Fake Reviewers Web published at Radfordreviews.com March 15, 2004 Lady and the Champ Fortean Times, March 2004, Issue 182 Mel Gibson’s Controversial New Film The Passion of the Christ Web published at RadfordReviews.com February 26, 2004 Walking Among the Dead Skeptical Briefs newsletter, March 2004 Iowa Chiropractor Suspended Autism Drug Found Worthless 'Summer of the Lake Monsters' Claimed Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, March 2004 Canadian Defendants Victorious in Ritual Abuse Case Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(2), March/April 2004 Investigating a Haunted House-Amherst, New York Web published at Ghostvillage.com January 29, 2004 El Mito del Diez Por Ciento Pensar magazine (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 1(1), January/March 2004 Studies Clear Childhood Vaccine of Links to SIDS, Autism Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 28(1), January/February 2004 Psychic and Faith Healer Convicted of Girl's Sexual Assault Famous Psychic Detective Fails to Find Laci Peterson Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2003 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Real or Reel? Web published at RadfordReviews.com October 9, 2003 How Cryptozoologists Created a Monster Skeptical Briefs newsletter, September 2003 A Weekend at the 28th International Toronto Film Festival Web published at RadfordReviews.com September 12, 2003 Loch Ness Search Comes Up Empty--Again Norwegian UFO: Unfortunate Feline Observation Parents, Police, and Physicians Once Again Respond to Annual Hoax Skin-So-Soft Fails the Repellent Test Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, September 2003 Musician Warren Zevon Dead at 56 Web published at RadfordReviews.com September 11, 2003 How Investigator Bias Can Create a Monster BCSCC Journal (Vancouver, Canada), Issue 50, Summer 2003 Capturing the Friedmans and Questioning Justice Web published at RadfordReviews.com July 29, 2003 Cinema in Rural Newfoundland Web published at RadfordReviews.com July 11, 2003 The Measure of a Monster: Investigating the Champ Photo Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 27(4), July/August 2003 Organ Theft Legend Resurfaces in Mexico Border Slayings Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 27(4), July/August 2003 Colossal Squid 'Sea Monster' Found Michigan 'Psychic' Convicted Underwater Birthing Safety Questioned Woman Rejects Traditional Medicine, Nearly Starves Infant Galapagos Sea Lions Killed for Body Parts Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, June 2003 The Babysitters at Hollywood and Vine Web published at RadfordReviews.com June 9, 2003 A Tour of the Halls of Flummery Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 27(3), May/June 2003 Bigfoot Hoaxer Dies; Legacy Lives On Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 27(2), March/April 2003 Movie Myths (aka Legends of Film, Hilarious) Web published at RadfordReviews.com April 4, 2003 Fortunetelling in Film: The Final Destination Movies Skeptical Briefs newsletter, March 2003 Lessons and Loss in the Columbia Space Shuttle Skeptical Briefs newsletter, March 2003 Maryland Sniper Case Highlights Fallibility of Eyewitness Testimony Racially Divisive NYC Case Based on False Confessions 'Dying Daughter' Revealed as Hoax Mother Tells Daughter to Falsely Report Child Abuse Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, March 2003 Briefs Crossword Challenge (crossword puzzle) Skeptical Briefs newsletter, March 2003 Traveler’s Notebook: Marrakesh, Morocco, 2001 Corrales Comment newspaper, February 22, 2003 Pop Singer’s Death Reveals Visit to New Age ‘Miracle Worker’ Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 27(1), January/February 2003 Simplified Skepticism Suffers (review of K.I.S.S. Guide to the Unexplained) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(6), November/December 2002 Psychics Wrong About Chandra Levy Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(6), November/December 2002 Briefs Briefs (column) Skeptical Briefs newsletter, December 2002 Briefs Crossword Challenge (crossword puzzle) Skeptical Briefs newsletter, December 2002 Water Intoxication Kills Girl; Alternative Medicine Link Alleged New Astrology Book Unknowingly Debunks Astrology Pop Singer's Death Reveals Visits to Pan-African, New Age 'Miracle Worker' Baby Starves; Religious Group Gives Prayer Instead of Food Briefs Briefs column, Skeptical Briefs, December 2002 Fourth World Skeptics Conference Report Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(5), September/October 2002 Messages From Beyond at a Spiritualist Meeting The REALL News, 10(10), October 2002 Pop Singer’s Death Reveals Visits to Pan-African Healer African Americans for Humanism Examiner, Summer 2002 New Age, Paranormal Topics Influenced Alleged Terrorist Luke Helder Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(4), July/August 2002 Messages From Beyond at a Spiritualist Meeting Skeptical Briefs newsletter, June 2002 Living Legends (review of Aliens, Ghosts, and Cults) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(3), May/June 2002 Rash of Mysterious Rashes May Be Linked to Mass Hysteria Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(3), May/June 2002 Bigfoot at 50: Evaluating a Half-Century of Bigfoot Evidence Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(2), March/April 2002 Science and Religion: The Conference Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(2), March/April 2002 Skepticism on the Half-Shell Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(1), January/February 2002 John Edward’s Televised Tragedy SÈance Scrapped Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 26(1), January/February 2002 Religion on the Roadside Free Inquiry, Winter 2001/2002 U-Haul Moves into the Paranormal Skeptical Briefs newsletter, December 2001 Living Skepticism Skeptical Briefs newsletter, September 2001 Mundos en Conflicto: Aplicando la Realidad a lo Paranormal Neo-Skepsis magazine (Lima, Peru), Issue 3, July 2001 “Psychic Flies” Feed on Levy Disappearance Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 25(6), November/December 2001 A Mammoth Book Unsolving the Paranormal Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 25(6), November/December 2001 PokÈmon Panic Fortean Times magazine (London, England), Issue 149, August 2001 Rebirthing Update: Therapists Convicted, Therapy Outlawed in Colorado Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 25(4), July/August 2001 CSICOP Celebrates 25th Anniversary Skeptical Briefs newsletter, June 2001 The PokÈmon Panic of 1997 Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 25(3), May/June 2001 Urban Legend Makes International News Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 25(3), May/June 2001 Tabloid Busts Fox TV on Pyramid Special Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 25(2), March/April 2001 Supernatural on the Streets: The Paranormal in Toronto Street News Skeptical Briefs newsletter, March 2001 PokÈmon Contagion: Photosensitive Epilepsy or Mass Psychogenic Illness? Southern Medical Journal, 94(1), February 2001 Hotbed of Skepticism Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 25(1), January/February 2001 Buffalo Psychic Y2K Predictions Go Bust Skeptical Briefs newsletter, December 2000 CSICOP Firewalk Teaches the Public About Physics Skeptical Briefs newsletter, December 2000 Worlds in Collision: Applying Reality to the Paranormal Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(6), November/December 2000 Hating in the Name of God African Americans for Humanism Examiner newsletter, Fall 2000 Kidney Devils Fortean Times magazine (London), Issue 138, September 2000 Fighting the Paranormal in Peru Skeptical Briefs newsletter, September 2000 New Age ‘Rebirthing’ Treatment Kills Girl Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(5), September/October 2000 New York Jury Finds Alternative Medicine Doctor Negligent in Patient’s Death Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(5), September/October 2000 On Beliefs and Missing Days Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 2000 ‘100% True! This Is Not a Joke!’ Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(5), September/October 2000 Neuromythologies Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(4), July/August 2000 Usiamo piu del dieci per cento del cervello (per favore) Scienza & Paranormale magazine (Rome, Italy) 32(8), July/August 2000 Dr. Scholl’s Steps Into Pseudoscience with Magnetic Insoles Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(4), July/August 2000 Nostradamus 1999 Predictions Miss (Again) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(3), May/June 2000 The Ten-Percent Myth The Beacon magazine (Hamrun, Malta), Vol. 3 Winter 1999 Religious Right Dogs Dogma Free Inquiry magazine, Winter 1999/2000 The Flawed Guide to Bigfoot Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(1), January/February 2000 Woman Convicted During Sex Abuse Hysteria Released Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 24(1), January/February 2000 August 11 Eclipse Feeds Superstition, Fears Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(6), November/December 1999 False Memory News Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(6), November/December 1999 Sorcerers and Psychics in Politics Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(5), September/October 1999 Psychic Hotline Provider Accused of Fraud Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(6), September/October 1999 Christian Police Officer Tortures Immigrant African Americans for Humanism Examiner newsletter, Fall 1999 How I Became a Skeptic Skeptical Briefs newsletter, September 1999 Scam Fortune Teller Arrested, Sentenced to Prison for Fraud Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(4), July/August 1999 FBI Enlisted Psychic in TWA 800 Investigation Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(4), July/August 1999 Peruvians Claim Miracle Mud Baths from Aliens Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(3), May/June 1999 Bitter Harvest: The Organ-Snatching Urban Legends Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(3), May/June 1999 Calling the Kettle Black: Fox Television’s ‘World’s Greatest Hoaxes’ Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(3), May/June 1999 The Ten-Percent Myth Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(2), March/April 1999 Tapes Said to Show Sybil’s Multiple Personalities Bogus Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 25(1), January/February 1999 Council Against Health Fraud Concerned About Veterinary Pseudoscience Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 22(6), November/December 1998 Folk Beliefs May Increase Cancer Deaths Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 22(5), September/October 1998 State Attorney General Targets ‘Psychic’ Gadget Fraud Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 22(2), March/April 1998 Survey Finds 70% of Women, 48% of Men Believe in Paranormal Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 22(2), March/April 1998 Local Authors Find Corrales Seclusion an Asset Corrales Comment newspaper, February 7, 1998 Dutchman Treks to Corrales From Africa on Cycle Corrales Comment newspaper, June 21, 1997 Memories of the Grade School Playground Corrales Comment newspaper, May 10, 1997 Likichiri: Menace or Myth? Bolivian Times newspaper (La Paz, Bolivia), May 9, 1996 Door Whore and other New Mexico Restaurant Slang Maledicta Journal, Vol. 11, 1990-1995 Film Review column Corrales Comment newspaper, March 1994 to present

Books Edited Bizarre Cases: From the Files of The Skeptical Inquirer 2000, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal Amherst, New York Mysteries and Miracles of Arizona Jack Kutz, 1989, Rhombus Publishing Co. Corrales, New Mexico Fiction Versions In The Village magazine (London), July 1995 The Fence Carousel (Cibola High School Literary Magazine) Vol. 3, 1987 Essays Perilous Perceptions: Human Fallibility in Technological Endeavor (winner of Western Region Honors Council Essay Contest) University of New Mexico Honors Review, 1993 The Ethical Threat of Hyperbole Vox (Albuquerque Literary Magazine), Vol. 1, Nos.1 & 2 (1993) Art Interior Art- Champ illustration Uniquely Vermont by Emily Raabe 2004, Heinemann Library, New York, New York Article Illustration Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(6), November/December 1999 Article Illustration (Table of Contents) Skeptical Inquirer magazine, 23(3), May/June 1999 Front cover illustration Vox (Albuquerque Literary Magazine), Vol. 1, No.1 (1993) Article illustration Cracks in the Silence (Cibola High School Literary Magazine) Vol. 4, 1988 Pacific Perils comic strip (Co-Artist & Writer) Corrales Comment newspaper, 1994-1996 Other Works copyeditor and proofreader Haliksa'i- Student Contributions to Anthropology Vol. 8, 1992 University of New Mexico

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Mar 182017
 
My article on the scope of skepticism from Skeptical Inquirer magazine is now online: "Pseudoscience, superstition, and nonsense will always be with us in some form, wasting human resource and preying on the vulnerable. As long as there is darkness, skeptics will be there to fight for the light amid a chorus of curses."   The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer are celebrating forty years of organized modern skepticism—though of course skepticism itself has a long and honorable tradition, as practiced by Harry Houdini, Benjamin Franklin, Reginald Scot, David Hume, and others. As it happens I have been closely involved with CSICOP/CSI for half of its existence, and therefore much of my adult life (had I been told at ten what I’d be doing at forty, I’d have considered that an extraordinary claim indeed). In some ways, the decades seem to have passed in the blink of an eye, and in other ways, it has taken an eternity. I wasn’t there in the early years: the heady seventies when astrology was rampant and Uri Geller was cranking out the woo trying to stay one step ahead of James “The Amazing” Randi. My entry to skepticism came in the mid-1990s when I began writing for Skeptical Inquirer after seeing a back issue (with a cover article by Randi) debunking a certain famously ambiguous and wily French author. A few years later at conferences, I got to meet both Randi and Carl Sagan, and with the encouragement of those two pillars of skepticism and others—as well as a fortunately timed editorial vacancy at Skeptical Inquirer—I joined the organization. You can read the rest HERE.    You can find more on me and my work with a search for "Benjamin Radford" (not "Ben Radford") on Vimeo.
Oct 152016
 
Over the past month schools throughout Alabama have been threatened by several people claiming to be clowns. Responses to the threats—many of them originating (or shared) on social media—have resulted in increased police patrols and in some cases full lockdowns. Police in Flomaton Ala. investigated what were deemed credible threats to students at Flomaton High School that were shared via social media. A total of about 700 students at Flomaton High School and nearby Flomaton Elementary School were told to shelter in place while the schools, following protocol, were placed on lockdown for much of the day while dozens of police and other law enforcement officers searched the grounds for threats. The threats had originated from two Facebook accounts, "FLOMO KLOWN" and "Shoota Cllown"; the digital trail led FBI investigators to one adult and two teens. Twenty-two year old Makayla Smith of Flomaton was arrested for making a terroristic threat while posting as an evil clown and is being held on a $200,000 bond. This string of incidents may leave parents and teachers wondering if the "clown lockdown" is the new normal, and indeed a similar incident happened again in Irondale, another Alabama town. As the news website AL.com reported, "Irondale police Officer James Lewis, a school resource officer, said a student reported to police that a Facebook post hinted at the possibility of clowns showing up on campus at Shades Valley High School. Irondale police Det. Sgt. Michael Mangina said they have two school resource officers assigned to Shades Valley. In addition to those two officers, extra officers were patrolling the campus today. Mangina said they are monitoring the situation, but said they are not overly concerned. 'Part of the problem is the fact this stuff gets on social media and it explodes and it alarms people and it just spreads,'' he said. 'In today's climate, we're better safe than sorry.'" In a third Alabama school threat that week, two people dressed as clowns appeared in a Facebook video brandished a knife and ranted for several minutes about "coming for you in Troy, Alabama." Police identified the two in the video, which had been seen more than 50,000 times, as juveniles who attend Charles Henderson High School in Troy. Police did not charge the two boys because the video did not contain a specific threat to a person, building, or institution, but warned in a public statement that other potential copycats that such pranks would not be tolerated: "The Troy Police Department strongly discourages anyone from dressing as a clown or wearing a clown mask for any reason due to the sensitive and threatening environment that this type of costume is currently under." Not only have creepy clowns recently been reported in Greenville, S.C., allegedly luring children into the woods. No evidence of those clowns has emerged and they are widely considered merely rumors, but there have been a handful of people dressing as clowns and scaring people. Last month a pair of Canadian teenagers dressed as clowns were having fun in a park scaring younger kids, and in Wisconsin a clown seen at night was revealed to be part of a viral marketing campaign for a scary film. In some cases both adults and schoolchildren have admitted to making up stories of seeing threatening clowns. Any other time reports of threatening clowns would likely have been ignored or dismissed, but these copycat clown incidents come at a time when very real terroristic threats and school shootings are in the news. Parents can take comfort that no clowns are actually trying to abduct or harm kids—not a single credible report has surfaced of any child being hurt or even touched by a threatening clown in recent weeks. Still, teachers and police understandably err on the side of caution, deciding it's better to be safe than sorry. Social media plays a large role in inspiring these copycat incidents and police, who waste time and resources responding to these false reports, hope that the novelty of reporting fake clown threats wears off soon. bc-intro-3b