Jul 282016
 

My new article on a viral ghost photo claimed to show an accident victim’s soul leaving his body is now out:

A photo taken at the scene of a fatal motorcycle crash in Kentucky has gone viral, with many claiming they can see the accident victim’s spirit leaving his body. The image, showing what seems to be a gray or white vertical form in the air above two ambulances, was photographed and shared on social media by Kentucky resident Saul Vazquez….

You can read the whole piece HERE. 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jul 252016
 

About three or four times each year I get an e-mail (or, more rarely, a phone call or handwritten letter in block writing) from someone who wants me to read and carefully evaluate their amazing manifesto, usually involving some quasi-mystical “scientific” theory they’ve been working on for years (or decades). They are usually sincere, self-taught laypeople with no real academic education who are sure they’ve figured out universal truths that mainstream scientists are too blind to see, and say that the nuances of their genius can only be revealed by reading 300+ pages of their explanations and diagrams. I usually ignore them but I recently skimmed one and replied…

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You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jul 232016
 

My mystery-solving investigation skills were praised a recent issue of “The New York Times Magazine,” which notes that I “thoroughly debunked” a famous eyewitness encounter with a monstrous Lizard Man. To the best of my knowledge–and despite many articles and even a whole book on the creature–I’m the first person to have debunked that sighting.

An excerpt:

But when it investigates the paranormal, Fortean Times brings painstaking research and analysis to bear on topics that most sensible observers would dismiss immediately. Consider our mutual friend the Lizard Man. The November cover story traced the South Carolina legend’s roots to a 1988 sighting by a Lee County teenager. This young man claimed that he stopped on his way home from work to change a flat tire when he spotted the seven-­foot-tall creature, which jumped atop his car, curling its long green fingers around the roof. Later, deep scratches were found in the paint. It’s a silver-­screen-­ready scene, recounted in seductive detail. But just when you’ve been sold on the legend, the pendulum swings back to skepticism. Yes, it’s cinematic — “suspiciously cinematic,” the writer Benjamin Radford warns, while thoroughly debunking the story. And I mean thoroughly: “Any bipedal creature running and jumping on the roof of a car would land with its head, hands and fingers toward the front of the car and its windscreen,” Radford noted. But “somehow this acrobatic Lizard Man ended up with its fingers on the rear windshield.” Yeah, right.

You can read the piece HERE.

FT blurb

 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jul 212016
 

With all the recent discussion of shootings and how the news media have covered it, I thought I’d revisit a blog I wrote in 2014 about how people often misuse (and misunderstand) the phrase “the media.”

As a longtime media and science literacy educator (as well as author of Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us), I regularly see “the media” blamed (and rarely praised) for any number of ills, some justified but many not. The phrase “the media” appears regularly and continually in public discourse-often as the subject of blame or derision: “the media” is said to incite violence, to inflame racial hatred, to manipulate consumers through advertising, and so on. “The media” is said to push an impossible beauty ideal on American women leading to an epidemic of eating disorders; violence in entertainment media such as video games is blamed for real-life violence, and so on. This is nothing new; blaming “the media” is an old tradition-in fact when Jack the Ripper was active in 1880s London, violence in the play “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” was blamed for inspiring the serial murders.

You can read my CFI blog HERE.

Jul 182016
 

I’m mentioned, flatteringly, in a recent “New York Times Magazine” for an investigation and article I wrote. You can read it HERE.

“But when it investigates the paranormal, Fortean Times brings painstaking research and analysis to bear on topics that most sensible observers would dismiss immediately. Consider our mutual friend the Lizard Man. The November cover story traced the South Carolina legend’s roots to a 1988 sighting by a Lee County teenager. This young man claimed that he stopped on his way home from work to change a flat tire when he spotted the seven-­foot-tall creature, which jumped atop his car, curling its long green fingers around the roof. Later, deep scratches were found in the paint. It’s a silver-­screen-­ready scene, recounted in seductive detail. But just when you’ve been sold on the legend, the pendulum swings back to skepticism. Yes, it’s cinematic — “suspiciously cinematic,” the writer Benjamin Radford warns, while thoroughly debunking the story. And I mean thoroughly: “Any bipedal creature running and jumping on the roof of a car would land with its head, hands and fingers toward the front of the car and its windscreen,” Radford noted. But “somehow this acrobatic Lizard Man ended up with its fingers on the rear windshield.” Yeah, right.”

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jul 122016
 

Looks like my new book “Bad Clowns” even made it to the Wikipedia page on clowns. Very cool! If you haven’t read it yet, there’s still a few copies left at your local independent bookstore, or at Amazon.com!

 

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You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jul 102016
 

The idea that people can levitate under certain circumstances has been discussed for centuries despite a noticeable lack of people flying around. I interviewed Michael Grosso, the author of a new book on the topic, for my new blog… Check it out HERE!

 

I was recently sent a review copy of a new book titled The Man Who Could Fly: St. Joseph of Copertino and the Mystery of Levitation. The accompanying press release included the following summary: “St. Joseph of Copertino [1603-1663] began having mystical visions at the age of seven, but it was not until he began practicing his faith as a Franciscan priest that he realized the full potential of his mind’s power over his body-he was able to levitate. Throughout his priesthood St. Joseph became famous for frequent levitations that were observed on hundreds of occasions and by thousands of witnesses, including many skeptics. Michael Grosso delves into the biography of the saint to explore the many strange phenomena that surrounded his life and develops potential physical explanations for some of the most astounding manifestations of his religious ecstasy. Grosso draws upon contemporary explorations into cognition, the relationship between the human mind and body, and the scientifically recorded effects of meditation and other transcendent practices to reveal the implications of St. Joseph’s experiences and abilities.”…

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jul 052016
 

In the current issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine I have a column about investigating claims of egg balancing in the Ecuadorean jungle at the equator! Check it out on finer newsstands now!

 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jul 032016
 

Here’s an insightful piece by Sharon Hill from 2014 about attending a paranormal-themed conference; it mirrors my own experiences in many ways. You can read it HERE.

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 302016
 

Last month a group of witches claims to have cast a curse on the man whose light sentence for sexual assault has outraged many in social media. I’m quoted briefly giving my two cents in the HuffPo article HERE. 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 282016
 

It turns out that the widely-shared claims that gays couldn’t donate badly-needed blood for victims of the Orlando shootings was wrong, on at least two key points. Rumors and misinformation always circulate soon after tragedies, and it’s unfortunate. People need accurate, reliable information. You can read my article HERE.

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 252016
 

According to Google’s Scholar Alert (or in my case “Scholar” alert), my work is referenced in the new book “Policing and Social Media: Social Control in an Era of New Media.” Looks like a pricey textbook, but maybe I’ll see it some time…

new book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 232016
 

A standup comic doing explicitly skeptical material on a regular basis as part of his act is unusual– and I interviewed him about his career. You can read it HERE. 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 212016
 

The new horror film The Conjuring 2 is, like its predecessor, supposedly based on the “true case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren,” a real-life married pair of self-styled demonologists involved (however peripherally) in several high-profile haunted house reports, mostly in the 1970s and 1980s. It reunites writer/director James Wan with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, reprising their roles as Ed and Lorraine Warren, respectively.

The first Conjuring film was set at a rural Rhode Island farmhouse in 1971, but this new film begins with a wholly unrelated–and far more famous–case, that of murderer Butch DeFeo who killed his family in their Amityville, New York, home. The killings really happened, and DeFeo’s defense lawyer famously tried to claim that DeFeo should be found not guilty because ghosts made him do it. The jury saw right through this flimsiest of Devil-made-me-do-it defenses but the Warrens did not, taking Butch DeFeo at his word that some unseen evil lurked in the house and compelled him to kill. The heavily fictionalized story was later made into a novel by Jay Anson and spawned a popular horror film franchise…. You can read the rest at my CFI blog HERE. 

 

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You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 152016
 

From Steve Terrell at The Santa Fe New Mexican:

He’s written factual studies about the mythical chupacabra, about spooky New Mexico folklore like the tales of La Llorona, of monsters who live in lakes. But in his latest book, New Mexico author Benjamin Radford turns his attention to a subject that for some people is much scarier than any of those legendary creatures.

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.

Jun 122016
 

For those who didn’t see it last month, I’m quoted in a news article explaining a new viral “ghost photo,” supposedly of Queen Isabella in a castle… You can read it HERE.

 

Ghost hunters at a 12th-century English castle snapped a photo of a milky white image of a woman in a dress and, a year later, it’s scaring up a lot of interest in British tabloids….

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 102016
 

A few years ago when I was speaking at a Bigfoot conference in Idaho, I took a few of my books to sell. This is Cassie, who asked me to tell her about some monsters. She begged her parents for $10 to add to her allowance and bought my Lake Monster book. She was so excited and said it was the first book she’d ever had autographed to her. She asked how she could look for monsters and I told her to stay in school and go into science. Hopefully 15 years from now she’ll track me down and tell me she’s a molecular biologist!

 

Cassie and my book!

Cassie and my book!

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 082016
 

I recently appeared on 2 KASA Style and had a short but fun interview talking about my new book “Bad Clowns.” You can watch it HERE!

ALBUQUERQUE (KASA) – ‘Bad Clowns’, the phrase alone sends shivers down many people’s spines. Those malicious misfits of the midway who terrorize, haunt, and threaten us have been a cultural icon. But why are we so fascinated and terrified by them? We are making an attempt at answering that question by talking with authorBenjamin Radford to discuss his book “Bad Clowns”.

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Jun 022016
 

There’s a new media-hyped moral panic about clandestine “Sex Roulette” parties. A bizarre sex game with a sinister twist has intrigued the tabloid press, but, on closer investigation, many of the “facts” simply don’t add up.

My closer look is HERE.

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 312016
 

This past Friday the 13th, and I was once again interviewed on the subject of superstitions, magical thinking, and luck lore. I appeared on 770 AM in Calgary on the Rob Breakenridge show. You can listen at the link HERE, where I discuss the psychological value of superstitions, why they can actually help athletes in some circumstances, origins, and much more! My segment lasts about 13 minutes, and begins about 13 minutes in… Coincidence?

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 302016
 

Last week I spoke to a TV producer who pitched a series to me but said he was getting some resistance from the networks because I seemed to pretty much solve all the cases I investigate, and the suits are worried that audiences won’t watch if I’m finding solutions to mysteries. He said, “I hope that if we can’t get you a show it’s not because you’re too good at what you do.” I wrote about a similar situation in a 2012 blog… you can read it HERE

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 282016
 

Student feedback from a recent guest lecture I did for a course on skepticism and critical thinking: the fact that I didn’t discuss my research into the mysterious Pokemon Panic of 1997 is “unfortunate given the extraordinary nerdiness of the audience.”

 

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You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 252016
 

My new blog about Amy Schumer blaming herself for a shooting at her film “Trainwreck.” By applying skepticism to news media claims we can see that she’s blaming herself needlessly, and that there’s no clear connection between the content of a film and violence that occurs there… You can read it HERE. 

 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 202016
 

I’m quoted in a recent Spanish-language article for “Clarin” on the search for monsters… you can read it HERE (as long as you understand Spanish).

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 182016
 

A decade after meeting sex education activist (and documentary subject) Shelby Knox I interviewed her about her life since the film, feminism, and activism. My new CFI blog is out, you can read it HERE. 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 152016
 

Horror photographer Joshua Hoffine, whose creepy and gothic photos were used on the covers of my last two books “Mysterious New Mexico” and “Bad Clowns,” has a Kickstarter campaign to fund his first-ever career retrospective of photos. Check it out HERE!

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 122016
 

My recent article on the dangers of legend-tripping. It’s long been a Wild West amateur hour of people looking for monsters and ghosts, and it can have consequences… you can read it HERE.

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 082016
 

For those of you who contacted me in tears because you missed my recent brilliant 15-minute interview with Paul Harris on 550 KTRS AM in St. Louis talking about my new book “Bad Clowns,” I have good news for you. It’s available HERE.

Enjoy!

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 042016
 

In my recent CFI blog I examined studies on media representation, especially of minorities. Two recent reports have helped describe and quantify the issue, one from GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), and the other from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The reports (Where We Are on TV and Inclusion or Invisibility? Comprehensive Annenberg Report on Diversity in Entertainment, respectively) are the results of painstaking tabulation and analysis. Like any measure they are not perfect, but they do provide insight into media representation trends. As a longtime researcher on the media (and author of Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us), I was interested to review the findings, specifically focusing on the status of sexual and racial minorities depicted onscreen.

The results were interesting and surprising; you can read it HERE. 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

May 022016
 

I recently got an e-mail from a person who read an article I wrote about crop circles and asked if I though they might be caused by vibrational frequencies such as those seen in a Youtube video. You can read my reply HERE.

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.

Apr 282016
 

I am quoted in a chapter on werewolves in a new book about horror writing and Stephen King! I haven’t seen it yet, but that’s what The Google is telling me! I’ll have to check it out soon!

 

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You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo.