My new CFI blog examines some of the historical figures behind Woody Allen’s new film “Magic in the Moonlight.” You can read it HERE.
Recent videos of animals fleeing Yellowstone Park have many tourists and local residents concerned that a volcanic eruption may be imminent…. I take a closer look at the story… you can read it HERE.
Cell-phone shields may do little to protect you — and scientists say they’re unnecessary. My brief investigation into a company that took out a full page ad in the New York Times Science(!) section can be read HERE.
People who have stigmata exhibit wounds that duplicate or represent those that Jesus is said to have endured during his crucifixion. The wounds typically appear on the stigmatic’s hands and feet (as from crucifixion spikes) and also sometimes on the side (as from a spear) and hairline (as from a crown of thorns).
I researched the topic and wrote about it for LiveScience.com; you can read it HERE.
For those who didn’t see this earlier, I wrote a piece about 7 stories and myths busted in 2013… you can read it HERE.
Last month I appeared on the Edge of the Unknown Radio on the All 1 Broadcast Network, and talked about a wide variety of weird and non-weird things. It was a fun show, and you can listen to it HERE.
My Discovery News article on the top myths busted this past year is now up!
This past year was a strange one, with a variety of popular beliefs being busted. Some were welcome news: Other myths left a funk like a fart-filled balloon when they burst…. You can read it HERE.
My new article on why some people falsely claim to have been the victim of bias, discrimination, and even violent crimes…
You can read it HERE.
A mother in Utica, Ohio, has been charged with faking cancer in her 4-year-old son and profiting from the scam. Emily Creno, also known as Emily King, told friends, family and others she met via Facebook and other social media sites that her son JJ had a type of terminal brain cancer called pleuropulmonary blastoma, and would only live a year and a half longer….
You can read the rest of this weird story HERE.
My Discovery News update on the ‘Wild Boy’ who appeared in Berlin last year claiming amnesia and that he’d spent 5 years living in the woods.
It’s a weird story, and you can read it HERE.
If you haven’t seen the new issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, you’re missing out!
I have a feature article on plagiarism I found in a book about vampires from a famous publisher, and a column about whether accurate psychic information could have stopped the Boston bombings. You can find it on newsstands now, or subscribe at www.csicop.org.
I’m quoted in a new Salon.com article about the (pseudoscientific) Law of Attraction and the bestselling pap “The Secret”… You can read it HERE.
This is a story I originally covered for Discovery News from the start: The owners of a Texas ranch raided by police based on a psychic’s bogus information about a massacre have sued the psychic, winning a $6.8 million judgment. You can read the story HERE.
My piece on Discovery News about the rarity of stranger child abductions; kids are in far greater danger of being abused, abducted, or killed by their parents than any stranger. You can read it HERE.
Here’s my new Discovery News piece about an upcoming “documentary” UFO film including a dubious autopsy of a tiny alien/leprechaun body. You can read it HERE.
Real alien or real hoax? You decide!
The story that I and many other reported on about the recent news that Melba Ketchum has sequenced Bigfoot DNA keeps getting stranger. A new piece by Sharon Hill of Doubtful News notes that a sharp-eyed skeptic found that one of Ketchum’s references is actually to a well-known April Fool’s Prank! You can read it HERE.
Recently I was asked by Discovery News to explain to the public why coffee doesn’t go in your butt.
Yep, this is what my life has come to; at least I got to debunk a few urban legends. You can read it HERE.
My overview article on crop circles was recently posted at LiveScience.com! You can read it HERE.
Recently NBC News contacted me asking for my opinion on a baby-snatching eagle video that went viral.
I offered a few tips that suggested that it was a bogus video; you can read the story HERE.
Dr. Todd Disotell returns for the second time since his visit on the very first episode of MonsterTalk, discussing Bigfoot DNA, science by press release, and lots of other goodies. Check it out HERE!
You may remember I originally wrote about this:
The owners of a Texas ranch raided by police in 2011 based on false information from a psychic are now suing, along with police and several news organizations.The case began June 6, when a psychic using the name ‘Angel’ called police and described a horrific scene of mass murder: dozens of dismembered bodies near a ranch house about an hour outside of Houston, Texas.
Now the psychic has been found and is being sued; read the story HERE.
The Men in Black are said to be mysterious, dark-suited figures who contact UFO eyewitnesses and warn them not to tell anyone else about what they know. These figures typically appear in groups of three and are usually assumed to be either government agents or shape-shifting space aliens in disguise….
Read my article on the LiveScience.com site HERE!
I have recently been asked to write a series of reference articles for LiveScience.com about some of the world’s great mysteries. You can find a recent one on Atlantis.. HERE.
When a four-part crop circle pattern roughly resembling a Mickey Mouse head appeared last week in a wheat field outside of Seattle, Wash., farmers Greg and Cindy Geib were surprised — but not shocked…
You can read the full story HERE.
It was a tragic, ironic twist to an otherwise heartwarming story: A hitchhiking author working on a book about the kindness of strangers was shot by one of those strangers. Ray Dolin told police that he was shot in the arm by a stranger in a car, apparently at random, who then sped off before he could get a good look at his assailant…
But there’s more to the story; you can read it at LiveScience.com HERE.
My investigation of a mysterious video allegedly of an angel seen in an Indonesian shopping mall was carried by several news outlets last week; you can read one story HERE.
I analyzed a recent UFO video allegedly taken from a plane over South Korea. It will not surprise you that I found some flaws in it. You can read it HERE.
I will be conducting one of my Scientific Paranormal Investigations workshops for the Phoenix Area Skeptics Society on Saturday March 10, noon to 3 PM.
To register or for more information see the PASS web site HERE.
Last year I wrote several news articles about psychics’ failure to help find missing woman Holly Bobo. Now, in the same vein, there’s a new refreshingly skeptical news report about the Holly Bobo case. You can read it (and see the video) HERE.
Good job, Jennifer Kraus of Newschannel 5!
The latest episode of MonsterTalk is now out, including in-depth interviews.
Did you see that popular Internet video that allegedly showed a mammoth crossing a river in Siberia? You probably figured it was a hoax—and we did too—but we decided to get to the bottom of the matter. Join us as we discuss the methods and motives for Internet hoax videos. This episode also includes interviews with documentary film maker Ludovic Petho and Alan Melikdjanian (aka Captain Disillusion). Was there really something fishy about that video? Listen HERE to see if you can bear the truth!
My investigation / follow-up analysis of the infamous “woolly mammoth” video went out today, and was posted all over the Internet, including MSNBC, Fox News, Discovery News, and the Christian Science Monitor, who gave it a great headline, which you can read HERE.
I’m not the only one on the story, though. Lee Speigel of the Huffington Post did an excellent piece as well, focusing more on the hoax itself and the players. You should check it out, it’s HERE.
I recently completed an investigation into the Lizard Man of South Carolina, and was taped as an expert for an episode of Weird or What? with William Shatner. I’ll post more information about when the show will air once I get it.
I’m pleased to announce that my sixth book, The Martians Have Landed! A History of Media-Driven Panics and Hoaxes, is now available.
The book is co-authored with sociologist Robert Bartholomew (who also co-authored my first book back in 2003, Hoaxes Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking). Bob and I also co-authored a report on the Pokemon Panic which solved the mystery and was published in the prestigious Southern Medical Journal.
The Martians Have Landed! surveys a wide breadth of social panics and scares that were fueled by the mass media, from classics like the 1938 War of the Worlds scare by Orson Welles and the Halley’s Comet panic of 1910, to recent panics like murders following Hurricane Katrina and anti-vaccination fears. Other topics include Morgellons disease; the Ghost Slasher of Taipei; radio disc jockey hoaxes; the bird flu panic; the Bat-men on the Moon hoax; shark attack panics; urban legends; the Curse of the Crying Boy paintings; e-mail virus panics, mass hysterias, and much more. In all there are nearly 40 chapters by experts around the world. Some are hoaxes; others are merely misunderstandings that got out of control. Some are now largely forgotten, while others still have a clear effect on us today and will shape society into the future.
I contributed about half the chapters, including on phantom clowns, contrails, Satanic scares, predator panics, kidney theft, and how the Puerto Rican media fueled concern over a certain blood-sucking beast you may have heard of….
Autographed copies of the book can be purchased from me at my Web site for $36 (includes free shipping), or at your local independent bookstore, or at Amazon.com and elsewhere. The cover price is $40.
Russian researchers looking for the yeti — the Asian version of the North American Bigfoot — claim to have found “indisputable proof” of the long-sought mystery beast in Siberia. My article on this appeared recently on MSNBC, and you can read it HERE.
Last month a teenager walked into the City Hall in Berlin, Germany, and told office workers, “I’m all alone in the world, I don’t know who I am. Please help me.” Those words launched an international investigation and mystery that continues to this day….
Read the full story at Discovery News.
A man in Alberta, Canada, claims to have videotaped a Sasquatch / Bigfoot in the northern Rocky Mountains. Canadian radio personality Rob Breakenridge asked me for a skeptical analysis of the reports, and a recent photo.
You can listen to the radio show HERE.