Jun 262017
 

The new episode of Squaring the Strange, in which special guest Celestia N. Ward joins Pascual and I to talk about gambling superstitions, is out! Now in English, for your enhanced listening pleasure! You can hear it HERE, or you can here it HEAR.

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You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo, and please check out my podcast Squaring the Strange! 

Jun 242017
 

I was recently interviewed for the website ParanormalBucket, talking about skepticism, how it’s different from debunking, approaching investigations, and some of my favorite cases!

Here’s the first question and answer:

Riley Mitchell: You have described yourself as a “science-based” paranormal investigator. Would you explain a bit about what that designation means in practice and how you go about your work?

Ben Radford: I use “science-based” to contrast with other types of investigation, most of which are subjective. 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. So science is very useful in offering objective analysis. 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 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 investigate unexplained mysteries, but you do need to understand the principles involved.

Science has proven itself incredibly successful in explaining and finding out about the world. If we wish to know why a certain disease strikes one person and not another, we turn to medicine instead of a witch doctor. If we wish to know how to build a bridge that can span a river, we turn to physics instead of psychics. Paranormal or “unexplained” topics are testable by science: either a psychic’s prediction comes true or it doesn’t; either ghosts exist in the real world or they don’t.

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo, and please check out my podcast Squaring the Strange! 

Jun 132017
 

I was recently interviewed for Voice of Islam’s Drivetime radio show, discussing Orwell’s book 1984 and its relevance to 2017. The topics ranged from Big Brother mass surveillance, concerns about public privacy, and the use of doublespeak in politics (including under the current U.S. president). You can hear the interview HERE. 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo, and please check out my podcast Squaring the Strange! 

Jun 022017
 

For those who missed it and are interested in spending an entertaining and informative–or at least minimally objectionable–75 minutes, may I suggest the most recent episode of The Folklore Podcast, in which we discuss folklore of the chupacabra…

Tracking the Chupacabra cover JPG

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo, and please check out my podcast Squaring the Strange! 

May 312017
 

In the recent episode of Squaring the Strange we examine a variety of things including the reputed demise of the MP3 format, the outcome of the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, and we take a close look at the principle of corroboration in determining truth. Check it out!

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You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo, and please check out my podcast Squaring the Strange! 

May 282017
 

I was recently interviewed about George Orwell’s book 1984 and its relevance to today’s world, including concerns over Big Brother, privacy, and “doublespeak.” You can hear the show at this link (my segment starts around the 9 minute mark), and we will also be touching on this topic in a future episode of Squaring the Strange, so be sure to listen!

 

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May 262017
 

Soon after my recent appearance discussing folklore of the chupacabra (the topic of my book Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore), I got the following e-mail from a listener named James:

“I thought your appearance on The Folklore Podcast was very interesting and informative. It inspired me to search about chupacabras. One thing I came up with was about ‘Goat suckers’ and chotacabras. Too bad that I only have the 1997 version of the 1985 book The Jealous Potter by Claude Lévi-Strauss, but it sounds like there were a lot of myths/folklore about goat suckers in the folklore. Is there a reason you did not reference this in your book?”

I replied, “Thanks for reaching out to me, it’s good to hear from you. I’m glad you liked the Folklore Podcast interview, it was fun! Your question is a good one. I actually do briefly discuss the goatsucker bird in the first chapter of my book Tracking the Chupacabra (see page 4).

 

Tracking the Chupacabra cover JPG

The chupacabra monster is very specifically a vampire: it sucks blood from its victims. The “goat sucker” bird that shares its name instead sucks milk from goats, which is a very different theme (there are few if any reports of surviving chupacabra victims, as the monster’s actions are said to be lethal). Also the word chupacabra (as specifically describing the subject of my book) was, from all indications, coined in 1995 and referred specifically to rumors of goats being killed and drained of blood in rural Puerto Rico, not to the milk-drinking whippoorwill bird.

The main reason I didn’t go into much discussion about it is that as Levi-Strauss notes, stories about the bird are very diverse and difficult to classify (involving deities, marital jealousy, etc.). Other than one passing reference to a Tunuka Indian myth, there’s little or no vampiric aspect to it. As far as I know that’s the only reference to such blood sucking in The Jealous Potter, and in the quoted passage the attack is done by ghosts (souls of the dead), not the flesh-and-blood animal said to live on the island. Ghost folklore is interesting but not really relevant to the chupacabra I researched.

The coining of the word is, from my research, almost certainly a coincidence (chupacabra is an obvious coinage to describe anything said to prey on goats, regardless of its origin or nature). I suppose I could have added a few more sentences about the goat milk-drinking bird myths but since it wasn’t directly relevant to the chupacabra I was writing about (a supposedly real terrifying blood-sucking monster), I didn’t want to take the reader too far off track. I hope that answers your question, and I appreciate The Jealous Potter reference, which I missed!”

May 142017
 

Hey folks! The new episode of Squaring the Strange podcast is now out, and in it you can hear Pascual Romero and I in Part 2 of the series on Jamaican ghosts and folklore (this carving below is of a Jamaican “duppy”). Listen here! https://squaringthestrange.wordpress.com/

 

Moon duppy

 

 

You can find more on me and my work with a search for “Benjamin Radford” (not “Ben Radford”) on Vimeo, and please check out my podcast Squaring the Strange! 

May 052017
 

Hey folks! After co-founding and co-hosting the Parsec-winning “MonsterTalk” podcast, I’m returning with co-host Pascual Romero for “Squaring the Strange.” The show brings evidence-based analysis and commentary to a wide variety of topics, ranging from the paranormal to the political, the mysterious to the mundane. Our first month of shows is now out, please give it a listen!

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Apr 302017
 

I recently recorded an in-studio segment with Shabam!, a new science podcast for kids. My role: explaining skepticism, and how to think critically and evaluate claims:

Shabam! is a new type of science show that blends fictional stories with real science. If you love science but hate those awkward scientist interviews that involve graphs and confusing metaphors, you’re in luck. First off, Shabam! is an audio program – so no graphs. And second, through the magic of sound effects and music, you’ll hear stories that reveal the awesomeness in the world around us – like cellphones and vaccinations.

In season one, our main story is about three kids separated from their parents during a Zombie apocalypse. Over the course of 10 episodes we follow their quest to reunite with their families. But their experience leads us to another conclusion – that there’s a lot of science all around us that we take for granted.

And finally, you may be wondering whether we’ve added silly songs and jokes to make up for the fact that we can’t show you graphs. Yes we have. Also, we only interview cool scientists who aren’t awkward, which means the whole family can enjoy it!

 

I’ll let you know when it’s out!

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

Apr 272017
 

A new podcast cohosted by Pascual Romero and myself, Squaring the Strange brings evidence-based analysis and commentary to a wide variety of topics, ranging from the paranormal to the political, the mysterious to the mundane.

 

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Investigating ghosts.

Debunking conspiracies.

Tracking chupacabras.

Calling shenanigans where appropriate….

 

If a claim seems strange, we will try to square it with the facts. Not just another “skeptical” podcast talking about current events, Squaring the Strange goes deeper. It’s a show about critical thinking and evidence-based analysis, using science and logic to examine the world around us. Listeners will learn about psychology, myths, hoaxes, folklore, science, and all the things that add up to strange experiences—both real and unreal.

The show is produced by Pascual Romero, with Celestia Ward as content producer and featuring me as understudy to the assistant co-associate content producer.

You can listen to Squaring the Strange on iTunes and find us on Facebook, Twitter (at @SquaringStrange), and elsewhere on social media. The program is 100% volunteer; if you’d like to help support Squaring the Strange, please consider contributing to our Patreon account or leave us a review!

 

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

Nov 122016
 

I was recently on the Project: Archivist show, it’s always great to talk to those guys.

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Here’s what they said about it:

“Ben Radford returns this week to talk about his new book “Bad Clowns” those malicious misfits of the midway who terrorize, haunt, and threaten us. We talk about Dip Clowns, Clown Porn, Native American Clowns, Crotchy the masturbating clown and the great clown panic of 2016.” You can listen HERE! 

 

 

Oct 292016
 

Did you listen to my interview with Vito D’Amico on the Wrecking Crew Comedy podcast, Halloween edition? No? Well here’s your chance! We talk about TV ghost hunters, pseudoscience, a man who asked me to remove a ghost from his neck, and much more. Check it out HERE! 

 

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

Sep 252016
 

I was recently interviewed by Anton Hill of the YouTube gaming chat show … We talk about lots of things, including my board game Playing Gods… You can listen 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.

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.

Apr 252016
 

I was recently a guest on the Atheist Nomads show, episode 141, in which I discussed lots of things, from my chupacabra research to Mormons to Scientology. You can listen HERE.

 

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

Apr 152016
 

I was recently a guest on The Wrecking Crew Comedy podcast, talking about investigation, bad clowns, and weird random stuff. Check it out HERE!

 

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

Mar 232016
 

I will be a guest on ‘The Wrecking Crew Comedy Podcast’ on March 24; you can check it out HERE.  Should be a fun time with those guys!

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

Mar 092016
 

I’m interviewed on the new episode of the 16Miles2Hell show, talking about my new book Bad Clowns, as well as my ill-fated attempt to find a sculpture of a giant squid at Memorial University in Newfoundland… check it out HERE!

 

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

Mar 032016
 

I was recently a guest on Strange Frequencies Radio, discussing my new book Bad Clowns! Check it out, you can listen to it HERE. 

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

Feb 222016
 

I was recently a guest on the great Skepticality show!

“This episode Derek chats with Ben Radford, a Skepticality past guest, author, and investigator. Ben has just released his latest book, ‘Bad Clowns’. Clowns might not be your usual idea for a skeptical topic, but Ben thinks you might just change your mind once you delve into the history and stories in his new work. So, turn off the lights, snuggle your favorite creepy clown and join in for some Bad Clown fun.” You can listen HERE. 

 

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

Feb 202016
 

Almost exactly a year ago I was interviewed on “The Humanist Hour” podcast about my research and investigations. In case you’re interested and you missed it, HERE it is!

 

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

Feb 152016
 

A while ago I recorded a few short (90-second) segments for an NPR station on the chemtrail conspiracy. Four of them are now on YouTube; you can see them HERE. 

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

Apr 202013
 

 

I was recently a guest on The Big Mad Morning Show on Tulsa’s 97.5 rock station KMOD, talking about the Loch Ness Monster and some of my other lake monster investigations. It’s about 15 minutes long. You can listen to the whole interview here (mp3).

 

 

Oct 232012
 

I was recently interviewed by the guys on the Project:Archivist podcast, discussing sex demons in world folklore.

You can hear the interview HERE. 

May 082012
 

I was recently a guest on Discovery Channel Radio’s Friday News Feedbag.

Had a great time talking with the hosts about bringing science and skepticism to the public—along with some chatting about Bigfoot, ghosts, and chupacabras, of course! You can listen HERE.

 

 

Feb 152012
 

In another recent cryptozoology story follow-up, I added more to my earlier report of a supposed river monster in Iceland. I dug up some new information, including a great analysis from a Monster Talk podcast listener, and gave my take on what it really was. You can read it HERE. 

Feb 012012
 

In the latest episode of MonsterTalk, Blake Smith and I interview witch Emily Carlin about her book Defense Against the Dark, on how to protect yourself from evil spirits. It’s an interesting and respectful skeptic-versus-believer discussion; you can listen to it HERE.