A journalism researcher named Craig Silverman published a report on best practices for debunking online misinformation in journalism and the skeptical community: “I recently completed a fellowship with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism that saw me study how news organizations handle online rumors and unverified claims. I also examined best practices for debunking online […]
When adventurer Steve Fossett went missing Sept. 3, 2007, Web users were enlisted to help in Fossett’s rescue from the comfort of their own homes. Using a program called Mechanical Turk, high-resolution satellite imagery of the search area was collected from a company called Digital Globe. Participants were shown a single satellite image and asked to […]
In this NPR piece from a few years ago I was interviewed about the accuracy of the Farmer’s Almanac (spoiler: I’m skeptical). An interesting look at “folk” predictions can be found HERE: Ben Radford, deputy editor of the science magazineSkeptical Inquirer, says mystery is actually a big part of why Tartisel and others might perceive the almanac […]
I’m quoted in a new book on critical thinking titled “Sharp Thinking.” At least I think I am… it’s in Hebrew. Here’s the cover.
Benjamin Radford Skeptics often encounter—or are cornered by—people making all sorts of claims. Most of them, such as those tested by me, Jim Underdown of CFI-West, the JREF, and others, are sincere people. They are very rarely hoaxers or liars but instead well-intentioned people who genuinely believe they have special abilities, or have discovered some […]
Some advice from the cult British writer…
I’ll be the guest science speaker tonight at Albuquerque’s Bubonicon science fiction/fantasy conference, speaking about solving the chupacabra mystery and its connection to sci-fi movies. Check it out HERE!
It occurred to me the other night that if psychics were real and their powers proven, there would no need to torture anyone, since whatever information the torturer wants to know could be easily obtained by asking a psychic…
I’m finishing an interesting article on the pseudohistories of the chupacabra: The Hispanic vampire turns 20 this month and was created in large part by the 1995 film “Species.” However those who believe the monster exists have offered a wide variety of completely fictional “true” histories of the chupacabra… Look for it in an upcoming issue […]
In this NPR piece from a few years ago I was interviewed about the accuracy of the Farmer’s Almanac (spoiler: I’m skeptical). An interesting look at “folk” predictions can be found HERE: Ben Radford, deputy editor of the science magazineSkeptical Inquirer, says mystery is actually a big part of why Tartisel and others might perceive the […]
I did a two-hour interview on the “Geeks & Ghosts” show about skepticism, ghost investigations, the odd things I collect, and much more. If you’re interested, check it out, it’s HERE!
A creepy clown was sighted recently in a Chicago cemetery late at night… My look at weird clown reports can be found HERE.
Recently a supposed British ghost photo went viral on news and social media (including “Good Morning America”). I investigated the case and believe I solved this mystery… you can read about it HERE.
I was recently a guest on the badass show 16Miles2Hell, talking about skepticism and investigations. You can hear the show HERE.
My new CFI blog is a review of a book on New Mexico mysteries. I tried to be kind… You can find it HERE.
Police in Florida suggest that a triple murder in Pensacola late last month is connected to witches, Wiccans, and/or Satanists. My new article on why that’s almost certainly false, with a discussion of previous crimes police wrongly attributed to Satanists or witches, is HERE.
A Chinese zoo is monitoring some of their animals to see if they can predict earthquakes; the premise has some possible merit, but they need a refresher on research methodology… My analysis is HERE.
My recent Discovery News article examines the history of anti-vaccination campaigns and explains some reasons why they’re still with us, and probably always will be; you can find it HERE.
I was recently interviewed on the subject of spontaneous human combustion; I wrote a good and fairly concise analysis on the topic for LiveScience.com, you can find it HERE.
When James Holmes shot and killed dozens at a Colorado movie theater in 2012, many people claimed he was inspired by a Batman villain. I was skeptical at the time, and as far as I know I’m the only journalist who closely examined the news media’s claims about it. His fate is now in a […]
A new study finds that self-described vampires are, not surprisingly, reluctant to disclose their sanguine ways to mental health professionals. My closer look at people who claim to be (and sometimes believe themselves to be) real-life vampires can be found HERE.
Amid a spate of six church fires in the South, people are concerned that the high racial tensions have played a role. While many people suspect that the fires were racially motivated–especially in light of the recent shooting spree at an African-American church in Charleston–officials have said that so far that have no evidence or reason […]
I was recently a guest on the ParaTruth Radio show discussing several of my investigations including my chupacabra research… you can find it HERE.
My article on eyewitness misidentifications and the police search for two escaped escaped prisoners lats month can be found HERE. Both men were later captured (one dead, one alive) but the search was fraught with false reports and sightings….
An audio recording of me reading the first chapter from my book “Tracking the Chupacabra” is available for free on my web site HERE. Did they edit out my profanity and overheated Shatner-esque delivery? Find out!
A mysterious face seen in rocks on a small Canadian island: Unlike the infamous “Face on Mars” it might be carved, or it might be a product of human psychology, either way you could call it “man-made”… you can read my analysis HERE.
“Fat denial” by parents (and sometimes by kids themselves) is a significant contributor to the prevalence of childhood obesity. A lot of parents don’t (or refuse to) recognize that their kids are overweight, and in fact many adults underestimate their own weight; my recent article on Discovery News is HERE…
My new article on KFC urban legends, and how a piece of chicken can look like a fried rat, is up at Discovery News, you can read it HERE. It’s an interesting blend of psychology, folklore, and culture…
Several foot-long lampreys have apparently fallen out the sky recently in Fairbanks, Alaska. They’ve been found in a shopping center parking lot and on lawns, and residents are unnerved by the creepy, toothed eel-like fish. You can read my analysis about it HERE.
Mysterious clumps of worms appeared along the center lines on a Texas highway a few weeks ago… Officials were stumped, but Sharon Hill and I offer some skeptical analysis. Check it out, you can find it HERE.
I was a guest on the “After Dark Radio Show” recently, talking about everything from ghost hunting pseudoscience to the 1967 Patterson Bigfoot film to the nature of skepticism. Check it out, you can read it HERE.
Governments spying on citizens has been a perpetual boogeyman for many Americans, and the topic is in the news once again. In my new blog on the subject of privacy I discuss the medieval Peeping Tom demon Asmodeus and some myths about the seemingly sacred principle of individual privacy. I argue that personal privacy is […]
Earlier this month an infographic circulated on social media comparing the number of people killed by different animals. By far the highest of the group was mosquitoes, and that’s not only misleading, it’s simply wrong. I’ve traveled extensively in South America and Africa and am very aware of the dangers of malaria and the need […]
I’ve dealt with TV producers for many years, and a lot of the conversations go something like THIS….
Arguments in a sensational murder trial wrapped up recently in a New York City courtroom. The victim was 6-year-old Etan Patz, whose 1979 disappearance shocked and riveted the city. A man named Pedro Hernandez is on trial for Patz’s murder, but the prosecution has a problem: The boy’s body was never found and there is […]
My new article on the link between oxygen deprivation and near-death experiences is now up at Discovery News, you can read it HERE!
My new CFI blog, an interview with Mike Celestino about edgy comedy, pop culture skepticism, and his planned new documentary “The Scully,” can be read HERE!
My research and investigation into the famous “White Witch of Rose Hall” in Montego Bay, Jamaica (the topic of chapter 12 in my book Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries) appears on the April 25 season premiere of the Travel Channel TV show “The Dead Files.” Check your local listings, and you can […]