15 Credibility Street #24: Feeling out of this world

This shorter episode is heavy on the theme of “people really believe this stuff” and why that’s not something to scoff at.

I (Sharon) am off to attend a cryptozoology event this weekend that might prove to be a bit weird. I also express some thoughts about the years worth of content on Doubtful News and what purpose it serves. A reader of the site writes in to tell me how the site played a role in discovering that other people doubt too, and that’s OK. In fact, it’s NECESSARY.

There are more updates to the sensational tabloid story of the Peruvian “alien” mummy. Additional tales are being spun by the proponents as no reputable findings have been provided. Their credibility just stinks. Meanwhile, scientists that aren’t wrapped up in extraterrestrial fantasy have looked at the x-rays of the hand and found it to be a “chop job”. Yet, some seemingly reasonable people find these outrageous claims compelling and are eager to tell the world.

The latest “mummy” is a baby. Still no credentialed scientists involved.

In the mailbag is a response to a story about alien abduction from 2014 that is still relevant today. I contact an “anomalous psychologist” to get advice about how to respond to someone who just wants his scary situation to end.

Coming up soon is a gathering of UFO believers at an iconic American landmark – Devil’s Tower. The site featured prominently in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind which is having its 40th anniversary of release this year. You may have seen special showings back in theaters this week. Devil’s Tower is clearly a place of “spooky geology” so I have written up a post on the native legend, the real geology, and the gathering interest as a UFO hotspot. I also give a preview of another perfectly spooky geology topic I’m currently working on that will be suggested as an alien refueling station on a popular paranormal TV show next month.

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