Nazca “alien mummy” revealed in promotional video featuring serial hoaxer

You know, our catchphrase used to be “people really believe this stuff” and I’m always amazed at how many times one individual can be caught promoting outrageous hoaxes and still keep on doing it with many falling his absurd claims over and over again. They so wish to believe that there was alien (non-human) influence…

15 Credibility Street #19: Leaping to doubtful conclusions

News items: A news blast from the paleo world made top science headlines this week saying the great and powerful T. Rex is unfeathered. Read the study that caused the news headlines and controversy. Washington Post piece Fantastic feathers Some paleobiologists said “told ya”! Others not so much. Check out this video by Trey the…

Poestenkill big cat story is irresponsible reporting

Another typical story from local news where a resident is reporting a strange animal and the reporter dramatically jumps on the story, taking the assumption of the witness as the headline. In all probability, it’s just a dog!  UPDATE: Wildlife officials did what they were supposed to do and tested for size. They determined it…

15 Credibility Street #18: Crystal clear consideration of claims

News items: Crystal healing at Edith Cowan Uni in Australia. Kudos to the Australian Skeptics to making their views crystal clear on these bogus claims about healing properties of rocks. Electrosensitivity UK makes doubtful claims. Electrosensitivity UK is a nonprofit organization that placed advertisements in public places around London claiming “More and more research is starting…

Gender studies journal hoax reveals you can publish utter nonsense (Updated)

A pair of skeptical scholars pulled off a hoax publication (in, dare I say it, a “dick” move) to expose problems with the field of gender studies and, ultimately, the peer review and publishing process for scholarly journals. Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay wrote “3,000 words of utter nonsense posing as academic scholarship” and had…

MUFON under fire for PA director’s absurd racist rant (UPDATE: Ventre removed)

See June 04, 2017 update below The Mutual UFO network headquarters issued a “non-pology” saying they can’t police people’s personal views after PA Director, John Ventre, posted a racist rant on his personal Facebook page about a Netflix series. Note the five “likes” on this post. UFOlogy is dominated by conspiracy ideas and run almost…

Oroville fish fall remains a mystery

A new and interesting “fish fall” report comes out of Oroville, California this week. News stories conflict about what actually happened but here is the best report from a local news team. According to witnesses at the Stanford Avenue Elementary school in Oroville, just before noon, teachers and children noticed the playground area was strewn with…

No rocks for you!

A young earth Creationist, Dr. Andrew Snelling, is suing the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, in a civil rights action, stating that he was unlawfully restricted from doing geological work in the Grand Canyon national park because of religious discrimination. According to the claim, Snelling, from Australia, has authority to be in the…

Money monster of Loch Ness must be fed (Update: Hoax)

UPDATE It looks for all intents and purposes that this was a deliberate hoax. Someone has manufactured a fake Nessie “head”. Dick Raynor appears to have found what was left. Earlier this month a video was published showing Nessie swimming towards the south shore of Urquhart Bay. Monster huggers continue to speculate as to its biological…

15 Credibility Street #15: Bombs

Welcome to a satisfyingly synchronous episode of our podcast. One of us had cake. Then we got into the news of the week. Professor Sasquatch of Centralia Community College just gets weirder. The PR hazards of forcibly re-accommodating a passenger were not good but the rumor chaos that followed was bad for the poor passenger involved. Scorpions on…

Continuing miseducation on Bigfoot

Community and small local colleges typically provide non-credit continuing education courses for the locals at low cost. As I’ve written about previously, it’s often art or history classes, computer training, those sorts of things. But also frequently offered are “classes” on paranormal nonsense like “How to develop your psychic powers,” “Ghost Hunting 101,” and “Tarot Reading”.…

United we fall: Dr. Dao and unsubstantiated “facts”

Here’s the thing. The Internet is a gigantic flood of information with outlets and individuals vying for your attention to click on their sites over others. Those “interesting” stories, true or not, get shared, propagating some real wing-ding falsehoods. Wednesday (yesterday), when social media outrage over the United Airlines “re-accommodation” situation was going full bore,…