idoubtit

Editor and owner of Doubtful News. Writer, specializing in science and society, science policy and education.

The Strange remains the same for 1 October 2014

gluten free wafers

Antivaccine cranks try to create Vaccine Injury Awareness Month. Everyone either yawns or laughs. – Respectful Insolence. ‘Drunk’ Moose Terrorizing Sweden Probably Not Even Drunk: Scientist. Wildlife Extra News – Tigers recorded in Thailand’s Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time Firemen give pet hamsters oxygen | Orange UK. ‘Warlock’ trial begins – Bluefield Daily…

Law clinic investigates 27-year old “Satanic Panic” child abuse conviction

satanic panic

The Duke Law Wrongful Convictions Clinic takes on a doubtful case of Satanic ritual abuse that landed a man in jail for 27 years. Duke law clinic to review 1987 conviction. Duke law professor Theresa Newman has three boxes full of files about Andrew Chandler Jr.’s case: details about the bizarre allegations, the expert testimony…

Pseudoscientific technology for Australian rugby team

Photo credit: Jeremy Piper

This piece that appeared in the Australian media is full of errors, false assumptions and credulity. Just awful! A National rugby team is using controversial new technology to up their game. Or not. Revealed: Sports science secrets of the South Sydney Rabbitohs as they head into grand final. THIS is the top-secret sports science technology…

Black eyed kids of Cannock Chase is a spooky myth

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The Birmingham Mail cites a 2013 unconfirmed story to scare people. Spooky but very contrived – a modern urban legend with no sound evidence that the events related even occurred. Black Eyed Child returns to haunt Cannock Chase. A leading paranormal investigator has scoured a Staffordshire beauty spot following chilling sightings of a spectre known locally…

Remains of the weekend 27-28 September 2014

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Paranormal expert ‘open minded’ as to whether ghosts exist | Derby Telegraph. Helen Trengove drank five litres of water as part of a health kick, nearly killing herself | Gold Coast Bulletin. Windsor man charged with hiding 51 turtles on body in bizarre smuggling case – Windsor – CBC News. Richard Wiseman and Simon Singh:…

Hungarian ‘miracle healer’ makes appearance in Australia

magyari

In typical, theatrical faith-healing fashion, a brazen preacher conducts events in Australia. Hopeful attend Hungarian ‘miracle healer’ at Bentleigh tabernacle | Herald Sun. “CANCER, AIDS, HIV? No, problem, Jesus will heal you.” That was the bold assertion made by the self-proclaimed “miracle healer” Laszlo Magyari last Friday night at God’s Glory Tabernacle in Bentleigh. Magyari…

Ghost-like little girl with deer – some fake, some real

standing deer

Most photos of little girls or other figures captured on trail camera (so they say) are fake. They are photoshopped or otherwise manipulated, often created with use of a ghost app on a phone. But the latest one, making the rounds on paranormal and mystery mongering feeds on Facebook, looks shocking, creepy, sparking speculation as to…

Congregation appears to drink gasoline, pastor says he’s made it harmless

Pastor Lesego Daniel walking all over his people.

Megalomaniacal preacher encourages his followers to drink petrol under the guise of a miracle. If it burns, it AIN’T pineapple juice. This guy can’t even do a conjuring trick and may be willingly poisoning people. Pastor’s petrol performance may endanger congregation | The Citizen. During a recent Sunday service at Rabboni Center Ministries in Pretoria,…

It’s not magically harmonized water – just snake oil

magic water

From the company who brought you nonsensical “drinkable sunscreen” comes more pseudoscience: “harmonized water”. They claim it is done with newfangled technology and mystery waves that people didn’t learn about in school and that their products are able to produce beneficial effects. Firm denies quackery claims. A New Zealand company selling bottles of water it claims…

Espanola police conclude “ghost” is the only possible explanation for an insect on the camera

Black

Each day, I come across a half-dozen “news” stories about officials who sanction ghost hunts in their buildings or use ghost tours as fundraisers or tourism draws. See Paranormal testing scheduled for Southwick Town Hall | masslive.com. Medina Paranormal Society to discuss building findings Monday – The Daily News Online: News. Even most sceptical spooked…

Astrological discrimination prevalent in China

astrology

WHAT!? I am discriminated against? I am an excellent worker! Virgos suffering ‘astrological discrimination’ in China. Those born between August 23 and September 22 are mocked online for being picky, spoiled, and fussy to the point of being obsessive-compulsive. “Virgos are perfectionists, so they’ll often criticise other people,” Felicia Jiang, founder of popular astrology website…

FDA issues warning letters to companies marketing Ebola “cures”

Quackery

We love to post stories about the FDA doing its job to product consumers against questionable drug claims. Yesterday, the FDA announced they sent warning letters to three business entities more or less telling them to stop advertising bogus cures for Ebola. Medical Countermeasures Initiative > 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. FDA has issued…

Ebola outbreak is ghastly, now with “zombies”

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The historic Ebola epidemic is bad, getting worse. This story is particularly awful. allAfrica.com: Liberia: Dead Ebola Patients Resurrect?. Two Ebola patients, who died of the virus in separate communities in Nimba County have reportedly resurrected in the county. The victims, both females, believed to be in their 60s and 40s respectively, died of the…

Action against MMS product called for in Ireland

dangers-of-bleach

This product, which fits the description of “snake oil” very well, is still being administered to children through an Irish church. Senator wants action on bleach ‘cure’ | Irish Examiner. Health Minister Leo Varadkar has been urged to address the Seanad over what action officials are taking to prevent a “toxic chemical” form of bleach…

Unusual radar reading – It’s ALIVE!

Photo from: National Weather Service, Saint Louis, Missouri

Well, the good news is, it’s Monarch butterflies. They were having some trouble. Nice to see them en masse. Cloud Turns Out To Be Butterfly Swarm. Late last week, meteorologists in St. Louis noticed a cloud acting peculiarly: It was beating a path toward Mexico while changing into a variety of odd shapes. Was it…