idoubtit

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

A “psychic” named “Marks”? Run the other way

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A Charlottesville woman who claimed she had a “gift from God” and could see the past and future has been indicted on multiple federal charges she defrauded multiple clients, one of whom sent her more than $1.4 million. Source: Charlottesville palm-reader indicted; claimed ability to see future, talk to spirits A federal grand jury indicted…

Creepy Chicago cemetery enCLOWNter

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Creepy encounter in Chicago is the latest in a series of out of place clown sightings. The cell phone video tells it all: a person dressed in a clown suit, trespassing at historic Rosehill Cemetery in the dead of night. Julia Graham says she was “freaked out” at the figure as it ran toward the…

Bad science Writing Example A: Linking plesiosaurs to the Loch Ness Monster

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An obviously inexperienced science journalist latches on to the mistaken and downright nonsensical idea that plesiosaurs = Loch Ness Monster. Then, media outlets propagate the silliness. The fossil remains of a giant marine reptile have just been discovered by a team of researchers from the University Of Alaska Museum Of The North. The remains were…

Hmm, wonder why chiropractor would have to “sneak into” a hospital

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The board director and president-elect of the Chiropractors Association of Australia resigns over an unauthorised hospital visit to treat a baby. Source: Chiropractors Association of Australia president-elect resigns over unauthorised treatment of baby in hospital Dr Helen Alevaki reportedly used a closed Facebook group to reveal she had made “sneaky” visits to a Melbourne maternity…

Evidence of deadly viper loose in Georgia

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A dangerous African gaboon viper was reportedly seen loose in a town northeast of Macon, Georgia. Source: Venomous snake possibly sighted in Milledgeville According to Mark McKinnon with the Department of Natural Resources – Law Enforcement Division, a gaboon viper was seen near the intersection of Hairwood Drive and Harrisburg Road. McKinnon said the snake is…

The Strange remains the same for 24 July 2015

Tetrapodophis amplectus. Photo: Dave Martill/University of Portsmouth

The marine mammal was spotted in the narrow canal that connects the Chesapeake and Delaware bays just a few days after one was seen in an estuary of the Potomac River. Source: Delaware Gets A Rare Out-Of-State Visitor: A 7-Foot Manatee   Ashraf Mashaal was suffering from various psychiatric deficiencies which prompted his parents to…

‘Pluck-Ness’ monster resurfaces

Mystery animal snapping at bird in Pluck Lake, Swansea.

It’s summer, the silly news season… A fisherman, Kyle Chapple, spotted a creature floating in Pluck Lake, at the southern tip of Swansea Enterprise Park. He saw it leap from the water to try and snap at a low-flying bird. He thought it was a snake or croc but that’s not likely. What was it? Source:…

Kevin Trudeau must pay back millions of dollars

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A tentative plan was announced to provide refunds for hundreds of thousands of people who bought Kevin Trudeau’s silly diet book. Source: Judge may order refunds for buyers of Trudeau weight-loss book – Chicago Tribune The plan greenlighted by U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman calls for the Federal Trade Commission to send several rounds of checks to…

Today’s weather – grasshoppers and beetles aloft

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It’s alive and it’s overhead. Nothing seemed unusual Wednesday when the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman, Oklahoma, picked up what appeared to be rainclouds over western North Texas. Nothing unusual … except the clouds weren’t rain. Source: Weather radar detects swarm of bugs – CNN.com They were grasshoppers and beetles all flying at…

The Strange remains the same for 23 July 2015

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Surfer Mick Fanning Escapes Shark Attack During Competition Broadcast. Older people are ideal targets because they often have ample savings, own their homes and may be lonely and susceptible to being deceived. Source: Swindlers Target Older Women on Dating Websites   Florida health and wildlife experts are warning residents to steer clear of armadillos in…

Holy Mother’s mouth

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Maronite Catholics in Sydney have filmed a painting of the Virgin Mary moving its lips in prayer, believing a miracle is occurring in their church. Source: Virgin Mary painting filmed praying in Sydney church Parishioners at Saint Charbel’s Maronite Catholic Church in Punchbowl in Sydney’s southwest have recorded a painting of the Madonna apparently praying…

Alternative cancer doctor, Nicholas Gonzalez, has died: “Health Nut” fans baseless fears

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A fringe cancer doctor has unexpectedly passed away, fueling even more baseless ideas that some foul play is occurring. Those who buy into alternative meds can be too easily led into false correlation. The same delusion goes with a conspiracy theory that groups coincidences under a common cause, made more prominent by media who wish to push their…

What were these gold spirals for?

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Archaeologists Baffled By 2,000 Tiny Gold Spirals Discovered In Denmark A press release from the National Museum of Denmark reveals this mysterious find. Thousands of tightly-wound gold wires, each about one inch long, appears to have been buried in a box aged around 900 BC. Nearly 2,000 small gold spirals from the Bronze Age have come to…

The Strange Remains the Same for 13 July 2015

By Dr. Darren Naish

Historic use of “recovered memory” therapy led to false allegations of abuse that continue to haunt the families involved. Source: The legacy of implanted Satanic abuse ‘memories’ is still causing damage today   A tribal labourer, his wife and four children — the youngest a three-year-old girl — were hacked to death here Sunday night,…

‘Little ice age’ headlines are misleading

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At the National Astronomy Meeting, one study regarding a new model of the Sun’s interior is producing predictions that are suspected to have some serious consequences for Earth. Professor Valentina Zharkova of Northumbria University presented her results of the Sun’s interior dynamo at the recent event. Media outlets took it and twisted it just enough to…

Remains of the Weekend 11-12 July 2015

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Hello everyone! Just a quick reminder that both editors will be at THE AMAZ!NG MEETING in Las Vegas this coming week so posting and maintenance will be significantly lighter than usual. If you are attending the meeting, seek us out to get a Doubtful News logo pouch bag. Thank you for your support! Be skeptical.…

California coyotes getting very bold

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A warning has been issued to residents in an Irvine neighborhood where there has been a growing number of coyote attacks on children. Source: Irvine child’s coyote attack 4th in last two months | abc7.com A coyote attacked a 3-year-old girl at Silverado Park near Silverado and Equinox in May. Since then, there have been…