Anomalies

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…

Demon tree very silly, and the clickbait is so sweet

There is this crazy viral photo going around of what some people gullibly think is a demon strolling down the street in Arizona. I doubt it. We have no verification, no other photos, no daytime photos of the same location, not even DETAILS of the location (which seems to be somewhere around Phoenix, AZ). AND……

Boom reported on New Years Eve on NY-PA border

Several search hits on “explosion” “New York” and “Pennsylvania” encouraged me to check to see if any new mystery booms were reported. And, sure enough, as frequently happens on the last day of the year or New Year’s Eve, we have a big boom reported: People from Owego to Broome County reported feeling an explosion…

Rare black bobcat confirmed in Canada

A mysterious photo appeared on Facebook showing what looked to be a solid black bobcat caught in a snare and dispatched by a trapper. The photo came with no hints of time, place or other details and was being posted in various places disconnected from a source. You could not see the hands of the…

Huge snake found floating in Ohio river

Fisherman this week discovered a very large dead snake floating in the icy cold Chagrin River in northeastern Ohio. They fished out the body and reported it to officials, but also took pictures documenting the retrieval. The news anchor in the Fox News piece notes that the snake was a “boa constrictor” but the rest…

Earthquake lights reported associated with New Zealand event

Flashing lights have been recorded on video supposedly occurring in conjunction with the shaking from this weekend’s strong quake in New Zealand. The strong event occurred just after midnight on Monday and caused massive damage, a small tsunami and several deaths. We’ve covered EQ lights before and I have done some research on natural anomalies…

Igloolik mystery sound sounds mysterious, but the story leaves us cold

Stories about strange sounds are always suspicious. This recent news about a very northern mystery noise is no exception. In this piece from CBC news (Canada) – Mysterious ‘ping’ sound from sea floor baffles Igloolik – I found a number of assumptions, guesses, and no good data to support the allegations that there is a strange…

Jellyfish “sprite” sparks paranoia from “earth changes” websites (UPDATE: More sprites, from Hurricane Matthew)

UPDATE (2-Oct02016): Frankie Lucena has captured more incredible sprites, this time as a result of Hurricane Matthew. Check it out from the Weather Channel. A sprite (lightning) captured on camera from the Caribbean on September 18, 2016 has triggered posts on mystery-mongering fringe “news” sites that cater to end-of-the-world paranoia. Sprites are large-scale electrical discharges that…

Russian river runs red repeatedly

Several large web outlets have shared the astounding pictures of the Daldykan river in the Russian Arctic city of Norilsk that has turned blood red. And it’s not the first time. Locals have posted the pictures on Instagram that has caused the international concern prompting an investigation by Russian officials. We wonder if it did…

Big snake loose in Maine or is Wessie a hoax?

Cross posted from DOUBTFUL. Back in June, locals of Westbrook, Maine said they saw a large snake slithering around. After no sign of the beast a week later, a Westbrook police officer witnessed it eating something near Riverbank Park on the Presumpscot River. A second officer called in also saw it. From their Facebook page: On…

Concern bubbles up in Morocco

This video reportedly from Doukkala region of Morocco was worth putting up and discussing. You can imagine if you were the people experiencing this you MIGHT be a bit concerned and amazed. There may be a reason to be concerned but it’s not from chemicals from planes but from what you dump into the river. It’s…

Swords and sophistry: Questionable archaeology to the hilt (UPDATE: Not a Roman sword)

Welcome to 2016! I predict that this year we will continue to see the popularity of pseudo archaeology – a cracked spinoff of a science-based field that studies human long-past history. Yes, more out-of-place artifacts, ancient alien astronauts, Atlantis, etc. Today, we bring you the continuing saga of SwordGate and a heretic historian who is attempting to prove…

Media linking woman’s death in Germany to “spontaneous” combustion. Not so fast.

News out of Flensburg, Germany today reports that a woman sitting on a park bench experienced “spontaneous combustion” and has died. As usual, the connection to SHC (spontaneous human combustion) is flawed and there is undoubtedly more to the story than the media reports. However, the headlines are what get attention and lead people to…

Sign of the clouds – it’s cold up here

A woman in Alabama took photos of a strange cloud formation that she said formed into a cross as she was watching. She passed the photos on to the local news. I contacted Mick West of ContrailScience.com who said they are “canal clouds”. A plane the flies through the clouds has caused this channel-like anomaly.…

Land disturbance in Wyoming stirring up unwarranted fears

Hunters on a private ranch in Wyoming’s Bighorn mountains were astonished to find a land disturbance of impressive proportions. The news first appeared on the Facebook page of the SNS Outfitters and Guides. Since then, it was picked up by several mystery mongering sites that declared it was “apocalyptic” (as is everything unusual) or related…

China’s floating city is a likely CGI hoax (UPDATE)

On October 13, I posted a link (in Chinese) to our Facebook page (which you might ‘like’) regarding a questionable image of a city in the clouds in Foshan, China. Even though this “mirage” was shown on Chinese television, it’s certainly not impossible that they are giving bad information to the public. Is this an optical illusion, or…

Rare cloud phenomena seen in Costa Rica

Pretty, but a lovely natural event does not equate to “end times”. That term is incredibly overused. An iridescent, multi-hued cloud phenomenon was recently spotted in Costa Rica skies, and residents were left awestruck and mystified. Source: Mysterious Iridescent ‘End of Times’ Cloud Phenomenon Spotted in Costa Rica – ABC News Though users on social…

Whale of an opportunity provides interesting data

Amid the pod of humpback whales in waters out of Eden, an opportunistic fur seal wasted no time in finding the best seat for the fish feast. Source: Seal rides on the back of a whale on the NSW south coast The series of photographs by Robyn Malcolm show typical whale feeding behavior and it looks…