Questionable claims

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,…

Monkey girl mystery is unraveling

The “girl found living with monkeys” in India story got huge press attention last week. The child was around 11 years old, emaciated, unclothed and was said to be in the company of monkeys who tried to chase away rescuers. Regular DN reader, Joy, sent me the story and was skeptical of it right off…

Tabloid pseudoscience alert: Alien claw

The usual tabloid suspects are hyping a non-story about the finding of an “alien claw” in Peru. ALIEN investigators claim this giant hand is REAL and could have come from a dead extra terrestrial being. Source: Researcher Brien Foerster claims ‘giant hand from Peru cave’ could be of alien origin | Daily Express and Institute…

15 Credibility Street #7 – Big old problem: they might be giants

In this episode, I talk with Jason Colavito about giants, angels and monsters. Or, giant monster angels, who may be anti-diluvians or Atlantians, and who watch, though I’m not sure what and why the hell they are watching. They may be Bigfoot ancestors, or space aliens, or demons, or sons of God, or just “men…

Shark-repelling device rather dramatically fails real-world test (Update)

See update below for response from the Sharkbanz company. A product called “Sharkbanz” is getting some terrible publicity today as a Florida teenager wearing the magnet bracelet was bitten by a shark prompting questions about how useful this product actually is. Wearing shark repelling band, Teen gets attacked by shark Zack Davis was a lifelong…

Facebook to flag and fact-check fake news

Facebook is tackling fake news by rolling out a flagging plan that triggers fact-checking by hand-picked fact-checkers. Admittedly going after “the worst of the worst”, they enlist the help of Snopes, ABC News and PolitiFact who have all signed on to the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN). This sounds like great start. The stories get flagged…

Mothman “reappears” coincidentally close to the 50th anniversary date

A man driving along State Route 2 in West Virginia near Point Pleasant, legendary home of the bad omen, Mothman, says he captured pictures of the creature. The local news covered the story. Man photographs creature that resembles legendary ”Mothman” of Point Pleasant | WCHS He said he stopped when he saw something jumping from tree…

Fake news gets real

Fake news is a hot thing and trendy topic right now. But as we’ve shown through the years, and is now COMPLETELY obvious, fake news is bad for society, kind of like street drugs, it comes with some nasty side effects that touch everyone in the community. Here are the dealers, making money like crazy…

Dead or alive psychic experiment results pulled from neuroscience journal

Some paranormal proponents are crying foul and “censorship” over the retraction of a paper claiming to support clairvoyance. The paper: Prediction of Mortality Based on Facial Characteristics by Delorme, A., Pierce, A., Michel, L., and Radin, D. (2016). Front. Hum. Neurosci. 10:173. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00173 was published in May of 2016 and officially retracted in early October. The…

Nostradamus was full of crap

I totally do not have the energy to waste on the ever-absurd Nostradamus predictions. Yet, here it is. I hate them, they are stupid, wrong, and they continue to come up after every large world event. Here is the latest: Michel de Nostredame, kick-ass astrologer, predicted the rise of The Donald – The great shameless, audacious bawler –…

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…

Episode 2: Rather Rigged

Stopping by at 15 Credibility Street this week are our pals Bob Blaskiewicz and Karl Mamer. Because, they rock. But first, since this is Halloween, I mention ghosts. The hot news this week was not that ghosts are any more plausible or better documented than in the last 300 years but that the guy who makes…

Spiers’ outlandish conspiratorial claims gain new life months after his sudden death

Today, the story of the death of British UFO investigator, conspiracy theorist and supernaturalist, Max Spiers, is splashed all over tabloids and mystery mongering sites. Headlines scream that Spiers was close to exposing secrets and may have been murdered instead of dying of natural causes as the death certificate says. He may have even warned his…

Facts may no longer matter in this election but fact-checking and skeptical activism works

It’s the day after the big debate and media outlets like Politifact, Factcheck.org, AP, and NPR have their fact-checking (FC) machines churning at full speed since 9PM last evening. As a Skeptic who values solid evidence and empirical facts, I deeply appreciate FC but I strongly suspect that facts and examinations of truthfulness and accuracy…

The real Cicret may be that the device promised what can’t be delivered

Curious about that heavily hyped new bracelet that promises to turn your arm into a smartscreen? Many fund-raising campaigns promise outcomes that sound and look too good to be true. In comparison to current technology, the Cicret (pronounced ‘secret’) bracelet just may be that kind of empty promise. The Cicret bracelet is a revolutionary product that…

Hope dashed for those who believed in demon fairies

A creature promoted as being a “demon fairy” or “winged nightmare” by those who thought it matched a description in Revelation, has been revealed as a hoax. Synchronicity. Or something. Coincidences can seem very strange some times. Earlier today, I received an inquiry from Dr. Michael Heiser asking if I knew of anyone who had…