Questionable claims

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…

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…

Vampire sighting “study” – Where’s the data? (UPDATE: Nowhere)

vampire

Three UK papers ran this same sloppy story which appears to have come from some press release. None of them included info about this “study”, who did it, the details, or where the data came from. So, it’s useless to gain any meaningful information – we are left with a teaser that people will only misinterpret…

Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction: Says the government messed up the case

trudeau

As expected, Kevin Trudeau appealed his conviction on contempt of court charges that sent him to prison for 10 years. This article also give us some insight into why we still see his dubious books for sale and his ridiculous infomercials on TV. Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction – Consumerist. The appeal contends that…

‘Telepathy’ experiment suffers from overzealous news editors

telepathy

The headline sounds magical and makes people excited for the reality of psi but… take a closer look. This is not psychic, it’s technology. ‘Telepathy’ experiment sends 1st mental message – Yahoo News. For the first time, scientists have been able to send a simple mental message from one person to another without any contact…

Universal Medicine group gets more bad press and parliamentary hearing

Quackery

Woman files a complaint after overspending for questionable treatments in Australia. Doctor sent woman for two years of new age healing in a galaxy far, far away for a cough — costing her $35,000 | dailytelegraph.com.au. When a doctor referred Ira McClure for further treatment she had no idea the health facility was supportive of…

Shipton’s iconic 1951 Yeti footprint photos up for auction

Questionable "yeti" print. Shipton.

Christie’s auction house is running their “Out of the Ordinary” online auction, featuring “an eclectic selection of art and ephemera celebrating the joy of the unconventional” through September 3. One of the items up for bids are Eric Shipton’s original photos of “Yeti” footprints. Strange Traces of Mythic Beasts  In the years before Sir Edmund Hillary…

Colombia town reports mystery illness in 200 girls but psychogenic illness suspected

fainting

This is what looks to be a textbook case of mass psychogenic illness (crudely known as “mass hysteria”). It is extremely common in schools, the symptoms are vague and non-life threatening and can be psychogenic. The cause is always suspected to be an environmental or medical factor. In this case, the fear of the moment is…

O Canada… true sorcery practice in all thy sons command

shesawitch

Did you know Canada has a law against “pretending to practice witchcraft”? What if you AREN’T pretending. And how can they tell? Fake medium faces sorcery charge… in Canada. An occultist known as Professor Alfoseny, accused of falsely claiming to be a medium, has been charged under an obscure anti-sorcery provision in the Criminal Code…

Will the church argue that this is REALLY the body of Christ?

holy bread

We don’t typically get into religious arguments here but this lawsuit has a physically questionable claim they are attempting to make. Lawsuit pits Catholic archbishop against satanist group over sacred item purported to be used for ‘black Mass’ | News OK. Oklahoma City’s Catholic archbishop filed a lawsuit against a satanist group Wednesday, alleging it…

Mind control victims advocacy group is denied tax exemption

mind control

A group claiming that the government is secretly conducting mind control experiments and damaging citizens has been denied a tax-exempt status by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service IRS Denies Tax Exemption to Mind Control Group. The Internal Revenue Service has denied tax-exempt status to a group that claimed it was dedicated to protecting the human…

It’s probably not the evil gluten

cursed-bread

More evidence that self-diagnosed gluten sensitivity is bogus. Researchers Who Provided Key Evidence For Gluten Sensitivity Have Now Thoroughly Shown That It Doesn’t Exist. In one of the best examples of science working, a researcher who provided key evidence of (non-celiac disease) gluten sensitivity recently published follow-up papers that show the opposite. The study was…

NASA Propellant-less Propulsion Story Gains More Momentum than it Should

Virtual pairs near electron by RJ Hall (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Several news stories have made the rounds this week regarding an apparent microwave space propulsion system with no on-board propellant. NASA validates “impossible” space drive (Wired): Nasa is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that “impossible” microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is…

Ebola outbreak out of control and misinformation helps it spread

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The Ebola outbreak is putting plenty of people on edge and creating problems. Now we have faith healers saying they are treating it. GREAT! THIS IS ALL WE NEED! Nigerian official warns pastors and healers to stop making false Ebola-cure claims. African governments are doubling down on efforts to contain the widening Ebola outbreak in…

Absurd idea for video enhancement to “capture proof of ghosts”

HIT tech

$50K for a video service to see ghosts, or should I say more rightly, anomalies that people will say are ghosts. TVTechnology: New Video Enhancing Service Looks to Find Ghosts. The creator of a new Hidden Intelligence Tracking (HIT) technology is seeking crowdfunding under the auspices of helping users capture video proof that they are…

Science-based medicine writer sued by threatened doctor

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It is not rare for purveyors of woo to resort to legal threats against skeptical advocates. They don’t have the facts in their favor so they use baseless threats. Well, not so baseless. Several cases have resulted in financial worries for those who are attempting to inform the public about dubious products, people or nonsense.…

A rare case of Munchausen By Proxy does not mean the syndrome is increasing

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Last month, we posted the shocking story of a mother who apparently poisoned her own child in order to gain sympathy and attention. She now faces court. The case will likely be studied by psychologists to gain more insight into Munchausen By Proxy syndrome. Experts: Lacey Spears Case May Shed Light On Munchausen By Proxy…

Witnesses say man catching on fire was “supernatural”

fire

This headline is slightly deceiving. For hits, I suspect. Man wakes up on fire in Edmonton home; witnesses call it spontaneous combustion. The truth is there seems to be nothing to connect this to spontaneous HUMAN combustion. That is, people just bursting into flames for no obvious reason does not really happen. A man suffered second…

Did officials cover up an anaconda on the loose in NJ? (UPDATE: No evidence of snake)

Green anaconda - suspected to be the type on the loose in New Jersey

It looks like they did. Not helpful. But see update below. Reptile Expert: Snake On Loose In NJ Actually An Anaconda « CBS New York. A reptile specialist leading the search for a snake on the loose in Lake Hopatcong now says it is a green anaconda, not a boa constrictor, as officials had maintained.…