Questionable claims

No word on Wessie

The mysterious giant snake of Westbrook Maine is still missing in action even after a snakeskin was found. Results from DNA testing of the shed skin showed that it was fresh and from a green anaconda, a species illegal to keep in Maine. The original sighting was obviously exaggerated. And the shed skin was not…

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…

Bigfoot skull fossil is a amateur mistake of wishful thinking (UPDATED)

(Originally published on Jun 23, 2013) The assumptions in this story are astounding. Man believes he found fossilized Bigfoot head. “I found a fossilized Bigfoot skull.” A journalist can go his or her entire life waiting to hear those six magic words. And yet, on a recent weekday afternoon, that very thing happened. Todd May,…

Have we been catfished? Or is this animal a signal that the environment is a wreck? (Updated)

UPDATE: 30-Mar-2016 The Gothamist has followed up on this story of a three-eyed catfish and announced it was a hoax by an artist. The NY Times actually delivered the details on March 28 that an eccentric artist known as Zardulu orchestrated the three-eyed fish hoax from the Gowanus canal. She approached actor “Greg Hunter” [actually Greg Boz] with…

Zak’s Demon House docu gets delayed (UPDATE: House destroyed)

Nearly two years ago, Zak Bagans, flashy ghost investigator from TV Ghost Adventures, bought the “demon” house in Indiana days after it made sensational headlines in the tabloids and even in more reputable news outlets. The story of Ammons family who lived in the house was that of a woman and her three children who claimed they…

Nothing interesting happens in Canberra, eh? UFO hoax revealed (and it’s deemed ‘not interesting’)

There was really no story to cover when, on January 4, 2015, several news outlets reported on a video on YouTube, promoted on Reddit, that was getting attention. You see, UFO/portal/wormhole videos are decidedly uninteresting (or should be) because they can pretty easily be faked and ARE regularly faked. All videos and photos (of ghosts, Bigfoot, lake…

Preaching to the Choir: Social media sharing in “echo chambers” reinforces belief

Doubtful News would be useless if people weren’t interested in finding out what might or might not be true and correct. This site appeals to people who are willing to listen to a narrative framed in that way. But, SURPRISE (not), most people consult the internet guided by beliefs they hold dear – whether those tend towards…

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…

Are people really this dumb to be scared of solar panels? (Update)

So, the top story shared on my social media today is a point-and-LOL chortle-fest at a North Carolina town who has rejected a solar panel farm project. There are DOZENS of stories that make fun of the people who provided public comment against the rezoning decision in Woodland, NC because of their apparent ignorance of…

Inquest in UK teen suicide over wi-fi allergy claim

Jenny, aged 15, committed suicide last summer. She had a history of health issues. Her mother attributed her problems to electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Mother claims wifi allergy killed her daughter and accuses school of failing to safeguard children – Telegraph Mrs Fry told Oxfordshire Coroners’ Court that Jenny had started showing signs of EHS in November…

Sweet Satan! It’s Exorcism EXTRAVAGANZA! (UPDATE: Snoozefest)

UPDATE (editor) (2-Nov 2015): How did the broadcast go? Ratings are not in yet for cable but they WERE facing a World Series game and America’s Next Top Model. Both shows seemed to be more exciting according to reviews from Variety and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Hopefully, they won’t try such blatant sensationalism nonsense…

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…

Orgasmic mushroom story is a bit of a cock-up

All the “cool” and “hip” “science” and “viral news” aggregators are reporting on a magical mushroom that results in “earth shattering” orgasms that occur in half the women who smell it. What is this all about? It reeks of exaggeration if not outright falsity. But it’s based on a journal article so that lends it…

Did teacher “alter the brains” of teens so that they ended up dead? No.

A tragic case has been settled in Florida regarding the deaths of three high school students who were said to have been “hypnotised” by a former school official. The families of three students from North Port High School will receive $200,000 each from the Sarasota County School District under a settlement agreement. Because of this…

Science-based medicine writer sued by threatened doctor (UPDATE: Skeptic win)

UPDATE: Science-based medicine site reports that this lawsuit is over. On September 30, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted Dr. Novella’s motion for summary judgment, ending the lawsuit against him by Dr. Edward Tobinick and two of his companies. Earlier in the case, all of the other defendants had filed…

Exposed “healer” Popoff is back to take your money

We are again pleased to bring you news of brilliant skeptical activism from UK’s Good Thinking Society as they expose former fraud televangelist Peter Popoff. He’s back to his old tricks “healing” people. But also, he has what appears to be a lucrative fund-raising plan that demands money from patrons in exchange for gimmicks and…