Espanola police conclude “ghost” is the only possible explanation for an insect on the camera

Black

Each day, I come across a half-dozen “news” stories about officials who sanction ghost hunts in their buildings or use ghost tours as fundraisers or tourism draws. See Paranormal testing scheduled for Southwick Town Hall | masslive.com. Medina Paranormal Society to discuss building findings Monday – The Daily News Online: News. Even most sceptical spooked…

Astrological discrimination prevalent in China

astrology

WHAT!? I am discriminated against? I am an excellent worker! Virgos suffering ‘astrological discrimination’ in China. Those born between August 23 and September 22 are mocked online for being picky, spoiled, and fussy to the point of being obsessive-compulsive. “Virgos are perfectionists, so they’ll often criticise other people,” Felicia Jiang, founder of popular astrology website…

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…

Ebola outbreak is ghastly, now with “zombies”

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The historic Ebola epidemic is bad, getting worse. This story is particularly awful. allAfrica.com: Liberia: Dead Ebola Patients Resurrect?. Two Ebola patients, who died of the virus in separate communities in Nimba County have reportedly resurrected in the county. The victims, both females, believed to be in their 60s and 40s respectively, died of the…

Action against MMS product called for in Ireland

dangers-of-bleach

This product, which fits the description of “snake oil” very well, is still being administered to children through an Irish church. Senator wants action on bleach ‘cure’ | Irish Examiner. Health Minister Leo Varadkar has been urged to address the Seanad over what action officials are taking to prevent a “toxic chemical” form of bleach…

Unusual radar reading – It’s ALIVE!

Photo from: National Weather Service, Saint Louis, Missouri

Well, the good news is, it’s Monarch butterflies. They were having some trouble. Nice to see them en masse. Cloud Turns Out To Be Butterfly Swarm. Late last week, meteorologists in St. Louis noticed a cloud acting peculiarly: It was beating a path toward Mexico while changing into a variety of odd shapes. Was it…

Psychic scam in Milwaukee caused woman to believe she was cursed

psychic

A variation on the “blessings scam” has struck Wisconsin. The perpetrator is at large, wanted for felony theft. Woman loses $20K in psychic scam, believed money needed to be blessed | Local News – WISN Home. [T]he victim told police as tarot cards were arrayed on a table in July, the self-proclaimed psychic, 38-year-old Agueda…

Big Bang Gravitational Wave Study – Update: Interstellar dust clouds data

Superconducting Detectors for Study of Infant Universe
by NASA/JPL-Caltech

As previously covered on Doubtful News, in March 2014 the BICEP research team announced results from a series of cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiments, which appeared to detect the first evidence of gravitational waves. As previously mentioned further review would be required, and some problems with the data have emerged. Criticism of Study Detecting Ripples From…

Green “alien eggs” on Sydney beach are not extra-terrestrial

Photo credit: Baerbel Koribalski

Submarine but not extraterrestrial. UFO Alert: Scientists Puzzled by Green ‘Alien Eggs’ Found on Sydney Dee Why Beach. Surfers and beachgoers at a northern Sydney suburb, Dee Why’s beach, were left stunned at the sight of a number of green, sponge-like spheres, which washed ashore. While locals in Dee Why explored extra-terrestrial origins, scientists clarify…

DN content on the JREF: First post – Critical thinking about a panther sighting

Black leopard

As I announced back in July, Doubtful News content would be coming to a bigger audience. Today was the first post on the reboot of the James Randi Educational Foundation website (JREF). Doubtful News: Was it a black panther? – JREF. Today, we examine a piece that appeared in Harborough Mail in the U.K.: Another…

State Farm is there – dropping anti-vax spokesperson Schneider

rob schneider

An insurance company should not support nonsensical medical claims. State Farm drops ad starring Rob Schneider over anti-vaccine views | PR Week. State Farm has pulled an ad featuring anti-vaccine activist Rob Schneider after a social media campaign urged the insurance company to end its affiliation with the actor. Social media pages Food Hunk, Science…

The Strange remains the same for 19 September 2014

zombie lohan

What was fake on the Internet this week: sidewalks for texters, the ‘antichrist,’ and charging your phone by microwave – The Washington Post. Discovery Channel’s Fake Documentaries – Business Insider. Paranormal orb sparks ghost night at Morley Market – Morley Observer and Advertiser. BBC News – Slippery banana study wins Ig Nobel. Anomalous Events That…

Herbalife as “a force of mass deception in America”

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The North American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, has a very involved and interesting piece on Herbalife corporation and why the multi-level marketing scheme is still going strong today – denialism. People have found it unimaginable that this is a fraudulent business plan. Unthinkable, Unimaginable And Unspeakable: Why Wall Street Clings To The Herbalife Myth – NASDAQ.com.…

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…

The Strange remains the same for 17 Sept 2014

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Oopsie, I forgot to post this on time. Food Babe’s Starbucks Attacks Draw ‘Quackmail’ Backlash. BBC – Earth – Mystery fairy circles defy explanation. Some area stores selling Slenderman costume | Local News – WISN Home. Who’s counting? How innumeracy aids fear-mongers. Faith healing makes a killing – Times LIVE. Archeologists In Leicester Have Found…

Indian lawyers convinced their local court house is haunted

Ghost

If it’s such a haunted place, why do we have the same low-quality evidence that is only convincing to believers? This is another example of believing is seeing. Lawyers, staff in Delhi’s Karkardooma court complex convinced that it’s haunted. The usual cacophony of lawyers, petitioners and visitors at the Karkardooma Court Complex has of late…

Vaccine sabotage suspected in childrens’ deaths in Syria (UPDATE: Not Sabotage)

vaccine

A devastating setback to the fight against the measles epidemic in Syria. At least 34 Syrian children die from contaminated measles vaccine |  The Guardian. At least 34 children have died in rebel-held Syria after being injected with contaminated measles vaccines, the rebel government said on Tuesday, warning that the deaths might be caused by…

Suicide via crocodile

croc

Wow. What a way to go. Thailand woman dead after jumping into crocodile pit. A 65-year-old woman from Bangkok has killed herself by jumping into a pit of crocodiles at a reptile farm near the capital, police say. Witnesses saw Wanpen Inyai jumping into a pond at Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo on Friday,…

UK man fined for selling colloidal silver as cancer cure

Quackery

Guy Chapman reports from the U.K. : A West Mersea man was fined £750 and £1,500 costs after pleading guilty to promoting colloidal silver as a cancer cure. He follows Stephen Ferguson and Errol Denton, live blood practitioners and acolytes of Robert O. Young, who is currently on trial for practising medicine without a license. Man…

Spinosaurus appears to have been toothy and semi-aquatic; but don’t call it a crocoduck

Ibrahim (left) and Sereno with Spinosaurus

Previously-known Spinosaurus was a dinosaur that blew my mind. I couldn’t figure out the deal with the sail and the ultra-long snout. Turns out it had more surprises in store. Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus: Massive predator was more than 9 feet longer than largest T. rex — ScienceDaily. Scientists today unveiled what appears…

Homeopaths get professional accreditation in UK – PSA gets a FAIL

Homeopathic medication

In other words, the foxes guard the henhouse. This is a terrible and stupid idea that opens the door to tacitly endorsed quackery. Independent quality mark for homeopaths. The Society of Homeopaths’ voluntary register has been accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, the…