Stop the Epidemic of Lies! Thinking about COVID-19 Misinformation
Since the coronavirus pandemic started, conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and fake news about COVID-19 have spread. Is it true that the virus escaped a Chinese military laboratory? Or was it created in an American laboratory just to hit China? Is it true that it was foreseen by a novel, by Nostradamus, on The Simpsons, or by …
King Arthur Found?
Was the castle of King Arthur found? That’s what newspaper headlines stated some time ago in reference to excavations conducted on the archaeological site of Tintagel, north of Cornwall in England. The town has always been a destination for fans of the legendary figure of the sovereign, but the remains of the existing castle date …
Living on Air? The Crazy Ideas and Consequences of Breatharians
Could there be any more extreme beliefs than those held by people who are convinced that the earth is flat or that we live in a computer-generated matrix? Some people are convinced that it is possible to live without eating or drinking—literally claiming to be “existing on air.” These “breatharians” claim to be feeding on …
The Trapped Ghost
Cover Image: The late medium Eddie Burks along with the author (at the time beardless and still with his Medusa-like hair). The old man sitting in a chair put his hands to his chest and grabbed his sweater, his fingers tightening. He spoke in a whisper, his eyes shut. “Yes … I feel that …
The Mind of Leonardo da Vinci, Part 2
It may be worth considering what it means to “go against the flow” in science. What makes a genius rather than a mere mortal or, worse, a fool? Think of Mozart or Van Gogh, artists who revolutionized music and painting. In the arts, genius has often been associated with the idea of the artist’s opposition …
The Mind of Leonardo da Vinci, Part 1
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo da Vinci, the “universal genius,” and since I have been working a lot on him (two of my books in Italian on Leonardo just came out, and I am lecturing everywhere about him), I thought I would share with my readers some glimpses into …
How to Be Skeptics 2.0 with the Help of … YouTube
Today things have changed. In less than a generation, we’ve reached a point where what we watch, read, and listen to is no longer determined solely by corporate monopolies but by the viewer. And things can be a lot different for skeptics as well.
A Telepathy Investigation
Sound reading,” as this technique is called, is a classic trick of mentalists who wish to simulate telepathy phenomena.
Does the Vatican Hold a Painting of a UFO?
Did Raphael—“The Divine One,” as this great painter was often described—document a UFO crash during the Renaissance? It’s a story that resurfaces from time to time on some UFO websites. It all starts with a beautiful painting, The Madonna of Foligno, created in 1511 by Raphael on a commission from Sigismondo de’ Conti, chamberlain to …
Myths and Secrets of the Colosseum
The Flavian Amphitheater, better known as the “Colosseum,” is the largest and most majestic amphitheater of ancient times. It is the second most visited monument in the world (after the Great Wall of China), and in 2007 was included among the new seven wonders of the modern world.
The Conspiracy of the Fairies
This year, 2017, marks the hundredth anniversary of one of the most famous hoaxes in history: the Cottingley fairies photos, taken by two Yorkshire girls in 1917. Or were they? A new hypothesis, recently put forward in the pages of Fortean Times magazine, suggests that the photos may actually have been taken later, after very …
The Monster of Florence: Case Closed? The Terrifying Story of the Most Infamous Ritual Murders in Italian History, Part 2
The story of the Monster of Florence, after consuming energies and investigative efforts on the inconclusive Sardinian lead (see previous column), forced the investigators to start from scratch—almost. On September 11, 1985, just three days after the last murder attributed to the serial killer, an anonymous person wrote to the police of San Casciano naming …
The Monster of Florence: Case Closed? The Terrifying Story of the Most Infamous Ritual Murders inItalian History, Part 1
Fernando Pucci recently died at age eighty-six. He was the last of the serial killers collectively known as the “Mostro di Firenze,” the Monster of Florence, or “i compagni di merende,” the “picknicking friends,” as they started to be called during trials after one of the convicted killers, Mario Vanni, described his relationship with the …
The Return of the Fairies
“In this case, the gnome is seen as a guardian of nature, just like our Corp is recognized as the environmental protector.”
Ten Practical Tactics to Unravel the Uncanny
The plural of anecdote is not evidence.
Theresa Caputo: The Fake Long Island Medium
Today mediums really have an easy life.
In Search of Mary Magdalene
But why today is there so much discussion about Magdalene? What’s so special about this woman to attract the attention of fans of mysteries?
The Charlie Charlie Challenge
This is the latest web craze known as the “Charlie Charlie Challenge,” perhaps dating back to an ancient Mexican tradition, an experience that intrigues kids and scares adults. Through a sort of séance, some claim people can ask questions to some unseen entity that should be able to reply.
The Mystery of TJIPETIR
Mysterious rectangular rubber-like blocks, with the enigmatic word TJIPETIR engraved into them, have been washing up for the past few years on the beaches of northern Europe.
The Amazing Randi’s Most Extraordinary Escape, Part 2
So, how did The Amazing Randi escape not only from the cell that kept him a prisoner but also from the building of the police station in Valleyfield Quebec? Here is the ingenious solution devised by Randi.
The Lure of Mysterious Paintings, Part 2
In continuing our discussion on “mystery” paintings from the past: a special place is held by paintings that are said to hold hidden meanings—especially when they do.
Curse of the Evil Eye
The evil eye is a lucrative business for many psychics and charlatans. However, the risks run by those who decide to rely on these frauds are often much worse than just a bloodletting to their pocketbooks.
The Mysteries of Leonardo
Leonardo da Vinci not only epitomizes genius and creativity, but he is also one of the most sought-after sources of mysteries, both real and invented.
Hitler’s South Pole Hideaway
“Searching for Hitler’s DNA in Antarctica.” This is the bizarre headline that made the news a few months ago, launched by Russian news agency Ria Novosti and picked up by the world media after scientists were able to successfully drill into Antarctica’s Lake Vostok.