Tallahassee’s ‘Witch’s Grave’
A Study in Superstition and Ignorance
‘Stone Tape’ Ghost Theory from a Geological Perspective
MMA: Mixed Magical Absurdity?
Ian Harris busts down Chi and its absurd “supernatural” abilities.
Something Fishy: Fish Oil Supplements
The story of fish oil is not unusual.
Bringing Levitation Down to Earth
I’m not sure that human levitation exists—much less that it’s attributable to a mind-body connection (or quantum physics)—but overall I enjoyed speaking with Grosso and reviewing his book.
Roswell UFO ‘Strange Metal’ Mystery
The evidence is overwhelming that the supposed “flying saucer” material was—although a novelty at the time—purely of terrestrial origin.
Reflections on Krauss’s The Greatest Story Ever Told–So Far
Lawrence Krauss’ The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far was published by Atria Books in the beginning of March. Learn more about it in this article.
The Mirror in the Last Haunted House
I sought a pure, genuinely foreign experience, something unmistakably supernatural that could not be the product of a tired mind, a mild hallucination, or a half-forgotten memory of a scary film scene…
The New Zealand Moa: From Extinct Bird to Cryptid
Cryptids are of two types: either (1) unknown species, such as Bigfoot or at one time the Mountain Gorilla; or (2) known species that supposedly become extinct but may have survived and could be rediscovered.
Curated Crowdsourcing in UFO Investigations
Since this flying object was unidentified, the video footage ended up at the Committee for Study of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena (CEFAA), the official UFO investigating body of the Chilean DGAC.
For What It’s Worth
We have a glut of non-information. Most of it coming from people who have a proprietary interest in self-promoting garbage they may even consciously know to be false.
George Cherrie’s Dark Tales
It’s a good lesson for skeptics to question all extraordinary claims—not only from those with whom we may disagree or who may hold a different worldview, but also those whom we consider friends.
Steller’s Sea Ape: Identifying an Eighteenth-Century Cryptid
Since its appearance in 1741, a mysterious creature has remained controversial—a so-called “sea monkey” that puzzled naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller.
To Be More Skeptical about Anti- Vaccination and Vitamin Supplements: An Interview with Paul Offit
I think once you scare people, it’s hard to un-scare them; once you open the Pandora’s Box, it’s hard to close it.
A Champlain ‘Croc’ of Mythic Proportions
The idea that the “monsters” of Lake Champlain (assuming they exist) are either crocodiles or animals with a crocodilian metabolism is poorly supported by the available evidence.
Mystery Coin of the Yukon
According to raconteur Ed Ferrell in his Strange Stories of Alaska and the Yukon (1996, 120), the coin “appeared to have been minted before the Ice Age”
Reflections on Sean Carroll’s The Big Picture
Carroll is a poetic naturalist, and he does a great job throughout the book of differentiating fundamental from emergent phenomena, highlighting that both are real.
A Guide to Ghost Hunting Guidebooks: NO MORE! Please! (Part 2)
Such incredible claims should have equally incredible documentation provided. Nope. Nothing. It’s practically lying.
‘Career’ in Exorcism in Argentina
Imagine hundreds of people being “exorcized” by these “professionals,” spreading superstition and magical thinking.
Ghosts at New Orleans’ Secret Horror Chamber
Perhaps such antics will inspire a new generation of ghost hunters.
The Discovery of Gravitational Waves: An Interview with Lawrence Krauss
Gravitational waves were the last aspect of general relativity that needed to be tested directly; it’s completely right.
Chemtrails Kill… Dude!
We have all probably run into at least one person who is convinced there is a government conspiracy at hand.
Did Joseph Smith Predict Doomsday?
My inclusion of Joseph Smith as a failed doomsday prophet was not intended to disparage the Mormon faith but instead a historical fact based on Smith’s own writings.
A Guide to Ghost Hunting Guidebooks: NO MORE! Please! (Part 1)
No ghost handbook has ever led anyone to catch and identify ghosts; they can only lead you to interpret something as a ghost.
Otherwordly: Mysteries of Newfoundland and Labrador
According to the tale, if one were driving at night from Deer Lake toward the city of Corner Brook one might encounter “a woman in a white dress.”
Twice the Skepticism: An Interview with the Evil Twins
The Evil Twin Podcast is a loosely structured show involving twins Brad and Thad exploring, as they put it, the strange underbelly of “belief” in American culture and what it means to identify with various beliefs.
The Great New Mexico Elk Murder Conspiracy
Livestock deaths, by themselves, are not unusual—there are many things that can fell large animals in our desert climes, including predators, poachers, a natural or man-made toxin, disease, drought, heat, starvation, and even lightning.
The Jamestown Evolution/Creationism Debate
I have no sympathy for creationism. By 1999, I had had enough of its low quality claims and tracts, and I attacked it in one of my letters in the paper. Creationists responded more tenaciously than liberals had responded to my conservative statements. They wouldn’t let go, and neither would I.
In the Stars? Personal Investigations of Astrology
Something wonderful happened to me in 2003 that I never saw coming. Had it been foreseen by stargazers in their forecasts for me in that year?
Fascinating Psychology Experiments
The question of whether or not psychology is a science is not new. However, when science has been applied to the study of cognition and behavior, scientists have uncovered interesting phenomena through very clever experiments.
Skeptical Activism of the Investigation Network
This is not a group that merely discusses skepticism; it’s a group focused on the intellectual stimulation and fun of skeptical activism in education and investigation.
To Better Understand Science and the Universe: An Interview with Lawrence Krauss
Lawrence Krauss is a renowned theoretical physicist at Arizona State University. He was one of the first to suggest that most of the energy of the universe resides in empty space, an idea that today is called dark energy.
Murder in the U.S. Capitol and the Ghost of William P. Taulbee
After my centennial article on Taulbee’s assassination appeared (Nickell 1990), I learned of a follow-up claim: Taulbee’s unrequited ghost haunts the steps that are still marked with his blood.
Critical and Thinking: The Ian Harris Interview
A standup comic doing explicitly skeptical material on a regular basis as part of his act is unusual.
Adventures in SkeptiCamp
We need face-to-face interactions. Some of our people tell me that our meetups are where they can be themselves; they don’t have to guard their language, and no subject is taboo.
Facing Art and Skepticism: Caricaturist Celestia Ward
In 2014, Skeptical Briefs Editor Benjamin Radford attended a caricature conference in Reno, Nevada. Inside a hotel ballroom full of ridiculously talented artists from around the world, he happened to meet Celestia Ward, a caricaturist who’s also a skeptic. Naturally, he had questions for her.
Bigfoot Roundup: Some Regional Variants Identified as Bears
Having long observed that many Bigfoot sightings seem consistent with bears, I have for some time been expounding on the subject—showing that, when bears stand upright on their hind legs, they become North America’s foremost Bigfoot lookalikes.
Studying Up with A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy
Now, in the age of the Internet, Bohler has decided to put his research on these fascinating topics online in the form of a blog and a podcast titled A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy. Since 2011, he’s been putting all his exhaustive and thorough research to good use by providing a valuable resource for anybody looking for skeptical information about conspiracy theories.
You Can Lead Believers to Knowledge, but You Can’t Make Them Think
“Give a person an answer, they will know Bigfoot isn’t real. Teach a person skepticism, and they’ll think Bigfoot isn’t real, aliens aren’t visiting from Venus, and they’ll vaccinate their children.”
Bitters bottles are a window into an earlier era of quackery (although sometimes perhaps well-intentioned), as well as into the related worlds of unbridled advertising, liquor sales and consumption, and, of course, the very human need for relief from myriad ailments.