Here is a rundown of the top stories in pseudoscience and paranormal news from the past week courtesy of Doubtful News.
Last week was full of monster sightings. Continuing that trend was a mysterious trail cam photo from Alberta. Instead of seeing a rabbit or duck, dependent upon how you look at it, you can either see a lounging Sasquatch or a bear's rear end. The mystery is in the eye of the beholder.
A near-death experience researcher is charged with child abuse for allegedly "water boarding" his daughter. But, this story is a bit more convoluted than that. We'll have to wait for more of the story to emerge before it can be ascertained what really went on.
Self-styled historian and evangelical Christian minister, David Barton found himself exposed this week as NPR revealed the controversial story told in his book, The Jefferson Lies. As a consequence, the publisher pulled the book.
In another case of revisionist history, a woman claims a painting is a previously undiscovered DaVinci work. Even more astounding, she claims that it shows Mary Magdalene and Jesus' children.
Too often, disturbing stories come to light where children are the victims of irrational belief.
First, classes are offered to enhance children's psychic gifts.
In tragic news, a two-year old dies in Malaysia during an exorcism.
Vaccination scares were in the news as a mother blames the Gardasil vaccine for her teen's sudden death.
Meanwhile, the U.K., advertising standards authority takes action against a website for posting unsubstantiated claims about vaccines and autism.
The future of Scientology-based drug treatment program, Narconon, is looking gloomy as they face inquiries into deaths and pseudoscientific methods.
The U.S. FDA cites serious quality control problems at a U.K. homeopathy manufacturer. This story simply did NOT get the attention that it deserves considering the findings.
Finally, many mysteries remain unsolved, but often, we can figure them out. The huge, exciting and inspiring news last weekend was the successful landing on Mars of the Curiosity rover. Photos of the surface post-landing revealed an odd blotch in the frame that later disappeared. It turns out it was a fortuitous film capture.
Weird, tiny, jumping objects that confused a Davis, California neighborhood were found to be a curious plant-insect interaction.
And, an animal mutilation report in Colorado was poorly covered by the media. Rational and likely causes were not given due consideration. I guess we could be relieved aliens weren't blamed this time.
Last week, I took Doubtful News to Camp Inquiry near Buffalo, New York, to talk to kids aged 7-16 about How to Think About Weird News. These kids were so engaged and curious! We had a fantastic time talking about what to watch out for so you won't fall for spun stories delivered as "news".
Come visit Doubtful News for more stories, updated every day. Be sure to check out the comments on the stories for some additional info and add yours. There is also a "Submit a Story" page for you to send us news.
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Sharon Hill runs Doubtful News, a unique feed of news stories about the paranormal, pseudoscience, the weird and the unexplained with questioning commentary.