Here is a rundown of the top stories in paranormal, un-science and anomalous news from the past week courtesy of Doubtful News.
Several stories came up this week that were almost instantly revealed as hoaxes, some took a little longer but we had been saying, "Hmm…" pretty early on. The biggest reveal was that of the latest Loch Ness monster picture. It showed a stationary hump in the water that was difficult to correlate to a real, known animal, especially considering the story surrounding it. Well, this week, it was revealed that the hump in the picture is a match with a fiberglass prop used in a National Geographic special from a few years ago. The prop still exists. And, yes, it is a very good match. While details of what exactly happened here is fuzzier than the picture itself (since no one seems to be telling the whole story), we can safely conclude that this is not evidence supporting the existence of any new creature. But, certainly a tale of intrigue and deception.
Shame on the news sources that touted this completely awful video supposedly of Bigfoot crossing an ATV trail in Ohio. As Joe Nickell might say, it looks like another appearance of Bigsuit.
One look at this picture of a strange creature, a little bit of zoology knowledge and an ounce of perspective reveals that it's not some monster animal but an unfortunate insectivore sacrificed by human ignorance and probably greed. Instead, it was all over the internet as an alien creature or gorgakh.
Ghost investigators on TV have been accused of manufacturing or enhancing their so-called evidence to increase the believability about their paranormal findings. This piece suggests that they may be going back to cheap spiritualist tricks for live events. The bottom line: the believers will believe and the skeptic will be denounced for wanting the actual answer.
In pareidolia this past week, some keen-eyed anomaly hunters claim that an artifact found on Mars resembles a fossil finger.
Does simply getting old decrease your ability to think critically? I'm skeptical of this study.
A marketing ploy you should be TRULY skeptical of is that of the Pro-tanning groups. Tanning beds are GOOD for you, they say, like sunshine. Remember when the cigarette manufacturers would say that cigarettes are helpful to you too?
What could motivate the group of striking South African miners to rush police knowing they would be gunned down? Possibly, magical protection. They may have believed that they had been made invincible by a medicine man.
Send the magic the other way and the spell turns into a curse. A victim of a psychic curse was forced to hand over money or else the curse would continue to plague her. She eventually called police but the perpetrators have not yet been caught.
Here are some interesting ways to spend money. An Australian government body has authorized an official study to examine reports of big cats roaming the Victoria area. /
Soon, you can purchase a $220 iPhone accessory to warn you of inorganic foods and troublesome radiation.
And, your tax dollars are at work, America, with pre-scientific medicinal practices in the U.S. military.
Finally, most people have heard the comments by Senate candidate Todd Akin from Missouri, whose medieval ideas about rape and how conception works just flabbergasted the public. , but did you know that at least one parent (but probably more) in Louisiana are convinced that palm scanners to pay for school lunches is a lead up to the devil's mark on their children? Yeah, I didn't know that either until this week.
Now you know. Never underestimate the power of belief.
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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.