This week had news of big black cats and other strange things in odd places, horrifying child deaths due to belief and probing questions for acupuncture and a best selling author. Check out the best stories of the week courtesy of Doubtful News 

There has been an ongoing story about sightings of a black "panther" in the French Riviera.  

But no evidence has been found. This week in Louisiana, a very intriguing set of pictures were released showing a big black cat with features that do not seem to match with just a large domestic cat. We still don't know what it is.

We always love stories that make you go "hmm…" What is a dead octopus doing on the top of a mountain in Wales 8 miles away from the sea? 

What is this elongate feature spotted by Mars watchers online? And is the relief positive or negative? Spaceship or tunnel? I vote for "messed up". 

Two medical claims faced tough scrutiny this week. First, best selling author of "Proof of Heaven", Dr. Eben Alexander was the subject of an in-depth and quite damning expose in Esquire magazine that shed light on his troubled career as a surgeon and casts shadows on his claims of a near death experience given in his book. 

Acupuncture was also at the pointy end this week as a story surfaced that an athlete was severely injured due to a punctured lung during acupuncture treatment that was judged to be "not necessary". You can always say that, actually.  

Homeopathy in the U.K. was given a major blow as the advertising standards authority ruled that the marketing claims made were without scientific merit. 

A new documentary aims to overturn the official explanation from TWA flight 800 as it supports claims it was shot down by a missile. Government officials are not impressed. 

A two-year old idea resurfaced in the media regarding a possible cause of monster sightings in Loch Ness - geological fault activity.  

But, there is good reason why it went no where two years ago. It fails. But that doesn't stop the presses or celebrity Charlie Sheen who has to make a silly remark about Nessie hunting.  

Faith healing parents lost the appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court as their conviction for homicide of their daughter who died because medical care was withheld.  

The worst story of the week was the case of a man who beheaded his stepson in Ghana because he believed the child brought the family bad luck. This is a horrifying case of poverty and superstition combined into a tragedy.   

Finally, check out the ghost photo that has our commentators trying out experiments to reproduce it. What is in the background of this baby picture? 

Wednesday July 10, we will be at The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas! Come meet the editors and hear me talk about the website and skeptical outreach efforts at the convention. Visit everyday for the most intriguing news on the web. 


Sharon Hill runs Doubtful News, a unique feed of news stories about the paranormal, pseudoscience, the weird and the unexplained with questioning commentary.