Monthly Archives: July, 2013

Is that a FEMA Camp? – July 21, 2013 Edition

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations.
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Below is some of their findings. Enjoy🙂
FEMA drums

July 21, 2013 Edition

Lowry AFB, Colorado

The claim: Denver, ?

Lowry_CO_hangarWhat it really is: Lowry Air Force Base was closed in 1994. The land is now being used for commercial and residential development.

Aurora AFB (formerly Buckley ANGB), Colorado

The claim: Aurora, 3,832

What it really is: The base is actually called Buckley Air Force Base, and is an Air Force Space Command base that serves more than 92,000 active duty, National Guard, Reserve and retired personnel throughout the Front Range community.

Since 2000 the base has been going through a large amount of new construction and modernization, including new enlisted airmen’s dormitories, a commissary, a base exchange, a fitness center, and family housing units.

Travis AFB, California

The claim: Fairfield, 6,258

Travis_GateWhat it really is: Travis Air Force Base is a major Air Force base located next to Fairfield, and is Nicknamed the “Gateway to the Pacific” due to it handling more cargo and passenger traffic than any other military air terminal in the US.

The base also includes 7,260 active USAF military personnel, 4,250 Air Force Reserve personnel and 3,770 civilians.

The base also hosts the Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum.

Sierra Army Depot, California

The claim: Herlong, ?

What it really is: The Sierra Army Depot is an Army supply depot that has been scaling back operation since the 1990’s. By 2001 the depot on had eight ammo storage facilities, about half as many as it did in 1990.

Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station, California

FriendsLogoHiRes_250pxThe claim: Seal Beach, ?

What it really is: Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach is a weapons and munitions storage, maintenance, and loading facility for the US Navy.

Also located on the site is a World War Two submarine memorial, the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, and several public roads.

Sandia National Laboratories, California

The claim: Livermore, 413

What it really is: Sandia National Laboratories is a nuclear sciences and national security research facility that works for the US Department of Energy and is owned by Lockheed Martin.

Point Loma Naval Weapons Station, California

The claim: San Diego, ?

What it really is: It’s actual name is Navel Base Point Loma, and has a base population of over 22,000 military and civilian personnel. The base itself has also been downsized since 1995.

Click here for the latest findings at “Is that a FEMA Camp?”

A map of non-existent FEMA camps.

A map of non-existent FEMA camps.

The Price Of The Autism-Measles Panic, 15 Years Later

By Emily Willingham via Forbes

Guess which child was vaccinated.

Guess which child was vaccinated.

Several news outlets today are reviewing the measles outbreak in Wales, citing public health experts who lay the blame for the burst in cases squarely at the feet of Andrew Wakefield’s bogus MMR vaccine scare in 1998 and the subsequent media coverage. The Wall Street Journal has a particularly in-depth story [hits paywall if you click the link here, but clicking from Google News seems to give full access], “Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts,” that digs into the roles of both in the Wales outbreak, that left 1219 people infected with measles and one in ten hospitalized. Most were hospitalized with pneumonia or dehydration, and most fell into the age range of children who should have been vaccinated around the time of the Wakefield scare.

One of the most common refrains people repeat in arguing against vaccinating their children is that diseases like measles simply aren’t their problem. That virus, they say, is a “third world” or “developing world” problem, something to worry about in places where water isn’t clean and nutrition is poor. Of course, that kind of insouciance about being a fortunate first-worlder is in itself misplaced; children in developed nations have died from measles. But the Wall Street Journal story makes an important point–one that yes, has been made ad nauseam but bears repeating: In this global society, there are no “first” and “third” worlds. A well-fed child with measles can take that infection anywhere, including to more resource-poor parts of the world where children live unprotected by vaccines. As Jeanne Whalen and Betsy McKay write in their WSJ piece:

The outbreak matters to the rest of the world because measles can quickly cross oceans, setting back progress elsewhere in stopping it. By 2000, the U.S. had effectively eliminated new home-grown cases of measles, though small outbreaks persist as travelers bring the virus into the country. New York City health officials this spring traced a Brooklyn outbreak to someone they believe was infected in London.

Life before vaccination

Life before vaccination

From London to Brooklyn or Wales to … anywhere. Terrible that unwarranted anxiety–flogged into a froth of vaccine resistance by the news media and opportunists looking for a buck–leads some parents to leave their children unvaccinated. Even worse if the result is an outbreak in places where children might not be lucky enough to access hospitals to treat their measles-related pneumonia or where they join the 1 in 1000 who die from measles infection.

As the WSJ article points out and many others have frequently noted, measles is an extremely contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. Most people do recover from it, but it can cause deafness and pneumonia, and it can be fatal.

MORE . . .

Spike TV show features nine teams of Bigfoot hunters

Via UPI.com

finding-bigfoot_250pxLOS ANGELES, July 24 (UPI) — Nine teams will compete for $10 million in an effort to determine if Bigfoot actually exists in the United States, Spike TV announced Wednesday.

The show, “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty,” premieres in January, TV Guide reported. The show will be hosted by Dean Cain, star of “Lois & Clark,” who is described as “team leader.”

Bigfoot or sasquatch is a so-far mythical, ape-like animal said to live somewhere in the woods of North America. While the Pacific Northwest is the most fertile area for sasquatch sightings, there have been tales from other parts of the country, including Pennsylvania.

Photos and film of the creature have mostly proved to be hoaxes or wishful thinking.

Spike said the show will feature different Bigfoot “hot spots” every week. The prize is being underwritten by Lloyd’s of London.

[END]

via UPI.com

Prove Your Supernatural Power and Get Rich

If you can demonstrate a power unknown to science, there are people looking to write you a check.

By Brian Dunning via skeptoid
Read transcript below or listen here.

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Houdini’s psychic challenge letter
Photo: Chris Perley
(Click image for larger view)

It can sometimes be quite mind-boggling to hear a friend or family member reveal that they have some kind of supernatural ability. Often they feel an empathetic connection to others, sometimes the ability to perform minor healings, or to predict future events. Many times, these are abilities for which “supernatural” seems too strong a word; they are more spiritual or metaphysical, or based on some sensing of an energy. It’s more than likely that you yourself believe you have such an ability, or perhaps did at one time. Nearly all of us have. But whether the ability is energetic or spiritual, supernatural truly is the best word that applies. A supernatural ability could almost be seen as a superpower, something a fictional superhero might be able to do. And we all want superpowers. We all want your supernatural ability to be proven true. And we want it so much that a large number of groups around the world will pay you to prove it.

Such prizes have been available at least since Houdini, who had a standing $10,000 offer for anyone who could create a paranormal manifestation that he could not duplicate. The granddaddy of today’s challenges is the James Randi Educational Foundation‘s Million Dollar Challenge, which will pay anyone who can prove an ability unknown to science one million dollars, and Chinese journalist Sima Nan will kick in a million Yuan (about $150,000) on top of it. It’s not the only big prize out there: the Belgian group SKEPP offers the Sisyphus Prize for one million Euros, which at current exchange rates, is about a quarter million dollars more than the Million Dollar Challenge. The Independent Investigation Group, with affiliates throughout the United States, offers a $100,000 prize. Puzzling World in New Zealand has long offered the $100,000 Pyschic Challenge, and just across the pond, the Australian Skeptics offer a $100,000 prize. The Science and Rationalists’ Association of India offers a INπ 2 million Miracle Challenge, worth about $50,000. These are most of the largest prizes, but many, many smaller prizes are offered all around the world. If you have a supernatural ability of any kind, you owe it to yourself – or at least to your favorite charity – to prove it and use the reward however you see fit.

It’s easy to dismiss the groups who run these challenges as cynics who just want to gloat over someone’s failure, and for sure, such people are found in those groups. But many members of the groups joined because they, too, have always dreamed of having a superpower. Should you win the money and prove that a supernatural ability is possible, you’ll not only turn the world on its head, you’ll be handed money by people who have never been happier to sign a check.

I truly do encourage you to go for it. Here are three big pieces of advice, based on the experiences of the many previous claimants:

1. Be able to succinctly describe a testable ability.

telekinesis_fullpic_1149_300pxThe biggest headache for the people who offer these prizes is that the claimant can almost never provide a simple, clear description of their ability. For example, if you believe you have the power to influence a cat telepathically, you have to give a specific and testable example. Most claimants usually write in with a great lengthy email, telling about the many examples they’ve experienced of a cat doing whatever they wanted it to do; or perhaps with long rambling experiences of sharing the cat’s feelings or of their history of owning cats with whom they felt empathetic.

The challengers have no use for a long letter. You truly must be able to describe one specific ability in a single sentence. If you have many, then pick exactly one, one that you are most confident you can consistently prove.

Nobody is going to give you a cash prize for the length of your letter, or for the number of cats you’ve felt empathetic toward. You must be able to provide a clear, testable ability. If your ability is broad-reaching and vague, it will not be possible to construct a test protocol, and you will not be able to prove it. You must be able to select, within the scope of your broad-reaching abilities, something specific that’s testable and repeatable. For example, “I can make my cat jump onto its perch, within five seconds of giving it a mental command, when the cat neither see me nor hear me, and I can do it 8 out of 10 times.”

ted_250px

Ted Serios claimed he could make images appear on Polaroid film just by thinking of an image.
(See: Thoughtography)

It has to be something concise, specific, and unmistakable. If you feel that your ability is too broad to be fairly represented by such a precise example, then you are unlikely to convince anyone, and will certainly be unable to prove your ability to the satisfaction of whatever criteria are agreed upon.

Many claimants report that they feel it’s unfair to try and represent their ability with a single demonstration that’s so much more specific than what they generally do. If you feel the same way and can’t agree to a simple test protocol, then you’re likely to leave the impression that your abilities are really just your own misinterpretation of ordinary coincidences. It’s something the psychologists call confirmation bias – you happen to notice when your cat jumps onto his perch while you were thinking of him, but you failed to weigh it against the far larger number of times your cat jumped onto the perch when you weren’t around and had nothing to do with it.

2. Be aware of why previous claimants failed.

Many people have taken such tests, and so far, all have failed. However, they’ve almost always cited an excuse or some external reason out of their control that the test failed. You must be aware of why previous claimants have failed, and be prepared not to suffer their same fate. This means preparation and anticipation of the problems.

Claimants are generally required to . . .

Mediums, Psychics – Snakeoil Salesmen

Skeptic's Guide to Life

Recently Silvia Brown, a Medium/Psychic was ousted as a fraud and attacked through social media, mainly due to the fact that she had ‘read’ that one of the women found locked in a Cleveland basement several months ago was in fact dead. Claims when psychics get it wrong range widely, it is due to weather, uncommunicative or malevolent spirits, or a simple mistake and trick of the ‘between worlds.’ The strangest thing to me is that when something like this happens, the psychic in question will even have a right of reply, will be given a chance to explain why they got it wrong, and the reputation and the several thousand dollar phone consultations continue as though this isn’t a person benefiting from the deaths and suffering of others. Why is it that she has a right of reply when what she is peddling is unsubstantiated tripe?
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Recently Silvia…

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10 Creepy Pop Culture Conspiracy Theories

By Mike Floorwalker via Listverse

6 • Predictive Programming
TV, Movies, Books Hint At Events To Come

The-Simpsons-e1374543790581_250pxOne common theme in conspiracy theories has to do with the behind-the-scenes puppet masters being fond of dropping lots of clues about their master plan, usually in plain sight. These clues almost always have to do with significant symbols, numbers, or other identifiable references to the occult, Freemasonry (the Masons being a gigantic target for conspiracy theories of all sorts), or specific dates or imagery.

This can supposedly be done in many ways (in architecture, for instance, or artwork), the most modern of which is what’s known as predictive programming. For example, the above still, from a 1997 episode of The Simpsons, appears to put that “9″ in a pretty strange place, right next to the image of the Twin Towers (which could be seen as an “11″). There are far too many potential examples of this to list here, with some obviously reaching pretty far to make the connections, and others being downright creepy—like the plot of the 1998 pilot of the short-lived Fox series The Lone Gunmen, which had government operatives hijacking a plane and crashing it into the World Trade Center.

Beyond flaunting their nefarious plots, predictive programming is said to play a role in softening up the public for the traumatic events that they predict, in ways that are undetectable to those being affected.

5 • Subliminal Messages
Tactic Is Used To Condition Consumers

Theater-e1374545420769_250pxIt’s no secret (at least, not anymore) that extremely brief or cleverly hidden words or images can be placed within another image or film in such a way that the observer, while not making a conscious connection, is subtly mentally influenced by the message. The efficacy of this tactic has long been open for debate and has never been proven—but of course, this doesn’t stop corporations from doing things like hiding images within their logos to try to bolster positive association with their brand. It may not work, but it can’t hurt, right?

But according to this conspiracy theory, not only does subliminal messaging work, it works far more efficiently than we’ve been led to believe—and it’s everywhere. Supposedly (and honestly, you really can make the case), the practice is mostly used in advertising to induce consumers to buy, usually with references to sex. Certain Coke and Pepsi ads in the early ’90s were famously found to contain hidden sexual references (which the companies both claimed were coincidences).

One would think that, if effective, the only message necessary in subliminal advertising would fall right along the lines of “buy this product, and lots of it.” But the subliminal sexual references, odd as they may seem, are not limited to advertising. Whether coincidental or some animator’s idea of a joke, it’s also been established that hidden references to sex appear with alarming frequency in Disney cartoons. Which brings us to&nbsp.&nbsp.&nbsp.&nbsp

4 • Walt Disney
The Disney Company Is An Evil Empire

Pop-Culture-Feature1_250pxThis cannot be disputed: the Walt Disney Company is one of the United States’ oldest and most successful entertainment conglomerates. It was founded in 1923, and as of this writing consists of a certifiably insane number of subsidiaries. Disney has long owned the ABC network and all of its affiliated networks, including ESPN. The company made international headlines in 2009 when it acquired Marvel Entertainment for over US$4 billion, and again in 2012 when it acquired Lucasfilm for over US$4 billion more. The “House of Mouse” is probably the most influential and powerful of the tiny handful of huge corporations that control most of the media in the United States and, by extension, the world.

It also can’t be disputed that, though a traditionally family-oriented business, Disney has allowed sexual images to make their way not only into completed cuts of their films, but also promotional and poster artwork. Many instances have been pointed out, from the overt (a couple of frames showing an image of a topless woman in The Rescuers) to the puzzling (a spire of the castle on the VHS cover of The Little Mermaid looks a hell of a lot like an erect penis) to the questionable (at one point in Aladdin, the Genie can be heard muttering offscreen something that sounds like “good teenagers, take off your clothes”). In each and every instance, changes were made to further releases, and chalked up to jokes by animators or simple misunderstandings. Why would Disney want to expose children (so to speak) to inappropriate sexual content, anyway?

Well, conspiracy theorists have their answers: Disney is all about sexualizing children. The Disney Company, they assert, wants to suck all of the money from the parents’ wallets while rendering their children compliant, subservient consumers, and early exposure to these sexualized images is the first step in that process. Also, they say, because it’s evil—mind-bogglingly, Satanically evil. And here is where some of the theories begin to tie in with each other, and the rabbit hole begins to look pretty deep, so please stay with us.

SEE MORE OF THE LIST . . .

Interview with Charlie Veitch – The truther who changed his mind

Charlie Veitch was once one of Britain’s leading conspiracy theorists, a friend of David Icke and Alex Jones and a 9/11 'truther'. But when he had a change of heart, the threats began.

Charlie Veitch was once one of Britain’s leading conspiracy theorists, a friend of David Icke and Alex Jones and a 9/11 ‘truther’. But when he had a change of heart, the threats began.
Image: The Telegraph

By Myles Power via mylespower.co.uk

Part 1:

Part 2:

Heidi Stevenson – Fake Measles Epidemic and Censorship

By Myles Power via YouTube

Heidi Stevenson has recently wrote a blog post were she claims that the Welsh Measles Epidemic is faked. In this video Nega talks about the data she presents and her ruthless censorship.

Heidi Stevenson blog post
http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2013…

My blog post about her
http://mylespower.co.uk/2013/05/05/we…

Uncloaking the Deceptive Tactics Used by Alleged Psychics

by via Debunking Denialism

psychic-transparentAlleged psychics who claim to have supernatural powers to communicate with the “spirit realm” have been around for centuries, from the priestesses of the Oracle in Delphi to Sylvia Browne (who has been debunked several times on this blog, such as here, here, here and here). Alleged psychics may seem very convincing at first, but that is a cognitive illusion created by the fact that these supposed psychics use psychological tools and techniques to attempt to create such beliefs in the brain of their unsuspecting victims.

This article goes into detail and examines the nature of some of these tricks. Although no division is going to be perfect, they can be divided into three categories (with some overlap): basic techniques that almost all psychics use, techniques used to increase the probability of getting a hit and techniques used to salvage a miss. When combined, they constitute a powerful method for deception, especially if the victim is in an emotionally vulnerable state or if he or she already has an inclination to believe.

Basic Techniques

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

There are certain techniques that are used by almost all alleged psychics that the deserved to be called basic techniques. This involves cold reading (making guesses and getting information from the victim), warm reading (making barnum statements that apply to almost everyone), hot reading (gotten information from researching the victim) and time-shifting (asking a question and claiming that the information was gotten from the spirit world when the victim tells the alleged psychic the information).

Cold reading: cold reading is perhaps one of the most common and well-known tactic used by alleged psychics. It is a technique designed to get the victim to give the alleged psychic the information, and then the alleged psychic takes credit for it and makes it appear that he or she got that information from the deceased loved one. The alleged psychic typically employ estimates and guesses that have a high prior probability of being true about the person, often informed by body language, manner of speech, outward appearance and so on. If a guess is confirmed, the alleged psychic pushes forward in that direction, hoping that confirmation bias will make the victim forget the hits and remember the misses.

james_van_praagh_150pxWarm reading: there is a related technique refers to as warm reading. Some skeptics consider it a type of cold reading, whereas others conceptualize it as an independent technique. Warm reading occurs when the alleged psychic uses statements that apply to almost anyone (barnum statements) instead of using cold reading to get the victim to give them information. Examples include guessing for a common case of death (such as heart condition or cancer). If this technique is combined with inflating probabilistic resources, the supposed psychic has a very high probability of scoring a hit.

John_Edward_150pxHot reading: hot reading occurs when the alleged psychic has actually gotten information about the victim beforehand, either from a Google search or probing other people close the victim (such as relatives, friends, TV producers and so on). Then, when they present that information to their victims, it seems like a miraculous discovery and evidence that the alleged psychic can really talk to the dead. In reality, they have just gathered that information from living or electronic sources without you knowing it. With the popularity of social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, this is becoming an increasingly powerful technique.

Time-shifting: time-shifting is a technique that begins with the alleged psychic asking a question. If the victim gives an informative response, the alleged psychic replies that the dead loved one just told him or her that. To credulous victims, it may appear that the deceased loved one provided the information before the question was asked. In reality, it was the victim that gave that information to the supposed psychic and the supposed psychic tried to make it look like he or she was actually communicating with the dead.

Techniques to Ensure a Hit

LongIslandMedium_250px_200pxThe techniques in this category attempt to increase the probability of getting hits. This is done by various means, such as making a statement without specifying what dead relative and hoping that it will fit for at least one or making a statement in front of a crowd so that at least someone will relate (inflating probabilistic resources), increasing the number of statements made hoping that some are true (shotgunning), making statements that are contradictory or cover a range of possibilities (covering all the bases), ensure that all responses by the victim can be twisted into a hit by asking questions containing negations (vanishing negative) and making unverifiable/unfalsifiable claims that can never become misses (escape hatch).

George Anderson, a former switchboard operator, now talks to the dead.

George Anderson, a former switchboard operator, now talks to the dead.

Inflating probabilistic resources: this technique can be used both when performing a private reading and when doing a reading on e. g. a TV audience. Both are based on the fact that the more possible connections that can make between what the alleged psychic claims and reality, the greater probability that the claimed psychic will score a hit. During a private reading, the psychic might make vague claims about the victim’s dead relatives (e. g. who had the cat?). Since any given person might have quite a few dead relatives, there is a greater probability to score a hit than if the psychic had asked “did your mother have a cat?”. During psychic readings on a studio audience, an alleged psychic will throw out a bait to the entire audience, such as asking “who had the dad with the clock?” or similar. The alleged psychic is almost guaranteed a hit, because there is bound to be someone who can relate to it. In this case, the inflation does not occur by making claims that could refer to any dead relative. Instead, the inflation occurs because there are so many people in the studio audience. Using these techniques, the probability of getting a hit is increased.

Shotgunning: the defining characteristic of the shotgunning technique involves throwing out a lot of claims, particularly names, and hoping that the victim can relate to at least one of them. The alleged psychic relies on the confirmation bias of the victim to ensure that he or she will remember the hits and forgetting the misses. This is based on the same general ideas as inflating the probabilistic resources, although here it is about increasing the number of allowed guesses instead of increasing the probability that a given guess is interpreted as a hit.

MORE . . .

psychic-john-edward-2012-events_02

Vaccines & Autism: Controversy Persists, But Why?

Cara Santa Maria_80pxBy via The Huffington Post

The vaccine-autism controversy has been brewing ever since Andrew Wakefield published his infamous 1998 paper in The Lancet. Fourteen years later, the study has been retracted and scientists have had no luck finding a legitimate link between childhood vaccinations and autism. Yet, the debate rages on.

Why does over 20 percent of the population still think that vaccines cause autism? And what happens when parents act on their fears, refusing to inoculate their own children against dangerous diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella?

To learn more, I spoke with Seth Mnookin, lecturer in MIT’s graduate program in science writing and author of “The Panic Virus” To hear what he had to say, watch the video:

Video Transcript:

JENNY MCCARTHY: Evan was diagnosed with autism in 2005. Without a doubt in my mind, I believe vaccinations triggered Evan’s autism.

SETH MNOOKIN: Vaccines do not cause autism.

CARA SANTA MARIA: Hi everyone, Cara Santa Maria here. And that’s Seth Mnookin. He’s a lecturer in MIT’s graduate program in science writing and the author of “The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy.” I asked Seth to chat with me about why this is still a controversial subject, even though there’s not a shred of legitimate evidence linking vaccines with autism. First, we talked about Andrew Wakefield, author of the infamous 1998 paper published in The Lancet, which described 12 children who showed symptoms of autism sometime after receiving a vaccine to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella infection.

SM: It was an atrocious paper, it was called, almost the minute it was published, the worst paper The Lancet has ever published. And we’ve since learned a lot of things that were wrong that we didn’t even know at the time in 1998, like the fact that Wakefield was receiving research money from a law firm that was working with parents who were interested in suing vaccine manufacturers, like the fact that Wakefield had taken out a patent for an alternative measles vaccine several months before the paper was published. But what I think is kind of interesting is, forget all of that, it’s insane to make population-wide conclusions on a 12-person case series. And you know sometimes if I’m talking to a group of people and this comes up, I’ll count off 12 people and say, ‘and based on that case series I’m going to go ahead and conclude that population is 90 percent female or everyone is over the age of 50,’ or whatever.

CSM: The media played a large role in spreading misinformation about vaccines and autism following the publication of Wakefield’s study. Although The Lancet officially retracted the paper in 2010, the controversy still persists to this day. In fact, just last year, 21.4 percent of respondents in the Thomson-Reuters NPR Health Poll said they believe that vaccines can cause autism. It doesn’t help that well-known figures like Jenny McCarthy continue to spread anti-vaccine rhetoric. There’s even a website called JennyMcCarthyBodyCount.com. It claims that even though she’s not directly responsible for the thousands of preventable illnesses and hundreds of preventable deaths since 2007, if her campaign against vaccination caused even one preventable death, that’s one too many.

SM: Once you introduce misinformation into a society, it then lives on its own. And, it’s, as we’ve seen with vaccines, it’s impossible to unscare someone. Once an idea is planted in your mind, especially about your children, you can’t just then sort of wipe the board clean, ‘oh it turns out that actually ignore everything we were saying.’

CSM: But we have to learn to wipe the board clean, because there’s no scientific evidence linking vaccines with autism. None. If I left dinner last night and it started to rain, would I avoid that restaurant in the future, fearing that every time I ate there, it would influence the weather? Of course not! Autism symptoms commonly appear in children soon after they’re old enough to get vaccinated. This doesn’t mean they’re connected. And those who refuse to see this may be less likely to vaccinate their own children, putting them at risk of infection. And if their kids don’t get sick, sometimes they see this as proof positive that vaccines aren’t necessary. But what they don’t know is that the reason their kids aren’t getting sick is because all the kids around them are vaccinated. It’s called herd immunity, but it’s only so effective.

SM: I compared it once to like a herd of buffalo, kind of encircling their weakest members to ensure that they don’t get picked off by predators. So when you have enough members of a population protected or who have immunity against a given disease, that disease can’t get a toehold in the community. So you know take measles, which has a 90 percent infection rate, and if you were in a community where there was 95 percent immunity and then you had a traveler from Africa or Europe come over infected with measles, there would be a good chance that you could contain that because it’s going to be hard for measles to spread from person to person because there just aren’t those vectors.

JM: Take a look around. I believe science was wrong yet again. [cheering]

CSM: Do you know someone who still sees a link between vaccines and autism, even though no link exists? Reach out to me on Twitter, Facebook, or leave your comments … on The Huffington Post. Come on, Talk Nerdy To Me!

[END]
via The Huffington Post

The terrors of sleep paralysis

By Ami Angelowicz via TEDEducation (YouTube).

View full lesson: The terrors of sleep paralysis – Ami Angelowicz

Imagine you’re fast asleep and then suddenly awake. You want to move but can’t, as if someone is sitting on your chest. And you can’t even scream! This is sleep paralysis, a creepy but common phenomenon caused by an overlap in REM sleep and waking stages. Ami Angelowicz describes just how pervasive (but harmless) it is and introduces a cast of characters from sleep paralysis around the world.

The Lie Is Out There: Three Types of Alien Encounters

TheLieIsOutThere_20_01
By Ashley Feinberg via gizmodo.com

Nearly everyone who’s looked up at the night sky has asked him or herself at least some form of the very same question: Are we really, truly alone in the universe? The only thing that’s certain is that we definitely don’t want to be. Maybe that explains why we keep seeing UFOs in the sky… and why they’re always one of three types.

alien603_250pxThe idea that humankind is pretty much the end all be all as far as intelligent life goes is a pretty depressing thought. It’s only natural, then, that we’d grasp on to pretty much anything as a sign of alien contact—seriously, anything. History is rife with reports of UFO sightings, but if you take a second to stop and think, nearly all of them come with perfectly reasonable explanations—and not one of them extraterrestrial.

Consider this: It would take one of our space ships 60,000 years simply to reach the edge of our galaxy alone. Now, that doesn’t bode well for an extraterrestrial playdate. But this hasn’t deterred the hoards of people willing to swear until their dying day that they have seen, interacted with, touched, and/or been probed (anally or otherwise) by creatures of a world beyond our own. And sure, the thought that we’re not alone is an exciting if not slightly unsettling one, but these little claims and subsequent “proofs” of alien life on Earth almost always fall into one of three categories: military exercises gone wrong, acts of nature, and of course, man-made hoaxes.


• Military

Ever notice how UFO sightings tend to conveniently happen on or around military bases? Yeah, that’s not a coincidence. Be it weather balloon, aerial spy cam, or rogue aircraft, people are more than happy to assume that the mystery circling overhead is alien—rather than military-made—especially during times of national paranoia.

The Battle of Los Angeles

battle of los angeles_300pxTimes of paranoia like, say, WWII, for instance. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the country’s sense of security was shattered. So three months later, when a weather balloon went casually wafting over Los Angeles in 1942, hysteria naturally followed suit. What’s a terrified city to do? Why, conduct a massive military airstrike against the interloper, of course—resulting in this iconic photograph of what was later dubbed The Battle of Los Angeles.

Initially the shadow in the sky was thought to be another attack coming over from Japan, but at a press conference shortly after the incident, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox quickly put that rumor to rest, calling it a “false alarm.” Which then left media personnel free to publish all sorts of “reports” of extraterrestrial coverup. And remember—after WWII, people were shaken. They were ready to believe anything.

The Battle of Los Angeles acclimated civilians to the notion that alien sightings were not only plausible but likely. It allowed for a more comfortable way to explain away their fears, and the instances only picked up speed.

The Roswell Incident

UFO2croppedOne of the most notorious alleged UFO sightings (and the inspiration for a criminally underrated television show), Roswell, all started in July of 1947 when local ranch foreman William Brazel stumbled upon a giant ditch hundreds of feet long and filled with debris—namely rubber strips, tin foil, paper, scotch tape, and toughened sticks.

Since the bizarre mess was on the property where he worked, Brazel promptly reported it to the authorities, and the account eventually made its way over to the Roswell Army Airfield base. The base’s commander denounced the mess to be nothing more than a weather balloon gone wrong, encouraging everyone to forget about the mini-dump and go about their business. So of course, conspiracy theorists decided it was the perfect time for a good, ol’ fashioned UFO rabble-rousing.

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Stanton Friedman, a physicist and amateur ufologist (it’s a word), was one of those noble crusaders for the alien origins explanation—it’s just that he decided to wait a good 30 years before weighing in because, well, no one really knows why. After interviewing Major Jesse Marcel—one of the site’s original inspectors—in 1978, Friedman got what he was looking for. Marcel claimed that the entire event was a military coverup of an alien spaceship. Bingo!

Glenn Dennis, a mortician, also piped in (another 11 years after that) and claimed that dead bodies had been removed from the site and taken to an airbase. But apparently, these people weren’t totally insane (or at the very least, totally wrong).

ufo-crash1-200x225Because there was so much controversy over what actually happened, two separate official government investigations took place—one in 1994 and the other in 1995. The first confirmed that the cause had indeed been a weather balloon; the military was testing them in a classified program that used sensitive lights to try to detect Russian nuclear tests. The second cleared up that whole “dead bodies” issue; the test had used dummies during parachute testing, dummies which then had to be removed.

After Roswell, interest in potential alien spacecrafts skyrocketed, with almost 800 sightings occurring in the weeks that directly followed. As with the Battle of Los Angeles, the international climate probably played a role; this was mid-Cold War, when Americans were well-primed for a little extra paranoia and perpetual fear. While photographs of UFOs are now are relatively rare and met with considerable skepticism, back then, the claims were accepted in droves. Each UFO sighting was merely another log tossed on top of an already hefty pile of anxiety-inducing fodder.

The Mysterious Lubbock Lights

In August and September of 1951, the small town of Lubbock, Texas enjoyed its own brief stint in the UFO spotlight. The Texas Technical College professors spotted a group of 20-30 some-odd lights floating overhead the night of August 25. The next week, student Carl Hart noticed a similar phenomenon in the sky and snapped photos, which the local newspaper then published and eventually sent nationwide.

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Lieutenant Edward Ruppelt from the Air Force’s Project Blue Book (the government agency set up for the express purpose of UFO investigations) analyzed the images and ultimately declared them not to be a hoax—but he didn’t believe them to be of alien origin, either. Rather Ruppelt believed that the vision had been nothing more than streetlights being reflected off the underbellies of a flock of plovers. Witnesses in the area supported this explanation, agreeing that they had in fact seen large flocks of migratory birds and had even her some squawking.

Still, others maintained that the lieutenant was simply attempting to cover up the training exercises of the Air Port’s new flying wing. Whichever the correct explanation might be, however, certainly doesn’t include aliens.


• Acts of Nature

Pink UFO: A stack of altocumulus lenticularis clouds hovers over the Alpujarra Mountains in southern Spain, stained by the rays of the setting sun Picture: IAN DENNIS

Pink UFO: A stack of altocumulus lenticularis clouds hovers over the Alpujarra Mountains in southern Spain, stained by the rays of the setting sun
Picture: IAN DENNIS

These little alien scares down’t necessarily have to come from the hand of man, though. Our world is fully capable of creating its own absolutely beautiful, stunning phenomenons that can pretty easily terrify any witnesses who don’t understand what’s going on in the sky above them. Generally, as science advances, we have fewer and fewer instances of people reporting suspicious, potentially otherworldly activity in the wake of a natural occurrence. Still, it’s curious how quick we are to jump to the conclusion that a phenomenal vision came from some alien being when, in fact, it just came from our very own phenomenal world.

Portugal’s Miracle of the Sun

In 1917, 30,000 people in Fatima, Portugal supposedly witnessed the “Miracle of the Sun,” an event that was supposed to predict the appearance of the Virgin Mary. Crowds gathered to find themselves staring at a cloudy sky for hours. But when the clouds finally did part and the sun came bearing down, everybody simultaneously experienced radiating, multicolored lights that came spiraling downwards. And cue collective panic… now.

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Understandably, though, and to this clearly devoutly religious population, the bright, shiny lights could very well have seemed like a sign of the End Times. Nearly 100 years later, we’re aware of the fact that staring at the sun for such a long of a period of time has the potential to directly induce mass hysteria and hallucinations. But hey, they were looking for a little excitement; at least they got what they came for. The severe retina damage was just a bonus.

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Three Steps to Building Your Own Conspiracy Theory

By Nancy Bixler via The Blog Herald (2007)

Conspiracies 901_250pxDo you want to put forward a conspiracy theory of your own on your blog? Perhaps you suspect that the CIA and U.S. government, in an unholy union with Muammar al-Qaddafi, are, for nefarious reasons of their own, raising the taxes of middle class U.S. citizens to fund AIDS research in Libya. Or that the Catholic Church, environmentalists, the PLO, or [fill in the blank] are working underground to [fill in the blank] put hallucinogens into the local water supply, make burping in public a capitol offense, or suppress a cure for warts. No doubt they have their methods and motives.

It’s your job, as a buddying conspiracy theorist, to find some troubling elements of life that, so far (in your opinion) lack an explanation and point out the ways the hidden conspirators plan to achieve their aim. With tongue firmly in cheek, let’s look at how to create a conspiracy theory, and if all else fails, you can make your own conspiracy theory with a conspiracy theory online.

1. Define Your Conspiracy Subject Matter

puzzled_200pxFirst, choose something people find puzzling. It’s no good providing a theory for something that is already sufficiently clear; conspiracy theories develop where people are mystified, not where curiosity is already appeased. If you believe that aliens abducted Elvis for their own evil purposes, it’s probably because his death seemed impossibly sudden and, therefore, incredible.

People have a built-in need to feel that there is sense in what happens in the world, and we’ll make a story for why events happen even where there isn’t sufficient evidence to really know. The clearer the events in the story, the better.

If you can’t understand why, with all your hard work, your small farm isn’t making enough money to support your family, you’ll be looking for reasons. International trade agreements, tax structures favoring corporate farming, and local laws on land development, waterways, flood management, and wildlife preservation are complex, interlocked, hard to understand, and harder to change. A ravening band of insane environmentalists aching to convert all farmland to human-free wetlands, however, has the virtue of simplicity. (The perpetrators can also be caught and summarily executed, a real plus for any conspiracy theory.)

Breaking-News-Alert-Graphic--New-as-of-3-21-11---27279469_250pxSecond, make sure what you choose to explain is significant to enough readers. Money, especially for those caught in the middle-class crunch of supporting their families, is a powerful motivator. So is fear.

Thousands living along the U.S. Gulf Coast feared hurricanes, but now they have a new respect for nature and the disaster it can bring. Hurricane Katrina triggered fear locally and nationally with the message: Nowhere is safe and help may not be there when you need it. Is the government and citizens ready for a category 5 hurricane to hit the Eastern Seaboard? What about a head-on collision with New York?

Building a good conspiracy theory is improved by taking it international. Don’t just think local. Think global. What’s the international connection to your local problem? Where are the links and pattern?

international-trade_250pxWhat if a foreign country had invented a new secret weather machine and a failure in the preliminary tests created the dramatic 2005 hurricane season which culminated in Katrina? What if they set it against the U.S. on purpose? Maybe Japan is behind the powerful weather machine, seeking revenge for Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Or the Russians? Maybe the machine was created as part of the effort to fight against or speed up global warming, and the flooding in New Orleans was just a taste of what’s to come when the oceans rise? Are we ready? Bad weather isn’t a local issue. If you can find a global angle, you will reach a wider audience with your conspiracy theory.

And don’t forget love as a powerful interest-getter and possible motivation. If Marilyn Monroe was your idol, you’re going to care whether she committed suicide or was murdered by government agents to protect her affair with President Kennedy from coming to light.

2. Identify The Agents Responsible For The Conspiracy

Men_in_black_200pxIt’s normal and entirely human to long for someone to be responsible for the bad things in the world. After all, the alternative world view – that horrible events fall on us haphazardly and randomly – is hardly easy to live with. It’s a complicated, confusing world, and the need for scapegoats is rapidly outstripping the supply.

Let’s face it, explaining a sequence of events without laying blame is not only profoundly unsatisfying to many people, it’s just not a conspiracy theory. Let’s consider the siphoning off of local city water supplies by large corporations who sell bottled water. This is only a conspiracy theory if you hand the corporations a goal and a reason.

If you pick as the goal the total control of the U.S. water supply, then you must supply . . .

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Five Stupid Things About Holocaust Denial

WARNING: SALTY LANGUAGE🙂

Via YouTube

Normally I try not to be judgmental about a person’s character as a whole based on one thing about them, but here’s an exception: if the person denies the holocaust, they’re probably an idiot or an asshole, and it’s very likely they are both.

Mind Control – Brainwashing

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Mind control is the successful control of the thoughts and actions of another without his or her consent. Generally, the term implies that the victim has given up some basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes, and has been made to accept contrasting ideas. ‘Brainwashing’ is often used loosely to refer to being persuaded by propaganda.

conceptions & misconceptions of mind control

HypnotizeAnimatedThere are many misconceptions about mind control. Some people consider mind control to include the efforts of parents to raise their children according to social, cultural, moral and personal standards. Some think it is mind control to use behavior modification techniques to change one’s own behavior, whether by self-discipline and autosuggestion or through workshops and clinics. Others think that advertising and sexual seduction are examples of mind control. Still others consider it mind control to give debilitating drugs to a woman in order to take advantage of her while she is drugged. Some consider it mind control when the military or prison officers use techniques that belittle or dehumanize recruits or inmates in their attempt to break down individuals and make them more compliant. Some might consider it mind control for coaches or drill instructors to threaten, belittle, physically punish, or physically fatigue by excessive physical exercises their subjects in the effort to break down their egos and build team spirit or group identification.

mindcontrol 858_200pxSome of the tactics of some recruiters for religious, spiritual, or New Age human potential groups are called mind control tactics. Many believe that a terrorist kidnap victim who converts to or becomes sympathetic to her kidnapper’s ideology is a victim of mind control (the so-called Stockholm syndrome). Similarly, a woman who stays with an abusive man is often seen as a victim of mind control. Many consider subliminal messaging in Muzak, in advertising, or on self-help tapes to be a form of mind control. Many also believe that it is mind control to use laser weapons, isotropic radiators, infrasound, non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse generators, or high-power microwave emitters to confuse or debilitate people. Many consider the “brainwashing” tactics (torture, sensory deprivation, etc.) of the Chinese during the Korean War and the alleged creation of zombies in Voodoo as attempts at mind control.

Finally, no one would doubt that it would be a clear case of mind control to be able to hypnotize or electronically program a person so that he or she would carry out your commands without being aware that you are controlling his or her behavior.

[ . . . ]

the government and mind-control

mind control 857_200pxThere also seems to be a growing belief that the U.S. government, through its military branches or agencies such as the CIA, is using a number of horrible devices aimed at disrupting the brain. Laser weapons, isotropic radiators, infrasound, non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse generators, and high-power microwave emitters have been mentioned. It is known that government agencies have experimented on humans in mind control studies with and without the knowledge of their subjects (Scheflin 1978). The claims of those who believe they have been unwilling victims of “mind control” experiments should not be dismissed as impossible or even as improbable. Given past practice and the amoral nature of our military and intelligence agencies, such experiments are not implausible. However, these experimental weapons, which are aimed at disrupting brain processes, should not be considered mind control weapons. To confuse, disorient or otherwise debilitate a person through chemicals or electronically is not to control that person. To make a person lose control of himself is not the same as gaining control over him. It is a near certainty that our government is not capable of controlling anyone’s mind, though it is clear that many people in many governments lust after such power.

ElectroshockIn any case, some of the claims made by those who believe they are being controlled by these electronic weapons do not seem plausible. For example, the belief that radio waves or microwaves can be used to cause a person to hear voices transmitted to him seems unlikely. We know that radio waves and waves of all kinds of frequencies are constantly going through our bodies. The reason we have to turn on the radio or TV to hear the sounds or see the pictures being transmitted through the air is that those devices have receivers which “translate” the waves into forms we can hear and see. What we know about hearing and vision makes it very unlikely that simply sending a signal to the brain that can be “translated” into sounds or pictures would cause a person to hear or see anything. Someday it may be possible to stimulate electronically or chemically a specific network of neurons to cause specific sounds or sights of the experimenter’s choosing to emerge in a person’s consciousness. But this is not possible today. Even if it were possible, it would not necessarily follow that a person would obey a command to assassinate the president just because he heard a voice telling him to do so. Hearing voices is one thing. Feeling compelled to obey them is quite another. Not everyone has the faith of Abraham.

paranoid02There seem to be a number of parallels between those who think they have been abducted by aliens and those who believe their minds are being controlled by CIA implants. So far, however, the “mind-controlled group” has not been able to find their John Mack, the Harvard psychiatrist who claims that the best explanation for alien abduction claims is that they are based on alien abduction experiences, not fantasies or delusions. A common complaint from the mind-controlled is that they can’t get therapists to take them seriously. That is, they say they can only find therapists who want to treat them for their delusions, not help them prove they’re being controlled by their government. Thus, it is not likely that the “mind-controlled CIA zombies” will be accused of having delusions planted in them by therapists, as alien abductees have, since they claim they cannot get therapists to take their delusions seriously. In fact, many of them are convinced that their treatment as deluded persons is part of a conspiracy to cover up the mind control experiments done on them. Some even believe that False Memory Syndrome is part of the conspiracy. They claim that the idea of false memories is a plot to keep people from taking seriously the claims of those who are now remembering that they were victims of mind control experiments at some time in the past. It is hard to believe that they cannot find a wide array of incompetent New Age therapists willing to take their claims seriously, if not willing to claim they have been victims of such experiments themselves.

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10 Terrifying Cases of Demonic Possession

by Beverly Jenkins via Oddee.com

Though evil spirits possessing the body of a hapless human victim seems like the stuff of science fiction, the possibility of being possessed by demons is, in fact, a common belief held by religions around the world. Even the Christian Bible alludes to demonic possession more than thirty times, including several cases of Jesus “casting out demons” from people. Most religions offer prayers, spells, or incantations that are used to remove these invading spirits via exorcism rituals.

As hard as it may be to believe, countless accounts by victims and witnesses dating back to ancient times are hard to ignore. Let’s explore ten cases of truly scary and, by all accounts, real demonic possession.

Note: For most of these cases, there are no photographs for us to share with you here. We have used images from movies and other sources to illustrate this post.

1 • Clara Germana Cele

a98653_exorcist_250pxIn 1906, Clara Germana Cele was a Christian student at St. Michael’s Mission in Natal, South Africa. For some reason, Cele prayed and made a pact with Satan when she was sixteen years-old, and just days later, Cele was overtaken by strange impulses. She was repulsed by religious artifacts like crucifixes, she could speak and understand several languages of which she had no previous knowledge, and she became clairvoyant regarding the thoughts and histories of the people around her.

Nuns who attended to Cele reported that she produced horrible, animalistic sounds; she also levitated up to five feet in the air. Eventually, two priests were brought in to perform an exorcism. Cele tried to strangle one of the priests with his stole, and over one hundred and seventy people witnessed her levitating as the priests read Scripture. Over the course of two days, the rites of exorcism successfully drove the dark spirits from her body.

(Link | Photo)

2 • Anneliese Michel

a98653_Anneliese-Michel_250pxAnneliese Michel is a controversial case, as well as the subject of many fictional accounts of her tragic story, most notably the 2005 courtroom drama The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Sixteen year-old Anneliese Michel had a history of epilepsy and mental illness, for which she had often been treated at a psychiatric hospital. However, in 1973 Michel become suicidal, spurned all religious artifacts, drank her own urine, and began to hear voices. Medicine did nothing to help the girl, who begged her family to bring in a priest because she believed that she was possessed by demons. Though her request was rejected, two local priests secretly began treating her with exorcism rites. Meanwhile, her parents stopped treating her epilepsy and mental disorders. She was dead within a year.

Michel had almost seventy exorcisms performed on her over the course of ten months. She refused to eat, and often talked of dying as a martyr. Many of the attempted exorcisms were recorded:

Anneliese Michel died from emaciation and starvation. Consequently, her parents and the priests responsible were charged with negligent homicide. (Link | Photo)

3 • “Roland Doe“/”Robbie Mannheim”

a98653_exorcism_250pxKnown as the “real” story behind the novel and Hollywood movie The Exorcist, the tale of fourteen year-old Roland Doe is one of the most notorious stories of demonic possession. In fact, Roland Doe is not his real name; it is a pseudonym assigned to him by the Catholic church in order to preserve the boy’s privacy. In the late 1940s, Doe’s aunt encouraged him to use a Ouija board, and many speculate that after her death the boy attempted to contact his aunt with the Ouija board, an act which opened the door for the demons who wished to possess him.

The possession started with strange sounds, like dripping water, that no one could place. Eventually, religious artifacts began to quake and fly off the walls, and unexplained footsteps and scratching noises could be heard around the home. Scratches began to appear on the boy’s body, including words that seemed to have been carved into his flesh by unseen claws. The boy spoke in tongues in a guttural voice and levitated in the air, with his body contorted in pain.

His family brought in a Catholic priest, who determined that the boy was possessed by evil spirits and needed an exorcism. The exorcism ritual was performed over thirty times, with the boy injuring the priest many times throughout. When, at last, the rite was successful, the entire hospital heard Doe’s cries of bestial anguish and reported a horrible sulfuric odor hanging in the air. (Link | Photo)

4 • “Julia”

a98653_possession_250pxIn 2008, Dr. Richard E. Gallagher, a board-certified psychiatrist and associate professor of clinical psychiatry at New York Medical College, documented the case of a patient nicknamed “Julia” whom he deduced was indeed possessed by demons. It’s rare that a scientist and psychiatrist would acknowledge the possibility of possession; typically doctors think that possession is either fraudulent or a result of mental illness.

Dr. Gallagher personally observed items flying around the room, Julia levitating off the bed, speaking in tongues, and knowing things about people around her that she could not possibly have known. Here is an excerpt from Gallagher’s statement:

“Periodically, in our presence, Julia would go into a trance state of a recurring nature,” writes Gallagher. “Mentally troubled individuals often ‘dissociate,’ but Julia’s trances were accompanied by an unusual phenomenon: Out of her mouth would come various threats, taunts and scatological language, phrases like ‘Leave her alone, you idiot,’ ‘She’s ours,’ ‘Leave, you imbecile priest,’ or just ‘Leave.’ The tone of this voice differed markedly from Julia’s own, and it varied, sometimes sounding guttural and vaguely masculine, at other points high pitched. Most of her comments during these ‘trances,’ or at the subsequent exorcisms, displayed a marked contempt for anything religious or sacred.” (Link | Via | Photo)

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5 Things I’ve noticed about… UFOs

FBI Alien Ufos
via The Soap Box

UFO. It’s a term and phenomenon that’s been around with the public for decades now and has basically the main name used when someone claims they have seen an alien spaceship.

ufo 835_200pxWhile there are many things that I have noticed about UFOs, I’ve narrowed it down to five things.

So here are five things I’ve noticed about UFOs:

5. People use that term in contrast what it really means.

I’m sure that most people know that “UFO” means Unidentified Flying Object, but most of the time now when someone uses the term UFO they don’t actually use it to describe an object in the air that they can not identify at the moment, instead it now means to most people that when a person says that they are seeing a UFO that they mean to say that they are seeing what they believe is an alien spaceship.

Even if it turns out a UFO is really a alien spacecraft, then the term UFO can not be applied anymore because the Unidentified Flying Object has in fact been identified.

4. People take horrible pictures and videos of them.

UFO-Denver-2012Most photos and videos of UFOs tend to be pretty bad. Many of them are blurry and don’t really give much details. Some of them just look like balls of light or some other featureless object in the sky that could really be just something simple like a balloon (and yes, balloons do get misidentified as UFOs).

While there are some good photos and videos of UFOs out there that are pretty detailed, there’s just one little problem with most of them…

3. The good ones are faked.

There are good, detailed photos and videos of UFOs out there that can be easily found on the internet. The one problem that all these very highly detailed photos and videos have is that they are always found out to be fakes.

UFO photos and videos have been being faked for decades now, be it either using built from scratch models used from the 1950’s on up til today, to digitally altered photos and videos that have been being made since the 1990’s.

People will probably continue to make these fake UFO photos and videos because they tend to get people attention, while skeptics will continue to debunk them.

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UFO swirl BW

Here to Hereafter: Can Psychics Really Talk to the Dead?

By Benjamin Radford  via LiveScience (October 2010)

psychic 920_250pxIn the … Clint Eastwood film “Hereafter,” Matt Damon stars as George, a man who has the ability to communicate with ghosts. George, who retired from the contacting-the-dead business (calling it a curse instead of a blessing) is reluctantly drawn back into doing  readings for people who have recently lost loved ones.

People in nearly every culture have long believed that communication with the dead is possible, and throughout the ages many people have claimed to be able to speak with the dearly departed. Ghosts and spirit communication often show up in classic literature, including mythology, the Bible and Shakespeare’s plays.

In Victorian England, it was fashionable in many circles to conduct séances; Ouija boards, three-legged tables, candles and other accoutrements were used to try to contact the dead. ouija-board-gifIn the U.S., belief in communication with the dead rose dramatically in the 1800s along with the rise of Spiritualism, a religion founded on hoaxed spirit communication by two young sisters in Hydesville, N.Y. Despite the fact that the sisters later admitted they had only been pretending to get messages from the dead, the religion they helped start flourished, claiming more than 8 million adherents by 1900.

For well over a century, many mediums have been caught faking spirit communication. Harry Houdini exposed many psychics as frauds who used trickery to make vulnerable people believe in the reality of spirit messages. (For more on this, see Massimo Polidoro‘s book “Final Séance,” Prometheus Books, 2001).

ghost-1_200pxWhether real or faked, the messages supposedly conveyed from the great beyond have changed dramatically over time. A century ago, mediums “in touch with the spirit” during séances would write pages and pages of “automatic writing,” the psychic’s hands allegedly guided by ghosts to convey lengthy handwritten messages.

Curiously, ghosts seem to have lost their will (or ability) to write since that time — or even communicate effectively. These days the spirits (as channeled through mediums) seem to prefer a guessing game and instead offer only ambiguous, vague information: “I’m getting a presence with the letter M, or J in the name? A father, or father figure perhaps? Did he give you something special to remember him by, something small?”

If spirit communication is real, one might think . . .

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Is that a FEMA Camp? – July 14, 2013 Edition

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations.
transparent
Below is some of their findings. Enjoy🙂
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July 14, 2013 Edition
Onizuka Air Force Station

Onizuka Air Force Station

Onizuka AFS, California

The claim: Sunnyvale, 20

What it really is: Onizuka Air Force Station was operated by the 21st Space Operations Squadron, until the base was shut down in 2010.

Point Mugu (Pacific Missile Test Center), California

The claim: Oxnard, 63,031

What it really is: Point Mugu (better known as Naval Base Ventura County) has a base population of over 19,000 personnel and over 100 tenant commands. Because of the sheer amount of people there, the base itself contains multiple buildings necessary for base operations and support.

NAS North Island, California

The claim: Coronado, 2,500

What it really is: Naval Air Station North Island is a near 100 year old Navy base located right next to the city of Coronado, and is surrounded by the city of San Diego, California.

The base hosts 23 aviation squadrons, and 80 additional tenant commands and activities. Because of this it is necessary for the base to have a large amount of support buildings located on it, and due to it’s age it is also sometimes necessary to tear down and rebuild old buildings that are no longer functional for the needs of the base.

NAS Moffett Field, California

The claim: Mountain View, 13

What it really is: Moffett Federal Airfield (which is it’s actually name) is a joint civil/military airfield and is owned and operated by the NASA Ames Research Center. The only military presence left at the airfield is the California Air National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California

The claim: Vallejo, 4,400

What it really is: Mare Island Naval Shipyard was one of the oldest Navy ship yards in the country and was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1975.

The shipyard was closed in 1996.

March-AFB_250pxMarch ARB, Califonia

The claim: Riverside, 6,486

What it really is: March Air Reserve Base is an Air Force Reserve base (I.E. not the main Air Force), but also contains units from the Army, Navy, and Marine Reserves as wall as the California Air National Guard.

There is also an air show there that is held every two years in March, and there have been several proposals in recent years to make the base a joint military/civilian airport.

Los Angeles Air Force Base, California

The claim: Los Angeles, 239

What it really is: Los Angeles Air Force Base is the headquarters for the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center and is used for the research and development of military space systems.

Air Force photograph by Joe Juarez

Air Force photograph by Joe Juarez

Click here for the latest findings at “Is that a FEMA Camp?”

The Benefits Of Vaccines

Two Charts That Should Make Anti-Vaccine People Ashamed

By Dina Spector via Business Insider

whooping cough_200pxThe announcement that actress Jenny McCarthy will join “The View” has already been met with criticism because of her dangerous views on vaccines.

McCarthy is a prominent anti-vaxxer — a growing segment of individuals who believe that autism is caused by vaccinations. McCarthy’s son was diagnosed with autism in 2005.

This is a risky stance. Vaccines are incredibly effective at controlling and eliminating infectious diseases. Because the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases are still out there, stopping vaccinations would make people extremely susceptible to infections that can kill or severely disable them.

“If vaccinations were stopped, each year about 2.7 million measles deaths worldwide could be expected,” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

There are 14 diseases that can be prevented with routine childhood vaccination, the CDC says. This includes the flu, whooping cough, measles, and mumps.

The chart below gives some examples of how disease levels have declined since vaccinations began. Check out the right column for the incredible drop in annual morbidity for each pre- and post-vaccine.

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Because of the anti-vaccine movement, including McCarthy’s outspoken anti-vax stance, there has been an increase in vaccine exemptions over the last several years.

This has led to an upsurge in the rate of vaccine-preventable diseases, especially whooping cough (known as pertussis to doctors). A study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2013 found that in New York State “counties with high exemptions had overall higher rates of reported pertussis.”

Here’s the chart:

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[END]

Via Business Insider


Click Image For More Information

Click Image For More Information

Revenge of the Conspiracy Theorists

By via NeuroLogica Blog

matrix alternate reality_350pxSkeptics have their work cut out for them. We are up against irrational forces that are becoming very savvy at turning the language and superficial tactics of science and skepticism against science and reason. We are not just debating details of evidence and logic, but wrangling with fully-formed alternate views of reality.

An excellent example of this was recently brought to my attention – an article using published psychological studies to argue that conspiracy theorists represent the mainstream rational view while “anti-conspiracy people” are actually the “paranoid cranks.” The article, by Dr. Kevin Barrett (Ph.D. ArabistIslamologist) in my opinion nicely reflects how an ideological world-view can color every piece of information you see.

He starts out reviewing an article by Wood and Douglas which examined the comments to news articles about topics that are the subject of conspiracy theories. Barrett summarizes the study this way:

In short, the new study by Wood and Douglas suggests that the negative stereotype of the conspiracy theorist – a hostile fanatic wedded to the truth of his own fringe theory – accurately describes the people who defend the official account of 9/11, not those who dispute it.

The article actually suggests nothing of the sort. Barrett cherry picks what he wants to see from this article and draws conclusions that are not supported by the evidence. The authors of the study found that comments to conspiracy news items were approximately 2/3 pro-conspiracy and 1/3 anti-conspiracy. Barrett concludes from this:

That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

conspiracy-theory-alert_200pxThis is simply not justified from this data. Barrett assumes that the number of comments reflects the relative percentage of believers in the population, but it is possible (and very likely) that pro-conspiracy people simply comment more, perhaps due to greater passion for their beliefs.

Barrett makes no mention of polls or surveys that more directly get at the question of what percentage of the population believe to some degree in a conspiracy. For 9/11 there have been a number of different surveys conducted in various ways with a range of outcomes, but in all of them, believers in a 9/11 conspiracy are in the minority.

Barrett also ignores the many other conclusions of the paper. They write:

In accordance with our hypotheses, we found that conspiracist commenters were more likely to argue against the opposing interpretation and less likely to argue in favor of their own interpretation, while the opposite was true of conventionalist commenters. However, conspiracist comments were more likely to explicitly put forward an account than conventionalist comments were. In addition, conspiracists were more likely to express mistrust and made more positive and fewer negative references to other conspiracy theories. The data also indicate that conspiracists were largely unwilling to apply the “conspiracy theory” label to their own beliefs and objected when others did so, lending support to the long-held suggestion that conspiracy belief carries a social stigma. Finally, conventionalist arguments tended to have a more hostile tone. These tendencies in persuasive communication can be understood as a reflection of an underlying conspiracist worldview in which the details of individual conspiracy theories are less important than a generalized rejection of official explanations.

The main findings of the study, therefore, are that conspiracy theorists base their opinions largely on an “underlying conspiracist worldview” rather than the specific details of any case. They are not able to put forward and defend a specific alternate theory, but rather are primarily interested in contradicting the official story, whatever that happens to be. This is in line with conventional criticism of conspiracy theorists.

[ . . . ]

In another bit of reality-bending, Barrett writes:

Additionally, the study found that so-called conspiracists discuss historical context (such as viewing the JFK assassination as a precedent for 9/11) more than anti-conspiracists.

jfk
I’m convinced that anything can be twisted in a positive or negative way (just read political news stories). Conspiracy theorists believe they are putting events into “historical context” while conspiracy critics might say they are making leaps of logic in order to create the illusion of connections where none exist. In fact, conspiracy thinking is largely about seeing patterns where they do not truly exist – patterns in events that may be unconnected or only loosely connected in a generic cultural/historical fashion.

Barrett goes on to cite 9/11 truthers as if they are objective scholars. For example . . .

MORE . . .

matrix-red-pill-or-blue-pill_600px

‘Rare Diseases’ Give Jenny McCarthy Life-Time Achievement Award

By Lord Lockwell via GomerBlog

Standing Ovation While Ms. McCarthy Receives Award

Standing Ovation While Ms. McCarthy Receives Award

LOS ANGELES, CA – Thursday night the 197,788th annual rare-disease awards, formally known as the common disease awards, brought the house down at the Staples Center.  The usual celebrities graced the red carpet: SARS, Avian Bird Flu, Ebola and rising star MERS, who won Best Chance to cause a Pandemic. H1N1, last years winner, presented the award.  Measles and Mumps showed up without Rubella which set the twitter-sphere on fire.

The master of ceremonies, Pertussis, captured the night when he presented the Andrew Wakefield Lifetime achievement award to actress, TV personality, and armature vaccinologist Jenny McCarthy.  “We are facing the brink of extinction and if it wasn’t for this brave woman’s hard work many of us today would be extinct.”

Pertussis went on to say “The ruse of linking vaccinations with autism was genius. Something the best and brightest of us never thought was possible.”  Pertussis then went into a three minute coughing spell and then presented the award.

Ms. McCarthy gave a long incoherent speech consisting of lots of “yeahs” and “likes.” Pertussis interrupted her with a closing of encouragement, “as long as we have people that become well known for their acting abilities and good looks who promote scientific theories and health policies that put a halt to years of dedication and study, we have a shot!”

See how many rare diseases have been saved HERE.

[END]

via GomerBlog

Whatever Happened to Parapsychology?

Glenn McDonald, Discovery News via LiveScience

mind_body_225pxIt seems that stories of the paranormal sprout up every day, and everywhere, in pop culture and the media. Weird news websites number in the hundreds, and there are entire television series dedicated to psychic abilities, hauntings and paranormal investigation.

But that’s all showbiz, really. The actual academic study of parapsychology — the established term for phenomena such as clairvoyance, psychokinesis, telepathy and precognition — has seemingly disappeared since its heyday in the mid-20th century. So what happened to parapsychology?

It hasn’t gone anywhere, said John Kruth, executive director of the Rhine Research Center in Durham, N.C. It’s just become disorganized, underfunded and — in the realm of traditional science — largely ignored. The Rhine is one of a handful of privately funded groups in the United States still doing active research into parapsychology, sometimes called “psi phenomena.”

“People have never stopped doing research in these areas,” Kruth said. “But the skeptic community is strong and vocal, and they’re much better at working the media.” Kruth attributes much of the field’s decline in the United States, during the 1970s and 1980s, to media-savvy debunkers such as James Randi.

esp_200px“Certainly there are fraudulent practitioners out there, and we’re always watching for that,” Kruth said. “It’s like we have the frauds on one side and the debunkers on the other, and we’re in the middle, still trying to do science.”

Critics respond that, as a field of scientific study, parapsychology has much bigger issues. In short, the science has a fundamental evidence problem.

“It’s fallen into disuse due to the fact that there’s just nothing there,” said Michael Shermer, editor of the quarterly journal Skeptic and columnist for Scientific American. “Parapsychology has been around for more than a century. (Yet) there’s no research protocol that generates useful working hypotheses for other labs to test and develop into a model, and eventually a paradigm that becomes a field. It just isn’t there.”

MORE . . .

$800K PSYCHIC AND SPITUAL HEALER EXTORTION: PSYCHIC PEACHES MILLER CONNED WOMAN OUT OF $800,000 BY OFFERING TO REMOVE EVIL SPIRITS AND PROTECT HER FROM MURDER, ALSO USES NAME ‘SHANNA YOUNG’

katenews2day

Fortune teller: Peaches Miller (pictured in her mugshot) was arrested for conning a woman out of $800,000

Fortune teller ‘conned woman out of $800,000 by offering to remove evil spirits and protect her from murder’

View original post 324 more words

Debunked: CIA studying Geoengineering, Climate Engineering, Weather Warfare

quick note
The conspiracists are once again screaming about the government controlling the weather.

For a little perspective i refer you to one of my favorite discussion forums: Debunked: CIA studying Geoengineering, Climate Engineering, Weather Warfare | Metabunk.

metabunk_LOGO

What Is Deja vu? What Is Deja vu?

By Marc Lallanilla, Assistant Editor LiveScience

deja-vu_250pxMost people have experienced it at one point or another: déjà vu, the haunting sense that you’ve experienced something before.

French for “already seen,” déjà vu has been under investigation for years by scientists, who have yet to offer a complete explanation for the phenomenon, though it’s reportedly experienced by more than 70 percent of people at some point.

Recent research, however, has yielded some clues into what causes déjà vu. It seems to occur equally among men and women and across races, according to a 2003 study from the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, but déjà vu happens more often in people ages 15 to 25.

neurotransmitters_150pxThat fact has led some experts to believe déjà vu may be linked to neurotransmitters like dopamine, which are found in higher levels in teenagers and young adults — a hypothesis that gained traction after the peculiar case of a healthy 39-year-old man came to light.

The man — a doctor by profession — was fighting the flu by taking amantadine and phenylpropanolamine, two drugs known to increase dopamine activity in the brain. Within 24 hours of starting the drugs, he reported intense, recurrent episodes of déjà vu.

This case study, published in 2001 in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, reported that once the doctor stopped taking the drugs, his déjà vu also disappeared.

Déjà vu and epilepsy

Another insight into the causes of déjà vu comes from studies of epilepsy. There is a strong and consistent link between déjà vu and the seizures that occur in people with medial temporal lobe epilepsy, a type of epilepsy that affects the brain’s hippocampus.

The hippocampus plays a key role in . . .

MORE . . .

Quantum Quackery

quantum-physics-lecture_600pxQuantum physics is claimed to support the mystical notion that the mind creates reality. However, an objective reality, with no special role for consciousness, human or cosmic, is consistent with all observations.

By Victor Stenger (1997) via Committee for Skeptical Inquiry – CSI

quantum_physicsCertain interpretations of quantum mechanics, the revolutionary theory developed early in the century to account for the anomalous behavior of light and atoms, are being misconstrued so as to imply that only thoughts are real and that the physical universe is the product of a cosmic mind to which the human mind is linked throughout space and time. This interpretation has provided an ostensibly scientific basis for various mind-over-matter claims, from ESP to alternative medicine. “Quantum mysticism” also forms part of the intellectual backdrop for the postmodern assertion that science has no claim on objective reality.

The word “quantum” appears frequently in New Age and modern mystical literature. For example, physician Deepak Chopra (1989) has successfully promoted a notion he calls quantum healing, which suggests we can cure all our ills by the application of sufficient mental power.

Photo courtesy Daniel Johansson

Photo courtesy Daniel Johansson

According to Chopra, this profound conclusion can be drawn from quantum physics, which he says has demonstrated that “the physical world, including our bodies, is a response of the observer. We create our bodies as we create the experience of our world” (Chopra 1993, 5). Chopra also asserts that “beliefs, thoughts, and emotions create the chemical reactions that uphold life in every cell,” and “the world you live in, including the experience of your body, is completely dictated by how you learn to perceive it” (Chopra 1993, 6). Thus illness and aging are an illusion and we can achieve what Chopra calls “ageless body, timeless mind” by the sheer force of consciousness.1

Amit Goswami, in The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World, argues that the existence of paranormal phenomena is supported by quantum mechanics:

. . . psychic phenomena, such as distant viewing and out-of-body experiences, are examples of the nonlocal operation of consciousness . . . . Quantum mechanics undergirds such a theory by providing crucial support for the case of nonlocality of consciousness.

(Goswami 1993, 136)

Since no convincing, reproducible evidence for psychic phenomena has been found, despite 150 years of effort, this is a flimsy basis indeed for quantum consciousness.

MORE . . .

Conspiracy theorists’ sane: government dupes crazy, hostile.

A flawed article about conspiracy theorists and skeptics

Via The Soap Box

agent smith 928_250pxA few days ago I came across an article that had been published on PressTV (which is owned by the government of Iran) that was titled “New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile“.

The title alone made it quite clear that the article was one sided, and that it is also quite clear what the writer of the article thinks about skeptics and debunkers… and anyone else who believes the reality that the U.S. government did not stage the worst terrorist attack in history.

Let me share with you the first couple of paragraphs of this article:

  • The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled “What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,” the study compared “conspiracist” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist” (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

I can tell just by reading this that what this article is claiming is very flawed.

Conspiracies Trivialized by Skeptics 2_200px_200pxFor one thing it’s assuming that the majority of people making comments on an internet news article reflects the views of the majority of the people. Even on non-conspiracy theory subjects where the majority of people posting comments may seem like the overall majority, in reality they are just being the more vocal of the two groups.

The seconded problem is this “coded comments” thing. What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the people who did this study read comments individually and were able to establish their content and context? Because of the way it was worded it doesn’t sound like it to me. It makes it sound like the people who did the study actually let a computer search for certain words and phrases that are commonly used among conspiracy theorists and skeptics, which is a highly flawed way to research something like this because computers can’t understand context like humans can.

This of course isn’t the only thing this article claims. It also claims . . .

MORE . . .

• 7/21/13 UPDATE – Also see: Setting the record straight on Wood & Douglas, 2013 | The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

ABC’s ‘The View’ gives Jenny McCarthy a platform for crackpot autism theories

Editorial via The Boston Globe

whooping cough_200pxLike it or not, people care what celebrities think. So ABC’s decision to hire MTV-star-turned-medical-conspiracy-theorist Jenny McCarthy as a host of “The View” poses a certain risk. McCarthy backs a fringe theory that purports to link vaccines to autism, and the network is giving her a prominent platform that she could use to spread a harmful superstition.

The idea of a vaccine-autism link emerged in the 1990s, and has been thoroughly debunked. There’s just as much evidence connecting autism with vaccines as there is linking the condition to leprechauns and rainbows — that is to say, none. Yet McCarthy, who has an autistic child, has gone to great lengths to keep the theory alive, which has convinced some parents to withhold important vaccinations from their kids.

Guess which child was vaccinated.

Guess which child was vaccinated.

And that does have an impact: Statistics show that vaccination rates have declined in many states since the 1990s. Not surprisingly, dangerous diseases like mumps, measles, and whooping cough have seen a resurgence.

Autism is an emotional issue for many parents — and it’s also the kind of issue that could come up in discussions on “The View.” ABC should make it clear to McCarthy that she’s been hired as a talk-show personality, not a scientific expert, and the network shouldn’t let her use the show as a platform for her theories. Giving them even a moment’s airtime would be a disservice to the public.

[END]

via The Boston Globe

Five Stupid Things About Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories

I must issue a mild language warning – PG rating🙂


By Steve Shives via YouTube.

Is there a group of conspiracy theorists more deluded and irritating and offensively irrational than the 9/11 Truthers? I think so. Their name? Well . . . I don’t know all their names, there’s too many of them — collectively, let’s call them the Moon Landing Hoaxers. And they believe some pretty stupid things.

Extensive film and video footage of the Apollo Moon landings is available from NASA at:

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/frame.html

‘Evil Spirit’ Scam Plagues Asian Immigrants In NYC

By COLLEEN LONG via The Huffington Post

psychic_scam_362pxNEW YORK — One woman was told by a fortune teller that her son was possessed by demons. Another was approached on a Chinatown street by a stranger who eerily claimed her daughter would die in two days. A third was informed that her dead husband was communicating from the grave, telling her to hand over thousands in cash.

“Your son will die in a car accident – he is cursed,” a 65-year-old was told.

In each instance, the women bundled up cash and jewelry in a bag and gave it to strangers they’d just met – self-proclaimed spiritual healers. They were told the contents would be blessed in an effort to ward off evil spirits, bring good luck to the family or heal a sick child – they just have to wait a period of time to re-open it.

When they do, they find water bottles, cough drops and beans. But no valuables.

ScamAlertDetectives say there has been a rash in New York of what’s known as an evil spirit or blessing scam, where older immigrant women, mostly Chinese, are swindled out of their valuables by clever scammers arriving from China who prey on superstition and fear. In the past six months, two dozen victims have reported valuables stolen – in some cases more than $10,000 in cash and $13,000 in jewelry, according to police reports. A total of more than $1.8 million has been stolen.

“They know the culture, they know how to talk to these victims to get them to listen,” chief New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said of the grifts. “One person’s spirituality is another’s superstition, and they prey on that distinction.”

The scam itself has many permutations, but the basic principle is the same: A woman, usually in her 50s or older, is approached by a stranger, usually a younger woman, who asks the woman if she knows where to find a particular healer or fortune teller. Another seeming stranger joins the conversation, says she knows where the healer is located, and convinces the older woman to come along. The healer convinces the victim that in order to ward off some evil, she must hand over valuables in a bag to be blessed. And then they switch the bag.

Similar scams occur in other places in the U.S. with large Asian communities, such as . . .

MORE . . .

This undated image provided by the New York City Police Department shows a poster that has been displayed in Chinatown in Manhattan and in Asian neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens warning of blessing scams. Detectives say there has been a rash this year in New York of what’s known as an evil spirit or blessing scam, where older immigrant women, mostly Chinese, are swindled out of their valuables by clever scammers who prey on their superstition and fear. (AP Photo/NYPD)

This undated image provided by the New York City Police Department shows a poster that has been displayed in Chinatown in Manhattan and in Asian neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens warning of blessing scams. Detectives say there has been a rash this year in New York of what’s known as an evil spirit or blessing scam, where older immigrant women, mostly Chinese, are swindled out of their valuables by clever scammers who prey on their superstition and fear. (AP Photo/NYPD)

Fake chemtrail letter hits DWK (Canada)

by Wayne Moore – Kelowna via West Kelowna News – Castanet.net

The District of West Kelowna is the latest municipality to come forward saying it has been the subject of a fraudulent letter concerning chemtrails.

letter_p1997453

In a news release issued late Wednesday, the municipality states:

Business owners and residents are advised to disregard a letter using the name District of West Kelowna and bearing a logo resembling the District’s that is being circulated in the community. This letter claims to be from the District’s Environment Department, signed by Susan Smith and involves chemtrails. The District of West Kelowna does not have an Environment Department, nor an employee named Susan Smith and is not distributing letters regarding chemtrails.

West Kelowna RCMP has been advised that these false letters are being distributed in this community. The District of West Kelowna welcomes any information regarding who is responsible for the distribution of these false letters. Information can be provided by calling 778-797-1000.

West Kelowna is the third Okanagan municipality to confirm such a letter using the municipal logo.

On Tuesday both Penticton and Kelowna confirmed letters using their logo was also being distributed.

[END]

via West Kelowna News – Castanet.net

Failure to Replicate Results of Bem Parapsychology Experiments Published by Same Journal

By Kendrick Frazier via the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

xx

Psychologist Daryl Bem

Two years ago the prepublication re­lease of a research paper by psychologist Daryl Bem claiming experimental evidence for precognition created a worldwide media stir and intense controversy within the scientific and skeptical communities.

Bem, of Cornell University, claimed that through nine experiments he had demonstrated the existence of precognition, specifically the existence of “conscious cognitive awareness . . . of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known inferential process.” Essentially, he had claimed to have produced evidence that psychic abilities not only exist but can transcend time and allow the future to reach backward to change the past.

Informed critics of parapsychology were almost uniformly incredulous. Although Bem is a respected psychologist, they found so many flaws in the research protocols and methods that in their view the conclusions had no validity. One of the most stinging re­bukes came in the form of an ex­tended, in-depth critique of all nine experiments by York University psychologist and CSI Executive Council member James Alcock in the Skeptical Inquirer (“Back from the Future: Parapsy­chology and the Bem Affair,” SI, March/April 2011; see also editorial “Why the Bem Experiments are Not Parapsychology’s Next Big Thing” in the same issue).

Alcock also concluded that the journal that published Bem’s study, the Journal of Personality and Social Psy­chology (JPSP), had done everyone a disservice by publishing this “badly flawed research article.” Parapsy­chology and the journal’s own reputation, he wrote, had been damaged, and the article’s publication disserved the public as well, “for it only adds to [public] confusion about the existence of psi.”

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

Experiments attempting to replicate Bem’s results were quickly conducted at various universities, but none were accepted for publication by JPSP. In fact, it said it would not consider publishing replication failures. This fact raised more controversy and concern.

Now the journal has had an apparent change of heart. It has finally published a set of experiments that attempted (and failed) to replicate Bem’s results. Seven experiments conducted by Jeff Galek of Carnegie Mellon University, Robyn A. LeBoeuf of the University of Florida, Leif D. Nelson of the Uni­versity of California at Berkeley, and Joseph P. Simmons of the University of Pennsylvania have been published in JPSP’s final issue of 2012 (Vol. 103, No. 6) under the title “Correcting the Past: Failures to Replicate Psi.”

The article is lengthy, but the central conclusion is succinctly stated:

“Across seven experiments (N= 3,289), we replicate the procedure of Experiments 8 and 9 from Bem (2011), which had originally demonstrated retroactive facilitation of recall. We failed to replicate that finding.” They further conducted a meta-analysis of all replication attempts of the Bem experiments “and find that the average effect size (d=0.04) is not different from 0.”

To put it even more directly (from the beginning of their conclusions section): “We conducted seven experiments testing for precognition and found no evidence supporting its existence.”

MORE . . .

5 Things I’ve noticed about… False Flag Conspiracy Theorists

Via The Soap Box

False Flag Caveman_300pxFalse flag conspiracy theorists are conspiracy theorist who believe that almost anytime there is some type of large attack in this country then it is most likely done by the government.

While there are a lot of things that these types of conspiracy theorists tend to do, I narrowed it down to five things.

So here are five things I’ve noticed about false flag conspiracy theorists:

5. They have no idea what a false flag attack really is.

Most conspiracy theorists believe that false flag attack is when a government agent disguises themselves as an enemy, and commits an attack against the public. Technically speaking this is not a false flag attack.

A false flag attack is actually a navel term for when you put up your enemy’s flag on your ship in order to sneak behind them and attack them. That is what a false flag attack really is. You’re not posing as your enemy in order to attack your own people, but to attack your enemy.

4. They think everything is a false flag attack.

False flag 1015_300pxIt doesn’t matter how obvious it is that an attack was done by some whack job, it doesn’t matter how many people died in the attack, or even if it was someone whom killed their self and their self only, according to a conspiracy theorist, it was a false flag attack.

In fact it doesn’t even matter if it was a random act of nature, or an industrial accident, or a plane crash, as long as people got killed (or even if people didn’t die) according to many conspiracy theorists, they were most likely false flag attacks.

3. They think that other alleged false flag attacks prove their claims.

If you ever ask a conspiracy theorist what proof do they have that what they are claiming to be a false flag really is a false flag attack, they will usually give you a long list of other attacks that they believe to be false flag attacks.

There are two problems with this: the first one is that these other alleged false flag attacks have themselves almost always have never been proven to be false flag attack, and two, even if they could prove that any of those attacks really were false flag attacks, it’s still not evidence that what they are claiming to be a false flag attack is a false flag attack.

MORE . . .

When All of Us Are Nostradamus

By Kyle Hill via the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

psychic_fraudYou open up the morning paper to check the obituaries. With a shaking hand, you read what you’ve been dreading all along—your own name. Your number is up; your fate is sealed. Sometime in the next month you are going to die. Everyone knows it. And you know it, too. At least you have time to choose your own epitaph. You’re psychic; everyone is, or at least has the potential to be.

Peeking at the hand fate dealt you is commonplace in a world where psychics actually exist. For them, the future is as clear as the past, though abilities would range from Spidey sense to Oracle at Delphi. The most powerful seers—the Nostradamuses, if you will—among them wouldn’t be relegated to pricey phones lines. Such powers almost demand public service. A Minority Report-style pre-cognition division would surely spring up in every police department that could afford one. Seismologists and volcanologists could no longer be persecuted for inadequate predictions—the onus would be on the psychics to alert the public of impending natural disasters. Predicting better than even our best computer models, tune in for the psychic weather forecast on the nightly news.

psychicFair_210pxIf people had psychic future-sight every phone number would be for a Miss Cleo. Casinos around the world would close. Gambling isn’t a matter of luck anymore; can you predict the snake eyes or not? And the lottery hardly seems fair when any real psychic could pluck the numbers from the tealeaves. Insurance plans would diversify and skyrocket. When a psychic insurance agent could predict a cancer diagnosis, future-existing conditions are what they will deny. Forget about the heat of competition. Every sports team is a group of players on a stage going through the determined script until the last whistle blows.

Raising children in a world full of actual psychics would involve going through another stage of development: existential turmoil. If a psychic taps into the loom of fate to see where a string weaves, children would quickly learn that they live in a determined world. Perhaps they will learn about free will like psychology students learn about behaviorism—a clever idea that eventually fell by the wayside in the light of how the world really is. Is anyone really responsible for his or her actions? Should we punish criminals if they are beholden to fate and not sadistic whim? Parents in a world full of real psychics wouldn’t look forward to fielding such questions. The “birds and the bees” talk is much easier to handle.

Real psychics wouldn’t just grasp the future. They would be able to sense beyond what an eye or ear can tell them—a “sixth sense” for objects and feelings. Marriage disputes over where the hell the remote is are no more. Car keys, if not in the pocket, are never lost. Neither are children or loved ones. Real psychics wouldn’t be the laughing stocks of detectives anymore; they would be their saviors. Resolving a manhunt or Amber Alert would be a simple matter of having the psychic manpower (and psychic children would find hide and seek pretty boring). Every cold case would be hot again.

MORE . . .

psychic-john-edward-2012-events_02

Dynamic target tracking camera system keeps its eye on the ball #DigInfo – YouTube

This is just plain cool! Check it out🙂


High speed dynamic target tracking camera system keeps its eye on the ball.

via Dynamic target tracking camera system keeps its eye on the ball #DigInfo – YouTube.

inFact: Vaccine Ingredients

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via inFact video

Antivaccine activists claim that vaccines contain all sorts of terrifying poisons. Is this true? http://infactvideo.com/

Vaccine Ingredients

Antivaccine activists claim that vaccines contain all sorts of terrifying poisons. Is this true?

Antivax conspiracy theorists tell us that vaccines are deadly and contain some extraordinary toxins. Let’s examine a few of these ingredients, starting with:

FORMALDEHYDE: Absolutely true. Formaldehyde is used to sterilize some vaccines. We use formaldehyde for this because it’s found naturally in the human body, as it’s a normal byproduct of metabolism and digestion.

ANTIFREEZE: False. However some vaccines are sterilized with something called 2-phenoxyethanol, which is also used as a topical antibacterial for wounds. This and antifreeze come from the same family of hydrocarbons, but they are not the same thing.

MERCURY: Sort of true. Some vaccines are sterilized with thimerosal, also used in contact lens fluid and many other products. However, it contains mercury bound as an ethyl — the version of mercury that can be dangerous has to be bound as a methyl, which is different.

MORE . . .

HAARP Facility Shuts Down

Who or what will the conspiracists blame NOW for our weather and contrail patterns?🙂

MIB


via the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)

The HAARP antenna array. Photo: WIRED/João Canziani

The HAARP antenna array.
Photo: WIRED/João Canziani

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) — a subject of fascination for many hams and the target of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists — has closed down. HAARP’s program manager, Dr James Keeney at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, told ARRL that the sprawling 35-acre ionospheric research facility in remote Gakona, Alaska, has been shuttered since early May.

“Currently the site is abandoned,” he said. “It comes down to money. We don’t have any.” Keeney said no one is on site, access roads are blocked, buildings are chained and the power turned off. HAARP’s website through the University of Alaska no longer is available; Keeney said the program can’t afford to pay for the service. “Everything is in secure mode,” he said, adding that it will stay that way at least for another 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime a new prime contractor will be coming on board to run the government owned-contractor operated (GOCO) facility.

HAARP put the world on notice two years ago that it would be shutting down and did not submit a budget request for FY 15, Keeney said, “but no one paid any attention.” Now, he says, they’re complaining. “People came unglued,” Keeney said, noting that he’s already had inquiries from Congress. Universities that depended upon HAARP research grants also are upset, he said.

The only bright spot on HAARP’s horizon right now is that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is expected on site as a client to finish up some research this fall and winter. DARPA has nearly $8.8 million in its FY 14 budget plan to research “physical aspects of natural phenomena such as magnetospheric sub-storms, fire, lightning and geo-physical phenomena.”

The proximate cause of HAARP’s early May shutdown was less fiscal than environmental, Keeney said. As he explained it, the diesel generators on site no longer pass Clean Air Act muster. Repairing them to meet EPA standards will run $800,000. Beyond that, he said, it costs $300,000 a month just to keep the facility open and $500,000 to run it at full capacity for 10 days.

Jointly funded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and the US Naval Research Laboratory, HAARP is an ionospheric research facility. Its best-known apparatus is its 3.6 MW HF (approximately 3 to 10 MHz) ionospheric research instrument (IRI), feeding an extensive system of 180 antenna elements and used to “excite” sections of the ionosphere. Other onsite equipment is used to evaluate the effects.

MORE . . .

The government's mind control machine called HAARP! If you don't believe this is

The government’s mind control machine called HAARP!
If you don’t believe HAARP can control your mind that’s because the government is using
HAARP to control your mind – so you won’t believe HAARP can control your mind. Seriously.

Immortality: Henrietta Lacks

via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know

For thousands of years, humans have tried — and failed — to achieve physical immortality. At least, most of us. Rumors of immortals have abounded throughout history, but did anyone actually achieve eternal life? Tune in to learn more about modern medicine and the bizarre story of Henrietta Lacks.

Immortality: Henrietta Lacks – YouTube.

Pam Ragland, Terry Smith: No, psychics can’t help murder victims.

By Justin Peters via Pam Ragland, Terry Smith: No, psychics can’t help murder victims.

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

Last Wednesday, Riverside County, Calif., authorities discovered a body they believe to be that of an 11-year-old named Terry Smith. The boy had gone missing the previous Saturday or Sunday, and authorities now believe he was killed by his half brother and then buried in a shallow grave behind the family’s house. It’s a terrible, disturbing story—and, for me, it was made worse by the baffling amount of attention that’s been given to a local psychic who claimed that her “visions” led police to Smith’s body.

Pam Ragland, who specializes in what she calls “Quantum Thought Shifting” and self-identifies as an “intuitive,” says she had visions about Terry Smith’s whereabouts—and, after calling the police and offering to help in their search, she led them right to his body. Rather than treating her claims with skepticism, or ignoring them entirely, several reporters put Ragland front and center in their coverage. The Associated Press cites a Riverside County detective named John Powers who says Ragland was indeed the one who found the body. “Powers says Ragland called a tip line about her vision, and was invited to join the search,” the story continues. “He says Ragland and her children came to the house without knowing it was the boy’s, walked on to the property and right to the partially buried body.”

The AP piece was a model of journalistic restraint compared with an online story from nbclosangeles.com, which devoted more than 20 paragraphs to Ragland and her alleged visions:

psychic-transparentShe said authorities asked her to come down to the scene; Ragland arrived with her two children on Tuesday evening. During the drive, Ragland said she had another vision—of “city lights” and the word “no.” When she arrived at the search area, she saw the view she had seen in a vision.

“It’s literally like a vision in your head, like you’re looking at something,” she said.

A searcher said the city lights represented the area they planned to explore. Ragland said, “No, he’s not there.”

Yet another example of the mystical properties of the universe? No, but it’s certainly another example of . . .

MORE . . .

Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails!!!!

Pure face palm gold

In a recent article titled “Fool’s Gold” i introduced you to a website called The Internet Chronicle that writes satirical stories a la The Onion. Their stories look to be mostly conspiratorial in nature and the loon websites continue to report these satirical conspiracy stories as fact.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 9.12.11 PMHere is another story from The Internet Chronicle titled Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails. Besides the pure entertainment value of the article itself, i’m thoroughly enjoying all the conspiracists getting suckered by another of these stories.


matrix-sucker_600px
Keeping in mind The Internet Chronicle makes no secret that their stories are completely fake, here is a few samples of the comments left by conspiracists in reaction to the Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails story AT THE INTERNET CHRONICLE WEBSITE:

(Click any image to begin viewing)

For your enjoyment i am posting the story Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails from Internet Chronicle. You might want to head over there and read some of the other stories and the comments.

Pure face palm gold.

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)


By Kilgoar via The Internet Chronicle

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 8.27.12 PMMOSCOW, Russia – Edward Snowden, the hacker who gained access to every secret corner of the Internet during his tenure at the NSA, has come forward with details of a classified project to alter the world’s climate. The shocking truth, as he says, is that chemtrails are part of a benevolent program aimed at countering global warming. By cooperating in secret with jet fuel manufacturers, government agents have carefully kept the massive chemtrail efforts completely under wraps. Snowden added, “I am only revealing this program because there is no oversight in the scientific community, no public discussion, and little concern for the side-effects which are well known only to a few privileged people interested in continuing the decades-long chemtrail program in secret.”

Because climate change is a threat to U.S. agriculture, it has been labeled a national security issue. With the influence and cooperation of Monsanto, a secret Geoengineering lab dubbed Muad’Dib has been operating since the late 1960s, and the chemtrail program is often referred to by insiders as its “crown jewel.” Muad’Dib has aimed to protect North America’s climate at all costs – even if that means accelerating desertification in Sub-Saharan Africa or spreading trace amounts of carcinogens over lightly populated areas. Other side effects, which scientists at the secret Muad’Dib Geoengineering Lab have predicted, include droughts in the Amazon and powerful windstorms along the East Coast.

Snowden shared decisive documents with The Internet Chronicle, but out of concern for national security, only his testimonial can be published. These documents contain references to scientists who would surely be targeted by foreign counterintelligence, and their knowledge is vital to short-term survival of the United States.

Snowden said, “If this program were to stop, the scientists behind it strongly believe that within just one year the North American climate would spiral out of control, and crop failures would lead to a series of devastating famines that would quickly depopulate urban centers.”

MORE . . .

Update: Cloud Anomaly Explained | Ghost Theory

Watch the video below to see the strangest cloud phenomenon you will ever see! Guaranteed.

Then click the link below the video for the explanation from the good people over at Ghost Theory. Cool stuff.

➤➤➤ Cloud Anomaly Explained | Ghost Theory.

10 Famous Photos Of The Paranormal That Aren’t Paranormal

via Listverse

We all have that friend. You know the one. He believes in cities on the dark side of the moon, angels, and insane conspiracy theories. Occasionally, he’ll come across a picture of the “supernatural” he found on a website and self-righteously point to it as proof that the universe runs on crazy. Well, next time he tries that, go ahead and mention these cases of the paranormal that are anything but.

10 • The Surgeon’s Photo

surgeon-e1373421903825_250pxThe surgeon’s photo is the most famous picture of the Loch Ness monster, and it almost single-handedly started the Loch Ness craze. Whenever anyone thinks of Nessie, it’s undoubtedly this image they picture. It was allegedly taken by a gynecologist and his wife who were on holiday, driving along the banks of Loch Ness. Unfortunately for all the “scientists” who’ve wasted decades investigating Nessie, the photo was 100 percent fake.

The monster in the picture is simply a toy submarine. The plot to create the fake photo was revenge for a slight by the Daily Mail. The newspaper had ridiculed a man named Wetherall after investigating what he claimed were Nessie’s footprints on the bank but turned out to be those of a hippopotamus. Wetherall and his accomplice aimed to humiliate the paper with another fake, but they kept quiet when the image captured the public imagination.

9 • Patterson’s Photo

bigfoot-e1373422378661_250pxThe Patterson photo was taken by Roger Patterson and his friend Robert Grimlin. It’s probably the most famous picture of Bigfoot that exists and has been mentioned by everything from The Simpsons to Will Ferrel’s Elf. The two were on horseback in Six Rivers National Forest, where they were shooting a documentary. According to them, they just happened to see Bigfoot—while filming a documentary about Bigfoot. Unfortunately, several people have come forward to admit their complicity in the hoax. They include the man in the suit (come on, like you actually thought that was anything other than a guy in a gorilla suit), a special effects artist who created the suit, and one of the producers of the film.

8 • The Cottingley Fairies Photos

faries-e1373422668314_250pxIn 1917, two little girls captured the public imagination with the claim that they found fairies in their garden. Usually people wouldn’t believe such a claim from two little girls, but they had pictures to prove it. Even famous skeptic Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of Sherlock Holmes, was fascinated by the photos. He wrote about them in his persoal magazine, claiming that they were definitely real—except they weren’t. The girls admitted (70 years later) that they used cardboard cut-outs and posed them in front of the camera. Did we mention that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock Holmes?

7 • Mulmer’s Ghost Photos

ghost-1_200pxMulmer was a jewelry engraver with a hobby in photography. Oh, and he also took photos of people with their dead relatives hovering in the background. That photo above? That just happens to be Abraham Lincoln’s widow. No prizes for guessing who the tall, bearded man behind her is. However, not everybody was convinced that Mulmer was photographing real dead people. A court case pointed out that the effect was easily achieved by double exposing film, and most of the ghostly figures were still alive and had recently sat for photos with Mulmer themselves.


6 • The Venusian Scoutcraft

adamski_250px_250pxThe Venusian scout ship was photographed by George Adamski, who claimed he was contacted by Venusians on multiple occasions. Despite Adamski’s claims sounding like the sort of science fiction that would be rejected by the SYFY channel, Adamski wrote books and conducted lectures about the multiple contacts with the deep-space Aryans and even gained an audience with the Queen of the Netherlands. Except, of course, it was all a lie. The interstellar Venusian spaceship is just a lampshade with ping-pong balls attached to it.

MORE . . .

5 Things I’ve noticed about… Crop Circles

crop circle alien mow
via The Soap Box

Crop circles. For decades now they’ve been appearing in crop fields around the world. Sometimes they’re small, simple circles. Sometimes they are enormous and complex, and contain multiple different shapes. While there are many things I’ve noticed about crop circles, I have narrowed it down to five things.

So here are things I’ve noticed about crop circles.

5. They’re a poor way to communicate.

crop circle homer simpson_300pxIf aliens really are making these geometric shapes in fields of barley and wheat as a means to communicate with humans (as what many people who still believe that crop circles are made by aliens claim) then it really has to be the worst way to communicate with another intelligent species.

Beside the fact that whomever makes these things would require the people that they are intended for to be able to fly somehow (which is of course easy for us now) it would also require those people to have an understanding of what those shapes mean. That is of course if those shapes have any meaning to them at all…

To simply put, it would be far easier and less confusing for aliens to land in a public area and start talking to people than it would to putting shapes in a field of crops.

4. It’s vandalism.

crop-circles_250pxRegardless of whether or not it’s bored human who want to create a giant piece of art, or aliens from a distant planet trying to communicate with up in the worst possible way, it’s still vandalism, and it’s not only damaging a part of a person’s property, it’s also destroying a part of a person’s livelihood, and it’s destroying food.

I would think that any beings that were advanced enough to build space ships that could cross hundreds, if not thousands of light years, would at the very least know it’s not nice to destroy another species food even if it was to send a message (that no one can figure out).

I would say that I would like to know what kind of species makes these crop circles, but I already know which species makes these crop circles, because…

3. We make them.

Yes, despite what many people believe, crop circles are in fact made by humans. It doesn’t matter how large or complex they are, human beings (sometimes many human beings at once) are the ones who are making these things.

Not only is it known that humans make them, it’s been known for over 20 years that humans make them (and it was greatly suspected even when crop circles first started appearing in the 70’s that they were made by humans). There’s even videos on Youtube showing how to make crop circles:

MORE . . .

Are We Ready For Aliens? (Geek Alert!)

Some really good and geeky stuff!🙂 Get your pocket protector and enjoy!

Are We Ready For Aliens? – YouTube.

Fool’s Gold

youtube graduate_250pxI like to tweak conspiracists for their lack of research. Many conspiracists subjugate any form of critical thinking to their overhwleming desire to believe nonsense. If they see something they want to believe, they just believe it without lifting a finger to investigate the truth.

Here is an example from the last few days: Go to google and do a search for Snowden HAARP (or just click the link).

As of right now (Saturday, July 13, 2013 @ 10:29 PM EST) i come up with over 279,000 results! That’s a lot of results for a story that was originally written only 3 days ago by the originating website. News like this spreads very quickly across the loon sites.

So what does this story purport? Well, from the conspiratorial website Secrets of the Fed comes this quote from the story:

(NOTE: If this story from Secrets of the Fed happens to disappear from their website you can download an archived copy here in PDF format.)

haarp-sky_250pxMOSCOW, Russia – Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower and fugitive, released documents Tuesday to Internet Chronicle reporters proving that the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, is definitively engaged in a program of assassination and mind control.

While the military prison industrial complex has routinely insisted that the Alaskan-based HAARP is only meant to study natural phenomena in earth’s ionosphere, Snowden has managed to blow open a brutally massive charade.

“The HAARP research station,” he said, “strategically based away from prying eyes near Gakona, Alaska, is actually used to terminate or manipulate would-be dissidents of global capitalism on the scale of millions of people.”

Added Snowden, using finger quotes, “With these terrestrial antennas, NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization] is able to, on a global scale, remotely silence ‘perpetrators’ of ‘deviant or subversive’ strains of thought.”

Unbeknownst to victims or their loved ones, HAARP projects ultra-high-powered radio waves. Those waves operate at the same electronic frequency as the truncus encephali, or brain stem, selectively inducing deaths seemingly by natural causes – including by some appearing to coroners as innocuous as strokes or heart attacks.

“When and if the intelligence community doesn’t view outright assassination as an optimal effect,” said Snowden, “‘they’ can simply make a ‘target’ act in an insane fashion, in order to discredit them. When we were in transit between Hong Kong and Moscow, WikiLeaks staff and I had to fend off the constant threat of radio-generated homicidal delusions.”

This is super crazy stuff isn’t it?

But there is ONE BIG CATCH to this story!
Are you ready for the truth?
THE. STORY. IS. FAKE!

fake copyYou read correctly. The story is a fake! It originated at a site called Internet Chronicle – where their stories are satirical in nature a la The Onion!!!

This gets back to my original point: Many conspiracists are blinded to logic and critical thinking because their desire to believe their delusions simply overwhelms their ability to think.

What really has me scratching my head is, the story was repeated across the web with the original source (Internet Chronicle) contained in the retelling of the story. For example this is how the story was retold at Secrets of the Fed:

HAARP01

HAARP02

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 11.46.10 PM_250pxAnother face-palm clue was the caption used below a picture of Snowden (to the right) in the original story at the Internet Chronicle. “Snowden speaking from a Custom Faraday Cage in Sheremetyevo Airport’s Hotel Novotel.” A custom Faraday cage? LOL! Okay, this is a double-face-palm clue.

Bottom line is, it would have taken all of two seconds for any of those 279,000 sites found in the Google results to check this story. Chalk up at least 279,000 fails for conspiracists.

The power of confirmation bias. And conspiracists wonder why they don’t have any credibility.

Have a good weekend and be sure to do your research.

Mason I. Bilderbeg (MIB)

P.S. Want to see another bogus story making its rounds across crazyland? It’s a story called Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails that was posted just 3 days ago at the Internet Chronicle. This is another fake story. But …

I just went to GOOGLE and did a search for Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails and there are almost 29,000 hits!!!!!

What do they say? The “hits” just keep on coming?😉

Five Stupid Things About Alternative Medicine

It’s time for alternative medicine to take its medicine! (See what I did there?)

(I’m sorry.)

via Five Stupid Things About Alternative Medicine – YouTube.

Five Stupid Things About the Anti-Vax Movement

I must issue a mild language warning🙂

Vaccines aren’t dangerous. Stupid is dangerous.

via Five Stupid Things About the Anti-Vax Movement – YouTube.

Five Stupid Things About the Illuminati

Five Stupid Things About the Illuminati

via Five Stupid Things About the Illuminati – YouTube.

What Are the Marfa Lights | Marfa Texas

By Marc Lallanilla via LiveScience

marfa lights 947The Marfa Lights, mysterious glowing orbs that appear in the desert outside the West Texas town of Marfa, have mystified people for generations.

According to eyewitnesses, the Marfa Lights appear to be roughly the size of basketballs and are varyingly described as white, blue, yellow, red or other colors.

Reportedly, the Marfa Lights hover, merge, twinkle, split into two, flicker, float up into the air or dart quickly across Mitchell Flat (the area east of Marfa where they’re most commonly reported).

There seems to be no way to predict when the lights will appear; they’re seen in various weather conditions, but only a dozen or so nights a year. And nobody knows for sure what they are — or if they really even exist at all.

A closeup of the Marfa Lights

A closeup of the Marfa Lights

The Native Americans of the area thought the Marfa Lights were fallen stars, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The first mention of the lights comes from 1883, when cowhand Robert Reed Ellison claimed to have seen flickering lights one evening while driving a herd of cattle near Mitchell Flat. He assumed the lights were from Apache campfires.

Ellison was told by area settlers that they often saw the lights, too, but upon investigation, they found no ashes or other evidence of a campfire, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

During World War II, pilots from nearby Midland Army Air Field tried to locate the source of the mysterious lights, but were unable to discover anything.

A superior mirage

Lovers of the paranormal have attributed the Marfa Lights to everything from space aliens to the wandering ghosts of Spanish conquistadors.

marfa1_250pxAcademics, too, have tried to offer a scientific explanation for the enigmatic lights. A group of physics students from the University of Texas at Dallas concluded that headlights from vehicles on nearby U.S. Highway 67 could explain at least some of the reported sightings of the Marfa Lights.

Another possible explanation is the refraction of light caused by layers of air at different temperatures. This optical illusion, sometimes called a superior mirage or a “Fata Morgana,” according to Skeptoid.com, occurs when a layer of calm, warm air rests above a layer of cooler air.

A Fata Morgana is sometimes seen in the ocean, causing a ship to appear to float above the horizon. The temperature gradients needed to produce this optical effect are common in the West Texas desert.

Glowing gases

Still others speculate the Marfa Lights may be caused by . . .

MORE . . .

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