Contributions

“Bigfoot” Is Endangered Species
January 10, 2019


A federal judge on August 30, 2018, temporarily blocked the hunting of grizzly bears outside Yellowstone National Park. This was in response to the Trump administration’s removal of those animals’ endangered species protection. I said “grizzly bears” but I was also thinking of Bigfoot, and therein is a story. For more than four decades grizzlies …

Shroud of Turin Author in Special Prosecutor’s Sights
December 20, 2018


Jerome Corsi, a propagandist for the notorious Shroud of Turin (supposedly Jesus’ burial cloth), and an arch spreader of outrageous conspiracy theories, is now reportedly in the sights of special prosecutor Robert Mueller concerning Corsi’s purported role in the matter of the Trump campaign’s Russia connections during the 2016 presidential election. I first learned of Jerome …

“Playboy” with Joe Nickell et al.: “Having Sex with Spirits”
December 13, 2018


What is it with people “having sex with spirits”? And what would Joe Nickell and Chris French know about it? For answers we turn to an article by Mark Hay for playboy.com (July 16, 2018). Of course tales of phantom sex hark back to “ancient Sumerian myths to the Bible to still extant beliefs in …

Seeing Clearly Now: Death of Psychic Bernice Golden
November 30, 2018


“International psychic Bernice Golden dies,” reported radio station WKBW of Buffalo on the date of her death, October 8, 2018 (Mason 2018). Although she did promote herself as an “International Psychic,” the label is overblown. Nevertheless, she certainly became, in her day, “Buffalo’s best known psychic” (Evans 2016). On a few occasions, she did get …

Wolf-like Mystery Creature in Montana
November 12, 2018


In mid-2018 a strange-looking critter was shot and killed in Central Montana. Armchair monster hunters rushed to opine as to its true nature: possibly a jackal, wolf/dog, coydog, coyote, German Shepherd hybrid, Scottish Deerhound, or even a surviving dire wolf (that became extinct over 10,000 years ago) or a “dogman” (a supposed upright-walking cryptid, at …

Houdini Séances 2018
November 1, 2018


Since world-famous magician, escape artist, and spiritualist nemesis Harry Houdini died on Halloween 1926, magicians and admirers have held séances on each anniversary of his death, attempting to contact his spirit. The first were held by his wife Beatrice (“Bess”), but—except for a separate hoax claim otherwise in 1928 by medium/charlatan Arthur Ford—Houdini was always …

Haunted Drummond Hill Cemetery
October 15, 2018


The fiercest and the bloodiest battle of the so-called War of 1812 took place on July 25, 1814, and is known as the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. Part of that battlefield in Niagara Falls, Canada, is occupied by Drummond Hill Cemetery—an allegedly haunted place I investigated in 2002 for a local TV channel. According to …

Aliens? Balloon Boy? Bright Lights over Fort Collins, CO.
October 9, 2018


On Saturday evening, September 1, 2018, observers saw two UFOs over Fort Collins, CO. Described as “two glowing lights in the sky,” they caused a stir, and responses from observers were forthcoming. Residents in nearby Windsor, Wellington, and Bellvue also saw the pair of bright lights and speculated about their source. Theories included aliens, planets—even …

Secrets at Oak Island
September 24, 2018


Among great “unsolved” enigmas is that of a supposed treasure, often called the Money Pit mystery. The site is a shaft or shafts on Oak Island in Nova Scotia’s Mahone Bay, allegedly dating to before 1795. I dared to trespass there in 1999 (ironically after speaking at a forensic conference in New Brunswick), talking my …

Weeping-eye Cons
September 10, 2018


Another statue of Mary is “crying,” this time in Hobbs, New Mexico. Dr. Richard Hempstead asked me for my insights into the case for his column, “Path of the Secular Humanist,” in the Las Cruces Sun-News (Hempstead 2018). Here I place the Hobbs phenomenon in the context of lachrymose effigies generally. Weeping effigies—typically statues in …