Something to Cry About: Investigating a “Miraculous” Eye-Con
October 9, 2019 by

At the request of the Toronto Sun, on September 3, 1996, I drove to Canada to investigate a “weeping icon.” It would prove not to be really weeping and was not a true icon, only a print, but I am getting ahead of an interesting series of adventures in my career as a “miracle detective.” …

Inquest on the Shroud of Turin book
Yours Truly Didn’t Disappear—Khashoggi-like—at Turin Shroud Conference
August 23, 2019 by

The 2019 International Conference “Science, Theology and the Turin Shroud” was held August 14–17 at Redeemer University College in Canada. Despised by some Shroud zealots as the author of Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1983, updated 1998), I was billed as a presenter, but fears of a possible tragic outcome were whispered in skeptical …

Why Chupacabra Reports Only Go Back to 1995
August 5, 2019 by

I recently came across a blog by a fellow cryptozoology writer, Nick Redfern, which began with a well-deserved rant about armchair debunkers. The shabby state of research into Fortean topics is widely acknowledged by skeptics—and some “believers” (for lack of a better word). In this particular case it was unnamed “debunkers” that he vented some …

Nazis, the KKK, and The Angriest Yoga Master: Another Day at the Office
July 24, 2019 by

Now hold on. Am I a Nazi or a Klansman? Make up your mind.

Intuition Nearly Kills Hiker
July 19, 2019 by

On May 9, 2019 yoga instructor Amanda Eller vanished while on a solo run through a forest reserve in Hawaii. She was found seventeen days after her disappearance; the temperate climate helped her to survive, and she told a harrowing tale of eating berries and drinking river water. The trouble began early, when Eller chose …

Investigating New Mexico’s Bottomless Lakes
June 26, 2019 by

I don’t know if the world is ready for this, but in 2015 I got to the bottom of New Mexico’s Bottomless Lakes. I mean I got to the bottom of the fanciful claims thereof. Here is what I found.1 Bottomless Lakes is a state park (New Mexico’s first, established in 1933) that encompasses a …

The ‘FBI Bigfoot Investigation’: Where’s the Beef?
June 7, 2019 by

Breathless headlines earlier this week referred to the “FBI Investigating Bigfoot,” a clickbaity phrase if ever social media saw one, along with the promise that newly-declassified FBI files shed light on the mystery. As intriguing and sensational as it sounds, it turns out to be much ado about nothing. I’ll summarize the story, but there’s …

Secrets of the Fakir of Ava
May 29, 2019 by

Isaiah Harris Hughes (born on Christmas Day, 1813, died May 24, 1891) was a conjurer’s conjurer. Almost forgotten today, Hughes was once widely known as the Fakir of Ava. Since he is buried in Buffalo’s beautiful Forest Lawn Cemetery, not far from where my wife Diana and I live, we often pay our respects at …

Telling ‘Real’ from ‘Fake’ Psychics
May 3, 2019 by

Skeptics are known for warning the public about the perils of psychics (ranging from exploitation to fraud), but it may surprise you to know that “real” psychics sometimes join in as well, offering advice about how to avoid those “fake psychics.” A recent article explained, “Every day thousands of people look to psychics for advice, …

Columbine School Shooting Myths: 20 Years Later
April 22, 2019 by

A few days ago marked the twentieth anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, in which two senior students in Colorado killed twelve students and one teacher before ultimately killing themselves. The crime received extensive news coverage and inspired many copycats and a Michael Moore film, Bowling for Columbine. Early reportage of high-profile events (and …