In a way that only that most famous of Internet comics can say it…
Posts Tagged ‘aliens’
Posted by mattusmaximus on November 3, 2012
I just ran across this parody of the “History” Channel by some folks calling themselves the EVP Patrol Squad. They are spoofing the various pseudoscientific “experts” that are regularly paraded out on that channel in favor of various ancient alien, paranormal, and ghostly claims. The funny thing is that if you actually watch some of the stuff on the History Channel, it is so goofy that it almost seems that this is straight from one of their shows – so this is good evidence of Poe’s Law. Enjoy!
I don’t know about you all, but I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to look a sporks the same again. The horror… THE HORROR!!!
Posted in aliens & UFOs, ghosts & paranormal, humor, skeptical community | Tagged: aliens, ancient astronauts, cable, EVP Patrol Squad, ghosts, History Channel, humor, mystery, Mystory, paranormal, parody, Poe, Poe's Law, Soundiron, spoof, spork, TV, UFO, video, youtube | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 27, 2011
My favorite time of the year is almost upon us: Halloween!
I love Halloween not just because of the candy, the costumes, and the decorations (when else can you be a complete freak and it be socially acceptable?) but also because of the wonderful potential for promoting skepticism and critical thinking about various paranormal claims. Let’s face it: at this time of the year, ghosts, witchcraft, psychics, and various other kinds of woo are on everyone’s minds, so why not take advantage of that fact and use it to inject the skeptical viewpoint on things? I have found this to be a very effective teaching technique over the years, so that’s why I pass it along to you.
So in the spirit of the season (pardon the pun), allow me to share with you some links to various Halloween-ish skeptical resources that you can use, including a few of my earlier blog posts on the subject…
Posted in aliens & UFOs, education, ghosts & paranormal, humor, magic tricks, physics denial/woo, psychics, skeptical community | Tagged: 1938, AAPT, aliens, American Association of Physics Teachers, broadcast, cartoon, critical thinking, delusion, detectors, education, electromagnetic fields, EMF, equipment, esp, extrasensory perception, Flim Flam, ghost hunter, ghost hunters, ghost hunting, ghost meter, ghosts, Halloween, Haunted Physics Lab, high school, hoax, humor, hysteria, infrared, invaders, invasion, James Randi, Lake Forest, lesson, magic, mars, Martians, mass hysteria, media, Mercury Theater, meters, NOVA, orb, Orson Welles, Ouija, Ouija board, panic, paranoraml, paranormal, PBS, physics, pseudoscience, psychics, radio, Randi, science, Secrets of the Psychics, skeptic, Skeptic's Dictionary, skepticism, Snopes, South Park, spacecraft, spirit, spirits, TAPS, teacher, teaching, temperature, The Amazing One, The Amazing Randi, The Atlantic Paranormal Society, UFO, war, War of the Worlds, waves, woo | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on June 7, 2011
According to this story over at Space.com, there is an amateur astronomer claiming that he has discovered what he calls a “Base on Mars” in the following image that he downloaded from Google Mars…
All I can say is… are you kidding me?! A grainy, fuzzy, and heavily pixelated image from Google Mars shows… what exactly? Why couldn’t this be some kind of geological feature on Mars, or couldn’t some of the features be artifacts of the imaging process? Why the rush to jump to “alien base on Mars” without any supporting evidence? This sort of thing is on par with people using similar crappy-quality images to claim they’re looking at Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or seeing Jesus in the clouds. Folks, it all boils down to that well documented phenomenon called pareidolia, because if there were decent high-resolution images available then it would be harder for people to see what they (consciously or not) want to see in the pictures.
Some more reasonable possibilities are suggested by some experts in the Space.com article:
“It looks like a linear streak artifact produced by a cosmic ray,” said Alfred McEwen, a planetary geologist at the Lunar and Planetary Lab at the University of Arizona and the director of the Planetary Imaging Research Laboratory. McEwen is the principal investigator of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), a powerful telescope currently orbiting Mars.
Cosmic rays are extremely energetic particles emitted by the sun and other stars. For the most part, the Earth’s protective magnetosphere blocks them from hitting the planet’s surface, McEwen explained. “But with space images that are taken outside our magnetosphere, such as those taken by orbiting telescopes, it’s very common to see these cosmic ray hits. You see them on optical images and a lot of the infrared images too,” he told Life’s Little Mysteries. …
… The digital compression software that converts the image into a JPEG file then “sort of smears out the image, giving it that pixelated look,” McEwen said. What started as a clear streak in high-resolution turns into a streak that, in the armchair astronaut’s words, looks like it is “made up of cylinders.”
That, or this guy actually did discover an alien base on Mars. I think you’d have to have a particularly dull Occam’s Razor to accept that conclusion, however.
Posted in aliens & UFOs, space | Tagged: aliens, base, Bigfoot, cosmic ray, digital, Google, Google Mars, image, Loch Ness Monster, mars, Martian, NASA, Nessie, pareidolia, picture, pixelation, pixels, space, UFO | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on January 31, 2011
Time for me to toot my own horn a bit
Recently, my blog was listed atop the list of Top 25 Paranormal Skeptic Blogs from the PharmacyDegree.net website. Actually, another reason why I wanted to share this information with you is because the list contains a large number of very useful links to other skeptical blogs. Here it is…
Do you believe? Whether you’ve had a firsthand experience with the paranormal or seldom believe the ghost stories you heard as a kid, these are the blogs to turn to when you want a major myth or paranormal experience debunked. Some paranormal historians have made a career out of this and now blog on the topic to prevent folks from being spooked by events and reports that can be explained with pure logic…
Posted in aliens & UFOs, ghosts & paranormal, skeptical community | Tagged: aliens, blog, blogging, ET, extra terrestrial, extraterrestrial, ghosts, paranormal, Pharmacy Degree, skeptic, spirits, UFO | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 31, 2010
Every Halloween, when I’m not having fun at a party or handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, I like to take some time to listen to the 1938 radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” by Orson Welles. I do this for two reasons: 1) it’s a great story – full of suspense & the appropriate amount of spookiness for the season, and 2) it’s a wonderful lesson in skepticism. In fact, it is perhaps the first, best example of a widespread media hoax (however intentional or unintentional it may have been) with ensuing mass hysteria that we have in the United States, because so many people tuned in and took the story of the Martian invasion of Earth literally. Invaders from Mars? It was no wonder there was a panic!
Having said that, I’d like to share with you two things: the original “War of the Worlds” broadcast, and an excellent article by Joe Nickell on the various truths & myths concerning this event. Enjoy!
Posted in aliens & UFOs | Tagged: 1938, aliens, broadcast, delusion, Halloween, hoax, hysteria, invaders, invasion, mars, Martians, mass hysteria, media, Mercury Theater, Orson Welles, panic, radio, spacecraft, UFO, war, War of the Worlds | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 7, 2010
In an earlier blog post, I gave a detailed rebuttal to a lecture by the Discovery Institute’s Casey Luskin titled “Intelligent Design: Dead Science or the Future of Biology?” – however, it wasn’t until recently that I came up with what I consider to be the real killer criticism of a basic intelligent design argument: their so-called “design inference” model. During his talk, Casey Luskin showed a picture of Mount Rushmore, which he stated the design inference model shows is clearly a product of ID, not the result of natural processes. The implication is, of course, that much of evolutionary science is false because ID’s design inference model can prove that ID is a better explanation; but there’s a fatal flaw here.
The basic argument is simply a variation of the classic watchmaker argument, which is essentially an argument from ignorance. Not to mention, Luskin has stacked the deck in favor of the ID design inference model because every time an ID-advocate trots out their model it is in the context of a post-hoc analysis: they already know ahead of time that the object/situation they’re analyzing is the product of intelligent (human) processes. Hell, of course Mount Rushmore is the result of (human) ID, because we have records & photos of humans chipping away at the damn rock! So they can’t lose – in this sense, the ID folks are proposing a non-falsifiable model, which makes it NON-science.
Posted in aliens & UFOs, creationism | Tagged: aliens, angels, atheism, Bible, biology, Casey Luskin, Center for Science and Culture, Christianity, court, creationism, Dembski, design inference, DI, Discovery Institute, Dover trial, Dover vs Kitzmiller, education, evolution, Face on Mars, God, ID, IDM, illusion, intelligent design, intelligent design movement, Jesus, Luskin, mars, materialism, model, Mount Rushmore, pareidolia, public schools, religion, schools, science, theology, Wedge document, Wedge Strategy | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on April 20, 2010
In a quickie post for all you UFO & alien buffs (whether you are a skeptic or believer), here’s a bit of news that is guaranteed to give the conspiracy theorists among you absolute fits. It seems that some former workers at Area 51 (yes, that “Area 51″) are now going public with the work they conducted there many decades ago. And none of it involved crashed alien spacecraft or bodies of ETs near Roswell, etc.
Apparently, there was a real conspiracy to cover-up research on experimental aircraft such as the A12 and SR71 reconnaissance planes. And it did involve scaring witnesses into shutting up about what they saw, confiscating photo equipment, and even paying off some people with hush money (to the tune of $25,000 per person – in the 1950s and 60s!)
Read the entire article here. Here are some highlights…
After nearly five decades, guys like James Noce finally get to tell their stories about Area 51.
Yes, that Area 51.
The one that gets brought up when people talk about secret Air Force projects, crashed UFOs, alien bodies and, of course, conspiracies.
The secrets, some of them, have been declassified.
Noce, 72, and his fellow Area 51 veterans around the country now are free to talk about doing contract work for the CIA in the 1960s and ’70s at the arid, isolated Southern Nevada government testing site.
Their stories shed some light on a site shrouded in mystery; classified projects still are going on there. It’s not a big leap from warding off the curious 40 or 50 years ago, to warding off the curious who now make the drive to Area 51.
The veterans’ stories provide a glimpse of real-life government covert operations, with their everyday routines and moments of excitement.
Noce didn’t seek out publicity. But when contacted, he was glad to tell what it was like.
“I was sworn to secrecy for 47 years. I couldn’t talk about it,” he says.
In the 1960s, Area 51 was the test site for the A-12 and its successor, the SR-71 Blackbird, a secret spy plane that broke records at documented speeds that still have been unmatched. The CIA says it reached Mach 3.29 (about 2,200 mph) at 90,000 feet.
But after September 2007, when the CIA displayed an A-12 in front of its Langley, Va., headquarters as part of the agency’s 60th birthday, much of the secrecy of those days at Area 51 fell away.
Advance warning to UFOlogists: Sorry, although Noce and other Area 51 vets say they saw plenty of secret stuff, none make claims about aliens.
Of course, the conspiracy theorists will say, all of these explanations are just part of the bigger, wider cover-up to conceal the Roswell aliens from us… right? I can almost hear the conspiracy nuts getting out their aluminum foil hats
Posted in aliens & UFOs | Tagged: A12, alien, aliens, Area 51, argument from ignorance, Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, conspiracy, jets, Nevada, plane, reconnaissance, Roswell, Roswell Incident, ship, spacecraft, spaceship, SR71, UFO, UFOlogy, ufoology, visitors | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on December 11, 2009
In a story that is making the rounds on the Internet, a UFO was spotted in the skies over Norway. It took the form of a strange, spiraling bright light high in the sky that had a mysterious glow to it. Here’s a photo of the UFO…
And a Youtube video about the phenomenon has gathered a whopping 1.9 million hits in just a single day!…
Needless to say, this is a very interesting phenomenon, with some – to say the least – very interesting explanations being offered by various people for what it could have been. These, as the reporter in the video above, range from the relatively mundane (such as a failed Russian missile launch) to the usual nonsense from the woo-crowd (alien visitors) to the outright bizarre (a rogue black hole). So, in the absence of solid evidence, what is the most likely explanation?
Posted in aliens & UFOs | Tagged: alien, aliens, argument from ignorance, black hole, Bulava, conspiracy, Dmitry Donskoi, missile, Norway, Norway spiral, Roswell, Roswell Incident, Russia, ship, spacecraft, spaceship, spiral, submarine, Tromso, UFO, UFOlogy, ufoology, visitors | 2 Comments »