Thursday, January 28, 2010

Conspiracy Skeptic #11.2

Conspiracy Skeptic with your host Karl Mamer had an unusually quick turn around time between shows, but for good reason, as this episode was the third for Stuart Robins the staff astronomer of The Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast, and his second appearance in about a week.  "Staff Astronomer" is nice title to carry around in your back pocket when you need to impress chicks at TAM or Skeptics in Pub.

They discussed a few updates from last week's show about a Villanova* paper noting that a neighboring supernova might wipe out all life on Earth when she blows, and Robins noted that it is now very clear their numbers were just wrong, and we are safe in this regard for a few million more years.  They also discussed that vampires cannot live forever, since when the universe as we know it ends all the particles that make them up will be gone too.  (I was up all night in Florida worrying about this...ok not really)

The meat of this week's show was discussing the odd case of one armed swiss farmer and alleged attractor of Extraterrestrial visitors, Billy Meier and his U.S. publicist Michael Horn.  Let me first take time to give Mr. Horn greetings and a warm welcome to the The Skeptical Review.  I am glad could take the time to review my sight after your Bing search or Google alert went off.  Hope you enjoy the post.

Michael Horn appeared on "Coast to Coast AM" the other night discussing Meier's alleged prediction dating from 1981 that the alien visitors, which I shall call the Escalades (Meier calls them the Plejaren, Karl calls them mescaloids, I like Escalades.) imparted to him that asteroid Aphosis just might sock into the Earth in 2029, or a few years later on its next pass.   The Escalades also imparted to Meier that the Apple iPad would not have a built-in web cam, which was a stunningly accurate and disappointing prediction. (Ok, Meier or Horn as far as I know said nothing of the sort, but it still was a disappointing story.  Why Jobs, why?)

Anyway, Mamer and Robins had a lively discussion about the curious case of Billy Meier who for years has alleged that he has been in contact with aliens who hail from the Pleiades.  Meier claims to transcribe his discussion with the Escalades in books called "Contact Reports."  His Authorized American Media Representative is a gentleman, Michael Horn, who occasional speaks publicly for Meier on outlets such as "Coast to Coast AM."  Horn is a staunch defender of Meier, although his tactics can be considered unique at the very least.  Mamer and Robins discussed how Horn requested to be interviewed on The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, but if he was not invited on, then Horn would take that as an admission by the Rogues that they were wrong in questioning Meier's alien contact stories.

They also discussed Meier's strong and somewhat erratic refuting of any question of Meier's story on Robins' blog.  They also discussed the now famous photo of aliens Meier produced which ended up being photos of two of Dean Martin's Golddigger girls.  My, my how political correctness has changed how women were once exploited for entertainment.  (Oh, wait there's Flavor of Love and The Bachelor, scratch this point.)  They discussed how much of the evidence points not to Meiers talking with the Escalades for future knowledge, but retrodict his past writings (and alleged past writings) with facts now known.  This, argues Robins, is how Meier and the alleged Escalades discussions "predicted" the near miss of Aphosis.

The really cool part of the show is when Robins indicated he might, maybe, perhaps have discovered a volcano on Mars.  How freaking cool is that?  It is not anywhere near certain at this point, but if he did, this is almost as cool as when Astronaut Rusty Schweicker was on SGU.

All in all, this was an extremely enjoyable episode to listen.  As noted in earlier posts, Karl is very good at the casual, yet informative interview, but on this show he was particularly "on" with his guest.  Probably the only other episode where he was so "on" was in his interview of Hayley Stevens of The Righteous Indignation Podcast, and the blog The Rather Friendly Skeptic.  Mr. Horn, I hope you enjoyed the post.

*As my wife is a graduate of local rival in the Philadelphia area, La Salle University, I must note "ha,  ha, ha, ha."


  1. Nigel, I wanted to thank you for your kind review of my interview with Karl on the latest episode. I'll admit that as of writing this, I haven't even listened to it yet.

    I did want to make some very minor corrections and point out a few things, though ...

    (1) The last name is "Robbins," not "Robins." Minor point.

    (2) I'm not sure if Horn will find this blog, as I think he found mine due to the tags ("labels" on blogger) that I used as well as because I linked directly to his website. Try throwing in that link to his site and see if he finds it.

    (3) It was actually my 4th appearance (but who's counting?) on Karl's podcast. Karl and I number it differently - I consider having done two actual unplugged episodes (2012/PlanetX, and Moon Hoax), 1 invited episode like with SGU where they sometimes bring in Phil to comment on the latest astronomy news, and then 1 follow-up (the latest episode).

    (4) Yesterday, Horn commented on my latest blog post which was announcing this latest interview (follow-up) on the show, claiming that I don't look at his evidence, etc. I directly challenged him to reply to my second post on Meier, which is the one you linked to above, where I go directly through the timeline of the predictions and show how Apophis was retrodicted to the "red meteor" from 1981. I told Horn that if he had additional documentation I would look at it, but until then, my conclusion on that prediction stands. I'm not going to go through the hundreds or thousands of others when I have no interest in it and I've conclusively shown that this one is bogus. Surprisingly - considering that Horn has been replying to other people on my blog within hours - he has not replied since I challenged him 25 hrs ago despite him replying elsewhere on my blog to other people in that time period.

    (5) Finally, I'm really trying to not get my hopes up on this volcano discovery, though my mom already wants it named after her ("The Erupting Roz" as my dad put it). To me it looks like a volcanic caldera, to the post-doc next door, but my advisor should be flying back from New Zealand after being in Antarctica for 2 months sometime in the next few days and I should be meeting with him next week about this and other stuff. If he agrees that it looks like a volcano and he can't find it mentioned elsewhere, then we're going to run with it. The caldera is a little larger than the state of Delaware. But I'm trying to avoid a Pons and Fleischmann with cold fusion kinda situation. So, yeah, we'll see.

  2. Damn it! I am terrible with names. My apologies.


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