Originally posted May 28, 2013
Sharon Hill steps through the looking glass yet again for an appearance on the popularParanormal Podcast with Jim Harold. When I was told of Hill's appearance, I was not quite sure which podcast it was. Once I starting listening, Harold seemed very familiar to me. I must have listened to something by him at some point.
Listening to a 'pro' paranormal podcast is a bit jarring. The episode started by Harold noting that on Memorial Day one of the things we cherish is free speech, and that includes free speech for skeptics. Harold noted that his listeners ought to give HIll a fair hearing. Harold and Hill went forth and engaged in a candid yet respectful discussion of the two different world views. I won't go through the discussion blow by blow. It was a thought-provoking discussion on how people with many similar interests can still see the same events or incidents in such different lights.
What struck me in particular was the exchange Harold and Hill had on how the pro-para folks and the skeptics see (for lack of a better term) the 3% of unexplained events differently. What I am referring to by the 3%, is, for example with UFO sightings, that after many sightings of UFOs are deemed hoaxes, planets, Chinese laterns, etc. there are still the 3% that are unexplained. For Harold, it seems this is evidence for some actual things that are UFOs or at least something, but for Hill it is just plain old "I don't know."
I wrote before when I did a non-formal sorta personal literature review on UFOs. My takeaway was that although not everything was explainable, there was no pattern or any real there, there. I am not saying I was a 19 year old genius, or that those with Harold's thoughts are idiots. Far from it, but nothing is 100%. I can't say what is going on in the 3%, but I do not think anyone can. For me that is enough. It's not satisfying, and UFO, ghosts, big foot should still be explored. If an alien race, time travelers, or inter dimensional explorers are the reason for some of the 3% that's really very interesting to say the least. However, if it's filled by a grab bag of cognitive error, undiscovered hoaxes and whatever else, so be it.
I do enjoy Hill's current spree of appearing on pro-para podcasts. Hill's guest appearances are a nice counterpart to the work that Hayley Stevens and Michael "Marsh" Marshall do on Be Reasonable, and to a lesser extent the work Trystan Swale performs on Fortean Radio. Why shouldn't Skeptics and pro-para folks talk? We are both interested in many of the same things.
The Bomb . . . doesn't actually exist.
Karl Mamer discussed on the lastest The Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast a conspiracy that I was not familiar. The idea that atomic bombs do not exist. Yes, I know. Japan might have something to say about that after all two of their cities were bombed at the end of the Second World War, but don't worry that's been covered, and explained. (Hint: the Japanese government was in on the conspiracy too.)
Mamer discusses this rather large and surprising conspiracy with Jakob Thorin, a Swedish Rocker and skeptic. It was a really interesting discussion. This theory of the weapon system that keep me up some nights as a kid worrying if tomorrow was going to be the last one did not and can't exist is proposed by Anders Björkman, a Swedish engineer. It is a fascinating listen. Björkman has determined that the nuclear reaction for fission cannot actually occur, and all the money spent on atomic weapons was spent on other stuff. I thought the idea that the HMS Invincible was sunk and kept hidden was a bit of a military stretch of a conspiracy, this is a larger conspiracy by orders of magnitude.