The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

photo of Tim Flannery


This week, for a limited time only, you may download an MP3 of Tim Flannery’s recent lecture at Caltech entitled The Weather Makers: How Humans are Changing the Climate & What it Means for Life on Earth, which we hosted on April 9th,2006. In this lecture, Dr. Flannery outlines the history of climate change, how it will unfold over the next century, and what we can do to prevent a cataclysmic future, including what every one of us can do right now to reduce deadly CO2 emissions by as much as 70%.

DOWNLOAD the free MP3 (13 mb) >

Join us on the weekend of June 2–4 as we continue to disentangle politics and opinion from the science about our planet’s health. Please note that Sunday’s optional geology tour is now sold out! Register soon, and participate in the dialogue:

Letter to the Editor


I read with some interest Jason Colavito’s editorial in eSkeptic that defended supernatural television [see eSkeptic for April 20th, 2006]. In order to set up his whole defense, he used some quotations from me that were contained in a press release that warned about the impact of paranormal programming. I am glad that he provided a link to the original press release so that readers could see for themselves what I actually said.

The intent of my release was not to make the sorts of general criticisms against the genre or its viewers that he rails against. He failed to mention that I noted in the release that these shows can make for great entertainment. The point of the release was to simply point out that for some viewers — and especially for younger viewers, these shows can have some effects on beliefs. That, in the end, is simply a research-based fact. Like it or not. — Glenn Sparks

Why People Believe Weird Things, re-colored close-up of cover

Why People Believe Weird Things, re-colored close-up of cover

FREE lecture tomorrow!

The Power of Belief

with Dr. Michael Shermer

Friday, April 28th, 7 pm
San Luis Obispo, CA

In this lecture, Michael Shermer will discuss belief in weird things, intelligent design, evolution, and other controversies of our time. Here are the details:

Phillips Hall
Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center
California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly)
1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA
Call 805-756-0117 or email Adam Hill at [email protected]

Recenly, Shermer was interviewed by Patrick S. Pemberton of the San Luis Obispo Tribune. The article is called, To Believe or Not to Believe.

READ the article >

Debunking a Marilyn Monroe Exhibit

In this week’s eSkeptic we reprint part of Mark Bellinghaus’ skeptical critique of the Marilyn Monroe Exhibit (including a brief debunking of the psychic James Van Praagh) that opened in Long Beach, California in November 2005. Bellinghaus, widely regarded as a Marilyn Monroe expert, owns one of the most extensive and comprehensive Marilyn Monroe collections in the world.

Marilyn Monroe with husband Joe DiMaggio (photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt)

Marilyn Monroe with husband Joe DiMaggio (photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt)

Marilyn Monroe’s Memory
Defrauded in Long Beach

The Truth Is Here

by Mark Bellinghaus

Did you see that psychic on Entertainment Tonight in December, James Van Praagh? He had one of Marilyn Monroe’s hair curlers — it even had a Marilyn hair on it — and this guy was listening to Marilyn talk to him right on the air. Spooky!

Those curlers are a highlight of “Marilyn Monroe, The Exhibit,” a display that opened November 11, 2005, on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, advertised as the largest private collection of Marilyn memorabilia ever assembled, a collection with the claimed worth of $10 million dollars.

But I have a small problem with those hair curlers: it took only the briefest internet research and a call to Clairol to establish that they were first manufactured in 1974. Marilyn passed away in 1962. I wonder which dead blonde Van Praagh was talking to.

The hair curlers are not authentic and that “$10 million” exhibit isn’t worth more than $25–$30 thousand. The people behind the exhibit are not telling the truth.

The principals in this story are:

  • Robert W. Otto, 56, President of Marilyn Monroe Exhibits;
  • Mark Roesler, 50, head and founder of CMG licensing;
  • June Dimaggio, 82, who claims to be a niece of Joe DiMaggio and a close friend of Marilyn;
  • Mary Jane Popp, 55 (?), actress, infomercial and radio host, she is helping June write her story;
  • Hugh Hefner, 79, Mr. Playboy, he gives credit to Marilyn for his magazine’s success, but threw her to the wolves.

Let’s begin with the most outrageous character, June DiMaggio. Who is she? The last name itself generates interest and memories of the sweet past, the Yankee Clipper, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson.” But now I want to change the famous lyric of the latter to “Where have you come from, June DiMaggio?” She appeared out of nowhere, joining the media circus without explaining where she was hiding while her legendary uncle Joe was alive.

CBS is reportedly planning a 48 Hours special on Marilyn Monroe this month, supposedly with June DiMaggio, and we look forward to the funny but absurd little stories she seems to have dreamed up and written down in her fictional “memoir,” Marilyn, Joe and Me!, her “what if?” journal …

READ the entire article >

still frame from the infamous Patterson film

Bigfoot Encounters

For your viewing pleasure, we link to Bobbie Short’s website where she has archived M.K. Davis’ frame-by-frame enhancement of the infamous 1967 “Bigfoot” film by Roger Patterson.

And, for your reading pleasure, we’d like to suggest eSkeptic from April 12th, 2004 in which Daniel Loxton reviews Greg Long’s book The Making of Bigfoot.

WATCH the enhanced video footage (5 MB animated GIF) >

READ the archived eSkeptic “Bigfoot, Big Con” >

Skeptic Magazine App on iPhone


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