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The Gimbal Video: Genuine UFO or Camera Artifact?

In recent years the UFO phenomena has reached a new fever pitch over a handful of grainy videos and blurry photographs under the rubric of UAP, or Unidentified Aerial Phenomena. What are those objects in the videos and photographs? Alien spacecraft? Russian or Chinese spy drones? In this masterclass in analytical reasoning based on what little there is to assess, Mick West argues that the most famous of the UAPs, the Gimbal video, is most likely an artifact of the camera used to film it.

eSkeptic for July 13, 2021

From teleportation and space elevators to alien contact and interstellar travel, science fiction and fantasy writers have come up with some brilliant and innovative ideas. Yet how plausible are these ideas? In this lecture from our archives, recorded in February 2014 as part of The Skeptics Society’s Distinguished Science Lecture Series, professor of physics, Dr. Charles Adler, delves into the most extraordinary details in science fiction and fantasy.

eSkeptic for June 12, 2021

Given the latest wave of apparent UFO/UAP sightings Michael Shermer reminds us that the residue problem in UFOlogy is instructive because it enables skeptics to find common ground with believers and allows us to live comfortably with the fact that we can’t explain everything.

Avi Loeb — Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

Shermer and Loeb discuss: anomalies in science and astronomy in particular • Galileo and Saturn • Signal Detection Theory • face on Mars • Is Oumuamua ETI in origin? • Intelligent Design • Carl Sagan and SETI • Law of Very Large Numbers • How many unknown knowns could account for Oumuamua? • Kip Thorne • gravitational waves • multiverse theory, and more…

eSkeptic for February 16, 2021

In episode 157 of The Michael Shermer Show, Dr. Shermer speaks with Avi Loeb about his new book Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth which outlines his controversial theory and its profound implications for science, religion, and the future of our species and our planet.

eSkeptic for May 1, 2020

The media keeps making claims that the Pentagon supposedly announced that UFOs are ‘real.’ How much of that is really true? Robert Sheaffer — a leading skeptical investigator of UFOs — separates the facts from the hype. Plus: Dr. Michael Shermer examines the claims about the Bermuda Triangle using the tools of skepticism, science, and rationality to reveal that there is no mystery to explain.

Claims About a Government “UFO Program”: How Much is True?

The media keeps making claims that the Pentagon supposedly announced that UFOs are ‘real.’ How much of that is really true? Robert Sheaffer — a leading skeptical investigator of UFOs — separates the facts from the hype.

eSkeptic for April 24, 2020

Listen to “The Possibility of Life in the Universe,” a lecture by Carl Sagan, delivered one early evening in September 1974 (most likely Thursday, 5 September) to the U.S. Air Force Academy at Arnold Hall theater in front of a 3,000 cadet packed house lecture.

Deities for Atheists, Skygods for Skeptics: UFOs & ETIs

Dr. Michael Shermer distinguishes between two questions: (1) Are extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) out there somewhere in the cosmos? and (2) Have aliens come here? Evidence for both questions is considered in the larger context of why the issue so compels us to answer it almost religiously.

eSkeptic for April 7, 2020

Dr. Michael Shermer distinguishes between two questions: (1) Are extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) out there somewhere in the cosmos? and (2) Have aliens come here? Evidence for both questions is considered in the larger context of why the issue so compels us to answer it almost religiously.

Are We Alone? J. Allen Hynek & UFOs

Michael Aisner presents a vintage slice of history, science, and skepticism about UFOs in this interview he recorded in 1966 with UFOlogist Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his photo analyst cohort Fred Beckman, and then repackaged in the early 1970s with contributions from Sherman J. Larson, of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.

eSkeptic for February 11, 2020

In Science Salon # 103 Michael Shermer speaks with Robert Frank about how social environments profoundly influence our behavior. This conversation is based on Frank’s new book: Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work. PLUS: Michael Aisner presents a vintage slice of history, science, and skepticism about UFOs in this interview he recorded in 1966 with UFOlogist Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his photo analyst cohort Fred Beckman, and then repackaged in the early 1970s with contributions from Sherman J. Larson, of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.

eSkeptic for January 17, 2018

In this week’s eSkeptic, Tim Callahan reviews Unacknowledged: An Exposé of the World’s Greatest Secret, a new Netflix documentary, purporting to provide proof of alien visitation, that fails to deliver.

Unsubstantiated: A new Netflix documentary purporting to provide proof of alien visitation fails to deliver

Tim Callahan reviews Unacknowledged: An Exposé of the World’s Greatest Secret, a new Netflix documentary, purporting to provide proof of alien visitation, that fails to deliver.

eSkeptic for December 20, 2017

In this week’s eSkeptic Seth Andrews recounts how he became a card-carrying skeptic; Science Salons 15 and 16 are now available to watch for free online; Sam Harris and Michael Shermer will dialogue live in Austin, TX, in March.

eSkeptic for December 6, 2017

In this week’s eSkeptic, Campus Craziness: A New War on Science, in the latest edition of Skeptic magazine (22.4); UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens on MonsterTalk; and Dr. Robert Trivers discusses The Evolutionary Genetics of Honor Killings.

Donald Prothero & Timothy Callahan — UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says

UFOs. Aliens. Strange crop circles. Giant figures scratched in the desert surface along the coast of Peru. The amazing alignment of the pyramids. Strange lines of clouds in the sky. The paranormal is alive and well in the American cultural landscape. In UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens, Don Prothero and Tim Callahan explore why such demonstrably false beliefs thrive despite decades of education and scientific debunking.

eSkeptic for October 11, 2017

Spirituality illustration by Anna Maltese

In this week’s eSkeptic, Dr. David Speed examines why the definitional ambiguity of the word “spirituality” is problematic for researchers who seek to explore the relationship between it and other constructs.

eSkeptic for October 4, 2017

This week, we present a recording of Michael Shermer’s article, “Scientific Naturalism: A Manifesto for Enlightenment Humanism,” originally published in the journal Theology and Science in July 2017, being read by the author, and introduced by David Smalley.

eSkeptic for September 20, 2017

In conjunction with our 25th anniversary milestone that we are celebrating, we would also like to share with you this recent profile of Michael Shermer featured in the Wall Street Journal, published on September 1, 2017, written by Alexandra Wolfe

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