The Last Two Weeks or So In Conspiracy (31 Dec 2011)

December 31, 2011

Yeah, I’ve been out of contact recently, traveling the country, racking up foursquare points (why, I’m not sure), and learning the ways of the iPad. Things have settled back down, and I can take a little time to bring everyone up to speed on the wide, wide world of weird.

In the next few days, I’ll be heading out to Seattle to interview for a job in Mississippi (yeah, it’s easier if you just don’t think about it). I have seized upon the opportunity to make sure that I have a long layover at the Denver International Airport, which is where the bigwigs who are really in charge are going to wait out the end of the world. Or detain gun owners. Or transfer planes. Nobody is too sure about that. Anyway, I’m there. I’ve been trying to contact the artist whose murals have come under suspicion most goofy so that I could meet and interview him during my 4 hours at DIA, but given the weird attention his work has received, he’s hard to get in touch with, as you might imagine. (If anyone has any ideas…the email addy on his website is obsolete.)

Mike Adams, Health Stranger

davidfrum (@davidfrum)
12/26/11 1:08 PM
“CNN is run by Jews.” From the comments on my CNN.com Ron Paul column … bit.ly/soURcG

Well played, redneck. Well played. I’m willing to bet that you read Veterans Today, which was also horrible this week.

SEEDS?!?!?!?!?!

I enjoyed this book, because of some of the insider information that he brings out. I liked the insights into the invisible world, for example, how certain aliens are working with Satan the Devil, how Satan looks like a reptilian, including his hosts.

Conspiracy theories of the last few weeks:

“And, therefore planet Earth, as a female cosmic body with its newer, progressively greater level of 4th dimensional energy emanating from her – from Earth’s core – she is finally ready to be ‘fertilized’, and is attracting, pulling, drawing to her… the transformative cosmic 4th dimensional vibratory ‘male’ energy from the new crystal blue star (that was comet Holmes).”

Told you.

Dishonorable mention:

  • IntelHub gives exopolitics a run for its money, though, and this one blew me away with the goof. OK. Try to keep up. The Intel Hub, whose logo appropriately suggests something stinks over there, sez: “Chemtrail-like Substance Could Be Used in Blue Beam Type Operation.” Blue Beam is a continuation of the Philadelphia (boat teleportation) and Montauk (dead raccoons) Projects. Blue Beam is designed, according to this guy on the Internet, “to create a world-wide light show with accompanying electronically driven wave patterns.” Also, WTF does that even mean? Anyway, the pulse of energy is supposed to make people think that God is talking to them. Totally f-in’ superfluous, since people already think that God is talking to them! This is really an elaborate one that assumes earthquake-making, archaeological forgeries, telepathy, messiah-arriving, faked one-world religion, and staged UFO invasions. But this is the real problem: the IntelHub is setting itself up to believe this unfathomably vast pile of whale poop: “The Intel Hub has also received similar reports from various locations in the CONUS (Continental United States) and is requesting additional information/sightings to be sent to us (tips@theintelhub.com).” No matter how much contradictory information can be brought to bear on the questions raised by the Blue Beam video (like all of physics, meteorology, aerospace and electrical engineering, and psychology), they are completely and explicitly uninterested in that evidence. So, if, for instance, an airline pilot wrote in saying, “Hey, I need to take into account all the mass on my airplane to calculate how much fuel I have, including the ‘magic fairy chemtrail dust,’ so it’s impossible that I would be able to spray and not know about it. Now tell me I’m poisoning people to my face, suckafoo,” Intelhub will hear none of it. Here’s a tip: Grow. Up.

Week’s Best Headline:

Not strictly related to conspiracy theory in…any way I can think of, but this headline needs to be read aloud to orphans every Christmas: “Victoria’s Secret: Busted for Undies With an Ugly Past”.

Thanks for an excellent year, folks! We had over 100,000 hits, many of which were not my mother. We’ll see you on the other side of the New Year!

RJB


Skeptical Humanities on The Token Skeptic Podcast

December 31, 2011

Even and I were recently interviewed by Kylie Sturgess, whose work we admire immoderately. Her podcast is The Token Skeptic, and the episode in question is about the film Anonymous:

http://tokenskeptic.org/?powerpress_embed=1450-podcast&powerpress_player=default

We’ve worked with Kylie in the past. We were on a couple of panels together at this year’s Dragon*Con. She’s also the editor of the Young Australian Skeptics’ only recently published Skeptical Blog Anthology, and we have a piece in there. GO BUY IT NAOW! While it’s great that a lot of the big names are represented, they also give voice to a number of clever and insightful yet less well-known skeptics. An excellent snapshot of an important period in skeptical history, I think. Check it out!

RJB


End of the Year Psychic Predictions

December 21, 2011

Cross-posted at the Independent Investigations Group-Atlanta blog. Go visit us. We’re swell!

This afternoon I received a Google alert about a press release that had gone through the CBS Atlanta website. It did not originate there, but it’s unfortunate that it ended up on a news site all the same. It was a press release by psychic Blair Robertson, and it began:

Psychic Who Predicted Japan Earthquake Shares Insights

PHOENIX, Dec. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Can Blair Robertson see into the future? His successful forecasts of coming events seem to prove he can.

His past predictions include the Japanese 8.9 earthquake and tsunami, the two devastating New Zealand earthquakes, the terrible plane crash that claimed the life of Polish president Lech Kaczynski, World Cup events, accurately predicting the Oscars, and more.

Gosh, he must be pretty good, then, right? Saved thousands of people in Japan, right? Well, not so much.

I’m going to focus on Robertson’s claimed “prediction” of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami because if it’s true, it’s utterly amazing and important. If it’s false, then Robertson is capitalizing on the death and misery of thousands for cheap, imaginary bragging rights and should be treated as a heartless fraud.

The facts of the case

On 8 March, psychic Blair Robertson sent an envelope to Shawville Town Hall by commercial courier (which I image they pronounce interestingly in Quebec).

Early in the morning of 11 March 2011, I was waiting at my bus stop and scrolling through my twitter feed. Australia was having a collective gasp of horror over an earthquake in Japan. Reports and video were just coming in, and my tweeps were reacting to what they were seeing.

At 7:00 PM (see the image of the envelope here) on 11 March, the mayor of Shawville opened an envelope on stage and found what appeared to be a prediction of an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Mind you, this is a prediction of something that has already happened, which should be a huge tip-off.

Basically, he switched envelopes. Indeed, skepdic uses this guy as a classic example of a “sealed envelope trick.” At let’s face it, if you are “predicting” things that have already happened, you aren’t making predictions.

It’s also telling that Robertson “predicted” the 8.9 earthquake, which is what the news had reported on the 11th, but the USGS eventually revised the earthquake to a 9.0 on the 14th. You’d have thought he would have gotten that. But of course he didn’t.

Blair also releases annual predictions on his website. Last year, Robertson released a list of what as going to happen in the year 2011. Let’s see how he did, eh wot?

“1. I predict avalanches in Italy, Austria and the western US, with multiple injuries in January.”

This prediction is pretty feeble because it is predicting the inevitable. He might as well be predicting mountains where there are mountains, avalanches are so common in some of the places he is suggesting (the Alps and…the whole Western US). According to the director of the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center, for example, between Dec 18, 2008- and Jan 25, 2009, 23 people died in avalanches in the US.

“2. Watch for train derailments in California and on East coast within 60 days.”

Another gimme. Between January and September of this year, according to the Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis, there were some 1,054 train derailments in the US. At that rate, it would be stunning if there weren’t multiple derailments in California or on the whole East Coast.

3. Air to air collision in Northeast.***

The asterisks point us to a collision that happened on the same day of the blog post. He says he predicted it on TV the night before. However, I would posit that there are constantly air to air collisions helicopters, planes, birds, balloons, or skydivers. This prediction is so vague that it could be anything. In this case, he says that a helicopter and plane collision fulfilled his prophecy. Any collision would have fit the bill, which is why we can’t take this as a serious prediction.

4. I foresee a hunting accident that claims a life in mid-west before the end of February.

Again, any specifics would help. This vague “somewhere in the midwest” thing is another sure bet. In 1997, there were 66 fatal hunting accidents in the US. That one of them would occur “in the midwest” in the first two months is no stretch.

5. Massive fires in New England blamed on arson will occur before July.

In the first half of 2011, 14.5% of arson was committed in New England, according to the FBI. We have no specifics by which to hazard a guess at which cases of inevitable arson he’s talking about. Another gimme that therefore can’t possibly be taken seriously as a hit.

6. Tragic accident during sporting event injures leading sports figure in 2011.

Don’t you have any names? Or relevant fields of achievement? This isn’t a prediction; it’s a statement that will always come true in a world with NASCAR.

7. I feel a bus accident that injures college students….. eastern US…. in three months.

OK, if there is a single bus accident (doesn’t say school bus, mind you, or that it is school related in any way) with college students on it–anywhere east of the Mississippi–he gets a hit. And when you take into consideration that according to researchers at the University Michigan there were an average of 318 buses involved in fatal incidents each year between 2004-2007, and that deaths include people killed in smaller cars (majority of fatalities) and non-motorists–and these are only the subset of fatal accidents!–this is another useless non-prediction. Merely a statistical inevitability.

8. Weird. A bank robber uses Santa outfit…..trips up and shoots elf (EDIT: that should be “self”)

How do I even begin to check this? And Santa is a “right jolly old elf,” dude, so BOTH are correct! :)

9. I predict that fuel surcharges will skyrocket for common goods and services.

Um. I don’t what this means. I mean, I understand every word, but…I’m not sure which surcharge he’s talking about. You can look at the consumer price index and the cost of living and see how fuel costs factor into the overall cost of remaining on this soggy rock, but I don’t see a testable claim stated here without more specifics.

10. Watch for Paul McCartney to marry again, this time with a prenuptial agreement!

He did get married in 2011. He had been dating the same woman for years. There was no prenuptial.

11. Apple will buy Facebook by year end.

WRONGY McWRONGENSTEIN!

We have 11 predictions, most of which are so vague as to be useless. The only times that Blair makes a specific prediction, he is completely and entirely wrong.

So, Great and Powerful one, what’s on deck for this year? Any real shockers?

  1. I predict that the Republicans will win the Presidential election.
  2. A horrifying premonition: spandex will make a comeback near the end of 2012.
  3. Volcanic activity in the Northwest will be big news and I feel there will be a very good chance of a large eruption.
  4. There will be a bombing on a cruise ship this year.
  5. I predict North Carolina will be slammed and heavily damaged by storms in April.
  6. I predict Jennifer Aniston will marry.
  7. Watch for major riots will occur in Miami and London in the spring.
  8. I predict a train crash in Southern Europe within the next 120 days that will be caused by sabotage.
  9. In spite of persistent rumors, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will remain together in 2012 and adopt another child.
  10. This year will see the passing of a much-loved and great comedienne/actress.
  11. I predict a major fire in a building/hotel in Hong Kong affecting hundreds this summer.
  12. A member of royalty will die in a car crash within 6 months.
  13. I predict a dam will burst, causing much damage, within the year.
  14. I predict a major oil spill in the North Atlantic within the first five months.
  15. Watch for an assassination attempt on an African leader in the next few weeks that will make headlines.
  16. I predict a ferryboat capsizing in the Philippines with more than 60 lost in February.
  17. Another US leading politician in a sex scandal. This time an easterner.
  18. I predict volcanic activity in Italy – affecting the Amalfi Coast this year.
  19. Watch for a series of fires this spring in California that will be arson.
  20. I predict we will hear of horrifying riots in South Africa during the summer.
  21. I predict that the Euro will drop below $1.25US before the end of May.
  22. Watch for a tsunami in the spring that will threaten the island kingdom of Tonga.
  23. News of a thwarted “terrorist” attack at the summer Olympics will have the world on edge.
    I predict a baby for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge this year.
  24. I predict that both Greece and Portugal will default this year.
  25. Middle East tensions will greatly escalate in the fall.

So we’ll see. A lot of these are worthless–which Republican? Fires? In California? Arson? Wouldn’t be the first time. But, hey, you got 0-for-11 last year, so why not throw out 25? Eventually, the laws of probability demand that you will get one right.

IIG-Atlanta has $50,000 for Blair if he is able to pass our test and demonstrate psychic ability under scientifically controlled circumstances. This is real money. I’d be happy to extend an offer to CBS Atlanta to film any test that Blair agreed to participate in. Check out our challenge application at the IIG-Atlanta website. If someone nominates Blair and he passes, that someone will receive a $5000 finder’s fee. So let him know.

RJB


The Week in Conspiracy (18 Dec 2011)

December 19, 2011

Not the most interesting week, but to be fair, I was mostly grading and was away from my usual sources (I really only had access to the NSA mainframe). Nonetheless, I did manage to scrounge together something like a list of conspiracies this week, because it is what I do.

So let’s do this.

  • Have you heard of Doorway Man? He’s like Umbrella Man only in a doorway and doesn’t have an umbrella. This, by the way, is the worst video analysis I have come across recently:

Just got arrested at Dulles TSA checkpoint for trying to go through in boxers. “disorderly conduct” — adamkokesh (@adamkokesh)

No conspiracy theory of the week this week, people. I’m looking forward to all of the Kim Jung Il ones next week, however! I’m outta here.

RJB


Mehmet Oz interviews Dr. Burzynski

December 19, 2011

Here’s an interview by Dr. Oz with Dr. Burzynski.

I’ll go out on a limb. Dr. Oz, you are a whore. A slutty, shameless medical whore. You’ll get into bed with anyone.

RJB


This Week in Conspiracy (11 December 2011)

December 12, 2011

I sit here a sparrowfart away from death, but not even my impending demise will stop me from bringing you another week in conspiracy.

While it is perfectly obvious to everyone that Ben Jonson wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays, it is less known that Ben Jonson’s plays were written by a teen-age girl in Sunderland, who mysteriously disappeared, leaving no trace of her existence, which is clear proof that she wrote them. The plays of Marlowe were actually written by a chambermaid named Marlene, who faked her own orgasm, and then her own death in a Deptford tavern brawl. Queen Elizabeth, who was obviously a man, conspired to have Shakespeare named as the author of his plays, because how could a man who had only a grammar-school education and spoke Latin and a little Greek possibly have written something as bad as “All’s Well That Ends Well”? It makes no sense. It was obviously an upper-class twit who wished to disguise his identity so that Vanessa Redgrave could get a job in her old age.

My fave Pak conspiracy theory was from a respected journo: “But who is behind the theory about Pakistanis loving conspiracy theories?” @jemima_khan

Conspiracy Theory of the Week:

This is not really a conspiracy theory of the week. It just needed to be sectioned off from the rest of the round-up. You see, Luke Rudkowski went to the dentist. He was a sexist, horrid, pig-ignorant prick at all points:

  • LukeRudkowski: dentist was dumb but she was cute and for some strange reason was rubbing her boobs in my face. awkward, did that ever happen to anyone Original Tweet: http://twitter.com/LukeRudkowski/status/144181007602561026
  • LukeRudkowski: the dentist tried to tell me that mercury is not bad for me, i told her to break a mercury thermometer and put it her month Original Tweet: http://twitter.com/LukeRudkowski/status/144178571911495681
  • Luke Rudkowski Been radiated 14 times by this 1970s looking Machine. Anyway i can avoid it twitpic.com/7pfjco2 minutes ago
  • mrthatguydude Dave @LukeRudkowski twitpic.com/7pf6t4 – 10x the mind control. 25 minutes ago Retweeted by LukeRudkowski
  • LukeRudkowski Starting to think the dential industry is apart of the nwo eugenics plan. Lol but seriously radiation mercury and fluoride wtf 22 minutes ago
  • LukeRudkowski Luke Rudkowski Not a good sight when your sitting in a dentists chair twitpic.com/7pf6t4 30 minutes ago

Yeah, I’m sure she wanted to get with the tinfoil wearing man-pig in her chair. LOL.

RJB


Conspiracy Theory Panel at Dragon*Con

December 7, 2011

Kylie and Bob. Richard Saunders is sitting on my shoulder whispering evil thoughts: "Try the marmite..."

Go over and visit Kylie Sturgess at The Token Skeptic. She posted my conspiracy theory panel at Dragon*Con 2011. It features Kylie, Ben Radford, my colleague Tom Lolis, and yours truly discussing all things conspiratorial. Of course, we all thank Mark Ditsler for his work recording and producing the audio and Derek Colanduno for, you know, just the whole Skeptic Track.

RJB


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