The Bent Spoon Issue 4 – Cryptozoology!

Issue 4 is finally here!

In this issue of The Bent Spoon you will find tons of information aimed to make you think.  Jason Korbus returns with an amazing article for his column Soupernatural talking about how certain cryptozoologists tend to move the goal posts when explaining why creatures of myth can’t be found.  Rachel Wolf talks about something called the burden of proof.  Nick Callis deconstructs a hoax that plagued the internet about an unknown creature that was caught on a game camera.  Bobby Nelson questions the validity of the controversial Patterson/Gimlin film of 1967 and also talks about the famous “Surgeons photograph” and it is a known hoax.   Also in this issue we have a special treat, scientific paranormal investigator Ben Radford, tells about how he solved the chupacabra mystery. 

We have a couple awesome interviews this issue, one with skeptic Blake Smith, co-host of the podcast Monster Talk and also an interview with monster hunter and cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard.  There is also a reprise of the interview we did with Dr. Karen Stollznow in issue 1.

We have all this and more in this amazing issue of The Bent Spoon. 

You can download the full issue here: issue04

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Issue 3 of The Bent Spoon has arrived!!!

The Bent Spoon Issue 3

The Bent Spoon Issue 3

The Bent Spoon  Issue 3 – Spirit Communication

Jason Korbus returns with his monthly column Soupernatural where he talks about the controversial flashlight experiment.

 The Bent Spoon holds a brilliant interview with Matthew Baxter

Rachel Wolf talks a bit about Unity and why it is bad for believers and skeptics.

Nick Callis and Bobby Nelson talk about a couple stories that made the news such as Bigfoot and failed psychic predictions.

The question if the Modern Day Paranormal Movement is based on a lie is covered.

This issue also has Reviews of:

Paranormality: Why we see what isn’t there – By Professor Richard Wiseman

Ghost Hunters Guide Book – By Troy Taylor

Syfy’s new television show “Haunted Collector”

And The Travel Channels new show “Paranormal Challenge”

And other Topics such as:

  • EVP
  • Ouija Boards
  • Ghost Boxes

We also can’t forget Pareidolia of the month and of course “Believer vs. Skeptic” comic by Andre Frattino and Bobby Nelson.

Hope you all enjoy!!!  Issue03

Interview with Professor Richard Wiseman about his new book “Paranormality: Why we see what isn’t there”

Professor Richard Wiseman

Professor Richard Wiseman

Recently on Strange Frequencies Radio, Korbus and I had the privilege of speaking with Professor Richard Wiseman about his new book “Paranormality: Why we see what isn’t there”.  The interview was amazing and it can be heard here: www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/sfr_show153_hour2.mp3 (right click and save as)

One thing Professor Wiseman told us during the interview was that he was having problems releasing this book in the US.  He went on to explain, that for whatever reason publishers are very reluctant to release a book this skeptical. 

On Professor Wiseman’s blog he wrote:  

“The book has done well in the UK and has been bought by publishers in lots of other countries. However, the major American publishers were reluctant to support a skeptical book, with some suggesting that I re-write it to suggest that ghosts were real and psychic powers actually existed! We didn’t get any serious offers and so it looked like the American public (around 75% of whom believe in the paranormal) wouldn’t get the opportunity to read about skepticism.”

This is a crying shame.  Wiseman openly admits, as he did on SFR, this book isn’t intended for people who already truly believe.  It is more for the people on the fence about paranormal phenomena.  I guess I don’t understand how people like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens can be published without being asked to change their opinion on the view of God.  Could you imagine what “The God Delusion” would have been like if Dawkins said at the end “though I am an atheist there is definitely strong evidence to support the existence of God.” 

The fact that the publishers asked Professor Wiseman to re-write that ghosts and psychics exist very insulting, not only to Wiseman but to anyone who has an open mind.  It’s like making Hitchens say “religion is evil, but God is great!” 

Anyway the book is available by going to http://www.richardwiseman.com/Paranormality.shtml pick it up, you won’t be sorry.

Video Shot for “Exorcist” Brother Carlos Oliveira’s Documentary “REAL-TIME PARANORMAL”

I was asked by Brother Carlos to film a 5 minute segment on my personal feelings of demonic possession.  If anyone is interested in watching the clip here it is:

http://youtu.be/jM4t3XcmjZE

 

God Has Spoken – Camping Suffers Stroke

On May 24th on Family Radio a caller called in and asked Harold Camping “why don’t you retire?”  Harold quickly responded that if God wanted him to retire there are a lot of ways he could show it, by taking his voice away, striking him dead or giving him a stroke that would impair his talking.

Well God has spoken, on June 9th 2011 only 17 days after Camping’s failed prediction of the Rapture happening, Harold Camping suffered a stroke that has left his speech slurred. 

Family Radio is expected to give an update on Camping’s condition on Monday.

STRUCTURE FOUND ON MARS!!!!

BIO STATION ALPHA FOUND ON MARS!!!!  At least that is what amateur astronomer David Martines is saying.  What exactly is Bio Station Alpha?  Well it is something astounding that Martines found while scanning Google Mars.  Martines is claiming that this formation (which he himself named Bio Station Alpha) is at least 700ft long and 150ft wide and that it is definitely cylindrical, he is also making that claim that is positive evidence for extraterrestrials.  

Martines says “It could be a power station or it could be a biological containment or it could be a glorified garage — hope it’s not a weapon.”

Why is it when people see something like this, common sense goes bye-bye?  An obscure structure is seen and people appeal to extraterrestrials.  Here is a perfectly legit RATIONAL EXPLAINATION – It is a pixilated rock or mountain formation.

The Bent Spoon – We’re Still Here – ISSUE 2!

ISSUE 2 OF THE BENT SPOON IS HERE….AGAIN IT’S THE PERFECT PRICE…FREE!!!

BS002

Judgment Day DID Happen – According to Harold Camping

According to host of Family Radio’s Open Forum, Harold Camping, made a live statement last night saying that Judgment Day did in fact happen on May 21st, 2011 at 6pm.  However it happened in a way he wasn’t expecting it to.  You see for months Camping has been saying there would be rolling earthquakes and the dead would be flung out of their graves and all the chosen people would be taken to heaven in the blink of an eye.  I think it is safe to say, we know nothing of that sort happened.  Still Harold claims it did in fact happen, it just wasn’t physical it was spiritual.

Jesus came back in spirit form, the Day of Judgment has come and God has condensed all the great physical tragedies to happen on October 21st, 2011.  This is the date Camping has been saying is the end of the world.

Now if you are a reader of Pork Rhine, I made a post a few days back called “What Will Harold Camping Say on May 22nd”.  I made a few predictions if anyone remembers, I said this:

“Camping may go the route of the Jehovah witness and say Jesus is here except he is invisible.

Camping may say “Oh God has spared us Judgement day.  Most merciful God has left the day of salvation open for us, be thankful for this everyone.  I was not wrong about May 21st, the Bible guaranteed it, not me, I am just a humble servant.  But our little peanut brains can’t understand the mind of God, just be glad salvation is still available to us because the world is still going to end October 21st, 2011.

What we are not going to hear on May 22nd is Harold admitting that he was wrong.  For Harold to admit he is wrong would make him a false prophet by his own belief system and that won’t happen…I GUARANTEE IT!” 

If we take the two predictions I made and create a hybrid of the two, it is exactly what Camping said last night. 

This is actually what Camping did say:

“On May 21, this last weekend, this is where the spiritual aspect of it really comes through. God again brought judgment on the world. We didn’t see any difference but God brought Judgment Day to bear upon the whole world. The whole world is under Judgment Day and it will continue right up until Oct. 21, 2011 and by that time the whole world will be destroyed.”

Also we didn’t hear Camping admit he made a mistake or that he was wrong and no apology was made.  As a matter of fact he made the most incredibly insensitive comment I have ever heard.  One of the news reporters asked a question about how Camping felt about the people who used their own personal money for the billboards, people who spent their life savings and sold their homes because of what Harold predicted.  Camping gave the coldest response in only 2 words “people cope”. 

  Anyway I am not interested in listening to October 21st warnings, so this will be the last time I write about Harold Camping.  His track record speaks for itself

1988 – WRONG!

1994 – WRONG!

Before the year 2000 – WRONG!

May 21st, 2011 – WRONG!

Following the pattern?  I will make one last prediction…THE WORLD IS NOT GOING TO END ON OCTOBER 21st, 2011.

Did Harold Camping Retire?

So last night Harold Camping announced that the Open Forum that aired 5/19/11 was his last time he would be on air.  Something tells me this is Camping’s way of retiring or that he was told that come Monday if we are still here Open Forum will not have a time slot.  Of course this is just speculation, the reason Camping may have said that was because he truly believes the world will end tomorrow 5/21/11 at approximately 6pm.

I have speculated a lot when talking about Camping, for example what he is going to say to weasel out of his failed prediction and right now, when talking about the reason he announced that Open Forum was done.  You see, all of Harold Campings teachings revolve around this prediction and he has sort of backed himself into a corner that he will not be able to get himself out of.  This is going to make Camping a false prophet by his own teaching.  When May 22nd comes and no one is raptured, Family Radio will lose a lot of listeners, not to mention the mockery this is going to make out of the organization. 

I feel that Camping will owe the listeners of Family Radio an explanation of what happened on May 22nd.  However I am very skeptical that a statement by Camping will be made.  I think he will just fade out of the picture.  The only way Family Radio will be able to be taken seriously among believers again is to make sure Harold stays gone.  

At one point in time Family Radio was considered a very highly recommended Bible ministry, now if you google the name all you see are terms like false prophet, charlatan and heretic.  These are pretty serious terms to be used in the Christian community.  Though I don’t believe in the authenticity of the Bible, I have no qualms with people labeling Camping with every one of these terms. 

Camping claims that the Bible has given him proofs that the world will be ending on May 21st 2011 at 6pm.  The major problem I see with this claim is that, it can’t be a proof until after it happens.  But how do the other employees at Family Radio feel about this prediction?  I was actually blown away to find out that about 80% of the employees do not believe the world is going to end on Saturday at 6PM. 

A receptionist at Family Radio had an interview with CNNMoney and said:

But not even all of his own employees are convinced that the world is ending on Saturday. In fact, many still plan on showing up at work on Monday.

“I don’t believe in any of this stuff that’s going on, and I plan on being here next week,” a receptionist at their Oakland headquarters told CNNMoney.

A program producer in Illinois told us, “We’re going to continue doing what we’re doing.”

However one thing I have to say is that this isn’t a scam for money.  It is no secret that Family Radio is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but Harold Camping doesn’t even take his own salary; he does Open Forum as a volunteer.  He doesn’t charge one penny for anything, not even shipping for his books, he gives them all away for free.  And according to CNNMoney “The nonprofit employed about 350 people and paid $8.3 million in salaries (about $23,000 per person) in 2009. The IRS filings don’t show more recent donations and expenses leading up to the May 21 Judgment Day prediction.” 

If Camping isn’t making a profit off this May 21st, 2011 campaign.  I think it is safe to say he is just crazy.

“Am I Dead? – Prove I am Not” are you kidding me?

There are certain things I discuss with people that seriously make me stop and go “what the f**k am I doing?”  For instance, I am currently in a discussion called “Am I Dead? – Prove I am Not.” 

The person who started this conversation states “After reading some threads I came to the conclusion it’s impossible to prove if someone is dead or alive. Our normal tests of inanimate, starts to smell, mostly dirt and bones work for a level of dead.”

Ok first I have to say, we have biological proofs and characteristics to tell if someone or something is alive or not.  These fundamental characteristics are things such as cellular organization or made up of cells, the ability to obtain/use nutrition and energy from its environment, living organisms respond to stimuli, living things develop or grow and living organisms must be able to reproduce.

While I was explaining this to the person who I was having the conversation with, someone decided to try and pull a fast one over on me.  “What about hybrids?  They are alive but they can’t reproduce.”

Well first of all a hybrid isn’t a species and these characteristics have to be looked at when dealing with a species as a whole not individually.  Like I said before, when it comes to hybrids, they are not a species they are a mixture of 2 species. Species can reproduce within their own species, because each individual within the species has the same number of chromosomes. Hybrids can’t reproduce; if they could they would be a species.  I mean just because a human becomes infertile doesn’t mean he/she is suddenly nonliving. However if the whole human species were suddenly infertile, humans would cease to exist within a 125 years.  

However there are some hybrids that are fertile, certain plants and fertile canid hybrids occur between coyotes, wolves, dingoes, jackals and domestic dogs.

After I gave this explanation I was told: “The whole premise of your argument is that you have a correct perception of everything. That’s quite a high position to try and defend. There has been many great minds that have been mentioned already in this thread that questioned these same very premises and never found a satisfactory answer.

As for the point to the discussion, can there truly be something that we can “know” versus the esoteric repeatable and demonstrable evidence standard of strict science. Pondering these type of questions and stretching your mind will only lead to answers, not asking will only lead to ignorance.

The edges of science right now are finding all types of unusual rules such as quarks, squarks, selectrons, and more however philosophers spoke of these before Plato. It takes imagination, creativity, and intelligence to come up with ideas outside group consensus science. Science has problems describing some of the most innate things to humans beings like smell, feeling, and emotions. How can this be something we need to base all our logic on? I think talking about an idea that has been tested repeatedly is the worse intellectual suicide one can indulge in.”

This response made me laugh a little bit, mostly because I don’t really need to argue something that is fact. Death is the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Termination means end in time or existence. To be dead would mean I can’t type this blog. Just because great minds thought of this question doesn’t somehow make it true, this is what is called an argument from authority. Also this person states that he has have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to tell whether or not someone is alive or dead. He is coming from the same stance on the opposite side of the fence. So could I not argue that he must know everything, not me?  I provided the biological ways to tell if something is living, he is still making the claim we don’t know, but has provided no sound reasoning except a thought.  So why is it ok for him to make such a certain claim?

As far as this individual claiming that “science has problems describing some of the most innate things to humans beings like smell, feeling, and emotions.”  This statement couldn’t be further from the truth, actually science has a very good understanding on how the body smells, feels and why we have emotions. 

And what would a conversation in the paranormal be without the appeal to quantum mechanics?  “The edges of science right now are finding all types of unusual rules such as quarks, squarks, selectrons, and more however philosophers spoke of these before Plato.”  First of all this is false, philosophers like Plato and before never spoke of sub atomic particles.  Also this response is 100% completely irrelevant to the conversation at hand.  Please stop talking about sciences you don’t understand, especially quantum physics.  

“Unlike you, I’m asking a question not stating a fact. I’m not acting an expert. The topic “Am I Dead?”. You are stating for a fact you know that death means the cease of biological function. If that’s the case I have a dead uncle right now yet his biological function is running great after having his heart stopped. People cease biological function all the time, some have even done it for up to an hour when chilled. So…. But really that’s beside the point that is trying to be made.

How can you prove your perception is the “correct” one? Do you understand what I mean by perception? This was more a question such as the Allegory of the Cave. Is there one way or another you can prove it? As others mentioned Simulation and Simulacrum pose similar questions and don’t try and tout that they “know” but rather what can be known”

No, this person did not ask a question he said and I quote “I came to the conclusion it’s impossible to prove if someone is dead or alive.” The word conclusion means you have come to a decision. This person is playing the same game Harold Camping plays, “I called the book 1994?”  Well sorry, but this doesn’t matter, he still made the prediction that the world would end in 1994 “?” be damned.  And yes you can prove whether or not something is alive or dead, the experiment is very simple. All you have to do is just kill something living and compare it with something that is still alive. Repeat it over and over again; I bet you will get the same exact results.

Anyway that is my rant, thanks for reading.