Fort Report: Bad Skeptics, Odd Exorcisms, and Annoying Ghost Hunters

Fort Report: Bad Skeptics, Odd Exorcisms, and Annoying Ghost Hunters


Greetings, fellow Forteans!

First off, many apologies for the weekend disappearance. A case of the flu rocked the WF HQ and turned my face into a snot fountain. I took a few days off rather than risk ruining my keyboard.

Now I’m back and at ’em, and that means a new edition of the Fort Report loaded with links from the last several days in weird. What’s on tap? There’s a look at some tasteless remarks from prominent skeptics, weird craters in New Zealand, exorcism mistakes and misconceptions, attempts to crack the code in a mysterious manuscript, and a guy fed up with annoying ghost hunters.


Read on, oddnauts, and start calling bad skeptics “Simplencios”.


Predicting the Boston Bombs

Hayley Stevens has something to say to the skeptics who wasted no time decrying psychics for failing to predict the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. More skeptics like Hayley, please.


Mysterious Giant Crater-like Structures Found near New-Zealand

A multinational team of researchers led by marine geophysicist Dr Bryan Davy from GNS Science has found what may be the world’s biggest pockmarks on the seafloor about 310 miles east of Christchurch, New Zealand. Scientists currently planning world’s largest skin peel operation.


Priest speaks on misconceptions of exorcisms

Father Vince Lampert says that while some parts of an exorcism can look like scenes from a movie, most exorcisms are much different. Far less pea soup and floating.


NZ urged to help repeal PNG Sorcery Act

New Zealand could play a role in repealing Papua New Guinean sorcery legislation following an Easter “witch-hunt” which saw the abduction and torture of seven locals, Amnesty International says. Because nothing screams Easter like an old fashioned with burning.


Naval base in Cape Town fires hundreds of rounds in the air and attracts UFO

An UFO captured on video for about 40 minutes was sighted over the naval base in Simon’s Town Naval Base, Cape Town when hundreds of rounds were fired into the air at around 9 pm last Saturday night.


A Point of View: Science, magic, and madness

Galileo was a great scientist partly because he wasn’t afraid to admit when he was wrong, argues Adam Gopnik, who only wishes some of the people who write to him could do the same. Great argument here for nicknaming “parrot skeptics” Simplencios.


GP took patient to church for exorcism, hearing told

A general practitioner persuaded a patient to give up her anti-depression medication before taking her to his church to be exorcised, the General Medical Council was told. That should be a fun malpractice suit.


Paranormal investigations unearth more questions at inn

Visiting investigator Darren Davies and a team from the not-for-profit group, Paranormal Paratek, stayed at the Drayton inn from sunset to sunrise to determine whether the historic property was home to spirits from the past.


Castle owner fed up with ‘ghost hunters’

The owner of Castle Claremont says he is fed up with would-be ”ghost hunters” bothering visitors late at night. Police removed four teenagers from the property on Saturday evening after the group claimed they wanted to see the ”ghost”. I can’t help but think he’s missing a golden opportunity to play a Scooby Doo villain.


Cracking the Code: Quest to Unlock the Voynich Manuscript

A mysterious manuscript has plagued historians, mathematicians, linguists, physicists, cryptologists, curators, art historians, programmers, and lay enthusiasts alike since an antiquarian and book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich first began to mention it in his correspondence in 1912.

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  1. Kwin The Eskimo

    04/16/2013 at 12:21 PM

    As a runner, it is difficult to see part of my extended family victimized by the tradgedy in Boston.

    Acknowleging that, and looking at this topic objectively (sans emotion), I see nothing wrong with calling out psychics on this matter. They want to spend their time playing make believe while the rest if us exist in the real world. If you claim to have “super powers” (which is what true psychic/sensitive/medium/intuitive/etc powers amount to) then claiming they “only work” at certain times (like when you can bilk people out of money) and don’t work at other times (like when lives could be saved) is utter and complete horse shit. What about all the “emotional” nonsense that often drives such psychic/intuitive abilities? Wasn’t this event emotional enough?

    Admittedly, the timing for “calling out” psychics may have been in bad taste, but not the message itself. Actually, the only thing in bad taste was even being remotely preoccupied with this silly, make believe nonsense while the country was suffering from such a tradgedy.

    • Greg Newkirk

      04/16/2013 at 1:43 PM

      It’s like I said on facebook, I don’t disagree with Radford’s sentiment, but his timing was awful and insensitive. No different than anyone else pushing their agenda via national tragedy. Tasteless to even think of using the Boston bombs as a vehicle to go “see, I told you psychics are worthless”, especially when the pavement still has blood on it.

  2. the paraclete

    04/16/2013 at 1:03 PM

    I really really don’t like how the author of the Simplencio piece qualifies everybody who disagrees with him as “half-bright” or “barking.” He’s an ass Greg-as bad as most skeptics.

    Also he understands shit all about John Dee.

    I mean, I know a comment on this site isn’t going to affect a BBC article, just saying.

  3. the paraclete

    04/16/2013 at 1:04 PM

    I guess what I’m saying about the Dee part is; if’s Dee so smart than who the fuck are you (the author) to say which parts of his life were important.

    Really, fuck that guy. No one has a right to pontificate like that.

  4. J.Ross

    04/16/2013 at 9:25 PM

    You know who DOES need to be called out for not predicting tragedy!?

    God damn time travelers. If they are so superior in their capabilities of moving through non-linear time it seems like they would use it for the benefit of everyone.

    I know that time travelers reading this will probably be upset with me, but all I am saying is that there could be more to time travel than journeying to get twinkles before they were out of business. Or meeting Peter Dinklage before his head got all big from being on A Game of Thrones.

    I just wish special people would step up and fix the world already.

    • Will

      04/17/2013 at 7:47 AM

      Saving a life that was never meant to be can have some very drastic repercussions. Best to sit back and observe history than try to change it.

      In the future, the teachings of St. Dinklage from the Gospel of Xavier:Days of Future Past speak of this very principle.

      Also, referencing the Gospel of Harrellson: “Twinkies are greater than your zombie apocalypse!”

      I hope you understand our refusal to act in your present so that we do not change our past.

  5. B'ob the Younger

    04/17/2013 at 7:02 AM

    The key to the Voynich Manuscript may have been found back in 2008 by Edith Sherwood.

    Step one – convert symbols to letters (simple substitution).
    Step two – Each word is a simple anagram of the original Medieval Italian word.

    Failures to date can be traced to not using Medieval Italian as the target language. Also, the handwriting can be difficult to interpret.

  6. Josef Zlatoděj prof.

    04/17/2013 at 9:38 AM

    Voynich Manuscript is encrypted and written in Czech language. It is used gematria. The manuscript describes the Czech History. The manuscript began Silesian piastovna Hlohovská Anna, wife of John II. of Rosenberg.
    The last entry made last Rosenberg Petr Vok.

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