From the Chairman

David Bloomberg

Editor Bob and I attended Penn & Teller's show on the 18th of this month, and a good time was had by all! You can always count on these guys to entertain and also to throw in a good bit of skepticism while they're at it. New this tour are tricks which mention a certain Israeli "psychic" who claims to bend spoons with his mind, and, even better, an entire trick designed around Houdini's skepticism. In the latter, Penn sings about how ghosts and other paranormal events only seem to happen in the darkness, where they can hide, while Teller (supposedly tied to a chair and unable to move) acts as the spirit hidden behind a curtain, trying to justify his hiding. It was quite a nice sight for skeptics who too often see entertainment figures promoting nonsense rather than fighting it.

On a newsletter note, unfortunately, REALL's first "contest" was less than a stellar success. As I write this, we've received exactly zero responses. Hopefully, this simply means it was too difficult to figure out; indeed, nobody I've talked to has had a clue as to what the Exeter UFO could have been. I suspect many of you, like myself, will read Kottmeyer's Part II and think, "Yeah, that does explain it!"

Speaking of UFOs, our next meeting (November 5 -- election day -- 7 p.m., Lincoln Library) will feature an A&E broadcast about UFOs. From what I've heard, it is at least partly skeptical.

In trying to liven things up a bit, we are always looking for speakers for our meetings. On this note, I plan to call a man who was featured in a recent State Journal-Register article as being a "real-life ghostbuster." Yes, he believes in ghosts and thinks he can detect them. If I am able to get him to speak for us (he apparently just spoke at the Lincoln Library not too long ago), it will be a departure for us, as we have only dealt with skeptical speakers in the past. However, sometimes we talk and write about people who believe in paranormal phenomena, and we may never get to actually meet them. I'd certainly like readers' input on what you think about this or if you have any other suggestions. Please feel free to call or write to me! (You can even use my new e-mail address!)

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