by Bob Ladendorf
Recent news and sources of interest, with brief summaries and a rating of the content: 1 = Pro-skeptical; 2 = Leaning skeptical; 3 = Neutral, presenting sides equally; 4 = Leaning paranormal or pseudoscience; 5 = Pro-paranormal or pseudoscience.
"Willing to Believe: American Fascination with UFOs have never been more intense." Amy Harmon, New York Times News Service. (Springfield, Illinois) State Journal-Register, June 29, 1997, p 17. Reviews the history and 50th anniversary of the Roswell UFO allegations. Selected quote: "Scientists and skeptics the late astronomer Carl Sagan most prominent among them have warned that the embrace of pseudoscientific ideas like alien visitations and abductions threaten to undermine the critical thinking by an educated public that a democratic society requires." Rating: 3
"Air Force report likely to feed the frenzy of cultists." Bill Hendrick, Cox News Service. Sidebar to the State Journal-Register article mentioned above. Discusses UFO enthusiasts following latest Air Force denial of the crash of an alien spacecraft at Roswell. Rating: 4
"The Outer Limits." Laurie Beasley. (Los Angeles) Daily News, July 6. 1997, Travel Section, p. 1. Reporter travels from L.A. to Roswell for the 50th anniversary. Rating: 3
"The Roswell Files" Jane Robison. (Los Angeles) Daily News, July 6. 1997, p. 1. Satirical article about Roswell. alien sightings and government conspiracies. Selected Quote: "The aliens never died. They escaped to Southern California and created a little family business called Disney." Rating: 1
Just so that you folks will be kept up-to-date on the current legal situation re me and the "psychics"....
Several months ago, at least one "psychic" posted messages to newsgroups, including sci.skeptic, alt.paranormal, and alt.paranet.psi that I was under contempt of court charges brought by Uri Geller. Not surprisingly, the psychic was unable to forecast that those "charges" were rejected by Judge Harris of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. I also note that the psychic did not update his postings, advising readers of Geller's loss.
In December, 1996, Geller filed papers in the D.C. Court alleging that I had violated a court order by making comments on the Howard Stern show that Geller said he "had nothing" financially. Geller claimed that such a statement violated a Protective Order entered by Judge Harris during the Geller/CSICOP/Randi litigation. (You may recall that this is the same litigation that resulted in substantial sanctions being imposed by the court, and upheld on appeal, against Geller.)
In the Petition for Contempt, Geller asked the court to fine and jail me (he used the expression "incarcerate, because that's lawyer talk), and award Geller damages.
In response to the Contempt Petition, we noted that Geller's Petition had no basis in fact or in law; that in Geller's initial deposition -- unprotected by an protective order -- he himself admitted lack of financial resources under oath. Further, the protective order itself that was signed by Judge Harris back in 1993 was drafted by Geller's lawyer was directed solely at CSICOP, not me. Interestingly, it was that same lawyer who filed the Contempt Petition.
In a one-line Order, Judge Harris denied Geller's latest abuse of judicial processes and attempt to limit free speech, for the reasons stated in my Opposition to the Petition.
Reprinted with permission from the author.
-- Photo by Bob Ladendorf
A Springfield, Illinois, skeptics' group newsletter has revealed that three alien spaceships abducted 13 attendees of the First World Skeptics Congress in Amherst, New York, last year. A cover-up ensued until this photo was released. More later. Source: Winkandanod News Service.