The World of Weird News: Bigfoot, UFOs and Other Questionable Claims (Sharon Hill)



Weird news is its own niche on the web and in print. The more sensational the story, the more eyeballs it gets. Topics include Bigfoot and UFO sightings, hauntings, exorcism, witchcraft, mysteries, miracles, psychic predictions and conspiracies. We are barraged with claims that are seriously questionable. While entertaining, many people actually believe this stuff. This is a fun tour through weird and wonderful news stories and an examination of how we think about doubtful news and the impact it has on society.

The views expressed in this video are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the view so f the National Capital Area Skeptics.

Sharon Hill is a writer, researcher, and consultant specializing in Science and Society issues. As creator and editor of the unique news and commentary site, DoubtfulNews.com, she advocates for a genuine skeptical take on alternative medicine, the paranormal, anomalous natural phenomena, cryptozoology and other weird news as well as promoting a rational, scientific outlook on these topics. With the help of other prominent skeptics, she spearheaded the “Media Guide to Skepticism” to explain the core of the philosophy and method of skepticism. Her current focus is on the “sham inquiry” of amateur paranormal investigators and their use of scientific language and activities to appear credible to the public. She is a licensed geologist in Pennsylvania and has 20 years experience in environmental regulations and policy.

Views expressed in this video are those of the speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Capital Area Skeptics.

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43 Comments on “The World of Weird News: Bigfoot, UFOs and Other Questionable Claims (Sharon Hill)”

  1. Intelligent, charming and gorgeous- and with a beautiful skeptical mind!
    Wish there was more like her!

  2. I have a bit of a different view point on the picture of the woman in white in the photo of the bridge in a park. My assumption would have been that she’s very much real, but that it’s a costume geek getting photos of a new project. There’s a whole YouTube channel of a woman who does all kinds of awesome, historically accurate clothing (Prior Attire).

    Obviously, this photo could have just as easily been a complete and total hoax, I’ll leave that to someone with practice hunting down photoshops who has a better copy of the image. I just figured I’d mention the other possibility as I know most people will not realize there are people out there who love this stuff enough to put the hundreds of dollars and countless hours into making such pieces.

  3. Why is the sound so different from the picture? There are huge sections where the movements of her mouth don’t match the audio.

  4. One small complaint about spontaneous human combustion. Thinking back on the old pictures we have all seen. It is next to impossible to burn human or any other large bone. It has to be roughly 1000 degrees for a couple hours to burn at all. I don't know what is going on either but no amount of alcohol and cigarettes is going to do much but light the chair on fire.

  5. I felt like the gear and the fossil were nothing alike with the exception of them being circular on the outside. It's left unexplained why the center of the fossil is the exact opposite of the supposed gear. I like what you are doing though, it is always good to have a contrast and I intend to utilize your blog. Thank you for doing it.

  6. Skepticism on things in the news? Then where's your debunking of the man-made global warming hoax? No evidence only computer models. The reason there's no skepticism today is that critical thinking hasn't been taught for at least 30 years. Millennials were raised on Captain Planet and such indoctrination. And Carl Sagan was an anti-American communist fukwad so good riddance.

  7. About the mars anomalies: not everyone is looking for those patterns and some of them are still mysteries, passing everything off as pareidolia is not very scientific! with pareidolia you get people who see different things on the same anomaly! Spirit Panoramic camera Sol 527 (official NASA photo) there is something that looks like an eel/fish near the center slightly to the right(it even casts a shadow) If a rock looks like an eel, its not pareidolia, its a rock that looks like an eel (people aren't looking for the pattern, its there to see) but since its hard to tell if its a rock we need to investigate, we know Mars used to have water on the surface. sometimes objects resemble things and people aren't looking for a pattern. what if after an asteroid hit earth it ejected material which made an eel find its way on Mars? Thats the only logical explanation i can come up with, it could be a rock that just looks like an eel but people are not looking for those patterns they are there and people can't ignore an elephant in the room (there is no elephant in the room im just using as example lol) I do agree a lot that are passed off as animals like that rat thing I don't see a rat in the mars photo maybe rock kinda resembles but better anomalies that are more clear are in Spirit photos SOL 527, I would love to hear an explanation! is it just a rock that looks like a dead eel, was that Eel object native to Mars or Earth? Those are valid questions, and scientists should want to investigate, not try and discourage investigation! Investigation would yield results and find the truth, trying to discourage people from finding out the truth is not scientific but thats what most do when they "debunk" stuff.

    There are natural rock formations on Mars and Earth that from a distance look like human structures with rectangles but in reality are natural phenomenon, the problem is when people pass it off as evidence of aliens without a proper investigation. I don't claim aliens, I actually only show a few anomalies because most of the ones showed by other channels are pareidolia and many people see different things, I only show some anomalies to bring to peoples attention when everyone sees the same thing and its a legit anomaly. I've searched for explanations for SOL 527 but none exist all the other anomalies get all the attention even though SOL 527 is literally ones of the best anomalies which is not pareidolia.

  8. "That's not what skepticism is", actually it is with many skeptics although a dictionary definition includes "openness", it's a wide church.

  9. People got the Mayan prophecy wrong the end of the world wasn’t 2012, it was the start when it would begin and no on can say now in 2019 that things haven’t picked up massively from the strange to out right scary from natural disasters, to weather, to politics and transgender, AI, Quantum computers, cern, things are tangibly way worse since 2012… and it’s BIBLICAL! Wait until you see what happens next… the antichrist will show soon, Israel is building the prophecy promised 3rd temple .. look how much satanism and the occult has infiltrated everything… have you watched a music video lately …nothing but upside down crosses, pentagrams and satanic Masonic crap.. even in fashion now people wearing all this stuff on there clothes and have no idea what it is… check out JASON A, Nicholson1968, Enterthestars reloaded, a call for an uprising channels

  10. Once Carl denied the valid UFO evidence I lost respect for him and science academia !
    If you cannot study it in the lab no proof it exist or is real is the science view on UFOs and therefore you cannot say the Sun exist ????
    This is not science its denial !

  11. 00:59:30 and in 2019 you have Progressives believing that Trump is evil incarnate and they must fall back on everything from praying for economic collapse to witchcraft to bring Bad Orange Man down even if it means destroying the country to do it. 🙄

  12. Regarding the sharks. That's not really all that incredible. Bull sharks have a tolerance for brackish to fresh water. They sometimes do swim up river. There have even been shark attacks at swimming holes. Not very common but sharks where you don't normally expect to see them is a thing that happens. Also the second Chupacabra which is said to actually be a mangy coyote, isn't a mangy coyote either. It's a Xolo (Short for Xoloitzcuintli – Mexican Hairless Dog).

  13. Animal planet is a fraudulent tv show, but your a fraud as well. Like you investigated all these subjects. I disagree with anything you say, and you physically never investigated any of these things. You highlight specific bogus stories or discredit people with your personal view. Your just a skeptic looking for any reason to push your agenda. Until you can prove none of these things exist, which you cant, than your as non credible as the bogus animal planet.
    Go play with a ouija board and ask for any spirit you like, I wouldnt recommend it but its a start.
    Put your money where your big mouth is.

  14. 40:00 we actually have this problem here in germany. Along the beaches of the baltic sea, you can find tons of (pure) phosphorous lumps. They are often mistaken for ember, which you can also find there. The phosphor comes from munitions dumped in the sea after WW2. There's also tons of chemical ammo (mustard gas) in the sea that were dumped after WW1. It is a real problem, that the government still refuses to look into, because of the costs i think.

  15. There is some critical thinking based on facts, but there is also a lot of assumptions. She is certainly not credible to even talk about some subjects. Pretending to be smart, and as long you have sheep to listen ….
    Just another " expert " in everything….

  16. Sharon, you’re a gem, and i would love to be able to hear more of your conclusions and investigative evidence.
    I will endeavour to visit your site, and view your updates.

    I’m sure you don’t need any reassurance, as you are extremely intelligent IMO. Though I would still like to say that, subjective opinions about the nature of your work, where your postulations are challenged or countered by others, should never discourage you from continuing your investigative process, as it currently is.

    I have great respect for your opinions, and understanding of things, and would implore you to never lose conviction of, and belief in, your self crafted process of investigation.

    Basically if I keep going it’s just going to start sounding stupid, so here is a pictorial representation of the opinion which I hold for you and your work.

    😻❤️

  17. …Let's, therefore, censor the social media instead of censoring ourselves? After-all we mere humans are not justly qualified to weed out fact from fiction, we need a degree in geology? Duh

  18. Google the world famous and common African Black Panther.

    LOL….sceptics know it all

    Edit…yes I meant sceptic…or skeptic…same same

  19. The problem with science is, science demands reproducible results. These things are not by nature reproducible. They are sporadic. That doesn’t take away from the reality. It only means that it’s hard to reproduce. Don’t forget, in the time of Plato, somebody might have just chanced to see moons rotating around Jupiter, but it couldn’t be reproduced till Gallego.

  20. Claiming that these specific cases of alleged Bigfoot and alleged alien craft that you scientifically explain by mundane means implies all cases of Bigfoot sightings, backed with video & photographs, & of UFOs & USOs have been scientifically explained to be mundane things is the pinnacle of stupidity & illogic. Have you examined ALL the reported observations of either Bigfoot or UFOs?
    Have you read the thousands of case reports at NUFORC.org?
    Just because all religion & religious texts are worthless childish unimportant garbage, provably false, especially the koran & the bible & dianetics, doesn't imply a SINGLE THING about thousands of independently witnessed UFO sightings, some with reported alien creatures, again – backed up with photographs & video.
    While it is 100% true that the claim is not the evidence, the photographs and video ARE the evidence.

  21. I am a math PhD and strong supporter of critical thinking. Which is why I strongly do believe the alien hypothesis for many UFOs & USOs & the Bigfoot hypothesis for many unexplained creature sightings. It is ALSO why I know you are full of shit, being illogical and idiotic and stupid, just lumping alien/BF topic in with exorcism, witchcraft, astrology: things that are either unfalsifiable (astrology: anything is consistent with the claims, which is a contradiction) or provably false (homeopathy).
    That's because you are not thinking reductionistically: measuring each claim independently of all others.

  22. Carl Sagan was an egotistical f**** douchebag. His word was the final word so f*** him in the horse he rode in on.

  23. Yes a lot of what she talks about is true but I think she needs to get out there away from her computer and get consumed with looking for the truth.

  24. When I was 13, I really believed in Bigfoot. And I thought a teacher wasn’t drawing the obvious implications.

    And then, years later . . . I took another look at the photo. The creature has a rectangular eye slit area!

    Ergo, it’s a person in a monkey suit.

    And this is the supposedly famous Patterson-Gimlin film of 1967. I don’t know how it got to this level of being taken seriously.

    Any natural creature will have an oval around each eye which overlap somewhat at bridge of nose. The Patterson-Gimlin is just a straight rectangular across, and it even has sharp corners!

    And look closely, there even appears to be a torn part of the suit mid-thigh (creature’s right thigh).

    I think this film became famous because some expert said that it had a very authentic walk.

    Perhaps so, but there are real problems.

  25. spontanious human combustion? This is litterly the plot of this anime called Fire Force! Cool serie with cool ideas. You want fire magic/abilities to fight fire enemies? You like fire as a whole? Fire Force is for you!

  26. Hell at one of the overseas bases I was at our back scanner X-ray machine didn’t work 99% of the time. They solution, keep it under your hat so the folks on and off base don’t know. And we were in a nasty place. Twice they tried to bomb the base.

  27. While the vast majority of what she is saying is true however there are a few topics where she over steps #1 basically calling 100's of thousands of sightings by everyday people and even people that are trained observers police or fire fighters and even men of the armed forces that have observed Sasquatch and to sit there and say that they are not credible witnesses is unbelievable because these are the same individuals that sit in on jury's you cant have it both ways Ms. Hill thats my point. You shit on Ketchum after an obvious smear campaign and that is fine but to go against every eyewitness is just nuts. Lastly. Its funny because you did the samething om the UFO topic and even sided with the governments statement that they didnt know anything well looks like both of you put your foot in your mouth on that topic because government has crawfished on their statement and as of late have admitted to sightings and released Navy footage of tracking UFOs basically starting to somewhat come clean or a slow disclosure letting out more info but allegedly they are to declassify their files by such in such date is the word on the street but we will see. Im just glad those people were vindicated from you and others calling them crazy or a liar and before to long id be wiing to bet the other community will be able to say the same its just a matter of time. Good day to you.

  28. "masking as lifecoaches while they are taking your money", really just sounds like a description of any lifecoach, tbh.

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