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Psychic Vibrations: Skeptical Giggles from the Skeptical Inquirer Paperback – March 28, 2012
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About the Author
Robert Sheaffer is a writer with a lifelong interest in astronomy and the question of life on other worlds. He is one of the leading skeptical investigators of UFOs, a founding member of the UFO Subcommittee of the well-known Committee for Skeptical Inquiry ( formerly CSICOP) . He is also a founding director and past Chairman of the Bay Area Skeptics, a local skeptics' group in the San Francisco Bay area. Mr. Sheaffer is the author of UFO Sightings (Prometheus Books, 1998), The Making of the Messiah (Prometheus Books, 1991), and has appeared on many radio and TV programs. His writings and reviews have appeared in such diverse publications as OMNI, Scientific American, Spaceflight, Astronomy, The Humanist, Free Inquiry, Reason, and others. He is a regular columnist for The Skeptical Inquirer. He is a contributor to the book Extraterrestrials - Where Are They? (Pergamon Press, Hart and Zuckerman, editors), which Science magazine called “one of the most interesting and important of the decade.” He has written the article on UFOs for Prometheus Book's Encyclopedia of the Paranormal, as well as for the Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia. He has been an invited speaker at the Smithsonian UFO Symposium in Washington, DC, at the National UFO Conferences held in New York City and in Phoenix, as well as at the First World Skeptics' Congress in Buffalo, New York. Mr. Sheaffer lives near San Diego, California. He has worked as a data communications engineer in the Silicon Valley, and sings in professional opera productions. His website is www.debunker.com , and his Blog is www.BadUFOs.com .
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I have to admit that when I first got this book, I was a bit disappointed. I had hoped that Sheaffer would have spent a little more time debunking the various stories presented, rather than just reporting on them. But I quickly got over my disappointment. Simply put, there is no real need to debunk most of what he discusses merely because most of what he reports on is so bizarre there is no real reason to debunk it. Stories of mermaid and UFO sightings; aliens abducting people to create a hybrid race; creationists hunting for Noah's Ark on Mt. Ararat are just a few of the stories Sheaffer has compiled over the years.
The book is divided into seven chapters. Each chapter deals with a different topic: Alien Antics; Implausible Science and Medicine; Psychic Powers and Predictions; Astonishing Animals; Doomsdays and Conspiracies; The Sacred and the Profane; and Beyond Description. Each chapter consists of short stories that span from the late 1970's up to the late 1990's. As mentioned above, the stories deal with a wide range of subjects, everything to end of the world predictions to Bigfoot sightings to claims of demonic possession.
So if you are a skeptic who enjoys Sheaffer's Skeptical Inquirer column, or just someone who likes to read about the strange and the bizarre, then I believe you will enjoy this book.
Instead of getting closer to finding Bigfoot or a UFO, we are as far as ever.
This historic look back, with a smile, is well worth a read. I think it should be required for any skeptic, and any non skeptic. It's an odd world out there, and one that can make you laugh if you read this book.