Metabunk

Dec
04
by Mick West at 1:50 PM
(1,094 Views / 8 Likes)
3 Comments
I enjoy the process of debunking: the investigation into claimed evidence, and then communicating the results of that investigation to the public. But are there any claims that are simply too silly to even bother investigating?

We've all seen videos on Youtube that make you shake your head in disbelief that the person in the video might actually be serious. There's older classics like Rainbow Sprinkler Lady (2008), there's people who spray the sky with vinegar to ward off "chemtrails" (2011), there's the burning snow (2014), and now we've got fireproof GMO cabbage (October 2016).

Should we debunk silly things like fireproof cabbage? Well I did, and I'll explain why. But first, here's the video explaining what's going on with the cabbage....
Nov
30
by Mick West at 10:00 AM
(1,854 Views / 3 Likes)
4 Comments
Bahoz Marchers.

Several variants of a blurry video have been shared on social media. They show a group of men in camouflage patterned t-shirts walking down a pedestrian street. One such video is described as:


In fact the video is not in Berlin, it's in the town of Hanau near Frankfurt (they are marching past the WMF store on Rosenstraße). The men marching are members of Bahoz, which is a Kurdish "rocker" gang (the equivalent of a US biker gang, like the Hells Angels). They were marching as part of show of strength, however it was just against another local gang,...
Nov
29
by Mick West at 8:59 AM
(646 Views / 0 Likes)
6 Comments

Crathes Castle Scotland Ghost Photo Montage.


Supposed ghost photos have a number of possible explanations. The two most likely are that it's a photo of something that just kind of looks like a "ghost", or that it's some kind of hoax photo. Or course there's also the distant possibility that maybe it's a ghost, but since that would require an entirely new scientific understanding of the universe and is something that has never been definitively observed before in all of human history then it's generally a good idea to eliminate the other two first. While this not the most important form of debunking, ghost photos are also an interesting exercise in figuring things out with Google and Photoshop.

So, what have we here?
Nov
23
by Mick West at 5:34 PM
(2,164 Views / 6 Likes)
37 Comments
Peter Michael Ketcham, an iPhone app developer from Wisconsin, has a masters degree in mathematics and worked as a mathematical data visualization programmer at NIST from 1997 to 2011. He had no involvement in the 9/11 investigation (or any other investigation), and has no background in structural engineering or physics.

And yet the 9/11 conspiracy theory group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911) is strongly promoting a letter he wrote that was published in Europhysics News, (which last month published an article by AE911). The letter is:
http://www.ae911truth.org/images//PDFs/Peter_Ketcham_EPN_LTE.pdf
Nov
17
by Mick West at 10:51 AM
(4,184 Views / 1 Likes)
13 Comments
Mystery Plane Over Denver Metabunk.

Update: The "mysterious" plane over Denver was indeed an E-6B Mercury, TACAMO - a mobile command platform used by the US Navy - the extra bumps are for communication equipment. While it's unknown exactly what it was doing, it's not at all mysterious. They fly practice and testing missions all the time. The only reason people noticed this one was that it left a nice contrail that showed the curved path it was taking.

Original Story.
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/new...ircles-over-denver-officials-have-few-answers

Nov
16
by Mick West at 5:56 PM
(22,334 Views / 0 Likes)
86 Comments
20161116-170241-cwqd3.
Source: Daily Mail

In a tabloid story widely shared on social media, we see two photographs taken seconds apart. In the first photo there's a girl looking at the camera, taking a selfie. The camera is reflected in her sunglasses, her hair seems to be blowing in a breeze.

In the next photo, taken seconds later, the image is pretty much the same, the camera has moved slightly, and the hair and background outside the car have moved, but now we see the image of what looks like the head of a boy with a high forehead, and curly brown hair.

The girl in the photo is Harper Kurz, her mother, Melissa Kurtz, tells the story like this:...
Nov
11
by Mick West at 7:50 AM
(7,523 Views / 3 Likes)
4 Comments
Donald Trump Reopens 911 fake.

On October 18th 2015 (over a year ago), a satirical/fake news site "World News Daily Report" published a fake news story about Donald Trump, saying:

Nov
08
by Mick West at 3:55 PM
(6,248 Views / 2 Likes)
11 Comments
Unusual "Ice Boulders" on Lake Michigan are being promoted by some as evidence of a secret "geoengineering" program, when actually they are a natural phenomena that simply does not happen every winter because it needs certain combinations of weather conditions.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/09/lake-michigan-ice-balls-video_n_4570097.html
Nov
07
by Mick West at 3:39 PM
(944 Views / 5 Likes)
4 Comments
IMG_1431-aw.

I was snapping some pics of hole-punch clouds in this cloud layer when I suddenly noticed this quite dramatic black contrail. Now the fact that it is black isn't incredibly surprising when you notice that there are black clouds in the sky. And the areas where the contrail is darkest are also the areas where the clouds are darkest.

But it was still quite interesting. It's actually quite a nice day, but there's a layer of cloud the west. The Eastern sky is blue with patchy clouds. This is a panorama looking south (showing an unrelated contrail that has developed into a fallstreak). Note the chimneys on the right.
20161107-150816-n2y71.

I zoomed in on the dark trail:
20161107-151119-5z8a5. ...
Oct
18
by Mick West at 1:15 PM
(5,522 Views / 0 Likes)
34 Comments
chemtrails and vaccines.
The anti-vaccine movement (which claims that vaccines cause autism) has long been on the fringes of science. The most well known scientific paper that claimed to demonstrate a link, one by Andrew Wakefield, was eventually retracted after it was not able to be replicated, and the original research was found to be deeply flawed. However the anti-vaxxers never seemed to be quite as fringe as the "chemtrail" movement, with their bizarre theories about how we are being sprayed by toxic chemicals.

That is, until quite recently.

There was always some overlap of course. Conspiracy theories form a rough hierarchy of implausibility. People who believe in a highly implausible theory like chemtrails will almost always believe every single theory that is a bit more plausible. So chemtrailers are...