by Mick West at 11:13 AM
(14,975 Views / 1 Likes)
Metabunk 2018-08-27 10-28-45.

On September 25, 2015 , John Podesta tweeted a series of tweets in support of the Global Goals organization. Global Goals promotes 17 Sustainable Global Goals adopted by the UN, with Sept 25 being the day they were formally adopted.

Metabunk 2018-08-27 10-37-31.

In the tweet above, he's promoting #14 Life Below Water - "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development."

Podesta's email were posted on Wikileaks, and included an exchange with the person who actually posted the tweet, his assistant Milia Fisher. There was a minor exchange about the wording:...
by Mick West at 10:09 AM
(2,523 Views / 1 Likes)
UFO Barn Swallow.

This photo of some dark streaks seeming to emerge from clouds is a popular addition to compilations of UFO "beams in the sky" or "interdimensional visitor". Here's an example usage I just saw on Facebook:
Metabunk 2018-08-26 09-35-58.
(The images on the left are light pillars - a real phenomenon caused by light reflecting off ice in the air, and a frame from a hoax video of a "portal".)

But the dark streak UFO is puzzling if you are unfamiliar with how motion blur works.
Metabunk 2018-08-26 09-41-28.

It kind of looks like it's emerging from the clouds, as it somewhat lines up with one edge. You might recognize the distinctive shape of the swallow's tail, but then you could be persuaded to discount that because where is the rest of the...
by Mick West at 10:22 AM
(10,814 Views / 1 Likes)
Metabunk 2018-08-21 09-29-46.

The above photo (on the left) is being shared as evidence of "Directed Energy Weapons" starting forest fires. Of course it's just a streak of light caused by the sun (which you can see is just off the top of the image). But it's not really, as some people have said a "lens flare". It's caused by streaks of grease on the lens cover. These form little ridges which refract and reflect the light perpendicular to them and create a streak of light perpendicular to the streaks of grease. I've duplicated it, above on the right. And here's a video explaining how I did that (basically wipe the lens on your iPhone with your finger, especially just after rubbing your nose)


Here's a close-up of the streaks on the lens cover that made the...
by Mick West at 2:35 PM
(7,684 Views / 3 Likes)

In the recent media coverage of the "QAnon" conspiracy theory that followed some Q supporters showing up at a Trump rally, one of the pieces of evidence that the Q supporters gave on camera was the idea that Trump said "tip-top" because a Q made him do it.

This actually seems quite compelling as a sound bite on TV. There's the post on 4Chan with an anonymous user asking Q to work "tip-top" into a Trump speech, this is immediately followed with a clip of Trump saying "tip-top". There's even a bonus white rabbit (a reference to the "rabbit hole" in "red-pill" modern mythology).

But it all falls apart when you look at the actual context. Here's a timeline of Trump saying "Tip Top" (or "Tippy-top") and 4Chan/QAnon talking about it. Note the dates....
by Mick West at 10:49 PM
(135,017 Views / 3 Likes)


Why do you sometimes see unburnt trees next to a burnt down house?

Conspiracy theories would say that this is because the houses were actually vapourize with beams of energy from space. But the actual reason, as many people have pointed out, is simply that the wood in the houses is dry, and the wood in the trees is wet.

If you don't use a wood fire in your house this might be a bit hard to understand, so I set out to do an experiment to demonstrate this.

First stop was my attic, which, like most new houses in California has an internal frame of 2 by 4s.
There was a bit of scrap wood left over from construction. The same wood as the frame of my house, so ideal for testing....
by Mick West at 11:29 PM
(6,238 Views / 1 Likes)
Metabunk 2018-07-13 22-54-45.

This Indiegogo campaign is so obviously impossible that I suspect it might be some kind of elaborate educational hoax teaching people not to trust Indiegogo campaigns. But in case it's not, spoiler, it doesn't work.

Delta Lambda claims to to compress your existing data on you phone up to 1000 times by using special algorithms.
Metabunk 2018-07-13 22-57-26.

Unfortunately this is mathematically impossible. Data has a limit in how much it can be compressed. The limit is based on the "entropy" of the data (a measure of how much it resembles random data). The vast majority of data on your hard drive (photos, videos, audio, apps) is already compressed by advanced algorithms that approach the theoretical limits. In addition they are compressed with lossy...
by Mick West at 10:11 AM
(22,141 Views / 7 Likes)
Several tons of aluminum, barium, and strontium will be sprayed into the atmosphere tonight, the 4th of July, often in close vicinity to large crowds in people in large cities. Even small children will hold small devices that create clouds of nanoparticles of aluminum, barium, and strontium, and other heavy metals.

I'm talking, of course, about fireworks. Those three elements are commonly referred to as being toxic elements that are sprayed in the "chemtrails" conspiracy theory.

(source: see also:

There is, of course, no real evidence that "chemtrails" are real. Yet the presence of aluminum, barium, and strontium in the environment (all three are naturally occurring, especially aluminum) is often...
by Mick West at 5:53 PM
(5,386 Views / 1 Likes)
pan bill.

California Senator Dr. Richard Pan has introduced a bill (SB 1424) which currently reads as follows:
by Mick West at 2:58 PM
(13,958 Views / 0 Likes)

Thread Summary
We can tell it's not a missile simply because it's a 20 second exposure, and so the "missile" on the "top" of the streak would not actually show up. It has to be another moving light - i.e. it's an object with at least two lights.

Initial analysis focussed on the possibility of it being a plane flying towards the camera. Aircraft in level flight can look like they are rising or falling straight up or down if they are flying directly towards or away from the camera.

A more promising suggestion was that is was a helicopter, moving AWAY from the camera.

This was first suggested by Tyler Rogoway at...
by Mick West at 3:00 PM
(93,839 Views / 2 Likes)
Metabunk 2018-05-16 15-09-30.

A comedy show on Russia Today starring Lee Camp (stand-up comedian and former writer for The Onion) has become the latest outlet to push an old debunked story - the idea that there are trillions of dollars missing from the Pentagon. This myth arose because the the Pentagon (i.e. the Department of Defense) has multiple different accounting systems across multiple departments. These systems have a serious problem: they are not "interoperable". This means that entries on one system do not automatically flow to another system.

So when the military has to make quarterly or year-end financial statements, some entries, like the value of certain assets (like aircraft carriers) or liabilities (like pensions), have to be transferred either manually or by an automated but uncertified system....