Mick West

TFTRH #28 - Brian Dunning

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk9C4XkCMD8

Brian Dunning is a prolific skeptical podcaster with his award-winning show “Skeptoid” coming up on its 700th episode. He’s also a writer, with his most recent book Conspiracies Declassified: The Skeptoid Guide to the Truth Behind the Theories, explaining the facts behind 50 different conspiracy theories. He’s also a documentary producer, currently working on Science Friction, a documentary about scientists who get misrepresented by the media. We discuss all these topics and more.

"UFO" Sighting over Downtown San Diego Freeway [DARPA Balloon]

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czCfqZrWgio

I first saw the above video (dated Oct 22, 2019) via a low-resolution crop re-post on one of the UFO sites, where it looked even less identifiable.

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-28-44.jpg
While it was unfortunately filmed in portrait mode, it was still a 4K video, so I downloaded that and zoomed in:

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-27-17.jpg

Looks like an advertising blimp, but with an odd white panel below it. THe original video said "San Diego", so I did a search for tethered blimps in San Diego:

Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-29-56.jpg

Bingo! There's a tethered blimp over San Diego, with a white panel type thing underneath it. Here's some local news video:
Metabunk 2019-10-31 13-32-23.jpg
https://www.kusi.com/federal-agency-to-conduct-urban-drone-tracking-system-testing-through-friday/...

TFTRH #27 - Michael Shermer

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvrHX0qRRMs

Dr Michael Shermer is founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor-in-chief of its magazine Skeptic. He's written several books on science and skepticism and his latest work is an audio-only 12-part course, for Audible and The Great Courses, called Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories: What We Should and Shouldn't Believe—and Why. We cover the full spectrum of conspiracies, their history and context, their social and psychological causes and their very real effects. We discuss real and false conspiracies, and how to tell the difference. We then finish up with UFOs, the Intellectual Dark Web, and the Skeptical Movement.

Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories can be found on Audible or via Amazon.
https://www.audible.com/pd/Conspiracies-Conspiracy-Theories-Audiobook/B07XH3YSD7?...

TFTRH #26: UFO Jesus

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1mpwyAsBwY

UFO Jesus is a popular advocate of UFO “disclosure”, the belief that the US Government is close to revealing that it knows that some UFOs actually are the result of alien visitors. We talk about this and our different interpretation of the evidence used to support this case. In particular, we focus on the 2004 case of the USS Nimitz, where, over several days, unexplained sightings and radar returns culminated in two fighter planes observing what one pilot, Commander David Fravor, described as a “white Tic-Tac shaped craft” performing impossible maneuvers. A later video was also taken, which I think shows a distant plane, and UFO fans think is this Tic-Tac. There are rumors of a higher-resolution longer video that shows more.
UFO Jesus closes with six prophecies, and I’m a bit skeptical. But he gives a nice short timeframe of six years, so...

Sept 3, 2019 release of Hulsey's WTC7 draft report: Analysis

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OClixCTdDw
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-DadyW-LR4

The above two videos details some issues raised in the thread below (and in prior threads) regarding Professor Hulsey's study.

Draft report and videos at:
http://ine.uaf.edu/wtc7
http://ine.uaf.edu/media/222439/uaf_wtc7_draft_report_09-03-2019.pdf (mirror)

UFO in Tampa Bay

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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxYAze89TG4

Video shows a stationary light with irregular flashing. After 19 seconds the light accelerates and flies off to the right.

Another version of this video says:
Some people interpret this as a larger craft in the clouds, which would mean rather high speed.

However, I think the simpler explanation, as suggested by others, including people...

Identified: Art Bell's "UFO" Aluminum Louvered Sheets - Heat Exchanger Fins

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Vent vs radiator.jpg

"Arts Parts" refers to a collection of objects that were supposedly anonymously sent to Art Bell.
https://web.archive.org/web/20010614020521/http://www.artbell.com/roscrash.html
bild1-1.jpg

The "vent" material is very interesting:
bild4-11.jpg

That's a much more specific look. Very similar to air-conditioning vents, but on a dollhouse scale.

UPDATE Dec 12 2019 - The following is a summary of the identification from the thread below.

It's almost 100% certain this is a sheet of louvered fins for a heat exchanger (like a radiator or air conditioner).

Here's a VERY good match.

Source: http://www.daiwaracinglabo.com/about/

Note the exact same pattern of alternating direction blocks of...

Debunked: The WTC 9/11 Angle Cut Column. [Not Thermite, Cut Later]

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Debunked Angle Cut Column 2.jpg

This image is famous in 9/11 conspiracy culture:

hdanglecutlarge.jpg

The column in the center of the photo (by Sam Hollenshead) has been cut at an angle, presumably during the cleanup process. Yet Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911) still insist it was cut before the building fell, and looks nothing like a normal cut, and hence is evidence of thermite. Here's an AE911 slide they used just a few weeks ago:

upload_2018-1-27_13-52-44.png

Here's Richard Gage, head of AE911, discussing this:
Source: https://youtu.be/cjzZ7Yot_5s?t=1m11s

However other photos of the scene show the exact same column, so we can figure out where it is...

Escaping the Rabbit Hole Book

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Stephen Fry Facebook2.png

Description
In Escaping the Rabbit Hole, author Mick West shares over a decade’s worth of knowledge and experience investigating and debunking false conspiracy theories through his forum, MetaBunk.org, and sets forth a practical guide to helping friends and loved ones recognize these theories for what they really are.

Perhaps counter-intuitively, the most successful approaches to helping individuals escape a rabbit hole aren’t comprised of simply explaining why they are wrong; rather, West’s tried-and-tested approach emphasizes clear communication based on mutual respect, honesty, openness, and patience.

West puts his debunking techniques and best practices to the test with four of the most popular false conspiracy theories today (Chemtrails, 9/11 Controlled...

Soundly Proving the Curvature of the Earth at Lake Pontchartrain

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Lake Pontchartrain power lines demonstrating the curvature - Metabunk.jpg

A classic experiment to demonstrate the curvature of a body of water is to place markers (like flags) a fixed distance above the water in a straight line, and then view them along that line in a telescope. If the water surface is flat then the markers will appear also in a straight line. If the surface of the water is curved (as it is here on Earth) then the markers in the middle will appear higher than the markers at the ends. Here's a highly exaggerated diagram of the effect by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1870:



This is a difficult experiment to do as you need a few miles...

Some Perspective on Perspective Foreshortening - Contrails and UFOs

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Perspective-title-metabunk.jpg
The above image appears to show three different metal rods. The left rod is short and straight. The middle rod seems longer and angles sharply to the right. The right rod appears slightly curved, and has a longer segment going off the edge of the photo.

Actually the rods look like this:

20170708-102710-wxlbg.jpg
Despite the left rod looking like it's just a few inches, it's actually five feet long. And even though the right rod looks like it's bent very close to the end it's actually bent in the middle, as is the center rod.

I set this up to illustrate some of the problems in visualizing both contrails and the paths of planes that don't leave contrails, especially those that are far away, and so at a shallow angle to the viewer.

In particular, look at the...

Orbs with Dots - PDAF Focus Pixels in Sun Reflection Lens Flare

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Orbs with dots.jpg

Source: (MUFON case 84702)

A variety of images reported as "UFO"zm show what looks like a glowing disk with some dots on it. These basically look like lens flares, but the dot patterns are unusual, as they vary from irregular, regular, or or semiregular patterns. However they still look very two dimensional - they don't seem to curve around the "orb". Here's a collection of similar images all claimed as "UFOs"

18033227_1515177338523469_6313062487402728168_n.jpg

What we are seeing here is a reflected image of the sun with the highlighted reflections of focus pixel. ...

Quantifying Expert Consensus Against Covert Geoengineering / Chemtrails

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20160811-115134-bqpt2.jpg

In a paper publish in Environmental Research letters, August 2016, 77 scientists with expertise in atmospheric science and geochemistry were asked to give their expert opinions regarding the most common claims of evidence put forward by proponents of the "chemtrail" or "covert geoengineering" theory (referred to in the paper as a "secret large-scale atmospheric program (SLAP)". The evidence being photos of trails left by planes, and chemical analyses of air, soil, and water. The scientists overwhelming rejected the idea that the photos and tests were evidence of a secret spraying program. All of the atmospheric scientists and all but one of the geochemists saw nothing suspicious about the proffered evidence. The photos were all identified as contrails, and the...

Floating Cities are Generally not Fata Morgana Mirages

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A video is being widely shared on social media (and the "weird news" sections of more traditional media) claiming to show the image of an impossibly large city rising above the fog in the city of Foshan (佛山), Guangdong province, China



Here's a composite image of the Foshan video


Notice the scale of things here, there are what looks like two construction cranes on the "horizon" to the left, and the buildings seem to loom high into the sky above them.


Some have said this is...

Debunked: UFO over Loch Ness [Reflection in Dual Pane Window]

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A recent photo proports to show a UFO over Loch Ness in Scotland, however it's almost certainly just the reflection of a light inside the room, doubled up by dual pane window.

UPDATE July 10, 2015:

I contacted the owner of the cottage, who graciously agreed to take a few photos and a short video from the same location. These prove conclusively that the "UFO" is simply the reflection of a light in the window:

IMG_0016-bunloit.JPG
IMG_0015-bunloit.JPG IMG_0014-bunloit.JPG



You can see the reflection of the curtain in the window, just like with the "UFO" photo, which demonstrates that the UFO photo was taken...

Debunked: Public Law 105-85 Allowing Testing of Biological and Chemical Weapons [It's the Opposite]

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IMG_3028 copy.jpg
Public Law 105-85 (U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter 32, § 1520a) came into effect in 1997. It makes it illegal for the military to test biological and chemical weapons on people, and also makes it illegal to conduct peaceful experiments on people without their informed consent. It reads:

Solved: Strange Beam of Light over Mayan Temple and Florida [Lightning + Rolling Shutter Artifact]

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The above images are examples of a rolling shutter artifact. A "rolling shutter" means that the image is recorded one row (or column in portrait orientation) at a time, and not simultaneously. This means if the exposure and the flash are of very short duration, then the flash will only illuminate some pixel rows (or columns) of the image. Slowed down it looks a bit like this:

The green rectangle is the rolling shutter window - what the camera sees of the scene at any one time, and it builds up the actual photo by reading from this rectangle. The flash of lighting is very short, but still lights up all the pixels in the rolling shutter window, causing the "beam".

Here's what's going on...

Debunked: 9/11 WTC: AE911's "Pyroclastic Flow" collapse dust clouds

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A claim by the promoters of the the 9/11 controlled demolition theory is that the dust clouds that were pushed up and out by the collapse of the building were "pyroclastic-like", specifically:

http://www1.ae911truth.org/faqs/347...eel-at-wtc-site-challenge-official-story.html
The reference that AE911Truth uses to back this up is the site 9-11 Research, a web site that was created in 2003 by Jim Hoffman. Hoffman was a seminal figure in the 9/11 Truth movement, and his early writings were highly influential on the shape that the conspiracy theories took over the first decade after the attacks. Some of his early ideas were quite outlandish, such as...

Debunked: CFR Admits "Millions Spent to Confuse Public About Geoengineering"

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A quote from a CFR talk:
Is often used to suggest that money has been spent to confuse the public abot geoengineering, however the quote is actually about climate change, and refers to how large energy companies spend money to confuse the public about climate change in ofder to limit regulation of carbon emissions. This only indirectly affects geoengineering discussions.

Step 1 - Original Source


M. Granger Morgan, Head, Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University. At a Council of Foreign Relations lecture.
March 10, 2010, Washington D.C.

Video, quote at 2:40
Direct link to 2:40

Transcript (with additional links to audio and video)...

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Tales From The Rabbit Hole

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