John Titor (May 5, 6 or 7, 1998) is a name used on several bulletin boards during 2000 and 2001 by a poster claiming to be an American military time traveler from 2036. Titor made numerous vague and specific predictions regarding calamitous events in 2004 and beyond, including a nuclear war, none of which came true. Subsequent closer examination of Titor's assertions provoked widespread skepticism. Inconsistencies in his explanations, the uniform inaccuracy of his predictions, and a private investigator's findings all led to the general impression that the entire episode was an elaborate hoax. A 2009 investigation concluded that Titor was likely the creation of Larry Haber, a Florida entertainment lawyer, along with his brother Morey, a computer scientist.
- "John Titor" | 2020-03-12 | 206 Upvotes 170 Comments
This is a list of topics that have, at one point or another in their history, been characterized as pseudoscience by academics or researchers. Detailed discussion of these topics may be found on their main pages. These characterizations were made in the context of educating the public about questionable or potentially fraudulent or dangerous claims and practices—efforts to define the nature of science, or humorous parodies of poor scientific reasoning.
Criticism of pseudoscience, generally by the scientific community or skeptical organizations, involves critiques of the logical, methodological, or rhetorical bases of the topic in question. Though some of the listed topics continue to be investigated scientifically, others were only subject to scientific research in the past, and today are considered refuted but resurrected in a pseudoscientific fashion. Other ideas presented here are entirely non-scientific, but have in one way or another impinged on scientific domains or practices.
Many adherents or practitioners of the topics listed here dispute their characterization as pseudoscience. Each section here summarizes the alleged pseudoscientific aspects of that topic.
The following is a list of unidentified, or formerly unidentified, sounds. All of the sound files in this article have been sped up by at least a factor of 16 to increase intelligibility by condensing them and raising the frequency from infrasound to a more audible and reproducible range.
- "List of Unexplained Sounds" | 2012-06-17 | 280 Upvotes 75 Comments
An out-of-place artifact (OOPArt) is an artifact of historical, archaeological, or paleontological interest found in an unusual context, which challenges conventional historical chronology by its presence in that context. Such artifacts may appear "too advanced" for the technology known to have existed at the time, or may suggest human presence at a time before humans are known to have existed. Other examples may suggest contact between different cultures that is hard to account for with conventional historical understanding.
The term is used in fringe science such as cryptozoology, as well as by proponents of ancient astronaut theories, young Earth creationists, and paranormal enthusiasts. It can describe a wide variety of objects, from anomalies studied by mainstream science to pseudoarchaeology far outside the mainstream to objects that have been shown to be hoaxes or to have mundane explanations.
Critics argue that most purported OOPArts which are not hoaxes are the result of mistaken interpretation and wishful thinking, such as a mistaken belief that a particular culture could not have created an artifact or technology due to a lack of knowledge or materials. In some cases, the uncertainty results from inaccurate descriptions. For example, the Wolfsegg Iron was said to be a perfect cube, but in fact it is not; the Klerksdorp spheres were said to be perfect spheres, but they are not. The Iron pillar of Delhi was said to be "rust proof", but it has some rust near its base; its relative resistance to corrosion is due to slag inclusions left over from the manufacturing conditions and environmental factors.
Supporters regard OOPArts as evidence that mainstream science is overlooking huge areas of knowledge, either willfully or through ignorance. Many writers or researchers who question conventional views of human history have used purported OOPArts in attempts to bolster their arguments. Creation science often relies on allegedly anomalous finds in the archaeological record to challenge scientific chronologies and models of human evolution. Claimed OOPArts have been used to support religious descriptions of prehistory, ancient astronaut theories, and the notion of vanished civilizations that possessed knowledge or technology more advanced than that known in modern times.
- "Out-of-Place Artifact" | 2019-07-16 | 77 Upvotes 45 Comments
The Piri Reis map is a world map compiled in 1513 by the Ottoman admiral and cartographer Piri Reis (pronounced [piːˈɾiː ɾeis]). Approximately one third of the map survives; it shows the western coasts of Europe and North Africa and the coast of Brazil with reasonable accuracy. Various Atlantic islands, including the Azores and Canary Islands, are depicted, as is the mythical island of Antillia and possibly Japan.
The map's historical importance lies in its demonstration of the extent of global exploration of the New World by approximately 1510, and in its claim to have used a map of Christopher Columbus, otherwise lost, as a source. Piri also stated that he had used ten Arab sources and four Indian maps sourced from the Portuguese. More recently, the map has been the focus of claims for the pre-modern exploration of the Antarctic coast.
The Piri Reis map is in the Library of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, but is not usually on display to the public.
- "Piri Reis Map" | 2014-07-18 | 61 Upvotes 12 Comments
A thunderstone is a flint tool or fossil turned up by farmer's plow that was thought to have fallen from the sky. They were often thought to be thunderbolts. It was not until travelers returned from far-away places where these implements were in use among primitive cultures that the origins of these objects became known. Even then, these travelers' tales received little popular credence.
- "Thunderstone (folklore)" | 2018-09-15 | 36 Upvotes 3 Comments
The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin.
Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman discovered the anomaly a few days later while reviewing the recorded data. He was so impressed by the result that he circled the reading on the computer printout, "6EQUJ5", and wrote the comment "Wow!" on its side, leading to the event's widely used name.
The entire signal sequence lasted for the full 72-second window during which Big Ear was able to observe it, but has not been detected since, despite several subsequent attempts by Ehman and others. Many hypotheses have been advanced on the origin of the emission, including natural and human-made sources, but none of them adequately explains the signal.
Although the Wow! signal had no detectable modulation—a technique used to transmit information over radio waves—it remains the strongest candidate for an alien radio transmission ever detected.
New England's Dark Day occurred on May 19, 1780, when an unusual darkening of the day sky was observed over the New England states and parts of Canada. The primary cause of the event is believed to have been a combination of smoke from forest fires, a thick fog, and cloud cover. The darkness was so complete that candles were required from noon on. It did not disperse until the middle of the next night.
- "New England's Dark Day" | 2020-09-16 | 107 Upvotes 44 Comments
Xenu (), also called Xemu, was, according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy" who brought billions of his people to Earth (then known as "Teegeeack") in DC-8-like spacecraft 75 million years ago, stacked them around volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs. Official Scientology scriptures hold that the thetans (immortal spirits) of these aliens adhere to humans, causing spiritual harm.
These events are known within Scientology as "Incident II", and the traumatic memories associated with them as "The Wall of Fire" or "R6 implant". The narrative of Xenu is part of Scientologist teachings about extraterrestrial civilizations and alien interventions in earthly events, collectively described as "space opera" by Hubbard. Hubbard detailed the story in Operating Thetan level III (OT III) in 1967, warning that the "R6 implant" (past trauma) was "calculated to kill (by pneumonia, etc.) anyone who attempts to solve it".
Within the Church of Scientology, the Xenu story is part of the church's secret "Advanced Technology", considered a sacred and esoteric teaching, which is normally only revealed to members who have completed a lengthy sequence of courses costing large amounts of money. The church avoids mention of Xenu in public statements and has gone to considerable effort to maintain the story's confidentiality, including legal action on the grounds of copyright and trade secrecy. Officials of the Church of Scientology widely deny or try to hide the Xenu story. Despite this, much material on Xenu has leaked to the public via court documents and copies of Hubbard's notes that have been distributed through the Internet. In commentary on the impact of the Xenu text, academic scholars have discussed and analyzed the writings by Hubbard and their place within Scientology within the contexts of science fiction, UFO religions, Gnosticism and creation myths.
- "Xenu, Leader of the Galactic Federation" | 2020-12-08 | 11 Upvotes 4 Comments
The term Drosoulites (Greek: Δροσουλίτες) refers to a long procession of visions, seen by residents around Frangokastello castle in Sfakia region of Crete (Greece). The phenomenon is rumored to be visible every year, on the anniversary of the Battle of Frangokastello or even in early June near a small village in southern Crete.
The visions, as described by witnesses, consist of a group of human-like shadows dressed in black, walking or riding, armed with weapons, moving from the monastery of Agios Charalambos and advancing towards the old fort, Frangokastello, a 14th-century Venetian fortification. Legend has it that this group of people are Greek fighters that died during the Battle of Frangokastello (17 May 1828) and since then they appear as supernatural beings in the area.
The ghost army is led by Hatzimichalis Dalianis, from Delvinaki in Epirus, the chief of the Greek men, 350 of whom were lost, in the battle. The army took refuge in the fort during the Greek War of Independence against the Turks, where they were killed after a seven-day siege.
The local people named them Drosoulites ("dew shadows") due to the time of day that the phenomenon takes place. The phenomenon is observed when the sea is calm and the atmosphere is moist and before the sun rises too high in the sky. It usually lasts about 10 minutes.
The shadows are visible from the valley at a distance of 1000 m. Many have tried to explain the phenomenon scientifically, and at one time it was explained as a mirage from the coast of North Africa, but still there is no accepted consensus. On the other hand, another, occult, interpretation implies the existence of a psychic phenomenon, clairvoyance, seen in some countries like Britain and Germany, also regarding ghost armies. The appearance of the Drosoulites is documented over the ages. In 1890 a transient Turkish army took the images for rebels and fled away. Even during the Second World War, a German patrol is said to have opened fire on the visions.