May 16, 2011
Host: Karen Stollznow
Robert Sheaffer is a Committee for Skeptical Inquiry fellow and author of the "Psychic Vibrations" column for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He writes the "Bad UFO" blog and "The Debunker's Domain" website, and is the author of The UFO Verdict: Examining the Evidence, UFO Sightings - The Evidence and The Making of the Messiah: Christianity and Resentment.
A prolific researcher of supernatural claims, Robert specializes in UFOs and conspiracy theories. Many favor the term "investigator", but he doesn't shy away from the label "debunker".
In this interview with Karen Stollznow, Robert talks about his observations of pseudoscience and the paranormal over the 30-year course of his column. He presents us with a potted history of UFOs, and discusses the trends over time in both belief and skepticism. The evidence is as poor (or non-existent) as ever, but the fascination is stronger than ever.
Robert delves into the themes of conspiracy theories; what are the things "they" don't want us to know? He speaks about how and why they emerge and how we can tackle them. He answers the question, "Have any conspiracy theories ever turned out to be correct, or is a "true conspiracy theory" really something else?"