Pro Factoids

     Enrollment is increasing at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, a sign of growing interest in alternative remedies that focus on the entire person, not just a set of symptoms,” stated an Associated Press report July 1. Over 300 students will enroll in the Portland-based college this fall, up from 140 in 1992 and 250 last year. A 1993 study from The New England Journal of Medicine showed Americans made 425 million visits to alternative care providers in 1990 for treatments ranging from acupuncture, herbal medicines, commercial weight loss programs and massage, compared to 388 million visits to primary care physicians, the report said.

The February 9 Sydney Morning Herald warned of the dangers of piercing and inserting metallic objects in various parts of one’s anatomy, reports BASIS, the Bay Area Skeptics’ newsletter. “The fun bit was they weren’t talking about unhygienic needles or such; they were talking about the possibility of putting a stud through an acupuncture meridian point.”

     Washingtonians report more UFO sightings than residents of any other state, the Associated Press reported August 30. Between January 1995 and April 1996, 36 of the 50 states reported UFO sightings. Among these, 263 came from Washington, 168 from California, 67 from Oregon, 41 from Florida, and 38 from Minnesota. None were reported from Washington D.C.

     “Seattle and Portland are among the most cloud-covered cities in the United States, so I find that suspect,” said Peter Davenport, Director of the National UFO Reporting Center, located in Seattle. “Maybe the UFOs like Boeing or Microsoft. Or maybe its the coffee.” Davenport admits it is unlikely that more UFOs visit Washington, but since the reporting center is located there, more residents know of the center’s hotline.

     Despite its name, the center has no affiliation with any federal agency but is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 to “receive, record, corroborate, and document reports of possible UFO-related events, including abductions.” However, the FAA, NASA, military facilities, weather services, and law-enforcement agencies direct UFO calls to the center. The center’s volunteers investigate six to seven calls a day.

     In a letter to the editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times September 4, Jim Deardorff reports that on August 11, 1996 “small white illuminated spheres (UFOs)” were caught on videotape making crop circles.

     “As the spheres spiraled across the field a small circle of grain suddenly flattened to the ground, and within seconds a large complex crop pattern materialized. Before the sequence is over, a second pair of white glowing spheres approached from the top left of the frame. One of them appeared to lift out of the cereal field and join its partner. They also took a route arching around the large ring. As they did so the alleyways and smaller circles in this elaborate “snowflake” pattern emerged. The whole film sequence is just a few seconds long.

     “Unfortunately,” he writes, “the film will not be made available publicly until analysis is complete.” Deardorff is professor emeritus of oceanography and atmospheric sciences at Oregon State University.

     The Chupacabras is terrorizing Hispanic communities from Puerto Rico to Mexico. Described as a giant hopping beast, something between a bat and a kangaroo, with red-eyes and fangs (National Public Radio, April 2) or as “part reptile, part insect, and part UFO alien” (Tampa Bay Skeptics, Summer 1996), it prefers goats, although has reportedly attacked cows, chickens, and pigs. One Mexican woman even claimed, to her not-so-happy husband, that the scratches on her neck were from a late night encounter with the Chupacabras. It leaves a carcass with two puncture wounds in the neck and the blood sucked dry.

     Miami zoologist, Ron Magill, investigated goat killings and found, “contrary to the popular belief, all the animals were still full of blood.” Further, he found “classic canine punctures from dogs,” dog footprints, and evidence that dogs had dug under fences to get to the goats.

     The owner of a small brick house adjacent to the Graceland mansion believes Elvis’ spirit is responsible for some odd events: doors slam; the TV switches to football games, seemingly on its own; and the toilet seat bangs up and down (Presley died on the toilet at Graceland). A school for psychics conducted an “energy scan” that showed Elvis’ ghost was present. About 150 Elvis fans a year visit the brick house to see a foggy stain on the patio door that some say is Elvis’ image. “They get good feelings and good energy,” said the owner. “They’ll feel around the door and some of them feel it and some of them don’t.” Elvis had bought the house in the 1960s for a disabled friend, says the August 15, Associated Press report.

     “Adam’s IQ was 1500!” writes Bernard Leikind in his column “The question all skeptics are asking,” carried in Skeptic (Vol. 4, No. 2). Leikind learned this bit of information from an Institute for Creation Science pamphlet. Creationists are concerned about Adam’s IQ because Adam named all the animals; not “all 30 million scientifically defined species but only the 30,000 Biblical kinds of animals.” Leikind describes creationists’ reasoning this way: “Adam was able to name all of the animals because before The Fall he was able to use all of his brain ... Adam’s brain was similar to a present day genius with an IQ of 150. As everyone knows, we use only 10% of our brains. Since Adam used all of his brain, his IQ must have been 1500.”

     Leikind disagrees, however, pointing out that “by definition, a person of average intelligence has an IQ of 100. If there was only one man, his IQ had to be 100.” When Eve came along, she was clearly smarter, and since it is impossible to for all members of a group to have IQs above average, Adam’s IQ had to be less than 100!

Previous ProFactoids ...ProFactoids from Vol 2 No 4 of Pro Facto... Next ProFactoids

Return to Archive Index
© 2001 Oregonians for Rationality