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Criticism > Thursday, 24 March 2011 13:19:19 EST

More Insight Into That "Fact Or Faked" Show

Keywords: paranormal, video

I've been talking with some people about this show, and there seems to be a little bit of a division of opinion.  Some people think that it's at least a step in the right direction, in that they do actually solve some paranormal phenomena.  On the other hand, many people feel that the show's often shoddy methods, as well as their willingness to just call something paranormal if they can't explain it, override any good that the show does by solving cases.

I'm leaning towards the latter, but I was curious as to what Ben Radford thought, so I sent him an email.  He called my attention to a video created by his fellow Monster Talk host Blake Smith (a.k.a Doctor Atlantis), who analyzed footage from another episode of the show:



So a guy sitting at his computer was able to solve this mystery more effectively than a group of "professional investigators" who actually went out and investigated.  They weren't able to replicate the video, and concluded that it's probably paranormal.

Good stuff.  But I also ran across this article by Ben's other Monster Talk co-host Karen Stollznow.  Apparently, a group of skeptics faked a paranormal video as a promotion, and they were contacted by the people at Fact or Faked:

Along came John Maas, producer of Fact or Faked. Scouting for paranormal footage online, Maas and his staff discovered the video and thought it perfect “evidence” for an episode of the show. But the footage wasn’t fantastic enough. Without ever asking if the footage was fact or faked, Maas asked the group to re-film the scene to emphasize that no string or magnets were used, but… to also show the planchette moving more dramatically across the board. The producer of Fact or Faked was asking the group to fake the video.

That just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn't it?  I was willing to give these guys the benefit of the doubt before and assume that their shoddy investigation of those lights in the sky was due to incompetence.

I did wonder if they faked the video, but I didn't want to make that accusation right up front.  Now that I have evidence of the show's shady methods, however, I think it's reasonable to strongly suspect that they actively faked that video of the moving light.

It does seem quite convenient that they caught something on the one night that they just happened to show up, doesn't it?

Of course, this isn't proof that the video was faked.  It could very well be that there's some common atmospheric phenomenon that would reliably generate these kinds of effects, and that you'd stand a good chance of spotting it on any random night.

But to me, this evidence of the show's culture of deception seriously impedes my ability to give them the benefit of the doubt.  Whenever they happen to capture what they claim is evidence of the paranormal, I'm going to have to seriously wonder whether they're dealing honestly or just faking stuff.


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