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Sheldon Helms
 Interview: Sheldon Helms
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This week Derek has a conversation with Sheldon Helms, a member of the Bay Area Skeptics Board of Directors, and one of the people involved with Operation Bumblebee, a scouting operation put together by Susan Gerbic to go to one of the big events put on by Chip Coffey, a self described psychic. Sheldon provides some details about his involvement in the operation, and how two teams of skeptics worked to put together a fairly detailed event.
Show Notes

– Date – October 14th, 2014
– Send your cool ‘SCIENCE!’ shout-outs to
– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.
– Thank you to everyone who has been purchasing books, Skepticality stuff, or using our Amazon link to help us!

Skepticism, Past and Future [1:20]
– Virologist Jonas Salk developed the first successful inactivated polio vaccine. He was born October 28, 1914.
Bertram Forer, born October 24, 1914, was a psychologist who developed the idea of the Forer Effect, sometimes – called subjective validation.
– Martin Gardner was born October 21, 1914. Read all about him at There’s a month-long celebration in October and several Twitter feeds including @MGardner100th, @g4gcelebration and @WWMGT (What Would – Martin Gardner Tweet?)
– Tim’s post on INSIGHT about Sally Morgan is titled Challenging Psychics is Deadly Serious Business and has many more links to the past incidents.
– Sally Morgan fired her husband and son-in-law on Monday in this statement.
– Read more about the Good Thinking Society’s Psychic Awareness Month here.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at Tim’s blog.

Wikipedia [8:55]
Robert S. Lancaster.
Stop Sylvia Browne.
Operation Bumblebee.
– Hear Susan talk about Operation Bumblebee on another show, Skeptically Challenged.

Skeptical Humanities [15:15]
The Houston Cancer Quack.
The OTHER Burzynski Patient Group.
Skeptical Humanities.

The Odds Must Be Crazy [21:00]
– This week's featured story is, "John's New TV".
– Story was submitted by TOMBC Team Member John Rael.
– Please visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments.
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Ed Clint.
– Our theme music comes to us courtesy of Brian Keith Dalton, AKA Mr. Deity.
– Visit our new webhost, Skeptic Ink Network at
– Please visit The Independent Investigations Group Los Angeles.
– The Odds Must Be Crazy can be found on Twitter at @OddsMustBeCrazy, Facebook at TheOddsMustBeCrazy, and Google+ at thier profile.
– Wendy Hughes is on Twitter @Wendy91602.
– John Rael is on Twitter @skepticallyPwnd.
– Jarrett Kaufman is on Twitter @TurboFool.
– Barbara Drescher is on Twitter @badrescher.
– Brian Keith Dalton is on Twitter @MrDeity.
– Thanks to our friends Emery Emery and Heather Henderson for hospitality and support for the production of the segment. Visit them at

Advertisement: The Universe Verse [26:46]
– By James Lu Dunbar – Heard on Skepticality Episode #138.
Get the book 'The Universe Verse' now!.

Interview: Sheldon Helms [29:38]
– On the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Skeptics.
– Joined with Susan Gerbic on her sting, 'Operation Bumblebee', to go check out Chip Coffey.
– There were two groups involved with the Operation, one in the L.A. area and the other in the San Francisco area.
– It took a decent amount of money to pull off because the tickets to see Chip start around $60 and go way up from there.
– Susan and Mark Edward helped the group by giving them information about how 'professional' psychics gather their information and seem 'real'.
Emery Emery, and Heather Henderson from Skeptically Yours and Ardent Atheist helped out from the L.A. side as well.
– Susan said she had a son who died quite young, Chip's people said that he can even contact the unborn.
– If Chip didn't have enough time she might be able to have a private reading with him for between 250$ and 850$ for a 20-60 minute phone call.

Outro Music [1:00:42]
– Outro music donated by Trent Brusky of Dropfox.

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