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Skepticality was the recipient of the 'Ockham's Razor Award for Best Podcast 2014! Along with a short announcement about that, this week Derek talks with author Andrew Endersby about his newest book, "America's Imaginary Hostage Crisis". In 1979 a group of Iranian students invaded and occupied the US Embassy in Tehran. The United States military decided the best way to try to deal with the event was to use a group of newly 'trained' psychics using remote viewing to determine what was going on within the walls of the embassy. Now that the actual papers are available, which detail what the remote viewers actually reported, how accurate were they, really?
Show Notes

– Date – April 15, 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 Skepticism, Past and Future [2:05]
– Ockham awards have been given in 2012 and in 2013.
– CSI’s In Praise of Reason Award began in 1982 and was most recently given to Bill Nye.
– CSI also awards the Robert P. Balles Prize for Critical Thinking (since 2005).
– The National Capital Area Skeptics award the Philip J. Klass Award each year (since 2006).
– The Australian Skeptics have given several skeptic awards each year including Skeptic of the Year since 1996. They also were awarded a Bent Spoon (since 1982).
– The New Zealand Skeptics award several Bravo Awards each year since 1995. They’ve also awarded a Bent Spoon since 1992.
– The JREF often awards skeptical activists at The Amazing Meeting (since 2009), and also gives out the Pigasus Award to quacks and charlatans (since 1997).
– GWUP (the German skeptic organization) awards the Das golden Brett form Kopf (the Golden Board Against The Head) since 2011.
– Comcept (in Portugal) has awarded the Prémio Unicórnio Voador (Flying Unicorn Award) since 2012.
– The Ig Nobel Awards are given out in September or October of each year in a highly entertaining televised ceremony.
– Tim’s skeptools blog now has a section on bad behavior.
– Skeptics wanting to fix up their passwords should consult Tim’s blog post on security tools.
– Skeptic History facts are posted daily on social media find out where on this page at Tim’s blog.

Wikipedia [11:05]
Susan Gerbic
Lanyard the Conference Tool
– The Skeptic Wikipedia Project.

Skeptical Humanities [21:00]
– Interview with Fishbein at the FDA website.
Brinkley v. Fishbein.
Skeptical Humanities.

The Odds Must Be Crazy [27:50]
The Odds Must Be Crazy.
– This week’s featured story is, “Ninety Miles Around a Coincidence
– Submitted by blog reader Garrett.
– Please visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments.
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Barbara Drescher.
– Our theme music comes to us courtesy of Brian Keith Dalton, AKA Mr. Deity.
– Please visit The Independent Investigations Group Los Angeles.
– The Odds Must Be Crazy can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
– Wendy Hughes is on Twitter.
– John Rael is on Twitter.
– Edward Clint is on Twitter.
– Barbara Drescher is on Twitter.
– Brian Keith Dalton is on Twitter.
– Thanks to our friends Emery Emery, and Heather Henderson for hospitality and support for the production of the segment. Visit them at

Atlanta Skepticamp 2014 [33:45]
– Coming up on May 2nd – May 4th, 2014 at MD Tech Pro.
– Find out all the details at the Atlanta Skeptics website.

Interview: Andrew Endersby [34:30]
– Andrew Endersby author of, “America’s Imaginary Hostage Crisis“.
– Similar theme to the book “The Men Who Stare At Goats“.
– Andrew became fascinated with the psychic connection to the Iranian Hostage Crisis after he got his hands on the declassified records from the event.
– The Iranian Hostage Crisis started with a student demonstration.
– What most people didn’t know is that the US Government was using an experimental group of psychic remote viewers.
– The American Government was researching the use of psychic powers due to reports of successful uses in the Russian military.
– The code name for the remote viewing team was ‘Grill Flame‘.
– In the book he includes many of the actual documents from the remote viewing sessions which include drawings and tape transcripts.
– Reports about the US government being interested in paranormal research started to leak out around 1980.
– Strangely, the remote viewers were prompted to actually interact with people they were ‘viewing’ from thousands of miles away.
– The viewers were consistently wrong once the facts came out.
– Only seven reports had any form of correct information out of about two hundred.
– Even though the project had such a terrible success rate it continued to operate all the way until 1995.
– The book is on Kindle as well as in print version also quite affordable.

Outro Music [1:01:00]
– Outro music donated by Trent Brusky of Dropfox.

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