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71 MIN READ TIME

Becoming Fantastic

IT STARTED WITH A SIMPLE QUESTION: Why would otherwise successful, professional people with long, prosperous careers tell wild tales? Why would someone of good reputation, education and a gainful career, embellish their record with incredible adventures? Why would a retired Lieutenant Colonel with a number of high level accomplishments in his career and awarded numerous medals and praises from superior officers, upon retirement start telling people he was part of a team that analyzed the wreckage of a crashed UFO? Why would anyone do this if it were not true? Intuitively, it seems like someone who gains credibility, status, and a reputation would be less inclined to puff themselves up with fantastic tales. Why risk losing it all by going off the rails recounting unbelievable stories? Philip J. Corso is a case study in this phenomenon.

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About Skeptic

THE EXISTENCE OF EVIL AND GOD COLUMNS The SkepDoc: Laser Therapy: Hope or Hype and Hokum?, by Harriet Hall, M.D. • The Gadfly: The Sisyphean Challenges of Skepticism or, Start by Disbelieving, by Carol Tavris ARTICLES Pterosaur Thunderbird: The Origin of a Fake Native American Legend with an Anti- Evolution Agenda • Conversations with My Dead Mother: Why We See Signs and Omens in Everyday Events • Is Cousin Marriage Dangerous? • Therapeutic Touch Redux Twenty Years After the “Emily Event”: Energy Therapies Live on Through Bad Science • What Can Science Learn from Religion? Steven Pinker on Religious Beliefs and Rituals • Becoming Fantastic: Why People Embellish Already Accomplished Lives with Incredible Tales of UFOs and Other Phenomena • 1984 in 2019: The New Privacy Threat from China’s Social Credit Surveillance System SPECIAL DEBATE SECTION Michael Shermer v. Brian Huffling: Is the Reality of Evil Good Evidence Against the Christian God? REVIEW Graham Hancock’s “America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilization” reviewed by Jason Colavito JUNIOR SKEPTIC The Colossal Case of the Cardiff Giant: One of America’s Greatest Hoaxes