Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 460+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 39000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at £9.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for 99p
Then just £9.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
GB
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points
62 MIN READ TIME

Bad Anatomy: Do the Mysterious Rhodope Skull and Adygea Skulls Belong to Aliens?

BY DONALD R. PROTHERO, ALEXEY BONDAREV, AND TIM CALLAHAN

TO SOMEONE WITH BIOLOGICAL TRAINING, ONE OF THE MOST irritating and frustrating aspects of dealing with claims about “strange” and “weird” paranormal creatures is the widespread lack of knowledge about basic anatomy and biology. Nearly every hairless canine (whether a coyote or a feral dog) is immediately identified as a “chupacabra”—simply because most people don’t recognize an animal without its hair. Likewise, waterlogged, hairless, or partially decomposed bodies of raccoons and other mammals are treated as bizarre alien creatures because most people are not familiar with the process of bodily decay. Decomposed basking sharks and other marine creatures are the source of all sorts of sea monster myths. The list of cases goes on and on, saturating the internet with bogus claims. None of the authors of these sites ever consult anyone with the proper scientific training before jumping to paranormal conclusions.

In preparing an upcoming book about aliens and UFOs, Prothero and Callahan stumbled across two particularly obvious examples of this kind of error, often found in books and on websites that present odd objects as proof that aliens have visited earth. Both cases are simple mistakes in anatomy by people who don’t know the first thing about human and animal skulls. And in both cases, the mistakes and misinterpretations were spread all over the internet as proof of paranormal phenomena without anyone challenging them.

The Rhodope skull

Read the complete article and many more in this issue of Skeptic
Purchase options below
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue 21.4
 
£4.49
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new Skeptic subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription SPECIAL OFFER: Was £12.99 Now £9.99 billed annually
Save
44%
£9.99
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION? Available at magazine.co.uk, the best magazine subscription offers online.
 

This article is from...


View Issues
Skeptic
21.4
VIEW IN STORE

Other Articles in this Issue


Editor’s Letter
The Skeptics Society is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) educational organization
COLUMNS
Anti-Aging Claims: The Fountain of Youth Is Still Only a Legend
Can Working Memory Be Trained to Work Better?
Michelle E. Ainsworth holds an MA in history. She enjoys
SPECIAL SECTION CLASSIC SKEPTICISM
Why the Myth Endures
A Pictographic Creation Story
Sightings of Mysterious Clowns Rattle Nerves in South Carolina
ARTICLES
LAST JUNE, THE LONG AWAITED SEQUEL INDEPENDENCE Day: Resurgence opened
Is “Spirituality” so Broadly Defined that Testing for It Is Meaningless?
THE NOTION THAT WE’RE ALL JUST COMPUTER simulations living in
The Cancer-care Industry’s Marketing Is Among the Most Deceptive on the Consumer Landscape
One of the Most Fundamental Sources of Error in Human Judgment
Thinking Critically about Public Discourse
REVIEWS
A review of three books about the Salem Witch Trials
A Review of The Faith of Christopher Hitchens by Larry Taunton
JUNIOR SKEPTIC
Welcome back to the curious tale of mammoths and mastodons!
We ended Part One with a wonderful scene from 200
With new fossil discoveries and Cuvier’s research, it was becoming
Rembrandt Peale was mistaken about his carnivorous mastodon with the
At the same time that new fossil discoveries were revealing
The first few decades of the 1800s brought a wealth
It’s a lot of trouble to make money selling tickets
People who read newspapers during the 1800s found tall tales
We’ve come a long way since the days when mammoth