Sunday, October 14, 2018

November 3 - The Disappearance of Cyclops: Lost Without a Trace

Presented by Marvin W. Barrash

2018 marks the centennial of the final voyage of U.S.S. Cyclops, a U.S. Navy collier.  After departing Barbados for Baltimore on March 4, 1918, no radio signal was received from it, and no trace of the 542-foot vessel or the 309 people aboard was ever found. The details of this genuine mystery of the sea have been obscured by sensational promoters of “The Bermuda Triangle” myth, but author Marvin W. Barrash has meticulously researched the legendary ship and the men aboard her, including one of his great-uncles, in his book, U.S.S. Cyclops (Heritage Books, 2010).

What are the more likely explanations for the disappearance of Cyclops, and where might the wreck be found?  The solution to this century-old mystery may soon be within reach.


A life member of the U.S. Naval Institute and the Naval Historical Foundation, Marvin W. Barrash has provided many years of volunteer service with the Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington Navy Yard.  He has produced finding aids for many artifacts and documents, assisted in preservation of historical materials, and researched responses to historical inquiries. He has appeared on-camera as the subject matter expert concerning the U.S.S. Cyclops in two television documentaries produced for the National Geographic Channel.  Barrash continues his research with the hope that the ship’s remains will be located and studied, not salvaged.

Copies of U.S.S. Cyclops and his latest book, the prequel Murder on the Abarenda (Heritage Books, 2016), will be available for purchase and signing by the author.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

1:30 pm

Connie Morella Library

7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members



Shadow of a Doubt - October 2018

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • October 13 lecture - Investigating Mysteries: Out-of-the-Box Thinking that Solved Strange Cases Presented by Kenny Biddle
  • Special NCAS Meetup - Lecture and Exhibit about Harry Houdini on October 21
  • October 13 lecture: Photographer (and former ghost hunter) Kenny Biddle will demystify paranormal videos
  • November NCAS Lecture The Disappearance of U.S.S. Cyclops: Lost Without a Trace
  • The Latest Addition to the NCAS YouTube Channel
  • CSICon 2018
  • In Memoriam
  • Follow-up on YouTube "Information Panels"
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals

October 2018

NCAS Public Lecture Series

Investigating Mysteries: Out-of-the-Box Thinking that Solved Strange Cases

Presented by Kenny Biddle

This presentation will cover some of the methods Kenny Biddle has used to solve cases, from a singing child ghost to whether Elvis Presley secretly starred in the film "Home Alone." He will take a closer look at the documentaries "The Demon House" and "The Blackwell Ghost," as well as a viral video of a screaming ghost at a Wingate hotel in Illinois. He will expose hoaxes from a Gettysburg battlefield and from a compilation video of ghost car crashes. Along the way, he will talk about the details and methods that eventually lead to these mysteries being solved. 

Kenny Biddle is a science enthusiast who investigates claims of paranormal experiences, photos, videos, and gadgetry. He promotes science, critical thinking, and skepticism through his YouTube video blog, "I Am Kenny Biddle." He has been a photography consultant for Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) for almost a decade. He often hosts workshops and lectures on alleged paranormal photography, providing a better understanding of how anomalies have natural explanations. Kenny is a columnist for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, with his work appearing in publications around the world. Kenny is open to the idea of paranormal claims and works to test them for validity. He currently offers an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) Challenge at the White Hill Mansion that comes with a cash prize should anyone pass the challenge.  

Saturday, October 13, 2018
1:30 pm 
Connie Morella Library
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

https://www.ncas.org/2018/09/october-13-investigating-mysteries-out.html

Thursday, September 13, 2018

October 13 - Investigating Mysteries: Out-of-the-Box Thinking that Solved Strange Cases

Presented by Kenny Biddle


This presentation will cover some of the methods Kenny Biddle has used to solve cases, from a singing child ghost to whether Elvis Presley secretly starred in the film "Home Alone." He will take a closer look at the documentaries "The Demon House" and "The Blackwell Ghost," as well as a viral video of a screaming ghost at a Wingate hotel in Illinois. He will expose hoaxes from a Gettysburg battlefield and from a compilation video of ghost car crashes. Along the way, he will talk about the details and methods that eventually lead to these mysteries being solved. 


Kenny Biddle is a science enthusiast who investigates claims of paranormal experiences, photos, videos, and gadgetry. He promotes science, critical thinking, and skepticism through his YouTube video blog, "I Am Kenny Biddle." He has been a photography consultant for Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) for almost a decade. He often hosts workshops and lectures on alleged paranormal photography, providing a better understanding of how anomalies have natural explanations. Kenny is a columnist for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, with his work appearing in publications around the world. Kenny is open to the idea of paranormal claims and works to test them for validity. He currently offers an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) Challenge at the White Hill Mansion that comes with a cash prize should anyone pass the challenge.  


Saturday, October 13, 2018
1:30 pm 

Connie Morella Library

7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD

FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Shadow of a Doubt - September 2018

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • September 8 lecture - UFOs, the Air Force and the Colorado Study by Retired USAF Colonel David J. Shea
  • History and Project Blue Book
  • October 13 lecture: Photographer (and former ghost hunter) Kenny Biddle will demystify paranormal videos
  • NCAS Board Elections:Results
  • Prez Sez
  • Quick Shout Outs 
  • Torn from today's headlines
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals

September 2018

NCAS Public Lecture Series

UFOs, the Air Force, and the Colorado Study

Presented by Retired USAF Colonel David J. Shea


Saturday, September 8, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Connie Morella Library
7400 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
(Bethesda Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

The US Air Force investigated UFO reports for more than two decades (1947-1969). By the time the final investigations project (called “Blue Book”) ended, over 12,000 reports had been investigated, and 701 remained unidentified.

During the final years of Project Blue Book, the University of Colorado was contracted by the USAF to conduct a scientific study of UFOs “in more detail and depth than [had] been possible to date.”

USAF Captain David J. Shea was the Pentagon press spokesman for Project Blue Book from 1967 to its termination in December 1969. Now a retired Colonel, he’ll provide a first-hand account of the USAF's work with the University of Colorado and physicist Edward U. Condon, the director of the study.

Note: In 1999, the Colorado Study’s final report was transcribed for the Internet by NCAS and hosted at ncas.org by permission of The Regents of the University of Colorado.

David J. Shea received a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Fordham University. He was designated a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program there and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the regular Air Force. He earned his master’s degree in mass communications from the University of Denver and wrote his thesis on “The UFO Phenomenon: A Study in Public Relations,” based in part on his interview of Dr. Condon.

All his Air Force assignments were in the public affairs career field, including director of Public Affairs for three Air Force major commands: Air Training Command, United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Force Systems Command. Shea concluded his military career as the director of Defense Information, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, the Pentagon, in October 1988.

He joined Hughes Aircraft Company in its Washington DC office, which merged with Raytheon Company in December 1997 where he was the director of media relations.
Shea is a co-author of Media Isn’t A Four Letter Word, a guidebook providing tips and techniques for executives on how to deal with the press. Originally published in 1994, the book is now in its fifth edition.

Refreshments and socializing after the talk.

http://www.ncas.org/2018/08/september-8-ufos-air-force-and-colorado.html

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Shadow of a Doubt - May 2018

The Monthly Calendar of the National Capital Area Skeptics

  • May 19 lecture - Public Perception of Science presented by Adam Ruben
  • NCAS Board Elections: Electronic voting
  • Skeptics talks at Balticon 52
  • AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
  • Shadow Light
  • Member renewals

May 2018


NCAS Public Lecture Series

The Public Perception of Science:
Lessons from a Dead Sheep

Adam Ruben, PhD
Writer, Comedian, and Molecular Biologist

Saturday, May 19, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center
2nd Floor (West Room)
4805 Edgemoor Lane
Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

Sometimes the way people think about science is even more important than the science itself. In this talk, comedian and molecular biologist Dr. Adam Ruben uses the hype surrounding the 1997 cloning of Dolly the sheep as a lens through which to view the public perception of science and scientists.


Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, and molecular biologist. In addition to his day job working on a malaria vaccine as the Associate Director of Vaccine Stabilization & Logistics at Sanaria Inc., Adam has performed stand-up comedy and told stories on stage for more than 15 years. He has appeared on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel, Discovery International, Netflix, and NPR, and he currently hosts the show Outrageous Acts of Science on The Science Channel. Adam is the author of two books, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School (Random House, 2010) and Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball (Chicago Review Press, 2017), and writes the monthly science humor column "Experimental Error" in the otherwise respectable journal Science.



NCAS Board Elections: Electronic Voting
The upcoming 2018 NCAS election will use electronic voting.  When voting begins, each member will receive an email from NCAS (via surveymonkey.com) containing a unique web address usable as a single-cast secret ballot.  (NCAS will receive information indicating who voted, but nothing to indicate who cast each ballot.)

Note that voters will not be at risk for spamming as a result of participating...SurveyMonkey has a zero-tolerance spam policy:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/legal/anti-spam-policy/


Skeptics Talks at Balticon 52
Balticon 52, the Maryland Regional Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention (May 25-28, 2018 at The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel) will include talks on various science and skeptical topics.  Speakers will include past NCAS lecturers Bruce Press, Thomas Holtz, and Adam Ruben.  Registration details are at https://balticon.org/wp52/registration/


AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!
When shopping at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that a portion of the purchase price (0.5%) goes to NCAS! It's simple and automatic, and it doesn't cost you anything!

AmazonSmile's disbursements to NCAS in the fourth quarter of 2017 came to $33.28, meaning that over $6600 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's more than enough to cover an hour of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

Thanks again to our members who have chosen to support NCAS!

For more information:
http://smile.amazon.com/about
http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=176060&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1870185


Shadow Light
Some members and contacts of NCAS receive a postal notification of this and every new monthly Shadow of a Doubt.  The Shadow Light postcard announces the monthly lecture and highlights of the electronic Shadow of a Doubt, which is available online at ncas.org/shadow.  NCAS thereby reduces Shadow production and postage costs.  To further reduce costs, members and contacts can opt out of postal notification altogether, while continuing to receive Shadow of a Doubt via e-mail.  To opt out, send us an e-mail at ncas@ncas.org.


Time to Renew?
Be sure to check your renewal date above your postal address on the Shadow Light postcard. Send any queries to ncas@ncas.org.  Use the online membership form to renew.
http://ncas.org/shadow