Thursday, March 18, 2021

April 10 - Twenty Years of Weird Science at Goldsmiths: Some Reflections

Presented by Chris French
Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London

Saturday, April 10, 2021

1:30 pm (Online Virtual Talk)

The link to view the live stream of this talk is
https://youtu.be/gPG6L8SAQHc

Following his retirement in October of last year, Professor Chris French will reflect on the work of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU), founded in the year 2000. His talk will describe his own journey from being a believer in the paranormal to becoming a skeptic, as well as his reasons for founding the APRU. He will give some examples of its work in the areas of both anomalistic psychology and parapsychology, as well as considering the future prospects of both disciplines.

Q&A via live chat will follow the talk. 

 
Chris French is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London where, in 2000, he founded the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a Patron of UK Humanists. He has published over 150 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics. His main current area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a skeptical eye over paranormal claims. His most recent book is Anomalistic Psychology: Exploring Paranormal Belief and Experience.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2021

  •  March lecture: "How faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science" by Alan Levinovitz
  • Exclusive opportunity for NCAS members - Special zoom Q&A after lecture
  • Message to current and prospective NCAS members - Extending memberships
  • December 2020 NCAS Speaker to appear on ABC-TV's "The con"
  • March PhACT lecture
  • April NCAS Lecture - Christopher French will present "Twenty Years of Weird Science at Goldsmiths: Some Reflections" 
  • NCAS Board elections - call for candidates
  • NCAS and the reckoning of time 
  • Torn from today's headlines - 20th and 40th coincidence anniversaries
  • AmazonSmile supports NCAS
  • Shadow Light
  • Time to renew
  • Click to read March Shadow

Shadow of a Doubt - March 2021

 

Alan Levinovitz, PhD
Author / Associate Professor of Religious Studies, James Madison University

Saturday, March 13, 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00)

NCASVideo YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/V4WkseN3iTg

For more information, call the NCAS Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227).
ncas@ncas.org

Appeals to the wisdom of nature are among the most powerful arguments in the history of human thought. Yet Nature (with a capital N) and natural goodness are not objective or scientific. Author Alan Levinovitz will discuss how modern Western culture has divinized nature, and will highlight the many dangers of substituting simple myths for complicated realities.

 

Alan Levinovitz is associate professor of religious studies at James Madison University, where he teaches and researches a wide range of topics: classical Chinese philosophy, religion and science, and even toy design.  After studying religion and philosophy at Stanford, he taught English in China for two years before returning to the University of Chicago and earning a PhD in Religion and Literature. Now he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, daughter, cat, hermit crabs, and an extensive collection of strange plants and unusual minerals.​

In addition to his academic work on everything from the meaning of capital letters to the meaning of nonsense, his writing on religion, philosophy, and science has been featured in Aeon, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Slate, Wired, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vox, NPR and elsewhere.  He is also the author of The Gluten Lie and Other Myths About What You Eat.

There will be an online question-and-answer segment after the talk.

https://www.ncas.org/2021/02/march-13-natural-conversation-with-alan.html

How to Watch and Participate in this Online Event:

1) Use a supported browser... https://www.youtube.com/supported_browsers

2) Use the link https://youtu.be/V4WkseN3iTg .

3) The live stream begins shortly before 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00) on Saturday, March 13, 2021.

4) To post questions, you must be signed in to a Google account.

5) Post your questions in the chat window to the right of the video player when the live stream is active.

6) Click into where it says "Say something..." and begin typing (up to 200 characters). Then click the send icon .

Along with your question, please post what city or town you're in.

Exclusive Opportunity for NCAS Members!

Following the talk and the question-and-answer segment, the YouTube presentation will end, and an online "reception" with our speaker and NCAS members will begin on Zoom.  Check your email inbox during the last few minutes of the Q and A. All NCAS members will receive information for joining the Zoom meeting with our speaker.  The "Zoom Client for Meetings" can be downloaded for free at https://zoom.us/download.  To join, just enter the Zoom Meeting ID number and Passcode provided in the email...no Zoom account is needed.

Message to Current and Prospective NCAS Members

In response to the economic hardship and other uncertainties that our members may be facing, NCAS has automatically extended by one year all memberships that expire in 2020 or later.  Payment will be accepted for new memberships as well as renewals for 2019 and before: new and renewed will have a bonus year added.  Each life member may sponsor a new one-year membership at no charge.  (Double life memberships may sponsor two.)  Send your sponsored member's name and contact information to ncas@ncas.org. This offer will continue until further notice.

December 2020 NCAS Speaker to Appear on ABC-TV's "The Con"

Bob Nygaard, a private detective who specializes in the investigation of confidence crimes, most notably psychic fraud, will appear on an upcoming episode of "The Con," a weekly TV series narrated by Whoopi Goldberg.  "The Psychic Con" episode will air on ABC-TV on Wednesday, March 17 at 10 PM ET.

March PhACT Lecture

Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, March 20 at 2 PM ET.  Speaker Ian Bryce of Australian Skeptics, Inc will present "Adventures of an Australian Skeptic."  As ASI's "Challenge Coordinator," Dr. Bryce administers the A$100,000 Challenge for anyone who can demonstrate a paranormal or psychic ability or powers unknown to science. Event details at http://www.phact.org/meetings.php.

April NCAS Lecture
Christopher French, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, will present "Twenty Years of Weird Science at Goldsmiths: Some Reflections," discussing the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU) that he founded in 2000.  Saturday, April 10 at 1:30 PM ET, live on the NCASVideo YouTube channel.

NCAS Board Elections: Call for Candidates

Are you an NCAS member who wants to take a leadership role in the skeptics movement?  The NCAS annual board of directors election is fast approaching.  As a board member, you can channel (non-psychically) your talent and energy (the non-woo kind) into educating the public, and pick up some fun skills along the way.  Send an email to ncas@ncas.org by March 31 for more information.

NCAS and the Reckoning of Time
There are many ways to reckon the passage of time...the orbital period of Earth around the Sun and the orbital period of the Moon around Earth are part of the common standard.  For longer periods of time, there are alternative "clocks" available.  Using the orbital periods of other planets around the Sun (Jupiter ≈ 12 years, Saturn ≈ 29.5 years) is a fun way of making someone feel younger when their birthday rolls around.  For example, I (Scott Snell) am still 4, in "Jupiter years."  Are there any other "fun" clocks out there, you may ask?  Why yes, and NCAS is "synced" perfectly with one of them!  NCAS was born in Spring 1987.  Several weeks after the first NCAS public meeting on March 29, Brood X ("ten") periodical cicadas emerged en masse (as they always do, every 17 years) from underground, eventually taking flight and <ahem> fulfilling the reproductive phase of their lifecycle.  That happened in 1987, in 2004, and will again in 2021 (probably starting in early May).  For a month or more, some Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states will be indundated with billions of these noisy insects.  So, while you're enjoying (or "enjoying") this wonder of nature around us, you can wish NCAS a happy 2nd birthday using your Magicicada septendecim clock!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodical_cicadas

https://cicadas.uconn.edu/brood_10/

Torn From Today's (Yesterday's) Headlines
By Scott Snell
Coincidence Anniversaries

This month marks the anniversaries of two coincidences involving TV entertainment programs:

20th:

TV: It's the 20th anniversary (March 4, 2001) of the premiere of "The Lone Gunmen," a short-lived spinoff of "The X-Files."  The episode's villains hack into the controls of a commercial airliner, setting it on course to collide with the World Trade Center's South Tower.  Fortunately our heroes are able to restore control to the crew at the last possible moment, and the pilot steers the plane clear of the tower.

Reality: Six months later, commercial airliners were hijacked and collided with the World Trade Center towers.

The episode:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcZ6HXIOmYE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lone_Gunmen_(TV_series)

(Note that the current Wikipedia page incorrectly states that the episode's flight originated in Boston, as did the two September 11 flights that destroyed the World Trade Center.  In fact, the flight was bound for Boston.)

40th: 

TV: It's the 40th anniversary (March 18, 1981) of the premiere of "The Greatest American Hero."  The episode's villains plan to assassinate the President of the United States.  Fortunately our hero, a schoolteacher named Ralph Hinkley, thwarts their plan.

Reality: Twelve days later,  an attempted assassination of the President of the United States nearly succeeds.  The would-be assassin's name?  John Hinckley, Jr.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greatest_American_Hero#Ralph's_surname

As I wrote in other Shadow columns about coincidences (the January 2013 and November 2015 editions), "We're surrounded by an incredible number of occurrences and details, only some of which we even notice, so we should expect some random 'alignments' of two to happen now and then. We never notice the many misalignments, so when an alignment occurs, it seems remarkable, and could be quite affecting."

AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!

When holiday 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 2020 came to $34.53, meaning that $6900 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's enough to cover more than 100 minutes of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

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

For more information:
https://smile.amazon.com/about
https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-launches-amazonsmile-simple-automatic-way-customers

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/p/shadow.html.  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.
https://www.ncas.org/p/shadow.html

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

March 13 - Natural: A Conversation with Alan Levinovitz, Ph.D.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

1:30 pm (Online Virtual Talk)

The link to view the live stream of this talk is

https://youtu.be/V4WkseN3iTg

In live-streamed conversation with NCAS president Scott Snell, author Alan Levinovitz will discuss his book, Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science.  Appeals to the wisdom of nature are among the most powerful arguments in the history of human thought. Yet Nature (with a capital N) and natural goodness are not objective or scientific. Natural demonstrates that these ideas are actually religious and highlights the many dangers of substituting simple myths for complicated realities.  Natural illuminates the far-reaching harms of believing that natural means “good.”

Q&A via live chat will follow the talk. 


Alan Levinovitz is associate professor of religious studies at James Madison University, where he teaches and researches a wide range of topics: classical Chinese philosophy, religion and science, and even toy design.  After studying religion and philosophy at Stanford, he taught English in China for two years before returning to the University of Chicago and earning a PhD in Religion and Literature. Now he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, daughter, cat, hermit crabs, and an extensive collection of strange plants and unusual minerals.​

In addition to his academic work on everything from the meaning of capital letters to the meaning of nonsense, his writing on religion, philosophy, and science has been featured in Aeon, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Slate, Wired, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vox, NPR and elsewhere.  He is also the author of The Gluten Lie and Other Myths About What You Eat.






Saturday, February 20, 2021

Shadow of a Doubt - February 2021

 

  •  "Remembering Randi" presented by Benechek
  • Membership extension for current NCAS members 
  • Michael E. Mann on Skeptical Inquirer Presents
  • February PhAct Lecture on February 20
  • Alan Levinovitz, Associate Professor of Religion at James Madison University, will discuss his book, Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science on March 13
  • Amazon Smile
  • Shadow Light
  • Time to Renew
  • Click for full Shadow

Shadow of a Doubt - February 2021

 

 February 2021

NCAS Public Lecture Series

Remembering Randi

 YouTube Live Event with Q and A 

Presented by Banachek
Magician / Mentalist / President, James Randi Educational Foundation

Saturday, February 13, 2:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00)
(NOTE SPECIAL TIME)

NCASVideo YouTube Channel:

 https://youtu.be/XqeL30DyCv4

For more information, call the NCAS Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227).
ncas@ncas.org

Magician / mentalist Banachek will recall his lifetime relationship in the skeptical movement with James Randi: how they met, Project Alpha, the Peter Popoff exposé, the Million Dollar Challenge and everything in between. Stories that have never been told before will be revealed.

Banachek was born in England in 1960 and moved to the United States in 1976. It was at the end of that same year he picked up a worn copy of James Randi's book, The Truth About Uri Geller.  This was the book that changed Banachek's life. This book gave Banachek the tools to construct his own versions of metal bending and his life was never the same.

In what became known as Project Alpha, Banachek went on to fool scientists at the prestigious Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. He convinced them that he could bend metal with his mind, only to explain later that despite the half a million-dollar grant from McDonnell Douglas, he was using trickery the entire time, giving Banachek the unique title as "The man who fooled the scientists." Since that time, Banachek has gone on to expose not only other psychic claims but also hoaxes such as his well-documented exposé of the evangelist Peter Popoff.

Banachek has performed on over 50 major magic TV shows, from CNN Live to NBC's Today show, and had hundreds of smaller appearances on TV shows the world over. He has appeared in almost every major magazine and newspaper from the New York Times to the National Enquirer. He has been awarded the Psychic Entertainers Association's Creativity in Mentalism award and is sought out as a consultant by most major magicians and mentalists in the USA and abroad, including David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Criss Angel and David Blaine.

There will be an online question-and-answer segment after the presentation.

 https://www.ncas.org/2021/01/february-13-remembering-randi.html

How to Watch and Participate in this Online Event:

 1) Use a supported browser... https://www.youtube.com/supported_browsers

2) Use the link https://youtu.be/XqeL30DyCv4 .  If typing the link, use "0" (zero).

3) The live stream begins shortly before 2:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00) on Saturday, February 13, 2021.

4) To post questions, you must be signed in to a Google account.

5) Post your questions in the chat window to the right of the video player when the live stream is active.

6) Click into where it says "Say something..." and begin typing (up to 200 characters). Then click the send icon .

 Along with your question, please post what city or town you're in.

Message to Current and Prospective NCAS Members

In response to the economic hardship and other uncertainties that our members may be facing, NCAS has automatically extended by one year all memberships that expire in 2020 or later.  Payment will be accepted for new memberships as well as renewals for 2019 and before: new and renewed will have a bonus year added.  Each life member may sponsor a new one-year membership at no charge.  (Double life memberships may sponsor two.)  Send your sponsored member's name and contact information to ncas@ncas.org. This offer will continue until further notice.

Michael E. Mann on Skeptical Inquirer Presents

Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State, will appear on the next Skeptical Inquirer Presents live online event, Thursday, February 18 at 7 PM ET, to discuss his new book, The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet.  See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y_ko7VfEgQ .  Free registration is required: https://centerforinquiry.org/news/winning-the-climate-war-michael-mann-on-skeptical-inquirer-presents-feb-18/

February PhACT Lecture

Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, February 20 at 2 PM ET.  Speaker Michael Marshall (Project Director of the Good Thinking Society, Vice President of the Merseyside Skeptics Society, and host of the Be Reasonable podcast) will discuss his experiences of the Flat Earth movement, take a look at the leaders and some of their reasoning, and report back from the weekend he spent at the UK's first-ever Flat Earth convention.  Details at http://www.phact.org/meetings.php.

March NCAS Lecture
Alan Levinovitz, Associate Professor of Religion at James Madison University, will discuss his book, Natural: How Faith in Nature's Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science, which examines the meaning of "natural" and argues that modern Western culture has divinized nature.  Saturday, March 13 at 1:30 PM ET, live on the NCASVideo YouTube channel.

AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!

When holiday 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 third quarter of 2020 came to $24.92, meaning that $5000 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's enough to cover 75 minutes of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

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

For more information:
https://smile.amazon.com/about
https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-launches-amazonsmile-simple-automatic-way-customers

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/p/shadow.html.  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.
https://www.ncas.org/p/shadow.html

Saturday, January 16, 2021

February 13 - Remembering Randi

Presented by Banechek

President of the James Randi Educational Foundation

Saturday, February 13, 2021

2:30 pm (Note new time) (Online Virtual Talk)
The link to view the live stream of this talk is

This talk will be about Banachek's lifetime relationship in the skeptical movement with James Randi, how they met, Project Alpha,the Peter Popoff exposé, the Million Dollar Challenge and everything in between. The relationship was complex and eclectic. Stories that have never been told before will be revealed - the life of the greatest skeptic ever through the eyes of one of the Alpha kids who is now the President of the James Randi Educational Foundation.

Q&A via live chat will follow the talk.

Banachek was born in England, November the thirtieth, 1960.  In 1976, Banachek moved to the United States. It was at the end of this same year he picked up a worn copy of James Randi’s book, The Truth About Uri Geller.  This was the book that changed Banachek’s life. This book gave Banachek the tools to construct his own versions of metal bending and his life was never the same.

In what became known as Project Alpha, Banachek went on to fool scientists at the prestigious Washington University in St Louis, MO. He convinced them that he could bend metal with his mind, only to explain later that despite the half a million-dollar grant from McDonnell Douglas, he was using trickery the entire time, giving Banachek the unique title as “The man who fooled the scientists.” Since that time, Banachek has gone on to expose not only other psychic  claims but also hoaxes such as his well documented exposé of the evangelist Peter Popoff.

Banachek has performed on over 50 major magic TV shows, from CNN Live to NBC's Today show, and had hundreds of smaller appearances on TV shows the world over. He has appeared in almost every major magazine and newspaper from the New York Times to the National Enquirer. From the college market he has received the coveted Entertainer of the Year award from the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities two years in a row and the Novelty Act Of The Year, beating out bands, comedians and other novelty artists. He has been awarded the Psychic Entertainers Association's Creativity in Mentalism award and is sought out as a consultant by most major magicians and mentalists in the USA and abroad, including David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Criss Angel and David Blaine. Banachek has put more magic on television than any other magic consultant in the USA.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Shadow of a Doubt - January 2021

  •  "The Doctor who Fooled the World: Science, Deception, and the War on Vaccines" presented by Brian Deer
  • Membership extension for current NCAS members
  • January PhACT lecture 
  • February NCAS Lecture: Banecheck will discuss James Randi: "My life involving Randi, from project Alpha, Peter Popoff and more" 
  • Torn from today's headlines
  • Amazon Smile
  • Shadow Light
  • Time to Renew
  • Click for full Shadow

Shadow of a Doubt - January 2021

 

January 2021

NCAS Public Lecture Series

The Doctor Who Fooled the World:
Science, Deception, and the War on Vaccines

 YouTube Live Event with Q and A 

Presented by Brian Deer
Author / Investigative Journalist

Saturday, January 9, 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00)

NCASVideo YouTube Channel:

https://youtu.be/LRB75-atfOo

For more information, call the NCAS Skeptic Line at 240-670-NCAS (6227).
ncas@ncas.org

 



Brian Deer is a British investigative reporter, best known for inquiries into the drug industry, medicine and social issues for The Sunday Times. The Doctor Who Fooled the World is his first book, followed this month by the science thriller Blind Trial. Deer has won multiple awards and nominations for his investigations for The Sunday Times and the UK's Channel 4 network, including two British Press Awards as the specialist reporter of the year, and an honorary D.Litt degree.

There will be an online question-and-answer segment after the presentation.

How to Watch and Participate in this Online Event:

1) Use a supported browser... https://www.youtube.com/supported_browsers

2) Use the link https://youtu.be/LRB75-atfOo . If typing the link, use capital "O."

3) The live stream begins shortly before 1:30pm US/Eastern (UTC-05:00) on Saturday, January 9, 2021.

4) To post questions, you must be signed in to a Google account.

5) Post your questions in the chat window to the right of the video player when the live stream is active.

6) Click into where it says "Say something..." and begin typing (up to 200 characters). Then click the send icon .

Along with your question, please post what city or town you're in.

Message to Current and Prospective NCAS Members

In response to the economic hardship and other uncertainties that our members may be facing, NCAS has automatically extended by one year all memberships that expire in 2020 or later. Payment will be accepted for new memberships as well as renewals for 2019 and before: new and renewed will have a bonus year added. Each life member may sponsor a new one-year membership at no charge. (Double life memberships may sponsor two.) Send your sponsored member's name and contact information to ncas@ncas.org. This offer will continue until further notice.

January PhACT Lecture

Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, January 16 at 2 PM ET. Speaker Marc Zimmer (Jean C. Tempel ’65 Professor of Chemistry at Connecticut College) will discuss his book, The State of Science: What the Future Holds and the Scientists Making It Happen. Details at http://www.phact.org/meetings.php.

February NCAS Lecture

On Saturday, February 13 at 2:30 PM ET (note the unusual start time), live on the NCASVideo YouTube channel, our speaker will be magician/mentalist/skeptic Banachek. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banachek


Torn From Today's Headlines
By Scott Snell
Summary of "Utah Monolith" News

The following information is provided as a public service for readers who want to know something about the so-called "monolith" recently found in southeastern Utah, before deciding whether or not to dive into the Wikipedia page: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_monolith).

On November 19, the object first came to public notice in an Instagram post by the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) Aero Bureau, showing what they'd found the day before while working with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. (The post, https://www.instagram.com/p/CH09VY_hAGk/, is deleted, but still available from a screen grab of the original: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2020/11/what-the-heck-is-it-wildlife-officers-find-2001-style-monolith-in-the-middle-of-nowhere/_jcr_content/par/image.dynimg.full.q75.jpg.)

On November 24, journalist Nouska du Saar and analyst H. I. Sutton independently used satellite imagery to determine that the object was placed on the site between July 7 and October 21, 2016: (https://twitter.com/nieuwska/status/1331377367235891200 and https://twitter.com/CovertShores/status/1331349889515745281, respectively). Subsequent images also show the object in place, suggesting that it may have been there continuously from 2016 to discovery.

Over the next few days, curiosity about the object drew a concerning number of tourists to visit the remote site, disturbing the area's environment. At about 8:40 PM MT on November 27, when photographer Ross Bernards and three friends were alone at the site, four men arrived, managed to push the object over, dismantle it, and cart it off. Bernards described and documented the activity on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CIOOkwMBkAS/

(UFO buffs will be amused to learn that Ross Bernards was born and raised in McMinnville, Oregon, not far from where a famous UFO photographic sighting in 1950 occurred: https://www.rossbernards.com/about
By the way, there's no indication that Bernards has any interest in UFOs.)

One of the photos showed the innards of the object. Clearly not a true monolith (defined as "a single great stone often in the form of an obelisk or column"), it was a hollow triangular prism formed by metal sheets.

The object has been described as reminiscent of the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey, though those were black, not silver, and were rectangular solids. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monolith_(Space_Odyssey)

The Utah DPS has a helpful press release about the object:
https://dpsnews.utah.gov/dps-aero-bureau-encounters-monolith-in-red-rock-country/

NY Times coverage:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/01/arts/design/utah-monolith-removed-instagram.html

The NY Times article described the object as containing "an armature made from plywood," but if so, the video posted by the alleged "wrecking crew" doesn't show it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6c2EhNtSj4

Wikipedia has a page about similar-looking objects that have been sighted over the ensuing weeks: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_similar_to_the_2020_Utah_monolith

AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!

When holiday 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 third quarter of 2020 came to $24.92, meaning that $5000 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS. (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's enough to cover 75 minutes of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

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

For more information:
https://smile.amazon.com/about
https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-launches-amazonsmile-simple-automatic-way-customers

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/p/shadow.html. 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.
https://www.ncas.org/p/shadow.html