Saturday, September 09, 2023

Shadow of a Doubt - September 2023

 We're sorry to have to report this at this late date, but today's talk has to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope that this can be rescheduled at a later date.

  • Combating Psychic Fraud 
Presented by Mark Carlon and Catherine Woytowicz, Saturday, September 9, 2:30pm - 4:30pm [NOTE SPECIAL TIME] (Only livestreamed at 2:30. Not available later)

 Read Shadow here:

Shadow of a Doubt - September 2023

We're sorry to have to report this at this late date, but today's talk has to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We hope that this can be rescheduled at a later date.

 Combating Psychic Fraud

Mark Carlon and Catherine Woytowicz
Society of American Magicians
Paranormal Investigation Committee
Fraud Awareness Program

Saturday, September 9, 2:30pm - 4:30pm [NOTE SPECIAL TIME]
Central Library
Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium
1015 North Quincy Street
Arlington, VA [map] [directions]
(Virginia Square-GMU Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

 Also a YouTube Live Event with Q and A 

NCASVideo YouTube Channel:

The Society of American Magicians  (S.A.M.) is the oldest fraternal magic organization in the world, founded in 1902.  Several months after S.A.M.'s founding, Harry Houdini was elected to membership. Houdini was well-known for his escapes and magic acts, but he also worked to expose frauds who claimed to have supernatural powers.

Based in part on his own experiences with psychics attempting to contact the dead, Houdini helped form the S.A.M’s Paranormal Investigation Committee (P.I.C.) and establish its mission to investigate and expose those “supernatural” frauds. Houdini even testified before Congress, exposing a method fraudulent psychics used to imply they were in communication with the dead. S.A.M.'s P.I.C. has carried on that work for more than 100 years.

Mark Carlon and Catherine Woytowicz will talk about P.I.C.’s current work to raise awareness of fraud.  They have created a presentation on typical fraud cases and are partnering with community law enforcement agencies to raise awareness of these scams – especially psychics who are preying upon people who lost loved ones during COVID.

Mr. Carlon will be joining us virtually while Ms. Woytowicz will join us in person.

Mr. Mark Carlon is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM) and S.A.M. who has performed magic from Chicago to Las Vegas.  He has a degree in developmental psychology and is a retired attorney.  Mr. Carlon is the chair of the Paranormal Investigation Committee.

Ms. Catherine Woytowicz is a magician, mentalist, and comic who began her magic career at 14 in a girl-to-tiger change illusion.  She performs corporate magic and facilitates critical thinking/structured thinking techniques with her company, Just the Trick.  She has a PhD in pharmaceutical design and discovery.  If you believe she could talk about drugs for hours, she will promise not to.

Refreshments will be available.

At the speakers' request, this live-streamed event will not be recorded for the NCAS YouTube channel.

October NCAS Lecture
Psychologist Brian Sharpless will discuss his new book, Monsters on the Couch: The Real Psychological Disorders Behind Your Favorite Horror Movies.  Saturday, October 21 at 1:30 PM at Connie Morella (formerly Bethesda Regional) Library.

September PhACT Lecture
Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, September 16 at 2 PM ET.  CSI Fellow Nathan H. Lents, PhD, Professor of Biology and Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology program at John Jay College of the City University of New York, will present "Hacking Humanity - Advances in Technology Lead to Big Breakthroughs in Medicine."  Event details at

September Bay Area Skeptics Lecture
The [San Francisco] Bay Area Skeptics will host their next online event on Thursday, September 14 at 10:30 PM ET.  Michael Worobey, Professor and the Head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona, will present "Origins of the COVID-19 Pandemic."  This will be livestreamed on YouTube:

Nanotechnology Symposium in DC
Quinn Spadola, PhD, the Deputy Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, contacted NCAS to let us know that a free symposium entitled "Enabling the Nanotechnology Revolution: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the 21st Century Nanotechnology R&D Act" will be held on Tuesday, October 10 at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine in DC.

Dr. Spadola gave an NCAS lecture in November 2016, "Debunking the Nanobot," available on the NCASVideo site:

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