Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard

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Anthony Watts (blogger)[edit]

HOUSEKEEPING NOTE - This is part of a debate at Talk:Anthony Watts (blogger) which spilled over to other threads including

Anthony Watts (blogger) (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

High-quality scholarly sources that non-trivially discuss this person's blog have characterized it as climate change denialism, obviously a fringe view. [Edit: See the seven sources in the opening sentence of this revision.] However since it is also called a "skeptic" blog by some popular magazines and newspapers -- as well as by some scholarly articles as a synonym for denialism (explained here) -- we have the problem of a fringe view being portrayed as non-fringe via the context-free use of the word "skeptic". The allusion to scientific skepticism is unfortunate, and indeed there is a source that specifically contrasts the blog with scientific skepticism.

It has hitherto been difficult convincing some editors that a fringe-related article should make use of the high-quality scholarly sources available. Instead, editors have been counting the number of newspapers and other sources that use the term "skeptic". Manul ~ talk 21:40, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

But you're not arguing that we should make use of high-quality scholarly sources, now are you? Anyone can Google "denial" and find the results that they are looking for. Please see Confirmation bias. What we need is an objective random sampling of high-quality sources to see what they actually say. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:48, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
And no, it's not difficult to convincing some other editors. In fact, it's extremely easy. All you have to do is provide an objective random sampling of high-quality sources which backup this POV. But you have neglected to do so. Here's an actual example of an objective, random-sampling of reliable sources.[1] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:55, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Why must it be either-or? In cases where there is not an overwhelming preponderance of one usage over the other it is best to state both. Something like "Some sources (A, B, and C) characterize the site as 'denialist' while others (D, E, and F) say it is 'skeptical', and G distinguishes 'skepticism' in this context from scientific skepticism." Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 22:01, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
It's not even close. I performed a random sampling (as selected by Google) of reliable sources, including peer-reviewed journals, and here are the results:
These were the first 10 reliable sources randomly selected by Google. One could reasonably argue whether 10 sources is an adequate sample size (if so, just ask, and I can expand the sample size). But based on these results, the overwhelming majority of reliable sources refer to Watts or his blog as:
  1. Skeptic (or some variation thereof) - 9 sources
  2. Meteorologist - 1 Source
  3. Science - 1 Source
  4. Denier - 0 Sources
A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:16, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
These sources are high-end mainstream sources but not "high-quality scholarly sources" as mentioned by Manul. Manul, can you give specific examples? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 22:34, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
The sources are in the opening sentence of this revision. Searching through mainstream independent sources in Google Scholar -- even searching explicitly for "skeptic"/"skepticism" -- every one I've seen regards the blog as climate change denialism (again see this thread). We care about identifying the fringe view of climate change denialism, in whatever terminology it takes. Making that identification prominent is part of WP:NPOV.
In the past I have pointed to WP:RS, "When available, academic and peer-reviewed publications, scholarly monographs, and textbooks are usually the most reliable sources." This is especially true for scientific topics. There is little indication that some editors have apprehended this principle, as we see e.g. foxnews.com being promoted over scholarship again. Note foxnews.com and others aren't necessarily in contradiction with scholarly sources; they just aren't discussing WUWT from a scholarly perspective. Manul ~ talk 02:42, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
What about a formulation like "typically described as 'skeptical' in the mainstream press but as 'denialist' in the academic literature"? I think AQFN is broadly correct about the press (though some of those sources are a bit dodgy, e.g., American Thinker) and this deserves mention alongside the academic view. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:00, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
It seems like key ideas are being missed. This thread I keep mentioning is about how even scholarly sources sometimes use "climate skepticism" to refer to climate change denialism. We care about identifying the phenomenon of climate change denialism, not about identifying a word. We have no independent sources saying that WUWT is just a science blog promoting scientific skepticism. Most likely none exist. We even have a source that explicitly divorces WUWT from scientific skepticism.
Suppose we juxtaposed them, ...a website that scientists and scholars have characterized as supporting climate change denialism, and that is also called "skeptical". What would this convey to the reader? There would be the implied suggestion that these are opposing viewpoints, when our sources say that they are the same. We might be suggesting scientific skepticism, which is contrary to at least one source.
There is every indication that this is only about avoiding the word "denialism". Apparently it is like the terms pseudoscience and pseudohistory -- scholars use them, but they are viscerally hated by proponents of works so labeled. If "climate change contrarianism" or "climate change renegades" were used everywhere in the literature then we probably wouldn't be having this conversation. I once cited a Nature article that used contrarianism, but there were no takers. The offer is still out there. Manul ~ talk 06:43, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
"Contrarianism" is not sufficient or accurate.
Here is a source[2] characterizing the blog as "denialist", and I'm sure there are more.
And here's an even better one, by notable climatologist Michael E. Mann.[3]--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 10:17, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
I now see that Mann's book had already been used, but somewhat strangely not for the material most relevant to this issue, which I've now added.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 10:49, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

I performed a random sampling (as selected by Google) of sources not behind a paywall in Google Scholar, and here are the results:

Google Scholar Totals:

  1. Skeptic - 3 times.
  2. Meteorologist - 2 times
  3. Conservative - 2 times
  4. Anti-climate science - 1 time
  5. Skeptic (in quotes) - 1 time
  6. Science - 1 time
  7. Science (in quotes) - 1 time
  8. Denier - 0 times

A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:17, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

I think by excluding papers that are behind paywalls, you have effectively eliminated the most reliable sources. Remember there is WP:Resource request] for you to use if there are reliable sources you cannot get access to. Please try this again. We have, for example, a number of excellent sources that are mentioned on the talkpage that you don't include here at all. By contrast, it seems that you've included a number of sources in your "random sample" that aren't as good as the ones mentioned on the talkpage. jps (talk) 18:18, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with WP:Resource Request request, but I will check it out and report back. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:07, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposed resolution for Watts[edit]

Here is an easy compromise: "a website that scientists and scholars have characterized as promoting climate change denialism, also referred to as climate skepticism or climate contrarianism."[4] This is well-sourced and covers all the bases: we accurately characterize WUWT, and we address the terminology that has generated so much confusion. (More on terminology in this thread.) Manul ~ talk 07:08, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

No, sorry. We're not putting fringe viewpoints into the lead. This is a WP:BLP for heaven's sake. At most, it belongs somewhere in the article text. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:39, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Would you clarify what in that statement is a "fringe viewpoint" and how you made that determination according to WP:FRINGE? jps (talk) 18:14, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
I'd like clarification as well. --Ronz (talk) 20:08, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
Sure, I'd be happy to:
  • First, in order to answer the question of what is WP:FRINGE, we need to examine what the mainstream viewpoint is. Based on two random samplings of reliable sources, the vast, overwhelming majority of reliable sources (i.e. the mainstream viewpoint) describe this blog as "skeptic", not "denier". Even if you combine both random samples, not a single source describes this blog as "denier". Now, I'm not saying that there aren't such sources, but the apparent majority of sources describe the blog as "skeptic", not "denier". Sources which describe this blog as "denier" are so fringe, that out of two random sample sets, not a single source makes such a claim.
  • Second, according to Wikipedia guidelines, we don't describe someone as a "denier" unless it's widely used by reliable sources. There is no evidence that "denier" is widely used by reliable sources. But there is strong evidenice that "denier" is not widely used by reliable sources.
To put it another way, if we have 10 sources about something, and 9 say one thing, and 1 says something else, you don't cite the oddball source (i.e the fringe minority source), you cite the majority.
A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:27, 6 April 2015 (UTC)
There is no way that your original research can be used to determine what is or is not fringe. You need sources to prove that. If you write a paper that is published and can be used to prove your point, then we can consider it. But your claim that your samplings were "random" and that this helps you figure out determine what is fringe or not is not how we determine what is or isn't fringe.
The majority of reliable sources, as demonstrated above, do describe Watts' blog as advocating what we at Wikipedia call global warming denialism. Even many of the sources you list do that.
I call shenanigans and ask you to stop misusing wikijargon in POV-pushing agenda-driven ways.
jps (talk) 00:12, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@jps: I'm afraid that you don't seem to understand what WP:OR is, and the claim that "The majority of reliable sources, as demonstrated above" is laughable given all the above sources support the exact opposite of what you claim. As for "POV-pushing agenda-driven", I'd love to know what agenda you think I'm pushing. Here's my agenda: I believe that we should follow WP:NPOV and treat fringe claims per WP:FRINGE. Again, if 9 sources say one thing, and 1 source says something else, you go with the mainstream viewpoint, not the fringe/insignificant minority. And I'm sorry, but if you can't actually put forth a rationale argument why should ignore reliable sources, WP:FRINGE and WP:NPOV, there's little more I can say here. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 05:47, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
One of the problems is that in the academic literature "skepticism" and "denial" often are used synonymously with regard to climate change. So trying to draw a distinction between the two is artificial. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:37, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Agreed. Much of this discussion is a red herring. I think the main question we should try to answer should be whether it is appropriate to identify the blog as being sympathetic or supporting global warming denialism. I think the answer to that is clearly, "yes." How this get said is a question of style rather than substance. jps (talk) 01:03, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Good. Then perhaps you will back off your insistence to violate WP:WTW by not using a contentious label unless widely used by reliable sources? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 05:54, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
The attempt to use "random samples" and other arbitrary measures to dismiss the scholarly consensus on the matter is not compliant with policy.
Unless an exhaustive survey of sources is carried out in order to determine WEIGHT, DUE/UNDUE, etc., it is readily apparent that climate change denialism or the like is a frequent characterization applied by scholarly and scientific RS. Accordingly, including said characterization clearly does not violate any Wikipedia policy; in fact, it is practically compulsory according to RS and NPOV. I agree that it is a question of style rather than substance.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 08:35, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm unimpressed by AQFK's unwillingness to acknowledge that the sources point to global warming denialism as being the primary ideology that the blog supports. WP:Source counting is not the right way forward. Reading and understanding the sources is. jps (talk) 14:12, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@jps: I don't think you've read WP:Source counting very carefully. It's just an essay (which carries no weight) and you've mistaken the horse for the cart. Specifically, it cautions against using sources to bolster an argument. It does not caution against using sources to form an argument. Surely, you see the difference, right? Let me be perfectly explicit:
  • If you form a conclusion and then try to find sources that validate that conclusion, that's bad.
  • If you find empirical evidence first, and then base your conclusions on the evidence, that's good.
Surely, you see the difference, right? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:04, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@Ubikwit: Can you please tell me where there was an "attempt to use "random samples" and other arbitrary measures to dismiss the scholarly consensus on the matter"? This is a very bold statement, so I hope you have evidence to back up such a serious accusation. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:48, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
@AQFK: You have used the random samplings in a manner such as to impart authority thereto, and ignored the peer-reviewed book by a bonafide climatologist, Mann. Arzel has referred to a personal dispute between Watts and Mann, but has not responded to my query for specifics or sources, and PG has arbitrarily stated that Arzel is correct. --Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 03:19, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
@Ubikwit: I used random sampling in an attempt to provide an objective, non-biased answer to the fundamental question that we all need to answer: Is the term "denier" widely used by reliable sources? Even if a single source was omitted by random chance, this was never about a single source. This is about the term being widely used by reliable sources. So if an argument hinges on a single source, or even a small subset of sources, we still defer to the overall majority. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:43, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
I didn't notice a specific request. However, it is duly noted. Mann has made specific attacking statement against Watts, it is in his book. Watts has made specific statements about Mann, there is really no reason to go into depth as it is pretty clear. Arzel (talk) 16:07, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
It is not clear because you are attempting to arbitrarily declare that Mann is unreliable because he lacks a "neutral presentation", etc. If you want to withdraw that position, fine. Please confirm, or add links to the detailed points related to the position.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 16:10, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
You are continuing to avoid the main point which is that WUWT is a blog that is sympathetic to global warming denialism. How we explain that to the reader is what we need to decide. jps (talk) 05:53, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Correction. It is a blog which is skeptical of man's contribution to global warming, and the actual impact of global warming, and the prediction of what the future warming may be. Arzel (talk) 16:09, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
@Artzel: You have repeatedly ignored questions regarding your allegations about the Mann source. This is the last time I'm going to ask you to either retract your statement or support it with specific citations. If you don't I'm going to raise you conduct at an appropriate forum, such as AE or the present ArbCom case, very soon.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 19:34, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
The sources don't disagree with your characterization (except some deny that it is explicitly skeptical) but you can see our article on global warming denialism covers these claims and includes them as part of the overall ideology. jps (talk) 17:31, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
Watts promotes authors who believe the moon landings were staged (John Costella) and one who is active in searching for the Loch Ness Monster (Henry Bauer). Plus a handful of other people who insist global warming cannot be real because God would never have designed the earth to be adversely impacted by human behaviour. There's really nothing skeptical about his blog. — TPX 16:51, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Not a FRINGE matter[edit]

@Manul:, This isn't a FRINGE issue. We are not currently debating the substance of what Watts says about climate science like we do for other people at List of scientists opposing the mainstream assessment of global warming. Instead, the question is whether we can include fact that some RSs use the label "denialist" when characterizing Watts' views and blog.

The Speaker What is Said Applicable question Relevant to current debate?
WRONG ISSUE Watts himself how climate works Are those views of climate science WP:FRINGE? No
RIGHT ISSUE Others how Watts and blog should be characterized Is reporting some call him "denialist" a WP:BLP violation? Yes, it's relevant, but no its not a BLP violation

We are debating the last line in this table. That's a BLP issue, not a fringe one, even if another editor is trying hard to count Google hits and frame the issue as a "FRINGE" matter. The applicable policy is WP:Biographies of living people#Public figures. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:45, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

There's also a question of how to link and describe climate change denial to the article. This is an issue because it involves the advocacy of fringe theories. jps (talk) 11:56, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I have repeatedly made clear that the issue is about characterizing the blog, not the person,[5][6] and my edits have reflected this. I have never inserted "denier" or "denialist" into the article. Every discussion that I have begun on the topic, here and elsewhere, is about the blog, not the person.
WP:PSCI (part of NPOV) is certainly involved because the blog promotes a fringe view, and it is against the NPOV policy to characterize it otherwise. WP:FRINGE is the explanatory guideline for the PSCI section of NPOV. See for instance Gavin Menzies' work being characterized as pseudohistory in the lead, which is the result of NPOV (specifically PSCI) being applied to a BLP. Also see BLPs that deal with pseudoscience. NPOV and BLP must both be upheld. Manul ~ talk 16:54, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
You're confusing
  • statements of pseudoscientific fact, with
  • statements of value judgments.
PSCI could only potentially apply if we say something like According to Watts' blog, climate change is caused by XYZ. Your edits don't do that. Instead, your edits add value judgments, such as his blog "is characterized as promoting climate change denialism", the operative word being "IS", as in "is only". NPOV requires inline attribution of value judgments so that they read only as fact that so-and-so holds those views. Now if we were reporting what Watts says about some aspect of climate science, then I'm right there with ya, saying FRINGE controls. But so far you've been talking about value judgments, and it appears you want to tar and feather WUWT with value judgments that it is FRINGE crap. It's only a FRINGE matter if you report on one of his blogs' specific pseudoscience theories. Then and only then we contend with FRINGE, on a (crap)theory-by-(crap)theory basis. For sweeping value judgments applied to his overall site..... that's just not a FRINGE issue.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:38, 9 April 2015 (UTC) PS BTW, your example, Gavin Menzies, is distinguished in two ways. First, at that article the value judgments have in-line attribution to unnamed historians (though one could look up the names in the listed citations). Your edits lack inline attribution. Secondly, there appears to be no weighty RSs that disagree with the historians' value judgment. Are there credible weighty RSs that characterize WUWT as not-fringe? That's a question with no answer since the words "Denial" and "skeptic" are close to useless, due to conflation and ongoing arguments how (or if) they differ. When ALL the weighty RSs come together and do that unambiguously, then we can revisit. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 18:10, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Remember the original wording was "scientists and scholars have characterized as promoting climate change denialism".[7] I removed "scientists and scholars" because of WP:WEASEL, even though I prefer having "scientists and scholars". The Menzies article may have a WEASEL problem, too, unless a source actually says something to the effect of "historians have categorized his work as pseudohistory". Perhaps this is a question for NPOVN.
I am glad you asked, "Are there credible weighty RSs that characterize WUWT as not-fringe?" That is crux. I have seen no such sources. We have a source distinguishing WUWT from scientific skepticism and sources equating climate skepticism with climate denialism in the context of WUWT. Considering that WUWT opposes the scientific consensus on climate change (everyone seems to agree on that point), and considering how overwhelming the consensus is, we wouldn't expect to find independent mainstream sources saying that WUWT is just another science blog practicing scientific skepticism. If there is such a source, then article would need to change completely. Manul ~ talk 19:26, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
You're still not talking about a concept to which FRINGE applies. This is a BLP issue. If we get into "Its the sun, stupid" details, then FRINGE will come into play. Until then, wrong venue. It's BLP territory. (Note to self.... you screwed up spending so much time arguing theory before completing your lit review.) NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:40, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that the vast preponderance of the independent sources that have written about the blog agree that it accommodates/is sympathetic to/is supportive of climate change denial. Do you a) agree with this assessment? and b) think that we should provide a way for the reader to learn about this in the article? jps (talk) 00:21, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Maybe something along the lines of "he has been described as an advocate of climate change denial by (sources)." That gets around describing him as a "denialist," which might have BLP problems (if the sources don't explicitly say that), but does provide a way to provide a relevant link and describe his positions. John Carter (talk) 00:46, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Meh, that strays close to WP:WEASEL. The sources show the reality pretty clearly: Watt's Up is a climate denialist blog, cited by climate denialists as a source for climate denialist talking points. Guy (Help!) 23:26, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Happily we have a quote from one of the leading credentialled experts in climate science in the world, which identifies Watt's Up as having "overtaken climateaudit as the leading climate change denial blog", which provides a suitably authoritative characterisation without needing to resort to weasel words. We also have evidence that he has received substantial funding from climate denialist group the Heartland Institute. This is not a difficult call, we have the sources that support an unambiguous statement. The claim that this is not a WP:FRINGE matter is sophistry. Of course it is. He is known almost exclusively as an advocate of a fringe view in respect of climate change: he is, as sources state unambiguously, a climate change denier, and a vociferous and prominent one at that. Fringe applies here. Guy (Help!) 23:54, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
@JzG/help:, what Watts says may or may not be a fringe matter, but how other people characterize him is a question of fact Do the other people characterize him that way or not? and falls under BLP for public figures. Understanding the nature of the issue and applying the right guideline is hardly "sophistry" (definition, the use of fallacious arguments, especially with the intention of deceiving. I thank you for your assumption of good faith. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:54, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────And this source is being overlooked. Organized Climate Change Denial, Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright, The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society, John S. Dryzek, Richard B. Norgaard, David Schlosberg (eds.), Oxford university Press, 2011 "…conservative media outlets have been supplemented (and to some degree supplanted) by the conservative blogosphere, and numerous blogs now constitute a vital element of the denial machine. While a few are hosted by contrarian scientists…, the most popular North American blogs are run by a retired TV meteorologist (wattsupwiththat.com)…" --Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 03:37, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

More help would be appreciated[edit]

Those of you that have the time, please help out. Right now, the lede of the article states that it is simply a "climate" and "weather" blog without identifying its agenda at all. I am serially reverted regardless of how I try to let the reader know about its ideological bent. jps (talk) 21:01, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

It is very obviously a climate change denial blog. Only an idiot would state otherwise. Guy (Help!) 17:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Then Wikipedia is an idiot? Because we apparently can't bring ourselves to say that or even a decent euphemism for that. jps (talk) 04:09, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
That's because climate deniers who don't like the fact, keep removing it. Guy (Help!) 23:35, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Reconstruction Era[edit]

I took a peek at the wiki on the Reconstruction Era after doing some reading on the topic, and was surprised by some of the assertions as well as the prominence given to historical views that are no longer common (like those of the Dunning School) and that might be viewed by some as racist. See my comment on the article's talk page: Talk:Reconstruction_Era#General_Bias?. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wswanniii (talkcontribs) 22:14, 14 April 2015‎

David Talbott[edit]

David Talbott (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

I tried to get this article deleted a few times unsuccessfully. This is a guy who read Immanuel Velikovsky's work and then decided to do his own amateur speculations on comparative mythology and so-called "catastrophism". The guy wrote a book thirty years ago that argued that 1) Saturn was a brown dwarf a few thousand years ago, 2) it was much closer to the Earth than the Sun at that time, 3) Venus and Mars also orbited Saturn and were basically visible as disks, 4) the Earth orbited Saturn orthogonal to its rotation axis so that the North Pole faced Saturn.

Okay, so we can agree that this is totally bonkers, but the problem is that it is so bonkers that basically no one has bothered to critique the idea. The inappropriately attributed critiques included in the article make it seem that these are one-off problems with this guy's ideas, but since this person is not a famous crank, we don't have a lot of independent sources that mention him. The few we do have are so minor (and, I'll note, only published in fringe journals dedicated to Velikovsky) as to make the article very unbalanced. It doesn't help that this is a WP:FRINGEBLP and so we're stuck trying to evaluate nonsense ideas in a article that is supposed to ostensibly be about the person.

Anyway, I'd like to get some help with this. What should be done?

jps (talk) 12:52, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Crickets here? Okay! Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/David Talbott (4th nomination). jps (talk) 23:06, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
If a low-notability WP:FRINGE topic has little coverage by independent sources, then it's impossible for us to maintain a neutral article, so deletion is the best solution. bobrayner (talk) 00:49, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Additional MfD[edit]

Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Dtalbott/bio notes.

Comments welcome.

jps (talk) 11:38, 26 April 2015 (UTC)


Kronos journal[edit]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Kronos: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Synthesis.

Comment here too, if you would.

jps (talk) 11:53, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Draft:Liquid crystal water[edit]

This draft article seems to be asserting as fact the existence of "a phase of water that does not wholly fit into the categories of solid, liquid, or gas, but rather is best described as a liquid crystal". I'd be interested to know what mainstream science has to say on the subject... AndyTheGrump (talk) 08:16, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

As I noted in response to the editor's request at Talk:Gilbert Ling#Connection to Liquid Crystal Water, it sure seems like mainstream science doesn't have anything to say on the topic. While the editor (User:HailTheWarpCore, who self-identifies as a "Collector and tester of fringe theories" on his userpage) presumably means well, his draft is thoroughly uncritical in summarizing the minuscule number of extant, favorable, low-impact primary sources, and completely fails to place this minor fringe theory in any sort of context. The theory is so far out in left field (and espoused by so few people) that there isn't any substantive independent commentary or criticism, which should be a red flag for whether or not this theory can clear even a very low notability threshold. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 12:44, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Testing and investigating fringe theories is a hobby of mine, yes, but I really don't think this is best categorized as such. To speak to the validity of the research for a moment: I realize the current dearth of research on the matter, and the fact that there are less scrupulous people trying to hock LCW for some magical panacea, but I've tried to sidestep that matter entirely (I do however plan to make a section dedicated to the matter in the future, though it seems the drafting process has removed a commented out section for "Controversy") in the interest of maintaining a NPOV. I'm also not entirely certain that it is "out of left field", as the experiments to validate it's existence are very easily reproducible (the fact that I was able to do so while working in a nanophysics lab during undergrad is a testament to this, and what got me interested in the subject), and the primary font of research is the well respected University of Washington Bioengineering department. I have also collected as many reputable sources as possible (Nature, Physical Review, Journal of Chemical Physics, etc) while only citing non-peer reviewed sources as a way of establishing that a certain scientist researches the topic. Perhaps the intro should be rewritten to make it more clear that this is a fairly novel topic?HailTheWarpCore (talk) 16:05, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi HailTheWarpCore, welcome to the FTN! The biggest red flag I see is the connection to Gerald Pollack who seems to be inching himself way out on a limb (I know him from his perennial appearances at Electric Universe conferences). The proposal that water exhibits peculiar "emergent" properties is one that has been made by a lot of different and more-or-less independent claimants -- one of the most famous being polywater. The question we need to answer is, where are the independent sources? I think we might be able to scrounge up enough to write an article on "claims of emergent properties of water" with references to polywater, water memory, and those of Masaru Emoto, but we would need some good sources which connect them all lest we fall into the WP:SYNTH trap. jps (talk) 16:13, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi jps, I do agree there should be a page for the claims of emergent properties of water, but if you'll look at this, this, this, and this(to name a few), you'll see that the proposed liquid crystal structure of water is a far cry from polywater or water memory, the primary difference being that these claims are readily reproducible. I understand that water research as a whole has been stigmatized by polywater, but I think there is sufficient independent research on this topic. (iirc, polywater was never reproducible, and it turned out the original scientists simply had dirty equipment?)HailTheWarpCore (talk) 17:31, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I don't think what you are referencing here is a coherent programatic claim. The idea that "liquid crystal water" exists is not being categorically declared in any of those articles specifically, though there are fringe-claims which may be obliquely referred to. The problem is that I think you may already be synthesizing a lot of these ideas together and I don't see the "independent research" you are claiming. The rejection of polywater and water memory happened because there was sufficient independent scrutiny of the topics that caused outsiders to carefully consider and ultimately debunk the claims. WP:REDFLAG would have us not report further rabbit holes of this sort (and yes, that includes Nature articles which have been notorious in the past for including certain levels of credulity towards outlandish water-based claims such as water memory). What we are likely looking at is a case of cold fusion where ongoing research is hobbling along by a small community of emergent water believers, but the rest of the wider community simply ignores these cases. Unfortunately, Wikipedia is in no position to right the great wrongs of the mainstream ignoring Pollack and the others who make rather outlandish claims about water behavior and so we cannot accept articles on such a subject without sufficient independent documentation. So far, you haven't really shown us any independent documentation. These are all just researchers who are connected in one way or another with these credulous "emergent water" groups. You need to find an independent physicist/chemist who is willing to take their arguments seriously. Even a good debunking would suffice to make the case for fringe notability. Right now, I'm sorry to say, I don't see that we have something that is notable as the idea is only sourced to primary sources without outside notice. jps (talk) 18:11, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

I see the problem, and I apologize, you are right, I do need to find more secondary sources. Would something like this or thisbe in the correct domain? (Review article, not a primary experiment) I'm sure I could find more to establish a better secondary source library. Also, by "independent research" I meant to say that the research on the subject was coming from multiple different unrelated labs, not all from the same source. HailTheWarpCore (talk) 18:48, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Those two additional sources both also appear to be primary sources. What we would like to see would be a good review article that references all of these (it doesn't necessarily need to be peer-reviewed, in fact, though that would obviously be preferred). I'm also not entirely convinced that these labs are "unrelated". I think there may be a pretty easy to follow connection back to Pollack for many of these claims. It's kinda like cold fusion. (Additionally, there may be some rather prosaic mainstream claims which are not quite so outlandish -- more on the level of trying to explain certain aspects of capillary action that are not quite understood). jps (talk) 18:57, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Sorry, first link was a typo, meant to link to this. The second one definitely a review though, it begins with "In this work we review the literature for possible confirmation of a phenomenon..." In regards to linking back to Pollack, you might be right, but how many degrees of freedom are required before a lab is not considered "connected"? Admittedly, I just looked at the author's names, and made sure that they weren't all the same or appearing in each other's work.HailTheWarpCore (talk) 19:10, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it is a review as much as it is a meta-analysis which is a different beast. They are trying to tie together a lot of disparate claims and data to come to a conclusion that they want to have. What we need instead is a review of people who try to come to those conclusions. jps (talk) 00:44, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I see, so I need to find papers reviewing the referenced papers themselves, not the topic as a whole while citing the papers as evidence? (Sorry if this is elementary, I simply want to be as accurate as possible here)HailTheWarpCore (talk) 16:26, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
You need to find someone who is willing to do the legwork of explaining what exactly these researchers are doing in the context of the WP:MAINSTREAM understanding of water. This could be a paper (though I'd be willing to bet that there isn't a peer-reviewed paper on such a topic) or it could be some sort of sociology book or it could even be a blog-post or a popular science/skeptic discussion on a website or in a periodical. The key is to find recognition outside of the community of believers that this represents a novel idea that deserves attention. jps (talk) 16:56, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
It seems to me that before Wikipedia is to make bold assertions in its own voice claiming that "a phase of water that does not wholly fit into the categories of solid, liquid, or gas, but rather is best described as a liquid crystal" exists, we are going to need very strong sourcing indicating that the claim has been accepted by the scientific mainstream. Lacking such sources (which appear not to exist), we could only legitimately report it for what it is - an unrecognised claim made by a few specific researchers. Assuming that we report it at all. Wikipedia policy on notability clearly applies here, and if the only discussion of a fringe topic comes from the proponents, it isn't notable... AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:06, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
What do you think would be a better wording? "LCW refers to the liquid crystal or colloidal phase of water" perhaps? — Preceding unsigned comment added by HailTheWarpCore (talkcontribs) 19:10, 20 April 2015‎
We aren't going to assert that LCW refers to any actual property of water until mainstream science accepts the concept. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:17, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
It does appear that someone has by wp:SYN conflated the legitimate topic of liquid crystals with a great deal of nonsense. Without the conflation, I see no sign of wp:N.LeadSongDog come howl! 20:12, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I see no merit in this article nor any reason for it to be included. The LCW article misuses the term "phase" Phase is determined by temperature and pressure; so where on the phase diagram for water does LCW exist? The examples occur at room temperature and standard pressure, so LCW is not an undiscovered phase of water. It is liquid water, and the phenomena discussed in the examples are properties of liquid water.

The article is misleading in that it presents as magical and unexplained phenomena which are actually not unexplained: see surface tension, for example. Bulk liquid water becomes more ordered when the advantage of being ordered is greater than the cost. The advantage is enthalpy and the cost is entropy. Roches (talk) 03:42, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

I believe it would fit as a mesophase between ice I and liquid water, as I think high temp brownian motion would severely disrupt this phenomenon, though this is just conjecture. For clarity, I have changed the use of phase to the more accurate term, state. Also, in regards to it nor meriting inclusion, where should this information then go if not it's own page? Should I draft up an addition to the properties of water page? HailTheWarpCore (talk) 15:56, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Where should it go? I would have to suggest (based on the complete lack of evidence that this supposed 'phase', 'state' or whatever of water has been taken even remotely seriously by mainstream science) that as far as Wikipedia is concerned, the answer is 'nowhere'. It certainly can't go into our article on water per WP:WEIGHT: " the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all...". AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:05, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
As stated earlier, I am working on finding secondary sources for this phenomenon. HailTheWarpCore (talk) 16:28, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Article: Mae-Wan Ho[edit]

Mae-Wan Ho (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

In researching the above draft, I came across this article. Is this WP:FRINGEBLP worthy of inclusion? I don't know that this particular person is notable enough for a Wikipedia article.

jps (talk) 15:48, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Notable fringe academic who has been advocating some semi-Lamarckian like ideas for thirty odd years. I added many papers which criticize her work. Article should not be deleted in my opinion. Quack Hunter (talk) 21:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Agree article should be retained. Many sentences begin "Ho has..." (as is to be expected). This visually resembles "He has...", so I changed the second usage of "Ho" to "She". The change was purely for readability and nothing else is meant by it. Roches (talk) 05:02, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Despite the issues raised here Liquid crystal water has been moved to article space[edit]

Evidently the many comments made here have had no effect - and we now have an article asserting as fact that this supposed 'state of water' exists. Given the complete lack of evidence that the mainstream scientific community accepts the claim, or that it has even commented on it, I shall be nominating the article for deletion if the issues aren't addressed properly in the next few days. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:30, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Given that there was no notification or indication on the draft itself or its talk page about the existence of this discussion, until a short while ago, AFC reviewers cannot be expected to smell out the existence of such discussions. In any case the submitter should have withdrawn their review submission when the issues were originally raised and not resubmitted until they were resolved. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 19:44, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, as per here, it's been taken out of article space. John Carter (talk) 20:45, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Walashma dynasty[edit]

A couple editors are telling me my sources are fringe. Walasma dynasty were Argobba. I found several sources [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] (page 14 footnotes). Are these fringe? Zekenyan (talk)

I have already warned you of WP:FORUMSHOPPING so why are you continuing? For those interested this is the fourth one, for the rest: at admin SilkTork's Talk Page, at the No original research/Noticeboard, and an AI report. Anyways, you may have sources "supporting" your statements but their all based off the fringe work of Braukamper. Numerous other users have already explained this to but it's clear that you simply WP:DONTLIKEIT. AcidSnow (talk) 01:35, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Sigh, its not forumshopping im trying to figure out if its fringe as you say. Zekenyan (talk) 04:52, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I'm not going to be rude here and I'll try to make it clear to you why it's "fringe". It's because it has no evidence behind it. There are no medieval or otherwise historical records that even allude to the Walashma having been Argobbas, the historical records simply share genealogies such as the Aqeel Ibn Abi Talib genealogy that traces back to him via Isma'il Al-Jaberti (Somali Darod clan ancestor) & the Hasani genealogy (son of Ali ibn Abi Talib) and this one traced to Hasan via Yusuf bin Ahmad Al-Kawneyn (that Somali saintly figure) as Harari records show. For one, Argobbas have nothing to do with either of those genealogies and the sources you keep citing who often use Braukamper's work (from what I've noticed) have no evidence behind their assertions, they literally just go off into conjecture. The actual concrete historical evidence on these guys only shares Arabian genealogies tied to these Somali patriarchal and saintly figures who may have been Arabs but are essentially (such as in the case of Isma'il Al-Jaberti/ his son) "mythical ancestors/ founders of clans". That's it.
There is not one real historical record or piece of evidence (archaeological or otherwise) that implies they were Argobbas, all sources that claim they were are going off of guess work. Braukamper for one at times concedes that he has little proof for what he's saying like when he made wild statements about whom the Harla might have been, although I slightly agree with him that they may have been Ethio-Semitic (the Harla) and maybe ancestral to Hararis but again; he doesn't go off of archaeological, historical record based or any form of real evidence; he just comes up with theories and then even acknowledges that he has no evidence-> are these the sources you wish to cite? Most if not all base their ideas on his "work". There is no evidence of a concrete nature that they were Argobba, it's all just authors who seem to be guessing at best (poorly as well) or basing their guesses on another man who guessed from what I and others can tell (Braukamper). Just leave the page as is and let this go... Hasn't it been nearly half a month? I thought you'd finally moved on or something... Awale-Abdi (talk) 07:27, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
"There is not one real historical record or piece of evidence (archaeological or otherwise) that implies they were Argobbas, all sources that claim they were are going off of guess work." - Indeed, Awale-Abdi. The Futuh al-Habash (Conquest of Abyssinia) -- a medieval treatise penned by Shihab ad-Din, the personal chronicler of Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi of the Adal Sultanate -- indicates instead that most of Adalite forces during the conquest comprised various other groups; notably Somali, Afar and Harla (who indeed may have been ancestral to the Harari). Middayexpress (talk) 16:01, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, the majority of the Ifat & the Adal's soldiers were Somalis joined by Afars & Harlas. In fact the first mention of the word "Somali" in history was in a hymn composed at the behest of Emperor Yeshaq I upon his defeating a Walashma/ Ifat Sultan, it was used to describe the Ifat troops. Before this Somalis were mostly just referred to as "Barbara" (or some such variant of the word) if anything close to an "ethnic term" was ever utilized to describe them. [-] [-] Awale-Abdi (talk) 16:31, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Your still rude but nonetheless, Your telling me that it miraculously appeared on several academic sources without any evidence? If its fringe what is the current establishment? Bring forth your sources without oirignal research and synthesis Zekenyan (talk) 00:51, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Shag Harbour UFO incident[edit]

Shag Harbour UFO incident (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

We should decide whether this particular incident was notable enough. It was investigated by a number of different groups back in the 60s when such investigations were a little more common than they are today. Nothing came of it, though, and it isn't particularly prominent a sighting as far as I can tell.

jps (talk) 17:37, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

I get four GNews hits.[13] The first one conveys some notability, the second is the same report, the third is just a blur, and the fourth one calls it "one of the most documented potential UFO sightings in history"... but the author was a local newspaper reporter. Maybe just enough for a stand-alone, but I don't care to put the work into it. - Location (talk) 03:56, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

File:UFO and Meteor Shower over High Desert.jpg[edit]

File:UFO and Meteor Shower over High Desert.jpg has been renamed File:Evening sky over High Desert California.jpg. jps (talk) 10:41, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

I'm stepping back from an edit war over this one. Am I right in saying that it needs to have a reliable source calling it a UFO, before putting it in articles and calling it a UFO? Geogene (talk) 23:02, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Pocketthis (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) ...is the uploader, and has been trying to insert it into a number of articles. We need a RS for Wikipedia to call it "unknown" or "a UFO" or "unidentified". The claim of an uploader isn't sufficient. - LuckyLouie (talk) 23:23, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

The claim that this is a UFO is WP:OR plain and simple. And as Geogene has pointed out on User talk:Pocketthis, the 'meteor shower' is nothing but star trails. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:33, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. The long streak is consistent with time lapse photographs of airplanes. A UFO, of course, would have made a sudden 90 degree turn. - Location (talk) 23:46, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you'd better take another look at the turn that object makes. "A UFO, of course, would have made a sudden 90 degree turn". Do you fly UFOs?? This is too funny to even argue with. You all know nothing about what you all have such strong opinions about. Even funnier is the fact that it DOES make a 90 degree turn. Pocketthis (talk) 23:53, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
It was a joke. As jps pointed out below, it's likely due to camera shake as lights on the ground make a similar "2" shaped bend. - Location (talk) 03:25, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Because something is unidentified, doesn't mean it's from an alien race. It's just an unknown object. That is what a UFO is. If you magnify that object in the top left corner of the photo, you can see that it is going fast, slows down, and ejects something. I have no idea what it is. No one that I have sent the photo to can identify the object either. It has been established by many fellow pilots I have sent it to, that it isn't a Jet, airplane, balloon, or anything that can be explained to date. That is what a UFO is.....thus UFO. As far as the edit war is concerned, the editor whom I reverted has proven nothing, and his/her best explanation is: "looks like a plane to me". That is almost funny, but it's more sad than funny. My suggestion is that it stays up until someone with comes up with a rational scientific explanation that convinces all involved that he is correct in his opinion. Also, to pull that photo from the Landers. California article is nonsense no matter what the explanation. It is a photo of Landers at night. The only one of its kind that I know of, other than the hundreds I have in my files not posted here. ThanksPocketthis (talk) 23:48, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
The 'rational scientific explanation' is that you are mistaken, that the 'meteors' are stars, and that the streak in the sky going left to right is an aircraft. Though there are of course other possible explanations - as the image metadata might possibly suggest... AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:57, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't object to using it in the Landers article as long as the caption doesn't mention UFO or any variant of unidentified/unknown flying object. It's true that it doesn't mean aliens...but the 'extraterrestrial hypothesis' is so prevalent in popular culture that to most people, UFO does mean 'aliens'. For what it's worth, I think the last point of that bright trail is odd (zoom in), but not remarkably so. The key thing is we need a reliable source on it. Geogene (talk) 00:04, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
    • I placed the photo in the Landers article as an evening shot....nothing more. Now let's get back to UFO. It IS a "remarkably so" image. You are taking your own preconceived opinion of what a UFO is, and discarding a true unidentified object as ....who knows. However, that is exactly what a UFO is.."who knows". I never made a claim that it was extraterrestrial in nature. That is for those scientists in the field of UFOs are for. I truly believe that you have reverted a truly unique photo that is definitely unexplained, and because of some religious or other belief, have deprived millions from viewing it. That photo got more hits than any other photo I've ever posted here. Why not let it be unexplained until it is? I really don't understand your issue. I am a pilot. I am a professional photographer. I witnessed the meteor shower, that's why I took the photo. Fine..I won't do anymore reverts, but you guys are acting like scientists......and you're not. I'll bet you anything you like, that no one can identify that object. NASA, and two UFO sites are still working on it!!! The only consensus so far, is that it isn't a Plane, Jet, balloon, or flare. That's why I posted it in UNKNOWN FLYING OBJECT sites here. As far as it not being a meteor shower......you had to be there my friend! -Pocketthis (talk) 01:12, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
The bright streak is an airplane or a meteor and the other short streaks are startrails. The little jaunt at the beginning of the bright trail is due to the camera being moved (you can tell this because the cars on the ground have the same exact shape at the starting locations of those streaks). Compare: [14], [15], [16]. This isn't a UFO in the sense of it not being identifiable. jps (talk) 02:36, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Removing the "it shows an unknown UFO!" nonsense from the equation, it's really not a great photo. The exposure adjustments made in Adobe and the botched star trails made by the photographer make it a low quality image, even for the Landers article. - LuckyLouie (talk) 03:15, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
      • Louie, you are lucky not to be laughed off the site with that total horse manure you just posted here. The only two things that were done in Photoshop, was to crop the photo, and eliminate the telephone poles. PERIOD. I have the original, NEVER put in photoshop for anything, ANYTIME you want it. Just tell me where to send it.-Pocketthis (talk) 17:26, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
The attempt to use a smudge tool or similar to erase power lines also detracts from the quality of the image. --Amble (talk) 06:03, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • 99% of all professional photographers remove the Power lines from their photos. Unfortunately our country is littered with them, and not very attractive to look at. The original is still in my files, and if you would like a photo of power lines, I'll email it to you....just let me know-Pocketthis (talk) 17:26, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not able to see the cars on the ground (the streak of light on the ground might be the trail of car lights, though) and erased power lines -for the record- but I agree with airplane and startrail explanation. Intensity of the light sources on the ground might tell something about the exposure time. And, I guess the photo was taken with the camera standing still with a tripod underneath; another hint of the long exposure time is a slight blurriness of the tree leaves (probably due to the light desert wind). In the age of video cameras (even smart phones have one), it is quite rare/seldom that someone takes the photos of UFOs, and those photos are either fabrications or "one in a million chance"s. And 90 degree turn is generally for moving out of space/time into time/space -for the record- (some sources call it "slingshot gravitic light effect"). Logos (talk) 08:43, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I was taking a photo off a meteor shower. I didn't know that a UFO was going to show up, or I would have shot it differently. For one, I would have been aiming the camera lens at the UFO, not the meteors. And yes, the long light lines are from car headlights. The exposer time was around 12 seconds, which by the way, is way too short a period of time to get "Star Trails". Stars don't move almost a half an inch in 12 seconds. Also, if there is any blur on the trees (I see none) it would be from dept of field, not camera movement. No wind, tripod, no movement. Perfect shot. No matter what you keyboard scientists think of it.... doesn't matter. I'll always treasure this shot, and remember the experience with much joy.-Pocketthis (talk) 17:26, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but it doesn't look like meteor shower; because all the streaks of light are towards the same direction and there are no stable stars in the scene as Andythegrump pointed out here. Meteor shower trails are generally towards different directions like in this photo (just for the record; Meteor_shower#Radiant_point). If someone calls star trail as meteor shower, most probably the rest of the claims are not true, either. Logos (talk) 18:14, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
The plane might in fact be a drone as well; [17]. Logos (talk) 12:42, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Might be a drone, you could be on the right track. That's why it's called a UFO untill it is IDENTIFIED. When you folks here understand what a UFO is, you will not have any objections to this shot being where it belongs: in the unidentified flying objects article.

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── stepping back from this a bit, it seems to me that Pocketthis is attempting to use Wikipedia to promote his/her photo. Based on the comment above, he/she has been sending it all over the place. Promotion is not what Wikipedia is for, per WP:PROMO. If there are reliable sources out there that discuss this photo, I could see the photo getting posted in the UFO article with some content about it, but otherwise it should not be used anywhere else. If there are no RS, then this photo doesn't belong anywhere in WP. And circling back, if there are RS, in my view Pocketthis has a conflict of interest in the matter (see especially WP:SELFCITE and should not post it directly but should use the template:edit request function. Jytdog (talk) 16:46, 23 April 2015 (UTC) (striking, wrong tone Jytdog (talk) 22:46, 23 April 2015 (UTC))

    • The photo went into the articles it went into because it enhanced them. It just so happened that during a meteor shower, something else zipped into the frame. That put the photo's relevance in many categories. It is not a matter of "self Promotion" as you put it. I have no need to self promote myself here. I don't make a dime here for my efforts. I'm retired, and it's been fun contributing images to articles that grammar school kids might be looking at. It gives me pleasure to think I am contributing. This GANG EDITING you guys are pulling here is really sad. We are all on the same side. It's called education. If the original editor (Georgene) was really a concerned and dedicated editor, and she thought that this image may be a plane or what ever, she should have taken proper steps to send the photo off to professionals, before reverting on a whim. I did before I posted it. I am a pilot, and have many pilot friends. We regularly take photos of jets in the night sky with their red and blue lights blinking on time exposers. What you get is a ----+++++------+++++ effect. The - is the red lights, and the + is the blue. The image is always faint and separated. NOTHING like the image in question. The image was sent to MUFON and NASA on 03-10-15. Both have not been able to attach a label to the airborne flying object to date. If and when, the object was ever positively identified, I planned on pulling it from the UFO articles. Of course, I would never pull it from the Meteor Shower article, because that's why that photo was taken. I was witnessing a meteor shower. End of conversation. -Pocketthis (talk) 17:26, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
You can see alternating red and blue lights in both the main line and alternating in the lens' internally reflected images that are above and below the oversaturated line of bright pixels. jps (talk) 17:41, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • There is almost every color in the rainbow in that UFO streak. Red and Blue are just two of them. That is one of the most baffling aspects of the object. The little square multi colored lights that appear to slowdown and become more apparent and separated, and possibly do a 90 degree drop, and eject something.-Pocketthis (talk) 19:39, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
A close airplane with its full array of navigation lights on can easily outshine Venus. The patterns in the trail you are noticing including the discretization, the "90 degree drop" and the "eject something" are all seen in exactly the same fashion in the streaks that are the vehicle lights on the ground. jps (talk) 21:48, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Pocketthis promotion and advocacy happen for all kinds of reasons, not just $. I get it that you and some other folks find this photo intriguing. That does mean it should be in WP. and btw, we don't do original research here, like sending photos off privately, to get private feedback on them. it wouldn't matter is some one showed up here claiming to be one of those experts, and said, "yep, it's wierd". we need WP:RS saying that. Things get kind of funky with images (as opposed to text) in WP but the same things apply. You cannot post a photo you took and call it a UFO based on your authority or that of some people that you talked to or emailed with. You cannot do that here - this place would be a garbage dump if people could, right? please think about that. Jytdog (talk) 17:44, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the first compassionate post on this subject. My problem is not with us disagreeing, it's with these two issues: First, I personally witnessed 2 meteor showers that evening. So to have you all call them "Star Trails" is like calling me a liar. I've been here as log as most of you. I'm not a new editor. I know what I'm doing here....to some extent...lol. The other issue I have is that this entire conversation of almost a full page with all of you having your own opinions of what you see in the photo, just PROVES it is an unidentified airborne object, or UFO, meaning we don't know what it is. It's so simple it hurts. I didn't even see the UFO in real time with the human eye. I only found it on the image when I downloaded it. I wasn't trying to come up with a "UFO alien photo" that night. I was simply trying to capture the beauty of a meteor shower I was so lucky to have witnessed. It was just after sunset as you can see by the mountain in the background. Waaaay too early for stars to be seen along the horizon, no less photographing them. Thanks-Pocketthis (talk) 19:08, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Pocketthis, you need to understand WP:CONSENSUS. Editors getting together on an article's Talk page (or a Noticeboard such as this) to discuss image choices and positioning is a normal part of Wikipedia process. If a majority of editors evaluate an image and choose not to use it in an article, that's not "gang editing", that's consensus. Most all experienced editors know that occasionally, consensus will be against them, and they accept it and move on - LuckyLouie (talk) 18:01, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Thanks, However, that is a far cry from your previous post, where you accuse me of making the meteors in Photoshop. RIGHT? Now, let's get this Photoshop BS out of the way here once and for all. ANY of you that would like the ORIGINAL photo, NEVER been in Photoshop, with the telephone poles, wires, and poor composition before cropping...PLEASE go to my talk page and leave me your email address. I would LOVE to have you all inspect the original, and then we can eliminate the accusations, and then debate what we are seeing there. Thank you for your change of tone Louie, it is much appreciated. After almost 5 years of contributions here, and edits in the thousands, I would have expected a friendly debate on the photo's details, and a consensus reached, BEFORE it was reverted from every article it was in. It's hard to "move on" Louie, when you've been treated like a Vandal. I monitor over 100 articles every day, and reverse as much vandalism as anyone on this site. It was tough being treated like one. That's the worst part of this entire experience for me. I'll get over it. Thank You- Pocketthis (talk) 19:08, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry, Pocketthis. Your "meteors" are star trails. You can prove it by tracing to their common center of curvature which is the North Star off to the upper-right of the picture. You will find that they all form angular arcs of 3 arcminutes which correspond exactly to the exposure time (12 seconds) of the image. jps (talk) 20:23, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Silly Goose...there is no North Star in that photo. That is a photo of the Western sky just after sunset, Way too bright for any stars to be photographed as well. NEXT-Pocketthis (talk) 21:01, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I never said there was a North Star in the photo. The North Star is out of the frame, off to the upper right. Immediately after sunset, the first stars will start to form startrails through multi-second exposures. E.g. [18], [19], [20]. Only the brightest ones, of course, which are the ones you captured. If you don't believe me, go try it tonight. jps (talk) 21:11, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm also sorry, Pocketthis. By "exposure adjustments made in Adobe and the botched star trails made by the photographer" I meant to suggest that the star trails were made by you during the exposure without you realizing or intending it, so the photo was in a sense, "botched". As far as assuming exposure adjustments, contrast, etc. were made in Adobe, sorry again, it looks so contrasty. So I trust what you're saying, but that doesn't change the essential issue: we need more than your word that the photo shows some extraordinary event, be it meteors or a ufo. - LuckyLouie (talk) 20:41, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the explanation Louie. All is well. I agree that we need experts to say exactly what that airborne object is. But don't you see? That is what makes it a UFO. Saying it is a UFO, is just saying we don't know what it is. It implies no extraterrestrial implications. It's just plain "unidentified". I am going to give you the same advice I gave Georgene: Go to the UFO article and read what a UFO is. It will at least end THAT part of this discussion. Almost all UFOs in the U.S. Air Force's Project Blue Book, have been identified as being due to honest misidentifications of natural phenomena. Read this article here as well:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identification_studies_of_UFOs that should clear up any misunderstandings about alien implications. -Thanks-Pocketthis (talk) 21:01, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

UFO has implications beyond its most banal definition. Our article on the subject UFO with which both LuckyLouie and myself have been heavily involved in curating (not without our travails) even indicates this. jps (talk) 21:21, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Agreed JPS, but unfortunately the lead of our UFO article says "Culturally, UFOs are associated with claims of visitation by extraterrestrial life or government-related conspiracy theories". Not "sometimes associated", but "are associated". Moriori (talk) 21:38, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
As it should. Today, the term is used almost exclusively by people advocating that alien visitations are actually occurring. That's simply the way things are. Pocketthis's attempt to revert to a previous denotation is admirable, but won't cut it in a non-innovative reference work. jps (talk) 21:41, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. Note how your "almost exclusively" equates with "sometimes associated" but not with "are associated". Cheers Moriori (talk) 21:50, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
"Almost exclusive" is much, much closer to "always" than it is to "sometimes". jps (talk) 21:59, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
UFO or not, the photo certainly shouldn't be spammed across lots of other articles. bobrayner (talk) 21:35, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
    • I am sorry if you think it was in too many articles. I didn't mean to spam it. It was in the two UFO articles (where it does still belong in my opinion), and the meteor shower aspect drove me to place it in others as well. I never meant to over do it. I apologize for that. However, let me state one fact concerning that: If you go to "any popular photo", and look at where it is, you would be surprised to find some of them are in a hundred articles. For instance: I have a shot of some bees drenched in pollen. I put it in the bee article, and it ended up in dozens of articles world wide, and a bunch right here on EN Wikipedia. That is not uncommon when a photo covers multiple subjects. Have you ever clicked on a photo you liked? Then clicked on "Details", and it takes you to a commons page where all the articles it is displayed in is revealed? You should look into that.-Pocketthis (talk) 21:52, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, the editors here don't think your photo is a particularly good example of a UFO photo. I actually think it's a fairly typical example of a UFO-photo, but I don't think it belongs in a serious encyclopedia. There is no evidence that there is any meteor shower happening in your photo. It's also not the best evening photo either. I just don't think there's a good place for it here. jps (talk) 21:57, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
    • I will refrain from telling you what I think of "any of your opinions" in general. The public also disagrees with your opinion. That photo was averaging over 350 clicks (views) per month, when it was only in two articles. It got more hits in the UFO articles than any other photo there... as I recall. Personally, as a photographer, it is perhaps my favorite of all I've ever taken, and I worked for Playboy for a decade, so that is really saying something...lol. However, if the other editors feel that they rather not have that colorful, real and current photo in UFO related articles......I will concede, and we will end this madness, because the true story here is the public, and the kids and their education, and not any biased baloney us editors come up with here daily. I have a fresh battery in my camera, a little life left in me, and I will continue to click away. I am a Happy Camper!-Pocketthis (talk) 22:41, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I've read through this entire thread, and I'm in agreement agree that we can't say that the word "UFO" simply means Unidentified Flying Object. Maybe it did once — briefly — but it's so heavily encrusted with the cultural associations of extraterrestrial visitations (compare Moriori's quote from our UFO article) that in common parlance it means those cultural associations. It's simplistic to say "Saying it is a UFO, is just saying we don't know what it is." As jps cogently puts it above, that's "an attempt to revert to a previous denotation". I'm sorry, Pocketthis. The reason I'm posting here is that when I clicked idly on your userpage and saw all the great photos you have donated to the encyclopedia, I was really sorry the argument about this one photo has upset you. I don't like to see the unkind suggestions about spamming and self-promotion in this thread either, because I don't think there's anything in them. Bishonen | talk 22:23, 23 April 2015 (UTC).
      • Thank you Madam. I really am here to educate the kids, and have something constructive to do with my time in my retirement. I'm glad you could see that as well. Thanks again-Pocketthis (talk) 22:41, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Pocketthis just want to clarify - your photos are gorgeous and it is great that you provide them to WP. my comments above were off; what i was trying to say there is that with regard to this UFO thing, WP is not the place to post that picture in particular nor to speculate about it. you take a fantastic picture of a sky over Montana - great, that is what it is. But until some body publishes something in an independent source, there is nothing to say about it here. Would you please just pull it and replace it with regular pics? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 22:50, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
    • jytdog, the photo has been out of all of the articles as of yesterday. I'm only displaying it in my hometown page of Landers California as an evening shot of the town. Nothing more. When I go to the Post Office or grocery store in town, someone always comes up to me and says something to the effect that they love the UFO picture on the Landers page. Then they remind me of "The Integretron" that is located in Landers, and that Landers has always been synonymous with UFOs. As far as pushing to get it back into another article? NO. If it ends up back in the UFO articles, I promise you that it won't be me that put it there. One very last thing: This entire affair could have been avoided if Geogene had gone to the UFO talk page and put in her gripe there, instead of reverting me like I was a vandal. That hurt my feelings more than any of the accusations here. Thank you so much for being the "stand up guy" you are.-Pocketthis (talk) 23:01, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
@Pocketthis: Of course it's just star trails and an aircraft. You're looking to the west a long way from the celestial pole, and using a moderate telephoto so the field of view is small--which gives you star trailing even with moderately short exposures. The bright reddish star (trail) near the top of the frame and to the right of the aircraft light trail is Phi Pegasi. The bright whitish star on the right side next to the tree, halfway between the horizon and the top of the frame is Upsilon Pegasi. You can readily identify the rest with Google Sky or Stellarium. The image contains no conspicuous meteors.
I'll be honest—the obstinate denial here combined with your vicious and entirely misguided attack on AndyTheGrump make it very hard for me to tell whether or not you are genuinely and stubbornly ignorant, or merely trolling for attention. Either way, you owe Andy an apology, and you need to back away from the horse before you get blocked. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 00:19, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
    • I went to Andy's page in good faith and posted a heart felt comment to his question. What I got in return was a wise guy one liner reply. There will be no apologies to Mr. Grump, however, I have no ill feelings toward him or anyone here. Also, the last thing this thread needed was a post by a threatening editor. I thought the issue was settled. I have nothing else to say on this thread.-Pocketthis (talk) 00:45, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting conspiracy theories[edit]

Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting conspiracy theories (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Ugh. I was not aware that this was a thing until today. Anyway, I think the article could benefit from some people who have experience in mitigating WP:FRINGE issues on Wikipedia having a once-over. The lede, for example, contains some wording that seems peculiarly hedgy to me as if there might be something to the conspiracy theories after all. And then there is the issue of relegating all the factual debunking to an anemic "response" section at the end of the article. I don't think there has been much academic research on these particular folks yet, though the skeptic watchdog groups may have some more points to add (and should be considered as WP:PARITY sources).

Anyway, can we get some help for this?

jps (talk) 14:34, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Good find. Quite a few conspiracy-theory articles veer in that direction, trying to achieve "balance" between proponents' claims on the one hand, and mainstream/reliable sources on the other hand. bobrayner (talk) 15:39, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Predictive programming AfD[edit]

Related to this page:

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Predictive programming.

Please comment.

jps (talk) 16:54, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Alfred Webre[edit]

At the very least this BLP needs to be stripped of a lot of questionable info from primary sources controlled by the subject. (How many Yale Law graduates go on to get a "Master of Education in Counseling" from UT?) It's been through AFD once but got a "no consensus". I'm thinking that it might need another, final trip. Mangoe (talk) 03:13, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Probably ought to be. The first attempt didn't take, I think, mainly because the nomination wasn't all that good. jps (talk) 12:03, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Now showing: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Alfred Webre (2nd nomination). Mangoe (talk) 15:22, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Robert Feather[edit]

Fringe writer, see [21], who has attracted some publicity. He calls himself an archaeologist but clearly isn't one. I did a heavy revert of several edits removing fringe material sourced to him and others at Copper Scroll after finding him boosted at Mount Sinai. He's mentioned in Jordan Lead Codices but at least I can see some reason for that. Holy Lance has had a paragraph about him for years. Dougweller (talk) 11:44, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

In investigating this I found that Wikipedia has an article Rabbit of Caerbannog, which is not a fringe theory, per se. As much as I love Monty Python, I question whether this article should exist. Sorry for the divergence. jps (talk) 14:31, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
What theory is not fringe? The argument that the Copper Scroll refers to Akhenaten is distinctly fringe. The comments about the dating of the Holy Lance seem reasonable. He is a metalurgist, not an archaeologist or linguist. Paul B (talk) 15:15, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree. My post was on a totally unrelated matter. Apologies. jps (talk) 16:36, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
If he really did have a documentary on BBC2 then he's probably notable, fringe or not. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:05, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Rodney Stich[edit]

Rodney Stich (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Rodney Stich is a conspiracy author. The article appears to be built upon fringe and primary sources. I'm not sure that notability can be determined by Conspiracy Encyclopedia. Thoughts? - Location (talk) 13:10, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Search for independent sources on Google Scholar on the subject turns up zero. I think this is probably worth deleting. Conspiracy Encyclopedia isn't a serious attempt to organize notable conspiracy theories. Their inclusion criteria is simply what interested the authors. As such, I'm not convinced that if the only independent source found is that book it is worthy of inclusion here. It may be that in the future more independent treatments of this guy and his life's work may be found, but until such time I think Wikipedia is best to avoid trying to keep content like this in articlespace. jps (talk) 14:27, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I can find next to nothing in any independent sources about Stich. He's all over the internet, but that's because he's churned out numerous conspiracy books. Paul B (talk) 15:17, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I am wondering what our guidelines have to say about the list of books noted in the article that is cited to what appears to be a self-published website. None of his books are notable or have coverage in reliable sources, so I'm wondering if this list meets the "unduly self-serving" section of WP:ABOUTSELF? - Location (talk) 18:40, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Building biology[edit]

Building biology (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Opinions about Building biology? It appears to be a set of practices and principles with varying degrees of scientific support, and with an organization behind them. The organization, the practice, and the principles clearly exist, and are probably notable. Should building biology be described as a science? A pseudoscience? An organization? A methodology? An approach to indoor environmental health? A basically mainstream topic wide enough to include a range of opinions? --Amble (talk) 06:39, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Note the article was previously discussed here in 2009: Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard/Archive_13#Building_biology. --Amble (talk) 07:02, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Wrong question. If the focus is on how it "should be described", that gets into WP:Original research territory. The better question is "how do the available RSs describe it"? That's what the article should say. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 08:31, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't think there are many independent sources for it, that's the problem. And not all of the practice is pseudoscientific. From our article and the other reading that I can find online it appears to be a movement that was part of the history of environmental awareness about building, now diffused into various organisations around the world, some of which promote pseudoscientific ideas quite overtly, others that are more mainstream. Itsmejudith (talk) 11:23, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Try google scholar; I see several book and journal references, though I haven't read any of them personally NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 12:16, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

William Reymond[edit]

William Reymond (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

William Reymond is a French conspiracy author, and the BLP's only source is a primary source. Can anyone confirm whether sources, French or otherwise, support notability under WP:AUTHOR? Thanks! - Location (talk) 21:46, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Fr:wiki says he is a co-author of the screenplay of Assassin's Creed. Sounds notable. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:00, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Darryl Anka[edit]

Darryl Anka (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Guy (related to Paul Anka) claiming to receive messages from a multi dimensional extraterrestrial. Aside from a single story in the Toronto Sun, Anka appears to be unknown outside of the fringe world. - LuckyLouie (talk) 18:51, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Nominated for deletion: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Darryl Anka. —Tom Morris (talk) 10:02, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Likely not notable. Commented there. - Location (talk) 13:38, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Splitting of the moon[edit]

A theological article although with what I think is a fringe aspect, see Talk:Splitting of the moon#Separate Article for the NASA dispute. As you can see, there's a suggestion that the NASA dispute be moved out of the article. Dougweller (talk) 14:24, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Do must Muslim scholars believe that the moon literally split in two? I have no sense for the sources on this. jps (talk) 15:00, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I can't answer the specific question of what most Muslim scholars believe. But I do know that between those who think it did happen, and those who see it as a prophecy, it seems to be pretty much accepted in the same way as some Christian prophecies are by Christians. This page from a recent reference work seems to indicate that the splitting of the moon is expected to happen before the end of time, not that it happened during Muhammad's life. But people have and have had arguments about when some of the events expected in the Christian Apocalypse are expected to happen or have happened. My guess, and it is a guess, unfortunately, is that it is generally now interpreted as a prediction, because of telescopes not showing much if any split for a few hundred years now, but it is probably not something that gets written about a lot, because there seems to have been some earlier belief that it had happened, and theologically has apparently been adjusted to reflect observable reality, like it often is regarding prophecies which don't happen as they are supposed to. Some Muslim fundamentalists probably believe it in the same way as some Christian fundamentalists believe whichever political leader of the time that we don't like is the Antichrist. But I seriously doubt it is the case that currently most Muslims believe it. John Carter (talk) 20:14, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Lake Van Monster[edit]

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Lake Van Monster Logos (talk) 21:44, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Possibly notable. Commented there. - Location (talk) 13:38, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Stella Lansing[edit]

Stella Lansing (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Couldn't find anything about this lady or her films on wikipedia. Might be fraud, but notable [22] [23] [24] I guess. Logos (talk) 14:00, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Fraud or not, I cannot find anything that would justify a stand-alone article. I found a PubMed hit to an article in The Journal of the American Society of Psychosomatic Dentistry and Medicine Impact Factor & Information which was authored by Berthold E. Schwarz, but neither the journal or the author is reliable enough to elevate this to our notability standards. Is there an appropriate article that might be worthy of a redirect? - Location (talk) 14:12, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
It appears that Berthold E. Schwarz had spent/invested his time more than anyother in investigating/publicizing this case. A redirect to Berthold E. Schwarz with a possible mention would suffice. Logos (talk) 14:37, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good. Is there a workable non-primary source that is reliable? - Location (talk) 14:53, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
None, other than Schwarz's paper/book, according to your search. Schwarz's paper/book does not count as primary (and/or unreliable). Even if it were, the needed source doesn't have to be non-primary according to WP:PRIMARY. Logos (talk) 16:33, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Schwarz's paper would be a primary source in Schwarz's article, and then, depending upon interpretation, WP:REDFLAG may apply. - Location (talk) 19:24, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
It might be worth taking a look at Missing Pieces: How to Investigate Ghosts, Ufos, Psychics, and Other Mysteries by CSICOP members Robert A. Baker and Joe Nickell. I think that would give us "secondary" and "reliable". - Location (talk) 19:34, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
My interpretation is; the mention of Lansing case in Schwarz's article with Schwarz's paper as the source would not count as primary. It would be similar to WP:ANALYSIS, that is; "Whether a source is primary or secondary depends on context. A book by a military historian about the Second World War might be a secondary source about the war, but if it includes details of the author's own war experiences, it would be a primary source about those experiences.". More specifically, Lansing's account of the case counts as primary, and Schwarz's paper counts as secondary. Of course, there might be parts in Schwarz's paper which may be regarded as "primary", in accordance with the example stated in WP:PRIMARY: "a scientific paper documenting a new experiment conducted by the author is a primary source on the outcome of that experiment". Logos (talk) 19:59, 2 May 2015 (UTC)