Wikipedia:Fringe theories/Noticeboard

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This page is for requesting input on possible fringe theories. Post here to seek advice on whether a particular topic is fringe or mainstream, or whether undue weight is being given to fringe theories.
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Saqqara Bird[edit]

Saqqara Bird (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Goes rapidly downhill after the lead, with the majority of the article dedicated to "Egyptian physician, archaeologist, parapsychologist and dowser" (yes, really) Khalil Messiha's idea that it was an ancient airplane. Even the more down-to-earth hypotheses are problematically sourced, with some apparent WP:OR/WP:SYN going on. Kolbasz (talk) 11:23, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

If there has been any actual archaeological discussion on this artifact, I can't find it. The only "scholarly" discussion I've been able to find is a mention in an article in the Journal of Scientific Exploration... Kolbasz (talk) 13:57, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
There has been some discussion of this being an example of pseudoarcheology, though (Sommer, Morgana. "Pseudoarchaeology and the Ancient Astronaut Theory: An Analysis of a Modern Belief System." (2012)). Also the (redlinked) tomb and its alledged owner worry me. Google scholar yields the above reference and a reference to a 2005 dig uncovering a Ptolemeic mummy of a man by this name. That too late to be this tomb. So i think one Padi-imen-em-ipethtml, who actually has a known tombibid., might be intended, though this tomb is in Thebes. Apart from finding out that this is probably not Padiimenipet fils de Sôterlouvre.fr whose mummy is displayed in the Louvre I found no connections whatsoever to any model airoplanes. At the very least, this needs some clearing up, but it does not bode well for the quality of the article as a whole. Kleuske (talk) 15:30, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for helping out! AFAICT though, "Pseudoarchaeology and the Ancient Astronaut Theory" is just someone's bachelor's thesis - so I'd neither rely on it for reliability nor notability. Kolbasz (talk) 18:30, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to have missed this. So far as I know, this is about all that can be found that I think we can use. I haven't looked at the Journal of Scientific Exploration but that's a fringe source also. I'll ask Ken Feder, an archaeologist who writes about pseudoarchaeology. Doug Weller (talk) 10:38, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
I thought this is a pretty famous fringe concept.--Ymblanter (talk) 10:49, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Any good leads from Feder? Kolbasz (talk) 21:03, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
Not yet. Doug Weller (talk) 13:42, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Peak <commodity>: We're running out of everything.[edit]

Besides the better-known Peak oil, there are articles claiming that the sky is falling not only over the oil refineries but over fields and mines of all other sorts:

This is just the list from Peak wheat, the one I found first. That article had a claim that wheat production in China was in trouble and that China would soon be the largest importer of wheat. Readily available statistics (I used indexmundi.com) showed that China produced, in 2014, 12 times more wheat than was imported by the largest importer, Egypt. I added this to the article, and I suspect many other peak claims do not hold up to a few minutes worth of scrutiny. Roches (talk) 19:57, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Many are probably wrong. But have they been noted anywhere? I haven't heard of most of those under those names, even the ones I know there are concerns over ... - David Gerard (talk) 20:44, 9 July 2015 (UTC)
Peak oil, peak gas, peak uranium and peak phosphorus are all definitely notable - those all have mainstream media coverage going back decades, along with geopolitical analyses from various militaries around the world. I suspect that peak food and peak water belong there as well, but I can't remember any papers or reports off-hand. Kolbasz (talk) 02:01, 10 July 2015 (UTC)
From Peak Gold: World mined gold production has peaked four times since 1900: in 1916, 1940, 1971, and 2001, each peak being higher than previous peaks. The latest peak was in 2001, when production reached 2,600 metric tons, then declined for several years.[5] Production started to increase again in 2009, spurred by high gold prices, and achieved record new highs each year in 2012, 2013, and in 2014, when production reached 2,860 tons.[6] Somebody was either being ironic or doesn't know what "peak gold" actually means... Geogene (talk) 00:10, 11 July 2015 (UTC)
Seems like original research to me. Identifying every local maximum on the plot of production vs. time is not what this particular Malthusian catastrophe prediction is about. jps (talk) 11:49, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm also worried by the fact that the only sources in Peak Gold seem to be either primary sources used for original research, or quotes from the CEOs of gold companies. I would consider putting it on AFD; it seems to be a term thrown around by a few goldbug blogs and personal websites, but I'm not sure there's enough coverage by reliable sources to support an article. --Aquillion (talk) 02:53, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Scottish Herbal Remedies[edit]

Spammy and replete with poorly-sourced medical claims as is, but - should there even be an article on Scottish Herbal Remedies? - seems a bit regional ... Alexbrn (talk) 08:57, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Are there other similarly-themed articles focused on other regions? - Location (talk) 09:00, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
If Category:Herbalism is to be believed, apart perhaps from Georgian folk medicine (which smells of copyvio) it doesn't seem so. Alexbrn (talk) 09:11, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
I have to agree that this is too regional... I think anything that is worth keeping could be merged into the broader Herbal remedies article. Blueboar (talk) 12:30, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Graphology[edit]

This article seems to have deteriorated since it was last raised here, and is seeing activity from a new account alongside the graphology content at Projective test‎. More eyes welcome. Alexbrn (talk) 11:46, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

An ANI Discussion of Possible Interest[edit]

There is a discussion over at ANI involving an editor accused of aggressively promoting fringe/conspiracy theories. The discussion can be found here for those interested. -Ad Orientem (talk) 01:33, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Intellect amplification[edit]

Intellect amplification (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Some sort of WP:OR quantum fringe theory. Synthesis of sources given. - LuckyLouie (talk) 14:19, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Alex Constantine[edit]

Alex Constantine (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
(Find sources: "Alex Constantine" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · highbeam · JSTOR})

WP:FRINGEBLP and WP:AUTHOR may apply. Some discussion in fringe sources, but I am unable to find coverage in reliable secondary sources. I am wondering if anyone is able to find something reliable upon which to build this article. - Location (talk) 14:59, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Does a BLPPROD preclude a plain PROD? If not it should be PRODed, if so it should be AFDed, as it stands - David Gerard (talk) 17:07, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Still eligible. Previous BLPPROD does not negate a future regular PROD. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 17:08, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
And thus PRODed - David Gerard (talk) 17:40, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I'll note that Feral House is a real publisher (of curiosities, esoterica and fringe), so if e.g. his books got notice, there should be sources concerning them ... - David Gerard (talk) 19:39, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I can summarise the independently sourced content of that article thus:
Alex Constantine wrote The Covert War Against Rock, published in 2000 by Feral House.
The rest has no independent sources whatsoever. I think pruning it of material not drawn from reliable independent sources would be in order, what say? Guy (Help!) 21:43, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Michael Frass[edit]

Michael Frass (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) is a monograph on a homeopathy proponent that reads like a PR biography. Frass is probably notable but this article looks very promotional. Guy (Help!) 21:39, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I just added a WP:N tag, if we cannot find a good secondary source that attests to this subject's notability I'd upgrade to a proposed deletion. Also, have you noticed User:Ventus55's oddly specific subjects of interest in editing. This editor mostly seems to write about German-speaking biologists. --Salimfadhley (talk) 23:40, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. I suspect he is associated with the institution at which Frass worked. Guy (Help!) 14:37, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Bob Lazar[edit]

Bob Lazar (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

I am trying to figure out whether this article is worth a WP:FRINGEBLP and, if so, what sources we should use for it. Right now it appears fairly bloated.

jps (talk) 15:34, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

As always, strip the subject's primary sources per WP:REDFLAG. See what remains after that. - Location (talk) 16:13, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Looks like a potentially notable crank on the face of it - I have just bought REVELATIONS, so let's see what m. Vallée has to say. Guy (Help!) 17:02, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
I agree with guy, seems like a notable enough nutter. --Rocksanddirt (talk) 19:49, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Lazar's pretty famous in the field of alternative views, he's someone we should have an article on - David Gerard (talk) 07:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Arkaim and Aryans[edit]

The section at Arkaim#Klyosov findings is sourced only to Anatole Klyosov and not to any peer reviewed scientific journal. It's basically fringe and I can't find any discussion of it in reliable sources. I just removed some stuff about Stonehenge which was even fringier. I could take this to NPOVN I guess. I took it to RSN and was told it wasn't a reliability issue as he's attributed. Arkaim has had a lot of weird claims made about it. Doug Weller (talk) 16:18, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

The sub-section on Klyisov is contained withing a broader section headed: "In pseudoarchaeology and national mysticism"... so the article does (sort of) acknowledge his Fringiness. We should keep that context in mind when addressing this. My first reaction is to question whether Klyosov and his "findings" deserve an entire sub-heading to itself... even within this context. Setting any theory apart under its own sub-header gives the theory a fair amount of weight... I would say UNDUE weight. And so I think that the section needs a restructuring, whether we keep the Klyosov stuff or not.
Which leads to the next question - whether to keep the current text... trim it... or omit it completely When figuring out whether (and how much) to mention something that is fringe in an article, we need to explore just how fringe it is... asking whether it is "noteworthy fringe", "popular fringe" or "fringe of the fringe"? To answer that, you need to look at both mainstream sources and other fringe sources. I would define "noteworthy fringe" as something that has been noted by mainstream sources (even if it is only to debunk it)... "popular fringe" is noted by other fringe sources... while "fringe of the fringe" is something that has been essentially ignored by everyone except it's proponents. It is probably DUE weight to give "Noteworthy fringe" claims a small paragraph in an article such as this... I would say it is DUE weight to give "Popular Fringe" claims a passing mention (if it isn't at least mentioned, readers familiar with the claims will wonder why)... and I would say "fringe of the fringe" claims can be omitted completely per UNDUE. I don't know enough about the topic to opine on this specific case... but from what Doug tells us, it sure sounds as if Klyosov is either "popular fringe" or "fringe of the fringe". So either trim or cut completely. Blueboar (talk) 18:30, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
For this specific issue I'd normally look to see if there are reliable sources discussing the claim, and if not cut it out entirely. Doug Weller (talk) 14:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Anatole Klyosov[edit]

An abysmal article, but is this a notable crank? Guy (Help!) 12:52, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Looking at the article history and it's talk page, there are definitely POV and COI issues (from both adherents and opponents)... so it definitely needs some oversight by independent editors. As to the notability question... apparently, opponents are actually publishing rebuttals to Klyosov's work (instead of simply ignoring him) which is an indication that he is probably Notable enough by our standards. Whether he is a crank or not I have no idea... I don't know the subject matter well enough to opine on that. Blueboar (talk) 13:27, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
If you look with more attention at the article and its talk page you will notice that this is a subject of many lengthy discussions involving many experienced users. You hurry too much with your accusatory and weakly-ethical claims. You probably have to join the discussion at the talk pages of related articles and argue with people who are already there. --ssr (talk) 13:41, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I would be careful about accusing neutral administrators of being "weakly ethical". I have no dog in this fight, I am just looking at the actual content and seeing primary sourced material by an author who is identified as having controversial views, published in a journal of no significance whatsoever, and without any independent support for the significance of those ideas. You'd need a pretty robust argument to retain that, and agreement of a small cadre of editors on an article likely to attract partisans falls well short of meeting the standard necessary to satisfy WP:NPOV. Guy (Help!) 13:58, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
As a neutral administrator, you may want to be careful about referring to a BLP subject as a "crank".- MrX 14:07, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
And later post threat-like appeals like "be careful about" when pointed to possible ethical problems related to this. And later accusing me of edit-warring for just one undo (making two undos in a row meanwhile). --ssr (talk) 14:18, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I called him a crank because that is what our article shows him to be. See WP:SPADE. Guy (Help!) 17:17, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
WP:SPADE is an essay. WP:BLP, on the other hand, is policy. I can't believe I have to explain to an admin why referring to a BLP subject with a pejorative is a bad idea. You too Ymblanter!- MrX 17:30, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
People are allowed to share their opinions of others on this website in discussion fora. I can't believe I have to explain that. WP:BLP is not a suicide pact. jps (talk) 19:09, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Is there a proposal to add "crank" or "crackpot" to the article? Per Crank (person) (to which Crackpot contains a redirect): "Crank" is a pejorative term used for a person who holds an unshakable belief that most of his or her contemporaries consider to be false. This seems accurate. Of course we would want reliable sourcing if this terminology were to be used in the article, but the use of pejoratives on talk pages is not forbidden. - Location (talk) 18:40, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm certainly not suggesting it's a blockable offense, but it sure does lower the quality of discussion. Carry on.- MrX 19:55, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, I disagree. We pussyfoot around these issues too much at Wikipedia. It's more important to get the information right than to keep the discourse quality high, IMHO. jps (talk) 20:01, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
This is clearly a crackpot, but his pre-1990 activity makes him notable.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:19, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Let's imagine all who used offenses here are themselves the same (for whatever reasons, I'm sure there are lots). Now, with them knowing who they are, let them enjoy that. --ssr (talk) 05:03, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
That doesn't actually make a whole lot of sense, I'm afraid. I guess English is not your first language? Please rephrase it, I would like to understand your point. Guy (Help!) 09:05, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
That was a side remark generally unrelated to the subject of articles in question. By now, the articles were collectively reworked and all of the issues seem to have been addressed. Yes, English is not my first language. You can easliy forget about my remark, it is not related to the articles. --ssr (talk) 09:40, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, your remark is pure and unobstructed personal attack.--Ymblanter (talk) 12:12, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Read above: "It's more important to get the information right than to keep the discourse quality high". --ssr (talk) 13:01, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

The prinicpal problem is that we have (or had: I removed them, but people are reverting a few) multiple citations to Lysov which are WP:PRIMARY sources for controversial or potentially claims, from someone whose views are clearly idiosyncratic, and the source is an online-only "journal" with no impact factor. This is nto remotely difficult. That is precisely the kind of content we should not include. Guy (Help!) 09:05, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Crop circle[edit]

Crop circle (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Despite the fact that there are no reliable sources from the last decade or so which indicate that there is any controversy whatsoever about the fact that human beings create crop circles, it seems that some editors would sincerely like to hold out hope for an alternative explanation. More help there would be appreciated. (The claim that simply asserting that humans create crop circles is "too sweeping" is particularly precious.)

jps (talk) 19:46, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

An editor with quite a long block log [1] for edit warring and whatnot, is now WP:CANVASSING in the hopes that someone will agree with him on this topic. The actual words he wants to put in the article is seen here [2]. Please join in on the relevant talk page though. The more feedback on this, the better. Dream Focus 20:35, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Do WP:FOC. As already pointed out to you, WP:SEEKHELP specifically recommends the use of noticeboards such as this one. WP:NOTBATTLEGROUND is policy for a very good reason.
Would I be far wrong to guess that the very best evidence for a crop circle being created by something other than people would be very poor evidence combined with an appeal to ignorance? --Ronz (talk) 02:06, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Enfield Poltergeist[edit]

Enfield Poltergeist (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Ghughesarch (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log)

Apparently traveling about from crop circles to poltergeists, friends, it seems like we've got a case of a concern troll true believer in the paranormal.

jps (talk) 20:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm not, actually, I just don't like the sort of aggressive skepticism you are pushing, apparently unaware that it's not a neutral point of view. Ghughesarch (talk) 20:26, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

You think pointing out that magicians and skeptics revealed this particular hoax to be a hoax is pushing "aggressive skepticism"? That's rather startling. In any case, I haven't seen any reliable sources which dispute this point. Have you? jps (talk) 20:28, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Magicians and skeptics claimed to have revealed it as a hoax. Just as others who were directly involved claimed that it was not. Now, it may not suit your particular world view to have people making those claims, but it is not an objective fact that the skeptical view, just because it's the skeptical view, is true. Ghughesarch (talk) 20:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
People often complain that fringe viewpoints (such as the notion that poltergeists are real, supernatural powers exist, aliens abduct people, the government is beaming voices into your brain, etc.) are not being "portrayed neutrally" in article space. This essay might help clarify: WP:NOTNEUTRAL. - LuckyLouie (talk) 20:58, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
That's not really the issue, either in this case or with the Crop Circles article which the same editor has raised above. What is the issue is that jps is extrapolating from sources that offer rational explanations, to support the specific statement that "the case was revealed to be a hoax by magicians and sceptics". The alternative wording to which he objects is that "the case is considered to be a hoax by magicians and sceptics". That is much closer to the objective truth and it does not involve pushing a fringe viewpoint to say so. Ghughesarch (talk) 21:07, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Skeptics "concluded", not "revealed", that it was hoax (actually, they concluded that Janet cheated). "Claimed" and "revealed" in this context are WP:WEASEL words.- MrX 21:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to thank MrX for an excellent edit to the article which matches the source given and addresses the issue as far as I am concerned.Ghughesarch (talk) 21:16, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Though I'm not overwhelmingly happy with being described as "a concern troll true believer in the paranormal". That was not WP:CIVILGhughesarch (talk) 21:42, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It was more than just a "conclusion". They systematically showed why it was a hoax. If "revealed" is a weasel word, it's because it gives the simple exposure of the hoax too much import. The debunking was rather simple and mundane, to be honest. jps (talk) 12:04, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

[3] And now we have claims that we cannot say that the skeptics "showed" that this is a "hoax" but rather that they "concluded" it. Why is that? The source uses the word "conclude" only because the summary is found at the end of the article in the conclusion, but it is pretty clear all along the way that what the most reliable sources are doing is showing how this is a hoax. Are we offending the sensibilities of the reader by using simple wording and pointing out that skeptics showed this case was a hoax? I'm really at a loss for why editors are so fond of such delicate kid-glove handling of what's clearly a poorly executed hoax. jps (talk) 12:17, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Vani Hari[edit]

Hi everyone. There is an ongoing discussion at the talk page for Vani Hari which could use some input. Thanks. Dbrodbeck (talk) 23:08, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Tepper Aviation[edit]

Tepper Aviation (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)
(Find sources: "Tepper Aviation" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · highbeam · JSTOR})

There are reliable sources for the CIA-Tepper Aviation connection (e.g. [4][5]), however, anything CIA tends to drum up original research by fringe thinkers. My impression is that this article has been built upon a fair amount of primary source material and OR, but I'm hoping I can get additional opinions. (Not sure if this is related to Atlantic Gulf Airlines founded by Tom Tepper.) Thanks! - Location (talk) 21:21, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Disneyland measles outbreak[edit]

A very small number of editors seem determined ot minimise mention of the 2014 measles outbreak in Incidents at Disneyland Resort (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) - using a variety of arguments that sound suspiciously like the excuses given by Jake Blues tot he mystery woman. Guy (Help!) 14:01, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

I've pointed out on the talk page that it is poor form to accuse those who wish to exclude the material of being anti-vaxxers. There's a clear case for inclusion in my opinion, but nothing to be gained from assuming that those seeking its exclusion are motivated by anti-vaccine motivations (as opposed to, say, being Disney fans). —Tom Morris (talk) 20:40, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

A new discussion on the talk page[edit]

I have opened a discussion on the talk page about the possibility of creating a subpage on which we could list articles that are frequently the object of pro-Fringe editing. -Ad Orientem (talk) 22:42, 31 July 2015 (UTC)