NEWS FROM ECSO:


11th European Skeptics Congress in London, Sept 5-7, 2003

We should like to remind all European skeptics who wish to participate in the European congress to register soon.
A registration form can be found at: http://www.ecso.org/register.pdf
For a list of hotels see: http://www.ecso.org/hotels.htm
Futher information at: http://www.ecso.org/congress_2003.htm
http://www.ecso.org/congress_20031.htm
We kindly ask all members to distribute an announcement of the London conference widely and publish it in their national magazines and newsletters.
Thank you very much!


13th GWUP conference in Darmstadt, Germany, June 13-14, 2003

This year´s congress deals with topics such as the latest state of acupuncture research, parapsychology, homeopathy, pseudophysics, feng shui, shamanism, appearances of the Virgin Mary, and the paradoxical relationship of superstition and the Enlightenment.
The program of the annual congress of the German skeptics can be found at: http://www.gwup.org/ueberuns/konferenzen/2003/index.html
http://www.ecso.org/gwup_2003.htm


Web news

How to detect terrorists with dowsing rods
Two American Legion posts and two other veterans' groups in Pleasanton, Calif., sponsored a class on dowsing in March to study whether domestic terrorists could be identified by pointing sticks at suspicious people to see if the sticks move. One of the veterans' leaders (who vouched that "the government" and oil and mining companies regularly use dowsing) told the local Tri-Valley Herald, "You can't wait for the FBI and police to come up with solutions when you have the bad guys living among us." Following the 9-11 attacks, some Pleasanton veterans received training in so-called "remote (psychic) viewing" and are now reportedly bringing local families up to speed on their missing-in-action relatives from past wars. [Tri- Valley Herald, 3-25-03]
http://www.newsoftheweird.com/archive/index.html

Australian Min-Min light phenomenon explained
The city of Boulia, Western Queensland, Australia, is famous for mysterious lights that seem to follow visitors over long distances. These so-called Min-Min lights have now been explained as a Fata Morgana phenomenon: http://www.optometrists.asn.au/ceo/vol86/2/ceo862109.pdf

Bad luck for rock thieves?
A strange phenomenon is occurring among tourists to Central Australia's famous Ayers Rock. International tourists are stealing pieces of the big red rock - and then posting them back halfway around the world, often at great expense. Most senders complain of bad luck or mysterious misfortune after illegally removing the rocks from the sacred Aboriginal site. Thousands of rocks, along with samples of soil and sand, have been sent back to the park from such far-flung places as Germany, France and Spain, but also Australia, over the past 15 years.
http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/03/07/1046826515667.html
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/world/5347957.htm


(c) 2003 Center for Inquiry - Europe, Arheilger Weg 11, 64380 Rossdorf, Germany.
Ph +49-6154-6950-23 (Fax: 6950-22).
E-mail: cfi-europe@ecso.org ; Internet: http://www.ecso.org
Editor: Dr. Martin Mahner.
This newsletter is an internal newsletter of ECSO (European Council of Skeptical Organisations). Its contents are not intended for public dissemination.
If editors of, and writers for, national skeptics journals wish to borrow material from the newsletter, they are asked to check and use the original sources of the material quoted in the newsletter.