INVESTIGATOR 20 (1991 September)


A lot of Australians still believe that the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942 saved Australia from imminent Japanese invasion.

This myth was popularized in an Australasian Post article of 1946 intended to sell lots of copies.

Some experts conclude that there was no Japanese intention to invade Australia. (Action Stations Coral Sea by Coulthard-Clark, C.)

Others conclude there were provisional intentions to invade subject to the Japanese first gaining complete superiority at sea – which they didn't come close to achieving. (Japan's Southward Advance to Australia by Frei, H. P.)

It took only one or a few articles in a popular magazine to mislead people on this question for almost 50 years. What sort of effect will the hundreds of articles on psychics, astrology, New Age, Numerology, Flying Saucers, be-Lucky Systems, Pyramids, etc, in popular magazines have?

Probably the perpetrators don't think about that question and don't care about the answer either.


The booklet The Spirit World (1990) by the Worldwide Church of God gave this evidence for the supernatural:

"There are mediums…who have stood up under the most rigorous scrutiny of investigators. Despite meticulous testing, they have given no evidence of any type of fraud. The researches of the late Air Chief Marshall Lord Dowding tested psychic phenomena and supervised tests of mediums under stringent conditions." (p. 11)

Of course as Commander of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain Lord Dowding was a qualified person in his field. The above argument seems fair enough, at first sight, except for what's left out. Dowding was a Spiritualist and therefore hardly an unbiased investigator.


I never really believed in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the talking mirror.

Soon, however, every "wicked queen" will be told she's the "fairest in the land". The Japanese have produced a talking mirror that delivers "ego boosting messages" when its sound sensor is triggered by a voice.


Someone claimed that if the energy of TEN minutes of sex could be harnessed it would suffice to power all household appliances including air conditioner. (New Woman, May 1991, p. 22)

I think I disagree.

Consider: Ten minutes of sex uses 200 calories per person – 400 calories if two people are involved. My Science Data Book gives 4.2 joules as the equivalent of 1 calory. That's 1680 joules used in 10 minutes sex.

Another book, Electricity Made Simple, says:

Energy (in joules) = Power (in watts) x Time (in seconds).

It should follow that a 40-watt globe switched on for 42 seconds uses 40 x 42 = 1680 joules of energy. Therefore rather than 10 minutes of sex being able to power all household appliances it's only sufficient to light up your life for less than one minute.

Whether I'm right or wrong you will notice that when real and genuine forces are considered precise calculations using known formulae and known values can be made. This is not the case when dealing with alleged "forces" and "energies" associated with astrology, lucky numbers and other humbug.

INVESTIGATOR 24 (1992 May)


Conservative forces in the Southern Baptist Convention (America's largest Protestant group) believe in "the literal truth and inerrancy of Scripture". In 1990 they defeated the moderates after a long struggle and purged faculties and staff in seminaries.


Hundreds of people in Britain have allegedly been injured by hot liquids when mugs exploded upon being removed from microwave ovens. One theory is that when mugs do not have any cracks or dust in the structure it allows formation of superheated layers or hotspots. If liquid or sweetener then penetrates the hot spot, rapidly expanding bubbles can result and the explosion follows. If mugs do have dust or cracks in their structure bubbles form around them, which heat up more slowly and prevent superheated layers from forming. (The Advertiser 1991 December 21 p. 24)


Theories of the Earth and the Universe (1988) by Tasmanian scientist S W Carey is a new edition of his 1950s theory that planet Earth is expanding at 5cm per year. The theory was based on observations around the ocean margins that the continents had once been joined and had separated.

Carey's Expanding-Earth theory actually lost out in 1962 when plate tectonics became popular. Large earthquakes around the Pacific indicated that ancient oceanic crust was being subducted beneath the continental "plates" at the same rate that new oceanic crust is formed in mid-ocean leaving the Earth the same size.

Carey's book gives no references other than his previous works.


The costumed character ended the rat plague by leading the rats with his flute into the Weser River. In 1284 on June 26 he led 130 children of Hamelin (Saxony) into oblivion. The Hamelin museum has 350 books on the subject and gets 200,000 tourists yearly.

According to Reader's Digest (1983 May) rats are driven mad by high frequency notes. The 130 children were really the unemployed and teenagers recruited by Count Nicholas von Spielenberg to colonise Germany's eastern frontier. They boarded a ship at Stettin, 400km north of Hamelin, which sank on the Pomeranian coast. Legends often have a basis in fact

INVESTIGATOR 26 (1992 September)


The following is an extract from The People's Journal of 1847:


Did you ever see a ghost? Well, I'll venture to tell you where the unearthly spectre came from. No matter, whether wrapped in a white sheet, invested in blue mist, creeping like a reptile, or flying like winged demon; whether peeping between your bed-curtains, grinning through your window, or moving at a a respectful distance behind your back; whether all head, or tail; having the external shape of a monkey or a magpie – no matter : these ghosts are a long and varied progeny of one parent –  the offspring of one cause.
Hearken! – you have been abusing yourself too much, eating gluttonously, vexing over imaginary ills, prostrating body and mind to the pursuit of worldly gain. Or you have been sluggish, suffering faculties which should have been exercised upon proper objects, to sink under the ennui of ignorance and inactivity. You have either done too much or too little. Bear it in mind then, that ghosts originate in disordered stomachs, bewildered brains, diseased eyes, and morbid appetites, or half-torpid senses.
And when next you see a ghost, calm yourself, and look back a day, a week, a month, a year, and you will not fail to discover that the spectre brings neither "airs from heaven, nor blasts from hell," but just a friendly hint from your inner-self to your outer-self to be wiser and better in the future than you have been in the past!



Happily married Sam Yiu Chi Law, 32, killed himself and his daughter following gloomy predictions by two fortune-tellers. The first told Mr Law's wife that "Australia was not good for their relationship", predicted she would remarry and that Mr Law would not be rich for 20 years and urged them to move to Taiwan. While he was in Hong Kong a second fortune teller confirmed the words of the first. Mr Law then turned a gun on himself and daughter, 2, in a hotel. (The Advertiser 1992 July 25)


Many North American hospitals have humour rooms where patients read funny books and magazines, watch funny films, and exchange jokes and funny stories. Laughter is known to reduce pain and stress, increases resistance to infection, makes you more creative, and alleviates emotional problems. Laughter does this by stimulating the blood circulation and the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline.

According to Dr David Garlick of the University of NSW School of Physiology: "There can be a release of brain substances as well as body hormones which may lead to an improvement in the immune system. (The Advertiser SA August 21)

According to the Bible: "A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)


Fernando Fernandez shot a policeman in Miami (Florida) during a bank robbery in May. He confessed to Lazaro Hernandez, a priest of an Afro-Caribbean sect, who sold him a good luck bracelet for $79. For two weeks the priest waited while the reward money passed $130,000. The good-luck bracelet then broke and Fernandez telephoned to ask: "What does it mean?" The priest replied "Bad luck" and turned him in.


Does a person's entire life flash before him during the moment of death? Or is this popular notion false? People who escaped death by the narrowest margin and were resuscitated, have testified that they didn't see their life flash by. Instead they had focused attention on efforts to escape and save themselves.


Smoking is linked with cancer. Another drawback is that it's linked with vascular disease as well which in turn is a cause of impotence. Blood flow to the penis also drops during a smoke. Said Dr McMahon, an expert on impotence, on August 29: "The message is that cigarettes kill penises."


A "psychic test" on A Current Affair (Channel 9, Adelaide July 14) received 8,500 replies. It consisted of guessing what was on four sealed cards:

Card 1 whether an arrow pointed up, down, left or right;
Card 2 a vegetable;
Card 3 a letter of the alphabet;
Card 4 a simple diagram.

The result was announced on August 4th.

20% got question 1 right;
0.01% - only one person - guessed yam for question 2;
0.45% got question 3 right;
0.00% got question 4 right.

The best eight scorers each got two right answers. Simon Turnbull, President of the Australian Psychics Association, scored zero. Turnbull agreed that: "It wasn't a good day."

There are such things as "mass preference factors". A lot of people have a biase to the letter "A" or the number 3 or 7. If an ESP test included such preferred symbols among the correct answers there would be a seeming confirmation of ESP. The test on Channel 9, however, avoided this error.


Project Urquart, a three-year study of Loch Ness the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles, started in July. Many scientists from all over Britain are involved. A 150-ton boat with the latest sonar technology will map the depths which were last investigated 90 years ago with piano wire and lead weight.

4,000 sightings, including by Andrew MaKillop a monk in the nearby abbey, have been reported of the Loch Ness Monster. The scientists, however, don't expect to find it. Worldwide there are hundreds of reports of other monsters, none confirmed by science.


According to the Biblical Archaeology Review the remains of Caiaphas, the high priest who handed Jesus to the Romans, may have been found – the first archaeological remains of a New Testament person. The ossuary (burial box) is mid first century (judged by coins minted in 42 and 43 AD found nearby), the bones were of a 60-year old man, and the inscription read: "Joseph, son of Caiaphas." The high priest's original name was Joseph and "Caiaphas" was the surname.

INVESTIGATOR 29 (1993 March)


A survey of 400 people in Adelaide last December by McGregor Marketing found that 99 believed contact with extra-terrestrial life is likely within 20 years; 206 believed it unlikely; 95 were undecided.


Radical Feminists and anti-Christians have been known to claim that up to 9 million people were burned as witches in early modern Europe.

Brian P Levack, a professor of history in Texas, relying on recent research, says that the total number tried for witchcraft throughout Europe was about 110,000. Of these about 60,000 were executed.