Moodus, spooky geology
Wikipedia page Sharon A Hill


B.S., Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, 1992

Ed.M., Science and the Public, University at Buffalo: The State University of New York, 2010.

My research focused on the idea of “sham inquiry” or passing off activities that look like science but really aren’t, what I called “being scientifical”. This pretend science happens in many subject areas from ghost hunting to environmental activism.

Day job is program management in environmental regulation and policy.


“Haunted Cape May”. Skeptical Briefs, September 2002, Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) [Link]

“Resolving Sinkhole Issues: A state government perspective”, in Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, Beck (ed.), 2003, ASCE, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 144: 520-528.

“Whispers from the Earth”, in Intermediate States: The Anomalist 13. 2007. Anomalist Books.

“Being Scientifical: Popularity, Purpose and Promotion of Amateur Research and Investigation Groups in the U.S.”. 2010. A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York in partial fulfillment of requirements for Degree of Master of Education (EdM). PDF

“Cryptozoology and Pseudoscience”. Skeptical Briefs 21: 13 Fall 2011.  [Link]

“Amateur Paranormal Research and Investigation Groups Doing ‘Sciencey’ Things”. Skeptical Inquirer 36:2 March/April 2012. [Link]

“The Ketchum Project: What to Believe about Bigfoot DNA ‘Science'”. Skeptical Briefs 23:1 Spring 2013. [Link]

“Shadow of the Slenderman”. Fortean Times  305 September 2013.

“Latest Appearance of Lizardman”. Fortean Times  333 November 2015.

“Time to Upgrade the Skeptical Operating System. Reboot”. Skeptical Inquirer 40:5 (2016). Download PDF

“Sounding Sciencey”. Paranormal Review 82 Spring 2017.

“Spooky Rocks”. Skeptical Briefs 27:3 Fall 2017.

Scientifical Americans: The Culture of Amateur Paranormal Investigators. 2017 (McFarland).

“Wrecking ball in the Demon House”. Fortean Times 372 November 2018.

“Meme-Spirited”: I. The VAPUS Model for Understanding the Prevalence and Potency of Ghost Narratives”. (with C. O’Keeffe, B. Laythe, N. Dagnall, K. Drinkwater, A. Ventola, & J. Houran) Australian Journal of Parapsychology 18:2 (2018) pp 117-152. Download PDF

“Meme-Spirited”: II. Illustrating the VAPUS Model for Ghost Narratives”. (with C. O’Keeffe, B. Laythe, N. Dagnall, K. Drinkwater, A. Ventola, & J. Houran) Australian Journal of Parapsychology 19:1 (2019) pp 5-43. Download PDF

“Shake, Rattle, and Glow: The Mystery of Earthquake Lights”. Fortean Times 382 August 2019. Download PDF

“Exploring gaslighting effects via the VAPUS model for ghost narratives”. (with K. Drinkwater, B. Laythe, J. Houran, N. Dagnall, & C. O’Keeffe) Australian Journal of Parapsychology 19:2 (2019) pp 143-179.

“Paranormal Tourism: Market Study of a Novel and Interactive Approach to Space Activation and Monetization”. (with J. Houran, E.D. Haynes, & U. Bielski) Cornell Hospitality Quarterly March 2020. Download PDF

“Fortean Traveller 123. East Haddam, Connecticut”. Fortean Times 399, November 2020.

“Hail, Fish, & Videotape: A Texas Fish Rain Caught on Camera”. (with Paul Cropper) Fortean Times 420, July 2022. Download PDF

~Media Projects~

Doubtful News.  A unique source of paranormal, pseudoscience and anomalous news. 2011-2017.

15 Credibility Street podcast. 2016-2018.

Spooky Geology.  A chronicle of haunted places, earth mysteries, weird locations, anomalous phenomena 2017 to present.
YouTube Channel.

Sounds Sciencey. Column for Skeptical Inquirer 2013-14.


Presented at professional geologic conferences and meetings, kids events, NECSS, The Amazing Meeting (TAM), Dragon*Con, BaltiCon, CSIcon, RavenCon, Skepticamp, National Capital Area Skeptics (NCAS), Goddard (NASA) Scientific Colloquium.


Being Scientifical
Skepticamp, D.C., (2010) and Balticon: Maryland Regional Science Fiction Convention (2011)
Available at

Coalition Building for the Skeptical Activist
Workshop at The Amazing Meeting with D. Silverman, D, Niose, C. Stedman and B. Mervine. Las Vegas, NV (2012)
Available at

On Skepticism
PA Atheists/Humanists Conference, Harrisburg, PA (2012)
Available at

Sounds Sciencey
NECSS (Northeast Conference of Science and Skepticism), New York City (2013) and Central New Jersey Mensa Snowball meeting Keynote (2014)
Available at

I Doubt That: The Media Guide to Skepticism 
James Randi Educational Foundation Workshop with B. Drescher, Los Angeles, CA (2013)
Available at

The Honest Broker of Doubtful News
The Amazing Meeting (TAM), Las Vegas, NV (2013) A
vailable at

Going Forward: The Prospective Mission of Skepticism
The Amazing Meeting (TAM) panel with B. Drescher, D. Loxton, S. Novella, J.I. Swiss, Las Vegas, NV (2013)
Available at

Bigfoot Skeptics: Abominable Science!
The Amazing Meeting (TAM) panel with D. Prothero, D, Loxton and B. Smith, Las Vegas, NV (2013)
Available at

The World of Weird News: Bigfoot, UFOs and Other Questionable Claims
National Capital Area Skeptics (NCAS), Arlington, VA (2013)
and Balticon, May 2014, Hunt Valley, MD
Available at

Practical Skepticism — Promoting Everyday Good Thinking
The Amazing Meeting (TAM) panel with S. Singh and S. Gerbic, Las Vegas, NV (2015)

Science and the Supernatural: Thinking about Weird Things
Albatwitch Festival, Columbia, PA, September 2015

Scientifical Americans (2018) National Capital Area Skeptics, Chevy Chase MD.
Available at

Earthquake Lights: Are they real? (March 2018)
Goddard Scientific Colloquium (Goddard Space Flight Center), Greenbelt, MD.
Available at

~Podcast and Interviews~

Skeptically Speaking, Meet the Skeptics, Token Skeptic, Righteous Indignation, Strange Frequencies Radio, Monster Talk, Skepticality, Skeptical Connections, Binnall of America, Parascience Journal, The Gralien Report, The Skeptic Zone, Paranormal Waypoint, InKredulous!, The Fringe Radio Show (KDKK AM630 Salt Lake City), The Bigfoot Show, Paul Harris’ America Weekend, Skeptically Challenged, America’s Most Haunted, Data Skeptic, Cryptologic Radio, Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold, Archaeological Fantasies, The CryptoKid Show, Big Picture Science, The Paracast, Squaring the Strange, Superduperstitious, In Research Of…, Plastic Plesiosaur Podcast, Wide Atlantic Weird, ‘X’ Zone Radio (AM 1220, Canada)

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