Wednesday, November 16th – Joe Nickell (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry)

Joe Nickell speaking at a conference in Budapest
Joe Nickell at the 14th European Skeptics Congress in Budapest (WikiMedia Commons)

Thursday, November 16th – Joe Nickell (Committee for Skeptical Inquiry)

TONIGHT we will air our interview from yesterday with Joe Nickell, Senior Researcher with the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry among numerous other personas.

A tryptich of Joe Nickell wearing a blue suit and sitting down at a desk on the left, standing by his bookshelf in the middle wearing a cargo vest with many pockets, and sitting down with a white lab coat on at his microscope in his lab on the right
Joe Nickell in his elements.

Guest Bio

Joe Nickell smiling and wearing a black suit jacket with black turtleneck. (
Joe smiles. (

Joe Nickell, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky, 1987), is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) – an international scientific organization – and investigative columnist for Skeptical Inquirer magazine.

A former professional stage magician (he was Resident Magician at the Houdini Magical Hall of Fame for three years) and private investigator for a world-famous detective agency, Dr. Nickell taught technical writing for several years at the University of Kentucky before taking the full-time position with CSI at its offices at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York.

Utilizing his varied background, Nickell has become widely known as an investigator of myths and mysteries, frauds, forgeries, and hoaxes. He has been called “the modern Sherlock Holmes,” “the original ghost buster,” and “the real-life Scully” (from “The X-Files” ). He has investigated scores of haunted-house cases, including the Amityville Horror and the Mackenzie House in Toronto, Canada. Nickell was an inspiration for Hilary Swank’s role as a miracle investigator in The Reaping (2007).

Joe recreates the famous "Spider" of the Nazca Lines for Nat Geo (
Joe recreates the famous “Spider” of the Nazca Lines for Nat Geo (


Nickell is the author (co-author or editor) of more than twenty books, including Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1983, 1998); Secrets of the Supernatural (with John F. Fischer, 1988, 1991); The Magic Detectives (1989); Pen, Ink, and Evidence (1990, 2000, 2003); Wonder-Workers! (1991); Ambrose Bierce Is Missing (1992); Missing Pieces (with Robert A. Baker, 1992); Mysterious Realms (1992); Looking for a Miracle (1993, 1998); Psychic Sleuths(1994); Camera Clues (1994); Entities (1995); Detecting Forgery (1996); The Outer Edge(1996); The UFO Invasion (1997); Crime Science (1999); Real-Life X-Files: Investigating the Paranormal (2001); The Kentucky Mint Julep (2003); The Mystery Chronicles (2004); Secrets of the Sideshows (2005); and Lake Monster Mysteries (with Benjamin Radford, 2006), Relics of the Christ (2007), Adventures in Paranormal Investigation (2007), Real or Fake (2009), and Tracking the Man-Beasts (2011).


Media Appearances

He has appeared on numerous national TV shows, including CNBC’s “News with Brian Williams,” “Dateline NBC,” “TLC’s Best Kept Secrets,” “Larry King Live,” “Oprah,” “Ricki Lake,” “Jerry Springer Show,” “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious Universe,” “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Politically Incorrect,” “20/20,” A&E’s “The Unexplained,” “48 Hours,” and “Exploring the Unknown,” in addition to several documentaries on the Discovery Channel (such as “The Science of Magic,” “America’s Haunted Houses,” and the “Science Mysteries” series), History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and many others. Nickell has been profiled in the New Yorker magazine and on the Today show.

Articles By Joe Nickell (CSI)

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Video – VICE Documentary (feat. Joe Nickell) – The Real ‘X-Files’?

“In this documentary, VICE meets up with Joe Nickell, a longtime paranormal investigator who’s been called the real-life Agent Scully. We travel with him to Roswell, New Mexico, on the anniversary of the famous 1947 UFO crash to talk to believers, skeptics, and UFO witnesses alike to see if the truth is really out there.”