The Million Dollar Scam
(?) July 26th, 1999
We have often said it before; a lot of the people who make paranormal claims on the internet are out for money.  You can find out the whole story about their abduction or their psychic powers if you just "donate" a few meager dollars for their books, videos, healing crystals, dirty underwear, etc.  Nobody seems to exemplify this better than a man named "micromike."

He describes himself as a philosopher.  He says:

When I was little, I once heard that great minds think and talk of ideas, average minds think and talk of things, and small minds think and talk of people. In that regard, I want to try to keep my sights set on those things that are important.

Yeah, 'cause if you aren't a real philosopher, at least you can pretend to be one!

micromike also makes it a point to let us know how gosh-darn humble he is, because he puts a micro sign before his name:

The very form of the symbol signifies humbleness. Most
proper names start with a capital letter to signify the
importance of the name. But the lowly micro sign ( m ),
starts out below the "lines" and never rises to the stature
of a capital letter. This shows the desire of the philosopher
to be humble in his search for the truth and to never take
himself too seriously. 

So as a philosopher, I would ask that you focus your attention on my ideas and not on me as a human being on this planet.

If we were talking about a philosopher, then I would agree with Mike on this.  But when the "philosopher" in question is also asking  $1,000,000 for a bug he found in a rock thirty years ago, I must ask questions. 

You see, micromike was working at his great-aunt's ranch in 1971, where he came upon a "meteorite."  Here is his recount:

It was in the middle of the winter in 1971 (I believe) when we rounded a curve in the road and both immediately saw an object about half a mile away. Both of us knew that it had not been there before and my aunt asked me what it could be. The only thing I could think of was a meteorite, since it hadn't been there yesterday or any of the hundreds of days before, so I told her it was a meteorite. I asked if I could have it and she said yes, since it was only a rock to her. But I had prayed as a child that God would send me "a piece of space," so I took the whole event as an answer to my childhood prayers.

Let's just look a bit more closely at this.  This rock is a meteorite for the following reasons:

1. He and his aunt did not remember it being there.

2. He told his aunt that it was a meteorite.

3. He prayed to God that he would get a "piece of space."

Well, it's a good thing the rock was found by a "man of science!" 

Just to be even more irreverent, here are reasons why these three "proofs" are not adequate evidence:

1. Just because they didn't remember it being there does not mean it came from space. 

2. Words themselves do not cause a quantum rearrangement of the molecular makeup and geological history of rocks to fit the speaker's intentions.  That is, as far as we know. 

3.  God doesn't answer prayers.  How do I know?  Because when I was young, I would pray every night that God would send me a G.I. Joe hovercraft toy for Christmas.  I mean, I really wanted that thing, I even had a particularly disappointing dream where I got it for my birthday.  But I never got it.  Also, a rock is not part of space, in the literal sense.  Actually, it is, if you consider everything in existence a "part of space."  These are philosophical questions...you'd think Mr. Micro would have figured them out by now!

Well, I wish Mr. Micro would have made our job easier by just sticking to the above reasons, but he had to go and get a real scientist to look at it. 

Not that his results are conclusive, mind you.  They point to evidence that the rock might be from Mars.  Well, Mike points to evidence that the rock might be from Mars.  He had companies determine the date and chemical composition of the rock, but the conclusions are his. 

Here's one more observation of the rock:

The rock is very delicate. A core sample was obtained by driving a piece of 1/2" copper tubing into the rock. I could have easily driven the tubing completely through the rock. The internal structure is such that most of the walls between the vesicles are paper thin and are very weak. Imagine a 50 million year old rock that is so delicate one can break most of the inner walls with only a finger nail as a tool. 

Then how the heck could it have survived entry into the earth's atmosphere!?  We don't mean the heat part...(Mike actually tries to explain that here)...we mean the impact of it hitting the surface.  Wouldn't that have destroyed it?

Needless to say, there isn't much in the way of actual science on Mike's page.  It's mostly a lot of "take this as fact because I say it is," kind of stuff.

[the following is part 2...part 1 was published earlier]

micromike is a man of science.  You see, he prayed to God that He would send young Mikey a "piece of space."  Lo and behold, some years later, Mikey finds a rock on his aunt's ranch and deduces that it's an honest-to-God "piece of space."  He comes to this conclusion based on a) the fact that he had never seen it before, b) he believes that God answered his prayers.  Did we mention that he calls himself "a man of science?"

You see that he's pointing at that stick up there?  Well, that stick signifies his theory on Life, the Universe and Everything, but it's so convoluted and twisty that we can't figure it out.  But it has something to do with that stick and the fact that it fit perfectly into a rock he found while hiking.  He also considers this incident an act of God. 

We mentioned yesterday (ok, it was more like Monday) that micromike was different from most of the Weirdos we profile and discuss here at the skeptic.  He is. 

For one, he isn't satisfied to just be a bit off-center and share it with everyone else through the internet.  He also seems to think that the internet is the ultimate cash cow; take a look at his sales site called The Gravity Store (presumably called such because they would sell gravity if they thought people would pay for it).  When micromike peddles for money, he makes it seem like he's doing it out of some capitalistic necessity, or that he's discovered some kind of ultra-philosophical excuse for selling crap.  Exhibit A:

Human beings like to collect all kinds of things that have some intangible value that is outside the materials and shapes of the object.  Therefore, I have decided to "play" in this game by offering a number of collectable items that will be very limited in quantity, and therefore will eventually have greater value.

That's not even the half of it. 

He wants to sell his autograph, too.  For $50.  David Duchovny, who has been closer to alien life than micromike ever will be, sells his own autograph for that much, and you get a photo.  He's also a television star. Here's Mike's excuse:

      As long as I'm struggling and humanity hasn't
      recognized my true benefit, I will offer
      autographs for sale at $50.  These signatures
      will be legible, much as the one here. Each
      one will be hand written, not computer
      generated.  But after I become known, most of
      my autographs will be my standard autograph,
      which is basically unreadable.

We see here Mr. Micro's true colors for the first time (though he has hinted at it before).  He really, really, really wants to be famous.  He may play it off in that blasť "what comes, what comes" attitude, but he's pretty transparent.  I guess we're all going to have to realize his "true benefit" sometime soon or he's not going to shut up.  What is his true benefit, anyway?  Oh, it must be to take peoples' money for his crap! 

He also wishes to sell the first magazine in which his article on his meteorite appeared, for $250.  It also seems to be the only magazine to publish him.  He says that people should buy it because it has a photo of him without a beard, and that'll probably be worth something, too, since he has a beard now.

He's also selling silverware that happened to be being used at the Frass Ranch, where the meteorite "landed."  For $100.  EACH.

What's even more disgusting is that he sells licenses for the photos on his page...including some candid photos of his family. 

Oh, and he also sells tiny chunks of the rock for upwards of $2500 each.  But even that ain't the half of it.

Take a look at this

According to micromike, it is an insect from Mars.  Here is his entomological report:

This object has three body parts and six legs, much like terrestrial insects.  However, the object doesn't seem to have any eyes or other specialization on its head, except for the two large antennae and something hanging down on the bottom of its head..  Another object from the Frass Meteorite (Spidy) that still has its head intact, also doesn't appear to have any eyes.  My guess, at this point, is that the Martian atmosphere was pretty thick and hazy and not much light actually made it to the surface of Mars and thus eyes, as we know them, never developed on Mars.  Maybe instead of the red planet, we might need to call Mars the dark planet.

His GUESS?!  Sure, we all learned to call a hypothesis an "educated guess," but nowhere in any of my science classes did a teacher or a textbook say: "yeah, just go ahead and say you guess about stuff, because then they can't accuse you of lying."  It looks like micromike was reading a different textbook.  BUT micromike does have a BS in Zoology from Texas Tech.  Does this in any way lend him any kind of trustworthiness?  Nope.  But it gives him a modicum of scientific knowledge.  Not that he's under any obligation to use it.

Anyway, he has this bug that he affectionately calls "Blindy," presumably because it has no discernable eyes. 

And it is this, ladies and gentlemen, that separates our Mr. Micro from Every Other Wacko.  We've already seen that this "man of science" is trying to get poor saps' money any way he can.  Now he's going for the rich saps.  He has it on Ebay, and wants upwards of $1,000,000.  He's pretty serious.  Go here if you don't believe me.

Here's what he has to say that pretty much sums up how we feel about him:

 I have the evidence that this rock is extraterrestrial, I just don't have the "opinions" of the meteorite "experts."

AH, so essentially Mike's telling us that he doesn't have "proof" that his rock is from "Mars."  Yeah, and I swear I'm an alien from Neptune, but I don't have the "proof" from "scientists." You should just trust my scientific knowledge. 

Yeah, we're pretty angry with Mike at this point.  But it's not because of his beliefs, or his ideas, or even those crazy theories.  It's because it really seems like he's trying to scam people.  He has absolutely no proof that "Blindy" is a Martian insect, let alone that his beloved rock is from anywhere outside Texas.  We wish we could put some kind of witty remark here at the end, but our blood is boiling. 

 

 

GALLUPing
June 11th, 2001

A Million Damn Dollars
May 31st, 2001

Government Stooges
May 13th, 2001