In the first half, ghosthunter and paranormal researcher David L. Sloan, who founded one of North America's first ghost tours in Key West, discussed his relationship with Robert the Haunted Doll, as well as some of the fascinating history and lore associated with him. Sloan was interviewed as he stood beside Robert, where he resides in a glass case at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West. The doll dates back to 1904, and has what is called "shoe button eyes." Usually Robert looks just like a doll, "but sometimes you look at him, and you'll see those eyes come to life, and you'll swear you're not just looking at an inanimate object-- there is somebody looking back at you," he marveled.
Robert was first owned by a boy in Key West named Eugene Otto, and they were said to be constant companions, with two voices heard when they were together, Sloan recounted. When Eugene got into trouble, his refrain was always "Robert did it." Sloan posed the theory that a neighboring laundry woman brought her sick child to the home for treatment by Eugene's father, Dr. Otto, and when the child died, its spirit moved into the doll. Sloan urged caution when dealing with Robert, as he had a number of odd episodes around the doll, including mishaps involving photos, and destroyed computer hard drives. For more, check out this set of images Sloan provided, as well as our poll, on whether you believe Robert is haunted.
In the latter half, British astronomer and science writer David Darling commented on the latest news from space including the lights on Ceres, asteroids, Planet X, and Pluto, as well as advances in such areas as artificial intelligence, and teleportation. Ceres, a round world, now classified as a dwarf planet, resides in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, and is currently being observed by NASA's Dawn probe. The curious bright lights seen in one of Ceres' craters, suggest a highly reflective surface such as ice or salt flats, but we haven't seen anything else quite like this on any moon or planet in our solar system, he noted.
The New Horizons spacecraft is closing in on Pluto at the far end of the solar system, and we may find surprising things about this mysterious object, said Darling. We are starting to see bright and dark patches on its surface, which have never been visible to us before. The dwarf planet is known to have a thin atmosphere and possibly has an ocean below its surface, he suggested. Regarding detecting life on exoplanets, we can look at the light they reflect, and check for signs of oxygen and methane in the gasses of their atmosphere, he detailed.