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Paranormal phenomena aren't just for Fox Mulder, Melinda Gordon, and Rod Serling. Even top academics can't resist a good ghost story. And maybe that's for the better: Brilliant ideas often seem crazy at first. Scientific American dubbed the Wright Brothers "the Lying Brothers" despite test flights witnessed by trainloads of startled onlookers. More obscure findings can fare worse: Germs, quarks, black holes, and continental drift were all once considered laughable. Still, impeccably credentialed scientists persist, as Lewis Carroll's White Queen says, in trying to believe a few impossible things before breakfast—or after they've received tenure.