(These experiments are usually buried underground or similarly crazy in their location, so if they got something wrong about the setup/geology, e.g. If the rocks are slightly radioactive, that could skew the results like this in exactly this way.)
> Nuclear effects associated with neutrino interactions on carbon can affect the reconstruction of the neutrino energy, E QE , and the determination of the neutrino oscillation parameters . These effects were studied previously  and were found to not affect substantially the oscillation fit.
> All of the major backgrounds are constrained by in-situ event measurements, so non-oscillation explanations would need to invoke new anomalous background processes.
> The MiniBooNE excess of events in both oscillation probability and L/E spectrum is, therefore, consistent with the LSND excess of events, even though the two experiments have completely dif- ferent neutrino energies, neutrino fluxes, reconstruction, backgrounds, and systematic uncertainties.
The two "outlier" experiments are consistent with one another. While they might in fact have the same systematic error, that would be quite a coincidence.
Amazing series and even friends that don’t enjoy science function enjoyed reading them.
> Both experiments have now reported more neutrino detections than The Standard Model's description of neutrino oscillation can explain the authors wrote in the paper.
I had the same question you did: if the defining characteristic of a sterile neutrino is non-interaction, how does it get detected? My best guess is that NBC's summary of the definition of a sterile neutrino is probably wrong in a some subtle way.
Perhaps a good analogue is the double slit experiment, the wavefunction interferes with itself and you get more photons at the peaks, not only less at the dark patches of the interference pattern, as one would expect in case of just blocking some of the light.
a "sterile neutrino" that passes through matter without interacting with it