Thursday, October 30, 2008

Biologists vs Elk Hunters (Oregon)

Mail Tribune [Medford, OR]
30 October 2008

Elk-camp talk turns to conspiracies

By Mark Freeman
Mail Tribune

Cascade general-season elk hunters remain so mystified as to why they never reach the 5 Percent Club that a stubborn few continue to look skyward for an answer to all that fails them. [...]

It can't be that elk hunters outnumber elk in Jackson County. Or that walking forest roads expecting to find a big bull is as likely as trolling expecting a quick date with Jessica Simpson.

It's gotta be those damn Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists raining rock salt -- or bags of flour or fire crackers -- from the sky just before Opening Day to break up the Roosevelt elk herds, all intended to minimize hunter success. [...]

Abduction Panic (Jamaica, 2008)

Jamaica Observer
30 October 2008

'We don't know about that'
Westmoreland police can't confirm kidnapping rumours

Observer West reporter

The Westmoreland police say they have no evidence to substantiate rumours that four HIV/AIDS-stricken men are kidnapping students from a number of schools. [...]
Jamaica Gleaner
4 November 2008
Students fearful
Shelly-Ann Thompson

A STATE of fear has gripped young professionals-in-training at the two major universities of the Corporate Area in light of the recent attacks on the island's women and children. [...]
Jamaica Gleaner
7 November 2008
Fear grips schools - Students dread abduction; education ministry establishes security measures
Edmond Campbell and Petrina Francis, Staff Reporters
Jamaica Gleaner
8 November 2008
False reports strain JCF: Abductions on the decrease - police
Shelly-Ann Thompson, Staff Reporter
Jamaica Gleaner
9 November 2008
Hunt on for abductors: 'Bigga' Ford heads task force to nab rapists, criminals
Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator [Barbados]
12 November 2008

Jamaica PM appeals for calm amid abduction claims

KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 12, 2008 - Jamaica's Prime Minister Bruce Golding has appealed for calm in the wake of reports of the abduction of children from schools across the island and has sought to reassure the country that the security forces have stepped up their vigilance.

He said he was assured at an emergency meeting with the Ministers of Education and National Security, the High command of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and other stakeholders that ongoing investigations so far show that "there is a significant gap between the reality and the perception". [...]

Jamaica Observer
14 November 2008

Shadow of the 'Black Heart Man'


FACT OR FICTION, rumour or reality? Reports of abductions of children and young women are reaching epidemic proportions. [...]

A certain email now in circulation claims that a family, while enjoying the simple pleasure of dining out on hamburgers, were set upon by young men who took away two young girls and raped them. [...]

FINGERS ARE POINTED at different sources. Taxi-men, in particular, are getting a bad rap (not that some of them haven't earned it), as it is widely held that some, at least, are involved in the evil. [...]

There's also the allegation that the attack on youngsters has links to gang initiation rites. No evidence has been adduced that this is true. [...]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Drug-Soaked Business Cards,23739,24569704-952,00.html

The Courier-Mail [Brisbane, Australia]
29 October 2008

Police say drug-soaked business card story's a hoax

By Leanne Edmistone

CLAIMS criminals are using drug-soaked business cards to incapacitate female victims is the latest urban myth to circulate in email accounts. [...]

Welland Tribune [ON]
31 October 2008

E-mail a hoax: police


An e-mail hoax has cited Niagara Regional Police in an attempt to gain credibility.

For roughly two weeks now, NRP media officer Const. Jacquie Forgeron has been answering calls about an e-mail that has been making its rounds in Niagara.

The e-mail cites that it has been "passed to us by Paul Bevan of the Sexual Assault Unit" of the NRPS, prompting some recipients to believe its validity and pass it along.

The e-mail reports an account of a woman who was passed a business card, contaminated with the drug Burundanga, at a gas station. [...]

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Redding Rumors

Redding Record Searchlight [CA]
26 October 2008

Fact or fiction? We check out the north state's most enduring legends

By Ryan Sabalow

Rumors - every small town has them.

Though with a population of about 90,000, Redding really can't be called "small," folks here and in the surrounding north state are no slouches when it comes to tall tales and urban legends. [...]

[There are bodies buried in Shasta Dam.

[Divers encountered fish the size of Volkswagens at the bottom of Shasta Dam.

[Shasta County is a dumping ground for out-of-town parolees.

[Redding is the second-sunniest city in the United States.]

Child Abduction Rumors, Ivory Coast

Agence France-Presse
25 October 2008

Two die, five hurt in riots after child abduction rumours

ABIDJAN (AFP) - Two people died in the Ivory Coast capital Abidjan and five more were injured in unrest sparked by rumours that children had been abducted, police said Saturday. [...]

"A rumour of kidnapping of children by individuals driving four-wheel drive vehicles with tinted windows" had been circulating for several days through mobile phone messages, police said. [...]

Ads for Turning Pets into Rugs,5143,705258061,00.html

Deseret News [UT]
25 October 2008

Ads for euthanizing pets to make rugs may be hoax

By Pat Reavy

There's more potential evidence that a posting on Craig's List by a person offering to euthanize pets at that person's Federal Heights home and turn the animals into a rug, is a hoax. [...]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Earthquake Rumors, Yemen

Yemen Times
23 October 2008

Local press rumors cause earthquake panic

Nadia Al-Sakkaf

SANA'A, Oct. 22 - Rumors of strong earthquakes up to 7 degrees on the Richter scale in the Gulf of Aden, Marib, Dhamar and Taiz governorates last Sunday have caused panic among people living in those areas and disturbed their daily lives. [...]

"The story started over two months ago when an article was published in the national newspaper Al-Thawra, in which a center I have never heard of for astronomy, minerals and oil predicted strong earthquakes of 7 Richter. The next day we published an article in the newspaper denying any of that news," said Jamal Sholan, director of the National Seismology Observatory Center (NSOC) based in Dhamar.

The news was republished in different Yemeni media on several occasions, each time with a new location suggested for the so-called devastating earthquake. [...]

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Sydney Morning Herald
23 October 2008

Column 8

[...] "Recently I walked to my corner store and asked the delightful middle-aged Chinese lady serving there for a light bulb," writes Myles Paulsen, of Redfern. "I heard her say: 'What?' I repeated my request and again she said 'What?', so I did what I normally do in these circumstances and went into an elaborate routine in which I mimed unscrewing an invisible dead bulb from a ceiling, screwing in a live one, and then flicking an invisible switch, upon which my eyes widen in happiness as the room suddenly fills with light. The lady looked at me as if I'd lost my mind and then she repeated: 'Watt! How many watt?' "

Friday, October 17, 2008

Clown Tries to Abduct Kids (Chicago),clown100508.article

Chicago Sun-Times
5 October 2008

Man in clown costume approaches children on W. Side


Police are searching for a man apparently dressed as a clown that has been approaching children near the West Sides Garfield Park neighborhood. [...]
17 October 2008

2 More Sightings Of Clown Trying To Lure Kids
But Police Cast Doubt On Some Clown Reports

CHICAGO (CBS) - Two more children have told police they were approached by a sinister man dressed as a clown, after several other such incidents were reported. [...]

While police are taking the incidents seriously, a police source close to the investigation told CBS 2's Mike Parker that past scares involving men dressed as clowns have cast some doubt on some the current claims.

A police source said at this point, the latest reports are being investigated accordingly and cannot be dismissed. But another source close to the investigation said the two reports from the city's West Side are now believed to be bogus. [...]
WBBM-TV [Chicago]
16 October 2008
Man Dressed As Clown Stalking Kids
Steve Miller Reporting,clown-abduction-children-101408.article
Chicago Sun-Times
14 October 2008
Clown attempts to lure children into vehicle with balloons

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Looks Like Greece

Playbill [NY]
14 October 2008

ONSTAGE & BACKSTAGE: Wright On (and Off) Fire Island

By Seth Rudetsky

[Rudetsky interviewed soprano Barbara Cook by telephone.]

[...] I decided to ask Barbra [sic] about a show she rarely discusses, Carrie. A lot of people have forgotten that she played the mother in the RSC production in London. She finally verified a story I always thought was a Broadway urban legend. During pre-production, the director met with the producer, who felt that the scariness in the movie was from the fact that this kind of horror could take place in any high school in America, so the producer suggested that the show have the look of Grease. The director readily agreed and came back weeks later with the set and costume drawings. The producer looked at it all and asked, "Why all the columns? Why is everything white?" and the director said, "I took your advice. It all looks like Greece!" Seriously! [...]

Monday, October 13, 2008

Profile of Andy Martin, Influential Anti-Obamist

The New York Times
13 October 2008

The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama


[...] Until this month, the man who is widely credited with starting the cyberwhisper campaign that still dogs Mr. Obama was a secondary character in news reports, with deep explorations of his background largely confined to liberal blogs.

But an appearance in a documentary-style program on the Fox News Channel watched by three million people last week thrust the man, Andy Martin, and his past into the foreground. The program allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government. [...]

"Sun Will Rise Continuously for 36 Hours"

The News Today [Iloilo City, Philippines]
13 October 2008

Global hoax says web experts as text messages reach Iloilo

By Florence F. Hibionada

From internet rumor to forwarded text messages (via Short Messaging System - SMS), purported "global phenomenon" of a longer-rising sun come Friday reached Iloilo.

Albeit edited thus with additional data from the supposed original form, the message was the same - sun will rise continuously for 36 hours or 1.5 days. And to give further credence to the text, supposed source were CNN and BBC News. [...]

Man's Photo Added to Gang Initiation Text Message

WDIV-TV [Detroit]
7 October 2008

Man Says He Is Victim Of Local Text Hoax

DETROIT -- A local man said he wants to clear his name after his picture was attached to a threatening text message.

Cordell Battle of Oak Park said his face is showing up on cell phones with text messages painting him as a threat, but he says he's the victim of a hoax.

The text message warns women could be shot and killed in a gang initiation.

A similar text spread panic and fear through Pontiac last month. Now just weeks later, it's the same message, but this time a picture of Battle is attached to the text message. [...]

Independent Collegian [University of Toledo, OH]
13 October 2008

Texting hoax threatens violence

IC Staff

A text message threatening violence was sent out to a number of UT students over the past week.

The message showed a picture of a man and stated that his initiation task to join a gang was to shoot a female in the head. It was also stated that he would be riding a bicycle[.] [...]

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Parrot Legends

New York Times
12 October 2008

My Parrot, My Self


[...] The antics of parrots have long been deemed newsworthy, especially in Britain, where the BBC has covered dozens of supposedly true stories about them in the past decade. Almost every such report has been prefigured in a folk tale, novel or poem[.] [...]

Elvis is Alive

Memphis Commercial Appeal [TN]
11 October 2008

DNA lab owner: Elvis is not dead
Supports woman's claim to be Presley's half-sister

By Lawrence Buser

The head of an Arizona DNA lab who supports a woman's claim that she's the daughter of Vernon Presley said Friday there's something even more interesting about the case.

Elvis is alive. [...]

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Man-eating Goonch (India)

Daily Telegraph [UK]
9 October 2008

Mutant fish develops a taste for human flesh in India

A mutant breed of fish is believed to have killed a number of people in India, scientists have said.

By Lucy Cockcroft

The enormous goonch, a type of catfish, is said to have developed a taste for human flesh after feeding on corpses thrown into the river after funeral ceremonies.

Locals rumours have held for years that a mysterious monster lurks in the water.

But they think it has moved on from scavenging to targeting live bathers who swim in the Great Kali, which flows along the India-Nepal border. [...]

Doll Delivers Islamic (or Satanic) Message

KJRH-TV [Tulsa, OK]
9 October 2008

Does doll deliver Islamic message?

Reported by: Jason Grubbs

Parents are outraged about the messages they're hearing from a doll. It's Fisher-Price's "Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Cuddle and Coo" doll.

People claim they can hear it mumble "Satan is king," and clearly speak "Islam is the light." [...]

Owasso Reporter [OK]
9 October 2008

EXCLUSIVE - Doll with Islamic message stirs controversy

By Amanda Morgan-Scott, staff writer

[At the end of this article is an e-mail from Mattel, which says that "The only scripted word that the doll actually says is "mama." There is a sound that may resemble something close to the word "night, right, or light." All of the other sounds are baby sounds with no real words or sentence structure. "]

The Gazette [Gastonia, NC]
14 October 2008

Does baby's babble promote Islam?
Area stores pull doll over purported Muslim message

Corey Friedman

The Wichita Eagle [Kansas]
16 October 2008

Some hear doll's burbling as a clear endorsement of Islam

The Wichita Eagle

Mattel Press Release
13 October 2008

Statement by: Mattel, Inc.
Re: Little Mommy Cuddle ‘n Coo Dolls

The Little Mommy Cuddle ‘n Coo dolls feature realistic baby sounds including cooing, giggling, and baby babble with no real sentence structure. The only scripted word the doll says is “mama.”

There is a sound that may resemble something close to the word “night, right, or light.” To avoid any potential misinterpretation, we have eliminated that segment of the sound file from future production.

Because the original sound track is compressed into a file that can be played through an inexpensive toy speaker, actual sounds may be imprecise or distorted. [...]

News Courier [Athens, AL]
23 October 2008

Residents says doll utters 'Islam is the light'

By Jennifer R. Hill

[...] The Little Mommy Real Loving Baby Cuddle & Coo Doll, made in China, comes complete with pacifier, bottle, rattle and birth certificate. The box says "come close and watch me wiggle and coo! I say `mama' too! I want to cuddle with you," but several people across the country have reported hearing the doll say the phrases "Islam is the light" and "Satin is King." [...]

The Daily Citizen [Dalton, GA]
14 November 2008

Man claims doll is pro-Islam

By Charles Oliver
Dalton Daily Citizen

Jack Devlin saw some employees passing around a doll while shopping recently. He decided to see what the fuss was about, and when he listened in, he couldn't believe what he heard.

Devlin, who lives in Dalton, says Mattel's Little Mommy Cuddle `n Coo doll says "Islam is the light."

"Being a Christian, this goes against my religion, the message they are sending," he said. "When you look around, this jihad thing in the Middle East, they've been on their way for 40 years, spreading all through Europe and America."

"When I hear this, I can see little children, 3- and 4-years old, slowly but surely being indoctrinated," he said. [...]

WTHI-TV [Terre Haute, IN]
27 January 2009

Video game plays strange message

Toy says 'Islam is the light'

Jessica Hayes

KNIGHTSVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) - Months ago, Rachel Jones was shocked to discover her 4-year-old's baby doll seemed to have a hidden message: Islam is the light.

Imagine her surprise when a game for her 8-year-old daughter's Nintendo DS had the same message. [...]

WTHI-TV [Terre Haute, IN]
29 January 2009

Viewers react to possible hidden messages in childrens' toys

Jessica Hayes

Dunn County News [Menomonie, WI]
25 February 2009

Menomonie Wal-mart pulls alleged pro-Islam doll from shelf

By Aaron Olson

Lois Debee of Cedar Falls went to the Menomonie Wal-Mart after receiving a phone call from her niece about a doll which she said mutters a hidden islamic phrase.

Debee, a child-care provider, was appalled by what she believed the doll says, claiming that besides mundane phrases like “mama” or general cooing, it also mutters the phrase, “Islam is the light.” […]

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fox News

The Leaf Chronicle [Clarksville, TN]
6 October 2008

Man picks up 'dead' fox, wrecks after it revives


[After hitting a fox with his SUV, Tommy Fox put the apparently dead animal in the back seat, intending to later cut off its tail to keep as a souvenir. When the fox revived, the driver "desperately searched for something to hold the fox back and prevent him from climbing into the front seat and biting him." His SUV flipped over and landed in a ditch. Fox ended up with minor injuries; the fox "was found dead in the SUV."]

Monday, October 6, 2008

No Touching!

Times Colonist [Victoria, BC, Canada]
6 October 2008

When Paul Newman dropped in

Michael D. Reid, Times Colonist

[John Olson used to own a nightclub in Victoria's Strathcona Hotel called The Sting.]

[...] One of The Sting's fun features, Olson recalls, was in the ladies room. It had upholstered toilets and, above the sinks, a framed picture of a naked Burt Reynolds. A sign on a tiny hinged door installed over Burt's naughty bits warned: "Do not lift."

"Two or three women would go in at the same time and they'd giggle," Olson recalls, chuckling.

"They usually couldn't stand it so one had to go and lift it. It set off a siren and a red light lit up on the outside door so everyone in the club knew." [...]

Art Linkletter, Oops!; or, Life's Awful Moments (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967), pp. 149-50.

Curiosity was the undoing of a North Carolina woman in her fifties who was on a trip with her family and stopped for dinner in Denver, Colorado. It was a very beautiful restaurant, she told me, and when she went into the ladies' room, she saw a carved statue of a nude man in a fig leaf standing by the commode. Above the statue was this inscription: "Caution. Do not touch fig leaf." Unable to resist, she slowly raised her finger and flipped the fig leaf. It swung to one side -- and an alarm bell went off that could be heard a city block. Realizing she'd been trapped in a practical joke, she looked for another exit, but there wasn't even a window to crawl through. Finally she got up enough nerve to open the door, and walked into a crowd of diners who were all in on the gag. The waitress was also shaking with laughter. "Am I the only women who ever rang the bell?" she asked. "Oh no, dear," said the waitress. "Much older ones than you."
Reader's Digest Treasury of Wit & Humor (Montreal: The Reader's Digest Association (Canada), 1958), p. 72.

A woman visiting in Florida one winter was taken by friends to one of the plush resort night clubs. When she entered the rest room she discovered a large mural of Adam, wearing only a fig leaf. A sign warned customers: "Do Not Lift the Fig Leaf." But the visitor's feminine curiosity got the better of her, and she upped the leaf.

Bells began to ring, sirens sounded, plaster fell and bedlam set in. She turned and ran out the rest-room door -- only to be blinded by a giant spotlight, while the orchestra blared fanfares. -- Bob Walling, quoted by Ronald Furse in Plattsmouth, Neb. Journal

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Double Dream

John Robert Colombo, Mysterious Encounters (Willowdale, Ont.: Hounslow Press, 1990), pp. 142-3.

The Double Dream

Audrey Soltys

[...] Mrs. Soltys wrote up her experience for George Gamester, the noted columnist with the Toronto Star, who devoted a series of columns to just such accounts. He called the series "Tell Us Your Eerie Tales," and published "The Double Dream" on 7 July 1989.

Mrs. Soltys is a graduate of the University of Manchester in England. She has travelled around the world with her husband M. A. Soltys, a microbiologist, and their children. She now lives in Guelph, On. In a letter she sent to me on 27 June 1989, she explained the following:

The incident happened in Melaka (Malacca) in 1975. I can't recall the season as Malaysia has an average temperature of about 32 [degrees] year round, hot and humid. Our friends were looking in town at some apartments, which were too small, and at some houses, which were too big, which was why they went the next day to a different neighbourhood.

While staying in Malaysia, we became friends with a young couple named Omar and Sharifah who were looking for a house.

One day, when we were going through an older, more traditional area outside the town, Sharifah clutched her husband's arm and said: "Look at that sweet little house. I dreamed last night of a house exactly like that."

As we approached, we saw an old man sweeping the walk. The moment he spotted us, he rushed inside.

Omar knocked at the door and told the man: "Don't be afraid."

The old man replied: "I'm not afraid of you. It's that woman. Last night I dreamed she came to steal my house."
Andrew Lang, The Book of Dreams and Ghosts (1897)

The story of the lady who often dreamed of a house, and when by chance she found and rented it was recognised as the ghost who had recently haunted it, is good, but is an invention!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oliver North Rumor Repeated by Pakistan's President

New York Times
2 October 2008

Pakistani Leader Repeats a Long Debunked Hoax


The president of Pakistan apparently believes an Internet hoax alleging that Oliver L. North warned of the dangers posed by Osama bin Laden 20 years ago.

President Asif Ali Zardari, in an interview with the Fox News Channel that was televised on Tuesday, claimed that Mr. North installed a security system for his home in the late 1980s "because he was `scared of Osama bin Laden.' "

That rumor emerged on the Internet shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It has been thoroughly debunked by a number of reliable sources, including the United States Senate's Web site and Mr. North himself. [...]

Gang Initiation: Rape of University Student [Denver, CO]
1 October 2008

Fake Text Message Warns Of Rape At UNC

Kathy Walsh

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) - University of Northern Colorado officials say it's a fake, but some college students in Greeley were being extra cautious Wednesday after getting an alarming text message Tuesday night.

Seniors Amanda DeSessa and Allison Loncar were two of a number of students who got a disturbing text message that read, "Please do not walk anywhere alone ever gang initiation this week is to rape a UNC student." [...]

UNC Mirror [University of Northern Colorado]
1 October 2008

Fake text message causes alarm

Magdalena Wegrzyn

Officials are still investigating the source of a text message sent to several students' cell phones Tuesday night warning them about gang initiation week. [...]