Monday, December 27, 2010

Bob Geldof: "Give us your fucking money"

The Daily Mirror [UK]
27 December 2010

The urban myth of Sir Bob Geldof's legendary Live Aid outburst

by David Hepworth, Daily Mirror

ON July 13, 1985 I was at Wembley Stadium working for the BBC as one of the presenters of its coverage of Live Aid. [...]

[Bob Geldof] climbed into our little studio and demanded to make an appeal. In a break between acts I sat next to him and talked him through it.

He made his case as to why people should put hands in their pockets to help the starving.

“Fine,” I said and then, because I knew what order the captions would come up in, I added to camera: “Here’s the address...”

“F*** the address,” interjected Geldof. “Go to the phone number!” [...]

In the years that followed I’ve been engaged in that same conversation all over the world. The people who are convinced that Geldof said “Give us your f***ing money” range from those who claim to have watched every second of the broadcast to people not even born at the time. [...]

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Tree Vendor Legends

The Village Voice [NY]
23 December 2010

Tales From a Greenpoint Christmas Tree Vendor

By Jen Doll

[...] Stories tend to accumulate over the years, told from vendor to vendor, some of them real, some of them with the trappings of urban legend. "There's one I heard from a tree guy," [tree vendor Charlie Poekel] said. "Someone new was selling trees late one night. A good-looking girl came around, talked to him for 30 minutes or so, got him to sneak away, and gave him head in a nearby alley. When he came back, the story goes, every tree was gone."

In another tale, "This woman sold a tree to a drunk guy three nights in a row. The first two nights the tree apparently didn't make it home." [...]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Keith Richards

Keith Richards with James Fox, Life (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2010), p. 209.

There was the thing of course of Marianne. Hard day on acid, she had taken a bath upstairs, just finished, and I had this huge fur rug, made of pelts of some kind, rabbit, and she just wrapped herself up in that. I think she had a towel around her too and was lying back on the couch after a nice bath. How the Mars bar got into the story I don't know. There was one on the table -- there were a couple, because on acid suddenly you get sugar lack and you're munching away. And so she's stuck forever with the story of where the police found that Mars bar. And you have to say she wears it well. But how that connotation came about and how the press managed to make a Mars bar on a table and Marianne wrapped in a fur rug into a myth is a kind of classic. In fact, Marianne was quite chastely attired for once. Usually when first you said hi to Marianne you started talking to the cleavage. And she knew she was thrusting it. A naughty lady, bless her heart. She was more dressed in this fur bedspread than she'd been all day. So they had a woman police officer who took her upstairs and made her drop the rug. What else do you want to see? From there -- it shows you what's in people's minds -- the evening paper headlines are "Naked Girl at Stones Party." Info directly from the police. But the Mars bar as a dildo? That's rather a large leap. The weird thing about these myths is that they stick when they're so obviously false. Perhaps the idea is that it's so outlandish or crude or prurient that it can't have been invented.

Keith Richards with James Fox, Life (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2010), p. 546.

Bert had died in 2002, but his memory was revived a few weeks before Doris died in a big press story generated by a journalist reporting that I'd claimed to have snorted some of my father's ashes along with a line of bump. There were headlines, editorials, there were op-eds on cannibalism, there was some of the old flavor of Street of Shame indignation at the Stones. John Humphrys on prime-time radio was heard to ask, "Do you think Keith Richards has gone too far this time?" What did he mean this time? There were also articles saying this is a perfectly normal thing, it goes back to ancient times, the ingestion of your ancestor. So there were two schools of thought. Old pro that I am, I said it was taken out of context. No denying, no admitting. "The truth of the matter" -- to read my memo to [his manager] Jane Rose when the story threatened to get out of hand -- "is that after having Dad's ashes in a black box for six years, because I really couldn't bring myself to scatter him to the winds, I finally planted a sturdy English oak to spread him around. And as I took the lid off the box, a fine spray of his ashes blew out onto the table. I couldn't just brush him off, so I wiped my finger over it and snorted the residue. Ashes to ashes, father to son. He is now growing oak trees and would love me for it."

Vanishing Genitals (Ghana)

Peace FM Online [Ghana]
22 December 2010

Man 'Jailed' Over Missing Penis

A Tamale Circuit Court has remanded 48-year-old Alex Ikege, a man suspected of making some persons’ genitals disappear, into police custody to re-appear on December 23, 2010. [...]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Attempted Abduction at Toledo Shopping Mall

Toledo Blade [OH]
15 December 2010

Police: Westfield Franklin Park abduction story untrue


A persistent and startling story about the alleged attempted abduction of a young girl from the bathroom of a local shopping mall is untrue and has circulated widely through e-mail, authorities said Wednesday. [...]

The tall tale involves a teenage girl whose mother screamed to alert mall security when she saw the girl unresponsive and being carried out by two men from the food court bathroom at Westfield Franklin Park.

In most variations of the rumor, the girl's hair was disguised in some way by being shaved, dyed, or covered with a wig. [...]

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Armenian Children Kidnapped, Organs Taken

14 December 2010

Kidnapping scare: Armenian Police say abduction cases are case of urban myth

By Gayane Abrahamyan
ArmeniaNow reporter

Parents in Yerevan have been increasingly worried about their children’s safety in recent weeks as rumors have circulated that children have been abducted. [...]

Stories of horrific cases have circulated, usually including talk of “foreigners” coming into Armenia and kidnapping boys and girls to sell them for organ transplants. [...]

Friday, December 10, 2010

Roundabout Plan = Cup Stain on Blueprint

The Shropshire Star [UK]
10 December 2010

HIGNFY Telford roundabout joke’s ‘ring of truth’

Millions of TV viewers heard how rings left on a blueprint by a dirty coffee cup were supposedly mistaken by planners in Telford for proposed roundabouts.

The mark was said to have led to the myriad of islands being built, even though they had never featured in the architects’ minds.

The alleged stain on Telford’s character was aired last night on hit satirical panel show Have I Got News For You. It left the audience reeling with laughter. [...]
BBC News
10 December 2010
Telford roundabout TV claim 'is urban myth'

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Koro Outbreak (Nigeria)

The Vanguard [Nigeria]
7 December 2010

Two persons lynched over ‘missing’ genitals in Plateau

By Taye Obateru & Samuel Olaniran

At least two people have been lynched in Plateau State for being allegedly responsible for the disappearance of the genitals of other citizens in different parts of the state.

A man was stoned to death in Mikang Local Government Area while two others were set ablaze in Shendam Local Government Area of the state over the allegations. [...]

Shark Attacks an Israeli Plot

Ahram Online [Egypt]
6 December 2010

Expert shoots down conspiracy theory blaming Israel for shark attacks

Yasmine Fathi

A Sharm El Sheikh marine biologist slammed the conspiracy theory circulating around the country that last week's shark attacks off the South Sinai resort of Sharm El-Sheikh were part of an Israeli conspiracy, but the South Sinai governor supports it. [...]

The Jerusalem Post
6 December 2010

Egypt: Sinai shark attacks could be Israeli plot


Israel rejects the notion as "too ludicrous" for comment; German woman killed near Sharm e-Sheikh, Russian tourists also mauled.

Egyptian officials say they have not ruled out the possibility that a fatal shark attack in Sinai on Sunday could have been a plot by the Mossad. [...]

Reuters Africa
6 December 2010

Egypt puzzled after string of Red Sea shark attacks

By Mohamed Zaki

SHARM EL-SHEIKH (Reuters) - Shark attacks on tourists in the Red Sea have triggered a flurry of speculation as to what could have caused them, with suggestions ranging from overfishing to an Israeli plot to harm Egyptian tourism. [...]

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cholera Rumors (Haiti)

4 December 2010

How Rumors Rule in Cholera-Torn Haiti

by: Laura Wagner

[...] But the idea, however wrongheaded, that Haitians are particularly resistant because of their continuous exposure to unsanitary conditions, is now cited as proof that the emergence of cholera is something other than just a "germ," something outside the natural order, and something intentional.[...]

On November 16, a friend from the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Christ-Roi told me she'd heard that the UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSTAH, had released a box of dead rats into the water in Cap Haitien with help of "the Americans." [...]

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jenkem (Fort Pierce, Florida)

NBC Miami
3 December 2010

Waste-Filled Apartment Causes a Stink
Fort Pierce building condemned after drug habit leads to disgusting mess


[...] When police opened the second floor unit, they found bottles and buckets of what appeared to be human waste. Many of the containers had been dumped out onto a mattress and the bedroom floor.

Officers believe the wasteful renter may have been huffing "Jenkem," a hallucinogenic drug made from the gas of fermented sewage. [...]
WPTV-TV [West Palm Beach, FL]
3 December 2010
Smelly house forces tenants to leave
By: Carolyn Scofield

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cholera Caused by Powders (Haiti)

2 December 2010

Cholera panic sparks Haiti witch hunt; 12 killed

The Associated Press

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Terror over a fast-spreading cholera epidemic has triggered a violent witch hunt in rural Haiti in which locals have murdered at least 12 neighbors on accusations they used "black magic" to infect people, police said Thursday. [...]

Rumors began to spread last week in the remote southwestern Grand Anse region, where the first cases of cholera are only now being seen, that Vodou practitioners had fashioned a magic powder to spread the infection. [...]

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cannibalism Scare (Sierra Leone)

Awoko [Sierra Leone]
25 November 2010

Cannibalism scare grips Bo

By Easmon Moiguah

Parents and residents of Bo and its environs have for the past two weeks been in fear for the safety of their loved ones especially their children as rumours of cannibalism circulate around the township.

Play grounds were abandoned as children were kept indoors and parents had anxious moments waiting for their children to return home from school. So far there has not been a single case of cannibalism in the area. [...]

26 November 2010

Ritual murder and Cannibalism scare hit SLPP strongholds, as Borfima Society and human baboons become active once again

[...] According to our Freetown-based reporters, the ritual murder and cannibalism scare have also been fuelled by reports of the sightings of human baboons who have been seen at night in some villages and towns. Human baboons are real human beings disguised in baboon skins and they specialize in capturing innocent people from whom they extract parts for ritual purposes while consuming their flesh. [...]

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dead Mobsters in Lake Tahoe

Sydney Morning Herald
21 November 2010

Sunny slopes, shady stories

Craig Tansley discovers a most unusual ski resort, complete with legends of dead mobsters and thousands of slot machines.

BELOW this place they call Heavenly, hell awaits those who double-cross the Mob.

Around here, urban legend has lake fishermen reeling in human ears and human hands. They say that far below all that fluffy powder snow and those perfectly spaced pine trees and all that sunshine; and way down below the surface of the huge alpine lake the Indians call Lake of the Sky, lies an underwater wax museum of perfectly preserved Mafia gangsters with bullet holes in the middle of their foreheads. [...]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Janitor Unplugs Life Support System

Philippine Daily Inquirer
23 November 2010

Inner Awareness
Urban legends die hard

By Jaime Licauco
Philippine Daily Inquirer

I RECENTLY got a text message titled “Mystery at a Medical Center” from a well known ophthalmologist. The message read:

“ICU patients always died in the same bed on Sundays at 11 a.m., regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors. No one could solve the mystery. Mr. Licauco and the Ateneo paranormal folks were called. They arrived armed with special photographic equipment, infrared devices and motion sensitive radar to detect any presence, so on Sunday, a few minutes before 11 a.m., doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to know what the mystery was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses and prayer books to ward off evil spirits.

“When the clock struck 11, Mang Jose, a part-time Sunday janitor, entered the room, unplugged the life support system and plugged in the vacuum cleaner.” [...]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gang Initiation: Murder at Broadway Mall,0,2409495.story

18 November 2010

No Murders Planned For Long Island Mall

Rob Hoell

HICKSVILLE, NY — Police say there is no credibility to a barrage of emails circulating in Nassau County of an impending MS-13 gang initiation where an innocent victim would be randomly singled out to be murdered at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville. [...]

Kool Mints Reduce Blood Alcohol Levels

Herald Sun [Melbourne, Australia]
19 November 2010

Jeff Kennet advises drink drivers to eat Kool Mints

Felicity Williams

VICTORIA police have lashed out at Jeff Kennett after the former premier advised drink drivers to eat Kool Mints to reduce their blood alcohol content.

Speaking to radio station 3AW yesterday, Mr Kennett said that people who had been drinking should eat Kool Mints before getting behind the wheel.

"If you have had a couple of drinks and you want to absorb the alcohol quickly, Kool Mints will do it,'' he said. [...]

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Handshake Used to Inject Drug

WAVY-TV [Portsmouth, VA]
9 November 2010

Ominous e-mail circulates in Va. Beach
Police said e-mail was an urban myth

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Hundreds of people received an exaggerated e-mail that circulated around Virginia Beach.

The e-mail stated that a man approached a Sandbridge woman at a gas station and asked her for gas money. She gave him a few dollars, but before she left, the man thanked her and squeezed her hand tightly. When he did that, the e-mail stated he injected her with something like a date rape drug. [...]

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How to Beat a Breath-Alcohol Test

Otago Daily Times [New Zealand]
9 November 2010

Slurring, falling and still driving

By Hamish McNeilly

[...] Asked what urban legends he had heard in connection with drink-driving tests, Dr [Allan] Stowell said he had heard of how didgeridoo players can "beat' a breath-alcohol test by drawing air through the nose at the same time as breathing through their mouths.

"If this is correct and they can satisfy the stringent airflow requirements of the breath-testing devices, which I doubt, they could significantly lower their breath-alcohol test results." [...]

Gas-Propelled Astronauts?

Mary Roach, Packing for Mars (New York: W.W. Norton, 2010), 305-6.

The zero-gravity fart has been a popular orbital pursuit, particularly on all-male flights. One hears tell of astronauts using intestinal gas like rocket propellant to "launch themselves across the middeck," as astronaut Roger Crouch puts it. He had heard the claims and was dubious. "The mass and velocity of the expelled gas," he told me in an email that has forever endeared him to me, "is very small compared to the mass of the human body." Thus it was unlikely that it could accelerate a 180-pound astronaut. Crouch pointed out that an exhaled breath doesn't propel an astronaut in any direction, and the lungs hold about six liters of air -- versus the fart, which, as we learned from Dr. Murphy, holds at most three soda cans' worth.

Or the average person's, anyway. "My genes have blessed me with an extraordinary ability to expel some of the byproducts of digestion," wrote Crouch. "So given that, I thought that it should be tested. In what I thought was a real voluminous and rapidly expelled purge, I failed to move noticeably." Crouch surmised that his experiment may have been compromised by the "action/reaction of the gas passing through the pants." Disappointingly, both his flights were mixed-gender, so Crouch was disinclined to "strip down naked" and try it again.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Candy (2010)

Los Angeles Times
29 October 2010

Sheriff's Department urges parents to check for pot-laced Halloween candy

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is urging parents to look for candy containing marijuana this Halloween.

Investigators have confiscated candies and snacks containing pot from marijuana dispensaries, and they are concerned such items could wind up in children's trick-or-treat bags, they said Friday in a statement. [...]

Mansfield News Journal [OH]
30 October 2010

Police: Needle was in wrapper, not candy, when they arrived

News Journal staff report

A Mansfield father claimed he found a needle in a piece of candy his child received trick-or-treating Thursday, but no similar incidents have been reported, according to Mansfield Police Sgt. Bret Snabley.

The 37-year-old father told police he noticed a small hole in a Tootise Roll and he used his finger to get out the 1.25-inch sewing needle. He said his child was going door-to-door asking for candy along Beethoven Street and South Diamond Street. The man was not able to identify which house the suspicious candy came from. [...]

Triblocal Schaumburg [IL]
1 November 2010

Tampered candy being tracked

By Kate Thayer TribLocal reporter

Schaumburg police are looking for who might have tampered with candy handed out on Halloween in a neighborhood officials declined to identify.

Sgt. John Nebl said Monday police haven’t received any additional reports since alerting the public Sunday night that two residents received a candy bar with “a physical object” inserted. No one was injured. [...]

Cambridge Times [ON]
2 November 2010

Open safety pin found in Halloween candy

Cambridge police officers will be canvassing Galt neighbourhoods after someone gave a preschool trick-or-treater a package of candies containing an open safety pin. [...],0,7274955.story

FOX 8 News [Cleveland, OH]
1 November 2010

Rat Poison Given as Halloween Candy, Family Says

By Kevin Freeman
Fox 8 Reporter

EUCLID, Ohio — Police say someone played a dirty trick while handing out Halloween treats. Investigators are now trying to figure out who gave out rat poison along with candy Sunday night.

"We came home, dumped out their candy and there it was... rat poison," said Lisa York, a mother. [...]

Delta Police Department [Delta, BC]

Media Release

Release date/time: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 – 1600 hours
Incident: Razor Blade in Halloween Candy
Date/Time: Sunday, October 31, 2010 – 1800/2000 hours
Location: Imperial Village Area, Tsawwassen
DPD file: 2010-22806

Razor Blade in Halloween Candy

A twenty-one year old woman who escorted a group on neighbourhood children around the Imperial Village area in Tsawwassen on Halloween evening was surprised on Monday afternoon when she bit into a piece of candy and discovered a razor blade. The victim was uncertain whether the blade had been inserted through the candy wrapper or if the wrapper had been partially opened and the blade stuck directly into the chocolate. She was unhurt in the incident.

The Delta Police Department wants everyone to be cautious when consuming Halloween treats. Sadly there are sick minded people who derive some sort of twisted pleasure from endangering the innocent, and in this incident the likely targets are children. We continue to investigate this unconscionable act.

[The original police media release describes the blade as a razor blade, although some subsequent newspaper reports liken it to an X-acto blade or one from a box cutter. Any one of these types of blade is capable of producing a serious injury, but calling it a razor blade is more evocative. -- bc]

The Province [Vancouver, BC]
3 November 2010

Razor blade found in Delta Halloween treat

By Staff Reporter, The Province

Delta police are looking for a person described as having “a sick, twisted mind” after a 21-year-old woman bit into a razor blade in a Halloween treat on Monday.

Sgt. Paul Eisenzimmer of the Delta Police Department said the woman was supervising a group of children under the age of 10 who were trick-or-treating in the Imperial Village subdivision of Tsawwassen, east of the intersection of 52nd Street and 16th Avenue, on Halloween night.

She was not injured.

Eisenzimmer said investigators have not determined whether the black wrapper of the miniature chocolate bar had been tampered with.

He described the blade as “an X-Acto knife kind of blade. But we define them as a razor blade type of blade.”

“People need to be aware that somebody out there has got a sick, twisted mind and was doing something that was unconscionable,” said Eisenzimmer, media liaison for the DPD.

CBC News [Canada]
3 November 2010

Blade found in Delta candy bar

A knife blade found in a Halloween candy bar has prompted police in Delta, B.C., to issue a warning to the public, but it is not clear yet exactly where the candy came from.

The blade was found by a 21-year-old woman who had taken a group of children out trick-or-treating Sunday in the Imperial Village area of Tsawwassen, south of Vancouver.

When she tried to eat some of the candy they'd gathered, she bit into a blade that had been stuck through the wrapper into the chocolate bar, police said. She was unhurt.

Acting Sgt. Paul Eisenzimmer said the blade apparently came from a small box-cutter knife, and investigators are trying to determine where the candy came from.

"We have isolated an area, but it's a large enough area that we can't be too specific at this point," said Eisenzimmer.

"Our investigators will check the addresses in the area to see whether there's anyone who stands out, whether there's someone who's mentally ill in the area or who has a criminal background for all sorts of things that could relate to this," he said.

CTV News [Canada]
3 November 2010

Police say tainted candy reports are false

CTV Southwestern Ontario

Waterloo Regional Police say reports about possible tainted Halloween candy given out in Cambridge are false.

Postings were reportedly put up on social media Web sites saying a child died after eating tainted Maynard Sour Gummies or Cherry Gummies given out in the Moffatt Drive area of Cambridge. [...]
The Waterloo Record [ON]
3 November 2010
Police refute social media suggestions of Waterloo Region deaths due to Halloween candy tampering

Triblocal Schaumburg [IL]
4 November 2010

Cops: Candy tampering a hoax

By Kate Thayer
TribLocal reporter

Police arrested a Schaumburg teenager after discovering he made up Sunday’s candy tampering scare.

The 16-year-old boy is charged as a juvenile with a felony count of disorderly conduct in relation to the Halloween incident. He was released to the custody of his parents and awaits juvenile court proceedings.

Detectives discovered that he inserted a needle into a Snickers bar at his home, and then told his family that he received the candy while trick-or-treating, police said. His father believed him and reported to police that his son received tampered candy. [...],tampered-halloween-candy-hoax-110410.article
Chicago Sun-Times
4 November 2010
Schaumburg police: Tampered candy was teen's hoax

WTVM-TV [Columbus, GA]
4 November 2010

4-year-old boy tests positive for meth; Halloween candy suspected

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) - Levelland police are waiting on lab tests to confirm whether or not Halloween candy given to a four year old was laced with drugs. This investigation is somewhat of a Halloween nightmare for police who are working to figure out how methamphetamines made it into the body of a four year old. [...]

Delta Police Department [Delta, BC]

Media Release

Release date/time: Thursday, November 4th, 2010 - 1530 hrs (Revised Copy)
Incident: Needle in Halloween Candy
Date/Time: Sunday, October 31st, 1700/1830 hrs
Location: Neighbourhood of Leslie Park - Ladner
DPD file: 10-22846

Halloween Candy – Needle Found in Chocolate Bar

Two days after Halloween a twelve year old Ladner boy bit into a small size Crispy Crunch chocolate bar and realized he had bitten into something hard. He removed the substance from his mouth and found a steel needle had been inserted into the bar. He was uninjured. The boy told his father who contacted the police.

On Halloween night the youth and five of his friends sent trick or treating within his neighborhood near Leslie Park on 55B Street in Ladner. They went through several streets in the area between 5:30 and 7:00 p.m. Once again, within our community, it would appear another person has played a dangerous trick that could have caused physical harm to this child. [...]

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal [TX]
5 November 2010

Halloween candy in Levelland incident tests negative for meth

LEVELLAND - The Halloween candy and wrappers suspected in a boy's exposure to methamphetamine tested negative for the controlled substance.

On Oct. 29, 4-year-old Jamie Chavez was hospitalized after he ate a piece of candy that reportedly came from the Levelland ISD Halloween festival, according to a Levelland police report. [...]

Oneida Dispatch [NY]
1 November 2010

Halloween candy may have contained PCP

Dispatch Staff Writer

ONEIDA – An Oneida woman says she was dosed with the powerful hallucinogen PCP when she ate a piece of Halloween candy Monday. [...]

Oneida Dispatch [NY]
10 November 2010

New test reveals no PCP in Oneida woman's Halloween candy

By The Dispatch Staff

ONEIDA – Oneida City Police say the results of a second, more-accurate test on the Oneida woman who reported being dosed by a PCP-laced piece of Halloween candy came back negative.

Jennifer Maxfield, of Seneca Street in Oneida, reported to police on Nov. 1 that she experienced hallucinations, shortness of breath and elevated heart rate after eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkin from her son’s Halloween candy. [...]

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Gang Initiation Fear

CUA Tower [The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.]
29 October 2010

Graffiti on Southside Leads to Rumors of Gang Violence

By Alexandra Carella

Thomasine Johnson, the Director of the Department of Public Safety, sent an email to University students refuting rumors that there will be a gang initiation on the south side of campus. The suppositions surrounded the possibility that MS-13 gang members were planning to assault University students as part of an initiation rite. [...]

Suspicious Perfume Peddlers

The Times-Picayune [New Orleans]
28 October 2010

JPSO debunks Internet rumors about perfume peddlers

Michelle Hunter, The Times-Picayune

Two different e-mail messages are making the rounds in Jefferson Parish from residents -- one from those who say they were afraid for their safety during encounters with suspicious perfume peddlers and another warning of free key rings with built-in global positioning systems.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said the perfume sellers are legitimate employees of a Metairie company called Big Schott Management. [...]

Mexicans Vote Illegally in U.S. Elections

Arizona Republic
28 October 2010

Voter fraud in Arizona's 8th District? Nope, says secretary of state

WASHINGTON – On a nationally syndicated radio talk show this week, Republican congressional candidate Jesse Kelly warned that Mexican citizens are being transported across the Southwest Border to commit voter fraud in Arizona. [...]

In an interview Wednesday on The Mark Levin Show, Kelly told the conservative talk show host, “There’s actually rumors people have video of them busing people across from our Southern border. They literally bus people across from Mexico to have them vote at the polls on Election Day. Give them a meal, and then bus them back. It’s been done in the past, so we’re really fighting against that down here.” [...]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Koro Outbreak (India 2010)

The Assam Tribune [India]
30 September 2010

It’s a cultural syndrome, say doctors

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Sept 29 – Doctors have discounted claims and apprehensions about the reported outbreak of a disease that affects males and females in peculiar ways. Senior doctors in Gauhati Medical College as well as those working in the rural interiors have rubbished reports which indicate that some males have seen their genital organs retract into their abdomen; while females have experienced the same with their breasts. [...]

The Assam Tribune [India]
30 September 2010

Ignorance causing panic among certain people


GUWAHATI, Sept 29 – [...] On a tour around the bustling capital city, which is looked upon as the intellectual hub of the State, one will bump into all sections of people with lime smeared on the ear lobe in an effort to shield oneself from the ‘dangerous disease’. Right to the well dressed men and women to the salesman in a sleek mall and the daily wage labourers, everyone is sporting lime spots on their ears and the more paranoid ones are immersing themselves in water holes. [...]

Mid-Day [India]
26 October 2010

The curious case of shrinking genitalia
Mass panic at labour camp in Goregaon as twenty five men suffer from 'retracting' genitalia

By: Ketan Ranga

Place: Mumbai

Several labourers living in a work camp near Aarey Colony in Goregaon have been spending sleepless nights since Saturday after they found that the size of their genitals have been gradually reducing and getting inside the lower abdomen. The panicked sit in a bathtub and family members pour water on them to cure them. [...]

Gang Initiation Rite on Halloween

The Mirror [Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT]
27 October 2010

Fairfield Reacts to Potential Gang Threat

By: Amber Nowak

[...] On Wednesday, October 13, the Department of Public Safety sent an e-mail to students announcing that they were taking student concerns seriously and were looking into reports of a possible gang initiation rite that would target Fairfield University students on Halloween. [...]

Monday, October 25, 2010

Poisoned Persimmons

People's Daily Online [China]
25 October 2010

Scaremonger wanted after false rumors threaten persimmon farmers in east China

A false rumor that persimmons from a village in east China's Zhejiang Province are poisonous has upset farmers and prompted the local government to offer a reward for information leading to the arrest of the scaremonger. [...] The leaflets alleged Japanese troops infected local persimmons with the disease when they occupied the area during World War Two in order to make Chinese people ill. [...]

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Restaurant Forces Diners to Pay Exorbitant Bill

KRGV-TV [Texas]
23 October 2010

Fake E-mail Warns About Safety in Nuevo Progreso

Reported by: Jordan Williams

NUEVO PROGRESO, TAMAULIPAS, MEXICO - An email that's showing up in in-boxes around the Valley is warning about tourists' safety in Nuevo Progreso.

[...] It says: "My neighbor's sister and husband went over to Nuevo Progreso last week and had dinner. They went to Arturo's. When their check came for their dinner, about $28, their credit card bill read $400.00. Uncertain as to the bill, they brought the waiter back, and he told them in plain English, those two men over there at the door will let you out the door if you sign this credit card debit." [...]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Male Thieves Wearing Burqas

Asian Image [UK]
19 October 2010

'Burqa thief' reports just rumours

By Asian Image reporter

Claims that males wearing 'Islamic burqas and veils' were gaining entry into houses have been rubbished by police.

Asian Image received several calls from concerned residents and shoppers in the Whalley Range and Brookhouse areas of Blackburn after rumours surfaced about men dressed up in burqas stealing handbags from shoppers and gaining entry to houses. [...]

Friday, October 15, 2010

Health and Safety Hysteria in the Media

Financial Times [UK]
15 October 2010

Westminster Blog

Lord Young admits that many “health and safety” scare stories are “hysteria”

by Jim Pickard

In December 2009 David Cameron made a speech in which he promised to reduce the burden of health and safety. His most heart-rending example was that of a small boy who drowned while fishing for tadpoles. As Cameron told his audience:

What’s more, the fear of transgressing all these rules causes
people to stand aside when others need help.

This was most tragically illustrated in Wigan two years ago,
when a ten year old drowned in a pond, having rescued his
young sister, because officers were told not to intervene as they
hadn’t undertaken their ‘water rescue’ health and safety training.

But was it a true story?

Cameron commissioned former Tory minister Lord Young to write a report on health and safety, which was published today. [...]

Lord Young even helpfully provided some examples of nonsense stories which had made it into folklore: One of them, curiously, was the pond story cited by Mr Cameron last year. [...]

HM Government, October 2010

Common Sense and Common Safety

A report by Lord Young of Graffham to the Prime Minister following a Whitehall-wide review of the operation of health and safety laws and the growth of the compensation culture

[See Annex D: Behind the myth: the truth behind health and safety hysteria in the media, pp. 49-50.]

Hutterite Child To Be Murdered on Halloween

Winnipeg Free Press [Manitoba, Canada]
15 October 2010

Letter threatening harm to a child has Hutterites on alert

By: Staff Writer

HUTTERITE colonies across Manitoba and Alberta are taking precautions after an anonymous letter threatened harm to a child as part of Halloween.

A letter was sent to Hutterite colonies in Manitoba and Alberta warning of a planned abduction, torture and murder of a child as part of a Halloween ritual, say RCMP. [...]

Monday, October 4, 2010

7 Up Banned in UAE

Gulf News [UAE]
3 October 2010

Authorities vow to expose source of soft drink rumour
Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority dismisses rumours about ban on soft drink 7Up

By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) is determined to unearth the source of a rumour about the aerated soft drink Seven Up with the help of law enforcement agencies, a senior official told Gulf News on Sunday.

The rumour spread through BlackBerry, quoting ADFCA, Health Authority Abu Dhabi and WAM (Emirates news agency), was that Seven Up was banned in the UAE for containing poisonous substances, said Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA. [...]

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Governor-General Signs Bill in Black Ink

Sunday Star Times [New Zealand]
3 October 2010

At Her Majesty's service

By ANTHONY HUBBARD - Sunday Star Times

[...] [New Zealand Governor-General Anand] Satyanand does not think he would refuse to sign a bill (this was last done in 1709). "If you weren't going to assent," he says, "you would resign."

There's an apocryphal story, Satyanand says, that [former Governor-General Dame Cath] Tizard was confronted with a piece of legislation she disliked. She asked her officials what to do, "and then she considered the position herself and said something like, `All right, I will sign it – but in black ink!' And the bottle of black ink was duly brought, the pen filled, and she signed it."

This is a great story that certainly sounds like Tizard – but the woman herself "hasn't the faintest memory of it". It might have simply slipped her mind, she told the Sunday Star-Times. She can certainly remember signing things she disliked. [...]

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Corpse in Restaurant's Water Tank (Taiwan)

The Sun Daily [Malaysia]
29 September 2010

Taiwan restaurant says no corpse in water tank

TAIPEI (Sept 29, 2010): A Taiwan restaurant on Wednesday put up a NT$1 million (RM98,920) reward in a bid to find out who spread the rumour that its water tank contained human remains.

Gossip has been spreading in recent months that someone committed suicide in the water tank above the Chiu Cheng Hotpot Restaurant in Luotong Town, northern Taiwan, and that the body was not removed. [...]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Some Mormon Church Legends
Mormon Times [Salt Lake City, UT]
27 September 2010
Beth Palmer: Oh, the stories of funny things that happen in church

[Various Mormon accounts of funny incidents that occurred in church.]

Exploding Mobile Phones (India)

Sify News [India]
26 September 2010

'Bombile' is the latest terror in Assam

Guwahati, Sep 26 (IANS) 'Bombile' is the latest phrase terrorizing Assam with reports of mobile phones suddenly exploding, causing the user to become unconscious. The mysterious phenomenon has prompted Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to order a scientific probe to unravel the bizarre occurrences. [...]

Morung Express [India]
25 September 2010

Assam’s mobile phones go “explode”
Newmai News Network

Guwahati - September 25 : They are mysterious cases but true. At least 15 people have been injured in the few days following the explosions of mobile phones after calls from certain numbers in the state of Assam. [...]

Morung Express [India]

‘Bombile’ scare rocks Nagaland

Dimapur September 28 : The “bombile” scare seems to have reached Nagaland as mobile subscribers are having second thoughts about receiving any calls from unknown new numbers. On Tuesday, September 28, stories aided by ‘SMSes’ spread like wildfire, about two people reportedly falling “victim” to the rumored ‘red calls’ in Dimapur. [...]
Morung Express [India]
29 September 2010
No mobile phone threat

Sunday, September 26, 2010

High School Designed to Withstand Bombing (Abilene, Texas)

Abilene Reporter-News [TX]
25 September 2010

Cooper at 50: A high school born in boom times

By Larry Zelisko
Abilene Reporter-News

[Oscar Henry Cooper High School in Abilene was built in 1960. Rose Williams taught Latin there from 1960 to 1992.]

[...] The one-story, spread-out campus was a new design for Abilene.

Cooper legend had it that the campus was designed so that it wouldn‘t be entirely wiped out if an enemy bomb fell on it, Williams said, explaining that the Cold War was going on and the new Strategic Air Command base was considered a target. At the time the Army was building two Nike missile sites to protect Dyess from airborne attack. [...]

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dangerous Phone Calls (India)

The Assam Tribune [Guwahati, India]
14 September 2010

Panic in Barak valley over mysterious calls


HAILAKANDI, Sept 13 – People are falling ill after receiving anonymous calls from unknown numbers on mobile phones and it has led to panic among the people, mostly in the rural areas of the Barak valley, said a senior police official. On the other hand, there was no specific explanation from medical experts. [...]

Stuck Couple (Philippines)

Manila Bulletin [Philippines]
13 September 2010

Star Magic Refutes, Labels Shaina-Lloydy ‘Hospital’ Rumor as ‘Big Lie’


MANILA, Philippines - Star Magic dashed the malicious rumors that real-life sweethearts John Lloyd Cruz and Shaina Magdayao were rushed to the hospital two weeks ago. [...] Reports from other media sources say that Lloydy and Shaina had to be rushed to the St. Luke’s Hospital due to “penis captivus,” or “vaginismus.” [...]

ABS-CBN News [Philippines]
13 September 2010

Star Magic refutes Shaina-John Lloyd's hospital controversy

MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN’s Star Magic has branded as a big lie the recent controversy hounding celebrity couple John Lloyd Cruz and Shaina Magdayao, “The Buzz” reported Sunday.

Star Magic, who is handling the careers of both stars, has debunked a rumor saying that Cruz and Magdayao were both rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital 2 weeks ago due to a medical condition called “penis captivus.” [...]
The Philippine Star
17 September 2010
Shaina: It didn't happen
FUNFARE UPDATE By Ricardo F. Lo Of-A Malicious-Rumor
Philippine Entertainment Portal
16 September 2010
PEP SPECIAL REPORT: Anatomy Of A Malicious Rumor
Karen A. Pagsolingan
Manila Bulletin
16 September 2010
Shaina Addresses Nasty Rumor Head-On

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Headless Bodies in Arizona Desert

Associated Press
4 September 2010

Ariz. governor says she was wrong about beheadings


PHOENIX — A claim by Arizona's governor that rising violence along the U.S.-Mexico border has led to headless bodies turning up in the desert came back to haunt her during a stammering debate performance in which she failed to back it up. [...]

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Killer Phone Numbers (Africa)

Communications Commission of Kenya
1 September 2010

CCK issues statement on alarming SMS message

The attention of the Commission has been drawn to SMS and email messages that are doing the rounds in the country warning mobile users against receiving calls from unknown or certain listed numbers. The messages further allege that receipt of calls from either the unknown or listed numbers would cause brain haemorrhage due to high frequency. [...]
Daily Nation [Kenya]
1 September 2010
CCK assures public over mobile phone hoax
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
1 September 2010
Kenyan government dismisses "killer phone number" hoax'death%20call'%20SMS%20alerts%20as%20hoax
The Standard [Kenya]
1 September 2010
State dismisses 'death call' SMS alerts as hoax
By Mutinda Mwanzia and Daniel Nzia
Business Daily [Nairobi, Kenya]
1 September 2010
Phone hoax shifts focus to regulator’s ability to curb crime
By Okuttah Mark

The Citizen [Tanzania]
4 September 2010

Fears allayed over scaring text messages

By Al-amani Mutarubukwa

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has urged Tanzanians to ignore messages warning them against receiving calls from unknown or certain listed numbers. [...]


The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) has received complaints from the public that there are messages circulating around that mobile phones have hazardous effects. [...]

Sudan Tribune
8 September 2010

Allegations of deaths resulting from mobile phone calls are not true – Minister

By James Gatdet Dak

September 7, 2010 (JUBA) – The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Service in the Government of Southern Sudan, Madut Biar Yel, has dismissed as “mere rumors” the alleged death of people resulting from some mobile phone calls in Southern Sudan.

For the last five days, rumors spread among the population that there were certain strange phone numbers, when calls were being received from, immediately exploded on the receivers’ phones and caused injuries or deaths. A number of people across the region were alleged to have already died because of the phone explosions. [...]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seed Signs

Capital Press [Salem, OR]
5 August 2010

Survey: Seed signs baffle many urbanites
Perception of corporate ownership dims trust of many consumers

For the Capital Press

VAIL, Colo. -- Signs that proclaim the source of seed for the crops growing in fields lead urban Americans to think the farm is owned by a seed corporation, an Illinois Farm Bureau survey of Chicagoans has found. [...]
Capital Press [Salem, OR]
12 August 2010
Seed sign story grows into legend
Capital Press

Monday, August 23, 2010

NYC Sewergator (2010)

New York Post
23 August 2010

Gator crawls out of Queens drain


At least one alligator really does live in New York City's sewers.

Cops apprehended an 18-inch gator that crawled out of an overflowing Astoria storm drain and hunkered down beneath a parked car this afternoon, delighting onlookers and giving fresh meat to the urban myth that the carnivorous critters are living below the Big Apple. [...]

New York Daily News
23 August 2010

Urban legend comes to life, maybe: Baby crocodile hiding under car shocks Queens

BY Barry Paddock and Bill Hutchinson

A crocodile caused a commotion in Queens Sunday when it was cornered under a car.

Yes, a crocodile.

"Before you ask, no cops could confirm it came out of the sewer," said police spokesman James Duffy, referring to an urban legend that such reptiles live in the city's sewer system. [...]
New York Times
23 August 2010
Alligator Surfaces Beneath a Car in Queens

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Al Capone in Fort Myers, Florida

The News-Press [Fort Myers, FL]
22 August 2010

Al Capone slept in Lee County; or did he?


Al Capone, the most famous gangster of the 20th century, hid out in Fort Myers, secluding himself in a house on the Caloosahatchee. Or he didn't.

He also stayed in a Dean Park house, a Fort Myers hotel and on Fort Myers Beach. Or he didn't. [...]

Construction Sacrifice Rumors (Bangladesh)

The Daily Star [Bangladesh]
23 August 2010

Rumour of Child-Lifting in Ctg
Lynch mob kills one
30 injured as they clash with cops, attack police station

Staff Correspondent, Ctg

An elderly beggar woman was killed and three other people were injured in separate incidents of mob beating in the city on Saturday night and yesterday following a remour of child-lifting.

Chittagong SP ZA Morshed told The Daily Star that five suspected child-lifters have also been killed in such incidents in the district since August 01.

Sources said the rumour is that child-lifters are taking away children for collecting cut off heads for the newly built third Karnaphuli Bridge. [...] [Bangladesh]
22 August 2010
'Kidnap rumor to create anarchy in Ctg' [Bangladesh]
22 August 2010
Mob beats woman to death for 'child kidnapping'
The Financial Express [Bangladesh]
25 August 2010
Child kidnapping phobia grips Ctg
The Daily Star [Bangladesh]
26 August 2010
Rumour of Child Abduction in Ctg
Mob kills mentally challenged woman

Friday, August 13, 2010

Deadly Phone Calls (Nagpur, India, 2010)

Times of India
13 August 2010

Don't believe in rumours of 'deadly' phone calls

NAGPUR: The city has recently seen a slew of rumours doing the rounds on mobile phones, cautioning about calls coming from a few specific numbers, which would allegedly cause physical harm to the recipient.

On Thursday, the situation aggravated after rumours about deaths after answering such calls also started doing the rounds. Media houses got several calls enquiring about the 'danger' numbers and whether they had caused any deaths in the city or led to blasts of cellphones.

The police control room was also flooded with calls and enquiries. There was a call at the control room about a nine-year-old girl allegedly dying at Subhas Nagar and another of a teenager's death due to bleeding from ears after receiving the call at Siras Peth. [...]

Times of India
14 August 2010

Boy claims mobile injury, docs say no

Alka Panse, TNN

NAGPUR: Nagpur police has rubbished claims that a 15-year-old boy sustained mysterious injuries on his left eye while fiddling with a cellphone.

The incident was one of the several rumours of strange rays from cellphones claiming the lives of users which have been doing the rounds in the city. [...]

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Animal Shelter Killings (West Virginia)

WTRF-TV [Wheeling, WV]
10 August 2010

Rumors Not True About Ohio County Animal Shelter
A rumor on Facebook is completely untrue, according to Dog Warden Doug McCroskey.

By Stacy Rich

TRIADELPHIA -- The Ohio County Animal Shelter is fighting rumors that could jeopardize the adoption of dozens of animals.

A rumor was started on Facebook online that stated that the shelter was moving and euthenizing the animals they couldn't place in homes right away. [...]

Animal Shelter Killings (Ohio)

Akron Beacon Journal [OH]
2 August 2010

Summit County denies animals will be killed

By Kathy Antoniotti
Beacon Journal staff writer

Authorities say Internet rumors that Summit County Animal Control is planning a mass kill of animals at the shelter are not true. [...]

Stuck Couple (Ghana)

Daily Guide [Accra, Ghana]
10 August 2010

Sex-Lock Hoax At La

The La Police Station was last Saturday turned into a Mecca for residents, as they thronged the security post to catch a glimpse of an alleged sex-lock case involving a married woman and fun-seeking man.

A radio station, it was alleged, had started the rumour, having picked the wild but untrue story from a neighbourhood gossip. [...]

Friday, August 6, 2010

Stuck Couple (Dumaguete City, Philippines)

The Negros Chronicle [Dumaguete City, Philippines]
2 August 2010

Sex radio rumor was a dud!
Anatomy of a rumor: that leads to nowhere


What is a rumor? A rumor is an idea, or an event, heard or relayed by any means to anyone which has no basis in fact, but, which the human mind usually wants to believe as true.

Such was the much talked about another sex scandal in Dumaguete, they say, as part II sequel of the voyeurism controversy a year back. Medically, the scandal bordered around the sickness called Vaginismus. [...]

Dumaguete City Forum [blog]

Dumaguete Scandal

Better than a soap opera and for the most part true - at least as far as I can determine. The only written media reference to it was a brief item in the Visayan language press.

Our last 23 July transit to Bais is interrupted by a text from Den Den's father. He works, amongst other jobs, for a local radio station which has sent him to Holy Child Hospital to ascertain the particulars of an interesting local news item.

It seems that one of the local motorized tricycle taxi drivers was enjoying some pre-nooner delight with a woman in a local "by the hour" hotel. He became stuck! [...]

St. Paul University Dumaguete

Statement from St. Paul University Dumaguete
Monday, August 02, 2010

St. Paul University Dumaguete strongly denies accusations from some sectors which was based from a radio station’s news item insinuating that an SPUD Teacher was involved in an alleged scandal. [...]

Monday, August 2, 2010


Sydney Morning Herald
3 August 2010

Column 8

In a Rose Bay street, hairdresser Kerry Smith, of Paddington, received a call on his mobile phone from a cousin in his native Scotland, and the two conversed for a while in Gaelic. When the call ended, he was tapped on the shoulder by a woman - a regular customer - who asked: ''What language was that? It's so unusual.'' When he replied that the language was Gaelic, she gasped: ''I had no idea gay people had their own language!'' [...]

National Post [Canada]
3 August 2010

Closure of Cape Breton’s oldest synagogue marks end of era

Joe O'Connor

[...] Ruthie Goldbloom lives in Halifax now, but grew up in New Waterford, a small town not unlike the other coal digging spots that once dappled Cape Breton’s shores.

Ms. Goldbloom is 86. She tells the story of her grandfather, Joseph Claener, a Russian Jew, setting up a tiny grocery store in New Waterford. To make extra money, Joseph would travel by horse and buggy to rural areas hawking his wares, door to door.

There is a family tale of Joseph getting stranded after a snowstorm in Cape Smokey. A kindly family took him in for several weeks. Joseph only spoke Russian and Yiddish. When he returned to New Waterford his proud wife told the neighbours that her husband had learned to speak English. She wanted him to thank them for their kindness. So they gathered around.

“What he spoke was perfect Gaelic,” Ms. Goldbloom says with a roaring laugh. “What he thought was English was Gaelic. And that’s a true story: he was the only man in Canada, as far as I know, that could speak Russian, Yiddish — and Gaelic.” [...]

Baby Boom: U.S. East Coast, 2010

Washington Post
2 August 2010

Nine months after winter storms, some area hospitals expect a spike in births

By Stephanie Lee
Washington Post Staff Writer

[...] So it was during the historic snowstorms in December and February that folks trapped indoors searched for ways to relieve the boredom. Nearly nine months later, the things some residents did seem to be breeding results. [...]

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Woman Sickened by Drug-Laced Paper (Kansas City)

The Kansas City Star [MO]
30 July 2010

Urban legend tells tale about woman getting sick from drug-laced paper

The Kansas City Star

A man’s effort to give his phone number to a woman he found “cute” was behind a widely disseminated e-mail about an incident in south Kansas City.

According to e-mail rumors, the incident involved a piece of paper laced with a drug that made the woman ill when she touched it — a scenario similar to previous “urban legends” in other jurisdictions.

Such a scenario was “highly, highly unlikely,” Kansas City Police Chief Jim Corwin reported on his online blog Friday. [...]

Chief Corwin's Blog
Kansas City Missouri Police Department

Friday, July 30, 2010

What really happened in e-mail that's going around

A scary e-mail about an incident in Kansas City has been making the rounds the last few days that bears a striking similarity to a popular urban legend. However, I did want to let you know that this incident really did happen, but we want to clarify some of the more scary parts. [...]

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cerne Abbas Giant 'Inspires' Fertility Boom

The Daily Telegraph [UK]
26 July 2010

Cerne Abbas Giant 'inspires' fertility boom

By Richard Alleyne

A giant chalk man carved into a west country hillside is living up to its legendary status as a figure of fertility by producing a baby boom in the surrounding area. [...]

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bulldozer Left in Building's Basement (Moscow)

RT [Russia]
22 July 2010

Ostankino TV tower: from fact to fiction

[...] According to an urban legend, workers even left a bulldozer somewhere in the basement [of a building in Moscow's Ostankino TV Center] – some say they simply forgot about it, others claim it was easier to dump it than to get it out of the foundations. [...]

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Monkey Soldiers Trained by Taliban

Pakistan Defence Forum
28 June 2010

Taliban trains 'monkey terrorists' to attack U.S. troops

Afghanistan's Taliban warlords have developed a bizarre way to deal with foreign forces: they have trained monkeys who love to eat bananas and peanuts to be killers.

Taliban forces have taught monkeys how to use the Kalashnikov, Bren light machine gun and trench mortars. They also teach them how to identify and attack soldiers wearing U.S. military uniforms. [...]

People's Daily [China]
9 July 2010

Monkeys trained as battlefield killers in Afghanistan

Afghanistan's Taliban insurgents are training monkeys to use weapons to attack American troops, according to a recent report by a British-based media agency. [...]

Stars and Stripes 13 July 2010


Are Taliban training monkeys to kill U.S troops?

By Jeff Schogol

Could it possibly be true that the Taliban are training monkeys to fire heavy weapons at U.S. troops in Afghanistan? [...]

Stars and Stripes [US]
14 July 2010


Is Photo of Baboon with a Machine Gun Fake?

By Jeff Schogol

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Babe Ruth's Piano

The MetroWest Daily News [Framingham, MA]
19 June 2010

New clues restart Sudbury search for Babe Ruth's piano

By Kathy Uek/Daily News staff

SUDBURY - For almost a decade, Sudbury resident Kevin Kennedy has searched for proof that Babe Ruth's upright piano sank to the bottom of Willis Pond. [...]

The MetroWest Daily News [Framingham, MA]
22 June 2010

Veneer could be key to Babe Ruth piano mystery

By Kathy Uek/Daily News staff

SUDBURY - There may be a splinter of truth to the legend of the Sultan of Swat's piano.

Yesterday, a piano restoration expert confirmed that a 4-foot-by-16-inch wood panel discovered by divers in Willis Pond on Sunday is part of a piano. [...]
MetroWest Daily News [Framingham, MA]
9 July 2010
Psychic brought in to find Bambino's piano
By Hannah McGoldrick/Daily News correspondent

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

EU to Ban Selling Eggs by the Dozen

The Mail on Sunday [UK]
27 June 2010

EU to ban selling eggs by the dozen: Shopkeepers' fury as they are told all food must be weighed and sold by the kilo

By Christopher Leake

British shoppers are to be banned from buying eggs by the dozen under new regulations approved by the European Parliament. [...]

The Independent [UK]
1 July 2010

Scrambled – the EU 'threat' to British eggs

The European Union will not outlaw the sale of groceries by quantity, despite scare stories to the contrary

By Martin Hickman

Look away Eurosceptics. Those meddling Brussels bureaucrats have let you down again and are not going to ban the sale of eggs by the dozen.

To the disappointment of red-top newspapers and irate contributors to talk radio, the European Union confirmed yesterday that MEPs had not voted to do away with a cherished feature of Great British life. [...]

Humans Turned Into Goats (Nigeria)

Daily Sun [Nigeria]
7 July 2010

Human beings-turned goats story, a hoax – Police


Yesterday morning, rumours spread like bush fire in the harmattan in Ojo, and other neighbouring towns in Lagos and Ogun States that seven human beings were turned to goats through esoteric means. The rumour also had it that the goats were detained in Ojo Police station. A motley crowd besieged the police station to witness the bizarre development. [...]

From one source to another, the story kept magnifying. It first started with a human being turning to a goat until it became seven goats turning to seven human beings. It was the subject of discussion at bus stops, inside commercial vehicles and markets with each source presenting different versions of the story. [...]

Child Abduction Rumor (Ireland)

Leinster Express [Ireland]
7 July 2010

'No truth' in abduction rumours

By Staff Reporter

GARDAƍ have said there is "no truth" in a rumour which was circulating about an attempted child abduction in a shopping centre in Portlaoise in the past fortnight.

Rumours had circulated that there was an attempted abduction which led to a shopping centre being "locked down" due to the attempted abduction. It was claimed that the missing a child aged four was found in a dressing room with her hair cut, wearing a cap and completely different clothes. [...]
Laois Nationalist [Ireland]
8 July 2010
GardaĆ­ deny child abduction rumours
By: Michael Tracey

Monday, July 5, 2010

Promoted Officer Owes Back Pay

Sydney Morning Herald
6 July 2010

Column 8

[...] ''Your lovely story about the cakes and ale, especially the punchline, put me in mind of a delicious story I heard from the war,'' recalls Robert Gardiner, of Welshman's Reef, Victoria (Old Cambridge rules and cheeky students, Column 8, yesterday). ''It seems that a young officer was promoted to captain in 1941. During the celebrations his mates saw that this was gazetted in 1041. He applied for back pay and was credited £39,999. The sting was that as the only survivor of the Battle of Hastings, he was responsible for the loss of 20,000 horses at £2 each. Result - a debit of £1 pound.'' [...]

[See also Pass the Port: The Best After-dinner Stories of the Famous (Cirencester: Christian Brann, 1976), p. 62.]

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Necrophile Infects Woman (Malta)

The Malta Independent
26 June 2010

Macabre mortuary rumour denied

The Health Ministry yesterday flatly denied a morbid rumour of necrophilia having taken place at the Mater Dei mortuary, which according to the grapevine had resulted in the death of a woman. [...]

It was on Tuesday that this newspaper first heard the horrific rumour. In essence it involved an employee having allegedly passed on a parasitic infection to a woman after having had sexual contact with cadavers. [...]
The Malta Independent
27 June 2010
Necrophilia story may have been nothing more than an imported urban legend

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bologna Placed on Car to Damage It

Hickory Daily Record [NC]
23 June 2010

Vandals' weapon: bologna

By Richard Gould

When a 19-year-old Hickory woman returned to her car after working her shift at the Valley Hills Mall, she was greeted by a rude surprise. Ten pieces of bologna had been left on her Nissan Sentra, Monday night. [...]

The Internet is awash with speculation as to the efficacy of bologna as a car paint remover. [...]

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Two Suns in the Sky (Indian Rumor)

Times of India
22 June 2010

Now, Internet hoax on 'two suns in sky'

Vijay Singh, TNN

MUMBAI: If you have been craning you neck skywards to catch a rare glimpse of “two suns in the sky’’ on Monday, then you’ve been made an ‘Internet Bakra’. Scientists and astronomers in the city have confirmed that certain hoax emails and social networking e-groups have been spreading rumours about two suns being visible on Monday and Tuesday, and also that another star has come close to Earth.

“Don’t believe in such emails that say that another bright star called ‘Aderoid’ will come as close as 34 million miles from Earth,’’ said senior scientist and astronomer from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Professor Pankaj Joshi. [...]
Express Buzz [India]
22 June 2010
Mail on two suns dismissed as sheer prank
Mid-Day [India]
20 June 2010
No need to double the sunscreen

Prediction of Earthquakes & Tsunamis in Fiji

The Timaru Herald [NZ]
22 June 2010

Fiji rugby chief held over 'prophecy' rumours


Fiji's rugby union head remains in custody and police on the islands are threatening to seize more people, amidst rumours the nation will be hit by a disaster tomorrow.

The chairman of the Fiji Rugby Union, Bill Gavoka, who also heads the Fiji Visitors Bureau, was seized by the regime yesterday after he sent emails to tourist operators warning of a pending disaster. [...]
Radio New Zealand International
23 June 2010
Fiji pastor says Suva workers headed home at noon because of ’disaster warning’
Stuff [New Zealand]
23 June 2010
Fiji quake prophesiers seized
Fiji Times
23 June 2010
Earthquake will not trigger tsunami
Fiji Times
23 June 2010
False prophet
Fiji Times
25 June 2010
Police charge tsunami prophet

Emperor Used an Electric Chair as a Throne

16 June 2010

The Emperor's electric chair

Mike Dash

[Did Abyssinian Emperor Menelik II use an electric chair as a throne? Dash discusses this legend which was popularized by its appearance in The Book of Lists (1977).]

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Police Uniforms Stolen from Dry Cleaners

680News [Toronto]
15 June 2010

Several Toronto Police uniforms missing after being sent to cleaners

680News staff

Toronto Police sources have told 680News that over a dozen uniforms are missing after being sent out to be cleaned over the past few days.

Police fear the uniforms could be used be people to misrepresent themselves as officers. [...]

The Globe and Mail [Toronto]
15 June 2010

Toronto police can’t confirm report that uniforms were stolen from cleaners

Adrian Morrow

Police say they have no information to back up a report that more than a dozen uniforms have been stolen from drycleaners less than two weeks before the G20 summit in Toronto.

Radio station 680 News, quoting unnamed police sources, reported that the uniforms were lifted from drycleaners across Toronto over the last few days. [...]

National Post [Canada]
15 June 2010

Police deny reports of stolen uniforms

Toronto Police could not confirm a report earlier today that 13 or more of their uniforms had been stolen from dry cleaning shops around the city in the past few days. [...]

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"What's the Biggest Fish?"

The Guardian [UK]
14 June 2010

North Korea set their World Cup target: happiness for the Dear Leader

Marina Hyde in Johannesburg

There is something about a North Korean World Cup press conference that recalls a possibly apocryphal story featuring the creepy Guinness Book of Records editor Norris McWhirter. According to this tale, Norris was visiting a school in his capacity as leader and co-founder of the Freedom Association, the charmless libertarian pressure group whose policies included mounting legal challenges against peace campaigners and allowing 1980s cricketers "freedom to trade" in apartheid South Africa. After delivering a fairly eye-wateringly right-wing lecture to his young audience, Norris broke the silence that greeted its conclusion by asking if anyone had any questions. "Yeah," drawled one kid. "What's the biggest fish?" [...]

Blind, Stupid and Desperate [Blog]

Norris on the spot

By Simon Devon

You must remember Record Breakers. I remember once they had a show where they broke the world record for a bloke balancing milk crates on his head. It was stirring stuff. There was also a bit called "Norris on the Spot" where the kids would get to fire questions at Norris McWhirter and try to catch the old duffer out. A typical exchange would be:

CASTLE: "Have you got a question for Norris?"
KID: "What's the biggest fish?"
NOZZA: "Well, there are two opinions..."

TV Cream [UK]

The Record Breakers
1972 to 2002 on BBC1

LONG-RUNNING PROMOTIONAL campaign for the Guinness family and, for most of its existence, the only place you’d see 80-year-olds on children’s telly. ROY “OOPS! ANOTHER SOFT CENTRE!” CASTLE was your tapping, trumpetty host, with NORRIS (and, originally, IRA murder victim twin brother ROSS) McWHIRTER as the Book-compiling know-it-all foil. Never-changing menu: sketches, reports, McWhirter-retention testing ‘Norris on the Spot’ round (which always went: ROY: “Have you got a question for Norris?” KID: “What’s the biggest fish?” NOZZA: “Well, I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you that there’s a leopard in Africa that can run faster than a motorcycle”) [....]