Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dog in Chinese Restaurant's Freezer

Boston Standard [UK]

31 March 2011

Pet dog found in butcher’s shop freezer

A PET pooch has been found in a Boston butcher’s shop freezer. [...] The search on the premises was carried out on January 14. And since then it appears the rumour mill has sprung into action, including on internet social networking site Facebook, with some members suggesting a Chinese restaurant in the town had been closed due to a dog being found in its freezer. And this week the rumours took a nasty turn with Wei Xian Peng, owner of Zhu Guang in West Street, receiving an abusive telephone call. “I don’t have a dog in my freezer – and such suggestions are ridiculous,” he told The Standard. [...]

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Heroin Beer

Toronto Sun [ON]
24 March 2011

'Heroin beer' myth debunked


CALGARY - [...] Brace yourselves, lovers of legend, lore and barley-malted liquor. We have bad news.

The Saddledome's mythical lager, feared for its ability to inebriate and spoken about in hushed tones as "Heroin Beer", appears to be nothing more than ordinary draft.

Splutter as you will, and deny as you might, but the Sun decided to cut to the core of one of Calgary's most enduring legends, and actually have Heroin Beer tested. [...]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hair Extensions Cause AIDS

The Swazi Observer [Swaziland]
23 March 2011

Killing this `Urban Myth': Hair extensions cannot give you AIDS

with James Hall

There is already too much hysteria surrounding AIDS. More false rumours and misinformation have the potential of wreaking tremendous damage in this country that is already so inflicted.

Consider this week's claim being spread over the Internet locally, which "reports" that inexpensive hair extensions can cause AIDS. [...]

Friday, March 18, 2011

Radioactive Diapers

Korea Times
18 March 2011

False rumors amplify anxiety over radiation

By Lee Hyo-sik

Rampant false rumors concerning the series of explosions at nuclear reactors in the quake-hit Japan have prompted an irrational buying-frenzy for certain items. [...]

Additionally, parents with newborns have been busy surfing online shopping sites over the past few days in search of diapers manufactured in Japan. They are all out to buy ones that were made and imported before Japan’s nuclear disaster due to the wide spreading rumors that diapers produced after the nuclear explosions would be contaminated with radioactive materials. [...]

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Acid Rain Rumors (March, 2011)

Sun Star [Philippines]
15 March 2011

Public warned on hoax text messages

SEVERAL text messages have been circulating on Monday, warning the public about the possible effect of radiation from the nuclear plant that exploded in Japan.

One of the text messages said Asian countries should take necessary precautions following Japan's admission of radiation leaks at its Fukushima nuclear plant.

It said people should remain inside their homes, close their doors and windows and swab the skin in their neck with betadine since radiation reportedly hits the thyroid first.

The text message said radiation may hit the Philippines starting 4 p.m. Monday.

Another text message said the explosion may bring acid rain that may burn the skin, causes hair loss and cancer. [...]
The Philippine Star
15 March 2011
DOST: No acid rain in Phl
By Helen Flores

Philippine Daily Inquirer [Philippines]
16 March 2011

DepEd calls on school heads to guard against hoax text messages

By Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—State education officials called on the public, on Tuesday, to be more discerning about alarming text messages after anonymous warnings about purported acid rain and radiation leak from quake-hit Japan caused undue panic around the country, even prompting a state university to suspend classes on Monday. [...]
Philippine Daily Inquirer [Philippines]
15 March 2011
Don’t fall for ‘radiation’ hoax, brush up on geography
By Jocelyn Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Philippine Daily Inquirer [Philippines]
15 March 2011
Hoax text message triggers panic in Metro
By Jeannette Andrade, Jaymee T. Gamil, Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Times of India
15 March 2011

Tsunami ripple in Chennai: Mails spread rumours of radiation showers


CHENNAI: The city has seen an aftershock of the Japanese tsunami. These weren't seismic tremors but mere rumors. The earthquake and the subsequent nuclear blast in Japan have started a series of rumors in the city asking people not to go out in the rain lest they get caught in radioactive showers which could cause skin cancers and other ailments. [...]

The Daily Star [Bangladesh]
16 March 2011

False alert in Bangladesh

Staff Correspondent

Panic gripped many people in Dhaka and elsewhere in Bangladesh after they received text messages yesterday warning of radiation following the nuclear reactor incidents in Japan. [...]

BBC News [UK]

15 March 2011

'Radiation' text message is fake

A fake text message warning people that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant has leaked beyond Japan has been panicking people across Asia.

The SMS message, purporting to come from the BBC, has been circulating around Asian countries since Monday. [...]

The Malay Mail [Malaysia]
15 March 2011

No 'acid rain' threat
Minister quashes rumours of fallout from Japan'a nuclear plant disaster


SUBANG: Do not listen to rumours circulated in text messages about acid rain hitting our shores.

That is the message from Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui.

"The public should not listen to rumours about this acid rain because of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants radiation," he said after officiating at the 2nd Asia Pacific Regional Water Conference (APRWC) this morning. [...]
Korea Times [Seoul, South Korea]
16 March 2011
Police hunt radioactive material rumormongers
By Kim Rahn

VietNamNet Bridge
16 March 2011

Radioactive cloud, acid rain rumor rejected

[...] Teachers were also worried about the rumor. A teacher from the foreign-invested Dream House Primary School in Tay Ho district, Hanoi, said the school asked teachers to not allow pupils to play outdoors when it rained. Outdoor morning exercises were performed inside classes.

“We didn’t want to scare them, so they only told them to play indoors, not the true reason,” the teacher said.

Phan Dinh Son, Director of Bao An Computer and Supermarket Equipment Company in Hanoi, permitted his staff to go home early to avoid “acid rains” in the afternoon. [...]

Arab News [Saudi Arabia]
15 March 2011

Jeddawis panic as weather mood swings


JEDDAH: Roads in Jeddah were crowded on Tuesday when afternoon rains that followed a visibility-reducing sandstorm sent people scurrying home.

The Ministry of Education announced that Saudi schools would be closed on Wednesday. The International Indian School of Jeddah has also announced it would be closed on Wednesday. King Abdulaziz University let students out early on Tuesday and said it would be closed on Wednesday. [...]

Rumors were also abound that schools in Jeddah had been ordered shut due to a “nuclear” cloud heading toward Jeddah from Japan.

“I got a call from a friend telling me at 9:30 a.m. to go pick my children up from school because of a nuclear cloud. I laughed at it first and then rang the school only to be told that the school was closing because of expected rains,” a Western expat told Arab News.

Joongang Daily [South Korea]
18 March 2011

Rumors fly on Internet over fears of radiation

By Kim Mi-ju, Jung Jae-yoon

[...] "I sent text messages to my friends because I heard from my boss that wind blowing from Fukushima turned northward heading to the Korean Peninsula,” said a 27-year-old company worker surnamed Lim. “We’re told to avoid getting wet by rain because it could contain radioactive material. Whether the information’s true or not, I immediately sent out messages because we would be in big trouble if that’s true.” [...]

Korea Herald
17 March 2011

Source of radioactivity rumor caught

By Bae Ji-sook

An office worker in his 20s was apprehended Thursday for spreading groundless rumors that radioactive material from the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, would reach Korea.

[...] According to the National Police Agency, the 28-year-old man, identified by his family name Byun, passed on the text message from his cell phone on Tuesday. The man had received the text message from a Vietnamese friend. The message he received quoted a fake BBC news report warning that radioactivity would reach the air over the Philippines and that all people should evacuate. Investigators said Byun changed the word “Philippines” to “Korea.”

Byun reportedly defended himself by saying, “If the materials could reach the Philippines, it is obvious that Korea would be affected.” [...]

Los Angeles Times
19 March 2011

Los Angeles County fire authorities warn residents of 'acid rain' e-mail hoax

The Los Angeles County Fire Department is advising residents to disregard a fraudulent e-mail issued in the name of the agency warning that radioactive particles released from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant in Japan could mix with rain and “cause burns, alopecia or even cancer.” [...]

Boogey Woman Spreads Fear Among Saudi Kids

Emirates 24/7 [Dubai]
15 March 2011

Boogey woman spreads fear among Saudi kids

By Staff

In a small northern Saudi border village, the name of a boogey woman has become the talk of the town among children. What makes them believe that the woman does exist is that parents tend to use her name to frighten them.

Umm Othman is a “dark” woman who is specialized in kidnapping children—a rumor that has spread throughout the town of Arar near the border with Iraq.

The rumor has become so strong that police had to interfere to calm down the citizens, saying this woman is an imaginary person who never existed. [...]

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seashells Signal a Tsunami

The Borneo Post
14 March 2011

Police advise not to believe rumours

by Kelimen Sawatan.

KOTA KINABALU: Police have advised the public not to believe rumours about large numbers of seashells being washed ashore in Putatan, signaling a tsunami may hit the state. [...]

The SMS text stated that seashells have surfaced along the coast of Putatan and it is the animal reaction to an impending disaster.

“These seashells always hide beneath the sand. For them to surface is an unusual and unnatural thing. This is just like the incident earlier this week where Californian coast is flooded with dead tuna fish washed ashore. Pls pass this msg so we could all do our bit to pray!” [...]

The Star [Malaysia]
15 March 2011

Hoax SMS claims of shellfish washing ashore

KOTA KINABALU: Text messages are circulating here that thousands of shellfish had washed ashore at Putatan, near here, but officials have dismissed it as a hoax.

Kota Kinabalu police chief ACP Ahmad Sofi Zakaria advised the public to ignore the rumours that are being spread via text message and social network sites. [...]

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Sydney Morning Herald
14 March 2011

Column 8

''A high school teacher friend of mine used to tell the story of the time he asked his students for an essay on 'courage','' writes Sam Collyer, of Drummoyne (Tales of exams, essays and school reports, Column 8, all this term). ''One student's submission was simply a piece of paper with the word 'This'. I think he received full marks.'' [...]

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Children Abducted, Organs Supplied to Med Students (Philippines, 2011)

Journal Online [Philippines]

3 March 2011

Valenzuela police: No syndicate abducting kids in city

A RANKING official of the Valenzuela City police yesterday belied reports that a crime syndicate roams in the city, abducts children and sells their internal organs to medical students. [...]

The Philippine Star

6 March 2011

Valenzuela: No truth to organ harvest rumors

By Jerry Botial (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – Valenzuela City authorities yesterday belied rumors about the city’s children being abducted and their bodies later turning up minus their internal organs. [...]

The Philippine Star

7 March 2011

Suspected rumor monger arrested in Valenzuela

By Jerry Botial (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - A man suspected of spreading rumors about children in Valenzuela City being abducted and later found dead minus their internal organs was arrested yesterday after he called a police hotline. [...]

Journal Online [Philippines]

10 March 2011

Gatchalian orders probe of kidnap try on girl

Written by : Mia B. Billones

VALENZUELA Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian yesterday ordered the local police force to investigate the alleged aborted kidnap try on a nine-year-old girl by unidentified suspects last Monday morning. Officials of Bgy. Balangkas, Valenzuela City, said the alleged victim was able to escape from his abductors after biting the hands of one of them. Ruth Abante, of Granada St., accompanied her granddaughter to Bgy. Chairman Alfredo Salvador to report the incident. Abante said her granddaughter had just bought something from Tina Store located on Kabesang Imo St. at around 11 a.m. when a white van with no plate number stopped, two men alighted and forcibly dragged her inside the vehicle. She resisted and managed to flee. The elder Abante believed the suspects belonged to a syndicate which snatches children, takes their vital organs and sold them to medical students. [...]

Manila Bulletin [Philippines]

10 March 2011

Mayor allays fears of child abduction

MANILA, Philippines — Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian appealed Thursday for calm among residents amid rumors that a syndicate abducting children and removing their internal organs is active in city. The appeal was made after rumors spread that a child was abducted in Barangay Gen. T. de Leon and later founded without internal organs. [...]

Philippine Information Agency PIA Press Release

Friday, March 11, 2011

Police disproved kidnap rumor in Siquijor

SIQUIJOR, Mar 11 (PIA7)--Police authorities in the province of Siquijor particularly in Maria town dismissed “kidnap rumor” as just “hoax” circulated through text messages by pranksters to create public anxiety among Siquijodnons. In a news report from The Siquijor Mirror, the text rumor about children being kidnapped in Maria and had their internal organs taken away by kidnappers proliferated following the recent news in Cebu City about a school girl being allegedly kidnapped and killed by her abductor. [...]

Manila Bulletin [Philippines]

2 April 2011

Caloocan orders probe on rumors about missing kids

By ED MAHILUM Philippines -- Caloocan City Mayor Enrico Echiverri has ordered the city police to conduct an investigation regarding rumors circulating in the city about missing children who have allegedly been abducted by certain groups, thereby sowing fear among residents. [...] The text message sent to the city officials claimed that a group of men wearing bonnet is allegedly roaming around the city on board a white van. The message senders claimed that these men abduct children and later dump them dead after getting their internal organs. [...]

ABS-CBN News [Philippines]

12 April 2011

CIDG probes case of woman found without organs

MANILA, Philippines - The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) is now investigating a case involving a 26-year old woman from Navotas who was found last week in Laguna robbed of her internal organs.

CIDG Director Samuel Pagdilao was quick to rebut, however, that this has something to do with rumors that an organ trafficking syndicate is out on the loose preying on victims.

Pagdilao said the issue remains an “urban legend,” absent strong evidence. In fact, the urban legend goes that members of the syndicate, aboard a white van, abducts 6- to 14-year olds and sell their internal organs for medical purposes. [...]

ABS-CBN [Philippines]

12 April 2011

Dinky confirms abductions, belies kidnapping for organs

By JC Rodriguez,

Philippine Daily Inquirer

13 April 2011

Manila police deny child abduction reports

By Jaymee T. Gamil

Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Rumors that a syndicate is abducting children in Manila to take their internal organs and dumping their bodies stuffed with money, have been debunked by the city police district. [...]

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wiretapped Street Lamps (Turkey)

Hurriyet Daily News [Turkey]
8 March 2011

Wiretap panic a false alarm in southeastern Turkey


A plan to install flood-prevention sensors in southeastern Turkey has prompted a panic among local residents, who became convinced that the devices in street lamps and on roofs would actually wiretap the entire city. [...]

Sunday, March 6, 2011


In the 28th minute of the 2001 Argentinean film La Ciénaga (The Swamp), a young teenage girl, Veronica, relates a story to the other kids playing in her backyard swimming pool. I quote the subtitles from the DVD:

"Her cousin found a dog in the street. A tiny short-haired one. It looked abandoned, so she took it home. She left it with her cats and fed it. The next day, she gets up to feed it again. The dog is covered in blood, and the cats are gone. She takes the dog, washes and dries it off, and takes it to the nearest vet. She tells the vet, 'Doctor, I think this dog ate my cats.' 'Put it on the bed.' The vet turns and takes an ax hanging on the wall and cuts the dog in half. The woman gets up close and sees it has loads of teeth, two rows. The vet says, 'That's not a dog, ma'am. It's an African rat.' "

The story alarms a five-year-old boy, Luciano, who later asks his mother, "Do African rats exist?" She doesn't respond. Being put to bed by his father that night, the boy says, "Leave the light on, Dad. There's a huge rat." "It's okay," says the father, comforting him. The next day, his two sisters try to scare him by telling him that the unseen dog barking ferociously behind the neighbor's high wall is a "dog-rat." Later, the boy climbs a ladder leaning against the wall in order to see the barking dog. He falls off and the scene ends with him motionless on the ground, either unconscious or dead.

Satanic Cult Rumors (Philippines)

Journal Online [Philippines]
7 March 2011

Fear grips N. Ecija over satanic cult text messages

Written by : Steve A. Gosuico

CABANATUAN CITY -- Fear gripped residents here and other towns in Nueva Ecija amid reports circulated through text messages that an alleged satanic cult group has been on the loose in the province victimizing children and young students and using them as human offerings for their rituals. [...]

Sun Star [Philippines]
8 March 2011

Police issue warning on false reports about cults

MABALACAT -- Police officials here warned the people on Monday about false reports on cults who are allegedly into manslaughter or massacre. [...]

Sun Star [Philippines]
10 March 2011

'Cult' rumors dispelled

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY – Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan of this city denied rumors circulated through text messages about cults scouring the city, knocking on doors and murdering innocent families. [...]

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Olympic Logo Contains the word "Zion"

Financial Times [London, UK]
28 February 2011

Iran threatens Olympic boycott over logo

By Roger Blitz in London and Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran

Iran is threatening to boycott next year’s Olympics in London because, it claims, the logo of the 2012 games conceals the word “Zion”. [...]