Thursday, January 27, 2011

Food Poisoning Scare (Nigeria)

Nigerian Tribune
27 January 2011

25-yr-old graduate dies in Benue after eating carrots

Written by John Akpodovhan, Makurdi

Residents of Kanshio village, a suburb of Makurdi, were gripped by confusion when they learnt of the death of a 25-year-old graduate of Sociology from the Benue State University, Michael Adzor Adzor, who died after eating carrots. [...]

Leadership [Nigeria]
27 January 2011

Fear of Poisoned Foodstuffs Spreads

Nnamdi Mbawike, Enugu and Joseph Wantu, Makurdi

Man dies after eating carrot There is palpable fear in some parts of the country following rumours making the rounds that some unidentified persons have poisoned foodstuffs and fruits brought to other parts of the country from strife torn Plateau State.

A text message sent to residents of Enugu State purportedly warned people of the South East to shun foodstuffs and fruits, alleging that some people from the northern part of the country had poisoned the items as a reprisal attack over the Jos crisis that has claimed many lives.

In Benue State, the death of a 25- year old graduate of Sociology from Benue State University who was said to have died after eating carrots he bought from a street hawker has caused panic among residents of Makurdi, the state capital. [...]

Spitfires Buried in Queensland

The Australian
28 January 2011

Fact or fable: hunt is on for buried Spitfires

Ted Strugnell

IT'S the Lasseter's Reef of warbirds -- a rumoured stash of mint-condition Spitfires hidden underground in rural Queensland.

Many have searched for the legendary British fighters, reportedly still in their crates and hidden since the end of the World War II around the Queensland town of Oakey, but so far nobody has been able to lay claim to what would be a multi-million-dollar find. [...]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Adopted Haitian Baby Killed for Insurance Money

25 January 2011

Haiti Quake Journal
Where Urban Legends Come to Life


[...] Urban legends also are flying on the breeze. From mouth to mouth:

The US soldiers sent en masse right after the quake went into the rubble only twice to remove safes at Citibank and Caribbean Market. (This must come from the memory of the American occupation which started in 1916 and ended in 1935 with marines withdrawing the safes containing the nation’s entire gold reserve. It now sleeps in vaults in New York or D.C.) [...]

Some camps are well organized, but not the one across from the police station in Petionville.

At the restaurant across from the police station and the refugee camp, on the terrace overlooking the pool, foreign correspondents sit with their video cams. Two women are eating and talking at a table next to us. “Two women adopted a baby here in Haiti and took him back to New York. There, in the middle of winter, they left him locked up in a car and he died of pneumonia. Afterwards they got the insurance money. They would have gotten away with it if they hadn’t come back some time later to adopt another baby and try the same thing. The second baby was strong and didn’t die. The insurance company got suspicious and investigated. They got arrested.” [...]

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stolen Cremains Snorted

Ocala Star-Banner [FL]
20 December 2010

Cremated remains of father, dogs stolen during burglary

By Fred Hiers
Staff writer

Holli Tencza had started to put the loss of her two Great Danes behind her. A robbery last week in her new Silver Springs Shores home changed all that.

Stolen from the home were a television and computer, but also the cremated remains of Tencza's father, stored in a box, and the ashes of both dogs, stored in separate containers. [...]

Ocala Star-Banner [FL]
18 January 2011

Deputies: Burglars tasted, snorted human and canine ashes

By Austin L. Miller
Staff writer

Three young men have been arrested in connection with a Silver Springs Shores burglary last month in which the remains of a woman's father and the ashes of her two pet great Danes were stolen. [...]

Adding two odd twists to the story, detectives say the burglars told them they thought the containers they stole contained crushed pills and began tasting and snorting them. [...]
Marion County Sherriff's Office
Supplemental Incident Report

Infant Seat Ruse

Northumberland Today [Ontario, Canada]
20 January 2011

Baby seat e-mail a hoax


PORT HOPE -An e-mail was circulated to dozens of Port Hope residents, mainly women, recently warning drivers not to stop if they see an infant car seat on the side of the road. The e-mail is, in fact, a hoax. [...]

The Port Hope businessman who sent the e-mail to many local residents believing he was doing a good deed says seeing a baby seat could lead unsuspecting drivers to become victims. He says a friend was the victim of the infant seat ruse years ago in Stuttgart, Germany.

His friend stopped to check out the seat, was accosted by four men and was brutally beaten. His car was stolen, too. [...]

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lost Child Leads to Rape by Gang

El Paso Times [Texas]
19 January 2011

Sheriff's Office warns of lost child hoax

By Adriana M. Chávez / El Paso Times

El Paso County Sheriff's deputies are warning area residents about a hoax text circulating locally that claims to have originated from the sheriff's office.

The text warns recipients that if they come across a lost child asking for a ride home, to take that child to the nearest police station; and if the driver takes the child to the address he or she is requesting to be taken to, the driver will be raped by members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang. The text also claims the information has been verified by CNN and Fox News. [...]

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Toy Dog Swears

The Sun [UK]
18 January 2011

Swear of the Dog

By Jamie Pyatt

MUM Leigh McPherson bought a singing toy puppy for her baby daughter - and was horrified when it started swearing.

The cuddly My Pal Violet turned the air blue when Leigh pressed its paw to trigger its first song.

It sang: "If you're happy and you know it f*** with me, if you're happy and you know it f**k with me, if you're happy and you know it and you really want to show it f*** with me!" [...]

Queensland Floods

Queensland Government

Ministerial Media Statements

Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Anna Bligh
Thursday, January 13, 2011


[...] JOURNALIST: There are a number of hoaxes surfacing on social networking sites and things like Wivenhoe Dam’s about to breach …What’s your advice to people who read those things and are becoming distressed by them?

PREMIER: Unfortunately when events like this happen rumours can escalate very, very quickly and they can do a lot of damage. These events can be quite scary and I know that the best thing that we can do is give you regular, updated, accurate information. That’s why we are holding these briefings every two hours. If you hear or read on social networking sites rumours or statements, if they’re not confirmed in these meetings, if you don’t hear them out of my mouth or out of the police commissioner or deputy commissioner then it’s very unlikely to be true. So yes I’ve heard some of the wildest rumours in the last couple of days. Can I assure you the Wivenhoe Dam is absolutely secure, in fact any danger to it has completely passed with the passing of this water through it. So there will be inevitably people who…there’ll be a bit of Chinese whispers and it’ll grow into a bit of gossip and then it’ll become a full-scale rumour. And I think some of the social networking technology we have has been of enormous assistance during this flood event. It’s helped us to alert people and people are using it to find friends and loved ones, people are using it to tell each other what’s going on and that’s all terrific. The downside of it is if a piece of wrong information gets out or a rumour it can spread like wildfire much quicker than it ever would have. So please there is a bit of a wild speculation out there. the reason we’re going to continue for as long as necessary doing these regular updates is so that everything people need to know, even if it is bad news or frightening news, we will tell you here. [...]

Brisbane Times
18 January 2011

Discovery of bodies hasn't been reported to us: police

Police say they haven't been contacted about the reported discovery of two bodies in a house near Brisbane.

Ipswich councillor Paul Tully told AAP this morning the bodies of two women were located by a young volunteer in a residence that had been flooded, in the Ipswich suburb of Goodna, late yesterday. [...]


Police appeal to the community not to spread rumours

by Queensland Police Service on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 6:42pm

The Queensland Police Service can confirm that reports of two bodies being found in a house in Goodna are not accurate. [...]

The Chronicle [Toowoomba]
18 January 2011

Police quash dead body rumours

POLICE today quashed rumours that dead bodies were being secretly stored in the region’s morgues after last week’s devastating floods. [...]

Brisbane Times
19 January 2011

Rumour has it wrong in flood crisis

Cameron Atfield

Misinformation spread during Queensland's flood crisis could have had dire consequences, according to a disaster management expert.

Rumours that spread at the height of the crisis included that public transport would grind to a halt at 2pm last Tuesday; that Brisbane Airport was set to close; that the CBD was being evacuated; and that a makeshift morgue had been set up in Toowoomba.

And yesterday, Ipswich councillor Paul Tully fuelled rumours that two bodies had been found in a Goodna house, which Premier Anna Bligh declared "probably the most irresponsible act by any politician of any political persuasion" she had seen. [...]

Gatton Star [Australia]
18 January 2011

Animals left after owners evacuate

THE sick, injured and lost animals that survived the devastating Lockyer Valley flood found refuge at The University of Queensland's (UQ) Veterinary Medical Centre at the Gatton campus. [...]

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Animal Control Team Leader, Darryl Simpson, said rumours that all animals not claimed by the end of January would be euthanised, was false. [...]

Friday, January 7, 2011

Don Tyson's Cadillac

The Washington Post Magazine
July 12, 1992

An Arkansas State of Mind

By James Morgan

[...] Don Tyson -- This bantam-sized chicken magnate, provider of the much-maligned free airplane rides and accused polluter extraordinaire of the White River in northwest Arkansas, runs Tyson Foods, the state's largest private employer, from an egg-shaped office in the company headquarters in Springdale. [...] If you come to Arkansas, it won't be long before somebody tells you The Don Tyson Story, which goes like this: One day his wife saw his expensive new Cadillac convertible parked out in front of some other woman's house. The wife called a cement company and had a truck come over and fill his car with concrete. Everyone who tells the story swears they know somebody who saw the whole thing. When I called Tyson headquarters and asked the company PR man if this story is true, he chuckled wearily and said he'd been hearing the same story for 20 years. He assured me it's apocryphal. " [...]
The Washington Post
7 January 2011
Post Mortem [Blog]
The Chicken King of Arkansas
By T. Rees Shapiro

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Vulture Is a Mossad Spy

Haaretz [Israel]
4 January 2011

Saudi Arabia 'nabbed Israeli-tagged vulture for being Mossad spy'

Vulture used as part of bird migration research was reportedly captured in rural area of Saudi Arabia.

By Haaretz Service

A vulture tagged by scientists at Tel Aviv University has strayed into Saudi Arabian territory, where it was promptly arrested on suspicion of being a Mossad spy, Israeli and Saudi media reported Tuesday. [...]

Emirates 24/7 [Dubai]
9 January 2011

Saudis to free Israeli vulture

By Staff

Saudi Arabia intends to free an Israeli vulture captured by a local hunter this week on the grounds it has nothing to do with espionage, the head of the Gulf kingdom’s wildlife agency was quoted on Sunday as saying.

Prince Bandar bin Saud Al Saud said tests showed the vulture is a “bald eagle” which was fitted with systems for pure scientific purposes.

“The reports that this bird is equipped with Israeli spy systems arsenal are incorrect…the system tied to its feet is traceable by satellites to know birds’ emigration movements and how they feed with the aim of conducting scientific research on these birds,” he said, quoted by local newspapers. [...]

"Baker Street" Saxophonist

BBC News Magazine
5 January 2011

Why do we think Bob Holness was the Baker Street saxophonist?

As the nation mourns the sad passing of singer Gerry Rafferty, the myth involving his famous song Baker Street and a certain quiz show host has received a fresh airing. So how, asks the Magazine, did it come about? [...]