MY NEW FRIEND THE HOAX SLAYER          - 22/6/2009      <--Prev : Next-->

Well well well, and I thought I was Mrs Skeptical, never to have anyone pull the wool over MY eyes !! I have successfully scoffed at hundreds of scam e mails, confident that I am able to spot a scam, a spoof, an hoax, an urban legend anywhere, anytime.

But I was wrong, I have been forced to confess that I am as gullible as the rest of us internet users.

It all started when someone sent me two horrendous pictures of photos taken supposedly by a mobile phone of the cabin of Photos taken just before the crash of the Air France aircraft during a trans Atlantic flight from Rio to Paris.

I was horrified, distraught, how could these photos be circulating the net when loved ones are still grieving. I must confess, I sent them in distress to HeeHoo and close family members, but it was quick witted SheeHoo must Sing who disdainfully tossed them off as pictures from the film "Lost".

And the very same two agonizing photos had in fact also been used when the doomed Gol Airlines 737 collided with the Embraer jet over Brazil!

Fans of the drama series will quickly recognize the woman using the oxygen mask in the left of the pictures as "Kate" (Evangeline Lilly), one of Lost's pivotal characters. The slumped figure beside her is "Edward Mars" (Fredric Lehne) the U.S. Marshal who was escorting Kate back to the United States as his prisoner. Kate's status as a prisoner is shown by her handcuffs, which are clearly visible in the images.

Was my face red!! Blush blush Now I felt a right nana !! And so I repaired, with my tail between my legs, to a website called "The Hoax Slayer" which is a great little ego reducing website as I found I had in fact been caught by a number of hoax e-mails over the years. Oh yes, I had seen straight through many of them like the Jamie Bulger Killer Linked to Perth Child Murder, and the HIV Infected Needles on UK Cinema Seats Hoax and the Kidney Stealing Hoax. No sir you just cannot pull the wool over my eyes !!

Never once was I taken in by all those idiotic Virus Email Hoaxes endless hoaxes about "Hallmark" "Osama Bin Laden"and the "Life is Beautiful" Virus Hoax The daft giveaway Email Hoaxes - win a computer from Microsoft ? Nah, these were obviously hoaxes. Then there was the sad but beautiful "Slow Dance" Charity Hoax - that did not get me and neither did the Missing Child Hoaxes - the Carissa Malanitch Missing Child Hoax or the Yohana Ravelo Missing Teenager Hoax or the Penny Brown Hoax. These hoaxes are particularly distasteful for obvious reasons. Of course no one ever falls for the E mails from Nigerians asking for money, or for e mails from friends stranded aboard asking for money do they ?

However !! To my shame and chagrin - The Hoax Slayer told me that I was a real sucker for the hoax health e mails, they got me every time, I suppose it is something to do with the age ?

Yes indeed many of the health hoax e mails caught me very nicely thank you !! and I apologise unequivocally to all the poor souls to whom I forwarded these silly darn e mails !!

For example the Cancer Info From Johns Hopkins Hoax Email ... oooh groan, I believed every word !! and the Christmas Cards for Recovering American Soldiers ???

How about "How to Survive a Heart Attack When Alone Hoax" I sent that to HeeHoo and several of my more rotund friends often !! (And I read it and re-read it for when MY time came !!) Now I was particularly taken in by the Email claim that people have died after being bitten by a spider hiding under a restaurant toilet seat in Florida/ or Cape Town depending on which continent one lives. Oh I feel such a chump that I was taken in by that one !! How about the "Lead in Lipstick Alert" and the old Car-Jacking Scheme Warning - Paper on Rear Window ??" Hmmmmm and endless useless info about Mobile Phone Misinformation - XALAN and #90.

I wonder if that ICE mobile phone one is a hoax too, now I am determined not to circulate anything at all until I have conversed with my new best friend "The Hoax Slayer " Imagine just how many internet minutes I will save the planet ?