An E-Mail Hoax Exposed

I recently got this email (below).   It is a hoax.  It makes for an amazing story.

I included the email and my comments on this and how to be more critical, and thus more selective, of what you forward to your friends, colleagues and family.

<<start of hoax email>>

These photos were taken inside the Air France A-330 at the moment that the plane was disintegrating about 20,000 feet over the Atlantic.  May their souls rest in peace.
OUR PRAYERS FOR THE PASSENGERS OF AF-447.

MAY THEY REST IN PEACE IN THE KINGDOM OF OUR LORD.
  
Feel so sad for all the passengers including the extraordinary photographer, who kept his cool even in his last moments of life and took this photo.
Hats off to him!!!
 
 
The world saw the disappearance of an A330 Air Frane during a trans Atlantic flight between Rio to Paris. 
Two shots taken inside the plane before it crashed.
Unbelievable! Photos taken inside the aircraft….. 
 
The two photos attached were apparently taken by one of the passengers before the aircraft crashed. The photos were retrieved from the camera's
memory stick. You will never get to see photos like this. In the first photo, there is a gaping hole in the fuselage through which you can see the tailplane
and vertical fin of the aircraft. In the second photo, one of the passengers is being sucked out of the gaping hole. 
 
 
These photos were found in a digital Casio Z750, amidst the remains. Although the camera was destroyed, the Memory Stick was recovered. Investigating
 the serial number of the camera, the owner was identified as Paulo G. Muller, an actor of a theatre for children known in the outskirts of Porto  Alegre.
It can be imagined that he was standing during the turbulence, he managed to take these photos, just seconds after the tail loss the aircraft plunged.
The structural stress probably ripped the engines away, diminishing the falling speed, protecting the electronic equipment but not unfortunately the victims.
Paulo Muller leaves behind two daughters, Bruna and Beatriz. 
            
<end hoax email>>
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My comments on this email follow, along with some hints on being a better Internet citizen.

———- 
see : http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_photos_gol_737_crash.htm        Final Conclusion is way down in this posting. There are several variants mentioned.

The bottom line is this: " The images above are video captures from the pilot episodes of the ABC television series Lost (note the handcuffs worn by the woman
pictured on the left, a character recognizable to viewers of the series as Kate Austen, played by actress Evangeline Lilly). Similar images can be seen in video trailers for the series.
 "


And one might also see http://www.snopes.com/photos/accident/brazil737.asp  Basically the same story as above. 

In General:
http://urbanlegends.about.com/  Seems generally reasonable as a source. ( * note the .about.com ! ! )

My mother told me long ago that her father would say, "Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see."
One might over-paraphrase that wise advice something like this: "DON'T BELIEVE ANYTHING you find on the Internet , unless you have a reasonable trust in the

credibility of the story's source." 

I do find that many, if not most, of the stories floating around on the Internet are untrue and/or misleading.  but these tales may still worthy of passing on to others,

for educational, entertainment or amusement value.    I do appreciate a good joke

http://google.com/ is always a good place to start.  I also find http://snopes.com/  to be a good source. http://truthorfiction.com/ is pretty good too. 

If some story is only a few days old or not very widespread, it may not be on the radar of these sources.

You can usually grab a core phrase in the text in question (select and copy), then paste the text into the search at your launching site of choice.
———————————————-

A note on using google's searches:   If the first 5 to 10 results don't look obviously relevant, try putting the text in quotes and submitting the search again to
see if there
are any more promising leads.  I look for results that have urls from one of the generally reliable sources above.

The thing is, the really good stories travel pretty fast and get revived periodically in variant forms.

There are tons of other good sources for story reliability and for anything anyone can imagine. I once came across some dolphin porn (by accident, of course).

When I saw that picture I knew that you could find ANYTHING on the Internet.  Years later I came across some whale porn. The Internet never ceases to amaze me.

If you have Internet sources that you use that you use to research on your favorite topics, I'd love to hear about them.

*IMHO
urbanlegends.com is NOT a reliable launching point. I think this site is NOT a good source. It looks like it is strictly an advertising driven medium. 

Relevance of searches seems almost non-existent.  Many searches will have high ranking results from target.com and such.

If you find this monologue to be useful, pass it on.  But PLEASE don't pass it on unless you believe it to be from a generally reliable source.

Next topic: cc bcc and selective forwarding :)


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