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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Hoaxes

Message to 9/11 Hoaxers: The Truth Matters

by Ken Newquist / January 24, 2002

I'm disgusted. Pissed off. Angry. Why? Because of an e-mail I received this week alleging that while American car companies have donated millions of dollars in money and equipment to disaster relief to the vicitims of the 9/11 atrocities, foreign companies have failed to back up their sympathetic words with donations. It's simply not true.

Hoax E-mail Alleges Foreign Car Companies Ignored 9/11

by Ken Newquist / January 23, 2002

An e-mail hoax spawned by the aftermath of the horrible events of September 11th alleges that while American companies have given millions of dollars in response to the atrocity, foreign automobile companies have given nothing.

It's an outright lie.

Contrary to the e-mail's claims that only Volkswagen and Hyundai have given money, many (if not all) of the overseas car companies listed here have given millions to the cause.

Revenge of E-mail Surcharge Bill 602P

by Ken Newquist / January 15, 2002

The Evil Empire that is the U.S. Postal Service is preparing to unleash a nefarious plan called "Bill 602P" that will charge Americans for every e-mail sent, raising billions and delivering a crippling blow against its archenemy, the snail-mail slaying Internet. Or so says an hoax from at least 1999 that absolutely refuses to die.

Internet-loving, e-mail sending netizens everwhere will be relieved to know that this e-mail (in all of its many iterations) is just as bogus as it was on the day it first appeared as a nefarious plan allegedly hatched by the Canadian post office.

Here are the hoaxes; scroll down for the debunking.

Sulfnbk.exe is not a virus

by Ken Newquist / January 1, 2002

An e-mail urging folks to search for an alleged virus-infected filed called "sulfnbk.exe" on their Windows computer is a hoax.

This harmless file exists on most Windows 95, Me, and 98 machines, and is not evidence of a virus infection. Deleting it won't destroy your computer, but it will make you feel very silly when someone tells you the real deal.

Did Nostradamus Predict the 9/11 Attacks?

by Ken Newquist / September 12, 2001

News reports say America's intelligence agencies had no warning that terrorists were going to seize four planes and use them to launch devastating acts of war against New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

They should have been reading their Nostradamus -- the cryptic old sage predicted the attacks. Or so says a hoax that's circulating around the net.

Bonsai Kitten Hoax Site Horrifies Animal Lovers

by Ken Newquist / June 1, 2001

Outraged animal lovers around the world are filling their friends' inboxes with e-mails decrying the Bonsai Kitten, a web site that offers to sell custom-shaped cats. Inspired by bonsai plants, the web site claims that kittens are raised inside specially-designed glass bottles while their bones are still young and malleable. After months of "shaping", the final cat is contorted beyond belief and available for sale to upscale clientelle around the world.

But it's all a joke. A cruel joke to be sure, but it is definitely a joke.

Here's the original e-mail:

This version was collected on Jul 22, 2001:

Date-rape Drug Progesterex Causes Amnesia, Sterilization

by Ken Newquist / May 1, 2001

Rape is a scary subject, and nothing to joke about. Yet some sicko must of thought it was pretty damn funny, and launched a hoax that's scaring people around the world.

The hoax -- which has been circulating via e-mail since 1999 -- claims that a new drug called Progesterex which is being used with a "date rape" drug called Rohypnol. Women dosed with these drugs wake up the next morning without remembering a thing, and -- worse yet -- are completely steralized. The e-mail warns that this terrible duo is about to wash across college campuses.

Or so says the hoax. In reality, so such drug exists.

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