Friday, February 10, 2006

Penny Brown Hoax Email Making the Rounds Again

Today I got a hoax email entitled "Amber Alert". It told of Penny Brown, a nine year old girl who has "been missing for two weeks". Included was this picture.

Well, the "Penny Brown" email has been traveling for much longer than 2 weeks. It first showed up in 2001. That makes her a bit older than 9 by now. You do the math. I'm a printer not a mathematician.

Part of the email states:

Quote - We have a store manager (Wal-Mart) from Longs, SC
who has a 9 year old daughter who has been missing for 2 weeks.
Keep the picture moving on. With luck on her side she will be found.

I am asking you all, begging you to please forward this email on to anyone and everyone you know, PLEASE. My 9 year old girl, Penny Brown, is missing.
She has been missing for now two weeks. - end quote -

I'm sure it is well meaning people that keep this and similar emails traveling through cyberspace but I have to wonder if there are some people that save these things and get them going again every so often.

It must have been well over a year since I last saw this one. I was surprised to see it again. Last week I recieved the petition to end Christian broadcasting by an atheist group.

Ok, I know now these things will never stop.

Next week I look forward to the Proctor and Gambles association with satanic groups to make the rounds. Scheesh. I remember that one from the late 70's, early 80's. This was prior to AlGore inventing the internet!

Mimeographed sheets with the stars in P&G's logo distorted so they could make a connect the dots 666 were passed around to churches. Sometimes I had a heck of a time convincing people that it was a lie and they were not serving God's purposes by spreading lies and looking foolish at the same time. Christians can be rather hard headed. I know because I am one.

Maybe it was my approach. I can get rather brusque on occasion.

Soda Pop Tabs for Dialysis - False

Denzel Washington visiting Fisher House - (both true and false)

Free 411 calls - True! (with a 12 second advert in your ear.)

Starbucks does not support our troops. - False

The main point of this post is to recomend to people the website. I find Barbara Mikkelson's reports on Urban legends to be more entertaining than most of these emails deserve. Besides the email hoaxes the site covers the old, pre internet urban legends. The one I like best is the Grace Slick named her daughter God story. This may be due to ego since the story has Paul Harvey mentioning me personally. Don't ask because I don't know how that happened. It is true that I heard the rumor and did help spread it.

When you get these emails demanding you 'send it on to all on your list' Please stop and think. Is this email a hoax? Check it on Snopes! Does everyone on your list really want these emails? No! Will you look foolish by forwarding a hoax? Yes!

Snopes has a few guidelines on what to look for to help you figure if an email is a hoax. I'd suggest putting it in favorites and click on the ads on occasion. Help her keep the site up...