Earlier I posted some warnings that came in from someone who should have known better and who said they were corroborated when they in fact were not. this came to the attention of his supervisor and I, and several other folks, just received the following email from our security people.
I apologize for any confusion and for sharing bad information. Rest assured, it won't happen again and the person who disseminated this information will be disciplined by the agency.
"Comments: A frightening rumor indeed, but it's crucial to remember that in the absence of substantiating evidence or confirmation from authorities it is only that: a rumor.
The FBI says it has received no such letter as this one. Does it even exist? We doubt it. This is one of those rare cases where the name and contact information of the original author appears intact on copies of a widely forwarded email. We have spoken to that author, Laura Kxxxxx, who told us she passed the information on to friends because she believes it to be true. However, in classic "I heard it from a friend of a friend" fashion, Ms. Kxxxxx admits she is not personally acquainted with the woman the information originally came from and cannot vouch for its authenticity. This by no means proves the claims false, but it does give us very good reason to be skeptical until information from more credible sources is available.
Rental Trucks Stolen by Terrorists
Comments: We've labeled this a hoax rather than a rumor because it's full of intentional lies, perhaps the most blatant being, "I certainly don't want to scare you." Fear is precisely what the anonymous author of this message hoped to arouse. Has there been a recent spike in the number of missing rental trucks across the U.S.? No. Both U-Haul and Ryder say non-returns are at normal levels. Have a number of Verizon trucks gone missing? No. The company counted its vehicles and says every one is accounted for. Just as crises seem to bring out the best in some people, they bring out the worst in others. A tremendous amount of misinformation is circulating by email just now, some of it intentionally deceptive and created for no other purpose than to provoke fear. The emailing public should stop to consider that indiscriminately passing along every fearmongering tidbit of gossip that comes their way may amount to aiding and abetting pranksters and spreading groundless panic.
Never let it be said that Hiram does not admit when he is wrong.