This morning I was chatting online with my brother, the ISM, and he said, "oh I am going to send you the pictures from that flight that crashed off Argentina" to which I replied, "ok." I didn't know what he was talking about - I know about the crash but I didn't know about any pictures, other then the picture of the wreckage being removed from the ocean.
The email and photos follow:
Structural failure in flight, but why?
AIR FRANCE CRASH PHOTOS
The world saw the disappearance of an A330 Air France during its trans Atlantic flight between Rio to Paris ...
Here are two shots taken inside the plane before it crashed.
The two photos attached were taken by one of the passengers before the aircraft crashed.
This extraordinary photographer kept his cool, even in his last moments of life, to take these photos. The photos were retrieved from the camera's memory stick. You will never again see photos like this.
In the first photo, there is a gaping hole in the fuselage through which you can see the tailplane and a vertical fin of the aircraft.
In the second photo, one of the passengers is seen being sucked out of the gaping hole.
The photos were found in a digital Casio Z750, amidst the debris. 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 and the aircraft plunged. The structural stress probably ripped the engines away, diminishing the falling speed, protecting the electronic equipment but unfortunately not the victims. Paulo Muller leaves behind two daughters, Bruna and Beatriz.
In a split second I had two reactions - panic and disbelief.
The thought of people enduring such an experience sends an electrical current through my chest. Seeing the passengers strapped in their seats, oxygen masks on, waiting as they fall from the sky, knowing the end is imminent, feeling helplessness and hopelessness just terrifies me.
Yet, almost instantly I took note that the sky was light - the sun is out. What follows is our exchange:
Me: is this real
Me: can’t be real.... it was night
ISM: so it isn’t real
Me: well.... didn’t the flight and crash happen at night
ISM: don’t remember
Me: I think so.... I’m having a panic attack thinking they are real
ISM: think how they felt
Me: the photos look real but I just think it was nighttime
Me: I know... that is why I am having a panic attack
Me: they have to be fake
ISM: Google it
I did Google it and so did the ISM and they are fake. The sky was dark when Flight 477 disappeared. It departed Rio de Janeiro at 7:30pm and depending on what news source you read, the last contact was somewhere between 9:30pm and 2:30am (perhaps time zone issues). The photographs are from the ABC television show "Lost" and upon close inspection a couple of the stars of the show can be identified.
This is just another example of a hoax, or lie that circulates through the internet without anyone checking on its authenticity (like the one about Barack Obama that I wrote about and unintentionally upset my mother).
In this case not only were the recipients of the email fooled, but a television station in Bolivia, believing their veracity, aired the photos without doing any fact checking.
I am not a cynic, but I do not always believe what I see or read.