October 26, 2009

What's the Rush to Report?

Was this a real story, or part of a really, really clever promotional campaign on the part of ABC? Commercials promoting the debut of “V” on November 3 have been airing around the clock, so I couldn’t help but wonder if the following story was not really real…

(AP) - A meteorite-like object crashed into a meadow in northern Latvia, creating a crater 27 feet (9 meters) wide and 9 feet (3 meters) deep, a geologist who visited the site said Monday.

Uldis Nulle, a scientist at the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Center, said there was smoke coming out of the crater when he arrived at the crash site late Sunday in the Mazsalaca region near the Estonian border.

“My first impression is that, yes, it was a meteorite,” he said. “All the evidence suggests this when compared to pictures of real meteorite craters.”


Sure enough, my instincts were correct. Just two hours later:

(AP) - North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve geologist Dainis Ozols has concluded that the object in Mazsalaca, thought to be a meteorite, is merely smoky ember of chemical elements and the wide crater around it is in fact man-made.

Ozols arrived at the location, where the alleged meteorite had fallen, at 9 a.m. Monday, as the geologist informed LETA. He established that the 10-12 meters wide depression in land surface was artificially created and afterward potassium nitrate and sulphur were burned there.

What’s next? Rush Limbaugh reporting satirical Onion-type articles about Barack Obama as the truth and then refusing to recant even when he learns he has been duped? Nah!





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