E-mail Has Changed The Traditional Rumor Mill

I had been saving an e-mail that a friend had sent to me several weeks back showing a bear that a farmer had run over with his combine this fall.   The story especially caught my eye because it purportedly was located in an area of Minnesota that does not commonly have a black bear population.   They were interesting pictures, but what fascinated me most was the fact this bear was located so far away from its typical habitat.


Something just struck me a bit odd about the e-mail.   On one hand I wanted to believe that this freak occurrence in nature could be true…yet, on the other hand I was just a wee bit skeptical because the Internet is such an easy forum for pranksters.   Well, sure enough…I did a quick Google search and found plenty of hunting forums talking about this same incident…but there was no real consensus on where it took place.   Well, not until I stumbled recently on this credible newspaper article that told the real story.   Not only where the bear was located, but this article described all the hubbub that has surrounded this story.   Give it a read.   It shows just how a real story can hit the Internet and become so distorted that the truth quickly becomes lost as it turns into an urban legend.

I’ve said it before and I will remind everyone once again…when you learn of something fascinating or out-of-the-ordinary on the Internet it pays to be a bit skeptical.   Always be sure to double check the facts on www.Snopes.com to ensure you are not just passing along another urban legend that grows exponentially with each click of the e-mail SEND button.   Snopes actually has this story on their site for those who would care to check things out.

© 2006 Jim Braaten.  All Rights Reserved.  No Reproduction Without Prior Permission.