Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sad Tale of East Mitten Thumb One Big Hoax


Whew! I didn't get suckered into posting the Monument Valley hoax, though I did forward the photos and the note to my list of usual suspects.

What hoax, you may ask. Answer: the email that circulated with "before", "during" and "after" photos of an avalanche at the landmark East Mitten butte (above).

"The lucky few tourists who were there at 12:45 p.m. on May 18, 2006 witnessed a once-in-a- lifetime event. A huge slab of East Mitten butte finally gave in to the effects of wind and weather, and came crashing down in a sandstone avalanche," reports the September Arizona Highways.


However, the email I (and many other folk) received left the impression that the slab which collapsed was the thumb of the mitten. Not so, says the September issue of the magazine. The perpetrator of the hoax included an "after" shot angled so that the debris showed but the thumb was concealed -- apparently gone for all time.

And now that I have reviewed the original email, nowhere was it stated outright that the thumb had collapsed! Here's the complete text I received:

Header: Monument mitten collapse

Text: FW: monument mitten

Out at Monument Valley, Utah

Kathy Thoms called Goulding's Lodge and verified that the East Mitten is now changed for all time.

By the way, this is one urban legend that never made it to Snopes.com -- I searched on "Monument Valley" and "East Mitten," with no results.

The only reason I didn't post the story a while back was that I wanted to get permission to use the photos and didn't know whom to contact. Just shows that clean living and right thinking do pay off. Occasionally.

2 comments:

Lane said...

Seeing the photo of the event brings back the wonder of how many trillions of such events have happened to sculpt our environment. Makes 'time' seem wobbly indeed!

Granny J said...

Consider that the "ground level" used to be where the tops of those mesas and buttes are today -- that's one helluva lot of erosion & makes the Mitten cataclysm seem pretty small potatoes!

 
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