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B737 Mid Air Collision Photos Hoax

Summary:
Email claims that attached photographs shown a B737 aircraft just before it crashed after a mid air collision with an Embraer Legacy jet over South America (Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Update:
In June 2009, versions of the hoax email began circulating that implied an association between the photographs and the crash of an Air France Airbus in the Atlantic on May 31st 2009 (Details in commentary below).

Example: (Submitted, December 2006)
Subject: Impressive! photos taken from the GOL B 737 aircraft accident in Brazil.

Last month a B737 had a mid air collision with a Embraer Legacy while cruising at 35,000 feet over South America. The Embraer Legacy, though seriously damaged, with the winglet ripped off, managed to make a landing at a nearby airstrip in the midst of the Amazon jungle. The crew and passengers of the Embraer Legacy had no idea what they had hit. The B737, however, crashed killing all crew and passengers on board.

The two photos attached above were apparently taken by one of the passengers in the B737, after the collision and before the aircraft crashed. The photos were retrieved from the camera's memory stick.

You will never get to see photos like this. In t he first photo there is a gaping hole in the fuselage through which you can see the tailplane and vertical fin of the aircraft. In the second photo one of the passengers is being sucked out of the gaping hole.

INCREDIBLE. AMAZING.

Photos taken inside the plane.

These photos were found in a digital Casio Z750, amidst the remains in Serra do Cachimbo. Although the camera was destroyed, the Memory Stick was recovered.

Major Anton Nelson, from the Brazilian Air Force, is investigating how the photos leaked into the Internet.

Investigating the serial number of the camera the owner could be 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 impact with the Embraer Legacy, and during the turbulence he managed to take these photos, Seconds after the tail loss the aircraft plunged, so the camera was found near the cockpit.

the structural stress probably ripped the engines away, diminishing the falling speed, protecting the eletronic equipament but not, unfortunatly, the victims.

Paulo Muller leaves behind two daughters, Bruna and Beatriz, from a previous relationship.

The authorities were still pondering about showing these photos.

Barzilan Air Crash 1

Barzilan Air Crash 2



Commentary:
The mid air collision discussed in this email forward really did happen. In September 2006, a collision occurred between a Gol Airlines 737 and an Embraer Legacy business jet over the Amazon in South America. The 737 crashed into the jungle with the loss of all passengers and crew. Although damaged, the smaller jet was able to continue to a nearby airport and land safely without injuries to those on board.

However, the photographs that travel with this email do not depict the doomed Gol Airlines 737 and the cover story about a recovered digital camera memory stick is untrue. The images are taken from an air crash sequence featured in the popular television series, Lost. Fans of the drama series will quickly recognize the woman using the oxygen mask in the left of the pictures as "Kate" (Evangeline Lilly), one of Lost's pivotal characters. The slumped figure beside her is "Edward Mars" (Fredric Lehne) the U.S. Marshal who was escorting Kate back to the United States as his prisoner. Kate's status as a prisoner is shown by her handcuffs, which are clearly visible in the images.

Virtually identical images of Kate and the Marshal during the crash sequence can be seen in this Lost promotional video and elsewhere on the Internet:


Unlike many such hoaxes, the origin of this one can be clearly identified. The hoax was launched by Mr. Carlos Cardoso, a Brazilian Blogger who posted the story on his blog on 26th October 2006. In a followup post, Cardoso explains that he added the fake story to prove how people often only read the first part of a text and are apt to believe such stories in spite of obvious clues that they are untrue. He has certainly proved his point. Although Cardoso included a link in his original post to an article explaining that the entry was a hoax, the story escaped into Cyberspace and began circulating via email and other means.

The fake story has now spread around the world. Many recipients have apparently forwarded the message in the mistaken belief that the images are genuine photographs of the Brazilian air collision disaster. Unfortunately, the message is likely to continue circulating and duping readers for months or even years to come.

Update:
In June 2009, versions of the above hoax email began circulating that included the following subject line and comments:
Subject: FW: AIR FRANCE CRASH PHOTOS, AMAZED BY GUY'S INSTINCT......2 photos after Collision before Death....

Feel so sad for all the passengers including the extraordinary photographer, who kept his cool even in his last moments of life and took this photo. Hats off to him!!!

Yesterday the world saw the disappearance of an A330 Air France during a trans Atlantic flight between Rio to Paris. Very ironic that a day before I got a mail of the photos taken a a passenger on a flight mins after a mid air collision, and mins before the crash of the said aircraft

Two shots taken inside the plane before it crashed. Unbelievable!
Except for this added information, the newer variants are virtually identical to the example of the original hoax that is included above and have the same two photographs. While the new version of the message does not actually claim that the photographs came from the doomed Air France jet, submissions indicate that many recipients are nevertheless reaching that totally incorrect conclusion.

To reiterate, the photographs are from the TV series "Lost" and are not taken from either the 2006 crash of Gol Airlines Flight 1907 or the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447. As stated above the original message was a deliberately fabricated hoax. The references to the Air France crash that have been added to the hoax message have apparently given it new life and it is once again circulating far and wide.

References:
Gol Transportes Areos Flight 1907
Lost
Exclusivo: As fotos do Acidente do vo 1907 da Gol de dentro do avio
They want to believe

Last updated: 11 June 2009
First published: 11th December 2006

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen