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Will Ferrell is Not Dead

Summary:
A bogus press release circulating around the Internet claims actor Will Ferrell was killed in a paragliding accident (Full commentary below.)



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, March 2006)
Los Angeles -- Actor Will Ferrell accidentally died in a freak para-gliding accident yesterday in Torey Pines, Southern California. The accident apparently happened somewhere near the famed paragliding site after a freak wind gush basically blew Ferrell and his companion towards a wooded area where they lost control before crashing into the dense foilage.

Ferrell and his professional guide, Horacio Gomez of Airtek Paragliding Center attempted the jump at around 2 in the afternoon. According to witnesses, the conditions were basically ideal for para-gliding and the weather did'nt pose a problem at all.

The jump started normally as Ferrell and Gomez glided carefully across the vast area and were seemed headed into the righ direction just before what witnesses said a freak wind somehow blew them off course, causing the paragliding professional Gomez to somehow lose control.

As horrified witnesses looked on, the duo headed straight for the dense woods near the jump off point and crashed at an estimated 60 mph hitting the trees as they hurtled to the ground.

Some friends of the actor who witnessed the accident immediately called up 911. The paramedics vainly attempted to revive the two on their way to the nearby UCSD Thornton Hospital in nearby La Jolla.

The duo suffered major injuries to the head and broken bones that caused the death of the two.

In an interview with Will's parents who was John W. Ferrell in real life, Mary and Hubert Ferrell said their sonn died while doing one of the things he loved the most.

Will was a graduate of the University of California where he finished his Sports Information Degree. Will was born on July 16, 1968. He was 36.




Commentary:
In mid March 2006, a press release that claimed popular actor Will Ferrell was killed in a paragliding accident began rapidly circulating around the Internet. The release stated that Ferrell and a companion, Horacio Gomez, were killed in Southern California after a "freak wind gush" caused the glider to lose control and crash into trees.

However, the claims in the press release are entirely untrue. Will Ferrell is alive and well and was not involved in a paragliding accident.

The report, full of grammatical errors and inaccuracies, was originally submitted to press release distribution website i-newswire.com, apparently because an iNewswire editor believed the story to be true. According to an article previoulsy publsihed on E! Online:
"The editor thought it sounded like a real press release," said Eric Borgos, president of Impulse Communications, the parent company of iNewswire. "Maybe the person didn't know who Will Ferrell was, which didn't help."
The fake release was removed from the iNewswire site within hours of being published, but not before the story "escaped" into Cyberspace and began travelling around the Internet.

E! Online notes that:
iNewswire tried, but failed to find the source of the bogus Ferrell story. The trickster, a non-paying customer, used a proxy server--the ISP address can't be traced, Borgos explained. All that's known about the anonymous user is that he or she tried, but failed to post about 10-15 other press releases on the site Tuesday, he said, including one that clarified that "Will Ferrell is not really dead."
To reiterate, Will Ferrell is very much alive and the claims in the report are completely untrue. At the time this false story began circulating, Will Ferrell was working on a new movie in Montreal.


Write-up by Brett M.Christensen