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White Van with Red Dragon Abduction Alert Messages

Outline
Various messages claim that a child has been abducted by someone driving a white van with a red dragon on it.



Brief Analysis
The claims in these messages are so far unsubstantiated. There are no credible news reports about an abduction like the one described. Different versions of the message name different locations for the supposed abduction. Some versions claim a little girl was abducted. Others claim that both a boy and a girl were abducted.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



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Last updated: 14th March 2011
First published: 14th March 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples
If someone sees a white van with a red dragon on it phone the police straight away and tell them where it is because a little girl has just been abducted 15 minutes ago at crown point north! (Denton)


if someone sees a white van with a red dragon on it phone the police straight away and tell them where it is because a little girl has just been abducted 15 minutes ago at crown point north! (Denton) Sftbc but please broadcast!! She needs finding....

**URGENT** EVERYONE PAY ATTENTION AND COPY AS YOUR STATUS NOW PLEASE If someone sees a white van with a red dragon on it phone the police straight away and tell them where it is because a little girl has just been abducted less than an hour ago from the crown bard pub in rhyl!!!!!!

very important... Please re-poot this... about 6.30pm 2nite in woodend a man in a white van with a red dragon on the side abducted a little girl outside woodend park and a 7yr old boy called jamie... apparantly the police have been aware of this suspicious van!!! PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES OUT 4 THIS VAN AND CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY... THERE KIDS NEED FINDING

If any one sees a white van with a red dragon on it phone police straight away and tell them were it is because a little girl has just been abducted about an hour ago outside wood end park, Tamworth. And a 7 year old boy called jamie. Please broadcast !! They really need finding. The reg of the van is T686 BJW. Please pass this onto as many people as you know.



Detailed Analysis
A series of child abduction alert messages are currently circulating around social networking websites Facebook and Twitter and via email. The messages describe a child abduction involving a white van with a red dragon on its side and ask recipients to report sightings of the van to police immediately. There are several versions of the message circulating. Some claim that two young children were abducted; a boy named "Jamie" and a young, unnamed, girl. Others claim that just the one child - a girl - was abducted. The locations of the alleged abduction also vary. Several localities in the UK are listed in different versions of the message, including Wood End Park, Tamworth, Crown Bard pub, Rhyl, Crown Point North, Denton and Wednesfield, Wolverhampton. One version lists the registration number of the van as being T686 BJW.

The claims in these messages so far remain unsubstantiated and may well be untrue. I could not find any news or police reports about a child abduction that took place in any of the locations mentioned in the various versions of the message. In fact, I could find no reports at all in the UK media that describe an abduction involving a white van with a red dragon or the registration T686 BJW. It seems barely credible that the only information about a child abduction would consist of vague and garbled reports that circulate via social media posts.

Moreover, the posts do not list a specific date, but suggest that the supposed abduction took place just a few minutes or hours ago. This ensures that such messages retain their "urgency" and give the illusion that they contain up-to-date information. Often, messages like these will continue to circulate for months or years after they first appeared.

To be worthwhile, abduction alerts must contain accurate and verifiable information about the circumstances of the incident and state exactly when and where the abduction took place. Given that there is no evidence to support the abduction claims put forward in these vague and conflicting messages, sending them on is likely to be counterproductive.

The posts are reminiscent of a long-running "Amber Alert" hoax that falsely claimed that a child had been abducted by a man driving a "2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse".

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Facebook rumours and inaccurate postings
Amber Alert Hoax - Mitsubishi Eclipse With Plate Number 98B351

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Last updated: 14th March 2011
First published: 14th March 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer