(8/10/2001) The chef who cooked this one up took a real account of actual persons and events, stirred in a little outrage and emotional misleading, and created a tasty e-mail chain letter.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
On a recent "Today Show" there was a story about two men who went to Hanoi on a business trip. The men encountered a guy selling old GI dog tags from US servicemen who were killed during the Viet Nam War. They were disgusted by the thought of this man profiting from the sale of these tags. Upon returning to the U.S., they decided to go back to Viet Nam and purchase ALL the dog tags. They did so, paying 19 cents per tag!
They brought home several hundred tags. The plan is to return the tags to surviving family members, when they can find them. The process has already begun with one set being turned over to a grieving Mom on July 4th, (coincidentally, it was on her birthday)!
These two men have set up a website, "http://www.founddogtags.com" listing the names of all those whose tags they purchased.
If you lost friends, family, or know of someone who lost a loved one in Viet Nam, I suggest you check out this website. If you recognize a name, there's an e-mail address to contact these two men and to help in their efforts to return the dogtag to its rightful survivor. I'm sure a family member would be eternally grateful to have such an important item returned. Please help by checking this website. And please send the website address to everyone you know. The more people who see the lists, the greater the chance of returning ALL the tags to those who lost loved ones in Viet Nam!
Changing Planet news service is the socio-metaphysical-political-science-spirituality list that doesn't hold back any punches and demands that you think for yourself in
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
At first, I and several of my readers were skeptical about this one. We've seen hundreds of fake news accounts that claim to have been seen on the Today Show, Oprah, CNN, etc. Another warning sign that this one might be misinformative, consider that the source (www.apfn.org) is an ultra-conservative site with tons of conspiracy theories (including my personal favorite - that Tim McVeigh isn't really dead). That, at least, explains the letter's alarmist tone and sense of outrage in this chain letter.
However, I did a search of the net and found several news articles about the dogtags site. None of them put quite the negative spin on that this chain letter does. This CNN.com article is a transcript of an interview with one of the site's founders:
My search turned up several other news sites that ran an article on it, but the articles were no longer available (presumably rotated out for current articles). If you look them up on Google, you can view the cached copies of them. I read an article from MSNBC that confirms the story was featured on the Today Show on July 6, 2001. You can view video from the show here.