Date Added: Mar. 8, 2003
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but, apparently, that's not enough in the realm of chain letter hoaxes. This is just one of many chain letters to offer sensational pictures and a similarly sensational story to go with it. As every chain-breaker should know, you can't believe everything you see - or read - on the Internet.
INCREDIBLE PHOTOGRAPHY, YET PAINFUL TO VIEW.
Quite hard to believe this; these are amazing!
Attached are pictures of the Shuttle Explosion from an Israeli Satellite in space. They are from the Department of Justice in Washington D.C.
These are some incredible pictures (jpg format) of the shuttle explosion provided by the Israeli govt.
On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart on re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members aboard. In the hours after the tragedy, terrible images of debris and destruction were paraded across our TV sets, but none were as terrible as these "satellite images."
That's mainly because only Hollywood can produce pictures like these. That's right, these images were not taken by an Israeli satellite floating in space. Rather, they were taken by a movie camera in a Hollywood special effects studio.
The sequence above is a series of screen shots taken from the opening sequence of the 1998 sci-fi disaster film "Armageddon." In the movie, the Space Shuttle Atlantis is torn apart by debris on the leading edge of giant "planet-killer" asteroid (note the streaking objects in background).
In case that's not enough proof for you, here are a few other reasons these pictures could not possibly depict the Columbia disaster:
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), the official team looking into the cause of the disaster, is aware of photographic hoaxes being circulated in relation to the Columbia's destruction and advises that their Web site is the only source for validated, authentic photos on the subject.
"As part of the ongoing investigation into the loss of the Columbia Shuttle and its crew, the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) will occasionally release official photos on its Web site. The CAIB analyzes and validates any photographs it releases. The Board is aware that a number of fabricated, altered or otherwise falsified photographs have been circulating on the Internet. The CAIB cannot validate the authenticity of photos not posted on its Web site."
What we have here is the creation of a sick joker. However, since few people actually know the details of the Columbia disaster and are unaware of the intricate details and risks inherent on shuttle missions, the joke isn't as obvious as some might think, as notes added as it circulates indicate:
I must warn you these photos are extremely graphic and gripping. But they do provide a sense of closure and some reassurances that these brave astronauts did not suffer for a prolonged period of time. In some ways, these photos remind us very graphically the risk these courageous souls undertake when they commit to a life of adventure in outer space. And they also remind us that this world will be better for what they accomplished. Our lives will be lengthened though theirs were shortened. May God bless them one and all and may we never forget all they gave.
These impressive photographs were taken from a spy satellite in outer space, and only recently released. They reflect the sequence of events that heralded last moments of the shuttle Columbia.
The attribution that these pictures come to us via the United States Department of Justice is the result of False Attribution Syndrome (FAS). An employee of the DOJ's Office of Domestic Preparedness received this letter and forwarded it friends and colleagues, adding her name, title and contact information (including web address) to the message. Some versions still have this information intact, most have abbreviated it into the misleading statement seen above.
The last time I saw a photographic hoax as popular as this one, it was a fictional image of a tourist's last moments atop the World Trade Center. Another photographic hoax about the Columbia disaster, this time featuring an impossible picture of sunset over Europe, is also being forwarded with gusto. In all of these cases, a hoaxter has used doctored images to illustrate a sensational and marginally believable story that appeals to a nation's heightened emotions. Break this chain!