Surfin’: Debunking Ham Radio’s Urban Legends
By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
This week, Surfin’ scopes out Snopes.com for the truth behind ham radio’s urban legends.
Well-meaning, but ill-informed friends regularly send my sister e-mails alerting her to something dastardly that will occur if she opens a particular e-mail. Or they try to inform her about something contemptible that the government or some corporation is trying to pull off behind our backs. Or... If you have exchanged e-mail for any length of time, you are familiar with this particular flavor of e-mails.
Inevitably, my sister forwards such e-mails to me and asks, “Is this legit?”
Most of the time, I recognize the scam and reply that the alert is not legit.
Sometimes I don’t know, but I do know how to find out: I visit the Urban Legends Reference Pages of Snopes.com. They have a great search engine. Whenever I have had to use their service, I copy and paste a key phrase from the questionable alert and Snopes’ search engine always finds what I seek and informs me as to its legitimacy or lack thereof.
Snopes bills itself as “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.” If you d not know what to make of the e-mail alerts you receive, I urge you to bookmark Snopes and use it to solve those e-mail issues.
In addition to helping solve your e-mail mysteries, browsing the Web site and reading about the urban legends is interesting and entertaining.
By the way, Amateur Radio is a player in some of the urban legends that Snopes debunks:
- The accident-prone ham and a barrel of tools
- The lighthouse vs the aircraft carrier
- Why television don’t sets have a Channel 1
- The Russian student seeking financial assistance
Until next time, keep on surfin’!
- ARRL Contributing...
- Visit www.snopes....