I have never met an editor at a newspaper that doesn't get anonymous letters and snippets of supposed news in the mail from unknown persons. It is, in my estimation, a common thing.
Sometimes what comes out of the envelopes is amusing, even downright funny, That is particularly true when you know whoever the person at the other end of the mail chain is really serious about what they are sending you.
Then there are the things that are dark, sometimes even threatening.
Some are just absurd.
You can almost always tell before you even open such pieces of mail that they are either far out or just ridiculous.
How? Because they never have a return address on them.
I got one the other day in fact. There it was laying on the top of my in-box as if it were calling to me. What would this envelope with no return address bring to me? A conspiracy in the community that no one but the writer knows about? A claim that Price has tunnels under it that has mafia members living in them? A story about that there are government spies driving around in cars looking for people who appear to be non-American?
Or maybe a little shot of anthrax? I always open this kind of mail carefully.
Well, in this case it was none of those. But it was about something that I have been advised through such letters about before.
The news in the letter claims that Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 experienced multiple mechanical problems and rather than have it crash into the ocean, killing all the people on board it was rescued by a spacecraft from the star Sirius (my favorite because it is after all the dog star). The note claims that it is part of the Federation fleet under the direction of Commander Ashtar. It points out that a large blip appeared on radar screens just before the flight disappeared that evening and that it has created much confusion with those searching because of the advanced technological intervention (their words not mine).
The people on board the plane have taken up the cause of world peace (which this Federation appears to want here) and are "acting" as hostages to get everyone in the world to get along.
The contact for more information is a Dr. Kathryn E. May, who I looked up on the internet and she is a real person. She is a psychologist who uses unusual ways to help people and believes in a lot of stuff that I don't adhere to. It's funny what a PhD can do for you, especially if you don't have all your Masters marbles in a row to begin with.
There was a note on the bottom of the release that said "Check this out! Do some research. Have the courage to be the first to print the truth!"
There you go. Now someone, somewhere has taken what will be a huge tragedy when they find the plane in pieces and all the passengers dead and has made a mockery of it. Personally, I generally don't believe in things I can't see or that haven't been scientifically proven to me. But everyone has a right to their opinion and their version of any story if they wish, regardless of how far off the beam it is.
I may have not printed the text of the story exactly as it appeared on the non-address release, but I got the gist of it into this column. They ought to be happy.
I am, however, not going to do any further research.
But I do have a question. Almost all the correspondence I get like this challenges me to print something that is either way out or ridiculous. And they often use the same words this sender did; "Have the courage..."
Just a note to those that would send us, or any newspaper stuff like this. How come we have to have the courage to print it, when you can't even put your own name and address on it?
Courage, if it is real, runs in both directions.