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Foreign Boyfriend Disappears, Warns not to Fly on September 11, Then
Issues Other Warnings of Terrorism-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
There are several versions of
this one circulating.
Version #1: An email from a woman in California who
claims that a friend of a friend had an Afghan boyfriend who
disappeared shortly before the terrorist attacks of September 11,
2001. She received a letter from him on September 10 begging
her not to fly on any commercial airliners on September 11 and to
stay away from shopping malls on Halloween.
Version #2: Similar story except that it originates from
someone who says the message came from a cousin in
Pennsylvania. That message says the information came in a fax
from a brother in Philadelphia whose co-worker dated an Afghan.
Version #3: Same story about the warnings of September 11 and
Halloween, except that it's a letter from a brother who has a friend
whose friend dated a person of Arabian descent.
Version #4: Same story, but the originator's brother is from
Princeton, New Jersey.
Version #5: Same story, but the FBI came to a shop that does
facials to interview a girl whose friend was dating a person of Arab
Version #6: The wife of an Afghan receives a letter from her
husband saying he loves her and the kids, but that he's on a mission
and will never see them again. He warns them not to eat at any
fast-food restaurants for the next 3 weeks.
The Truth: Halloween in 2001 came and went and there was no terrorist activity at
Still, this was one of the most widely circulated of
the post-September 11 eRumors.
No law enforcement authorities found credibility in the rumor and
despite massive visibility none of the wives or girlfriends described in the
One interesting aspect of this story was that it produced an unintentional
There were many versions of the Halloween scare eRumor, but one of
the most widely circulated was one with a person's name, email
address, and office phone number attached. That person was
Laura Katsis in California. She was listed as an
Implementation Specialist for an office of Volt Information
Services. She had been told of the warning by a girlfriend of hers
and considered it credible. Because she was real and assessable by
email and phone, many people considered the eRumor authentic.
Laura did not know the originator of the story, however. She
was one of multitudes of people who was told of it by someone she
trusted, thought it was real, and forwarded it. When an uproar
happened at her office because of all the response, her company
notified the FBI and gave the message to them.
Last updated 12/06/2001
A real example of the story as it has
Hi All -
I think you all know that I don't send out hoaxes and don't do
the reactionary thing and send out anything that crosses my
This one, however, is a friend of a friend and I've given it
enough credibility in my mind that I'm writing it up and sending it out
to all of you.
My friend's friend was dating a guy from Afghanistan up until a month
ago. She had a date with him around 9/6 and was stood up.
She was understandably upset and went to his home to find it completely
On 9/10, she received a letter from her boyfriend explaining that
he wished he could tell her why he had left and that he was
sorry it had to be like that. The part worth mentioning is
that he BEGGED her not to get on any commercial airlines on 9/11 and to
not to go any malls on Halloween.
As soon as everything happened on the 11th, she called the
FBI and has since turned over the letter. This is not
an email that I've received and decided to pass on. This came from a
phone conversation with a long-time friend of mine last
I may be wrong, and I hope I am. However, with one of his warnings
being correct and devastating, I'm not willing to take the
chance on the second and wanted to make sure that people I cared about
had the same information that I
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