Woman Rescued by Google Earth After 7 Years on Island-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
This a story that has gone viral on Facebook and Twitter about a woman named Gemma Sheridan from Liverpool, England. Sheridan survived a shipwreck and was stranded for seven years on a deserted island. She is alleged to have been rescued because someone who was using Google Earth spotted an “S.O.S.” message written by her in the sand.
The story is a hoax.
The account of a woman named Gemma Sheridan, who was rescued from a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean came from an un-reputable website called News-Hound.org. Thanks to conveniently placed icon links for Facebook and Twitter at the bottom of the web page, this story quickly made the rounds on World Wide Web.
The first sign that the story was fabricated was the satellite image of the S.O.S. message that was allegedly scrawled in the sand by the survivor. The photo was originally published by Amnesty International in June 2010. It’s a satellite image of conflict in southern Kyrgyzstan — not the distress signal of a stranded woman.
Excerpts of the article were also plagiarized from a May 2013 Daily Mail report on explorer Ed Stafford, who appears in the Discovery Channel documentary “Naked and Marooned.” Stafford tweeted it was “amusing” that parts of the article about the television show were plagiarized by Gemma Sheridan.
NewsHound.org also has a history of publishing fictional stories. One example is a report that a unique planetary alignment on March 4, 2014, would cause negative gravity on Earth for five minutes, a claim with no scientific merit.