The Shark That Bit The Arm of an 8-Year-Old-Boy in Florida Was Actually On a Fishing Line at The Time–Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
This email claims that a widely publicized shark attack off Pensacola, Florida in July, 2001, wasn’t what it appeared to be. The news stories said that 8-year-old Jessie Arbogast was attacked by the shark in shallow water and lost his arm as the result. The reports at the time were that the boy’s uncle saw the shark biting his nephew, jumped into the water, got his nephew released from the shark, then wrestled the shark to shore. The boy’s arm was retrieved from the shark’s mouth and later reattached. This email says the real story, and one that has been suppressed by the media and the family, is that the boy was not innocently attacked while swimming. This eRumor says the uncle was fishing for shark and had battled the shark for about 2 hours. When he got it close to shore, his nephew excitedly ran toward the shark and that’s when he got bit. The eRumor says the uncle had been using chum (bait to attract fish) at the time.
The National Park Service has issued a report on the incident that says there was no fishing going on at all in the area of the attack…not by Jessie’s uncle or anyone else. The report says Jessie was attacked while swimming and that the uncle did manage to drag the shark ashore by grabbing its tail. According to an editorial in the Pensacola News Journal (7/27/01), the rumors about the uncle fishing for shark started a couple of days after the attack on Jessie and spun out of control from there, especially on the Internet. There is no ranger who shot the shark and no witnesses at all who saw anybody fishing. The National Park Service would like to figure out where the rumor started.