Did you see the shocking story of Gemma Sheridan’s Google Earth rescue spreading on Facebook?
The tale of a woman named Gemma Sheridan, Google Earth, and seven years as a castaway has been circulating on social networks, because it sounds so incredibly implausible. (Hint: because this is not a cromulent news story.)
SND‘s policy is in part to avoid linking to hoaxes when we can, so we’ll quote the claim made of Sheridan’s fantastic voyage. The preface explains:
“There was a huge storm that took out the boats electronics and washed her 2 friends overboard and seriously damaged her boat. Without any electronics and with a damaged boat, Gemma drifted for 17 days until she was hit by another major storm. During the storm, Gemma was knocked unconscious and the rest is history … Gemma awoke on a beach, surrounded by wreckage from her boat.”
A three-hour tour, a three-hour tour …
In the words of Gemma Sheridan, allegedly, years passed before some kid in the Midwest spied her massive, sandcastle SOS … on Google Earth. The viral hoax “quotes” the woman:
“Inside was a radio, fresh water, food and a small medical kit. I switched on the radio and heard the first human voice for years. We talked for what seemed like an eternity, then I asked the voice on the other end “How did you find me” to which they replied ‘Some kid from Minnesota found your SOS sign on Google Earth’ … I didn’t even know what Google Earth was, but I’m eternally in their debt now.”
The image attached to the hoax post actually was taken quite a while ago, in Kyrgyzstan.
Suffice to say, Gemma Sheridan’s Google Earth rescue isn’t reported elsewhere on the web. It initially appeared at the end of last year, and such a story would undoubtedly make international news, were there any truth to it. Don’t pass on this incredible but spurious tale of a modern day shipwrecking, because it’s just another Facebook-targeted hoax.