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01 December 2005

True or False?


T

oday's entry is long... I'm sorry, but stick with it. As you all know, I go to unbelievably great lengths to bring you up-to-date, factual and interesting news articles to ponder. Ok, maybe "unbelievably great lengths" is a bit much... but anyway I do desperately look around for interesting items.

Today I am writing about actual stories that have circulated around for awhile. I don't know if they are all true or not, some are and some aren't.

Article #1
A large multinational corporation (Gerber) once attempted to sell baby food in an African nation by using packaging designed for its home country market (USA). The company's regular label showed a picture of a baby with a caption describing the kind of baby food contained in the jar. African consumers took one look at the product, however, and were horrified. They interpreted the labels to mean that the jars contained ground-up babies!

Article #2
When the family moved to North America, they kept in constant touch with their European relatives. Letters and parcels regularly made their way from one shore to another. After a long period of silence, a small box arrived from the U.S. Inside, carefully wrapped in tissue paper, was a jar of grey powder. There was no note, but since many of the previous parcels had contained ready-to-make packaged mixes, the European family members thought that this powder, too, was a mix that would be prepared by simply adding water. The sauce was made and served, but it wasn't the best they had eaten! Several days later, a letter arrived from the U.S. explaining that the father had died, and because he had always been homesick, he wished his ashes to be spread over his home town. Grandma hoped that the rest of the family would not be inconvenienced and that the letter would get to them before the ashes, which were being sent separately in a jar and were securely wrapped in tissue paper.

Article #3
The Princess of Amen-Ra lived some 1,500 years before Christ. When she died, she was laid in an ornate wooden coffin and buried deep in a vault at Luxor, on the banks of the Nile.

In the late 1890s, 4 rich young Englishmen visiting the excavations at Luxor were invited to buy an exquisitely fashioned mummy case containing the remains of Princess of Amen-Ra.

They drew lots. The man who won paid several thousand pounds and had the coffin taken to his hotel. A few hours later, he was seen walking out towards the desert. He never returned.

The next day, one of the remaining 3 men was shot by an Egyptian servant accidentally. His arm was so severely wounded it had to be amputated.

The third man in the foursome found on his return home that the bank holding his entire savings had failed. The fourth guy suffered a severe illness, lost his job and was reduced to selling matches in the street.

Nevertheless, the coffin reached England (causing other misfortunes along the way), where it was bought by a London businessman.

After 3 of his family members had been injured in a road accident and his house damaged by fire, the businessman donated it to the British Museum.

As the coffin was being unloaded from a truck in the museum courtyard, the truck suddenly went into reverse and trapped a passerby. Then as the casket was being lifted up the stairs by 2 workmen, 1 fell and broke his leg. The other, apparently in perfect health, died unaccountably two days later.

Once the Princess was installed in the Egyptian Room, trouble really started. The Museum's night watchmen frequently heard frantic hammering and sobbing from the coffin. Other exhibits in the room were also often hurled about at night. One watchman died on duty; making the other watchmen wanting to quit. Cleaners refused to go near the Princess too. When a visitor derisively flicked a dustcloth at the face painted on the coffin, his child died of measles soon afterwards.

Finally, the authorities had the mummy carried down to the basement figuring it could not do any harm down there. Within a week, one of the helpers was seriously ill, and the supervisor of the move was found dead on his desk.

By now, the papers had heard of it. A journalist photographer took a picture of the mummy case and when he developed it, the painting on the coffin was of a horrifying, human face. The photographer was said to have gone home then, locked his bedroom door and shot himself.

Soon afterwards, the museum sold the mummy to a private collector. After continual misfortune (and deaths), the owner banished it to the attic.

A well known authority on the occult, Madame Helena Blavatsky, visited the premises. Upon entry, she was sized with a shivering fit and searched the house for the source of &an evil influence of incredible intensity; She finally came to the attic and found the mummy case.

Can you exorcise this evil spirit? Asked the owner. There is no such thing as exorcism. Evil remains evil forever. Nothing can be done about it. I implore you to get rid of this evil as soon as possible.

But no British museum would take the mummy; the fact that almost 20 people had met with misfortune, disaster or death from handling the casket, in barely 10 years, was now well known.

Eventually, a hardheaded American archaeologist (who dismissed the happenings as quirks of circumstance), paid a handsome price for the mummy and arranged for its removal to New York. In Apr 1912, the new owner escorted its treasure aboard a sparkling, new White Star liner about to make its maiden voyage to New York.

On the night of April 14, amid scenes of unprecedented horror, the Princess of Amen-Ra accompanied 1,500 passengers to their deaths at the bottom of the Atlantic. The name of the ship was of course, the R.M.S. TITANIC.

Observations and Questions
What's your take? What do you think, True or False? The answers tomorrow along with Part II.

Birth Announcements and Dusty Death Notices
This date has been over-whelmingly busy in both births and deaths. Too many to pick from... I'll just tell ya that there were 164 births and over 80 deaths this date.
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