Creepy Fraud

Remember this?

I have to confess, I hadn’t seen pictures of Chernobyl, until now.

Did you know that it’s safe to motorbike through the area (sort of), so long as you stay in the centre of the asphalt? Go have a look.

Link courtesy of Joe Clifford Faust

Turns out, both Joe and myself, and a lot of other people on the Internet, have been deceived. Fellow author Neil Gaiman points me to the debunking:

I am based in Kyiv and writing a book about Chornobyl for the Joseph Henry Press. Several sources have sent me links to the “Ghost Town” photo essay included in the last e-POSHTA mailing. Though it was full of factual errors, I did find the notion of lone young woman riding her motorcycle through the evacuated Zone of Alienation to be intriguing and asked about it when I visited there two days ago.

I am sorry to report that much of Elena’s story is not true. She did not travel around the zone by herself on a motorcycle. Motorcycles are banned in the zone, as is wandering around alone, without an escort from the zone administration. She made one trip there with her husband and a friend. They traveled in a Chornobyl car that picked them up in Kyiv.

It has to be asked: why would anybody want to create such an elaborate fraud?

Well, scratch that; I know why. Money. Fame. Attention. Take your pick. It’s sad, though. Truly sad.

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