Claim: A golfer in the habit of carrying his tee in his mouth while playing holes grows sicker and sicker over the course of a few days and then drops dead. A post-mortem reveals that the golfer had ingested a lethal dose of the pesticide sprayed on the golf course.
Origins: Although a few of the details have been changed, this legend is based on real-life incident.
1982, Navy Lieutenant George M.Prior, 30, played 36 holes of golf at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA. Even before the last hole Prior was complaining of a headache; by nightfall he was feverish and nauseated and had developed a rash. Four days later Prior was in Bethesda Naval Hospital with a 104.5 degree fever, his body covered with blisters. He died ten days later after a toxic substance had burned the skin from 80% of his body and caused his major organs to fail. The toxic substance was determined to be Daconil, an FDA-approved fungicide that had been sprayed on the Army-Navy golf course twice a week. Prior apparently had a hypersensitivity to the chemical used in the fungicide, causing a severe allergic reaction. His widow filed a $20 million lawsuit against the manufacturer, Diamond Shamrock Chemical Company; the lawsuit was eventually settled out of court.
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.