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.
Claim: Photographs show a bear trapped beneath a combine.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, 2006]
My neighbor last Friday got this bear with the combine a half mile north of me. I live just East of East Farmington. The combine was stuck, and the den hole was 5 feet deep. The bear was trying to dig out from under the wheel but could not get out. The DNR told them to shoot it. It dressed
out 287 pounds, and was a male.
Troy got a bear with the combine. He was combining our corn over at Measners field and fell into a big hole. He thought it was a badger hole until a big black paw came out. Pretty soon a head appeared. They knew for sure it was no badger. He wasn't very happy either. He was 300 pounds.
Variations: Other versions of this e-mail placed the site of the bear-combine encounter in Illinois:
Subject: Bear - Washburn, IL
This bear was found 8.5 miles north of Washburn Illinois. Mason Shirley sent him this email. His dad, Greg Shirley farms in the Washburn area. Greg's neighbor is the farmer.
Check out the picture My neighbor last Friday got this bear with the combine a half mile north of me. The combine was stuck, and the den hole was 5 feet deep. The bear was trying to dig out from under the wheel but could not get out, the DNR told them to shoot it. It dressed out 287 pounds, and was a male.
Origins: The pictures displayed above stem from an encounter between a combine and bear that took place on a rented corn field in East Farmington Township, Wisconsin, on 26 October 2006. Farmer Troy DeRosier, from the west-central Wisconsin town of Osceola, was harvesting corn that day when his combine fell into a five-foot-deep hole that turned out to be
the den of a 216-pound bear. "I started digging, and I could hear this heavy breathing," he said. "Then we saw this paw come out."
Unfortunately, the bear could not be extricated from beneath the combine (which was loaded down with 5-1/2 tons of corn), so
a local hunter, acting under directions from the local Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office, shot and killed it. A crowd of about 20 people gathered to witness the scene, one of whom presumably snapped the photos shown here and sent them out over the Internet.
Later versions of the e-mail claimed the photos stemmed from farms near various towns around Illinois (e.g., Washburn, Decatur, Kewanee), prompting denials from officials with that state's Department of Natural Resources, who said Illinois has no black bear population.
A similar incident involving a bear and a combine took place just one week later on a farm near Osseo, Wisconsin.
Last updated: 1 December 2006
Donovan, Lisa. "Illinois Has Nothing to Do with E-Bear."
Chicago Sun-Times. 3- November 2006.
Associated Press. "Illinois Says Black Bear E-Mail Is Hoax."