Claim: Someone is sending sponges carrying a deadly “Klingerman virus” to victims via U.S. Mail.
[Collected via e-mail, 2000]
I feel it is vital to inform all of my friends about this.
This is an alert about a virus in the original sense of the
There have been 23 confirmed cases of people attacked by the Klingerman Virus, a virus that arrives in your real mail box, not your
When asked for comment, Florida police Sergeant Stetson said, “We are working with the CDC and the USPS, but have so far been unable to track down the origins of these letters. The return addresses have all been different, and we are certain a remailing service is being used, making our jobs that much more difficult.”
Those who have come in contact with the Klingerman Virus have been hospitalized with severe dysentery. So far seven of the twenty-three victims have died. There is no legitimate Klingerman Foundation mailing unsolicited gifts.
If you receive an oversized blue envelope in the mail marked,”A gift from the Klingerman foundation”, DO NOT open it. Place the envelope in a strong plastic bag or container, and call the police immediately. The “gift” inside is one you definitely do not want.
PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO EVERYONE YOU CARE ABOUT.
[Collected via e-mail, 2001]
I received an email from a friend who has a cousin employed by The National Guard in New York. They have been meeting with government officials just about every other day. It seems that
- The January 2001 version of the “Klingerman virus” hoax opened with this paragraph:
This is from Schwab corporate headquarters — so it’s no joke. Very scary. Be careful Just when you thought you were safe, now we have the following to deal
with …please read, it definitely is a serious threat to our lives and health.
and closed with the signature of someone from Yale-New Haven Hospital.
- The September 2001 variations in circulation included the standard “Klingerman Foundation” warning, but also sometimes listed the evil-intentioned mailer as the “Kricker Group,” “Kinderman Foundation,” “Leberman Foundation” or “Lineman Foundation.”
- One variant in circulation in September 2001 (quoted as the second example above) strips away almost everything that would identify it as a Klingerman spin-off — only someone well versed in online lore would recognize one as the other, because the text has been changed and all mentions of foundations and blue envelopes are missing. Yet it’s the same fallacious warning: People died from opening an envelope containing something noxious.
Origins: Not to worry — there is no “Klingerman Virus” and nobody has died from receiving virus-bearing sponges in the mail. This is merely another in a long line of dumb
Nonetheless, the Klingerman hoax has caused problems more than once when people have taken it
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies, a bomb squad, a hazardous materials team and a postal inspector converged on her home that day to inspect the envelope.
“It had to be handled appropriately in the event there was something to it,” sheriff’s Capt. Michael Gauger said.
But as the bomb squad prepared to
Associated Press reported: “Emergency dispatchers kept [him] on the line while fire trucks, cruisers and ambulances rushed to his home. The street was sealed off for half a mile. Police called the FBI. People in spacey hazardous materials suits ushered [him] outside, stripped him down to his shorts and sprayed him with a fire hose before sending him to the hospital.”
It’s a pity whoever started this hoax doesn’t get the same treatment.
Hoax mailings aside, there has been at least one recent real case of dangerous bacteria arriving in the mail. On
Contact with the anthrax bacteria through cutaneous contact (by touching it, in other words) is rarely fatal. Fears that terrorists will be mailing anthrax-laden envelopes to all and sundry are thus misplaced, as our
|False E-mail Report About Klingerman Virus (Centers for Disease Control)|
|False ‘Klingerman Virus’ E-Mail Rumor (U.S. Postal Service)|
|E-Mail Hoax (Yale-New Haven Hospital)|
Last updated: 31 December 2005
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