Message claims that photographs of a large catfish with a basketball stuck in its mouth were taken at Lake Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia.
The photographs are genuine but the location details are false.
Subject: Fish Story – incredible Fish StoryA guy who lives at Lake Macquarie (50 miles north of Gosford) saw a ball bouncing around kind of strange in the lake and went to investigate.It turned out to be a flathead catfish who had obviously tried to swallow a basketball which became stuck in its mouth!!The fish was totally exhausted from trying to Dive, but unable to because the ball would Always bring him back up to the surface. The bloke tried numerous times to get the ball out, but was unsuccessful. He finally had his wife cut the ball in order to deflate it and release the hungry catfish.
You probably wouldn’t have believed this, if you hadn’t seen the following pictures…
These photographs of a catfish with a ball stuck in its mouth are genuine. However, the location specified in the description is incorrect. The stricken catfish was actually rescued from Sandalwood Lake in Kansas, USA, during May 2004.
The story and pictures were first featured in the Wichita Eagle newspaper on 30 May 2004. The article identified the man shown in the images as Bill Driver, a local fisherman. Soon after the newspaper article was published, the photographs began circulating as an email forward. Original versions (see example below) correctly identified the source of the information and the location where the photos were snapped.
However, new versions of the text emerged that changed the location and omitted references to the original newspaper article. The version shown above moves the action halfway around the world to New South Wales, Australia. Other versions have falsely listed the location as Pueblo Reservoir in Colorado, Lake Conroe in Texas, the Red River in North Dakota and several other places.
Messages that contain photographs of unusually large animals, or animals caught in unusual circumstances, often mutate as they travel. Some recipients of such messages apparently see fit to change location details to reflect their own regional areas before sending the message on. Versions of a message containing the same images of a very large Sturgeon caught by a group of fisherman claim several different US and Canadian locations for the catch. Another message with a photograph of a large alligator with a deer in its mouth also sports versions set in various US states. And people from several different areas of Australia were quick to claim regional “ownership” of a very large feral pig photographed after being shot by an unidentified hunter.
FISH STORY FROM WICHITA EAGLE NEWSPAPER
This was a pretty interesting story from The Sunday Wichita Eagle Newspaper a couple of weeks ago. A resident in the area saw a ball bouncing around kind of strange in Sandalwood Lake and went to investigate. It turned out to be a flathead catfish who had obviously tried to swallow a child’s basketball which became stuck in its mouth!! The fish was totally exhausted from trying to dive, but unable to because the ball would always bring him back up to the surface. The resident tried numerous times to get the ball out, but was unsuccessful. He finally had his wife cut the ball in order to deflate it and release the hungry catfish.
You wouldn’t believe it if you didn’t see the attached photos.
[Message contained the same photograph shown above]
Last updated: January 30, 2017
First published: Febuaray 12, 2007
By Brett M. Christensen
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!