This message, which features a picture apparently depicting the hands of God in the clouds, has been circulating since 2004.
The original version of the message claimed that the photograph was taken after Hurricane Charley hit the US state of Florida in 2004.
However, the photograph has clearly been altered to include the “hands” in the clouds. Moreover, the image was circulating around the Internet well before Hurricane Charley occurred. And, in later versions, the image is associated with other storms or disasters, including 2004’s Asian tsunami and 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.
Who created the original picture and in what context it first appeared is difficult to determine. However, a number of visitors have pointed out the similarity between this image and a well-known pornographic image that was featured on Goatse.cx.
It has been suggested that the image was created as a “tribute” to Goatse and, indeed, the image is featured on the Tribute to Goatse.cx website. The original Goatse.cx website is no longer online, but extensive information about Goatse is available via an article on Wikipedia.
Subject: Fw: The Hands of God – Awesome picture
Got this today! Please pass it on…
A friend of mine sent this photo of a cloud formation in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley. I think it is awesome and needed to be passed on. I truly hope that all of you will be able to view it.
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!