Castaway Found on Island via Google Maps is Hoax

There’s a story I keep seeing popping up on Twitter and Facebook that is a complete hoax.

I don’t want to give it another link, but the story basically is that a woman took a trip seven years ago and went missing.  She created a large SOS message and hoped help would find her.  Seven years later, someone checking out Google Map’s satellite saw the SOS and reported it.  The woman was rescued.

While it is a feel-good story during the other news going on right now, it isn’t true and a lot of the quotes are lifted directly from someone who voluntarily lived in a deserted area for 60 days.

When something seems incredible, I always jump to Snopes first.  According to them:


  • First of all, the NewsHound web site is not a news site at all, and it has, in place of news, reproduced a number of other hoaxes and spoofs as if they were real news, such as long-debunked stories about a Chinese man suing his wife over giving birth to an ugly baby, Apple paying Microsoft [sic] a $1 billion debt all in nickels, and a planetary alignment causing gravity on Earth to be negated for five minutes.
  • Second, the Newshound article’s photograph of the SOS message supposedly created on a beach by the stranded woman is actually a cropped and enlarged version of a picture published by Amnesty International back in 2010 to accompany an article about destructive violence in southern Kyrgyzstan and was clearly (in its original context) not snapped on a deserted island:



While it may be disappointing to find out this crazy story isn’t true, I’m just glad this poor woman (if she exists at all) didn’t actually have to spend seven years on an island, talking to a volley ball.

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About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. speaking of hoax…

    And that’s NOT a picture form the Castaway movie! Wrong sand. He didn’t “paint” the ball while it was in the box. He didn’t have a red bandage.

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