We’re at a key point in the Gulf Oil spill, while urban legends breed and circulate among the credulous

Two stories about the Gulf oil spill.

First, the real story.  Today begins efforts to place a hood over the major oil leak.  It’s never been attempted at this depth, and (so far as I can tell) never been done successfully.  See Reuters for the latest information.  If this fails, the spill will continue for several months until BP can drill to and plug the leading well.  The economic and ecological damages would be massive.

Second, rumors swirl.  Events like this collect urban legends like a farm dog collects fleas.  The latest is “The Cover-up: BP’s Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster” by Wayne Madsen, Wayne Madsen Report, re-posted at OilPrice, 6 May 2010.  Note the opening, a classic urban legend setup:

WMR has been informed by sources in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Florida Department of Environmental Protection that the Obama White House and British Petroleum (BP), which pumped $71,000 into Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign — more than John McCain or Hillary Clinton, are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP’s liability for damage caused by what can be called a “mega-disaster.”

Unnamed sources revealing hot secret information!  That would be worth reading in the major new media, who might actually have sources in multiple Federal agencies providing secret information.  It is a waste of time reading this from dubious reporters like Wayne Madsen.  See his Wikipedia entry for links to past stories, many looking quite bogus.  Why do people bother reading — and circulating — such things?  Perhaps, like belief in elves and UFO’s, because it makes life interesting.

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