Malls on 10/31

  1. Received this via e-mail. Don't know if it's true, but has a ring of credibility. Just want to pass it on "just in case."

    Wanted to inform you guys. Not taking any chances on
    whether this is accurate or not.....be aware.
    I don't know how valid this is but I could not live
    with myself if I didn't forward. It's always better to
    be safe than sorry on these things.
    Hi All -
    I think you all know that I don't send out hoaxes and
    don't do the reactionary thing and send out anything
    that crosses my path.This one, however, is a friend of
    a friend and I've given it enough credibility in my
    mind that I'm writing it up and sending it out to all
    of you.
    My friend's friend was dating a guy from Afghanistan
    up until a month ago. She had a date with him around
    9/6 and was stood up. She was understandably upset
    and went to his home to find it completely emptied. On
    9/10, she received a letter from her boyfriend
    explaining that he wished he could tell her why he had
    left and that he was sorry it had to be like that.
    The part worth mentioning is that he BEGGED her not to
    get on any commercial airlines on 9/11, and not to go to
    any malls on Halloween. As soon as everything
    happened on the 11th, she called the FBI and has since turned
    over the letter. This is not an email that I've received and decided to pass on. This came from a phone conversation with a
    long-time friend of mine last night.

    I may be wrong, and I hope I am. However, with one of
    his warnings being correct and devastating, I'm not
    willing to take the chance on the second and wanted to
    make sure that people I cared about had the same
    information that I did. Please pass this on to any and
    everyone that you care about.

    Michele Whaley
    Director, CORP (Criminal Offender Reparation Program)
    222-B Cotanche Street
    Greenville, NC 27835
    (252) 830-2540 Office Number Pager # 252-695-4308
    (252) 830-2542 Fax Number
    •  
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   VickyRN
    Interesting, Joules. Thank you. Will pass this on to my friends "just in case."
  4. by   essarge
    I just sent this out to my friends. I guess my question would be if this was sent to the FBI, why haven't there been any warnings issued?
  5. by   KC CHICK
    Real or not, think of all the children trick-or-treating in malls on Halloween.
    I would hope that these terrorists would not sign their own ultimate death warrants by specifically targeting American children.
  6. by   essarge
    Just a thought.....there has always been a warning of some type. Perhaps this was one of them?????? Rumor or not, I'm not taking any chances (never did like the mall much anyway!!!)
  7. by   rncountry
    From snopes2.com, a place where urban legand is watched.


    Claim: Girl receives letter from her disappeared Afghan boyfriend saying terrorists are going to strike at U.S. malls on Halloween.
    Status: False.

    Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]


    Hi All -
    I think you all know that I don't send out hoaxes and don't do the reactionary thing and send out anything that crosses my path. This one, however, is a friend of a friend and I've given it enough credibility in my mind that I'm writing it up and sending it out to all of you.
    My friend's friend was dating a guy from Afghanistan up until a month ago. She had a date with him around 9/6 and was stood up. She was understandably upset and went to his home to find it completely emptied. On 9/10, she received a letter from her boyfriend explaining that he wished he could tell her why he had left and that he was sorry it had to be like that. The part worth mentioning is that he BEGGED her not to get on any commercial airlines on 9/11 and to not to go any malls on Halloween. As soon as everything happened on the 11th, she called the FBI and has since turned over the letter.

    This is not an email that I've received and decided to pass on. This came from a phone conversation with a long-time friend of mine last night.

    I may be wrong, and I hope I am. However, with one of his warnings being correct and devastating, I'm not willing to take the chance on the second and wanted to make sure that people I cared about had the same information that I did.




    Origins: The above-quoted e-mail began circulating on October 5, 2001. Its author, a young lady whose signature block is included in a number of the forwards, has told us she got this story from a friend, who in turn heard it from the warned girl.

    Whatever the gal who wrote the e-mail believes about the truthfulness of her friend, this particular story is false. A public information officer at the FBI's National Press Office told us that they've fielded many phone calls about this message, they've checked it out, and they have received no letter of warning from a girl with an Afghan boyfriend.

    This story fits neatly into the genre of a number of similar rumors about helped terrorists or compassionate Arabs who are moved to offer specific warnings about upcoming attacks, and thus should most likely be dismissed as just more of the same. ("Helped terrorists" of lore offer such heads up by way of thanks for a kindness done them. "Compassionate Arabs" of rumor offer such intelligence to favored neighbors, usually just before they themselves pack up and leave in the middle of the night. Dozens, if not hundreds, of versions of such tales abound, each told by someone who swears he heard it from someone who knows the person who had the encounter.) Such snippets of lore swing on the belief that those who have foreknowledge of destruction to come would jeopardize the outcome of those events by warning others. Terrorists may very well form friendships among the folk they've temporarily taken on the coloration of, but friendship stops at the line where it might interfere with operations. To think otherwise is to surrender to a form of navet that can only be characterized as appallingly wishful thinking.

    As for the specifics of this particular e-mailed story, you have to ask why the boyfriend would warn the girl against taking any flights on the 11th of September. Wouldn't he have known if she were planning a trip, especially one only a week away? If the story is purely an expression of lore, this literary device is necessary to further the plot because the caution against air travel on the 11th works to provide credibility to the further warning about more mayhem to come on Halloween. One event validates the other; a device used in other "warning" legends.

    For instance, this device of one realized event bestowing credibility on a prediction made about a second event yet to occur appears in a rumor from World War II:


    In the wake of the anxiety rumors that swept the nation immediately after Pearl Harbor came a pipe-dream rumor which was undoubtedly the most popular of all: the weird tale of the man who picked up a strange woman in his car. Arriving at her destination, his passenger allegedly offered to pay the man for the gas he had used. But the man refused to accept the money, so the woman offered to tell his fortune. And, as the rumor went, mysteriously she told him, "There will be a dead body in your car before you get home, and Hitler will be dead in six months." Supposedly, then, on the way home the man had seen a serious automobile wreck and had taken one of the victims into his car to rush him to the hospital. But the injured person died en route, which left the hopeful implication that Hitler would therefore be dead within the following six months.
    Although this pipe dream sounds foolish, it nevertheless spread throughout the country rapidly. It appeared in widely circulated gossip columns, and a lot of Americans took it seriously. Yet this same rumor, in the setting of the period, to be sure, had appeared in every military conflict since the Napoleonic Wars. And it has been said that the rumor probably goes back into the Middle Ages.




    Another version of the "Mall-o-ween" rumor surfaced shortly after the first.


    My friend Colleen arrived for a facial when FBI agents were leaving Murad on Sunday, October 7, 2001. They were there to interrogate a girl who worked there to find out if she knew anything. The reason for their lead was she was best-friends with a girl who was dating an Arab man, who disappeared and was involved in the terrorist attacks on the WTC. He disappeared this summer and left her a note, saying the following in the effect of:
    "I have to go away and will not be able to see you again. Please do me a favor and do not fly in any planes on September 11, 2001 nor shop at any shopping malls on October 31, 2001 ......... "

    Don't know about you but I live across the street from a shopping mall, and my in-laws do too. Given my daughter is usually at their house on a Wednesday afternoon, right near the mall, am thinking of where else to go.

    Halloween may not be so Happy.

    Please send this to anyone that you know. Let's hope this isn't for real, but since it was actually left in a letter to a loved one from one of the people involved in the attacks of September 11, 2001, I am not taking it too lightly.




    The case against this rumor about terrorist attacks on malls is a fairly solid one -- the theme is both well known in the realm of folklore, and terrorists do not tip plans to outsiders. Moreover, the FBI says it hasn't received such a letter as the e-mail describes the warned girl as turning over to them. They've been investigating the story and finding nothing to it.

    Yet the author of the first e-mail (whom we contacted) believes the story her friend told her. She does not personally know the friend of her friend (the gal who supposedly received the letter), but does trust that her friend's account is accurate.

    Will she through further conversations with her friend discover that she's not as close to the source of the rumor as she thought? Will her friend's friend turn out to be someone much farther removed from the "warning" than the usual two links in the "friend of a friend" (FOAF) chain of contemporary lore? That is for the future to reveal.

    That one person believes a rumor does not make the rumor true, of course. But that we can trace this rumor to the person who started the e-mail does make this case more intriguing.

    Barbara "international intrigue" Mikkelson

    Last updated: 10 October 2001
  8. by   BeachNurse
    Who knows if it's true? Sounds a bit contrived..I received this email that had been forwarded around the office. Got it about 3 days ago. Probably a hoax--just like those ones that say, "if you forward this email to 50 people you will get a free steak dinner at the Outback Steakhouse"! LOL
  9. by   misti_z
    I got the same email forwarded to me last night. Exactly--word for word--like what was posted here but signed by a different person.
  10. by   lpnandloveit1
    Let me say that I don't believe this story. If it had any truth to it I'm sure that they would close malls on 10/31. That said let me say a couple of things. Why put ourselves in situations that may be dangerous. I have made a couple of decisions in the past month. No malls on 10/31, noe Malls the day after thanksgiving,I live near Notre Dame and stay far away from the stadium on game days. And I don't open mail to "occupant" that may contain yucky stuff. Mabe I'm paranoid but why take chances.

close