Except, the story turns out to have been a fraud. It was the concoction of a newspaper editor named Ed Marchant. According to research brought together by historian Guy W. Moore, on the web site “The Virgin and the Comet”, there is no listing for a “Henry Heinman” nor a “Jane Warfield” in the 1910 Oklahoma census. And in 1910 the sheriff for Major County, where Aline, Oklahoma is located, was Lewis Burwell, not the mythical Sheriff Hughes.
In other words, the tale was a joke the folks in Oklahoma could enjoy at the expense of the rubes in New York and Washington D.C. who bought the story hook line and sinker.
Its the same way the people in Southwest Washington State who knew Bob Heironimus all of his life, and instantly recognized his distinctive arm swinging lope in the infamous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin “Bigfoot film”, got the same joke. Those locals knew right away it was Bob striding around in a monkey suit. Only an rube would think there really was a big foot. What's he been eating all these years in the woods? Vienna Sausage? And where has he been pooping? And why, in all these years, has no poor hunter or tourist ever stepped in a great big pile of Bigfoot big poop? It's a joke. There is not Bigfoot living in the woods. And the only people who believe there is live in the local "Days Inn".
But there is a difference between a tale of a virgin sacrificed on the plains of Oklahoma or a gorilla suit covered in pig’s entrails and stuffed into a freezer, and a phony bill of sale for Nigerian Yellow Cake uranium ore or Death Panels pulling the plug on grandma. One is a story told for the sheer joy of the story telling. It's a big whopper, told to illustrate a larger truth - that we are all fools at times. It is called in polite circles "fiction".
The other is a story invented out of greed - greed for money or greed for ratings or greed for power. It tells no truth except the truth about those who tell it; they are frauds. Frauds tell lies. And liars too often profit. And all it costs them is their souls. And ours, for believing them.
And, upon reflection, what I really hunger for is not novelty, but truth; honesty in advertising, candor in news gathering, sincerity in politics and just a little athenticity in the lies we tell each other to get through the day- like claiming to be the best team in politics, or calling a staged farce a reality show just because it doesn't have written skript, or airing a news story that has nothing "NEW" in it.
Oh, and speaking of reality; have you noticed that we speak of primative cultures sacrificing virgins, while in our "modern" culture we seem determined to sacrifice "fallen" women? What's up with all this punishing of women stuff? And how come the virgin men rarely get thrown into the volcano?'
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