This one time, at bandcamp….

I�ve begun to hear the big, heavy wheels of the rumor mill winding up. So let�s have it people! Share your stories and what you�ve heard � the more outlandish the better. It could be your own survival story or one you heard from somewhere else. I know there are several varieties of stories floating around, for example: Single moms murdering their children in the days following the storm to keep them from having to suffer the horror, some (uh, less trusted) pets, like Pit Bulls, being forsaken by rescue workers while other (uh, cuter) pets are rescued from the same house, survivors of the flood in Lakeview heard several loud explosions just moments before the 17th street levee broke, etc. Hell, Tuesday when I was still in the city someone came running up to me saying there was a ten foot wall of water moving across the city destroying everything and that the bridge is our only hope � the person was hysterical (not in a funny way; in a frightened way). I didn�t believe it because it just didn�t make any sense to me but the person telling me certainly believed it. You know what I mean. You�ve heard some stories yourself.

With the amount of confirmed weirdness and anarchy that went on, the stories the rumor mill is going to churn out are going to have to be outlandish. Don�t feel like a comment of some story you post here is like admitting you believe it � of course, if you do believe it, then explain why so everyone can understand � and if you don�t believe it, then explain why also.

I�ve noticed these new �urban myths� and variations of existing urban myths surfacing as comments in other posts as backdrops or other anecdotes so I thought it would be a lot of fun to start a collection of freaky stories from the storm. Some, I would imagine, will be confirmed and are actually true, while others are probably just misunderstandings and misinformation. Either way, here�s your chance to share!

40 Comments so far

  1. Laura (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 9:42 am

    I was up in Baltimore for a bit when I ran into a NOLA friend who claimed that Magazine Street was “littered with the bodies of looters that cops have shot.” And that there were dead bodies on every corner making all of Uptown/Garden District smell like death.
    I work with a volunteer NOPD officer who was there through the storm and told me that looting was actually “very isolated.” Though he did mention that the looters were ramming cars into the walls of the Tchoup Wal-Mart after police had secured it.

  2. richard (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 12:21 pm

    My favorite was the rumor about the families of 70118–the ones around Exposition Boulevard and Audubon Place and such. A friend of mine swore that in the days following the storm, those folks were using the golf course at Audubon Park as a private heliport, receiving daily shipments of snooty, Uptown sundries like Veuve Cliquot and Russian caviar. Goddamn, I hope that’s true. Knowing that luxury-at-any-price, Marie Antoinette-style lunacy is alive and well among the uber-wealthy would restore my faith in humanity.

  3. jack Ware (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 12:29 pm

    I also heard there were about a dozen bodies near the intersection of Magazine and jackson from gunshot wounds, but I heard it was from a gang related drug thing.

    i wonder if the 70118 folks found time to play a few rounds of golf there as well. “Winter Rules”, I’m sure, since there would have been debris everywhere. I hadn’t heard that one, but I like it. Why would the uber-wealthy have stayed though – maybe it was their staff that were enjoying the good life.

  4. John (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 1:26 pm

    I heard that the Governor of Louisiana did not ask for Federal help for a l o n g time, thus delaying the Feds coming.

  5. Laura (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 1:28 pm

    I hope you’re kidding, John.

    That was reported by the Washington Post and Newsweek and later retracted when documents proved that Blanco asked for a disaster declaration days before the storm (the 26th, I believe?).

  6. sir_flexalot (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 1:40 pm

    I heard the bodies everywhere one, and also I heard that someone jumped to their death from the superdome (that one I believe – it was an eyewitness account as part of a blog, so it has to be true, right?). I heard the superdome freezer was stuffed with bodies (no power=no cold, but “at least you could close the door”).
    I’ll be happy to start a few rumors myself: 1) there will never, ever be a good body count, because no one will want to admit what the real numbers are. 2) the 200 billion in aid money will be hard enough to get that it will get absorbed into government before much of it ever makes it to the people that need it.

    By the way, 200 billion in aid/1 million people displaced = $200,000 dollars each. They’ve handed out $2000, that’s $198,000 to go. Write Congress to make sure you get your share.

  7. Jerome Almon (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 2:11 pm

    Why are Black leaders getting a pass on Katrina?
    They are more responsible for the deaths than anyone. Black Americans spent $723 billion dollars last year after taxes (U of GA stats). If Blacks were a country, only 17 on Earth have a greater GDP. That is greater consumer spending than Switzerland, Israel, and Saudi Arabia -COMBINED. Bottom line is Jesse Jackson and the NAACP are professional beggars, and the Congressional Black Caucus don’t give a damn about Black people either Kanye West.

  8. oyster (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 3:34 pm

    Here’s one.

  9. nikkos (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 3:47 pm

    I heard that the name next in line for the hurricane was actually “Hillary” but that Clinton-era ppointees at NOAA or the National Weather Service or wherever realized the implications and changed it to “Katrina.”

    Despite the fact that this is easily disproven, look for it to circulate widely amongst the fever swamps of the right wing.

    And, remember, you heard it here first!

  10. Samus (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 4:43 pm

    Try THIS one on for size….(*choke*)…Fat hospital patients being euthed because they were too heavy to move.

  11. Chris Martel (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 5:13 pm

    My favorite legend is of sharks swimming through floodwaters and eating people. Reminded me of this:

    Lots of gator legends circulating out there as well. Could have happened in St. Bernard or N.O. East, but gators eating folks in Gentilly or the Lower 9th? I don’t think so.

  12. John (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 6:04 pm

    Ok about that Wigger looser Mayor you folks elected.That clown is fast to point fingers at the feds but what exactly did that clown do for you folks. NOTHING…LETS TALK ABOUT THE REAL PROBLEM , YOUR GOVENOR DIDDNT EVEN CALL OUT THE GAURD ,THE GENERAL IN CHARGE FELL THE TROOPS OUT ON HIS OWN. She never requested assistance from anyone,just wrung her hands,Folks youve got some house cleaning to do down ther.Oh how about those busses that were never put in service to evacuate the rest homes and folks needing help.. Ask your Mayor about that,he’ll jive your ass off before you ever get an answer from him.Good luck cleaning house.. Youve got my prayers..

  13. e (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 7:17 pm

    hey, push the button on this troll, will ya guys?

  14. Thomas Ware (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 10:30 pm

    Is it true that if sunlight strikes a troll it’ll turn to stone?

    Good ju-ju headed your way.

  15. BickDickDaddy (unregistered) on September 20th, 2005 @ 11:22 pm

    get fide of the politics and look at it as humans. the locals screwed up starting from the mayor. sending thousnads of people to a location with no food water or protaction. not usesing hundred of buses before the storm even hit. calling an evacuation 12 hours before the storm hit. and went to a nice hotel with his croknees where with the buses came he made sure he was first on board with his croknees. moved to dallas to run away from a problem. i mean geez could found somwhere in nola. He and his counter parts are all currupt. Puting money in there pockets over saving lives. And the govenor she stop the red cross from coming in to help. cause she did not want to give up control to the feds rather then to save lives. the hole thing stinks. And then you have the levees that a day later break. but didnt break during the storm. how wierd indeed. and people living next to the leeves heard load explosions before the levees broke. sounds like a quick way to clean up the high murder,drugs,poverity real fast…..just think about it.

  16. John (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 3:56 am

    Geeze someone put a buttplug in that Mayors mouth down there ,Great photos of a hundred or so busses under water in New Orleans,meanwhile your overweight poor folks are dieing in resthomes ,and that clown is postureing to the press,he outta be locked up along with the Govenor of your great state..No fear hear got my MoJo in high gear..

  17. rained out parade (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 4:33 am

    aaah, leave it to the self-righteous who don’t have any facts in front of them to take a fun post and turn it into a political rant.

  18. Rob Putnam (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 5:02 am

    Hey, this blogger is calling Jack Ware a racist and calling this whole blog a white racist blog, Pekerwood Central, Redneck Junction, Cracker Land, etc. Katrina Death Toll Nears 1000. Looks like some leftwing nutjob, who woulda guessed? Here is the relevant text:

    This tragedy embarrasingly revealed to the whole world what a bunch of loathsome racist knuckleheads so many Southern Whites still are. Want a rather disgusting look at Katrina through the eyes of the Bush-loving, reactionary moneyed middle-class whites of New Orleans, so bald, naked, unashamed in their in your face white racism? Check out this site, a multiblog of apparently 100% white New Orleans bloggers. Don’t stop with the posts, move on to the comments to savor the full flavor of the white New Orleans redneck. Instead of calling it Metroblogging New Orleans, why not call it Peckerwood Central? I liked this post on the “drug problem” in New Orleans (code for “black folks getting high) where blogger Craig Ware, a white racist cracker, (like almost all posters and commenters on this blog) wondered whether the “new” New Orleans, would have the same “complexion” as the “old” city. Gosh, Craig, what could you possibly mean by that? The thinly disguised white racism on this HUGE blog can easily gleaned by the perceptive eye, once the eye is trained to find such things. Note in particular the comments that follow Ware’s post, raging at Nagin and Blanco, at Blacks in general, at Democrats, at government, at “socialists”, at the “lazy”, the “troublemakers”, on and on.

    Is that all liberals ever do is yell about how racist white people are?

    And on topic for this discussion, he’s got actual photos of dogs eating ppl in NO, so that is no legend:

    Worries About Starving Pets in New Orleans May Be Exaggerated.


  19. Samus (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 5:58 am

    Rob-re the dog pics. Please notice how much those two dogs look alike. They’re both cadaver dogs and they’re doing their job-finding dead people. If you search, you can find other pics of these lovely well trained animals in use.
    While I expect someone, somewhere in the city has been eaten by their poodle, this ain’t it.

  20. richard (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 8:13 am

    Rob: I’ve never heard of the guy, and frankly, I wouldn’t worry too much about him. People from California have NO clue when it comes to the South, and what’s worse, they tend to be so freaking PC that they have NO sense of humor.

    And Robert, just in case you’re reading this, I’m only half-cracker. The rest of me is full-on camel-jockey.

    Side note: can we make some kind of rule that posts with three or more grammatical errors get zapped? I mean, if people wanna have their say, they ought to at least run a spell check…

  21. Daniella M (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 8:33 am

    hey Bick… yeah, that “hole thing” stinks all right. But I think it’s your piehole.


  22. BickDickDaddy (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 10:16 am

    Daniella M>>>> close your lips the shits still running out!….

    everything has to be raceist. why is that. evertime its blame the whites. Makes me sick.

    and my spelling is not the greatest sorry.

  23. Nicole (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 12:02 pm

    Rob: I’ve never heard of the guy, and frankly, I wouldn’t worry too much about him. People from California have NO clue when it comes to the South, and what’s worse, they tend to be so freaking PC that they have NO sense of humor.

    Hey, I’m from California and NOLA is one of my favorite places in the world. I was looking forward to this comment thread until I got to the troll’s post. These myths and urban legends are part of the city’s charm. There’s no need to politicize them. And at the very least, ppl could rite in compelte sentences

  24. jack Ware (unregistered) on September 21st, 2005 @ 2:20 pm

    This was supposed to be a kind of creepy, fun post so I’m a little disappointed that it has turned somewhat ugly. I’m not surprised though since no matter what anyone posts political and racial views insist on being expressed no matter how horribly out of context or inappropriate.

    Whatever – I’m just wanna hear some cool stories.

  25. Matt McKenzie (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 3:41 am

    Hi Jack,

    The trolling around here is amazing. People say the craziest things when they don’t have to look another person in the face while they’re saying it.

    Anyway – you mentined rumors about people who lived near the 17th St. levee hearing explosions around the time it breached. This wouldn’t be the first time that rumor has made the rounds in these parts.

    Back in 1967, my parents lived on Seal Drive, out in Arabi. Their house was a few blocks from the levee that ran along the marshes bordering the Gulf-River Outlet, just to the north. The night Betsy came through, they went to bed not long after the eye had passed. A little later, my father got up to check the house; he put his feet down on the carpet and realized it was soakin wet.

    He got my mother up; by the time they got dressed, grabbed a handful of documents and made it to the front door, they were chest-deep in water. Their neighbors across the street had a flat boat; the women and children in the nearby houses rode it to Judge Perez, where the flooding ended, while the men waded out in water that was neck-deep in places. And of course, this all took place at night.

    My parents mentioned on several occasions that “word got around” as to why the water came up so quickly that night: The Corps Of Engineers blew the levee on purpose, to relieve the pressure on the Industrial Canal levees bordering Orleans Parish. St. Bernard, so the story goes, had been sacrificed on purpose to keep thousands from drowning in their beds that night in New Orleans.

    For the first time in years, I asked my mother (who now lives near Atlanta) about the story again: When did she first hear it, from whom did she hear it, did anyone believe it at the time? To the best of her recollection, the stories about the Corps blowing the levee were already circulating among refugees in the shelters the night of the hurricane — it didn’t really matter from whom she heard it, since everyone was talkin about it.

    And did most people believe the stories at the time? In fact, my mother and grandmother (now in her late 90s and still going strong!) both assert that many, many of the people in St. Bernard who are old enough to have lived through Betsy firmly believe the story to this day. And while my mother clearly knows better — the story makes no sense, for a number of purely practical reasons — I can tell that part of her still finds the tale credible, in spite of everything.

    While I just don’t buy the levee-blowing rumors, either then or now, I also won’t pass judgment or cast aspersions upon those who do. Many of these people, like my parents, saw their homes and possessions destroyed before their eyes, in a matter of minutes, and they were lucky even to escape with their lives. Their point of view is, to say the least, a bit different than mine.

    And then again, I find myself wondering about some things my grandfather told my grandmother before he died, way back in 1975. They lived a few blocks from my parents, and their house actually backed up to the levee, barely a quarter-mile from where it breached the night of Betsy.

    My grandfather was a man named Raoul Soulant; alhtough he died when I was just seven years old, I remember him as a resourceful, self-reliant, extremely independent person — in short, he was like any other Cajun of his time. By the time the water came up, which would have taken seconds that close to the levee, he had my grandmother in the boat, along with their most important valuables, and they motored to safety, picking up neighbors as they went, without so much as wet shoes.

    Anyway — he was awake and vigilant that night, as well he should have been. And he was quite sure about hearing an explosion, or something like it, just before the water came up. He was also quite sure about the military trucks and solidiers he could see moving along the top of the levee, which was maybe 20 yards past his rear property line and on the other side of a drainage canal.

    According to my mother and grandmother, he never uttered a word about the rumors that the Corps had blown the Gulf-River outlet levee back in 1967. But he also refused to change his story about what he saw and heard that night — and knowing the kind of person he was, I have always found his tale to be the most bizarre and disturbing aspect of an urban legend that, if your own accounts are anything to go by, may be destined to get a second lease on life!

    Hope this is the kind of thing you were looking for. And I hope you and yours get back to the city safely and swiftly.


  26. G.Hager (unregistered) on September 23rd, 2005 @ 11:18 am

    Here’s a crazy rumor: I heard some idiots were more concerned about whether or not people fleeing for their lives with no place to return were called “refugees” than they were about helping those people.

  27. sed dot (unregistered) on September 27th, 2005 @ 3:51 pm


  28. john (unregistered) on September 27th, 2005 @ 6:07 pm

    FOR G.HAGER.ok one last time especially for that buffoon who keeps calling the folks from Lousiana refuges.Refugees come from war zones stupid.ther not refugees ther Americans.Geeze what an asshole,ya sound like CNN or something.

  29. JOHN (unregistered) on September 27th, 2005 @ 6:14 pm

    hea ,i saw that the police chief of New Orleans resigned.. Whats that dumb shit mayor waiting for..

  30. John (unregistered) on November 24th, 2005 @ 9:29 am

    yup here it is quite some time after the huricane event in LA and the South and the mayor and Govenor of LA are still in office,whats up with you folks down there?they both should be behind bars,not spouting political garbage and sidestepping the fact they both diddnt have a the way,are they gonna refurb all those busses that were left ubder water,they should have been used to evacuate prople..

  31. john (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 10:17 am

    once again the ugly face of Lousiana politics is raising its head.Still wonder why you folks put up with that mayor of New Orleans,fact of the matter is he bailed out on ya and bought a rather large home in texas while you folks were sloshing arround in the turds.Now he has the audacity to point fingers at people.He ought to be behind bars.. Along with that Governess.Wake up you guys,a crack head could do a better job.

  32. Laurie (unregistered) on December 6th, 2005 @ 8:31 pm

    No John the president of the United States of America bailed on all of Louisiana. It took president Bush seven days to have the first MRE dropped. He is responsible for killing his own men in the field!


  33. John (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 4:28 am

    Laurie,I imagine that youve at least had a rudimentry education in one of the fine schools in this great country of ours,or maby your one of those so called educators.I fear that youve missed the point all together.The Governess of LA did not call and ask for assistance until days after the huricane,(CNNLaurie,I imagine that youve at least had a rudimentry education in one of the fine schools in this great country of ours,or maby your one of those so called educators.I fear that youve missed the point all together.The Governess of LA did not call and ask for assistance until days after the huricane,(CNN

  34. Laurie (unregistered) on December 11th, 2005 @ 6:29 pm

    Dear John,

    Who taught you how to spell, sir?


  35. ann (unregistered) on December 12th, 2005 @ 9:28 am

    Dear John,

    Please refer to legitimate sources such as before libeling and slandering people who have truly given everything they have to save lives and rebuild a city. Long story short, you are an imbecile.

    On a more personal note, I imagine if your personality in “real life” is anything like what you exhibit online, you are quite used to receiving a “Dear John” type of letter. And yes, I am an educator as well as well-educated. That’s how I learned to spell check and write in coherent sentences. I can suggest some adult literacy programs in your area.


  36. Laurie (unregistered) on December 12th, 2005 @ 5:42 pm

    The use of the word “governess” says it all.


  37. ann (unregistered) on December 12th, 2005 @ 6:23 pm

    do you think he got his own pun? probably not. :-P


  38. Laurie (unregistered) on December 12th, 2005 @ 8:05 pm

    I thought it was insulting he couldn’t take time to spell Louisiana.

    God forbid, we spell Louisiana wrong!

    It comes off looking like the governess of Los Angeles-I had to look for the decimals.

    I’m sure Arnold is impressed though.



  39. john (unregistered) on December 13th, 2005 @ 1:34 pm

    Dear Ann

    You are beginning to sound just like an educator.Did I put the period in the right place?? Geeze.By the way Ann, We just juced one of your heros out here on the coast.

  40. ann (unregistered) on December 13th, 2005 @ 1:51 pm

    John – As I understand it, this comment section is not designed, nor intended, to be a forum for ugly, baseless libel and slander against either public officials or other posters. It is tool to stimulate discussion about issues that are relevant to the city of New Orleans. Therefore, I will not engage in what a vile person I otherwise despise accurately characterized as “repartee with people who are stupider than I.” That said, no, you did not follow the basic rules of grammar that my six-year-old first grader regularly applies to her essays. Please refer to my previous post offering aid in finding adult literacy programs. It is offered in the most magnanimous of spirits.


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