A Twitter hoax is not an unusual thing, but this was a slightly different story. Late Thursday night, Jan. 17, 2013, rumors spread across Twitter that NORAD was involved in some kind of a mission over Oregon. It turns out that fighter jets were scrambling, but the mainstream media has not yet engaged the story. An Air Alaska plane was flying from Honolulu to Seattle and there was a potential hijacking reported.
King5.com confirmed the story, and their link began to spread through the Twitterverse.
FBI officials said their Honolulu field office received a call suggesting there was a threat to Alaska Air Flight 819 and that an individual on board was going to hijack the plane, according to NBC. Fighter jets from the Oregon National Guard flew alongside the flight until it landed in Seattle around 7 p.m.
FBI agents and Port of Seattle police escorted a man off the plane without incident and detained him for questioning.
Sometimes, Twitter rumors are just that, such as when Bill Cosby or countless other celebrities have repeatedly died on Twitter. However, a news story that develops on Twitter usually has a measure of truth to it, but it may still be a developing story. It turns out that this story did have legs, or rather wings.
The odd thing about this story is that it appears that it was a hoax, but not a Twitter hoax. The person that was the suspected hijacker had slept through most of the flight and was cooperating with the officials. It is suspected it was possibly a hoax call to the FBI.
You can bet that the parties responsible for this hoax will not be laughing long.
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