I think it may be the second post's title that makes the difference.
People visiting the "Golden Tridents on Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor's Coffin" post generally come there by way of a search engine string like this:
navy petty officer mike monsoor hoax
Rumors Die HardRumors, like the idea that those golden tridents in rows is a hoax, die hard.
"Nothing is New Under the Sun"I've gotten used to rumors like these:
- New Orleans levees were blown up by the American government during Katrina
- American soldiers spied on Iraqi women in Fallujah
- They had night vision goggles: 'what else could they possibly do with them?'
- Mike Mansoor's coffin tridents were a hoax
I was born during the Truman administration, so I remember the tail end of those days of yore, when rumors of communist plots and commie conspiracies littered America's intellectual landscape. (Frank Burns of M*A*S*H is a caricature of a sort of person who really existed. To this day, there are living specimens, although "terrorists" have generally replaced "commies" in that sort of rumor.)
These days, it's the CIA and the military-industrial complex for some, towel-heads and Ay-rabs for others, in rumors about what "they" are doing.
There are times when it's easy to think that I know just how Qoheleth felt. Not the most cheerful author in history.
Why All These Rumors? Is it Some Kind of Plot?Seriously? I do not think that rumors about the American military, American Muslims, or even the lizard people, are some kind of plot. It would make an interesting story, though.
I think rumors, aside from their entertainment value, serve to make those who pass them along seem well-informed, and to back up assumptions and preferences about the world and how it works.
You could write a book about rumors and how they work: and two psychologists did:
"...Rumors are an enduring feature of our social and organizational landscapes. They attract attention, evoke emotion, incite involvement, affect attitudes and actions-and they are ubiquitous. Rumor transmission is motivated by three broad psychological motivations—fact-finding, relationship-enhancement, and self-enhancement-all of which help individuals and groups make sense in the face of uncertainty...." (Review of "Rumor Psychology: Social and Organizational Approaches" (Nicholas DiFonzo, PhD and Prashant Bordia, PhD (September 2006)) on APA Books) (emphasis mine)
For someone who doesn't like immigrants, or poor people, or rich people, or people who talk funny, it's probably reassuring to believe that "they" are really plotting against "real Americans." That sort of rumor gives a sort of reason (ersatz as it is) for the person's biases.
And, I think the same goes for someone who doesn't like soldiers, or Big Oil, or corporations in general.
Michael Monsoor and the Strange Case of the Impostor CoffinOne idea behind the Michael Monsoor trident hoax rumor is that nobody, but nobody, could possibly be "slapping badges on a coffin as it passes by." Nobody.
That may be true, but that's not what the video showed happening. (More in the "Golden Tridents on Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor's Coffin" post's update.)
Snopes.com ("Mike Monsoor") has decided that the video is real, but the coffin is fake. Or, more precisely, has another SEAL, James Suh, inside. If that's true, the mis-identification of the coffin in the original video could have been part of what started this enduring rumor. It's not that big a leap, from 'that's not really Monsoor's coffin' to 'it's a fake photo.'
As for being able to put tridents in a row, as shown in the video: I'm generally cautious about saying something I can't do is impossible. "My guess is that most SEALS can do quite a few things that I can't."