December 25, 2017
Gemma Sheridan: Google Earth Credited For Finding Castaway After Seven Years

Gemma Sheridan was reportedly stranded on a deserted island for seven years. A news agency claims the woman was discovered when a Google Earth user spotted her "SOS" signal along the island's shore. The story is detailed, listing the castaway's name and travel route. However a photo, which appeared with the story, has revealed the saga as a hoax.

The original story was published by The story details Sheridan's harrowing journey, which began in Liverpool. Although the woman and her fellow passengers were destined for Hawaii, a dangerous storm eventually damaged their boat and washed Sheridan overboard.

Unconscious, the woman eventually woke up on the shore of a deserted island. The article includes a first-person account from the castaway:

"Within the first hour I had a major panic attack. It was a disturbing feeling, being alone, isolated, so far from home without a hope... For the first 2 weeks I stayed in a mock shelter I made from debris that washed ashore"
In the article, Gemma Sheridan said she eventually learned how to start a fire, build a more stable shelter, and forage for food. Using a makeshift bow and arrow she managed to hunt and kill a wild goat. She said learning to acclimate was difficult. However, she finally developed a daily routine:
"I did a series of exercises on the beach every day – press-ups, chin-ups on a tree branch, squats with boulders on my shoulders and shuttle runs of about 300 metres. I had managed to get to a stage when I was getting stronger."
Through the years, the castaway reports she became increasingly lonely and depressed. In an act of desperation, Sheridan eventually built an SOS sign on the beach. Years later, someone reportedly dropped a package onto the beach. Inside, the woman discovered a water, food, a medical kit, and a radio.

The article suggests Gemma Sheridan's distress signal was spotted by a Google Earth user. Although the details of her actual rescue were sparse, the article included a photo of the SOS sign on the beach. The account was interesting and well-written. Unfortunately, the photo revealed the tale as a hoax.

Gemma Sheridan

The photo was eventually traced to a 2010 report out of Osh, Kyrgystan. Although the original photo included numerous buildings, they were cropped out of the photo used in News-Hound's article.

Gemma Sheridan's plight drew the attention of thousands, as the story eventually went viral. Unfortunately, it was simply another internet hoax.

[Image via Shutterstock]