6 Times Michigan Has Been on Snopes.com (And Were They True or False?)
Snopes.com has long been my go-to to find out of things I see posted on the Internet are fact or fiction. My constant use of the site got me to thinking, "What kind of weird things have landed Michigan on Snopes?" Turns out there are a few, and most of them deal with animals.
Here are six times that Michigan appeared on Snopes and whether they were true or false.
Back in 2010, photos started making their way around social media of a mother moose and her calf in the front yard of a person's house. The text that accompanied them was said to be an email from a woman in Naubinway, Mich. (in the Upper Peninsula) saying that the momma moose had given birth in her front yard. Turns out, the photos were real, but they weren't taken anywhere near Michigan. The photos were originally taken in the front yard of a home in Anchorage, Alaska.
Did a person in Michigan use food stamps to buy lobster, steaks, and Mountain Dew? They sure did. The receipt found in the parking lot of a grocery store called Angeli's County Market in Menominee, Mich. showed up online back in June of 2011, and it turns out it's completely legit. And regardless of how mad it made people that someone was using their Bridge Card to eat like a king, the user of said Bridge Card technically didn't do anything wrong. There's some good news to this, though. Turns out the person who made the purchase had actually used his girlfriend's Bridge Card, and then turned around and sold his purchases for a profit - which is illegal. The man was charged with three counts of food stamp fraud and was sentenced to 45 days in the Menominee County Jail and six months probation.
Did the state of Michigan send a letter to beavers threatening to fine them $10,000 per day if they didn't remove their dams? Yes they did. Way back in 1997, David Price, the District Representative Land and Water Management Division, sent a letter to a man asking him to please remove dams as they were causing some issues, and they had been built without a permit. That man, Stephen L. Tvedten of Pierson, responded to the letter, explaining that while yes, the dams were on his property, he didn't build them, beavers did. The state responded, saying that they knew that the dams had been built by beavers, but that they had been abandoned, and that they believe that Tvedten was maintaining and even build them up. Tvedten claimed that the dams were only "abandoned" because one of his neighbors had killed the beavers that previously inhabited them. According to Snopes, "the beavers are likely still ignorant of how close they came to being fined $10,000 a day for dam living expenses."
Back in 2010, photos started circulating of icebergs with multi-colored stripes that were (allegedly) in Lake Michigan. While the photos are legit, they were actually taken in 2008, and were not taken in Michigan, but in South Africa. Other variants of the email also mistakenly said that the photos were taken in Lake Huron.
This claim that made its rounds starting back in 2015, with an image claiming that the Michigan Department of National Resources was warning residents of polar bears migrating into the state from Canada. The photoshopped graphic stated that the bears had been travelling for a long time, were hungry, and were going to migrate into the state over Lake Erie. Snopes points out that polar bears are generally only found in the northernmost parts of Canada, and that really, if they were going to migrate into Michigan, there are far more direct routes (like crossing Lake Superior or Lake Huron.)
The claim is that a photo of a man with a massive buck was a 430-pounder that he shot in Hartford, Mich. back in November of 2014. That's definitely not the case. While the photo is legitimate, the location of the kill and even the size of the deer are inaccurate. The buck was actually shot at a high-fence game farm in Wisconsin, and it was actually a 420-pound buck. It's a still an impressive buck, but it didn't come from Michigan.