News of Google Earth Spots Missing Woman Stuck for 7 Years in Deserted Island Uncovered as Friendly Joke

Following the news of Gemma Sheridan was reported to survive on the deserted island for over 2,555 days until Google's satellite viewing technology "found" her call for help, has been revealed to be a joke among good friends as a news stunt.


New York, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/10/2014 -- Google Earth, the incredible invention that allows for satellite viewing of just about anything on the planet, has given back Gemma Sheridan her life, reported by many on social media and online forums. According to news articles, the British woman was finally rescued from the uninhabited island where she struggled to survive for seven long years through the help of Google Maps.

However, the fake story is later uncovered to be a hoax. The story began describing on a fateful day in 2007, Gemma and her 2 friends, who all hailed from Liverpool, went on a journey across the Atlantic and onward to the Panama Canal with Hawaii as the planned destination. As the three of them passed through the Panama Canal and into the Pacific, they were met by a huge storm that seriously damaged their boat and threw them overboard, away from each other. For 17 days, Gemma was all alone drifting on the waters, until another major storm came, knocking her unconscious.

The hoax continues much like a scene from the movies as Gemma woke up on a beach she didn't recognize, surrounded by the wreckage from her boat. It was a deserted island, she realized, as there was practically nobody around. For the first hours and days, she endured feelings of isolation and hopelessness, much as she was hungry and thirsty.

During the first week, Gemma worked her way to getting water, rigging up a contraption to draw fresh water from a rock to get a few drops, harvesting coconut water, and even drinking rainwater. During her first two weeks, she made a mock shelter and lit her first fire two weeks after that.

One of the biggest faux pas was Gemma's biggest challenge, to slaughtering a feral goat without hunting tools, after her improvised weapons didn't work. The story speculated that she managed to kill a goat that weighed at least 45 kilos.

After weeks of investigations, International Business Times discovers the truth behind the outrageous story. When asked about the story, the real Gemma Sheridan said, “her friend owns the website, which is known for fooling people with fake stories, such as the Gemma Sheridan-Google Earth article that went viral earlier this week.”

The Google Earth and Google Maps angle of the story was introduced when Gemma was described to have spent weeks clearing the shore and managed to build a huge sign in the sand that said "SOS." However, online debunkers have identified the photo as an aerial Google Earth shot taken back in 2010 in Kryrgystan.

While the news of Gemma Sheridan was a hoax, the heart of the story shows the power of the story and the speed of which news can go viral, true or not.

About, a fake news site offering visitors entertaining and light-hearted stories continues to provide weekly news updates from around the world.