However, no sooner had we printed this story in the February 16, 1997 edition of CNI News, when we were informed that the payout claim was a hoax. The counter-story follows the first text, below.]
A British man who claimed to have been abducted by aliens, and had insurance coverage for just such an eventuality, received happy news on Christmas Eve, 1996. The insurer agreed to pay him 1.6 million dollars.
Some people are claiming this validates, once and for all, that alien abduction really does happen -- after all, no insurer would stay in business long paying out frivolous claims of such size. Other people say the whole thing is a scam, and the insurer has already made back the money, and more.
Either way, it appears one Joseph Carpenter, age 23, did receive $1.6 million on Christmas Eve after he "proved" a claim of being abducted by aliens. It is the world's first payment of this type, said Simon Burgess, a managing director of Goodfellow Rebecca Ingrams Pearson Ltd., [aka GRIP, as in "get a..."], the London underwriting agency that offers insurance against being "abducted, impregnated or eaten by aliens."
Carpenter reportedly paid 100 British pounds for his annual policy. And he's not alone. Burgess says over 700 people have bought them. Meanwhile, another company in Altamonte Springs, Florida, called UFO Abduction Insurance Co., has around 10,000 policyholders, said Mike St. Lawrence, president and founder.
Regarding Carpenter's case, Burgess assures anyone who's listening that there is definite physical evidence to back up the abduction claim. Carpenter says he was taken aboard a spacecraft last October. Luckily, neighbors caught his "beaming up" on video. Then, Carpenter says, he met several small beings with "triangle heads" and "dolphin-like skin" who talked to him telepathically before he passed out.
When he awoke back on earth, he thought he'd been dreaming, until he noticed an "alien claw" stuck to his shirt sleeve. "It was transparent like cling film (plastic wrap) and webbed," he added.
The video, the claw and the story all added up, Burgess figured -- surely good for $1.6 million. "The media thinks it's a hoax, but I've seen the evidence," he said.
Hoax or not, Mr. Burgess seems to have covered his losses. The evidence -- including the claw -- has already been sold to an unnamed U.S. media agency for more than the cost of the payout.
Carpenter is reportedly fishing at this time.
"ABDUCTION INSURANCE" PAYOUT CLAIM IS HOAX!
[CNI News thanks reader John Stepkowski for sending us an article from the (London) Sunday Times, dated January 12, which corrects our February 16 story titled "'Abduction Insurance' Pays First Big Claim."]
Excerpts from the Times story, by Maurice Chittenden, follow:
The truth is out there. But for a man supposedly paid one million pounds by an insurance company for being abducted by aliens, the truth is an embarrassing down-to-earth scam.
Joseph Carpenter, 23, an electrician from Edmonton, north London, says he was taken aboard an alien craft while UFO-spotting in Wiltshire. He and his insurer insist he was paid one million pounds from a policy covering him against abduction.
The story of the payout was widely reported.
If anything is out of this world in the tale it is Carpenter who, like the spaceship, does not exist. For Joe Carpenter read Joe Tagliarini, an unemployed City of London courier, who dreamt up the idea of selling American-style alien abduction insurance in Britain.
The man "paying" the one million pound cheque is, in fact, Tagliarini's business partner, Simon Burgess, 35, an insurance broker with a talent for promoting bizarre policies to get publicity.
The British insurance industry is distancing itself from Burgess, claiming he is a maverick and no longer registered as a broker. However, Burgess boasts he has already sold 1,100 policies against alien abduction with "many hundreds of inquiries" a day since the payout.
Last week both men were sticking to their stories, although they admitted Tagliarini and Carpenter were one and the same. Burgess said: "I wanted to protect his identity."
Tagliarini claimed he had been hiding in Bermuda since receiving the cheque but could not say where he had stayed. He denied ever being involved in the insurance business.
"This really happened to me. I was held for about 40 minutes before being returned to Earth. How can people deny the existence of aliens? There is so much out there," he said.
Original file name: CNI - Abduction Insurance.final
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