Hoaxes & Rumors

Fake Story: Missing Scientist Found Hiding in Drug Lab

Fake Story: Missing Scientist Found Hiding in Drug Lab

A fake story circulating online claims that a chemistry professor missing since 1984 was found hiding in a secret LSD drug lab in a couple’s basement.

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Fake Story

The bogus story claims that a couple from Cottage Grove, Minnesota discovered an 83 year old man living in their basement. The man was later identified as Dr. Winston Corrigan, a University of Minnesota professor who had been missing since 1984. The bogus report also claims that police recovered over $500,000 in lab equipment, guns, military rations, and 55 barrels of pure liquid LSD.

The story is not real.


The article appeared on the website iflscience.org, which appears to be a satirical knockoff of iflscience.com. The website’s tagline is “100% Mostest Official and More Sciencey.” A perusal of the site finds such stories as a robotic bear designed to aid in assisted suicide, and studies claiming that dogs can see their own farts.

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The article offers no sources.

Borrowed Photos

The photos used in the article are borrowed from other news sources. The photo of police outside the home is taken from a story by KSDK (no longer online) in April 2015 about a car crashing into a house, while the photo of the missing chemist is that of a 63-year old homeless arrested in Seattle back in 2012.

Bottom Line

The story of a missing chemistry professor who was found in a hidden drug lab is not true. The website on which the story appeared seems to be a spoof of iflscience.com, and the photos used to illustrate the story were taken from unrelated news stories.

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