Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mobile Phone Company Suspends "Number of Death"

Back when it was still in print I was a big fan of the Weekly World News for its sheer ridiculousness. One of the headlines that I'll never forget was something to the effect of "50 People Sat in 'Chair of Death' - And They All Died!" My immediate response was, "Well of course, if you wait long enough!" I'm pretty sure that by the time any chair has been in a museum for awhile everyone who sat in it will have passed away.

In a similar but (only slightly) more sinister story, a mobile phone company in Bulgaria has suspended the phone number 0888 888 888 after all three people who were assigned the number died under violent or mysterious circumstances.

The first owner of the rather special number was Vladimir Grashnov - the former CEO of the Bulgarian mobile phone company, Mobitel, which issued the number. Grashnov died of cancer in 2001, aged just 48.

Despite a spotless business record there were persistent rumours that his cancer had been caused by a business rival using radioactive poisoning.

0888 888 888 then passed on to Bulgarian mafia boss Konstantin Dimitrov.

Dimitrov was gunned down in 2003 at the age of 31 by a lone assassin in the Netherlands while he was dining with a model. He apparently had the mobile with him when he died.

The unlucky phone number then passed to crooked estate agent Konstantin Dishliev - who had secretly been running a massive cocaine trafficking operation, before he too was gunned down, outside an Indian restaurant in Bulgaria's capital Sofia in 2005.

It seems to me that this is probably a coincidence and not a particularly unlikely one. Some people do get cancer in their late forties and it's not like mafia bosses or drug smugglers live particularly risk-free lives. But even though they won't confirm the suspension, it sounds like Mobitel is not taking any chances.

Mobitel are reported to have suspended the number for good. Callers now just get a recorded message saying the phone is 'outside network coverage.'

However, a Mobitel spokesman wouldn't confirm the suspension, saying only: 'We have no comment to make. We won't discuss individual numbers.'

After all, Mercury's number is 8 and Mercury is the psychopomp. So I suppose you can never really be sure.

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yuzuru said...

I loved this. Can´t wait for Hollywood to make the movie version.

Scott Stenwick said...

It would be right up there with "Baby Monitor: Sound of Fear." And no, I didn't make that up...

يوسف زكريا ابن أحد said...


Imago said...

Cell Phone: Dialing for Death!