The Super Secret Road To Block Island – Consider Your Sources Before Printing Lies

‘Before printing a major story, you must consider the source by which your news story originated.’ I would say that is on the first page of the first book opened in Journalism 101. Writing a story and printing unsubstantiated news about a certain someone or certain something can get you into really hot water, fast. I am always pressed with this dilemma as a blogger, because I do not answer to a publisher nor an editor nor to shareholders because I am an independent writer. Honestly, I don’t print everything I receive. I simply go with what I what I feel is the right thing to do creatively and try to steer clear of controversial and damaging press. Case in point, my recent writings on a super secret road to Block Island. I have been following what I perceived to be credible emails and credible information about the concept, the origins, the location of this tunnel, which does seem to be fitting into place nicely. Granted, I am still very early in the game of this project and it could fizzle out as a hoax.

Well, now I know I have at least one source saying this whole project is a hoax, that there is definitely no tunnel and he has the experience on the water to say so. Here is his email, which I read through last Wednesday night and am happy to share with you this morning:

To whom it may concern:

My name is Lester McCann. I have been working on various passenger transport ferries to and from Block Island for 38 years. I want to say at the top, you should consider your sources before printing lies. Second, I want to tell you that this is no way there is an underground tunnel from Block Island to Narragansett. No way that was built without people knowing about it. I ride the ferry back and forth daily, year round, and to this date, have never seen or witnessed nor heard of any such events or construction vessels or rigging like your email friend there DGranderson suggests.

To suggest that a tunnel was conceived, constructed under water where there are electrical cables and soft spots in the ocean floor and miles upon miles of area to cover is absolutely preposterous. Check out a map when you have a second, its roughly 10 miles from point to point from where you suggest. You are talking millions upon millions of dollars for construction costs for the tunnel, the bracing, the labor, the type of engineering firm that could design it. You are talking about a project that would rival a bridge construction from Newport to Jamestown or Newport to Little Compton. There is no way Dave Gasper had the pull and the power to pull off Project Escape. In fact, there is no way anyone or any entity from Newport or anywhere else in the Ocean State had that kind of money and that kind of clout to pull off a secret tunnel project.

And your Mike Dawson character witness, touching story about the daughter and the inhaler. Another bunch of malarkey. How does a man whose daughter is dying and needs medical attention trust a complete stranger to go to his home, on a wing and a prayer? And this Brewer character, who is known throughout the island as a bit of cuckoo clock, miraculously takes his motor bike through this imaginary tunnel and miraculously finds a needle in a haystack at the Dawson deck? And returns in time to save the day, then rides off into the sunset? Are you writing a screenplay or something here? A bit dramatic don’t you think? Did he happened to have an American Flag waving in the back of his motorbike for show, Mr. Dawson? Come on, give me a break.

There is no tunnel. There most likely was no Dawson and no Anna and no miracle of Block Island trip to save this girl’s life. Brewer is a town drunk and a town nuisance, you ask any of the ferry people I work with and anyone at the National or Harborside Inn on the Island. Brewer is a few cans short of a six pack, like 5 cans short. People get back and forth to Block Island by using public transportation like ferries, personal watercrafts, the airport and via helicopter. They don’t ride in a super secret tunnels from Newport or Narragansett or Montauk in their space age, super motorbikes. Consider your sources Noel when you write articles like this. You can be doing a lot of people a lot of harm by suggesting such outrageous things. If I were you, I would close the book on this subject and get back to writing about baseball. You seem to like that subject, based on your past writings.

Sincerely, Lester McCann

So, I read Mr. McCann’s email several times over and had just a few concerns of my own. First, he referred to the project manager by name, Dave Shelton. And the project by name, Project Escape. Neither of those pieces of information were in my previous reporting. Curious to follow up with Mr. McCann on his email, I reached out to the BI Ferry office to find out when he would be working next, since his email suggested he worked daily. The secretary I spoke to put me on hold when I asked for Lester’s schedule, then came back on the phone to tell me something very interesting. “There is no Lester McCann who works on this ferry, nor has there ever been.” The plot thickens and the story will continue, despite the request of this Mr. Lester McCann character. And yes, I have many baseball stories to write this Spring so I will be getting to those. As well as this story of the Super Secret Road to Block Island, so there!!!

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The RIBBE is The Rhode Island Baseball Experience. It is promoting the game of baseball here in the great state of Rhode Island for the entire baseball world to see. The RIBBE is positive stories, photos, videos, and responsible social media posts. The RIBBE is an information resource for families looking for an AAU team or a summer camp or a great place to buy a first baseman’s mitt. The RIBBE is a network of coaches, tournament directors, parents, leagues, and baseball junkies whose passion of the game of baseball is unquestioned. I believe that providing expert analysis, information and directions to ballfields, and coaching advice from some of the top RI baseball minds will help promote the game of baseball here in RI to a whole new level.

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