It’s the email everyone dreads receiving: a Nigerian astronaut has been floating around space since 1990 and desperately needs our help getting back to earth. Wait, what?
Before you start sobbing uncontrollably, just know that his rescue mission could still happen now a plea sent by his first cousin (read: scam email sent by an email fraudster) for funding has gone viral, demonstrating once again just what a force for good technology can be.
According to the scam, the lost cosmonaut became the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station. Air Force Major Abacha Tunde was eventually stranded by colleagues in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Since then, the poor soul has accumulated around $15,000,000 in flight fees and other notorious space costs.
Don’t worry about that figure too much though, as according to Dr. Bakare Tunde - who really must be an upstanding citizen with that title - Russian Space Authorities have said that they can sort out a return flight to bring him back to earth for the bargain price of $3,000,000 (‘American Dollars’ he adds, so if you’ve got Australian Dollars or Space Dollars, forget about it).
You’ll also be glad to know that despite being stuck in orbit for over three decades, Abache is still in ‘good humour’, which is some achievement considering the hardships of outer space. And to think Matt Damon’s Mark Watney did well keeping sane in The Martian.
Anyway, such is the importance behind this funding, we’ve listed the whole email for you below in case you want to transfer the lump sum straight into the totally legitimate Laos National Saving and Trust Association.
Oh, and as the good Dr is also a civil servant, he’s prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/or operating foreign accounts in his name so you’re just going to have to trust him on that one.
Subject: Nigerian Astronaut Wants To Come Home
Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)
Garki, Abuja, FCT NIGERIA
Dear Mr. Sir,
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE-STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. His other Soviet crew members returned to earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo. There have been occasional Progrez supply flights to keep him going since that time. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.
In the 14-years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $ 15,000,000 American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $ 3,000,000 American Dollars. In order to access the his trust fund we need your assistance.
Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount to your account or subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/ or operating foreign accounts in our names.
Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.
Kindly expedite action as we are behind schedule to enable us include downpayment in this financial quarter.
Please acknowledge the receipt of this message via my direct number 234 (0) 9-234-2220 only.
Yours Sincerely, Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager