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David Emery

No, Matt Damon Isn't Dead

By September 10, 2009

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  Matt Damon Dead? No.

The latest celebrity death hoax claims 38-year-old actor Matt Damon died of unknown causes yesterday while camping alone in southern California's Palo Verde Mountains.

According to a report published on various websites Wednesday evening, Damon's last words were transmitted via text message and indicated he was out of water and needed help. His body was supposedly found by a Deputy Sheriff the next day.

Excerpt from the report:

Matt Damon, an American actor and philanthropist, was found dead in California’s Palo Verde mountain area on Wednesday. He was 38.

According to TMZ’s web site, Damon, who was officially reported missing Friday, was on a camping trip. His body was found by an Imperial County Sheriff’s Department deputy on Wednesday.

The cause of death is unknown.

According to TMZ.com on Wednesday, law enforcement headed into the desert near San Diego on Tuesday. That day, TMZ.com reported, “Damon sent a text message to a friend that he was out of water and needed help. There was a massive search that ended abruptly.”

On his personal blog, Damon wrote last month he was going to the desert because of his friends talking about “treasure hunting and lost gold, and my own insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration . . . I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment could cost me my life.”

It should come as no surprise that no such information was actually published on TMZ.com — not about Matt Damon, at any rate, and certainly not this year.

As it turns out, nearly all of the text was lifted verbatim from a news story published exactly one year ago about the death of former UFC middleweight boxing champion Evan Tanner.

This is how those same paragraphs originally read in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix on September 9, 2008:

Evan Tanner, an ex-Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion, was found dead in California’s Palo Verde mountain area on Monday. He was 37.

According to UFC’s web site, Tanner, who was officially reported missing Friday, was on a camping trip. His body was found by an Imperial County Sheriff’s Department deputy on Monday.

The cause of death is unknown.

According to TMZ.com on Monday, law enforcement headed into the desert near San Diego last Friday. That day, TMZ.com reported, “Tanner sent a text message to a friend that he was out of water and needed help. There was a massive search that ended abruptly (Monday).”

On his Spike TV blog, Tanner wrote last month he was going to the desert because of his friends talking about “treasure hunting and lost gold, and my own insatiable appetite for adventure and exploration . . . I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment could cost me my life.”

Inexplicably, the Damon-is-dead version of the story ends with lyrics from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Damon himself is said to be attending a film festival in Venice.

Read more:
Matt Damon Found Dead
Former UFC Champion Tanner Found Dead in Desert

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