“No Substantiated Cause for Alarm”: ZAC Findings on Miami “Zombie” Attack & LQP-79 Virus

For Immediate Release:  “No Substantiated Cause For Alarm” :  Zombie Action Committee releases statement of findings on the Miami biting attack
Pittsfield, MASS- The Berkshire County based Zombie Action Committee has released the following official statement in response to inquiries regarding the biting attack that took place last weekend in Miami, Florida, and the rapidly spreading internet misinformation about the supposed virus LQP-79.

Even Time Magazine has announced a “Zombie Alert”

Our organization has received a number of inquiries this week regarding our position on reports of a grisly “cannibalistic” assault in Miami on Saturday, May 26, which have provoked a national media and internet explosion over the past few days.  In response to questions, concerns, and the increasing circulation of misinformation that have arisen since this incident, the SHC Autumn Doyle of the Committee has made every effort to initiate a proper analysis and expedite a statement of assurance to the local community.

At her instruction, the ZAC’s Department of Communications & Outreach conducted an investigation of the matter.  After reviewing a mass of both credible and non-credible media sources and conferring with partner organizations in other parts of the country, the Department came to the following initial findings:
Miami Resident Rudy Eugene attacked Ronald Poppo on May 26, chewing a large majority of his face off as Poppo attempted to fight him off.  The attack lasted for about 18 minutes and was captured on surveillance video which has since been made public.  The attack ended when a Miami police officer fired on Eugene multiple times, after being shot the first time only caused him to growl at the officer before returning to biting Poppo’s face.
The cause of the attack has not been established, though some law enforcement officials have suggested it could have been a result of intoxication by Mephedrone-type drugs known by the term “bath salts.”  Toxicology analysis of Eugene’s body could take weeks.
There is no evidence of a connection between this and other biting-type attacks elsewhere in the country this month which have been correlated in some news media.  In fact, database research conducted by the ZAC has found that various types of biting attacks can be found occurring somewhere in the world most months of the year, though there seems to be a marked increase during summer months.
-Reports of a “new virus” known as LQP-79 are not factual and appear to be a hoax that began within the last 48 hours.  A screenshot of an “article” touting this virus seems to only exist as a jpg, and while there are now nearly 300,000 mentions of LQP-79 via Google, not a single listed news source contains the information in the “article” screenshot being circulated, which includes a fictitious quote from an actual Miami police officer.  We have contacted the CDC and Ali Khan, Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response there, to request some statement allaying any public concern in this matter.
-A certain level of additional concern or perceived plausibility of a greater threat may have been exacerbated by the fact that the CDC added several posts about zombie preparedness to its official Public Health Matters blog in mid-May (link) only days before the tragic incident in Miami.  The timing of this we believe to be an unfortunate coincidence- in actual fact, the Center for Disease Control embraced zombies as conceptual teaching tool last May, and the recent posts mark the one year anniversary of this, which has drawn more attention to CDC online preparedness materials than any other outreach effort.
The ZAC Dept. of Communications and Outreach concludes at this time that there is no cause for a heightened state of alarm regarding any of the media discussion of a “zombie outbreak” or “zombie apocalypse.”

The ZAC received word late Wednesday night from allies at the Zombie Squad, whose chapters can be found in 40 cities worldwide.  In a statement from the St. Louis headquarters last night, ZS leadership confirmed that they believe the Miami incident to be a 
random and potentially drug-related occurrence and are not moving to a state of higher alert.

“No matter how slim the possibility of a threat to the public, it was incumbent on me as the elected executive of this committee to direct staff to research the matter and report back,” said Chancellor Doyle on Wednesday.

“The recent horrific occurrence in Miami, Florida is a tragic loss of life and humanity, just what we, your Z.A.C. try to prevent by raising awareness, in the hopes that atrocities of random violence will diminish,” expressed the Chancellor.

Communications and Outreach Director Donna Chaney points out that the fact that this attack in Miami carried on for nearly 20 minutes while cars, bikes and pedestrians passed by is a good reminder to be aware of and try to counter the “bystander effect” in our daily lives.  

“Your level of awareness in this bad social pack behavior is something you need to recognize in an emergency situation, so that you can change it.” said Chaney, who has penned an opinion piece regarding this issue that will be available on our blog later today.  “Whether you’re dealing with an every day crisis (car accidents) or the first stages of a zombie apocalypse happening in your backyard, you should understand what is happening and that only you can make this change.”
The Zombie Action Committee extends its condolences to the families and friends of both men involved in the incident in Miami, and while the nature of the attack will understandably generate curiosity and pointing out of parallels to the “zombie” concept, we urge all to try to be sensitive to the real loss of life and injuries that have taken place.
For more information and updates as available:
Special Thanks to Zombie Squad HQ, St. Louis, MO

Authors and Experts to Tackle Zombie Genre at New Anime Convention

BAMCon May 4-6. 2012

Pittsfield, MASS- The Zombie Action Committee will present an expert panel discussion on the subject of surviving the undead in fiction and theory, as part of BAM-Con, the 1st annual Berkshire Anime & Manga Convention on May 6, 2012.

Scheduled for 3pm Sunday May 6, the final day of this 3-day convention, this panel will examine various practical and philosophical aspects of zombies and their survival in fiction, from examples in anime to the entire range of film, television, books and comics.
The following specialists will present their observations, discuss concepts and offer a Q&A period to follow:
DA Chaney – Author and renowned zombie expert, Chaney’s work on the subject appears in anthologies such as First Time Dead 2, Hell Hath No Fury: An All Female Zombie Anthology, Before Plan 9: Plans 1-8 From Outer Space, Zombie Writing!, and her new novella Cryptic.  Chaney is also a respected blogger on the horror genre.
Autumn Doyle  – Artist, musician, and folklorist, Autumn was elected Supreme High Chancellor of the Zombie Action Committee for 2012.  Autumn has studied the lore of the dead and undead in various cultures and traditions and is a celebrated expert on magical and occult theories and aspects of the walking dead.  Photography of Doyle’s simulated River of Fire was recently showcased in the exhibition “Follow the River,” juried by the Northampton Arts Council
Gabriel Squailia – Author of the novel Dead Boys, which has been compared to “the Wizard of Oz in the afterlife,” Squailia is an avid purveyor of various sci/fi and fantasy is considered an expert on postcorporeal existence and animate corpses.
Palmer Dietrich – eminent survivalist Palmer Dietrich specializes in crisis readiness and emergency action strategies.  Dietrich, who serves as Deputy Director of Communications & Outreach, oversees networking and coordination with other zombie awareness groups worldwide, and claims to be one of the only American civilians to have survived a zombie crisis.
The Zombie Action Committee is thrilled to participate in this new convention created by MediaCrash and the Berkshire Anime Convention, as part of its overall mission of raising awareness and resilient community building.  For more information and tickets to Bam-Con visit the convention’s homepage at http://www.bam-con.com/ or enjoy the following video: