This Email, ‘A Nigerian Astronaut Lost In Space’ Has Gone Viral


This e-mail originally sent to Anorak inbox has gone hilariously viral, about a Nigerian, Abacha Dunde, who is lost in space for years. The Anorak Inbox features this plea: ‘Nigerian Astronaut is lost in space needs $3 Million to come home.’

Detailed description from Iflscience says:

An estranged super-rich prince asking you for some money is part and parcel of the Internet experience. The usual spiel is a fairly dry business proposal where a small advance-fee could return millions of dollars within a few months. But at a time where everybody can spot a fishy email scam, one conman has upped his game.

The email made its way into the inbox of the website Anorak, which couldn’t resist sharing the plight of poor old Abacha Tunde. According to the message, below, he was Nigeria’s first astronaut who was unwittingly left on board a secret Soviet space station when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1990 (actually 1991).

However, he was still getting paid for his years of ongoing solitary service, amounting to over $15 million. A cool 20 percent of that money could now be yours… if you pay $3 million for a return spaceflight to pick him up. Of course, he needs someone else to pay the upfront costs, as the law forbids civil servants to open and operate foreign accounts.

According to Iflscience, there has never been a Nigerian person in space nor would it be possible to stay in space since the ’90s without many cargo runs in between. On top of that, the email says he’s only been there for 14 years yet he was left stranded in 1990, suggesting that it might be old.

There’s no telling if the email is a genuine attempt at a scam or just a parody. Or even some viral marketing for Matt Damon’s new film where he inevitably gets stranded in space again.

The Original E-mail to Anorak

Subject: Nigerian Astronaut Wants To Come Home
Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)
Plot 555
Misau Street
PMB 437
Garki, Abuja, FCT NIGERIA

Dear Mr. Sir,


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
[email protected]

As real as the website is, what can you make of this e-mail?