Virgin Blue has been going broke for almost every month of the eight years and five months it has been flying passengers, according to on-line rumour mongers, but this week saw one of them outed as using what is almost certainly a Qantas computer.

This was the “Virgin Blue is loosing $8 million a day and being forced to pay cash for fuel and other supplies” rumour.

A moderator at (NM aka Nelly Mobbs) found that the IP number used by anonymous forum user flying1977 to spread this rumour matched one used at Qantas.

An IP number is like a postal address, but with a degree of X-ray vision as to what devices are actually connected to it.

While it isn’t clear what else “Nelly Mobbs” did, an email tracer program like Read.Notify would almost certainly have come in handy too.

Such programs allow you to see if your message is “displayed” and for how long, on what sort of computer running what sort of operating system, and to whom it might have then been forwarded, together with the same discovery of who, what, when and for how long.

It’s not called the web for nothing.

The Virgin Blue “going broke at $8 million per day” rumour is in fact rubbish, as would be any suggestion that Qantas was behind it. This is an organisation that runs matches between staff telephone call records and known numbers used by the media to discover and execute those who speak without authorisation and sanitisation as to content and nuance.

As a declared user of email filtering, like Virgin Blue, and many large and small businesses, Qantas would understand what flying1977 didn’t, that it is easy to be ‘caught.’

Yes, Qantas is aware of the ‘development’, and may say something. But in the real and festering world of online rumour mongering this is just another infantile mind pursuing a hate filled agenda of misinformation or fantasy.

It is so easy too. Current examples include images of massive pre WW11 Soviet Flying Boats (completed with hovering flying saucer), a massive Boeing delta shaped A380 ‘killer’ in full Photoshopped flight, and a Super Container ship about five kilometres long.

The Virgin Blue rumour is usually laced with malice on other industry forums such as, the Professional Pilots Rumour Network, which is nothing if not sceptical, where each time it pops up it gets incinerated. Or gets picked up and swallowed by the more susceptible muppets and arm chair CEOs on spotter sites.

But all on-line forums, including Crikey and its blogs, are targets of rumours, some of them crafted more cleverly than this one. It is one of the risks and irritations of granting anonymity in comments and discussions.