What Happened To The Guy Who Planted Those Mysterious Seeds?
Before the mysterious monoliths, there was a different saga, in which people in the US were receiving packages of strange seeds from China – packages they hadn’t ordered.
If you remember, these packages caused quite a stir for folks across the pond, leading to local authorities issuing warnings to residents asking them not to plant the seeds. Some went as far as describing the ordeal as a ‘potential ecological disaster’.
We first reported on the matter back in July, with 27 states claiming their citizens had received the seeds. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services alone said it had received more than 900 emails on the matter.
Carolee Bull, a professor who leads the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State University, had explained to The New York Times why she thought people were so worried about the seeds.
She said to the newspaper, ‘The reason that people are concerned is – especially if the seed is the seed of a similar crop that is grown for income and food, or food for animals – that there may be plant pathogens or insects that are harboured in the seed.’
Despite the ongoing statements telling people to not plant the seeds, one Arkansas man ended up doing so after not hearing about the warnings. This individual was Doyle Crenshaw, and after planting the seeds, he found the unusual plant that grew simply wouldn’t stop growing.
He explained to 5News in August, ‘Every two weeks I’d come by and put Miracle-Gro on it, and they just started growing like crazy.’ Doyle went on to explain that the plant had ended up boasting large orange flowers and white fruits similar to a squash.
Watch the original news report here:
At the time, Scott Bray of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture explained why there were concerns about the seeds. He said, ‘Our concern is from an invasive-pest aspect; these seeds could introduce an invasive weed or an invasive insect pest or a plant disease.’
But what has come of the plant nearly five months later, I hear you ask? We did some digging to find out.
While we couldn’t get through to Doyle himself, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture confirmed to UNILAD that it had since been to Doyle’s residency to collect the plant, which it later destroyed.
The statement given to us read:
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture collected the plant from Mr. Crenshaw and has since incinerated it. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service did not identify the plant, but we understand from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture that it was likely Benincasa hispida, commonly known as wax gourd, winter melon, or Chinese watermelon.
It continued, ‘We urge anyone who planted unsolicited seeds to visit our website. We have posted instructions for collecting and destroying the plants/planted seeds to ensure they present no risk to U.S. agriculture or the environment.’
In regards to why people were randomly receiving these seeds, it was confirmed back in August that the packages were thought to be part of a brushing scam, and that the seeds themselves were innocent. The Whitehouse Police Department explained via its Facebook page what a brushing scam is.
The post read, ‘A brushing scam is an exploit by a vendor used to bolster product ratings and increase visibility online by shipping an inexpensive product to an unwitting receiver and then submitting positive reviews on the receiver’s behalf under the guise of a verified owner.’
Crisis averted, everyone.
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