Well, the latest flap seems to have died down, and not a minute too soon, either. This is exactly what happened in back January 2006: archaeologists report that they found no evidence of cannibalism in the bone fragments at one Donner Party site, and the idiot media turns it into "Donner Party cannibalism a total myth!" Gabrielle Burton, the author of two recent books about Tamzene Donner, confronted the nonsense in a Huffington Post article, and I hope it has an effect.
But now another myth has reared its ugly head again. Back in 2007, there was some buzz about Necrosis, a horror film with a Donner Party theme. Well, it's finally being released next week.
According to the official website, during the winter of 1846 a wagon train was trapped in the Sierra Nevada. "As days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, the members of the Donner Party slowly dissolved into madness, eventually turning on each other in what became a desperate, cannabalistic slaughter."
Statements like the above, and the perennial comments likening the Democrats or Republicans to a "modern Donner Party," demonstrate the all-too-common misconception that the Donner Party was a feeding frenzy and the trapped emigrants turned upon one another in a savage bid to survive. This faulty premise is the basis of what happens in Necrosis: More than a century later, six friends arrive at a Sierra Nevada cabin to spend a weekend in the snow; ghastly revenants of the emigrants return to slaughter the hapless young people -- or do they? Here's a trailer.
The film didn't get good reviews, and after kicking around in limbo for a year or so, it's finally coming out as a straight-to-DVD release on Tuesday, April 20. Not having seen it, I can't recommend it, but dyed-in-the-wool Donner Party fanatics can pre-order a copy at Amazon.com or from the movie website.