A Nigerian Astronaut Is Not Really Trapped In Space

Abacha Tunde's top secret mission is too good to be true.
The scam email says Abacha Tunde has been stuck in space for more than two decades.
The scam email says Abacha Tunde has been stuck in space for more than two decades.
Steve Bronstein via Getty Images

Email scams from fake wealthy Nigerian princes promising a generous return if you pay upfront to unlock their riches are a dime a dozen.

But what's this? A Nigerian astronaut has been trapped in space for the past 25 years and needs $3 million to get back to Earth? Well, that seems completely legit.

The hilarious message dropped into the inbox of British website Anorak last week, and is now going viral.

According to the email, Abacha Tunde -- allegedly Africa's first man in space -- was left trapped on board a Soviet spacecraft when the USSR dissolved.

"His other Soviet crew members returned to Earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo," his cousin Dr. Bakara Tunde claims.

How come we've never heard about Tunde's plight before? Ah well, his "secret" mission consisted of a "secret" flight to a "secret" military space station.

Pretty hush-hush then.

But don't fear, because Tunde has received $15 million in salary since being on the craft. Since the spaceman doesn't need cash up in space, his wages are reportedly being held at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association, and a healthy slice is yours if you help with the administrative fee.

There's been speculation that the obviously fraudulent email is actually a parody of a scam. However, research suggests it's been around for a while. In a message from 2010, Bakara Tunde was not Abacha's cousin; he was the astronautics project manager at Nigeria's space agency.

Maybe he lost his job.

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