Oct 04 2006

Problems With Page Stories

Published by at 7:53 pm under All General Discussions,Foleygate

Major Update: Tyson Vivyan, in reporting out today, states he was a member of AOL and that was the IM system Foley used to communicate with him – which means his story does hold together!

I was watching Tyson Vivyan, a Page who has come forward to claim Foley was stalking him ten years ago in 1995-96, give his story on Nancy Grace show on CNN. The man sounds very reasonable and admits he did not say anything about Foley in the decade since his encounters – but his story has one glaring problem. He claims he was Instant Messaging with Foley in 1996-97, before Instant Messaging was as ubiquitous as it is now. Most people forget the first web browser – Mosiac – only came out in 1990-91. The Wikipedia history notes that until 1996 only AOL users had a form of IM. This date is confirmed at other sites which discuss the history of the technology. And I can tell you know government computers had AOL at that time. The Government still pretty much owned the internet.

So how is it this young man was using technology that was not widely available yet? On Nancy Grace Tyson was clearly saying his communications where on IM and not emails, contrary to some other reporting which lists emails as the medium. Is the man just not remembering clearly? Who knows. But this does go to the veracity of some of these claims. We shall see.

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Problems With Page Stories”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    Will have to check when aol was founded, but it had im’s from the beginning as well as chat rooms and was the isp of choice for many even with dialup because of all the cd’s they mailbombed everyone with to become their isp.

    Otherwise for a national isp all you had was compuserve and one who’s name I can’t even remember that IBM bought out prodigy or something like that.

    I believe aol came out in the mid to late 80’s

  2. MerlinOS2 says:

    According to wikipedia aol was establishe in 1991

  3. perdogg says:

    I remember when I was at NC State in 1996, State had Unix based IM system that was called Zephyr that only worked on campus. I also remember that AOL was the only windows platform based IP at the time. The highest baud rate we could get was 58.8-k, if we were lucky.

  4. AJStrata says:


    Yes – AOL was established in 1991. But websites and IM came much later.

  5. perdogg says:


    AOL had IM in 1995/1996. I remember it well.

  6. MerlinOS2 says:

    My wife and I were married in 92 and both of us were on AOL after switching from running Fidonet BBS systems and it had chat rooms and im’s from our first days and we were almost charter members. There were about 60000 members when we first logged on IIRC

  7. MerlinOS2 says:

    We were AOL members and bbs operators in parallel for a while until AOL basically killed of meaningfull participation in fidonet by our local users. But it was probably mid to late 91 when we activated our aol accounts.

  8. MerlinOS2 says:

    Another thing to remember the kid that was exposed tonight was in the page class when 9/11 happened.

    I found one site tonight when he was in a chat room talking about it with some other pages.

    Interesting to note that during that chat where he is logged in under his true name he gives his aol im screen name to another page to contact him about an off topic subject

  9. MerlinOS2 says:

    Transcript from the site

    Jul 1 2003, 07:23 PM
    I wasn’t there, but I think a police officer said the Pages just went to the dorm. I think any more specific details might be an infringement of this forum’s policy on security details.
    Jul 1 2003, 08:33 PM
    No it wouldnt Shrineguard. Everyone in the city was encouraged to go back to their homes after the attacks took place. So the Pages went back to their home which is the dorm, we remained there for the rest of the day and then went back to our normal activities the next day. If you would like to know more specific details, feel free to Instant Message me with AOL instant messanger, at Lolakana223, and I’ll answer any question you have.

  10. For Enforcement says:

    perdogg,, hey i’m an NC State grad also, ’74 ( Lou Holtz era)
    They had the on campus set up back then tied to the Research Triangle computing center. no internet tho.

  11. For Enforcement says:

    Hmmm, funny how our memory can play tricks. According to the HowStuffWorks web site, AOL got into instant messaging in 1997 when they bought out the very first online IM system called ICQ. According to them, ICQ basically started in NOvember ’96 and AOL bought them out soon after. My recollection would have put it in about that time frame. I think all they had along in ’96 was dial up, but I don’t remember IM at all until a little later. But then everybody has bookmarks and I sure wouldn’t argue with any of them.
    I do know that I heard him say that myself and I said at the time, oh, no. they didn’t have instant messaging until later than that.

    And as someone said above Wikipedia puts it in about the same time frame as HOWSTUFFWORKS.

    Anyhow, it’s pretty apparent that the pages weren’t IM in the time frame stated on Nancy Grace.

  12. For Enforcement says:

    According to Wikipedia, AOL for Windows was introduced in ’93, don’t know how that relates to IM.

  13. MerlinOS2 says:

    AOL for windows had im capability

    ICQ was a souped up version of IRC (intenet relay chat)

    It’s biggest competitor was MIRC

    Aol bought ICQ from Mirrabellis (spelling) several years after they opened and kept it as a seperate group. It could not interface with aol customers.

    The original browser aol was built around was IE and even though aol bought out netscape they kept it as a separate unit and starved it so some jumped ship and developed firefox later

  14. MerlinOS2 says:

    I can’t remember specifically, which makes me wonder how some can have such clarity that far back, but it was windows 3.0 or win95 that had and icon on initial install to join aol as a preload.

    There was a tie in agreement for the join aol icon and aol using a modified IE browser for their interface.

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