Mystery as wave of months-old text messages sent to US phone users

Mystery as wave of months-old text messages sent to US phone users

A mysterious wave of strange text messages has swept America’s mobile phones, delivering largely unintelligible messages to people from friends, family – and the occasional ex.

Friends who had not talked to each other in months were jolted into chatting, while others briefly panicked.

The best explanation seems to be that old texts sent in the spring suddenly went through.

It is not clear why this months-long delay happened. Phone companies have blamed each other and offered no further explanations.

Stephanie Bovee, a 28-year-old from Portland, Oregon, woke up at 5am to a text from her sister that said just “omg”. She immediately thought something had happened to her newborn nephew at the hospital.

Many people were left confused and even upset by the wave of delayed messages (AP)
Many people were left confused and even upset by the wave of delayed messages (AP)

She started calling everyone. Her sister and her sister’s husband did not answer. She then woke up her mother. It was three hours before she learned that everything was fine and the text was an odd anomaly.

“Now it’s funny,” she said. “But out of context, it was not cool.”

Ms Bovee discovered that people were getting some of her old texts that failed to go through when her sister and a co-worker both got texts that she had sent in February.

The text her sister received wished her a happy Valentine’s Day.

Mobile carriers offered unhelpful explanations for the weird-text phenomenon, which appeared to be widespread, at least according to social media.

A Sprint spokeswoman said it resulted from a “maintenance update” for messaging platforms at multiple US carriers and would not explain further.

T-Mobile called it a “third party vendor issue”.

Verizon and AT&T did not answer questions.

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