If a Human Answers, Hang Up

Associated Press

Four to eight times a day, a caller rang the phone of a couple here and hung up. There were no obscenities spoken or heavy breathing, but the calls were annoying and the couple wanted them stopped, police Capt. Branton Dennis said.

The couple finally got the relief they sought when a monthlong investigation turned up the culprit--a computer.

The calls were traced to nearby Manufacturers Hanover Mortgage Corp., whose computer was placing the calls automatically in an effort to communicate with another computer. The machine that placed calls, unable to recognize a human voice, simply waited for an electronic response that never came.

"It was just one computer talking to another," Dennis said. "Nothing was said or spoken. After a bit it would just hang up."

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