The clip seems to be genuine. It was originally broadcast on the
Chicago-based radio station, WLS Newstalk, on the Don Wade and Roma
If you look at the WLS website below, you'll see a link to the file
and a very brief desription:
WLS: Don Wade and Roma
This file seems to be circulating widely in newsgroups and, as you
say, by email. Inevitably, as it gets further and further
disseminated, its origins become forgotten or misremembered. One
newsgroup post cited the clip as coming from an Oregon-based station -
most don't mention its origin at all.
The only real way to authenticate this kind of material is to do some
research. Initially, just do a simple search on the filename or some
keywords from the text and see what comes up. Search groups.google.com
too, since newsgroups will probably be forwarding and discussing this
material too. Look at the kind of sites which are carrying the
material - are they reputable? Are they likely to be easily fooled? Do
they themselves claim to know the source, or is it just something
which they have 'happened across'?
Credibility is something which is difficult to determine online,
especially at a time like this. With some material, it may tend to be
a matter of judgement on your part.
Remember, many others will be as suspicious as you. If you suspect a
hoax, it can be worth doing another google search using "hoax" as an
additional keyword -hoaxbusters are everywhere online, and some may
well have already put content on their sites or in their weblogs
explaining why the material is not to be trusted. Some of examples of
Alternatively, you can consult sites directly which specialising in
debunking this sort of material:
Snopes: Rumors of War & Inboxer Rebellion
Urban Legends and Folklore
I hope this is of some use to you. Let me know if you would like
clarification with anything.
Search terms at Google and Google groups: