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Questions remain over origin of Travel OK eclipse glasses…

Yesterday afternoon, we let everyone know that the Travel OK-licensed eclipse glasses for sale inside the state capitol had all the markings of cheap, counterfeit, Chinese-made knock-offs.

In case you missed it, the state-issued glasses had the identical wording as counterfeit glasses that the American Astronomical Society recently warned about.

Here's what the inside left of counterfeit glasses look like:

Here's the inside left of Travel OK glasses:

As a hard-hitting illegitimate news source, I quickly published an article about the questionable spectacles as public service to our readers.

I also reached out directly to state tourism czar Shelley Zumwalt to see if she and her agency were aware that the glasses they’re selling for the Oklahoma tourism event of the century are possible frauds.

She promptly and cordially replied:

True to her word, Shelley quickly contacted the state’s promo item supplier to get a, uhm, answer.

Even though the glasses the state is selling in the Capitol gift shop appear to be counterfeit, she claims there’s nothing to worry about:

First of all, I’d like to thank Shelley for the kind words. Nothing warms my heart more than not being considered a legitimate news source. The last thing I want is to be lumped in with all the old and “frumpy” legitimate ones!

Anyway, I guess there’s nothing to see here.

Despite the Travel OK eclipse glasses, once again, exactly matching the counterfeit example provided by AAS, and containing many of the counterfeit hallmarks that the AAS warns about, the tourism department takes pride in the health and safety of citizens, and according to their promo item company, the glasses are A-OK!

Carry on and get ready for some traffic headaches this weekend, folks!

Well, at least that's how the Tourism Department wished this post ended.

After Shelley’s response, I wondered: “Is the OKC vendor aware that the manufacturer they purchased the glasses from may have been a Chinese company posing as a legitimate one?”

I’ll admit, I’m not the brightest aura around the sun, but unless you’re buying a $20 Prada bag at The Old Paris Flea Market, what makes a counterfeit item counterfeit is that people aren’t aware that what they’re buying is fake. It looks and appears like the real thing!

As a result, I asked a follow-up question:

According to the fine print on the Travel OK glasses, the "factory" where the glasses were allegedly manufactured is owned by American Paper Optics. It's the company that's fallen victim to most counterfeit glasses scams.

I have no doubt the state and their promo item vendor think they ordered the glasses from that company, but based on what the AAS is saying, they were likely duped.

Counterfeit glasses include the name of U.S. company American Paper Optics but not the address (though there is a spurious fragment of an unrelated address above the name), whereas APO's glasses include both their name and address, as required by the ISO 12312-2 international standard for filters for direct observation of the Sun.

The state's glasses don't have that address, therefore they're not from American Paper Optics glasses.

Who knows. Even if the state's glasses are counterfeit they still may be safe to use. Either way, I’d probably go with free glasses from the Metro Library System.

Earlier this morning Shelley shot me a message to see when I’m going to file an update, which I guess is what I’m doing right now.

I’m not an expert in eclipse glasses, and I’m sure the employees at the real American Paper Optics have been busy, but don’t you think they’d have an answer by now?

Anyway, regardless of where the glasses came from, Shelley seems pretty convinced the Travel OK glasses are authentic and safe to use.

I, on the other hand, am a bit more skeptical.

Based on what the AAS says on its website, I'd bet the state’s promo item vendor was probably duped by some online company posing as American Paper Optics and ordered a shitload of branded counterfeit eclipse glasses – something we never would have known about if not for one Ogle Mole tipping off the illegitimate media.

Either way, you now have a lot of information available to make your own decision regarding the state's eclipse glasses. For the sake of your vision, I hope it's the right one.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.

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