Good grief, yet another article about this rumor about the possible discovery of the Higgs! This one from no less than ABC news, which looks like it picked up the story verbatim from Wired.
This stuff is infectious --- despite being told clearly from one of the leaders of the search for the Higgs that no, it's just a rumor, seeing it appear so many times in the media has an effect! Is it possible?
I don't think so. I think the media, like the Queen Mary, is very hard to stop once set in motion. And here's something no one seems to be picking up: that D-zero at Fermilab DID make a discovery of a new particle that was just published. They discovered a baryon called the "cascade b" baryon, having three different kinds of quarks. It only lasts for a few trillionths of a second. Here's a link to that story, which didn't seem to grab national headlines just last week when it was announced. Doesn't it seem likely that THIS was the particle that caused all the rumors?
I do have to admit, however, that what Judy Jackson (the PR person at Fermilab, whom we have interviewed a couple of times) said is actually more notable for what she DIDN'T say:
"We're delighted that there is this level of interest, but we can't say too strongly that there are some stringent criteria for being able to claim one has seen something in a particle physics experiment," said Fermilab spokeswoman Judy Jackson. "There are many examples of things that people thought they have seen that have promptly disappeared."
It does make one curious why she didn't just come out and say "No. It's all a rumor. We didn't find it. We'll let you know," just like John Conway told us.