The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Script of Casablanca rejected, 1982

September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
Cursed by Allah
Dog wins art contest, 1974
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
Hunting for Bambi
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 31, 2003
It looks like it's now 100% official that Hunting for Bambi was a hoax.
Categories: Advertising, Sex/Romance Comments (0)
The Great See ID Credit Card Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 31, 2003
Do you have 'See ID' written on the back of your credit card, or know someone who does? I used to, until I had an unpleasant run-in at the post office because of it. Turns out that the idea that it's safer to write 'See ID' on the back of your credit card rather than sign it is just a weird hoax that's floating around. (I used to have this blurb about my experience at the post office on my LiveJournal account, which has now become defunct. I've moved it over here so that it'll have a more permanent home, and because I keep getting comments from people who have had the...
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (22)
Bigfoot Symposium
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 31, 2003
Two interesting links via BoingBoing. First, the website of the International Bigfoot Symposium that will be held September 12-14 in Willow Creek, CA (very close to where the famous Patterson-Gimlin film of a Bigfoot creature was shot). Second, the somewhat surprising news that Jane Goodall, the famous primate researcher, is a Bigfoot believer. You can listen to her discuss her beliefs in a segment recorded from NPR's Science Friday.
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (0)
Walled Cats
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 30, 2003
A visitor (Joanna) asks: I heard about a historical practice that could possibly be a hoax. I visited the Freakatorium in NYC today, and they had on display a mummified cat that they claim was walled into "A New York City Building" to ensure its stability. Now, they assured me that although they had hoaxes in this museum, the cat thing was certainly real, although they were fuzzy on the dates and the location it was found in. I found some references to this practice in medieval times... However, I can't imagine this happening as late as the 1800's, when this practice supposedly took place in New York. Any thoughts on this? My Answer:...
Categories: Animals Comments (1)
Nessie News
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 30, 2003
I believe it's now officially confirmed that I'm an idiot. I run a website called the Museum of Hoaxes, and yet I fall for an obvious hoax. Back on July 17 I trumpeted the news that a fossil of a sea serpent had been found on the shores of Loch Ness, and that it wasn't a hoax. What was I thinking? Of course it was a hoax. I believed...
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (2)
911 Survivor a Hoax?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 28, 2003
The team of developers on this website claim to be creating a game called '911 Survivor' that allows you to simulate being inside the burning World Trade Center. Reacting to this, quite a few people have immediately speculated that it must be a hoax. But looking through the site, I suspect it isn't. Instead it seems to be some kind of art project designed to make people question the boundaries drawn between real-reality and media-reality.
Burning Man Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 28, 2003
I've never been to the Burning Man festival, but from what I hear it would be fair to call it representative of hippie culture. You go out into the desert for a few days, smoke dope, listen to music, and generally let it all hang out. So imagine the horror of Burning Man devotees when they come across this website offering a package tour to the festival. The deal included an air-conditioned tent and front-row seats at the festival. It smacked of yuppie/corporate encroachment. But the site turns...
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (0)
Fake Goyas
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 28, 2003
The NY Times reports on a growing controversy in the art world. The famous Black Paintings by Francisco Goya may not have been painted by Goya at all. A new book coming out speculates that they were actually painted by his son, who's been considered pretty much a nobody as far as art historians have been concerned.
Categories: Art Comments (0)
Carl Lewis Isn’t Dead
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 28, 2003
Olympic track star Carl Lewis was reported to have been killed in a bicycle accident in this news report. But actually Lewis is just fine. The report is a phony, rigged up by a biking enthusiast to draw attention to an abutment in a Houston park that he considers dangerous.
Categories: Death, Sports Comments (0)
My Life as a Fake
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 27, 2003
A review of Peter Carey's new book, My Life as a Fake, based on the story of Ern Malley, the Australian literary hoax.
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
Fake Website Scam Warning
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 27, 2003
The FBI says: beware fake websites. They're calling it the 'Phisher' scam. You receive an email that lures you to what you think is a legitimate website run by a real company (though it's not). Then you're tricked into divulging your personal information (credit card info, etc.)
Categories: Email Hoaxes Comments (0)
The Naked Chef
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 27, 2003
An email going around claims to contain, as an attachment, the next cookbook by Jamie Oliver (aka The Naked Chef). It's actually just a mock-up, containing recipes from his previous book. But I'm bummed that I haven't received this email yet.
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Food Comments (0)
Ern Malley Copyright
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 27, 2003
A legal battle erupts over who owns the copyright to the poems of Ern Malley. If you don't know who he is, Malley is Australia's most famous hoax poet. My favorite line of his continues to be, "I am still the black swan of trespass on alien waters." Brooding, eerie, and completely nonsensical. (I don't have anything about him on the website, but I've got a blurb about him in my book).
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
Hunting for Bambi (hopefully final update)
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 27, 2003
So I think it's finally official that Hunting for Bambi is a hoax, a publicity stunt done to sell videos. Isn't it wonderful that public attention gets focused on things like this rather than, oh, poverty, hunger, education, etc.?
Categories: Advertising, Sex/Romance Comments (0)
Jayson Blair Redux
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 26, 2003
So Esquire has commissioned Jayson Blair to write a movie review of Shattered Glass, an upcoming movie about Stephen Glass (another media hoaxer from five years ago). I'm sure his review will, in turn, become one of the most heavily reviewed reviews ever.
Categories: Journalism Comments (0)
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.