The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
The Real Reason for the Blackout
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 19, 2003
You may have thought that last week's massive blackout was caused by something like an aging national grid, bad transmission lines, or even human error. But guess what? It actually happened because it was the 60th anniversary of the Philadelphia Experiment. At least, so claims Al Bielek. I'm not clear on why the anniversary caused the lights to go out, but maybe all the power got sucked backwards through time or something. Even more sensationally, Bielek claims that he predicted the blackout a few weeks ago. In case you don't know about him, Bielek claims to be a time traveler stuck in the present era. He says that he was originally Ed Cameron, a participant in the…
Categories: Future/Time Comments (0)
Black Market Babies
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 18, 2003
If you feel like adopting a baby, but can't for some reason, just give the folks at Black Market Babies $50,000 and they'll steal someone's baby and give it to you. They also offer black market pandas and black market tigers for sale. Unfortunately their online form for submitting orders is 'temporarily' out of order. (Link via Entensity.net, who linked to me. Warning: their site is not safe for work).
Categories: Birth/Babies, Websites Comments (13)
Is that food real or plastic?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 18, 2003
Sometimes plastic display food, like you often find in Japanese restaurants, can look awfully real. This website has a shockwave test that challenges you to separate photos of real food from the plastic stuff. The pictures are too small to really make a good decision, but it's a neat idea. (why they felt the need to design the test in shockwave, I can't figure out. HTML would have worked perfectly well for something this simple, and when viewing it with Safari it crashed my browser).
Categories: Food Comments (0)
More eBay Auctions
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 18, 2003
I got an email from the girl (not guy) selling the Air Guitar and Ring of Saturn on eBay. Turns out she has a few other items for sale, such as a Ticket to Heaven (in case you're worried about going to Hell), and the Answer to Life and the Universe. I guess she's mastering the art of the Strange eBay Auction. WhatTheHeck.com has a great collection of such eBay Oddities. Included are hot-sellers such as Ghost Poop and A Lie.
Categories: eBay Comments (71)
Inner Peace
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 18, 2003
Here's a silly email that's going around. Not a hoax. Just a joke: Inner Peace I'm passing this along to you as I consider you a valued friend. This worked for me and I think it may work for you. I have found Inner Peace. Recently I read an article that stated: The best way to achieve inner peace is to Finish Things You Have Started. So today I finished two large bags of potato chips, the last half of a lemon cream pie, a nearly full bottle of Jose Cuervo, a small box of Godiva Chocolates and I slapped the living shit out of someone I have never liked. I feel better than I have…
Categories: Email Hoaxes Comments (0)
Excelsior, Minnesota: No Starbucks Allowed
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 18, 2003
The small town of Excelsior, Minnesota recently launched an ad campaign declaring that big retailers such as Starbucks and Home Depot were not welcome in its community. A bold position to take, especially considering that those retailers had never expressed any interest in opening up stores there.
Categories: Places Comments (0)
The Crop Circle/Beer Connection
Posted by The Curator on Sun Aug 17, 2003
Some new crop circles in Devon may be inspired by a potent new beer.
Categories: Crop Circles, Food Comments (0)
Ring of Saturn for Sale
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 16, 2003
Is Peter Lynds a Hoax?
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 16, 2003
Recently a 27-year-old New Zealander named Peter Lynds has been getting a lot of attention. He's been hailed as the next Einstein because he's come up with an entirely new theory of time. And he's done this without having any formal qualifications as a physicist. But suggestions that Peter Lynds may be nothing more than a hoax have been cropping up. Some have even doubted the guy's existence. The Guardian investigated and found that Lynds was real enough, but that his work hasn't exactly wowed everyone in the Physics community. And that thing about him being the next Einstein... that may trace back to an offhand remark by Lynds himself. Update 8/17/03: A visitor has…
Fake Friendsters
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 16, 2003
There's been not one, but two articles in the past few days about the phenomenon of Fake Friendsters. Apparently many people using the new online service Friendster — a service that allows you to meet new people by making connections with the friends of your friends — have been creating fake identities, identities such as God, Giant Squid, or Jackalope. Friendster is fighting back by trying to delete all the fakes. Of course, this is like fighting the tide. Just ask any postmodernist and they'll tell you that the concept of identity is itself inherently illusory. So to insist that only 'real' identities are allowed on the service is absurd. Personally, if I were to create an…
Categories: Sex/Romance, Technology Comments (2)
Mold Dogs
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 16, 2003
How do you know if your house has a mold problem? Well, you could hire a mold-sniffing dog to find out. But be warned. Mold Consultants, LLC says the mold-dog industry is a scam.
Categories: Animals Comments (0)
Hotmail Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 14, 2003
To all users of Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. If you ever get an email claiming to be from your service provider warning you that you need to forward the email you just received "so that we know you are still using this account," then it's a hoax. Variations of this hoax have actually been around a long, long time, but people are still falling for it.
Categories: Email Hoaxes Comments (3)
Tourist Flights to Mars
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 14, 2003
This story is five years old (dating back to 1998) but someone just sent it to me anyway. It details what appears to be a case of extreme gullibility. But a search on Lexis-Nexis for any newspaper report of this scam occurring in the past twenty years turned up nothing—except for skeptical references to this same email. So I've got to conclude that the case this email describes is just an urban legend. This person posting on SpaceFuture.com's message board back in 1998 agrees. Here's the text of the email: More than 600 people in Italy wanted to ride in a spaceship badly enough to pay $10,000 a piece for the first tourist flight to Mars. According…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (2)
To Serve Rabbit
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 13, 2003
This has gotten a lot of attention. A LiveJournal user, Siamang, posted an entry about how his pet rabbit Grendel died. So (he claimed) he decided to skin and eat his beloved pet. After all, burying or cremating him seemed so impersonal. This was accompanied by pictures of Grendel both alive and served up on a plate. Predictably, the entry got a huge response. But it seems that Siamang wasn't being entirely honest. In a separate journal entry he refuses to say whether his story is true or false. He plays very coy, writing that online journals "can be fact or fiction and are almost always an extremely subjective hybrid of the two." In other words, the story…
Categories: Food Comments (0)
Terry Tate for Governor
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 13, 2003
To the list of fictitious characters campaigning to become Governor of California we can now add Terry Tate, the 'Office Linebacker' in those ads by Reebok. Terry Tate is played by actor Lester Speight, but it's Tate that's running, not Speight. So we now have Gollum and Tate running, as well as Gary Coleman, Gallagher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the pornstar Mary Carey, Angelyne, and Larry Flynt. All elections should be this fun!
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
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