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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
The Wall Street Journal reports on the new trend in 'guerrilla marketing.' Hired actors and actresses (though not famous ones) will be paid to use products in trendy places where the use of the product will be seen by a lot of people. So now if you notice someone talking on a new cell phone next to you, you'll have to wonder if the person is for real or just an actor.
The top ten computer viruses and hoaxes reported to Sophos in July.
The London Times reviews a new book about Mark Hoffman, the forger (and murderer) who fabricated many documents from Mormon history. The book is called The Poet and the Murderer, by Simon Worrall.
The Vinland Map has finally been proven to be a fake. It supposedly was a map that showed the discovery of North America by Leif Eriksson in 1000 BC, but analysis of map's ink has shown that it was created after 1923. Details will appear in an upcoming issue of Analytical Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society.
The LA Times reports that the upcoming movie Signs is renewing interest in crop circles.
Bob Levey of the Washington Post debunks a few internet legends about people who have received huge financial awards for mishaps that were very minor or their own fault. Such as the one about the woman who threw a soda at her boyfriend in a restaurant, then slipped on the puddle, and successfully sued the restaurant for $113,500. It never happened.
New evidence indicates that Gerd Heidemann, the journalist largely behind the Hitler Diaries hoax, was an East German double agent working for the Stasi. This breathes new life into the old theory that the hoax was actually a communist plot.
Daily Variety gave Shyamalan's new film Signs a mediocre review. I loved The Sixth Sense, but found Unbreakable disappointing. So I'm not expecting much from his new one.
Go visit Cooperstown, New York, where the Cardiff Giant still resides. It's housed in the Farmer's Museum. Cooperstown is also home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. There's an article about the town in today's Toronto Star.
Good description in the Christian Science Monitor of the NPR Funding hoax. I've got this in my e-mail a couple of times. It's the one in which you're asked to sign a petition to help save NPR. It's not real, so don't sign the thing if you get it. The CSM article ends on a glum note: "It would be nice to think that Americans in the 21st century are too savvy and intelligent to get collectively hookwinked by hoaxes, pranks, or propaganda. Don't you believe it."