The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Perpetual Motion Machine
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 06, 2003
Sandeep Acharya has shared with me his blueprints for building a machine that can convert magnetic energy into mechanical energy. He promises that it really works. Check it out for yourself.
Categories: Free Energy Comments (0)
Happy Birthday, P.T. Barnum!
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 06, 2003
America's greatest showman, Phineas Taylor Barnum, born July 5, 1810, celebrates his 193rd birthday today. Happy Birthday, Barnum! In his autobiography Barnum had this to say about his birthday: My first appearance upon this stage was on the 5th day of July, Anno Domini 1810. Independence Day had gone by, the cannons had ceased to thunder forth their remembrances of our National Anniversary, the smoke had all cleared away, the drums had finished their rattle, and when peace and quiet were restored, I made my debut. This propensity of keeping out of harm's way has always stuck by me. Barnum was responsible for many hoaxes. Among his more famous ones were Joice Heth (billed as the oldest…
Categories: History Comments (0)
The Taughannock Giant
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 05, 2003
July 4, 1879 a giant stone man (weight: 800 pounds; height: seven feet) was unearthed near Ithaca, New York (suspiciously close to Cardiff, New York). He was soon dubbed the Taughannock Giant. The stone man was described by a commentator as "a human figure lying on its back, arms nearly straight and the legs crossed at the ankle... well proportioned with the exception of the feet, which appear more like those of an ape." Scientists pronounced it an authentic fossilized man. In reality, it was the handiwork of one Ira Dean who had carved it in his basement. For the complete story, check out the Taughannock Stone Man Web Page created by Dan Dickinson, Jeff Dennis, and Ben…
Categories: History Comments (0)
If you hear a baby crying… Don’t Open the Door
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 05, 2003
Here's a creepy email that's been making the rounds for at least half a year. It was sent to me by a visitor who wants to know if it's a hoax. Yes, it is. There have been no reported instances of serial killers using this particular modus operandi:Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird.The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run…
Woman stalks herself
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 04, 2003
Here's an odd story: an assistant professor at LSU is accused of sending threatening letters to herself.
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (0)
Mysterious Blobs
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 04, 2003
Two days ago a giant blob-like creature washed up on a beach in Chile. Chilean scientists were baffled. They had no clue what the creature was. Based on the emails I've received, a lot of people immediately suspected it was some kind of elaborate hoax. But I don't think this was a hoax. Scientists now say that they believe the blobby thing was either the body of a giant octopus or discarded whale blubber. I assume the Chilean blob bears no kinship to another blob which surfaced on the internet about two years ago. To this day I have no clue what this earlier mystery blob was. A real person? A…
The case of the non-existent child
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 04, 2003
An Australian woman invented the existence of a child in order to hit up her ex-boyfriend for child support. She even went so far as to provide him with pictures of the (fake) child, and dreamed up a costly medical condition that the kid was suffering from, which she, of course, wanted the boyfriend to pay for.
Categories: Birth/Babies, Con Artists Comments (0)
The Hacker Challenge
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 04, 2003
A hacker website (defacers-challenge.com... it no longer appeares to be active) announces a contest to see who can deface the most websites this Sunday, July 6. Authorities suspect the whole thing may be a hoax.
Categories: Technology Comments (0)
Crop Circles
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 04, 2003
California farmer annoyed by crop circles that are destroying his wheat.
Categories: Crop Circles Comments (0)
It’s Jackalope Hunting Season
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2003
June 31 (which was yesterday, or maybe today, or maybe neither) is the only day of the year on which it's legal to hunt jackalopes in the state of Wyoming. You can get your own Jackalope hunting license from the Douglas, Wyoming Chamber of Commerce.
National Blonde Day
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2003
Oops. I forgot that yesterday was National Blonde Day, so designated by the Blonde Legal Defense Club. The day is designed to promote respect for the intelligence and accomplishments of blondes. In reality, it's a publicity stunt for the Legally Blonde movie.
A con gone wrong
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2003
What happens when criminals cross paths: A man sells a lump of valuable black bronze to a buyer for $64,000. But it turns out the money was counterfeit. No problem. The bronze was fake also.
Categories: Con Artists Comments (0)
Public Service Announcement: Hoax Email
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2003
South African Airlines is not offering free flights to the public, especially not to people who annoy their friends by forwarding hoax emails on to them.
Categories: Email Hoaxes Comments (0)
The Hitler Diaries
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2003
An interesting comment from a visitor about the Hitler Diaries: Dear Alex, The most tell-tale and overlooked detail about the Hitler Diaries being fake you do not mention in your article, although it makes the complete affair all the more funny: On the front cover were two metal letters, supposedly the initials "A H" for Adolf Hitler, in an old German Gothic lettering. The funny part being that ridiculously neither Gerd Heidemann nor any other from the *Stern* staff nor the experts they consulted saw that the "A" was actually an "F".
Categories: History Comments (0)
Hoaxes from the Philippines
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 01, 2003
Here's an interesting discussion of some historical hoaxes from the Philippines, specifically those perpetrated in the early twentieth century by Jose E. Marco, a philatelic forger.
Categories: History Comments (7)
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