The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950

The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps?
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
Michael Gambino Pellegrino
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 02, 2002
The Sunday Telegraph writes about a recent, literary hoax: the case of Michael "Gambino" Pellegrino, a man who conned Simon and Schuster out of $500,000 by posing as a mafia mobster and selling them a story based on his life experience. It turned out that he was a crook, but was no mobster. (Requires Registration)
The Great Potato Stunt
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 02, 2002
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette remembers the Great Minor-League Potato Stunt:Dan Lewerenz (AP): It's been 15 years since Bresnahan, then a backup catcher for the Class AA Williamsport Bills, pulled one of the most infamous stunts in baseball history, throwing a potato into left field to lure a runner off third base. The stunt ended his baseball career, made him an instant celebrity, even got his number retired. Yet to this day, Bresnahan is surprised by the continuing attention he gets -- all because of one lighthearted moment what seems like ages ago. "I didn't throw the potato to be famous or to make money," Bresnahan said in a telephone interview from Tempe, Ariz., where he has lived since his baseball career ended. Now 40, he works as a real estate broker.…
Categories: Sports Comments (0)
Crop Circle Prank
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 31, 2002
A crop circle appears in a field in Eaton County, Michigan. Due to its similarity to the crop circles in Signs, authorities dismiss it as a prank.
Categories: Crop Circles Comments (0)
Rattlesnakes Introduced to Wisconsin
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 31, 2002
Rumors that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was introducing rattlesnakes into Wausau County get tempers rising. But the rumors were false.
Categories: Animals Comments (0)
RIAA Hacked
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 30, 2002
Yesterday the website of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was hacked and temporarily replaced by a hoax website designed to look like the official one, but actually featuring various subversive links such as "Where can I find information on giant monkeys?" and "Piracy can be beneficial to the music industry." It also offered a free download of Linkin Park's album Reanimation, was headlined "RIAA against music sharing? Not Anymore!" and apologized for the "heavy-handed manner" in which the RIAA had earlier tried to shut down Listen4ever.com.
Categories: Technology Comments (1)
Ayleeorgnet
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 30, 2002
Hoax Website: www.ayleeorgnet.com. It looks like the homepage of a web design corporation, but it's not. A reader explains what it is:This is a hoax site related to the comic strip at www.sluggy.com. There was an evil web design corporation in the strips for the last few months of this name. There's never been an actual link to the site, but they've mentioned it in the strip several times, and the website is set up just like it would be in the strip. The photo of the receptionist looks just like Gwynn, the cartoon character who was the receptionist. The other title page picture of a ferret is another allusion to the strip, where a ferret is a main character. The joke of the strip is that Aylee,…
Categories: Technology, Websites Comments (0)
Terrorist Funny Money
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 30, 2002
Here's an odd report from the frontlines of the war against terrorism in Argentina (quoted from Agence France Presse):"Authorities said they found fake US dollar bills bearing the portraits of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the home of a possible suspect in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here. Presumably meant for propaganda purposes, the fake money was found along with numerous Arab documents and visa forms filled out by Lebanese citizens at the home of a Lebanese national, court officials told reporters Thursday. The suspect, whose identity was not provided and who is apparently out of the country, is sought in connection with the July 18, 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people -- Argentina's worst…
Fake Paraplegic
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 28, 2002
In Australia a fake paraplegic faces charges of fraud. He walked into the court house unaided, using his fully functioning legs.
Australian Jedis
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 27, 2002
Some more news from Australia: More than 700,000 people identified their religion as "Jedi Knight" in Australia's national census conducted last year.
Categories: Religion Comments (1)
Securities Fraud
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 27, 2002
Securities regulators announce that there's a "bull market in fraud."
Categories: Business/Finance Comments (0)
Mock Weddings II
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 27, 2002
Yesterday's NY Times piece about mock weddings sparked my interest in the subject. A quick search on Google pulled up some more info about the phenomenon:Northern New York's Mock WeddingsThis website reports that mock weddings were a popular activity for church groups in the 1930sThis page references Frazer's The Golden Bough to note that at the dawn of civilization "Mock weddings were often carried out as part of harvest and fertility rituals, sometimes culminating in human sacrifice, or reminicances of such sacrifice."
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (1)
No Coke after Aug. 31st
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 26, 2002
As the first anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, I guess it's inevitable that the e-mail scare stories start up again. I remember that after Sept. 11 the big scare was that we weren't supposed to go to malls on Halloween. The new scare is that we're not supposed to drink Coke after August 31st. Good grief. I wouldn't believe this for a second. Here's the text of the e-mail that's going around:This is from me, Amy M. Fairburn. What I was told today has lead me to warn everyone that I know, because each and every one of us deserves to live.My neighbor (Nancy Cavinee) informed me that her mother overheard some shockingnews, while awaiting to get her hair cut at a shop, just yesterday. The woman stated that while…
The Lawton Triangle Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 26, 2002
The Lawton Triangle Hoax: Was it a true UFO or a Microsoft Optical Mouse glowing in the dark? UFOlogists opt for the former option.
Britney Spears Phone Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 26, 2002
A deejay at a Montreal radio station made a successful prank phone call to Britney Spears. While pretending to be Celine Dion, the deejay got Spears to agree to sing a duet with Tiger Woods called Let's Make A Hole in One. All for charity, of course. Read about it here. Or visit the homepage of the radio prankster where you can buy a recording of the actual prank.
Categories: Celebrities, Pranks, Radio Comments (26)
South African Con
Posted by The Curator on Sun Aug 25, 2002
South African con artists recently set up a hoax website pretending to be the official website of the South African Reserve Bank. They used it to scam international investors out of thousands of dollars.
Categories: Con Artists, Websites Comments (0)
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.