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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954

The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
The boy with the golden tooth, 1593
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
NPR Funding Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 27, 2002
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."
Categories: Email Hoaxes, Radio Comments (0)
UFO Sightings
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 27, 2002
UFO sightings expected to increase in the next few weeks. But that bright object in the night sky won't be a UFO. It'll be the International Space Station.
What separates skeptics from believers
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 26, 2002
Fascinating article in New Scientist reports on research that posits that what really separates skeptics from believers (when it comes to matters such as paranormal activity) is brain chemistry. Those with high levels of dopamine in their brains seem to be more prone to see patterns and meaning in random pieces of information. When the drug L-dopa was given to skeptics, they likewise became more prone to see patterns in randomness as well. Of course, the researchers seem to be assuming that the patterns weren't really there. But maybe they actually really WERE there, but the researchers themselves weren't able to see them because their own levels of dopamine weren't high enough. I wonder if...
Categories: Science Comments (0)
Naperville Crop Circle
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 26, 2002
Large crop circle found in a field of soybeans outside of Naperville, Illinois. Is it real, or a publicity stunt in anticipation of the release of the movie 'Signs' on August 2?
Web Site of Supernatural Activity
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 26, 2002
"Stickboy" sent me an e-mail letting me know about his "official web site of supernatural activity." Check it out.
Categories: Paranormal Comments (0)
Wacky Postcards
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 26, 2002
Nice collection of 'Wacky Postcards' (also referred to as tall tale postcards, or freak postcards) at the UCM Museum's site. UCM stands for Unusual Collections and Miniature Town. The Museum is located in Louisiana. I've never been to Louisiana, but I'd love to get there someday.
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales Comments (0)
Remembering Naked Came the Stranger
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 25, 2002
Robert Wiemer, one of the 25 authors of the 'Naked Came the Stranger' literary hoax from 1969, died yesterday. He was better known as an editorial writer for Newsday. Naked Came the Stranger was a novel that was designed to test just how low the standards of taste of the American public had sunk. 25 Newsday staff members each wrote a chapter of this novel. Their only requirements were that their chapters could contain no plot or character development, no social insight, and no verbal skill. Only one thing was required: a minimum of two sex scenes per chapter. The resulting novel was attributed to a fictitious author (Penelope Ashe), who was played by the attractive sister-in-law of Mike...
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
Fake Romanian Soccer Team
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 24, 2002
A rogue soccer team pretends to be Romania's Olympic team.
Categories: Sports Comments (0)
Fake 9/11 Heroics
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 24, 2002
Lake Tahoe Man invents Sept. 11 heroics, including the claim that he was buried under rubble for over 79 hours.
Online Liars
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 23, 2002
Using technology to get around the problem of people lying online. From the NY Times (reg. req.). Researchers estimate that 42% of online responses are currently false.
Categories: Technology Comments (0)
Should it be called palmistry or buttistry?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 22, 2002
I've heard about psychics reading palms. Now here's one that reads buttocks.
Categories: Future/Time Comments (4)
Ghostwriting
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 22, 2002
Great article in the National Post about the role of ghostwriters in the writing of "autobiographies." Often ghostwriters will invent the lives of their subjects out of whole cloth... And many celebrities never read the autobiographies which they've supposedly written. As the article says, "If the nominal author of a memoir says, 'I want to thank the devoted and talented Ms. Holly Ryle for her expert editorial assistance,' that probably means she wrote every word."
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
Return of the Monkey Man
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 22, 2002
The Monkey Man has returned in India, after an absence of about a year. Reports are that a "monkey-like machine" is attacking people as they sleep on rooftops and in open places.
Mortimer Menpes
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 21, 2002
An exhibition of the art of Mortimer Menpes is being displayed at the National Library of Australia. Menpes was known for making fakes of the works of the great masters. This was in the early 20th century.
Categories: Art Comments (0)
Bogus Yellow Pages
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 21, 2002
A bogus yellow pages scam.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.