The Museum of Hoaxes
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Dog wins art contest, 1974
Van Gogh's ear exhibited, 1935
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper Hoax, 1998
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
The boy with the golden tooth, 1593
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
The Sandpaper Test, 1960
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
Hunting for Bambi, 2003
In July 2003, Las Vegas TV station KLAS-TV reported that a local company was selling “Bambi Hunts.” These were games in which men with paintball guns hunted naked women in the Nevada desert. Anyone could sign up to join in a "hunt", although it could cost as much as $10,000 per game. An international media frenzy ensued. Numerous critics denounced the hunts, pointing out that a paintball hitting a naked woman could seriously hurt her. Many questioned how such a thing could be legal.

Only after a week did it become widely apparent that there was no evidence the company had conducted any Bambi hunts. The company wasn’t currently accepting customers (it said there was too much negative publicity), and everyone who claimed to have participated in previous hunts was highly unreliable. Further research revealed that the company was only licensed to sell videos. If it had run commercial paintball games, it had done so illegally.

When the Las Vegas authorities threatened to bring charges against the company, its president, Michael Burdick, admitted that no real Bambi hunts had taken place. The story about the hunts had, he said, just been a “hook” to boost sales of a soft-porn video about a fictional Bambi Hunt. The hook worked. Though their stunt almost got them run out of Las Vegas, Burdick’s company sold thousands of copies of the video.

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.