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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
June 2004
Clueless Childless Couple Follow-Up
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jun 26, 2004
Back in May I posted an entry about a German couple who went to a fertility clinic to find out why they couldn't produce a child. The reason: they hadn't realized that you first have to have sex in order to get pregnant. Supposedly they both came from very religious backgrounds and had never been taught about the birds and the bees. The clinic was said to be planning to conduct a survey to find out if there were other similarly clueless couples out there. This story was widely reported in the news, even though it seemed a little far-fetched, to say the least. At the time I noted that a case kind of like this…
Categories: Birth/Babies, Sex/Romance Comments (0)
Muslim Messiah Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jun 26, 2004
I suppose this is no different than thinking that the Virgin Mary has appeared in a stain on a hospital window or flocking to see a weeping statue of Mary, but somehow it seems even more bizarre. For the past two weeks hundreds of Muslims have been making a pilgrimage to a West German University Clinic to see the Messiah being breastfed by his dead mother. They've been drawn there by a rumor spread via Turkish websites. According to the rumor, a Muslim woman died while giving birth to Allah's chosen son. She was buried, but later dug up (why?) and found to still be alive, although her entire body was burned…
Categories: Religion Comments (0)
To Hermione on her 18th Birthday
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 24, 2004
Donald Nyffington, 37-year-old UNIX programmer, is in love. He's in love with Hermione Granger... or rather with Emma Watson who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter movies. And Emma, unfortunately for Donald, is only 14. So he's started the 'Official Countdown Website to Hermione Granger's 18th Birthday.' The site is convincing enough that you really might start to believe that Donald and his unrequited passion for Hermione are for real. But they're not. The picture on Donald's 'About Me' page gives it away. It comes from an old Onion article titled 'Creepy Middle-Aged Weirdos Swept Up In Harry Potter Craze.' (via Scattered Pieces)
Rasputin’s Penis: Hoax or Not?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 24, 2004
The Russian Museum of Erotica, newly opened in St. Petersburg, has been crowing about its acquisition of the penis of Rasputin (the mad mystic and lover of the wife of the Russian Tsar). A photo accompanying the many news reports about this unusual exhibit shows an attractive young woman staring rather in awe at the huge, grotesque thing as it floats in formaldehyde (there's another picture here). It definitely looks like a penis, but is it Rasputin's penis (which, according to legend, was 13 inches long)? As it turns out, Rasputin's penis has had a rather colorful history since its separation from his…
Christmas Party Prank Gone Awry
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 23, 2004
In an otherwise dull story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about local school-district politics, one bizarre passage caught my eye: The embattled Mento also sought to downplay his much-publicized conduct at last year's Christmas party, saying he blew up a bikini-clad doll as a harmless practical joke. An exact replica of the doll was displayed at the hearing, complete with the package labeled "Inflatable Fat Ass Party Doll"... All agreed that it took the superintendent about 15 minutes to inflate the doll and that many at the party were surprised at Mento's determination to finish the task. "It took a long time. Someone joked about needing an ambulance because he might pass out," recalled Scott.
Categories: Pranks Comments (4)
The Old Fake-Wife Scam
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 22, 2004
How to get divorced from your wife behind her back: use a fake wife. A man and his wife showed up in divorce court, where they proceeded to file all the paperwork to end their marriage. Only it later turned out that the woman with him at the court wasn't really his wife. She was a phony. His real wife learned about the divorce when she received all the paperwork in the mail. You've got to wonder how this guy ever thought he was going to get away with this. Did he think his real wife would never notice and never complain?
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (0)
Postcards for Mom
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 22, 2004
Here's a site that ingeniously exploits the power of the internet in order to play a prank. It's Postcards for Mom. Will Hanke created the site late last year in order to play a joke on his mother, Celeste. On the site he invited people to send letters to his mom (you had to email him in order to get her address). People thought it was a great idea, and soon Celeste was getting all kinds of mail, from all over the world. But she had no idea why these people were writing to her, nor could she figure out why they appeared to know personal details about her life. Finally she discovered what was going on when…
Categories: Pranks Comments (1)
Hands Resist Him - The eBay Haunted Painting
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 22, 2004
Before the Ghost in a Jar, before the possessed Coke can, there was the eBay haunted painting. This genuinely creepy painting, titled Hands Resist Him, appeared for sale on eBay way back in February 2000, accompanied by claims that it was haunted. Disturbing things happened to those who owned it, and the figures in the painting itself supposedly moved. Even people who simply viewed it online were said to be gripped by terror attacks and fainting spells. It ended up selling for $1050, and I believe it might have originated the haunted-items-are-worth-more phenomenon on eBay. The BBC has a good description of the auction that includes…
Categories: eBay, Paranormal Comments (35)
Plain Layne (and other fake bloggers)
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 22, 2004
The big news in the blogosphere last week was the revelation that a blogger named 'Plain Layne' wasn't who she said she was. Of course if you, like me, had never heard of Plain Layne before, then the news didn't mean a whole lot. But the people who thought they knew her seemed genuinely shocked. Plain Layne wrote about her life, and her life happened to be far more exciting and racy than the lives of most people, which is why she had a fairly large following. Jason Kottke has provided a great summary of some of her experiences: In the…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (10)
Real or Fake? - Running Kilts
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 20, 2004
They're the latest in Scottish sports technology: running kilts. The instant solution to chafing shorts. They sound kind of like a joke, but actually they're real. And once you get over feeling silly when you first put them on, they're reportedly very comfortable. They actually sound very practical, but still, I would hesitate to wear them to the gym, or to wear them on a windy day.
Categories: Sports Comments (4)
Intergalactic Personal Ads
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 20, 2004
Leave a message on Endless Echoes' answering machine, and for only $24.95 they'll beam it into outer space, where it will theoretically travel forever. They bill it as the perfect way to send a message to loved ones who have died (why dead people would get the message in outer space, I don't know). I think the service would be better targeted at lonely hearts in search of alien companionship (Single White Female ISO Single Green Alien). But the whole thing has a hoaxy feel to it... along the lines of those companies that offer to name a star after you, or sell people plots of land on…
Fresh Frozen French Fries
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 16, 2004
Last night I went to Outback Steakhouse and had a big plate of greasy cheese fries. At the time I didn't realize that I was actually feasting on a plate of fresh vegetables, but apparently I was because the USDA has succumbed to lobbying from the food industry and decided to reclassify frozen french fries as fresh vegetables. This seems up there with the EU's decision to reclassify carrots as a kind of fruit (yeah, I know, there was some twisted logic to the EU's decision because the Portuguese use carrots to make jam and anything you make jam out of must be a fruit... or something like that). According to the USDA's 'batter-coating rule', "rolling potato slices…
Categories: Food Comments (8)
Free Groceries Giveaway
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 16, 2004
A crowd of hopefuls arrived at the opening of the new Kroger's in Churchill Downs, hoping to participate in the Free Groceries Giveaway that flyers left on their car had advertised. According to the flyers, you could just fill up your cart with groceries and then run straight out the front door of the store. The shoppers were disappointed to learn that the flyers were a joke perpetrated by some unknown prankster. The store was giving away free Rick Pitino bobble heads, but I would think that if you're expecting free groceries, a free bobble head somehow doesn't cut it.
Categories: Pranks Comments (1)
The Joice Heth/Stepford Wives Connection
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 16, 2004
A trailer for Paramount's new movie The Stepford Wives (which is about housewives being transformed into mindless, but beautiful robots) contains some controversial scenes. One shot shows an image of a sexy-looking Condoleeza Rice naked from the waist up (arms covering her chest), and another scene shows Hillary Clinton morphing into a buxom homemaker bearing a tray of cookies. But if you blink you'd miss these scenes because they literally flash across the screen in less than a second. As a result, most people never noticed them when the trailer aired on tv last week. But Rebecca Reynolds, a 'sharp-eyed' resident of Kansas City, Missouri noticed them, and she immediately…
Categories: Advertising Comments (0)
The Journal of Liwwat Bocke
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 15, 2004
Liwwat Bocke was a German woman who moved to Ohio as a young woman during the nineteenth century. From the 1820s until the 1880s she kept a journal of her experiences... a journal that eventually spanned 1100 pages, all of which is written in a dialect of northern Germany known as Plattdeutsch. When historians discovered her journal during the 1970s they thought it was a remarkable find, sure to shed valuable light on the history of the settlement of Ohio. But now they're not so sure. Analysis of the document has revealed that it's a fake, plagiarized from other sources and containing numerous anachronisms. What no one can figure out is who created this forgery, and why they did it.…
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