The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2012
Beyonce had her baby. Satan is on Earth.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 23, 2012
On Jan. 11, TMZ posted a photo of the sign outside the Beulah Hill Baptist Church, which apparently bore a nice message inspired by the recent birth of Beyonce's baby: "BEYONCE HAD HER BABY. SATAN IS ON EARTH." According to TMZ, the pastor at that church told them that vandals had placed the message there, and that it had been taken down promptly. However, the pastor, Rev. Curtis Barbery, is denying he ever told TMZ this. He gave an interview to the Fayetteville Observer in which he insisted the sign hadn't been vandalized and that the photo was a fake. He said, “It’s…
The Case of the Spray-Painted Bird
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 23, 2012
Back in 2009, bird watchers in New Zealand began reporting sightings of a red harrier hawk. There was speculation it was a new species. But in 2010 a hawk was found dead (hit by a car) that had been spray-painted red. So bird watchers realized there was no new species. There was just someone going around spray-painting birds. Suspicion eventually focused on dairy farmer Grant Michael Teahan after a video was uploaded to youtube showing Teahan beside a bird trap covered in red spray paint. Teahan denied the allegation, but last week a judge decided Teahan was lying. He'll be sentenced later this month. Links: stuff.co.nz,
Categories: Animals Comments (3)
MadCarlotta sent me an interesting video: The premise of the video (which has over 1 million views) is that people around the world are hearing eerie groaning sounds that seem to rise up from the ground and echo through the sky. My first thought was that it sounds like the noise my tankless water heater makes on cold days. So if anyone in La Mesa is hearing eerie noises echoing through the neighborhood, I'm the culprit. Is the 'strange sounds' video a hoax? Seems to be. Some of the youtube comments point out that you can hear the exact same bird noises at three separate…
Categories: Paranormal, Photos/Videos Comments (28)
Clay iPads
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 20, 2012
At least 10 people in Vancouver who bought iPad 2s have reported opening up the packaging only to discover it contained a slab of modeling clay, not an iPad. It's an old strategy for thieves to conceal their crime by replacing the item in the box with something of lesser value. Reminds me of the case from 2006 of the Hawaiian boy who opened an iPod box on Christmas Day, only to discover it contained a package of meat. Link: Yahoo!
Carlingford University
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 20, 2012
Kenneth ShongI think I'll add a degree from Carlingford University to my resume. I'll list it alongside my degree in Loch Ness Monster studies from Bigfoot U. Carlingford was a fake university -- a diploma mill -- created by con artist Kenneth Shong, while he was in prison on forgery charges. He was getting his fellow inmates to enroll there, having convinced them it was real. Though one inmate became suspicious of "'poor business practices and unresponsiveness' in relation to the school returning his grades and giving further lessons." Shong made a website for Carlingford, to make it seem slightly more legitimate. I found an archived copy of the…
Categories: Con Artists, Education Comments (2)
Texas Roof Tiger
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 19, 2012
Add this to the 'Things on Roofs' file: Police in Houston, Texas received reports of a tiger sitting on the roof of an abandoned hotel. The animal was causing a bit of a traffic jam as drivers stopped to look at it. But upon investigation, it turned out to be a toy tiger. I'm assuming it was the work of a prankster, who's now out a pretty nice stuffed animal. Link: BBC News.
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (7)
Car lands on roof of house—real or fake?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
About two weeks ago a story hit the news wires about a car that landed on the roof of a house in Fresno, CA. The story goes that Benjamin Tucker stole the car, was driving fast, but lost control as he was going round a corner and hit some landscaping rocks, causing the car to become airborne. And it flew through the air until it landed on the roof of a nearby house. The autoshopper blog points out that this chain of events is highly improbable: Let’s put…
Categories: Pranks Comments (8)
A real-life Museum of Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
The Irish Times describes a real-life Museum of Hoaxes -- the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris: As chief curator Claude d'Anthenaise explains, it's an experimental museum that likes to baffle the visitor. "I wanted to create a museum where the visitor would feel constantly disconcerted and lose his bearings – just like someone walking in nature," he says. "In a wild setting, you're confronted with all sorts of things you don't understand. You're not on your own territory." So "totally insignificant, even repulsive" objects have been…
Categories: Education, Miscellaneous Comments (0)
Mitt Romney gets a shoeshine
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
In recent days, a photo of Mitt Romney that appears to show him getting a shoe shine as his private jet waits has been spreading around the internet. It's been popular with anyone who doesn't much like Romney because it seems to capture the swanky lifestyle he enjoys as a 0.001 percenter. But, in reality, this photo is a case of 'real picture, false caption'. The picture dates to 2008 and actually shows Romney sitting for a security check before boarding a plane in Denver, Colorado. The guy in the red jacket is waving a security wand over Romney's shoe. Not giving him a shoe shine. …
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (1)
Turning Yankee dirt into gold
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
Mark HaywardA pile of dirt may not be worth much money. But a pile of dirt that was once beneath Yankee Stadium could potentially have more value. Especially if that dirt was packed into key chains and other corporate gift items and then sold at a big markup in sporting goods stores. That was the pitch Mark Hayward used to convince a victim to give him $35,000 -- as an investment in this Yankee dirt scheme. As far as I can tell (the news report isn't really clear) Hayward never had the dirt in question. Eventually the victim got suspicious. And now Hayward is facing charges of first-degree larceny. Link:…
The Navalny Affair
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 18, 2012
Supporters of Vladimir Putin have been caught in a flat-footed attempt at character assassination. Wanting to smear blogger Alexei Navalny, who's been a fierce critic of Putin's government, they created a picture showing Navalny meeting with the exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky. The implication was that Berezovsky was funding Navalny. Then Putin's supporters published the picture in one of the party newspapers. But the picture was a clumsy fake. The original, undoctored version of the photo soon emerged, as well as numerous parody versions. Links: BBC, Daily Mail. The doctored versionThe original version Some newspapers are commenting that the stunt recalls how Soviet authorities routinely…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (2)
Fake Modigliani For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 17, 2012
If you've got a spare $285,000, you can buy a piece of a famous art hoax: one of the fake Modigliani sculptures found in the city of Livorno in 1984. It's up for sale on eBay. I've noticed it up there for a couple of weeks, so evidently people aren't rushing to bid on it, even though it comes with free shipping. The backstory, briefly: There was a legend in the Italian town of Livorno that when Modigliani left there in 1906, at the age of twenty-one, he dumped a bunch of sculptures in a canal in a fit of depression. So in 1984, on the 100th anniversary of his birth, the…
Categories: Art, eBay Comments (0)
Virgin Mary seen in condom
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 16, 2012
(via reddit)
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (4)
Fotoshop by Adobé
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 16, 2012
Video created by filmmaker Jesse Rosten:
Categories: Fashion, Videos Comments (2)
Are there more doctors from Malawi in Manchester than in Malawi?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 16, 2012
Charlotte McDonald of the BBC News debunks a persistent rumor that there are more doctors from Malawi in Manchester than there are in Malawi itself. Apparently the rumor has been repeated by a variety of sources including "the authors of an international study of health workers, and the head of Malawi's main nursing union." However, the rumor isn't true. She estimates there are approximately 265 doctors in Malawi (which isn't a whole lot for a country of 15 million), but there are only 7 Malawian doctors in Manchester, which has a population of half-a-million. Even if you look at the ratio of doctors to people, Malawi wins out. There's one doctor for every…
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.