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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
June 2012
Rachael Ray Cooks Her Family and Dog
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 29, 2012
For over a year, a picture of the Oct 2010 cover of Tails magazine has been circulating online. The image suggests that Rachael Rays practices cannibalism and eats dogs. Of course, the cover is fake. The original cover included appropriately placed commas —"Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking, her family, and her dog." I'm not entirely sure where the fake version of the cover first appeared. According to wlwt.com, Funny or Die was the original source. Though I can't find it there. But it was posted on Food Network Humor back in March 2011, and I suspect that may be the source from…
Categories: Food, Photos/Videos Comments (3)
The Perennial Return of Future Day
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 28, 2012
In the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly and Doc Brown use the time-traveling Delorean to travel from 1985 to October 21, 2015. In the movie, this date is briefly seen displayed on the car's onboard time monitor. So Oct 21, 2015 is officially "Future Day," when Marty McFly will arrive in what will then be the present. But people don't want to wait that long, so hoaxers keep setting "Future Day" to a date closer at hand. The first time this happened was in 2010, when Total Film magazine mistakenly declared July 5, 2010 to be Future Day — and then created a fake image to back…
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 28, 2012
In February 1954, Gerald Wayne Barnes, a 26-year-old dishwasher, was arrested and charged with forging his employer's name on checks. Barnes offered an unusual defense. He didn't deny the crime, but he insisted that the Santa Monica superior court had no jurisdiction over him because he was the Crown Prince Regent of Thulia — a vast kingdom stretching from Kansas to the Oregon Coast (but not including land south of San Francisco). Barnes claimed that this kingdom had been given to his great, great grandfather by King Ferdinand of Spain. His father, currently living in Canada, was the reigning emperor, but chose not to claim the title. …
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (1)
A Phony Yacht Explosion, and Other New Jersey Emergency Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 18, 2012
Last Monday, the Coast Guard received a distress call reporting that a yacht had exploded. Twenty-one people were said to be floating in rafts 17 miles off the New Jersey shore, and at least three were believed to be dead. A massive rescue operation was launched. But the Coast Guard soon realized that the call was a hoax. It turns out that New Jersey has quite a long history of hoax calls to emergency service providers. The New Jersey Star-Ledger has compiled a list of the most memorable examples. It traces all the way back to what is probably the most famous hoax emergency call of all time, the 1938 War of the…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
What do the lines on Solo Cups mean?
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 17, 2012
Recently a graphic began circulating on facebook, pinterest, etc. suggesting that the lines on Solo Cups were intended to indicate proper sizes for popular alcoholic drinks (liquor, wine, and beer): The Solo Cup company responded by posting a message on its facebook page, explaining that it never intended the lines to mean any such thing. Although it conceded that the lines could be used for this purpose. Evidently it was worried about being seen as promoting binge drinking, so it offered some non-alcoholic drinks that the lines could also be used to measure, such as water, juice, and chocolate milk. (click to expand image)
Categories: Food, Urban Legends Comments (3)
Forest Boy Confirmed as a Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 15, 2012
Quite a few have suspected "Forest Boy" might be a hoax, ever since he showed up at a youth emergency center in Berlin last year (Sep 5, 2011). He said he had been living in the woods with his father for the past five years. That story, authorities have now determined, is false. He's actually a 20-year-old man from the Netherlands who went missing a few days before showing up in Berlin. His real name is Robin van Helsum. He was IDed by former classmates after his picture was recently published in the Telegraaf. Links: LaMa's thread in the forum, msnbc, dutchnews.nl
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (1)
Pepsi Moonvertising Hoax Fools Thousands in Iran
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 13, 2012
On Saturday (June 9) thousands of Iranians stood outside on rooftops looking up at the moon. They were there because of a rumor spread by email, websites, and social networks promising that Pepsi was going to project its logo onto the surface of the moon. The rumor was false. Link: observers.france24.com Some Iranians got their revenge by drinking Coke. Others created Pepsi-moon parody videos and images. There's a bit of history to the idea of ads projected onto the moon. Back in 1999, Coca-Cola actually considered the idea of using lasers to project a Coke…
Brief Answer: No! Longer Answer: If you do a search for the phrase, "The best things in life make you sweaty," you'll find quite a few sites (facebook and tumblr pages especially) attributing this quotation to Edgar Allan Poe. There's even a short article at the Richmond County Daily Journal which uses this supposed Poe quotation as its lead. Of course, Poe never said this. Nor was it the kind of thing he would have said. I doubt Poe was a big fan of sweating. His greatest passions were writing and drinking. Neither of those activities make you sweat much. I'm not sure where the quotation (and…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (5)
The Malfunctioning Oil Rig Drink Dispenser Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 12, 2012
On June 7, an Occupy Seattle activist, Logan Price, posted a video online that appeared to show an embarrassing scene from a private party of Shell Oil executives. Price explained, on his twitter page, that he had managed to infiltrate the party, which was intended to celebrate the launch of Shell's Arctic drilling program, and which was hosted at the top of the Seattle Space Needle. The centerpiece of the party was a sculpture shaped like an iceberg, topped by a miniature oil rig that dispensed drinks for the guests. In the video, an elderly lady could be seen approaching the model rig, cup in hand, ready to be served the first…
Categories: Videos, Websites Comments (0)
The Cat That Crossed 3000 Miles To Come Home
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 11, 2012
In August 1951, a wire-service story appeared in numerous newspapers about a six-year-old cat named Tom that found its way back to its owners by walking across the entire United States. Mr. and Mrs Charles Smith lived in St. Petersburg, Florida, but in 1949 they had to move to San Gabriel, California. For some reason, they couldn't take their cat with them, so they made arrangements for the man buying their house to adopt him. Two weeks after the move, they got a call from the new owner, telling them Tom had run away. Fast-forward two years. The Smiths hear a cat meowing in their driveway. They go outside and, lo and behold,…
Categories: Animals Comments (11)
Ithamar Sprague, a 19th Century Mormon Bigfoot Hoaxer
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 06, 2012
I've previously noted a connection between Mormon folklore and Bigfoot — namely that some Mormons believe Bigfoot to be the Biblical figure Cain, condemned to walk the earth forever (and apparently grown big and hairy). But I recently came across another Mormon/Bigfoot connection. Back around 1870, there was a Mormon settler named Ithamar Sprague who lived in the town of Washington, Utah. He terrified his fellow town's folk by creating giant wooden feet, three-feet long, that he used to place monster footprints all over town during the night. Rumors began to spread about a terrifying creature loose in the region. A posse was organized to hunt the beast down, but Sprague confessed before the situation got…
Photo of a Black Lion
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 05, 2012
A picture of a black lion has recently been circulating online. Black lions are not biologically impossible. In fact, there have been scattered reports of black lions over the centuries. However, the lion in this picture is actually a white lion colored black through photo manipulation. The original image of a white lion was posted at cutehomepets.com. It was then transformed into a black lion by "PAulie-SVK" and posted at deviantart.com earlier this year. From there it spread to Facebook, reddit, etc. Messybeast.com offers some interesting info on the science and history of black lions: There is a…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (5)
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