The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2013
‘Arrival Ceremonies’ Renamed
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 11, 2013
This is a bit odd. The Pentagon has admitted that many of the "arrival ceremonies," in which the remains of fallen soldiers are carried in flag-draped coffins from the planes that brought them home, are actually an elaborate bit of funereal theater. In many cases, the remains have already been in the country for months. But for the benefit of the soldiers' family and loved ones, the remains are loaded onto a grounded plane, and then, a few hours later, are carried back off again. Revealed: How Pentagon FAKED repatriation of fallen soldiers for years with phony ceremonies, decommissioned planes and bodies that had spent months in labs Daily Mail Until now,…
Categories: Death Comments (0)
Invasion of the Housekeepers, 1909
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 11, 2013
The Cowichan Valley Citizen has dug into its archives for a story about a 1909 hoax that caused a small army of housekeepers to descend upon Victoria, British Columbia, in response to a want ad that turned out to be a prank: 'Hoax' goes too far: Victoria's invasion of the housekeepers Cowichan Valley Citizen First to become aware of the invasion of foreign domestic help was V.C. Maddock, a city realtor. For days, he'd had to explain to job applicants, some of them very insistent, some of them in tears, all of them frustrated and mystified, that he wasn't the "H. Maddock" who'd placed an ad in the Seattle Times. A steady stream…
Categories: Pranks Comments (0)
A German Officer Strolls Through London, 1941
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 11, 2013
In April 1941, a London newspaper pulled off a minor hoax/publicity stunt. They dressed a young man in the uniform of a German officer — after having removed the Nazi cap badge, belt, and insignia of rank — and had him walk around through central London, directly past the Houses of Parliament. They claimed to be trying to prove that "Londoners wouldn't know a German soldier if they saw one." Sure enough, the young man attracted no attention. The photo of the "German officer" posing in Central London ran in a lot of papers, both in the UK and America. (For instance, the Lewiston Morning Tribune - Apr…
Categories: Military Comments (0)
Azerbaijan declares election winner, before election takes place
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 10, 2013
The Washington Post reports that the Azerbaijan Central Election Commission accidentally released, via a smartphone app, the results of the country's presidential election a day before the election took place. Oops. The commission is saying that the app's developer accidentally sent out the 2008 election results as a test. But no one is believing this since a) the results show candidates from this year, not 2008; and b) it's Azerbaijan, and everyone assumes the election there is totally rigged. This seems to deserve a place in the annals of outrageous election fraud, alongside such classics as the 1927 election in Liberia, in which Charles King was elected president with 240,000 votes cast for him, in a…
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Lamppost Windmills
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 10, 2013
I haven't seen anything on English-language sites about this, but according to dichtbij.nl (with a little help from Google translate), a site calling itself "Green Light District" appeared online several months ago. It claimed that the municipality of Haarlemmermeer in North Holland was going to put small green windmills on top of 30,000 lampposts in order to generate power for the lights, thereby creating a "green light district". Any excess power would be routed to the electrical grid. But it turns out that Haarlemmermeer didn't actually have any plans to put up these lamppost windmills. The site was a publicity stunt designed to promote the "Greenest Idea of…
Categories: Places, Websites Comments (1)
Animal Instincts Pet Condoms
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 10, 2013
"Is Sparky a sex addict?" the website petcondoms.org asks visitors. "Spot the signs!" The site also offers advice on "how to put on a pet condom". A few clicks on some of the links soon reveals that, no, this site isn't really selling pet condoms. It was recently launched by the San Francisco SPCA as a way to educate the public about the importance of spaying and neutering your pet. The point being that trying to put a condom on your pet is an ineffective way of preventing unwanted births. It's actually not the first time the internet has seen a website about condoms for pet. Back in 2005…
Categories: Sex/Romance, Websites Comments (0)
Cypriots who said hello by saying goodbye
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 08, 2013
A brief news-wire story that ran in many American papers in late 1940 claimed that due to an error in an English-Greek language book, the people of Cyprus thought that 'Goodbye' was the word used to say 'Hello' in English. Which must have caused some confusion to English-speaking tourists on the island. Here's the story as it appeared in the Milwaukee Journal - Dec 17, 1940: Since no source was offered for this claim, and I can't find any other documentation of such a mixup, I have a hard time believing it was true. Surely any English teacher would have known enough to catch such an error, and wouldn't…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (1)
Remember the 13th - the big reveal
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 07, 2013
Yesterday, rememberthe13th.com revealed the "big discovery" it had promised. It turned out to be some guy rapping "I'm a purple ninja and I'm so cool." I wasted a minute of my life watching it.
Categories: Websites Comments (3)
Open-Access Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Oct 05, 2013
A report of a scientific hoax appears in the latest issue of Science. Researcher John Bohannon wrote a purposefully bad scientific paper — one with glaringly bad errors that any peer reviewer should be able to spot. He then submitted versions of that paper to 304 open-access journals, using aliases such as "Ocarrafoo M.L. Cobange," supposedly a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara. The result: "More than half of the journals accepted the paper, failing to notice its fatal flaws." Bohannon says this raises "questions about peer-review practices in much of the open-access world." But defenders of the open-access system (such as here and…
Categories: Science Comments (1)
Nessie Photo Fake
Posted by The Curator on Sat Oct 05, 2013
Last August, a Loch-Ness-Monster-sighting picture was published that some declared to be the best picture of Nessie ever taken. Now (in a shocking revelation!) the photo turns out to be a fake. The picture really only shows a fiberglass hump that had been created for a 2011 National Geographic documentary, The Truth Behind the Loch Ness Monster. The photo was taken by George Edwards, who operates a Loch Ness tour boat, the Nessie Hunter. There's some relevant Museum of Hoaxes history here, because back in 2005 the Museum's first-ever Loch Ness expedition took a ride in the Nessie Hunter — with video to prove it! I remember we were all very impressed by…
Categories: Nessie Comments (2)
UFO Crash in London
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 04, 2013
Students at London's North Harringay Primary School arrived at school to find a UFO had crashed in their playground. Police were on their scene, and the students spent the rest of the day discussing and writing about the mysterious craft. The UFO had actually been built by a parent as part of an event "designed to promote creative writing." Shock and awww... 'UFO crashes' into London primary school playground independent.co.uk Pupils at a London primary school were shocked after a UFO appeared to have crashed into their playground. An officer guarded the 'crash site; at North Harringay Primary School while an apparent forensics officer took samples behind a police cordon.
Remember the 13th
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 04, 2013
According to the website rememberthe13th.com, NASA is going to announce something BIG on the 13th of November: NASA has made a historic discovery that will shake the entire planet. This announcement will be released to the media on November 13th, 2013. It will be a day to remember and One for the history books. Spread the word to your family & friends and sign up to stay updated. However, a recent update to the site now says that the date of the big reveal has been moved forward to October 6th "Due to change in plans." A post on abovetopsecret.com gives some of the (alleged) backstory…
Categories: Websites Comments (4)
Digital Glitch Furniture
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 04, 2013
This image has been circulating since March of this year. Many sites (including dornob.com) report that it shows "an actual piece of carefully carved furniture, not a photo file gone wrong." The oak furniture was supposedly created by furniture designer Ferruccio Laviani using CNC processes (computer-aided machine tools) in order to make it appear as if it had been deformed by a "digital glitch". (Yes, that should be an "analog glitch," but "digital glitch" is the phrase that's caught on to describe it.) There is some truth to this. Laviani did create "glitch" furniture for a 2013 Furniture Exhibition in Italy. His aim, according to
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Burger King becomes Fries King
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 03, 2013
In order to show how excited they are about their new french fries, Burger King recently announced on their Facebook page that they were changing their name to Fries King. They even posted photos of some of their restaurants sporting the new name. The name change is a joke. Although time.com notes that not all of Burger King's facebook followers realized this: "Some are genuinely confused about whether or not the name change is real and have written passionate posts decrying Burger King’s decision to turn its back on 'a well known family name.'" It's actually not the first…
Categories: Advertising Comments (0)
The man inside the cube
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 03, 2013
A video recently uploaded to YouTube claims to document the living arrangements of "Dave," an artist who supposedly lives inside the Astor Place Cube in New York City. It doesn't take a lot of critical thinking skills to realize this is a joke. (The cube, in reality, is welded shut.) But it's an amusing concept. The video is a viral marketing stunt for a site called Whil.com, which is mentioned at the end of the video. Honestly, I'm not sure what whil.com does. They claim to be "a brand about nothing" and encourage meditation. Whil was created by the guy who founded the Lululemon clothes company. So maybe it's all a roundabout way of promoting…
Categories: Videos Comments (0)
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