The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Talk To The Dead
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 12, 2008
Charlotte Paru writes in an email: "Please let's leave the dead be." A fascinating comment turned up on a new web site by Nicole Zapruder, who has been "communicating with the dead since she was 4 years old." People aren't disputing her ability; they're asking her not to share the technique on the internet. http://www.talktothedead.org/ "All peoples of earth posess this natural ability," Nicole counters, adding that her site comes with a detailed warning. ("Do not contact any dead person who may have negative feelings toward…
Categories: Paranormal, Websites Comments (4)
Operation Knot So Fast
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 10, 2008
Eighty-three people have been rounded up by federal officials in Florida and accused of participating in sham marriages. A company called All Kind Services was staging fake weddings, complete with props, so that the couples could have photographs of their "wedding day" to show officials. From the Orlando Sentinel: The four-tiered cake the newlyweds were about to cut was plastic. The glasses and plates on the reception table were empty. And the bride wore casual shoes under her wedding gown. Those were among the clues that caught the attention of Immigration and Customs…
Categories: Scams, Sex/Romance Comments (3)
Marinated Money Scam
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 10, 2008
A novel twist on the money-multiplying scam. From Reuters: A Vietnamese man in Norway lost around 35,000 dollars after he was led to believe that mixing the cash with a special liquid would double its value, Norwegian media reported Saturday... The victim of the con, who was not identified, was reportedly told by the Frenchman to leave a mixture of real cash with blank bills to marinate in a special liquid overnight, and the next morning he would have double the amount of cash at his disposal. But when he showed up the next morning to collect…
Categories: Scams Comments (8)
FairDeal Homeopathy
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 10, 2008
FairDeal Homeopathy promises it won't lie to its customers. They only guarantee that their remedies are "as effective as all other homeopathic remedies." They also won't promise that their products can help you if you're ill. Although they do note that if you believe in their remedies they might help, because of the placebo effect. But they caution that if you're "actually ill" you shouldn't expect their products to cure you. "Homeopathy of any sort," they note, "is not a medical treatment, neither is it a substitute for evidence-based medicine and proper medical opinion." On the testimonials page you find comments from "Miss Emily…
Categories: Health/Medicine, Websites Comments (10)
Holy Potato
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 08, 2008
Cranky Media Guy wants to know "Who in the press can we implore to PLEASE MAKE THIS NONSENSE STOP?" He's referring to the most recent finding of a holy potato. From thelocal.de: A potato destined for the fryer has become a holy relic to some Berliners after a woman cut it open only to find an image of a cross inside. Birgül Balta, 49, was cutting potatoes for French fries at her home in Berlin's Charlottenburg district when the cross-shaped cavity inside one of the spuds stopped…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (11)
Carrollton Mayor’s Questionable Singing Career
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 08, 2008
Becky Miller, Mayor of Carrollton in Texas, claims that she once sang backup for Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne, and was once engaged to Don Henley. Problem is, none of these people have ever heard of her. She also claims that her brother was killed in Vietnam. However, her father says that her brother is still alive in Maryland and was never in the service. And Western Kentucky University can't find any record of her attendance, despite her insistence that she was a student there. Clearly Mayor Miller is developing a bit of a credibility problem, so it's a good thing she's in politics. She should go far. (Thanks,…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (11)
Placebo Walk Buttons
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 08, 2008
I've previously posted about the issue of placebo walk buttons -- that is, the widespread suspicion that the walk buttons at intersections don't have any effect on traffic lights. (There's also a separate theory that you can control the traffic lights by pushing the button in a special way.) An article on canada.com addresses the issue of placebo buttons at some length. They insist the idea of placebo buttons is a myth (at least for the city of Victoria), and they interview a traffic planner to discover what really happens when the button is pushed:
Categories: Psychology, Urban Legends Comments (11)
Fake Road Signs
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 07, 2008
Fake road signs have been popping up around Frankston, Australia, amusing some and outraging others. The signs are said to be the work of a "mystery artist." From the Frankston Leader: The mystery Frankston signs have been carefully made to look like official road signs. Drivers have reported seeing them in Cranbourne-Frankston Rd, Langwarrin. Some think they are funny while others - and officials - aren't laughing... Although VicRoads' media department thought the signs were "very amusing", its regional director Steve Brown was not laughing. The placement of inappropriate signs such as these was unsafe and…
Categories: Art, Pranks Comments (3)
Colorful Coastal Village
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 07, 2008
This looks like it would be a great place to visit. It's Cinque Terre in Italy. Unfortunately, it's not quite so colorful in real life. (via City Comforts)
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (6)
Missing Child Experiment
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 06, 2008
Local 6, an Orlando news station, recently conducted a "missing child experiment." They plastered posters all over a mall claiming that 8-year-old Britney Begonia was missing. Then they had Britney herself sit down alone a few feet from some of the signs. The question was: would anyone notice the poster and offer to help Britney? The predictable result: Of the hundreds of people who walked past and saw the posters, only two stopped to ask Britney if she was OK. Many people, questioned later, said they noticed Britney's resemblance to the girl in the poster, but were "fearful of getting involved." It's the
Categories: Psychology Comments (11)
Milfs Appalled by Racy Books
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 06, 2008
Heraldnet.com (the newspaper of Snohomish County) recently ran this story: Mom appalled at racy books in store for teens at Alderwood mall By Scott Pesznecker Herald Writer LYNNWOOD -- Marci Milfs went to Urban Outfitters to find clothes for her teenage son. She was surprised to find sexually charged books that she believes have no place in a clothing store for teens and young adults. On one end of the spectrum was "Porn for Women," a photo book showing men doing housework. On the other was "Pornogami: A Guide to the Ancient Art of Paper-Folding for…
Zoo Text Message Prank
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 06, 2008
Officials at the Houston Zoo report that they're being inundated with thousands of phone calls as a result of a prank text message circulating via cell phone. From click2houston.com: "It's an enormous annoyance," zoo spokesman Brian Hill said. Thousands of people have received a message that someone has been talking about them. Some of the messages read: "Hey y is someone calln me and lookn for u n askn me where r u at n where u live heres tha # 713 555 650 tell then to stop calln me" "It's scaring a lot of people," the switchboard…
Categories: Pranks Comments (2)
Hitler Doll
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 05, 2008
About two weeks ago a story started going around alleging that an Adolf Hitler doll, marketed to children, was being sold in the Ukraine. From the Daily Mail: One saleswoman said: "It is like Barbie. Kids can undress fuhrer, pin on medals and there's a spare head in the kit to give him a kinder expression on his face. "He has glasses that are round, in the manner of pacifist Jon Lennon". The doll will also come with accessories like a miniature Blondi, Hitler's faithful Alsatian who died alongside the Nazi in…
Categories: Journalism Comments (10)
Shark Surfing
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 05, 2008
In this video a surfer hitches a ride behind a shark, after getting the shark to swallow some chunks of meat attached to a fishing line. It looks like it was shot in southern California, and we do get some big sharks around here occasionally. Just last week a guy was killed off the coast of San Diego by a great white. But this video looks obviously fake. As many of the youtube comments point out, you can see the wake of a boat off camera in front of the shark fin. I don't have any information about who made the video. At the end, the word "Notorious" appears on the screen, but I don't know…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Sports Comments (13)
Brunus edwardii
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 30, 2008
I recently received a nice letter from a reader in England: Dear Mr. Boese, I have enjoyed the Museum of Hoaxes greatly. I do not know if you want any more examples, but if not just throw this away. The Veterinary Record is the weekly journal of the Veterinary Profession, and I did the index for 36 years. So on 1st April 1972 I met some observations on the diseases of Brunus edwardii (Species Nova), Vet. Rec. (1972) 90, 382-395. It reads like a perfectly authentic scientific paper though the illustrations give the game away. So I suppose it…
Categories: Animals, Science Comments (14)
Page 88 of 295 pages ‹ First  < 86 87 88 89 90 >  Last ›
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.