The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
In 2006 I posted about the road of non-starting cars in the town of Gosport, England. An unknown force on this road was preventing cars from starting. I don't know if Gosport ever solved its problem, but it seems that the neighborhood around the Empire State Building in New York City is experiencing the same issue.
The New York Daily News reports:
In the shadow of the Empire State Building lies an “automotive Bermuda Triangle” - a five-block radius where vehicles mysteriously die. No one is sure what’s causing it, but all roads appear to lead to the looming giant in our midst - specifically, its Art Deco mast and 203-foot-long, antenna-laden spire...
The Empire State...
A kidney transplant ring has been busted in India. Hundreds of poor people were forced into having their kidneys removed. ABC News reports that victims were promised a job, then taken to a private house and forced at gunpoint to sell their kidneys.
One victim's story sounds just like the kidney-transplant urban legend:
"I was approached by a stranger for a job. When I accepted, I was taken to a room with gunmen," Mohammed Salim told India's local NDTV television channel. "They tested my blood, gave me an injection and I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I had pain in my lower abdomen and I was told that my kidney had been removed."
The kidney transplant ring was found out when suspicious...
This eerie photo of four cats has been attracting attention online. (It recently made it to the front page of digg.) It's the cat in the car that gives it that extra creepy twist.
There's been some speculation about whether it's photoshopped. Unfortunately, the photographer, Ivan Capraro, hasn't posted any info about the image. But my guess would be that it's not photoshopped. I'd say it was either a lucky shot, or a cat was purposefully put in the car for the shot. (via A Welsh View)
A poster created by the German Green Party in Saxony and Hesse shows a cat that looks like Hitler with the tagline "you can't always recognize Nazis at first glance." The poster is meant to be a swipe at their extreme-right opponents.
But the poster has provoked criticism from an unlikely source. Catsthatlooklikehitler.com has given it a paws down, complaining that it shows a photoshopped Hitler-resembling cat, instead of a real one. They write:
the German Green Party have elected to use Kitlers in their latest electoral literature... It's a shame they had to use a Photoshopped Kitler - there are lots of resident furry Furhers on here who would have loved, I'm sure, to be a model for the...
A 14-year-old student at Killian Middle School in Lewisville picked up a bottle of hand sanitizer from the desk of his reading teacher, rubbed the gel on his hands, and then smelled it. According to the teacher, he "inhaled heavily."
The student said he sniffed it because it "smelled good." But the school authorities claimed he sniffed it because he was trying to get high. They gave him an in-school suspension, and then proceeded to file criminal charges against him. WFAA.com reports:
Joni Eddy, assistant police chief in Lewisville, said Friday that hand sanitizer has become a popular inhalant. "That is the latest thing to huff," she said.
She said officers felt they were acting properly...
Dr. James L. Carter has a weird job. He manufactures fake moon dirt. His company, ETSimulants, produces tons of it every year. His primary customer is NASA, who needs fake moon dirt to test machines that might need to operate on the moon. In an interview with Pegasus News Dr. Carter explains:
"When you land on the moon, all this dry, dry dust blows into the space craft’s engines. The astronauts’ safety rests on this substance being correct. There can be no mechanical failures once you’re parked on the moon’s surface.”
I'm sure he could make some good money if he put his product in little glass bottles and sold it on eBay. After all, if eBay shoppers will buy...
In order to educate the bus-riding public about the physics of sneezing, Science World created a Sneezing Bus Stop. Watch the video to understand:
They also created posters that can be wrapped around trees to demonstrate how much beavers can eat.
An email going around implies that there's some significance in the fact that, if you search hard enough, you can find numbers associated with Benazir Bhutto's life that add up to nine.
Born in 1953. 1+9+5+3 = 18 = 1+8 = 9
First suicidal attack on her on 18 Oct. 1+8 = 9
Second Suicidal attack in which she died. 27 Dec. 2+7 = 9
She died in the year 2007 2+0+0+7 = 9
And the Total Period from 1953 to 2007 is 54 years. 5+4 = 9
She got married on 18 Dec. 1+8 = 9 &
She went Out of pakistan for 9 years in 1998 1+9+9+8 = 27 = 2+7 = 9 &
Came back in 2007 2+0+0+7 = 9
Her Brother Shahnawaz bhutto has been murdered in 1980 1+9+8+0 =18 =1+8 =9
& if you write Benazir Bhutto in urdu...
In the article about the Loch Ness Monster in the hoaxipedia, I've posted some Nessie haiku contributed by readers. I'm quite proud of my own contribution:
Lurking in the deep,
centuries old. Addicted
to tourist sushi.
But far more accomplished poets have also been inspired by Nessie. Glasgow's poet laureate, Edwin Morgan, included a poem, "The Loch Ness Monster's Song," in his 1970 collection Twelve Songs. Here it is:
Hnwhuffl hhnnwfl hnfl hfl?
Gdroblobblhobngbl gbl gl g g g g glbl.
Drublhaflabhalflubhafgabhhafl fl fl -
gm grawwwww grf grawf awfgm graw gm.
Splgraw fok fok splgrafthatchgabrlgabrl fok splfok!
Zgra kra gka...
According to James Sroden, the popular Blue Man Group attacked him when he went to see their show in October 2006. He says they forced him on stage, circled him, held his neck and arms, forced his head back, and then inserted an "esophagus cam" down his throat, projecting an image of his throat onto a large screen.
Sroden says he subsequently bled from the nose, had nightmares, and lost fillings in his teeth.
The Blue Man Group's version of events is quite different. From msnbc.com:
The Blue Man Group's Chicago general manager said the stunt is just an illusion.
"Essentially, we have a piece in the show where an actor holds a camera to an audience member's mouth, doesn't enter their...
About 100 sheep in Kington, Herefordshire spontaneously formed a ring in a field. Apparently they did this entirely on their own. A photographer was on hand who captured the strange scene.
The Daily Mail interviewed Dan Seaborne, farm manager at Herefordshire College of Technology, who speculated:
"I just think they've been fed with dry feed in that shape - you can get snacker feeders now and you tow behind a quad and it drops pellets on the ground. I would imagine that's what's happened... I think there was a chap in Yorkshire who spelled out 'will you marry me' to his girlfriend in sheep by putting feed down."
Or it could be a signal from extraterrestrials.
In what is one of the most absurd articles I've read in a while, Chicago Tribune reporter Nara Schoenberg tries to argue that "blue" is the new "green". In other words, green (as a symbol of environmentalism) is old hat. So people are now starting to say "blue" instead of "green".
Her main evidence is that Mercedes-Benz calls its new clean-diesel technology BLUETEC. And a few environmental websites have blue pages.
I refer to this journalistic technique in Hippo Eats Dwarf as the "Generalization from a Single Example": "A reporter makes a sweeping statement, but backs it up with only one or two examples... [leading] audiences to believe they represent a larger trend, even if the reality is...
Amusing video on youtube of a guy caught lipsyncing. I like how he tries to pretend that nothing happened.
Live Frog in Lettuce
Yet another case of a family finding a live frog in their lettuce. The amazing thing is that instead of trying to sue someone, the family has adopted the frog as a pet. They call him "curious."
Fake Leg as Weapon
"Police said Donna Sturkie-Anthony took her elder sister's prosthetic leg and beat her with it."
17-year-old Matthew Summers used his mobile phone to take a picture of his sister and some friends as they were preparing to go out. Closer inspection of the photo revealed a ghostly face floating near the floor.
His photo joins a long line of apparently paranormal snaps. The most memorable in recent times was a cloaked figure photographed standing in a doorway at Hampton Court Palace in 2003.
However, Ciaran O'Keeffe, a parapsychologist on Living TV's Most Haunted show, has a more down-to-earth explanation for the "child" in Matthew's photograph.
Dr O'Keeffe said: "As human beings we're very good at finding a pattern in randomness and related to that we're...
The Unrecognised States Numismatic Society (USNS) describes itself as a "group catering to numismatists whose collecting interests largely focus on coins minted by groups purporting, pretending or appearing to be sovereign states, but which are not recognised as such by established governments."
They've got examples of coins from a bunch of unrecognized nations, including the Principality of Sealand, Atlantis, the Confederation of Antarctica, and the Dominion of West Florida, which apparently is "an internet-based micronation created on 29 November, 2005... founded on an eccentric interpretation of actual historic events." The Dominion has a website!
My favorite coin is that of the...
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.