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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Exploration/Travel
Miss Travel calls itself "The #1 Travel Dating Site." But I'm not sure how many other travel dating sites there are. Is it the only one? The premise is that if you're an attractive person (but most likely a woman) who likes to travel, they'll pair you with a "generous" traveler who wants a traveling companion (a rich guy). So it's like a high-class escort service, trading travel for "companionship." The concept seemed a bit dubious to me, but as far as I can tell the site is legitimate. It's registered to InfoStream Group Inc., which is in the business of "millionaire & fantasy dating." They've had the site registered since 2001.…
If you're a woman, don't expect much help from men during a shipwreck. In fact, the men are likely to be shoving the women out of the way in their eagerness to save themselves. That's the general message of a new study by Swedish economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson, "Every Man for Himself! Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters." Women fare worst on British ships — contrary to the tradition of British chivalry. The one exception to this rule was the Titanic, where Captain Smith announced, 'Women and children first.' And he enforced this rule at gunpoint. But apparently, during disasters it hardly ever occurs to captains to insist that women and children…
France's tourism agency has been embarrassed after it's been revealed that a whole series of photos it's been using to promote French beaches don't actually show French locations at all. They're stock photos, taken in Hawaii and South Africa, in the background of which the tourism agency sometimes photoshopped sections of French coastline. It seems stupid since France has some great scenery, but the tourism agency was apparently too cheap to hire a photographer to take photos of any of it. (link: Daily Mail) This is hardly the first time tourism agencies have been caught pulling this trick. In Hippo Eats Dwarf I noted some examples, including a 2003 brochure for Bermuda that showed sunny beaches…
Myths of the Titanic
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 06, 2012
The BBC has an interesting article about myths associated with the Titanic. The five myths they list, summarized, are: The unsinkability of the Titanic: "the White Star Line never made any substantive claims that the Titanic was unsinkable - and nobody really talked about the ship's unsinkability until after the event"The band played Nearer, My God, To Thee: The band probably did play on deck as the ship sank, but there's no good evidence that their final song was 'Nearer, My God, To Thee.'The Heroic Captain Smith: Captain Smith really wasn't that heroic. In fact, his inaction meant that there wasn't a more orderly evacuation.The Villainous J Bruce Ismay: Ismay, present of the company that built the…
The Adventures of the Little Cardiff Giant in New Zealand
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 03, 2012
The Little Cardiff Giant recently wound up his travels through New Zealand. Some pictures are below. As you may remember, his world tour started in Southern California, then he went to Perth, and then NZ. His next stop, if all goes according to plan, is Melbourne. My administrative duties as the coordinator of his tour went a little awry at first. I should have created a master list of everyone who volunteered to host him, but instead I just let emails accumulate. So now I'm trying to piece together a list retroactively. This is what…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (7)
Ghetto Hikes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 24, 2012
The author of "Ghetto Hikes," which is a twitter feed and accompanying website, offers this description of it: I'm 28. I have a full time job leading urban kids (of all races) on nature hikes. I simply write down shit they say. It's kind of obvious that it's a parody in the style of "Shit My Dad Says," but the Village Voice confirms it isn't real: Looks like Ghetto Hikes is a parody account -- and an unfunny one at that. According to a just-released tweet, Men's Humor and Ghetto Hikes were registered by the same person. The most surprising thing about Ghetto Hikes is…
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 13, 2012
Source: eBay In 1941, Tommy Graham employed a clever, but slightly duplicitous, technique to get rides as he hitchhiked from Maryland to California. He used an oil can as a suitcase, so that drivers thought his car had broken down and stopped to help him out. I wonder if this technique would work today. Do people even pick up hitchhikers anymore? from The Bradford Era, Nov. 4, 1941
Categories: eBay, Exploration/Travel Comments (4)
Cardiff Giant in Perth
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 16, 2011
Here are some pictures, courtesy of Nettie and Smerk, of the Cardiff Giant enjoying the sights in Perth. (Nettie sent me the pictures about three weeks ago, but Thanksgiving and the moon hoax distracted me. At least, that's the excuse for my slowness that I'm going with.) So where should the Cardiff Giant go next? Any volunteers to…
Cardiff Giants Invade Pasadena
Posted by The Curator on Sun Oct 09, 2011
I use Google news alerts to find out whenever various keywords I'm interested in appear in news stories or on websites. One of these keywords is "Cardiff Giant". This particular keyword search doesn't usually generate many results. Perhaps one or two a week. But on friday night my patience was rewarded when I got a google news alert about the creation of a new site: cardiff1869.com. The site is the creation of a Pasadena-based artist who chooses to remain anonymous, using the alias "Cardiff1869". Inspired by the Cardiff Giant of 1869 (which I posted about just a few days ago), he (or perhaps she) is creating a limited series of small-scale replicas of…
Categories: Art, Exploration/Travel Comments (9)
MOH chosen as one of America’s Kitschiest Roadside Attractions
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 01, 2011
It's official. American Express's Travel and Leisure Magazine has chosen the Museum of Hoaxes as one of America's Kitschiest Roadside Attractions. We're honored to be recognized in this way!
Gravity-Defying Message in a Bottle
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 31, 2011
Looks like another case of the old Message in a Bottle hoax. Two years ago 4-year-old Libbi Wallace threw a bottled message into the Kennebec River, inspired by her dad's tales of doing so as a kid. According to Maine's The Times Record, she recently received a reply from someone who claimed to have found her bottle while kayaking on Lake Erie. Her correspondent chose to remain anonymous, identifying themselves only as "Surprised in Cleveland." But as Brian Bienkowski of the Great Lakes Echo points out, it would be physically impossible for a bottle to float from Maine's Kennebec River to Lake Erie. For a start, the…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (5)
The Hotelicopter
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 30, 2009
The premise: According to Hotelicopter.com, a giant helicopter (a Soviet-made Mil V-12) has been transformed into a flying hotel: The Hotelicopter features 18 luxuriously-appointed rooms for adrenaline junkies seeking a truly unique and memorable travel experience. Each soundproofed room is equipped with a queen-sized bed, fine linens, a mini-bar, coffee machine, wireless internet access, and all the luxurious appointments you’d expect from a flying five star hotel. Room service is available one hour after liftoff and prior to landing. Reasons to think it's a hoax: a) it's a strange idea (how…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (10)
Man mails himself from New York to Las Vegas
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 13, 2009
Doing some catchup here on hoaxes I've missed: Wade Whitcomb claimed he squeezed himself into a cramped wooden crate and mailed himself via UPS from New York to Las Vegas. Because this would violate a number of laws, it attracted the attention of the FBI, who interviewed Whitcomb, who then promptly admitted he had made the entire thing up. "We have no further interest in this," said the FBI spokesman. And nor, frankly, do I. (Thanks, Bob!)
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (0)
Is “Where the Hell is Matt” a hoax?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 07, 2009
Time magazine listed the Where The Hell Is Matt? video (which shows Matt Harding doing an odd little dance in various locations around the world) as the #1 viral video of 2008. But at a conference on December 11, Harding confessed that the video was just a hoax. He said the whole thing had been shot in front of a green screen, and that animatronic mannequins had been used to make it look like people were dancing with him. Check out the full video of his confession:
Gays must leave the plane
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 29, 2008
Posted recently by Tobester in the Hoax Forum: I couldn't resist doing some research on this. Here's what I found. a) It's definitely an urban legend. b) I can't find any record of it ever appearing in the New York Times. c) The earliest mention of it I can find in print dates back to July 10, 2000, when it was discussed in the Sydney Morning Herald. Apparently, in a version circulating back then, they were identified as the source of the tale. They denied this, pointed out the tale was an urban legend, and noted that in earlier…
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