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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Exploration/Travel
Moon Base Clavius
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 10, 2005
Moon Base Clavius is "an organization of amateurs and professionals devoted to the Apollo program and its manned exploration of the moon. Our special mission is to debunk the so-called conspiracy theories that state such a landing may never have occurred." Their site is "named after the Clavius Moon Base in Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and visualized by Stanley Kubrick in the film of the same name." I've only just begun browsing around their site, but already it looks like it has a lot of good info on it.
First Contact Tours
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 10, 2005
The latest issue of Outside Magazine has an article about the new thing in adventure vacations: a First Contact tour. On these tours, run by guide Kelly Woolford, you get to trek into the rainforest of Papua New Guinea and make contact with a 'Stone Age' tribe that has never met people from the outside world before. Apparently such tribes do still exist (though obviously they won't for long if these tours get more popular). Michael Behar, author of the article, decides to go on one of these tours and see what it's all about. So in September 2004 he joins the tour and they set off on a boat down a river in Papua New…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (14)
Trying To Leave Haugesund
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 27, 2005
A curious bug in Microsoft's MapPoint site has been getting a lot of attention. If you ask for driving directions from Haugesund, Norway to Trondheim, Norway it will send you on a very strange route. Instead of going the direct route between the two cities, it will tell you to first cross the North Sea, drive down through England, cross the Channel, go east across Europe, and up through Sweden and Norway, until you finally arrive at your destination. Playing around with this a bit, I discovered that this weirdness doesn't apply only for directions from Haugesund to Trondheim. If you want to go almost…
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Places Comments (12)
Atlantis Found
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 10, 2004
A lot of people lately seem to be finding the lost city of Atlantis. Back in June a researcher said he located it off the southern coast of Spain by studying satellite images. Then last month US researchers said they found the city off the coast of Cyprus by using sonar technology. But my favorite is the discovery of Atlantis announced yesterday by the Hawaiian Phonics tutor Dennis Brooks. He's studied the issue deeply and has concluded that Atlantis is, in fact, Tampa, Florida. He points out that the dimensions of Atlantis as described by Plato pretty much match up with the dimensions of Tampa and Harbor Island (in Tampa Bay). So…
America Looks Beyond
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 23, 2004
America Looks Beyond is the name of a visionary new project jointly funded by the PEW Charitable Trusts and the Gates Foundation. Armed with a budget of over $1 billion a year, this is what they plan to do: "Starting in 2005, every high school student in America is going to be offered a six-week trip to a third world country. To broaden their horizons. To gain a more intimate understanding of the world. And to fight the global War on Terror in a positive way, through education and first-hand knowledge of how so much of the world struggles to survive." That would be great, if it were real. But, of course, it isn't real. As
Roving Ovines Return
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 22, 2004
Three and a half years ago Larry and Sean disappeared from their home in Norfolk. Larry and Sean were ornamental sheep. Plywood cutouts covered with a woolly coat. About a week ago they reappeared, much to the delight of their owner, and they brought back with them a letter marked 'Larry and Sean's Holiday Photos,' showing the adventures they had in India. Turns out that Larry and Sean had been sheep-napped by a local man, Joe Claydon, who saw them one night while stumbling home from a late-night party and decided to make off with them. Years later Claydon felt guilty and took the sheep on an Indian…
Club Med, Croatian-Style
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 18, 2004
This is probably not a hoax. Just a really bad idea. Croatia is hoping to strike it rich by luring in tourists curious to see what it would be like to spend a couple of days in a hard-labor camp. So they're considering reopening a communist-era prison on a barren island in the Adriatic Sea, and offering it as a tourist destination. They envision "tourists being issued convict uniforms, pounding large stones with a sledgehammer and hauling the pieces on their backs to quarries around the prison." Sounds like fun.
Fidobag
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 01, 2004
Here's an odd product from Samsung-Italia. It's the Fidobag. The site explaining the Fidobag is in Italian, but apparently it's a suitcase that will respond to the voice of its owner and come at their command (that would be useful for finding a bag in an airport). Also, if someone tries to steal your bag, all you need do is call out and the Fidobag will start to 'bark' at an intensity of 197.5 decibels, thereby stunning and exposing the would-be thief. Gizmodo offers a more complete translation of the site. Although the Fidobag does seem like it would be useful, it just seems way too odd to…
Shallow American Roads
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 19, 2004
While browsing through the alt.folklore.urban usenet group, I noticed a debate raging over the question of how deep American roads are. Apparently (so the urban legend goes) American roads can only be built to a fairly shallow depth in order to make the land under them more easily reclaimed for farming. By contrast, European roads are built to a much deeper depth. As a consequence, European roads are much more durable than American roads and need fewer repairs. The usenet group didn't appear to have reached any conclusion about the validity of this claim, but I can't imagine it's true. I think the frequency of road repairs is mainly a function of weather conditions (does the ground freeze and thaw…
Runaway Car
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 07, 2004
Hicham Dequiedt claims that the reason he had to drive 125 miles at 120 mph, weaving in and out of traffic and speeding down the hard shoulder, was that the cruise control got stuck. Somehow, miraculously, he managed to stop the car just before he would have smashed into a toll booth. His story sounded a little fishy to me the first time I saw it two days ago. And apparently other people think it's fishy as well. Renault, the manufacturer of his car, says that they've examined his vehicle and can't find anything wrong with it. Perhaps Dequiedt just felt like going on a joyride. Or perhaps Renault is trying to get off the hook.…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (5)
Back Home
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 26, 2004
I've finally made it back to San Diego. The vacation was great, but it's good to be back home. I'm also glad to see that the site wasn't completely overrun by spammers in my absence. Here's a few snapshots from the trip: Posing with Nessie in Drumnadrochit. The relatives I was staying with in Gloucester had a weird, mutant goldfish swimming around in their backyard pond. I dubbed it Nessie. Later we learned that the poor fish was suffering from dropsy and had to be put down before…
The Secret History of the Flying Carpet
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 10, 2004
In late July an essay appeared in the Australian literary journal Meanjin written by Azhar Abidi. It was titled 'The Secret History of the Flying Carpet'. The essay described the discovery of 13th-century Persian scrolls that suggested there was some truth to the old legends of flying carpets. Ancient Persian artisans had apparently discovered a process of boiling fibers in a magnetic clay before weaving them into a carpet. These magnetized fibers then floated above the ground, repelled by the Earth's own magnetism. According to the scrolls, the fledgling flying carpet industry was driven out of existence by horse and camel breeders worried about future competition. This all sounds pretty fantastic, and it obviously is. But nevertheless, Abidi's…
Worst Named Bus
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 13, 2004
About a week ago I posted a picture of a 'Big Hairy Fanny' bus that supposedly operates in Finland. I suspected the picture was a fake, and it turns out that my suspicion was correct. Quite a few people commented that they had seen other pictures of the same bus with the name 'Fücker' painted on the side, and today Iain Cartmill sent me a picture of this bus. A quick google search turned up lots of other images of it, as well as the website of the Fücker travel company, based in Germany (click on the 'Die Busflotte' button…
Finland Fanny Bus
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 06, 2004
This image may have been circulating around for a while, but I just got it in my email for the first time today. It purports to show the 'worst named bus company in Finland.' That would be the 'Big Hairy Fanny' Bus Line. I've come across oddly named bus lines before (specifically the Lamers bus company that operates in Wisconsin), but I refuse to believe that there's really a bus company in Finland calling itself Big Hairy Fanny. My suspicion is that the picture was photoshopped (it's pretty easy to insert text into pictures). Or perhaps there really is a bus touring around somewhere with 'Big…
Motorcycle Trip Through Chernobyl
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 21, 2004
A month or two ago a woman named Elena posted a travelogue on the web about her solitary motorcycle ride through the deserted area around Chernobyl. With all the eerie pictures she took of the abandoned, irradiated 'ghost town,' her travelogue quickly became one of the most linked-to sites on the net. Now there are accusations that her travelogue wasn't completely honest. Apparently she didn't go around alone on a motorcycle. She went in a car with her husband and a friend. Elena defends herself, admitting that much of her story was 'more poetry' than reality, but noting that most of it was still reality. I'm…
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Places Comments (43)
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