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Sea serpent spotted by Cape Breton fisherman.
Categories: Cryptozoology
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 26, 2003
Comments (0)
Public Service Announcement: if you get an email telling you that if you forward this message to five people you'll get a free flight from London to Asia courtesy of British Airways, DON'T BELIEVE IT. Versions of this hoax have been going around for years, involving Microsoft and Nike, among others. The premise of the hoax is always that these companies have some way of tracking email in order to determine who is forwarding their email. This, of course, is absolute nonsense.
Categories: Email Hoaxes
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 26, 2003
Comments (0)
The following email has been making the rounds. Someone asked me if it's real:
The Veil
By now you've heard of Sultaana Freeman. Sultaana is the Muslim convert
in Florida who is refusing to remove her veil for a driver's license
photo. So do you want to see what she looks like? Well here you go.
Sultaana with and without her veil!
sultaana freeman
Wait a minute! Doesn't that look like a mug shot on the left? Why, yes! I
think it is! I guess she was arrested! Well, as a matter of fact she was.
It happened in 1997 in Decatur, Illinois, which was after her conversion
to Islam. She was arrested for battering a foster child (religion of
peace, and all that). In 1999 she plead guilty to felony-aggravated
battery and was sentenced to 18 months probation.
By the way, since you've seen her face, you might as well know her real
name. It's Sandra Keller.
Ironic, isn't it? If Sandra/Sultaana had just gone along with the program
and allowed her face to be photographed it wouldn't now be plastered all
over the Internet. And so it goes.

Is this for real? Yes it is. Freeman's mugshot was dug up by The Smoking Gun (now owned by Court TV), which can always be counted on for digging up the dirt on people. Here's a story about it from the New York Daily News.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 25, 2003
Comments (2)
I just read about this British plan to fly a hot-air balloon right up to the very edge of space. The balloon pilots will have to wear spacesuits to protect them from the low air pressure and cosmic rays at that elevation. Of course, they've already been beaten out by Hans Pfaall who rode a hot air balloon all the way to the moon back in 1835.
Categories: Exploration/Travel
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 25, 2003
Comments (0)
A reader of my book wrote to me pointing out that in the book I claim that examples of Paul Jordan Smith's hoax 'Disumbrationist' paintings could be found on my website. But in fact, the paintings weren't there. My fault entirely. At some point, during some reorganization of the website, the page of Disumbrationist Art was deleted and never put back up. So here it is again, restored to its original glory. For those not familiar with the Disumbrationist story, Paul Jordan Smith was a novelist living in LA during the 1920s. As a joke he adopted the persona of a scruffy Russian artist, Pavel Jerdanowitch, and submitted some paintings 'in the modern style' to art contests. Jerdanowitch (i.e. Smith) claimed that his paintings represented the Disumbrationist School of Art. Inevitably Jerdanowitch soon became a darling of the art world, thus proving that art critics are suckers for brooding geniuses with foreign-sounding names.
Categories: Art
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 25, 2003
Comments (1)
Over the past two weeks a lot of attention has been paid to a website whose name could be read in two ways: Think about it. Powergen Italia, or... Anyway, I didn't link to it here at first, believing it was a legitimate company that didn't realize how its name could be misread. Turns out I was wrong. According to an article in The Register, the site is a spoof. The real company named Powergen denies having an Italian division named Powergen Italia. Someone must have created the site for a laugh. Perhaps a disgruntled Powergen employee. Some other website names that can be read in two ways are (Whore Presents) and (via
Categories: Technology, Websites
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 24, 2003
Comments (2)
A visitor named Heinz Klostermann sent me quite a bit of info about Joseph Papp, a Hungarian-born inventor who first claimed that he had built a submarine capable of traveling at 300 mph, and later claimed to have built a car engine that could run for six months without refueling. Heinz sent an article about Papp that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News in 1989, as well as an article apparently written by the physicist Richard Feynman describing a demonstration of Papp's engine. It turns out that Heinz has been working for the past three years to reinvent Papp's engine (the secret of how to build it died with Papp). If you have any info about Papp he'd like you to contact him at: Also check out the comments I've received over the years about Papp and his submarine.
Categories: Free Energy
Posted by Alex on Sun Jun 22, 2003
Comments (1)
This day in hoax history. June 20, 1977: Alternative 3 aired in England. Viewers learned that a secret world government has been creating a Noah's Ark colony of humans on Mars in anticipation of the environmental catastrophe that will soon make the Earth uninhabitable.
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by Alex on Sat Jun 21, 2003
Comments (0)
Another visitor contribution: ...I guess this Website can't be Dis-Proved, but it might make an interesting addition to your Museum: Dolphin Sex (Warning: some of the content isn't safe for work)
My response: I assume the site is just a joke. But given all the things that people have supposedly tried to mate with throughout history (see my Birth Hoaxes Gallery for some examples) one can never be too sure.
Categories: Animals, Sex/Romance
Posted by Alex on Sat Jun 21, 2003
Comments (4)
A visitor asks:
is this site for real,or just mocking christian web sites?
My answer: My vote is that it's satire, though it's pretty hard to tell. To my jaded sensibility the site definitely has a tongue-in-cheek feel to it. For instance the proposed redesign of the American flag to include the word 'GOD' stamped in huge letters across the top of it seems a little much. But there are people who go for that kind of stuff. What confuses me are the banner ads on the site which appear to lead to genuine Christian businesses. But maybe the ads are put there just to give the site a façade of authenticity.
Categories: Religion
Posted by Alex on Sat Jun 21, 2003
Comments (14)
This day in hoax history. June 19, 1812: The Wimbledon Common Grand Military Review. 20,000 people assembled on Wimbledon Common in England to witness a 'Grand Military Review' that pamphlets had promised would occur. When it became clear that no parade was happening the crowd began to grow restless and set fire to the grass. They weren't appeased when officials explained that no parade had ever been planned. The pamphlets were just the work of some mischievous prankster. The crowd continued to grow ever more violent, so violent that the police were not able to contain them. Eventually a detachment of guards was swiftly dispatched from London with orders to parade up and down on the Common, just to satisfy the wishes of the crowd.
Categories: Military
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 20, 2003
Comments (0)
Here's another case of the underlying reality of what an ad is showing being out of sync with the message the ad is trying to deliver. A Canadian campaign commercial shows a shot of a smiling family accompanied by a voice over that says, "I want a premier who believes what I believe." But the family shown is an American family from Oregon. Oops.
Categories: Advertising
Posted by Alex on Fri Jun 20, 2003
Comments (0)
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