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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Identity/Imposters
C. Yeager of the Phillies
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 15, 2008
Baseball fans attending the recent Fan Fest in New York City had the chance to get memorabilia signed by C. Yeager of the Phillies. The problem: there is no "C. Yeager" playing for the Phillies. The man in the Phillies uniform was really just a guy who likes to dress up as a ballplayer so that, for a few minutes, he can enjoy the adulation of kids... before the police haul him away. The Sporting Blog (who has video of the guy signing anything people stuck in front of him) writes: "He works for a regional sports media company in Philly and never played ball beyond…
Check-in Pseudonyms
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 20, 2008
Kate Beckinsale goes by "Sigourney Beaver." Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, when together, were "Mr and Mrs Ross Vegas." And Johnny Depp uses "Mr. Stench." These are some of the check-in pseudonyms that Hollywood stars use to remain anonymous when registering at hotels. The only time I ever use a pseudonym is when asked to fill in info for things like online surveys or grocery store cards. Then I'm always "Eric Blair." But I'm thinking of switching to Hugo N. Frye.
Another case of an impostor is in the news. A woman in Somerville, Mass. thought she was dating Jeff Turner, a former basketball player for the Washington Seattle Sonics. Turns out she was actually dating an impostor named Ronnie Craven. Craven's cover was blown when the woman became suspicious, tracked down the real Jeff Turner, and called him. Craven admits to the hoax, but says he only did it to impress the woman. In other words, he claims he was only trying to benefit sexually, not financially, from the scheme. However, it appears he had also been telling friends and even his hometown newspaper that he worked for the Sonics. From
Woman discovers husband isn’t a doctor
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 03, 2008
Tammi Parteet was worried since she hadn't heard from her husband. So she decided to call him at Piedmont Hospital, where he worked as a doctor. WSBTV.com relates what happened next: She called him on his Piedmont cell phone, the one he told her was for emergencies. A staff member picked up. "I said, 'I'm trying to locate my husband, Dr. Perteet.' And she said, 'Dr. who? We don't have a Dr. Perteet.' And she says, 'Are you talking about the guy that had this cell phone?' And I said 'yes.' And she says, 'Oh, he was arrested last…
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)
Wrong Hillary
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 23, 2008
From the March 19th edition of the Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle: It was incorrectly reported in Tuesday’s Tribune Chronicle that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton answered questions from voters in a local congressman’s office. Reporter John Goodall, who was assigned to the story, spoke by telephone with Hillary Wicai Viers, who is a communications director in U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s staff. According to the reporter, when Viers answered the phone with ‘‘This is Hillary,’’ he believed he was speaking with the Democratic presidential candidate, who had made several previous visits to the Mahoning Valley. The quotes from Viers were…
Dr. James Barry, aka Margaret Bulkley
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 12, 2008
Stephanie Pain has an interesting article in this week's New Scientist about Dr. James Barry, a nineteenth-century British doctor who may have been a woman. She writes: MYSTERY, intrigue, romance... the story of Dr Barry has them all. The tale is so compelling it's been told countless times, yet no one has ever solved the central mystery: who was Barry, the pint-sized physician with the sandy curls and squeaky voice? The doctor was both caring and quarrelsome, dainty yet dashing. He fought for better conditions for the troops, shot a man…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (19)
Yet Another Literary Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 04, 2008
One week after Misha Defonseca confessed that she didn't really grow up with wolves, as she claimed in her memoir of her childhood in war-torn Europe, another literary hoax has surfaced. Love and Consequences, by Margaret B. Jones, purports to be a non-fiction memoir of the author's life "as a half-white, half-Native American girl growing up in South-Central Los Angeles as a foster child among gang-bangers, running drugs for the Bloods." In reality, as the NY Times reports: "Margaret B. Jones is a pseudonym for Margaret Seltzer, who is all white and grew up in the well-to-do Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, in the San Fernando Valley, with her…
Who is Robert Irvine?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 22, 2008
What we can say with certainty is that Robert Irvine is the host of the Food Network's show Dinner: Impossible. I've watched this before and found it entertaining. Though Irvine comes across as pretty arrogant. However, many other facts about Irvine's career have now been called into question. For instance, in the past Irvine has claimed that he was knighted by the Queen, that he owns a castle in Scotland, that he cooked at the White House, and that he created the wedding cake for Prince Charles and Princess Diana. None of this, it turns out, is true. A Food Network spokeswoman says, "It's…
Woman Marries Blow-Up Bob
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 21, 2008
Remarries, to be exact. From Yahoo! News: Sheila Smith's husband, Bob, had to go away on business and couldn't make the Valentine's Day recommitment service at Grove City United Methodist Church. So friends brought a life-size inflatable doll to serve as a stand-in. They dressed Blow-up Bob in dress pants, a shirt and tie, and taped on a head-shot photo of the real Bob Smith. There's definitely an emerging trend of cardboard or inflatable spouses. Usually it involves military spouses who are stationed abroad. For instance, back in Dec. 2005 I posted about the
Mayor uses magazine picture of himself as ID
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 01, 2008
A few days ago papers reported a weird news item about Charleston mayor Danny Jones who used a picture of himself in Charleston magazine to ID himself before boarding an airplane. Turns out that "impromptu IDs" are a perennial urban-legend theme. The Legends & Rumors blog has collected a long list of them. The examples include a case of a porn star who showed a nude picture of herself in a magazine to ID herself while cashing a check, as well as a nineteenth-century case of a man who used his name written on his shirt flap as ID in a bank. Of course, this doesn't mean…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (8)
Quick Links: Jan. 29, 2008
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 30, 2008
Russian election draws eccentric candidates Four empresses are running, as well as a tsar. Fake tickets offer strange message Police in Boulder are warning drivers to be on the lookout for fake parking tickets that bear this cryptic message: "The foregoing is falsely alleged upon personal initiative. This ticket hereby notes discredibility. Remember: Things could be worse. Get over yourself." I'm Not Dead Yet Polish resident Piotr Kucy is trying to convince officials that he isn't dead, but the bureaucrats are proving hard to convince. Con Artist Poses as Heath Ledger's Dad Soon after Heath Ledger died, a man…
Name Change Prank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 09, 2008
Robert Ashton and Aisling Davis have been playing tricks on each other for years. But when Robert dyed Aisling's hair blonde while she was asleep, she decided she needed to come up with something big to get him back. What she eventually dreamed up was to legally change Robert's name... to "Ima Stapler." The Halifax Courier reports: Aisling, of Sowerby Bridge, decided to take her revenge. She knew someone who had recently changed their middle name by deed poll and wondered if it would be possible to change a name without that person knowing. "Some friends and I…
Not Andy Warhol
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 16, 2007
Kutv.com has an article describing a hoax perpetrated by Andy Warhol back in 1967. He had been asked to do a speaking tour at various colleges, but decided, at the last minute, that he didn't want to do it. So he sent someone else, Allen Midgette, who pretended to be him: "Midgette whitened his hair and face and adopted a Warhol persona, and, accompanied by Morrissey, went on tour. And most believed the forged artist was authentic." People finally figured out that Midgette was not Warhol when they compared photos of the two men. Apparently the stunt was not an attempt to make any kind of artistic statement. Warhol…
Best of the forum - 21st September 07
Posted by Boo on Fri Sep 21, 2007
Due to my ongoing computer problems and personal situation, this is again brought to you by Madmouse. Peruvian Meteorite (eovti) An apparent meteorite landing in Peru has led to reports of illness amongst locals. Original suggestions for the cause of the sickness included radiation poisoning, but that seems unlikely. Sign Language Translator (Madmouse) There’s been a lot of discussion in the forum about this story. A group of UK students have developed a system to translate spoken or written words into British Sign Language that is then displayed by an avatar. Suggested uses include translating for…
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