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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Identity/Imposters
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…
Florida man pretends to be Red Sox pitcher
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 07, 2007
Bill Henry used to like to tell his wife and friends stories about when he was a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox back in the 1950s and 60s. He had a lifetime ERA of 3.26. When the Lakeland, Fla. resident died, the Associated Press ran his obituary. But Red Sox fan David Lambert noticed something wrong with it. The obituary said that Henry had been born in 1924, but Lambert knew that Henry was actually born in 1927. He decided to phone Henry's family (whose address he found in Major League records) to check the facts. Henry's wife picked up the…
Introducing Elliot Feldman
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 28, 2007
I was browsing the web a few days ago when I came across a guy who was posting lots of great hoax-related articles to the Associated Content site. He seemed to know all kinds of fascinating, obscure things. That guy was Elliot Feldman. I emailed him and asked him if he'd consider posting some articles here to the Museum of Hoaxes. Luckily, he agreed. So I want to introduce everyone to Elliot. We should be getting to read his articles regularly from now on. Elliot says that he was a game show writer for 25 years. Shows included the Match Game, Hollywood Squares, Nickelodeon's Double Dare, and (yes, it's true) That's…
Malaysian Man Masquerades as Dentist
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 15, 2007
An unidentified Malaysian man ran a dental practice out of his home for 29 years -- without any kind of dental training. He learned his trade by carrying the bags of an army dentist for sixteen years. But apparently while he was carrying bags he was also observing closely, because he later figured he could do what the dentist did. And the truth is, after 16 years of watching the guy, he might have been right. The fake dentist charged 20 ringgit for extractions and 130 ringgit for dentures. The police have now arrested him and charged him with illegally practicing dentistry.
Mother poses as son’s wife
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 15, 2007
Christopher Crowe had pleaded guilty to domestic battery. When the judge asked his wife to stand up and state if she accepted the plea deal, 47-year-old Rebecca Crowe stood up and said she did. But Rebecca was actually his mother. (Let's hope she was just pretending to be his wife, and it wasn't anything weirder.) The court realized the deception when a prosecutor later saw a picture of Crowe's actual wife. The article also notes: "Courtroom personnel later admitted they thought the woman looked too old." But that wouldn't have been a good basis for suspecting fraud because older woman/younger man matches are becoming much more common. The most frequently cited example are Demi…
Cardboard Kids Slow Traffic
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 08, 2007
Mike Wood of West Salem, Ohio has figured out an ingenious way to slow traffic in his neighborhood. He makes life-size cardboard cutouts of his children. Then he places the cutouts along the side of the road. People driving by think there's a real kid standing by the side of the road and they slow down. I could use some of these on my street. I live on a busy road and sometimes people just go tearing up it. Though some traffic cones and a detour sign might be able to eliminate the speeding cars altogether.
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (11)
Speaking of urban legends in the Third World…
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Tue Jul 17, 2007
A young Indian boy is claiming to be the reincarnation of an American scientist. According to the article linked below, he speaks mostly gibberish with a few "scientific" words mixed in. Proof enough for me! I especially like the next-to-last paragraph of the article. [Thanks to the reader who submitted this story] Indian boy claims to be reincarnation of American scientist
Elizabeth Albanese
Posted by Boo on Mon Jun 25, 2007
The Press Club of Dallas has been a much-respected institution for years, offering the annual Katie awards to journalists for high quality work. Recently, though, the organisation’s reputation has been dealt a crippling blow, with the news that their recent president, Elizabeth Albanese, has been falsifying the award results for at least the past two years. Albanese became involved with the Katies in 2003, the year she first won prizes, and has been reportedly tampering with the results every year since. For the 2003 awards, unlike following years, a list of judges for the awards was provided. However, it appears that Albanese…
JT LeRoy, phantom author (Updated!)
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Mon Jun 25, 2007
This is a weird one. A book allegedly written by a young man, JT LeRoy, made a sensation recently. JT was a truck stop hooker, got involved with drugs, was possibly transgendered and generally had a pretty screwed-up life. The book was billed as non-fiction, supposedly the true story of JT's life. Naturally, it sold very well. Oprah loved it, the movie director Gus VanSant and other Hollywood types were interested in it. Then the JT LeRoy saga started coming apart. Funny story, turns out there is no such person as JT LeRoy. Even funnier, also turns out that more than one person, some of them female, portrayed JT at book signings and other…
Best of the Forum – 22nd June 07
Posted by Boo on Fri Jun 22, 2007
Flowers growing from a steel pipe (NEO) A Chinese man has found what he believes to be a patch of white flowers growing from a steel pipe in his vegetable garden. Ding has consulted his neighbours, who believe the flowers are the legendary Youtan Poluo flower, which blossoms only once every 3,000 years. “No soil, no water. These flowers can bring me good luck,” he added. Forum members suspect, however, that the 'flowers' are lacewing eggs (see pictures to compare.)
Belly Dancer Has Half Her Bottom Removed German belly dancer Julia 'Cleopatra' Meyer went to a private clinic to get liposuction on her thighs. Unfortunately, the surgeon removed fat from her right buttock instead. She was awarded the equivalent of £12,000 - twice what she had asked for in compensation. (Thanks, Sophie.) Imposter at Stanford For eight months, Azia Kim lived on campus, studied with friends, and ate in the cafeteria. Trouble is, she wasn't actually a student there. Swedish TV Apologises to Prime Minister Over Water Prank
Fake Sewage Workers Go Door-to-Door
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 15, 2007
Here's an odd story reported in the Mainichi Daily News: A tablet given to a local woman by a group of men posing as sewage workers who told her to swallow it if her tap water became dirty, has proven to be an chemical pipe cleaning agent, investigators said.... Several men visited the home of the victim in the Nagata Sannodai district of Minami-ku, Yokohama on Thursday morning, and handed a blue and white tablet to the resident, bureau officials said. "We're carrying out sewage works…
Fake Gucci Advertisemant Fools Newspaper A man in Switzerland phoned a national newspaper and managed to get them to run a two-page advertisement showing himself posing beside a bottle of Gucci perfume. He told the newspaper he was a representative for the company, and told them to send the 60,000 Swiss Frank bill to Gucci. Forum thread here. (Thanks, Carlotta.) Shark with ‘Webbed Feet’ Caught A Malaysian fisherman recently caught what…
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