The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
HOME   |   ABOUT   |   FORUM   |   CONTACT   |   FACEBOOK   |   RSS
The Top 100
April Fool Hoaxes
Of All Time
April Fool Archive
April fools throughout history
Hoax Photo
Archive

Weblog Category
Military
I was unaware of this, but apparently a bunch of what appears to be previously-undiscovered photos of the attack at Pearl Harbor has been found. The article I'm linking to here (and the article IT links to) makes the claim that they aren't new at all, but are merely photos that have been around since the time of the attack, some altered to look new.

So, if this is a hoax, what's the point? Why would someone go to this length?

"New" Pearl Harbor photos a hoax?
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, Military, Websites
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Thu Jul 05, 2007
Comments (6)
Everyone knows the Roswell story, right? People say they saw a flying saucer. The Air Force says it was merely the remnants of a weather balloon. Some claim that the government is covering up the fact that it had the actual corpses of aliens in a hangar.

You may have thought that the whole thing was finally put to rest when the Feds published a very thick report on the Roswell Incident in the 90's (I saw the thing in the Government Book Store near the White House and it was at least as big as a Manhattan Yellow Pages). Ah, but you would be wrong, my friend. As it turns out, the story continues...

It seems the guy who was the P.R. officer at the Roswell base at the time of the alleged "Incident" recently died. After he was gone, it was allegedly discovered that he left some paperwork which alleges that the whole "dead aliens on a slab in the hangar" story was true. Cue the theramin: Oooo-weeee-oooo.

A quick Google search for "Lieutenant Walter Haut," the Roswell P.R. officer, turns up only a sad small handful of sites. That doesn't prove anything about the veracity of his story one way or the other, but I'm surprised that the mainstream press hasn't jumped on this. After all, you should never let something silly like "facts" get in the way of a good story, right?

The REAL Never-ending Story
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, Extraterrestrial Life, Military
Posted by Cranky Media Guy on Tue Jul 03, 2007
Comments (14)
I posted an entry back in 2004 about Iraqi urban legends regarding the American troops. Three years later the same urban legends still seem to be going strong over there. And a new article in Stars and Stripes lists some more:
  • U.S. troops eat children
  • U.S. servicemembers use poison-tainted bullets
  • Americans peek through women’s clothing with X-ray sunglasses
  • Americans’ berets are dyed with blood
  • Americans have a “cold pill” that they take so they do not get too hot in their gear
The article notes that the belief in the legends seems to be getting worse because, now that we've driven most of the educated middle class out of the country "the remaining population is likely to be unschooled and susceptible to the distortions.
Categories: Military, Urban Legends
Posted by Alex on Thu Jun 21, 2007
Comments (7)
imageA photo taken in February 1965 has sparked debate over a UFO seemingly seen in the background.

The official Defence Force photographer snapped the picture of the navy cruiser Royalist whilst the ship was on its way back from Waitangi celebrations.

The photograph was recently dug out for a new website for Devonport Navy Museum. The staff member who found it checked the negative, then called in a digital imaging expert, who established that the image was in the original.

Opinions on the identity of the 'UFO' differ.

Museum director David Wright said there was nothing to explain what it was.

The object appeared to be some distance in front of the ship and none of the sailors working on the bow was taking any notice, as would be expected if something was going on.

He said it looked to be too distant to be a dinner plate thrown from the bridge and the same would apply to a clay pigeon used as a shooting target. The angle of the object and absence of visible lines suggested it was not a parachute.
...
However, Carter Observatory senior astronomer Brian Carter disagrees.

He said that when the object was enlarged it had a sharp edge to it. Under the same enlargement, the edge of the cliff on the right and the bow of the ship were not that sharp, he said.

That suggested the object was quite close and therefore quite small.

He believed it was something thrown from the bridge or some other part of the ship.
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life, Military, Photos/Videos
Posted by Flora on Fri Nov 10, 2006
Comments (45)

Gnome Liberation Front Strikes Again
On Nov. 1 79 garden gnomes were liberated by the Garden Gnome Liberation Front in France. The gnomes were later found along the bank of a stream "in some underbrush with a banner that read, 'gnome mistreated, gnome liberated.'"

Fake Priests in Japan
The BBC has an article about the growing popularity of using fake priests at Japanese weddings: "The fake Western priests are employed at Western-style weddings to give a performance and add to the atmosphere. These are not legal ceremonies - the couples also have to make a trip to the local registrar." Apparently it's becoming quite a big business. I also wrote about this in Hippo Eats Dwarf, so it's not exactly new news.

New Kidney Turning Man into his Wife
Ian Gammons received a kidney transplant from his wife. Now he claims that the kidney is slowly causing him to adopt her personality traits: "Now the 51-year-old Briton is never happier than when baking scones or "wandering round the shops and looking for bargains", he says. He has even begun to share his wife's love of dogs, an animal he despised before receiving the kidney a year ago."

Uri Geller Claims Remote Viewing Helped US Find Hussein
Of course, we all know how credible Uri Geller is, so when he says something like this it immediately commands our respect. Remember his appearance on the Tonight Show?

New Political Dirty Trick: Robocalls
The GOP is being accused of making robocalls: tape-recorded phone messages that appear to be made by their Democratic rivals. The strategy is to make voters so disgusted by getting all these automated calls, often receiving them late at night, that they'll decide to switch their vote to the candidate not making those calls, i.e. the GOP.
Categories: Gnomes, Military, Paranormal, Politics, Religion
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 07, 2006
Comments (13)
Remember George Bush's Mission Accomplished speech from May 2003 on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln? The one in which he announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq. I wrote about it in Hippo Eats Dwarf as an example of Political Theater, or a "Potemkin Photo Op": a stage-managed event, created solely for media consumption, that offers a misleading picture of reality.

Now it has also become an example of historical revisionism. If you check out the video of the event on the White House's website, you'll notice something strange. The Mission Accomplished banner has vanished from it. Apparently the White House has now embraced the historical policy of the Soviet government, as seen in The Commissar Vanishes. If something or someone becomes politically awkward, simply vanish it. (via BrainShrub.com)



UPDATE: Well, it looks like we got hoaxed. The black strip along the bottom of the screen appears to be a 'scrolling news' banner, as used by TV news sources, and if you compare the angle of the videos, the 'hoax' one is shot from a different angle - one too low to show the mission accomplished banner. This is not a case of historical revisionism.
- Flora
Categories: History, Military, Politics
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 07, 2006
Comments (19)
Heart-In Baby Diamonds
Anybody for an artificial diamond made of baby hair?

Squirrel Sabotages Opera Singer
A squirrel broke the nose of Finnish opera singer Esa Ruuttunen when it ran into the spokes of his bicycle.

Flat Parents
Life-sized cardboard cutouts of deployed service members are being given to their spouses, children and relatives by the Maine National Guard.

Designer Underwear
If you wish to sport the more... hirsute look, this pair of underwear may be for you. (Link not suitable for work.)
Categories: Animals, Military, Miscellaneous
Posted by Flora on Fri Sep 08, 2006
Comments (10)
Status: Weird and disturbing practical joke
The Israeli army has been phoning homes in Lebanon to warn the people inside that a bomb is about to drop. This is odd, but true. But even odder is that this practice has now inspired Palestinian practical jokers. Hurriyet reports:
Palestinians turned the "hello, a bomb is coming" phone calls into a prank joke amongst themselves. The prank has become so popular in recent weeks that the main Palestinian prosecutor's offices have forbidden "hidden" numbers on cell phones, to keep people in Gaza from calling and scaring each other. Reports say that many people in Gaza have turned off their cell phones, and disconnected their land lines, to keep from being pranked by those imitating the Israeli army forces.
That's a pretty bad joke, but from the point of view of social psychology it's probably an attempt to gain some sense of control over a desperate situation through the use of comedy.
Categories: Military, Pranks
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 04, 2006
Comments (1)
Status: Hoax
image A collie named Rob has long been celebrated as a hero of World War II. He received the Dickin Medal for Gallantry "For service including 20 parachute jumps while serving with Infantry in North Africa and SAS Regiment in Italy." However, Rob's plane-jumping exploits have now been exposed as a hoax.

Quentin "Jimmy" Hughes, a former SAS training officer, exposed the hoax in his recent autobiographical account of the SAS, Who Cares Who Wins? The London Times reports:
Far from doing 20 parachute drops, Rob did little more than act as a companion for Tom Burt, the quartermaster for 2nd SAS. His reputation was concocted when Rob’s owners, who had lent him to the Army Veterinary and Remount Services to help the war effort, wrote asking if they could have their dog back. Burt, who had grown attached to the dog, was upset at the prospect of losing him, so he and Hughes contrived to keep him in the regiment by sending him on a parachute jump. Hughes would then write to the family to say that Rob’s services were indispensable.
“We had a suitable parachute harness and I phoned through to the RAF and made arrangements for Rob to have a short flight,” Hughes wrote in his memoir. “Unfortunately, quite a strong wind blew up during the flight and the RAF decided it would be dangerous to drop Rob on that day.”
Hughes resolved to write the letter regardless, and thought that would be the end of the matter, but Rob’s owners were so proud that they passed the letter on to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), which awarded the dog the Dickin Medal for Gallantry — commonly described as the animals’ Victoria Cross.
I had never realized that dogs could make parachute jumps, but Wikipedia reports that the first parachute jumps, back in the late eighteenth century, were done by a dog:
The parachute was re-invented in 1783 by Sébastien Lenormand in France. Lenormand also coined the name parachute. Two years later, Jean-Pierre Blanchard demonstrated it as a means of safely disembarking from a hot air balloon. While Blanchard's first parachute demonstrations were conducted with a dog as the passenger, he later had the opportunity to try it himself when in 1793 his hot air balloon ruptured and he used a parachute to escape.
The BBC also notes that during WWII parachutes were made for pigeons. But if you're imagining pigeons with little harnesses around them, it's not quite like that. The pigeons were first put into containers and then dropped by parachute into France:
Ms Miles [curator of the Nelson museum] said up to 16,000 pigeons were dropped into France by this method, but only just over 1,800 made it back to Britain, as a lot could have perished unfound in their containers. "They were dropped in the hope that people who found them would return them with information. It was a brilliantly simple idea." Many may not have been found, but some could have fallen victim to a counter-attack strategy by the Nazis - a "squadron" of hawks posted at the French coasts to catch any pigeons winging their way across the English Channel.
Categories: Animals, Military
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 24, 2006
Comments (11)
Status: Real
image Supposedly this is a picture of a Russian nuclear sub cruising by a beach somewhere in Russia. I've noticed this picture posted on a number of blogs, but the info about it comes from strategypage.com. However, no source for the photo is indicated. Is it real? I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be. Here in San Diego it's quite common to see nuclear subs cruising past, especially if you're at Cabrillo Point or Coronado. I imagine the same must be true in Russia.

Update: For comparison, here's a photo I took about two weeks ago of an American submarine cruising off Cabrillo Point, San Diego. In my picture you can see sailors standing on top of the sub as it comes into harbor. Interesting that there are no sailors standing on the Russian sub, especially since it seems like a nice day when the photo was taken.
image

Update: Stone (in the comments) found a Russian site with more pictures of this sub at the beach, which leads me to conclude that the picture is real because it's unlikely that someone faked an entire series of pictures. According to the machine translation of the Russian site, the pictures were taken at Severodvinsk on the White Sea.

image image image
Categories: Military, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Thu Jul 06, 2006
Comments (30)
Status: True
Apparently the U.S. Government is prepared to do everything it takes to prepare our troops for battle. This includes hiring amputees to play wounded civilians in war games. They're bussed down to Fort Polk, La., where the soldiers-in-training must also contend with fake Arab civilians, "smoke-making machines and an intercom system that pipes in 'recordings of screaming women, crying babies, barking dogs and other sound effects throughout the whole city,' and, coming soon, the simulated smells of "vomit, burning rubber, burning bodies, those kinds of things."

I was impressed by this account of one scene that occurred during the simulated warfare:

A Humvee and a convoy of trucks were attacked with a fake rocket-propelled grenade, causing a fake explosion that caused Cole Young, 71, who lost a leg in an oil pipeline accident, to lie on the ground with fake blood spurting from his amputated leg. A soldier came to give Young some fake first aid. But when he saw that Young's hand was under his poncho, working his blood-spurting machine, the soldier yelled, "He's got a (bleep) wire!" and started firing laser bullets into Young's chest. That caused the other fake civilians to start screaming, ``Murderers!" That distracted the soldiers, enabling a bunch of fake insurgents to sneak up and wipe them all out — "mowing down the troops as effortlessly," Tower writes, "as they might a herd of grazing cows.''
Which is, alas, not unusual: Time after time, Tower reports, the fake insurgents massacred the American troops in these games.
Grandma would no doubt say that the silver lining in that news is that the games are just ... well, games. In the real war in Iraq, America is kicking insurgent butt, says President George W. Bush.
Categories: Military
Posted by Alex on Wed Jan 11, 2006
Comments (5)
Status: Photoshopped
This is pretty obviously photoshopped. The colors are too bright, for one thing. Also, I don't think the Army lets soldiers custom paint their jeeps. (via Telebush)
image
Categories: Military, Photos/Videos
Posted by Alex on Fri Jan 06, 2006
Comments (14)
Page 3 of 7 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›