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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Places
Loo With A View
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 28, 2005
Status: Real A photo is doing the email circuit, showing a bathroom that men who don't enjoy being watched as they 'go about their business' might not want to use. Yes, it is a real bathroom. It's located on the second floor of the Sofitel Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand. Here's from a press release about the bathroom: Queenstown photographer Sheena Haywood shot the images of models from local agency Ican -- after Auckland model agencies turned down the job when they heard where the images were going to be placed. “We had a lot of fun…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (14)
Volkswagen Autostadt Car Tower
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 27, 2005
Status: Real Here's a new picture doing the email circuit. It's accompanied by this caption: A Volkswagen Polo is loaded in the car towers of the VW Autostadt in Wolfsburg, northern Germany on Wednesday. The Autostadt, situated next to Volkswagen's headquarter, is the company's theme park, and distribution centre where daily 5,500 visitors view Volkswagen brands like Bentley, Audi, Lamborghini. It looks like something out of a science-fiction movie, but it's real, as is the caption. The picture was taken by AP photographer Fabian Bimmer. It appeared in SFGate.com's photo gallery on October 19, 2005. (Thanks…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (23)
Killing Fields Cafe
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 10, 2005
Status: Weird, but true If you've ever wondered what it would be like to subsist on a starvation diet, such as the kind millions of people endured during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, now you have your chance. A restaurant has recently opened in Phnom Penh called the "Khmer Rouge Experience Cafe." It serves up the kind of watery gruel people actually ate in the killing fields, with a "'theme menu' of salted rice-water, followed by corn mixed with water and leaves, and dove eggs and tea." To round out the ambiance, "the waitresses are barefoot and clad in the black pajamas and red-white scarves of the guerrillas. Speakers blare out tunes celebrating the…
Categories: Food, Places Comments (3)
Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 29, 2005
Status: True As you drive out of Brooklyn on the Williamsburg Bridge you'll see a traffic sign above you reading "Leaving Brooklyn. Oy Vey!" No, the sign isn't the work of a prankster, nor is the photo of the sign (to the right) a photoshop job. It's a real sign, placed there last week by the Department of Transportation at the request of Marty Markowitz, Borough President of Brooklyn. Says Markowitz: "Oy vey is an original Jewish 'expression of dismay or hurt.' The beauty is, every ethnic group knows it, and motorists seeing it know it means 'Dear me,…
Categories: Places Comments (6)
Giant Jesus Prevents Auto Accidents
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 20, 2005
Status: Unlikely (though the people who think it does won't care what I say) Along I-75 in Ohio there stands a 62-foot-tall fiberglass and styrofoam statue of Jesus, his hands raised into the air. It's very visible from the highway. Nicknames for it include Super Savior, Touchdown Jesus, Drowning Jesus (because it's located in front of a reflecting pool), and Jeeebus. It was completed last summer, and according to rumor there have been no accidents along the stretch of highway in front of it, although previously many accidents occurred there. Apparently Giant Jesus made the highway safe. Can this be true? According to an…
Categories: Places, Religion Comments (21)
Sharks in New Orleans
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 05, 2005
David Emery throws some cold water on rumors that sharks are swimming through the streets of New Orleans. He points out that the shark sightings seem to be the "seen by a friend of a friend" variety: I found repeated references to unnamed "authorities" and "officials" reporting one "3-foot shark cruising the city." Which authorities? Which officials? Digging further, I could only find mention of one by name: Mayor Aaron Broussard of Jefferson Parish (a New Orleans suburb), who, according to the August 30 issue of the Palm Beach Post, "told residents Tuesday that at least one 3-foot shark had been spotted." Again, that's one small shark reportedly sighted — exactly where and by whom,…
Categories: Animals, Places Comments (9)
Katrina Survivor Story
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 05, 2005
After 9/11 fake tales of heroism and survival soon began to pop up, so it's inevitable that after Katrina people will also invent stories. A tale that's been posted on a gamer's site has some people suspecting a hoax. I have no idea if it's real or not, so you'll have to decide for yourself. In the story, Naomi tells of how life on the coast of Alabama has descended into a state of primitive lawlessness. She claims to be living on the second floor of a house (the first floor was flooded and is covered in mud), keeping her gun close at hand to fend off looters. She's running a generator that allows her…
Categories: Places Comments (11)
Amazing Hilltop Homes
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 20, 2005
A reader sent in these photos of amazing hilltop homes wanting to know if they're real or fake. I'd say it's pretty obvious that they're fake, but they're definitely cool, nevertheless. I would guess that they come from a Worth1000 photoshop contest, though I haven't confirmed this yet. I think they've been circulating around for a while, because I have a vague memory of seeing a few of them before. Note that in the second image from the right you can see a car in the garage, if you look closely.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (18)
Pismo Beach, Faux Clam Capital of California
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 08, 2005
This week's edition of the LA Times Magazine includes an article about various small towns in California that claim to be capitals for various types of food, such as Gilroy 'the garlic capital of the world', or Yuba City 'the prune capital of the U.S.' The article includes this description of Pismo Beach, which claims to be the clam capital of California: Call it the ultimate bait and switch. The clams disappeared from this thriving seaside town, almost exactly halfway between San Francisco and L.A., about 30 years ago. Over-clamming tourists and gorging sea otters did the dirty deed. But did the city fathers of this middle-class destination resort promptly notify the governor, alert the…
Categories: Food, Places Comments (10)
Gibraltar Airport
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jul 31, 2005
This seems kind of odd: a runway with a road going across it. And yet it's real. It's Gibraltar Airport, which is the only airport in the world that has a road crossing the runway. A view of the airport can also be seen via Google Maps (if you don't believe the picture is real). It reminds me of Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten, in terms of being a very unusual airport. (via Outhouse Rag)
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (17)
Fun With Google Maps
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 21, 2005
In a series of articles over the past week, the Register has pointed out some strange things that can be found with Google Maps. First, check out the map of the moon that Google added to its service today in honor of the moon landing anniversary. Zoom in as close as possible and you'll discover an unusual revelation. Second, Google maps reveals that there's a building on a military base here in San Diego that's built in the shape of a swastika. Strange, but true. It's not clear why this design was chosen. Probably the…
Categories: Places Comments (23)
Secret Powerline Codes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 08, 2005
I've heard in the past that shoes hanging from a powerline means that you can buy drugs in the area. But according to this article, in which a utility worker is interviewed, there are even more secret codes: "The tennis shoes hanging up there mark drug areas," the worker says. "It's a sign to those who are 'in the know' that drugs are available for sale in that neighborhood." He goes on to explain the alleged meaning of yoyos and deflated helium balloons. "That meaning is a lot darker," he says. "Yoyos mean that sex is for sale in the area, and if a balloon is tangled in with the yoyos, that means both sex…
Categories: Places Comments (59)
Storm Near Bunbury?
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 20, 2005
Some amazing pictures of a tornado have been doing the rounds. According to the info that accompanies them, these are "Photos of storm near Bunbury" (which is in Australia), although the text also notes that "you'd swear these were taken in america's mid west / tornado belt..." This has started some discussion on alt.folklore.urban, as people try to locate exactly where these photos were taken. The scenery does look a lot like the midwest.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (81)
Satellite Map Oddity
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 10, 2005
I got an email from Mike Scofield asking about this odd thing that can be seen via Google's satellite map out in the middle of the desert around Nevada. Mike writes: Assuming I did the link right, you should see a giant triangle with concentric circles in it. I did some poking around and it looks like this symbol is ~near~ Area 51. This leads me to think it's one of two different hoaxes. One is that it's a very good photoshop someone slipped into the satalite map that Google is referencing or, two, that it is a symbol out there in the desert someone did that isn't related to Area 51.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (64)
The Dominion of Melchizedek
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 09, 2005
On my next vacation I'm going to the Dominion of Melchizedek. It looks lovely. But actually, I might have trouble finding a flight there since there's no such place. I found it mentioned in a book I was browsing through, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Frauds, Scams, and Cons. The author of this book, Duane Swierczynski, says that the Dominion of Melchizedek "was solely the invention of an American swindler, who created it as a front for a multitude of scams. If you're near a computer, go log on to www.melchizedek.com, and you can tour the entire nation, made up of Pacific islands. Fairly realistic, huh? That's what those 300 investors thought, too."
Categories: Places Comments (1)
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