The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Witchdoctor Protest
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 15, 2013
A unique way to express frustration at having been conned: Man conned by fake witchdoctor protests in the nude standardmedia.co.ke KENYA: A middle-aged man, in his desperate attempt to stage a one-man protest, stripped in Mlolongo town. This was after it dawned on him that a fake witchdoctor had conned him Sh25,000. The long protracted mid-morning drama left shocked onlookers wagging their tongues... The money was for some concoction, which he was to collect later and smear it at the door of his shop to attract customers. The initially tickled male spectators began feeling embarrassed at the nakedness of the man. They pleaded with him to dress up, and told…
Categories: Scams Comments (0)
Snow-Covered Sphinx
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 14, 2013
Photos of the Sphinx covered in snow have recently gone viral, on the heels of reports of the first snowfall in Cairo for 112 years. These photos haven't been digitally manipulated. However, they don't show THE Sphinx in Egypt covered in snow. Instead, what they show is a miniature model of the Sphinx located in the Tobu World Square theme park in Japan. The theme park has miniature models of many other famous attractions from around the world. (You can actually see the Eiffel Tower poking up behind the pyramid in the bottom photo.) Here's a photo that shows just how small the Tobu…
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (2)
Posing with Mandela
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 14, 2013
The Mandela-themed hoaxes continue. Kenyan senator Mike Sonko recently posted to his facebook page a photo of himself posing with Nelson Mandela. It's such an awful photoshop job, that it's hardly even worth debunking. Still, for what it's worth, the original image that he doctored was one of Mandela posing with Muhammad Ali. [telegraph.co.uk]
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Empty Force
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 14, 2013
Wikipedia defines the martial arts technique of Empty Force as "the expression of force without making physical contact." This technique claims to harness the power of qi, the "body's vital energy", enabling masters of the art to defend themselves against opponents without making physical contact. However, "Some proponents of martial arts are skeptical about demonstrations of empty force and dismiss them as tricks." Recently a Finnish empty-force master, Jukka Lampila, gave a demonstration in Barcelona. So some skeptics decided to put his claims to the test. So basically, empty force works brilliantly as a method of self defense, as long…
Categories: Body Manipulation, Scams Comments (1)
Fake Mandela Corpse Photo
Posted by The Curator on Fri Dec 13, 2013
On Thursday, an image purporting to be a death photo of Nelson Mandela began circulating online. The photo — a greenish-tinged shot of Mandela with his eyes closed — was originally posted on twitter by someone with the username @nQOW_bee. IOL news reported: "In between tweets about the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial at FNB Stadium on Tuesday, which is her sexiest body part, and how she can’t stick to a healthy diet, she posted a picture of Mandela with the words 'He is resting'." The image was soon retweeted, but in response to a massive negative response, the twitter user subsequently…
Categories: Death, Photos/Videos Comments (0)
Squirrel Meat For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 12, 2013
These North Omaha homeowners keep signs outside their home advertising fresh meat (squirrel, raccoon, fish, etc.). But no one seems to have ever bought the meat. So are they really selling it? Or are the signs just there to give their home a little curb appeal? Health Officials Worry Rabbit And Squirrel Meat Are Being Sold Illegally kptm.com Fish, raccoon, and squirrel are now on the menu, but who's buying it? "It hasn't come from a USDA approved plant to where it's been processed properly, stamped and inspected," Gaube said. Neighbors said the homeowners have lived there for years and the signs have been there just as long. "They're really…
Categories: Food Comments (0)
Fake Sign Language Guy
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 12, 2013
It doesn't seem that the 'fake sign language guy' (Thamsanqa Jantjie) at Mandela's memorial service was a prankster, as some speculated. Instead, it looks like he was a poorly qualified guy who cracked under the pressure and started signing nonsense. Or perhaps he was communicating with extraterrestrials. From the BBC: the man's signing seemed to have no grammatical base and kept repeating sign patterns when it was clear that the speaker was not using repetitive words. UK deaf news blog The Limping Chicken said the sign language interpreter had a "strange repetitive rhythm to his movements", and "the structure of his hand and body movements…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (0)
Naked Came the Post-Postmodernist
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 10, 2013
I doubt that the 1969 "Naked Came The Stranger" literary hoax was the first collaborative novel, but it certainly popularized the genre, inspiring a long line of homages, all of which nod to the original by including the phrase "Naked Came The..." in their title. Examples include Naked Came the Manatee, Naked Came the Phoenix, and Naked Came the Sasquatch. The latest one is "Naked Came the Post-Postmodernist," which is a collaborative novel by 13 undergraduate students at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y. The idea to create the novel was the idea of their writing teacher, Melvin Bukiet. [newsobserver.com] The plot summarized:…
Categories: Comments (0)
Glued to the toilet
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 09, 2013
Abduction hoaxes are very common (in which a person runs away and then claims they were abducted), as are hate-crime hoaxes (in which a person falsely claims to have been a victim of a hate crime), but this is the first potential superglue hoax that I've heard of. The details: a woman was found glued to a toilet seat in a Georgia mall, and police now suspect she must have glued herself to the seat, because they reviewed the mall's video footage and didn't see anyone else who had recently entered the restroom within enough time to have done it. [Augusta Chronicle]
Categories: Comments (1)
Kanye West quotation provokes outrage
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 08, 2013
Satire mistaken as news. Outrage in the Twitterverse as twitterers react to Kanye West claiming to be the "next Nelson Mandela." Full quotation: "I am the next Nelson Mandela. I'm only 36 years old, and when I look at everything I've accomplished, it's the only comparison that makes any sense. By the time I'm 95, I'm going to be a bigger hero than he ever was." But West never said this. The quotation comes from the The Daily Currant, which is a humor site akin to the Onion.
Categories: Celebrities Comments (1)
Paris Hilton denies confusing Mandela and ML King
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 08, 2013
Paris Hilton vehemently denies that she tweeted, "RIP Nelson Mandela. Your 'I Have A Dream' speech was so inspiring." According to Gossip Cop, the screenshot of this fake post first appeared on a Twitter account named @DeletedTweets.
Categories: Celebrities Comments (0)
Christmas Tinner
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 08, 2013
Game.co.uk is selling something they call "Christmas Tinner," which it describes as "the ultimate innovation for gamers across the nation who can’t tear themselves away from their new consoles and games on Christmas Day." It's an entire Christmas Day meal, from morning to night, conveniently layered into one tin: Layer one – Scrambled egg and bacon Layer two – Two mince pies Layer three – Turkey and potatoes Layer four – Gravy Layer five – Bread sauce Layer six – Cranberry sauce Layer seven – Brussel sprouts with stuffing – or broccoli with stuffing Layer eight – Roast carrots and parsnips
Categories: Food Comments (1)
Photographing your imaginary girlfriend
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 07, 2013
I recently posted about how the imaginary girlfriend business is booming, with plenty of companies eager to help guys who want to pretend that they have a girlfriend. But Japanese photographer Keisuke Jinushi has some strategies for the more DIY-minded. On his Facebook page, he's been posting photos that appear to show him interacting with his girlfriend, but, in reality, are all self-portraits. And, for those who might want to imitate his techniques, he also shows how he created the photos. [via CNN]
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (1)
Tail Lights for Horses—a case of satirical prophecy
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 07, 2013
On April 1, 1961, Milan's La Notte newspaper reported that city authorities had passed a new law making it mandatory for horses to be outfitted with signaling and brake lights while being ridden through the streets or neighboring countryside. Back then, quite a few people in the area still rode horses, so the law was going to have quite a broad impact. And, so the story goes, many people subsequently brought their horses into car mechanics to have them outfitted with the necessary lights. This is considered to be one of Italy's classic April Fool's Day hoaxes. And, as is so often the case, it's only a matter of time before reality…
Categories: Animals, April Fools Day Comments (0)
Things keep looking worse for that New Jersey Waitress
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 05, 2013
I posted yesterday that Dayna Morales (the "I received a homophobic note and no tip" woman) had been suspended from the restaurant where she was working. Now, the consumerist reports that someone got the idea of checking to see if she actually donated the money she received to the Wounded Warrior Project, as she promised she was going to. The news (kinda predictably) is that no donation was given under her name, or from the zip code where she lives, or from the restaurant. So unless she made the donation under a different name, it looks like she reneged on the one positive thing that people were giving her credit for.
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror Comments (1)
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.