The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942

Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
Dog wins art contest, 1974
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974
Useless Plasticbox 1.2
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 20, 2013
That was the name of the faux merchandise that artist Plastic Jesus placed in Los Angeles-area Best Buy stores last week. He priced it at $99.99. It took a couple of days for the Best Buy staff to realize the Useless Plasticboxes were there, and then they were removed. I wonder where they are now? (I checked eBay, but they weren't there yet.) Comments left on Plastic Jesus's site: — OMG Apple is coming out with one? I'm getting on line right now! — Yes, but it'll be white, cost twice as much and be incompatible with the version currently available.
Categories: Products Comments (0)
Jumping Cow UFO Video
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 20, 2013
A video posted to youtube about two weeks ago shows a strange light in the sky near Stamford in the UK. Then it pans down to show a herd of cows, and then one of the cows kind of jumps up in the air. So the cow must be jumping for one of these reasons: it's really happy it's being lifted up by the tractor beam of a UFO it's a CG effect The answer, according to video analysts that the Huffington Post talked to, is that it's a CG effect. The Stamford Mercury speculates that the video was created to build buzz for an upcoming TV show.
What’s Your Title?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 19, 2013
The New York Department of State recently ruled that it's illegal to use corporate honorifics if you're not actually part of a corporation. Sounds logical, unless you're a real estate agent. Because it's long been the practice for real estate agents to use fancy titles like "Senior Executive Vice President" or "Managing Director," even though technically they work as independent contractors for firms. They're not on the staff. Now all their business cards have to go in the shredder, or they face a fine of $1000 per violation. Naturally, they're not taking this change lying down. Instead, they're busy inventing new titles for themselves, such as Nikki Field who now calls herself a "Senior Global Real Estate Adviser." [nytimes.com] Of...
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (2)
Another million-dollar art fraud
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 19, 2013
Never fails to amaze that there are super-rich people out there willing to shell out millions of dollars for "newly discovered" works by famous artists, even when the providence is so shaky. In this case, they were told the paintings came from an anonymous private collector referred to as "Secret Santa" or "Mr. X." Of course, now the artwork of Pei-Shen Qian, who's alleged to be the actual painter, should go up dramatically in value. Struggling Immigrant Artist Tied to $80 Million New York Fraud nytimes.com Over a period of 15 years, court papers claim, the painter, working out of his home studio and garage, churned out at least 63 drawings and paintings that carried the signatures of artistic giants like...
Categories: Art Comments (1)
Testicle-Biting Danish Fish
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 19, 2013
It's true that a South American pacu, sporting "big crushing teeth," was caught recently off the coast of Denmark. But Professor Peter Rask Moller said he was only joking when he warned that these fish often attack male reproductive organs, mistaking them for tree nuts, and he regrets that the news release featuring his warning generated such concern. The reality is that pacus are vegetarian and there's no record of them attacking a human. But maybe Prof. Moller was only kinda joking, because he added, "I still will keep my swimsuits tied up, and I will never swim in an aquarium with these fishes." Warning over testicle-biting fish in Denmark?...
Categories: Animals Comments (1)
Secret Crosse and Blackwell Aircraft
Posted by The Curator on Sun Aug 18, 2013
Dan Townend, writing in the Express, discusses the surprising camaraderie that often existed between British and German soldiers during World War I. Prisoners of war were, many times, treated with great decency and compassion. Of course, this show of kindness could have ulterior motives. The Germans, for instance, liked to "soften up" their prisoners to get them to reveal military secrets. But the British prisoners weren't so easy to gull. Thanks to one British prisoner, the Germans seriously came to believe that the UK had a top-secret aircraft called the Crosse and Blackwell that had been developed by the engineers Huntley and Palmer. [Express]
Categories: Military Comments (0)
UFO seen in Seattle
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 16, 2013
King Tut’s Golden Typewriter
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 16, 2013
The Canadian journalist Hector Charlesworth included the following story in the second volume of his memoirs (More Candid Chronicles) published in 1928: A man designed by providence to add to the gaiety of nations was Charles Langdon Clarke, the cable editor [at Toronto's The Mail and Empire], a position he still holds as I write. Clarke, the son of an English rector, was the best educated of all the staff and had been a school mate of Lord Curzon. He had come to Canada originally as one of the engineering staff of the old Grand Trunk Railroad, but he could find no real content outside an editorial room… A few years ago, when The Mail and Empire was publishing The...
Categories: Journalism Comments (1)
Hello, this is KBS 2TV (Sunday 08:10) quizshow program in South Korea named ' 퀴즈쇼 사총사'. We have made a couple of questions about the world's hoaxes and before we use this questions on the real show, we'd like to check whether this information is correct or not. We hope this page 'museum of hoaxes' can help us. We've made two questions below. Every November, there is a unique contest named 'Biggest Liar in the World Competition' in England. This competition picks a man who lies best in limited 5 minutes. Except, they keep people who have 'this job' from participating this competition. What is this job? (1) Lawyer (2) Doctor In 1962, It has been issue for a while that a Swede engineer in broadcasting company said every people in ordinary home could turn their...
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (3)
Vinegaria
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 09, 2013
Back in 1939, Lee M. Roberts won the University of California lying contest with the following discussion of the nation of Vinegaria: The Vinegarians are a peculiar people whose government has existed largely on the income from a national pickle monopoly. Vinegaria is ideally situated for the support of this industry as it is entirely underlain with large subterranean caves. Pickle farmers plant cucumber seeds on roofs of caves and they grow through the surface, avoiding the necessity for plowing the ground for planting. Through a peculiar chemical disturbance in the ocean bed the sea has an unusual briny quality — exactly right for making pickles. Until last year only sour pickles were produced. At that time, however, a dangerous group of radicals, claiming dill pickles were better than sour ones,...
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales, Food Comments (1)
Mirro Dress for Fatso Figures
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 06, 2013
The "Mirro Dress" for "fatso figures" was one of a number of unusual items that Kaufmann's Department Store included in an ad that it ran in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on April 1, 1949. Other items included a "Sun-Tan Umbrella" that browned you with ultraviolet rays as you walked in the rain, and "Grow Cup" ceramic paste that could regrow handles on broken coffee cups. The ad was an April Fool's Day spoof. Nowadays spoof ads are a dime a dozen on April 1st, but back in the 1940s they were nonexistent — except for this one. In fact, this is the earliest April 1st spoof ad that I'm aware of. The practice of creating...
Categories: April Fools Day Comments (0)
Sylvia Browne admits ‘mistake’
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 10, 2013
Sylvia Browne admits she was "mistaken" about claiming back in 2004 that she had communicated with the ghost of Amanda Berry. Since, ya know, it now turns out Berry wasn't dead. But did Browne make a mistake (i.e. she somehow misinterpreted what spirit was talking to her), or was she just making it all up? Does she understand the difference? Sylvia Browne: fans lash out at 'psychic' over false Ohio abduction prediction guardian.co.uk One of the world's most recognizable self-proclaimed psychics was wrong yet again about the fate of a missing child, and her followers on social media are taking her to task. Browne's prediction about the fate of Amanda Berry was not her first attempt to...
Categories: Paranormal Comments (7)
Hippo Eats Man
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 07, 2013
Thanks to Tah for giving me a heads up about this article. The hippo didn't eat a dwarf, but it does give an idea about how it would feel to become hippo food. My favorite line is, "Time passes very slowly when you're in a hippo's mouth." Experience: I was swallowed by a hippo guardian.co.uk There was no transition at all, no sense of approaching danger. It was as if I had suddenly gone blind and deaf. I was aware that my legs were surrounded by water, but my top half was almost dry. I seemed to be trapped in something slimy. There was a terrible, sulphurous smell, like rotten eggs, and a tremendous pressure against my...
Categories: Animals, Urban Legends Comments (2)
Marshmallow Farming
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 25, 2013
A video of a news segment about marshmallow farming in North Carolina recently appeared on youtube: It looks like it was inspired by the BBC's famous Swiss Spaghetti Harvest April fool's day segment. The reporter identifies himself as being from Channel 9 news in Iredell County. But there's no info about what year this first aired. So I sent the station an email to find out what they might know.
Categories: April Fools Day, Videos Comments (1)
The Argentinian Pet
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 11, 2013
I guess it's possible that con artists down in Argentina are giving ferrets steroids to increase their size, then fluffing up their fur and selling them as toy poodles, but as many people have already pointed out, this sounds an awful lot like a variant of the "Mexican pet" legend. Man gets shock of his life when he buys two toy poodles for $150 only to be told by a vet that they are actually GIANT RODENTS pumped up with steroids to look like dogs...
Categories: Animals, Urban Legends Comments (9)
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