The Museum of Hoaxes
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Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
Paul Krassner's Stereophonic Hoax, 1960
Man flies by own lung power, 1934
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Time Travel Mutual Fund
I just received this rather non-humorous letter from the folks over at the Time Travel Mutual Fund:

Hello Alex,
I see you have our site, The Time Travel Fund, listed in your museum
of hoaxes.(www.TimeTravelFund.com)
I am writing you to ask that you remove us from your site. We are not
a hoax; we are serious in what we are attempting to do. Your site
lists us as being a hoax as if it were a fact, not as simply being
your personal opinion.
While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, presenting it as a
fact and not an opinion is slander.



This raises a dilemma for me. I do, in fact, list the Time Travel Fund in my gallery of hoax websites, having assumed that the site was a kind of cute, tongue-in-cheek idea whose main purpose was to sell $10 certificates that people could hang on their wall as a joke, rather than really being in the business of fund management. But if they're perfectly serious about their time travel fund, then that makes it a kooky site, rather than a hoax site. Should I keep the site on the list? I'm not sure.

I'm inclined to keep it on there just to annoy them because I don't like their legalistic threat about me slandering them. But I think the best thing to do would be to keep their site in the list, but add a disclaimer noting that while I thought the Fund was a joke, the fund managers themselves seem to take their task very seriously.
Categories: Future/Time, Websites
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 20, 2004
Comments (95)
excaim I recently heard that it is not possible to travel back in time to a point before the first time machine was made, based on the time machine acting as a funnel, in a sense. The time machine would be a telephone into the future. Bits of information would be able to get through, but it is doubtful that objects will go through in our lifetime. As for another method of time travel, the DeLorian seems like a possibility. Still, this is a stupid website. There is a good chance that these people are con artists. For example, what percentage of the $10 will they put in the fund, 0.000001? Beware. excaim
Posted by Mike  in  Queens, NY  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  02:18 AM
Were I you, I wouldn't worry about them much until they learn the difference between slander and libel, which would be an indication that they have actually talked to a real, live lawyer.
Posted by Terry Austin  in  California  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  02:56 AM
leave the address in the list, just to anger them.
Posted by joe peacock  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  04:57 AM
keep the site listed, if they ever do time travel then they can just go back and register your domian name before you get to.
Posted by jeremy  in  iowa  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  10:15 AM
Can they retrieve people from Hell? That would be usefull. Just get them then stuff them in church. I bet they will even stay awake in church!
Posted by Vincent  in  Kansas  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  11:00 AM
Keep it listed. If they're serious in what they're doing, then they're a "scam" not a "hoax". Pfft.
Posted by Anonymous  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  11:39 AM
List it! Anyway on the libel idea there is "Fair comment" defense - frankly your comment is fair.
Posted by Peter  in  London  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  11:44 AM
(just for the record, I did not post that comment above. I found the site listed in my referrer logs, clicked, and saw that someone posted as me. Not that it really matters, it's a very innocuous comment and doesn't really make me look bad / good in any way, but still... kinda scary that someone would post something under my name)

But I do agree, just leave it up. It's a hoot.
Posted by the real joe peacock  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  11:52 AM
Normally I would rate these guys right up there with Richard Hoagland in their understanding of science but they did invoke the Star Trek(TM)name so you know it has to be true.
Posted by Ron  in  Canada  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  12:09 PM
But what if I want to go back in time?

I need to go back to High School, and correct all the mistakes I made that turned me into such an incredible loser that I feel the need to contribute to the time travel fund.
Posted by Coit  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  01:36 PM
On one hand, since it makes them angry, I'm inclined to say you should remove it. On the other hand, this site is called "Museum of Hoaxes" but really it's the "Museum of Hoaxes and Most Peculiar Real Things," so maybe it should stay.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  01:49 PM
Until the very second one of their customers actually gets pulled into the future, their business and site are a farce, whether they consider them to be or not. I say keep the link up as it is until they can prove that they are providing a legitamite service.
Posted by Jim North  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  02:09 PM
Well i think you should really remove the site from the museum, i have read the timetravel site and i'm sure that they are for real. but i have to stop writing my mail now because its time for my medicine and the rest of my electro treatment.
bye bye now
Posted by Jeroen  in  Netherlands  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  03:13 PM
Tell them that they can arrange to have someone in the future travel back in time to stop you posting the original article.

It'll only cost them a tenner, so it'll be cheaper than a lawyer, too.
Posted by AW  in  Glasgow  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  03:26 PM
Well, whether they feel like they're truthful or not, they're not legal. If this in an investment, where's the prospectus? Where's the official disclaimers? I don't see ANY legitimatacy in this. They promise to put a "percentage" of your contribution into "the fund". How much? How do they propose to earn more than 5%? Someone should ask them if any of their clients have been snatched up by the futurians. If time travel exists at any time in our future, someone would've been picked up by now.
I agree that whether they believe in it or not, until they can prove the legitimacy of thier "fund" it should stay on the site as a hoax or scam.

I think I know how they're investing the money though. I bet they're buying up acreage on the moon. tongue rolleye
Posted by Mark  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  06:39 PM
Also, John Symmes contacted me from beyond the grave and told me he was "extremely vexed" that you have Symzonia on this site.
Posted by ltr  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  06:44 PM
AW gave a great answer! LOL
I think you should list them as a hoax. If they were so foolish as to seek a legal remedy, it would be worth the trouble to see them try to explain their position to a judge.
Posted by Mark Brown  in  South Dakota  on  Fri Aug 20, 2004  at  10:47 PM
Maybe you should add a "Kooky" category and put them under that. grin
Posted by Hannah1  on  Sat Aug 21, 2004  at  01:04 AM
]
"(just for the record, I did not post that comment above. I found the site listed in my referrer logs, clicked, and saw that someone posted as me. Not that it really matters, it's a very innocuous comment and doesn't really make me look bad / good in any way, but still... kinda scary that someone would post something under my name)

But I do agree, just leave it up. It's a hoot.
Posted by the real joe peacock on Fri Aug 20, 2004 at 06:52 AM"


my name happens to be Joe Peacock.
I linked to your website because i found it funny and thought you would like the publicity.
Sorry for any damage done.
Posted by joe peacock  on  Sat Aug 21, 2004  at  03:14 AM
I wouldn't be inclined to take seriously the opinion on legal matters of someone who calls a written opinion "slander".
Posted by Ray  on  Sat Aug 21, 2004  at  10:00 PM
HOAX!

And last time I checked, time travel was an opinion, not a fact also.
Posted by Drunk Stepdad  on  Sun Aug 22, 2004  at  01:23 AM
This thing tops the loch ness monster virgin ritual...
Posted by The Mexx  on  Sun Aug 22, 2004  at  03:25 AM
Keep the link, Alex. In the future you can always go back in time and delete it.
Posted by Larry  on  Sun Aug 22, 2004  at  07:30 PM
Keep it listed! But put in a disclaimer (with their letter), not to keep clean on the legal front but because their claim that they are for real is almost as funny as the site itself.
Posted by Paul in Prague  in  Czech Republic  on  Mon Aug 23, 2004  at  10:47 AM
I agree that they are not legal. I'd start by reporting them to their state's attorney general's office for security fraud. That'll get an investigation launched. I'd guess that the reason that there hasn't already been an investigation is that everyone assumes it's fake. If they want to be real, they'll have to buck up to the law, which prosecutes people for that.
Posted by Bill B.  on  Mon Aug 23, 2004  at  05:59 PM
Yes, it seems to good to be true. But if I invest $2.50 at 1% for 2000 years, I'm a billionaire. It might be worth the $2.50.....
Posted by Paul Butler  in  Buffalo, NY  on  Tue Aug 24, 2004  at  01:53 PM
Well, I don't know if they are a fake or not, but I joined and selected the 'International' option by mistake. The refunded me the extra dollar they charge for overseas shipping, without me asking.
That within itself says a lot about them.
In any case, it's a cool certificate, worth the $10 by itself. If they are for real, great! If not, then I'm only out ten bucks, and I still have the certificate hanging on my wall.
Posted by Stephen  in  USA  on  Tue Aug 24, 2004  at  02:40 PM
There is an assumption that someone must be around running their company in 500 or 5,000 years. There won't be. You are buying a certificate and that's all. If they insist that they are serious, ask them why, if time travel seems a certainty in the future, we have not had any visitors from there.

In addition, there is a theory in Quantum mechanics called "Causality". Maybe they should read it. But, although their company is a hoax, it is not a fraud since they are not promising anything deliverable. It is like selling property on Venus.
Posted by TC  in  Hawaii  on  Tue Aug 24, 2004  at  02:52 PM
Quote: But, although their company is a hoax, it is not a fraud since they are not promising anything deliverable. It is like selling property on Venus.

The problem is that they are selling it as an investment. Selling investments is illegal without the proper licenses. If it were simply sold in the same manner as the "International Star Registry" it would be acceptable. They can't be real and really invest the money as they say without the proper licensing though.
Posted by Bill B.  on  Tue Aug 24, 2004  at  03:46 PM
That's just plain SCAM, and SCAMS are REAL, they're NOT HOAX!
Posted by mangkih  on  Wed Aug 25, 2004  at  02:01 PM
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