The Museum of Hoaxes
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Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
The boy with the golden tooth, 1593
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
Cursed by Allah
Book A Fake Vacation
Status: Weird News
The Los Angeles Times reports about a Russian travel agency, Persey Tours, that sells fake vacations:
For $500, nobody will believe you weren't sunning yourself last week on Copacabana Beach, just before you trekked through the Amazon rain forest and slept in a thatched hut. Hey! That's you, arms outstretched like Kate Winslet on the bow of the Titanic, on top of Corcovado! Persey Tours was barely keeping the bill collectors at bay before it started offering fake vacations last year. Now it's selling 15 a month — providing ersatz ticket stubs, hotel receipts, photos with clients' images superimposed on famous landmarks, a few souvenirs for living room shelves. If the customer is an errant husband who wants his wife to believe he's on a fishing trip, Persey offers not just photos of him on the river, but a cellphone with a distant number, a lodge that if anyone calls will swear the husband is checked in but not available, and a few dead fish on ice.
So now who believes that I really did travel to Edinburgh in May for a Museum of Hoaxes get-together? wink

The broader focus of the LA Times article is how awash in fakery Russian society is. You can get fake versions of almost anything in Russia: clothes, food, electronics, university degrees, art, legal documents, etc. One line in the article I thought was particularly ironic:
The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has estimated that 50% of all consumer goods sold in Russia are fake; the counterfeit trade, Minister German O. Gref announced in January, has reached $4 billion to $6 billion a year — no one knows exactly, because the books are cooked.

Categories: Exploration/Travel, Places
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 12, 2006
Comments (23)
Is it a bit rich of an LA newspaper to comment on Russia's fakeness?
Posted by Pavlos  in  UK  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  01:55 PM
this sounds really familliar- was there a movie with this concept?
Posted by katey  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  05:59 PM
I knew you were really sleeping in a thatched hut in the Amazon rain forest that week you said you were in Scotland, Alex.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Odessa, Texas  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  06:11 PM
"... was there a movie with this concept?"

I think there have been numerous sit-com episodes involving a character who faked an exotic or luxury vacation.

I recall one episode of the old British series "To the Manor Born" where the main character tried to convince her friends she had gone to Spain because she didn't want to admit she couldn't afford to go anywhere on holiday.

(I blush to think that I ever watched such a show.)
Posted by Big Gary  in  Sanger, Texas  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  06:16 PM
I'm thinking of "Green Card", where someone or other fakes being married to Gerard Depardieu's nose(sorry, couldn't resist...) including fake honeymoon photos.
Posted by Owen  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  06:34 PM
I have to admit, Gary. I saw that exact same show.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  07:21 PM
I knew it, I just knew it, it was REPTOID Alex! big surprise

So, how long had you been planning that little escapade Alex? hmmm

LOL
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  07:46 PM
Reminds me of that Schwarzenegger movie, "Total Recall" where the company called Rekall Inc. sold fake memory implants of vacations to anywhere you wanted for a fraction of the cost of the real thing. It was based on Phillip K. Dick's short story, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". Famous for scenes like:

Lori:
Doug. Honey... you wouldn't hurt me, would you, sweet heart? Sweet heart, be reasonable. After all, we're married!

[Lori goes for her gun, Quaid shoots her]

Douglas Quaid:
Consider that a divorce.

Melina:
That was your wife?

[Quaid nods]

Melina:
What a bitch!
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  08:55 PM
Yes, Total Recall!!
Posted by katey  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  08:58 PM
You sure it wasn't the Replicant Alex, Nettie? wink
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  09:16 PM
This service could go down well in Italy...
Posted by outeast  on  Thu Jul 13, 2006  at  02:44 AM
Haven't seen the movie, but it did immediately remind me of We Can Remember it for You Wholesale. Their fake vacation includes ticket stubs, photographs, postcards, souvenirs--and memories of the trip, all with a guarantee that you'll never figure out it's not real. What a bargain.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Thu Jul 13, 2006  at  06:32 AM
That's quite creepy (not that I would expect anything else from Philip K. Dick). Why would you go down to the shop to buy yourself some fake memories?
Posted by Owen  on  Thu Jul 13, 2006  at  06:44 AM
I never believed you guys got together. ever. smile
Posted by thunder  in  England  on  Thu Jul 13, 2006  at  07:45 AM
I've heard a lot about having to double check items like CDs if you're buying from Russia, because so any are bootlegs, but I've never considered the whole place that fake ...
Posted by Dracul  on  Thu Jul 13, 2006  at  11:45 AM
howzabout a fake book vacation? Take along such classics as "Counterfieting At Home", by I.B. Makenziebuchs, or "The History of Werewolves", by Moon Mee? Or, my favorite: "I Can't Not Tell A Lie", by George W. Bush, written in crayon, of course. I live
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Jul 13, 2006  at  12:25 PM
I, Raoul, Booking Agent for the Vacation of Love, am now taking reservations. We will be sailing to Satisfaction Island, and staying at Hotel Passion, no? Oh, this for the womens only, I am sorry. I should have said that first, because now I am sure I dissapointed some of you for whom Raoul is your fantasy, and this can not be. I am only one man, You know? Ha ha ha... but don't get me started, okay? Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Thu Jul 13, 2006  at  01:46 PM
I think I'll fake a fake vacation. I'll go somewhere, but convince everybody I really stayed home. Complete with fake-looking photos of real places, cheesy stock postcards, and obviously counterfeit ticket stubs. I'll show badly blurred slides and tell preposterous anecdotes about what happened on my trip.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso  on  Fri Jul 14, 2006  at  01:32 AM
Metabrilliant, Big Gary!

Coffee, meet Keyboard...

And Rrrraoul? You breaka my heart, man.
Posted by outeast  on  Fri Jul 14, 2006  at  03:00 AM
Back in the 80's, I co-wrote a humor book, Slycraft's Catalog of Stuff, with my friend Albin Sadar. It was published in 1984 by Crown. As the name implies, it was a fake "catalog" of "products" made by an imaginary company.

One of the products was a thing called Vacation By Proxy. In theory, busy people would pay for one of Slycraft's executives to go on a vacation in their place. The exec would do all the things YOU would have done if you could find the time and take pictures of them. Sound familiar?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Jul 14, 2006  at  03:31 AM
By the way Alex, I checked out that "SkepticWiki"-link.

And I was very irritated again when I noted that this "skeptic", "scientific" wiki contains the same kind of things that always irritate me when confronted with the "skeptic" scene: stupid errors and gross misunderstandings of he science they discuss, and obvious cases of non-fact checking.

Like other "skeptic" writings, the Wiki contains some very odd statements which simply do not match with scientific knowledge on the topics discussed. For example, at the end of the Easter Island entry is a paragraph that is downright bizarre. Whoever wrote that, he/she doesn't seem to know much of Easter Island at all. For a site dedicated to champion science against pseudo- and non-science, this is a deadly sin.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Sun Jul 16, 2006  at  04:05 PM
No vacations for me this year. I wonder if using this, I can convince myself I really did have one.
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Thu Jul 20, 2006  at  12:14 AM
fake vacation!!why will anyone want to create such a memory?is this service only available in Russia!
Posted by Kenny Doucette  in  florida  on  Thu Mar 20, 2008  at  10:29 AM
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