The Museum of Hoaxes
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Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
The Great New York Zoo Escape Hoax, 1874
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps?
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
Find Bailey
image Bailey is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. On November 8, 2004 he was stolen from a locked car located in a Beverly Hills parking structure. Bailey's owner, Elizabeth Hart, is desperate to get him back. And to aid in this effort she's created the most elaborate, slickly designed website you'll ever see for a lost dog. She's also issued a press release about Bailey, and is doing radio and TV interviews. I feel bad being suspicious about all this. After all, the poor woman probably really has lost her dog and is just trying to do everything she can to get him back. I know I'd go to quite extreme lengths to get my cat back, if she ever went missing. But still, the skeptic in me keeps saying 'Can this possibly be real?' It's how perfectly media-friendly the whole situation is that gives me pause. You've got a cute dog, an attractive woman, a christmas sob story, press releases, a professionally designed website. Could this be someone (maybe an aspiring actress) inventing a story to get some media attention? I have absolutely no evidence for this at all (though most people who lose their dog don't issue a press release), and I'm probably wrong. I just can't stop myself from asking the question. Anyway, I figure that even if my suspicions are misdirected, I'm helping her out by linking to her site and giving her more publicity.
Categories: Animals
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 16, 2004
Comments (46)
Domain Name: FINDBAILEY.COM
Registrar: BULKREGISTER, LLC.
Whois Server: whois.bulkregister.com
Referral URL: http://www.bulkregister.com
Name Server: DNS1.HRNOC.NET
Name Server: DNS2.HRNOC.NET
Status: ACTIVE
Updated Date: 29-nov-2004
Creation Date: 29-nov-2004
Expiration Date: 29-nov-2005

This seems legite.. the website indicates the dog was taken on 8 November, but as you can see the website wasn't created for another 3 weeks. It may seem excessive but so far I don't see any holes in the story. As far as the elaborate website, she could easily have a friend who designs websites.
Posted by Thomas Robinson  in  Swansea, IL  on  Mon Dec 20, 2004  at  04:24 PM
I'm not sure I believe that someone who leaves a dog in a parked car with the windows down for an hour really wants the dog very much.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Dec 20, 2004  at  04:31 PM
Her real name is Elizabeth Hart Matthews -- Googled the email address listed in the whois info above. I then googled her whole name and turned up nothing. Yahoo people search on the various iterations of the name turn up one address in Brentwood and two others, but nothing in Beverly Hills that I could tell.
Posted by Randy  on  Mon Dec 20, 2004  at  07:12 PM
Then I Googled the "Johnna Matthews" name in the whois data, figuring it's a relative, and turned up a couple of sites that indicate Johnna is half of Newell and Matthews, a PR firm. Go to this site:

http://www.murphyandco.com/about_mana_morr.asp

to read more about Newell and Matthews' clients, which included Dow Corning during the breast implant trials in the 1990s. Newell and Matthews both used to be with Burson-Marsteller in Chicago, which might explain the Lake Forest reference in the whois info.

In the end, though, if this Johnna is a relative (let's say mother) of Elizabeth, it would help to show where the money and expertise for the website design came from.
Posted by Randy  on  Mon Dec 20, 2004  at  07:23 PM
I want to say this girl's search is credible but the publicity page really seems out of place.

If your attention is finding a lost pet why the need to scrap book media appearances? The streaming video of news publicity isn't exactly light on the bandwidth.

How is watching a television interview helpful in the search for Bailey? It comes across as 15 secs of fame immortalized. The other site sections however are informative and focused on locating her dog.

As for the slick web design, that's attributable to "sean odell and dirgework productions" the site's web designer.
Posted by H  on  Mon Dec 20, 2004  at  11:59 PM
Someone here hinted a the real story, Is a dog lost? probable, is she a babe, yes, does the guy/web-designer want her, yes. Would I do something like it to get a babe, YES!
The rest is history.
Posted by Lee  in  Mobile, al.  on  Tue Dec 21, 2004  at  12:39 PM
The real story was hinted at. Is the dog lost, probable, is she a babe, yes, would the guy/web-designer build a site to impress her, would'nt you? (guys)
Lee
Posted by Lee  in  Mobile, al.  on  Tue Dec 21, 2004  at  12:44 PM
Hi--I am a close, personal friend of Elizabeth's, and I assure you this is NOT a hoax. Her dog was stolen from her car in November and Elizabeth has been trying to get Bailey back ever since.

Anyone who has a cherished pet or has experienced the loss of a pet, can understand how difficult this situation is. Instead of giving up, Elizabeth is doing everything she can to get Bailey back. She and many of her friends (like me) are resolved to help reunite her and Bailey and we continue to post flyers and get the word out there. I am really proud of Elizabeth's efforts, determination and what she's been able to accomplish so far.

All her effort even got you to talk/think about Bailey and the situation! Thanks for your thoughts on the matter (both positive and negative). I know it's hard to believe someone would put this much effort into anything--it's much easier to think someone would orchestrate a hoax like this. It would be nice if we could all take a leap of faith, like my friend Elizabeth is doing, and believe in her story and efforts, and especially in Bailey's safe return.

Thank you.
Posted by Joycie  in  Los Angeles, CA  on  Tue Dec 21, 2004  at  10:45 PM
Can you set me up with her?
Posted by Craig  on  Wed Dec 22, 2004  at  08:41 AM
It has to be a semi-real site, the last picture of Bailey can be made with a camera and flash. IF you know how the 'red-eye' affect works, that's what happened. If it was a business website, it could have easily been fixed.
Posted by Yaanu  on  Wed Dec 22, 2004  at  01:40 PM
I have her dog. Send 1,000,000,000 to my off-shore account and you will get her back in 24 hrs. wink wink
Posted by Sabrina P  in  Quebec, Canada  on  Sat Dec 25, 2004  at  06:33 AM
The first question on my mind was this (IF in fact she did lose the dog)... why was the dog in a locked car in the first place. You don't leave a dog in the car like that. Some people can be so stupid. Ever think maybe that's why she was stolen? Duh!
Posted by Ter  in  Florida  on  Mon Jan 10, 2005  at  10:38 AM
I have no idea if the dog is actually gone or not...But lemme tell you, if I lost my dog...I'd do the same exact thing. And this hits a little more home because both my dogs are cavaliers. I don'tt hink it's over the top for finding the dog...It's exactly what I'd do, and what I know my friends would do.

I don't however, approve of leaving the dog in the car that long...So, mabe someone who will take better care of Baily has her now....
Posted by PootPoot  on  Fri Jan 14, 2005  at  09:11 AM
That's just heartbreaking. I believe her and I hope she finds Bailey. I applaud her efforts. Putting up this website will reach more people than just posters. Plus, it's always there whereas posters get taken down after a couple of weeks. She obviously has the resourses to put together this site, and maybe a friend did it as someone suggested.
While I agree that it was not smart to leave a valuable and cherished dog in a car for an hour, it sounds like she tried to make her as comfortable as possible. You know how it goes in the doctor's office, she probably didn't expect to be gone that long. I can only imagine the pain in her heart she felt when she came back to the car to find Bailey gone. What a horrible feeling that must have been. sick
Posted by Glamcat  on  Thu Jan 27, 2005  at  09:07 AM
Sad story. I really feel bad for Bailey's owner.
Posted by Moumita  in  USA  on  Mon Dec 29, 2008  at  06:30 AM
Very sad. Hope Bailey will return home soon.
Posted by Shiva  in  USA  on  Mon Dec 29, 2008  at  06:33 AM
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