The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps?
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
Rachael Ray cooks her family and her dog
Samsung invents the on/off switch
Use your left ear to detect lies
Mayor uses magazine picture of himself as ID
A few days ago papers reported a weird news item about Charleston mayor Danny Jones who used a picture of himself in Charleston magazine to ID himself before boarding an airplane.

Turns out that "impromptu IDs" are a perennial urban-legend theme. The Legends & Rumors blog has collected a long list of them.

The examples include a case of a porn star who showed a nude picture of herself in a magazine to ID herself while cashing a check, as well as a nineteenth-century case of a man who used his name written on his shirt flap as ID in a bank.

Of course, this doesn't mean that the story about Mayor Jones is false. But it does make it a little more questionable.
Categories: Identity/Imposters
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 01, 2008
Comments (8)
I remember a few years ago hearing that a former athlete was trying to board a plane to London (just when they introduced requirements for passports when boarding internal UK flights) and he showed a photo of himself in an old Guinness Book of Records as ID.

He was some kind of world-record setting rower and he was on a way to give a speech or presentation or something and was taking the old Guinness book as part of it, hence why he had it as carry-on. I remember it was in the Daily Record.
Posted by Renquist  in  Glasgow, Scotland  on  Fri Feb 01, 2008  at  06:19 PM
Why don't people just have their damn ID?? How hard is it to carry a tiny card?? It's easier to carry pictures of yourself in a magazine or BOOK?? Frick, people can just be retarded - whether the story is true or not.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sat Feb 02, 2008  at  11:50 AM
Wow, Maegan, you're a real spoilsport today. Where's your sense of adventure?

I like the story on "Legends and Rumors" about the man who used his face on a "Most Wanted" poster as ID. If I ever achieve my ambition of appearing on a Wanted poster, I'm going to carry it with me at all times.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Cash, Texas  on  Sat Feb 02, 2008  at  02:21 PM
I broke the office chair. :( Apparently I was feeling adventerous & somehow it got stuck leaning back.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sat Feb 02, 2008  at  09:42 PM
We had a case of a patient recently who had to board a plane to travel to another hospital for specialized treatment - we used a photo printout from his medical record to identify himself (though he was escorted by a hospital employee on the flight).
Posted by Travis  in  Boise, ID USA  on  Mon Feb 04, 2008  at  11:47 AM
In 2003, I was working with our school's volleyball team and accompanied them to a tournament in Hawaii. When we were at the airport getting ready to leave, one of the girls realized she had packed her ID in her luggage -- which had already been checked (they took the whole team's luggage at once). Thus, she didn't have it with her to pass through security. Eventually, we were able to get her through, in large part because we had a media guide that had not only pictures but an entire write-up of her in it. So I'd buy this mayor's story.
Posted by AstrosJeff  on  Fri Feb 08, 2008  at  05:14 PM
I would definitely buy the Mayor's story, a pic's worth a thousand words, which is why they say to copy all your ID info prior to traveling in case of theft or loss. Here is another one to think about, why can a wife charge on her husband's credit card... because it is in her hand and she knows the zip code? ID stuff is weird! We sell luggage and ID holders! www.--------.com
Posted by G. Kaplan  on  Tue Apr 29, 2008  at  08:10 PM
True story: I had my wife's credit card for an emergency purchase we had to have for a Christmas gift. The woman at the checkout counter noticed that I was not female, and asked me about the card. I told her it was my wife's card, but since my wife kept her last name, the woman was justifiably suspicious. I noticed that the credit card had my wife's picture, and then I remembered that I carried in my wallet a picture of my wife and I from our wedding. I showed her the picture, at which the woman laughed and ran the card through for the charge.
Posted by Isaac  on  Thu Mar 11, 2010  at  04:09 PM
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