The Museum of Hoaxes
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Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
Suspicious MARC Poster
image David Emery gave me a heads up about this soviet-style poster that has supposedly been sighted on the MARC trains that go between Baltimore and Washington DC. It urges passengers to: "Report any unusual activities or packages to the nearest conductor. WATCH, RIDE, AND REPORT."

The poster seems so Big-Brother-like that a lot of people suspect it must be a hoax. David Emery comments: "the logo on the poster reads "MARC Marshals" which, as far as I can tell, don't exist. MARC trains are patrolled by MARC Police. Folks are speculating it's probably some sort of guerrilla art project."

The photo caught the attention of bloggers when it appeared on the Articulatory Loop blog. However, I think it appeared earlier on MDRails, which is a website of photos taken by Maryland train enthusiasts (although when I checked the Wayback Machine, I could see that the poster wasn't on there as of October 2004).

It actually wouldn't surprise me if the poster was real, but the only way to confirm this is if (1) other MARC riders report seeing this poster, and (2) MARC confirms that they put this poster up.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 08, 2005
Comments (10)
Yeah i saw one of those when i was in dc last week...
Posted by Jeremy  on  Wed Jun 08, 2005  at  08:52 PM
The use of "marshals", so similar to sky marshals but technically incorrect, tips it off as fake. Most people in the "Homeland" are too dense to cop to Soviet or Nazi style propaganda, anyway, and that includes our Fearless Leaders. Start worrying when statues of the sitting president start appearing everywhere (the renaming of National airport to Ronny Raygun airport approaches this).
Posted by Urusai  in  in the bathroom  on  Wed Jun 08, 2005  at  09:24 PM
I have seen several different websites that take old American WWII posters, Soviet and Nazi propaganda posters, and even old Pulp art, and change the wording to reflect current worries. (There was one, for instance, of a pissed-off Uncle Sam saying "Sorry, Bush, I don't work for torturers.")

This looks veeeeery similar. Heck, maybe somebody just went to a Kinko's and printed some of those redressed propaganda jpgs out large, and then went and stuck them on trains. Sounds like a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon to me.
Posted by Barghest  on  Wed Jun 08, 2005  at  10:22 PM
Some of those old WWII propaganda posters are nice. Like the ones that say, "if you ride alone YOU RIDE WITH HITLER," or "if you talk too much, this man may die." If I were less lazy, I'd go out and buy some American propaganda posters, but as is I just have a communist international one.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Thu Jun 09, 2005  at  11:02 AM
I have nothing of real import to add, but Urusai's comment has to be one of the more stupider things I've read in a few days, and just needed to point a finger and laught at him/her/it for the serious lack of intellegence displayed.
Posted by Fred  on  Thu Jun 09, 2005  at  11:59 AM
This is absolutely, without a doubt, 100 percent real. Here is an e-mail I got from MARC customer service:

"Lately, the MTA has received a number of inquiries from MARC riders
concerning the "Watch, Ride & Report" poster which was commissioned by
CSX last year.

MARC contracts with CSX for its commuter rail service on the Brunswick

& Camden Lines. Both lines are owned and operated by CSX.

CSX has displayed the poster at rail facilities during the last year as
part of its campaign to promote passenger security awareness.

MARC did not post or distribute this poster. You may consider
contacting CSX to inquire if they have any spare posters available.

MTA Customer Communications

>>> .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 6/9/2005 3:08:04 PM >>>

Category: Question Mode of Service: MARC Train Nature Of Question:
Advertising,

Comments: Is this real?



If it is, it's cool, and where can I get one?

CONTACT INFORMATION"

...
Posted by Sonobovich  in  I'm in ur base killing ur doods  on  Thu Jun 09, 2005  at  05:14 PM
not a hoax, it's real
Posted by syd  on  Fri Jun 10, 2005  at  01:28 AM
Transport for London ran a similar poster series a while back, touting the benefits of CCTV with arc deco posters and the phrase "SECURE beneath the WATCHFUL EYES".

In fact, here is one such poster:


If you search Google images for the phrase you get lots. They were official posters and I think most people saw the joke; Transport for London is, like the TV Licencing people, widely seen as a kind of 1940s Brit-style Stalinist organisation. As a frequent bus and train user I often used to imagine a video monitor, somewhere, showing footage of myself being killed; and the operator is on his lunch break, or he is on paid leave, or the monitor is broken, or some quota has been filled, and so forth, and no-one will help. Watchful eyes, pah.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Fri Jun 10, 2005  at  01:54 PM
Great, now we have the stupid comment marshal
Posted by sbnature  on  Sun Jun 12, 2005  at  05:51 PM
And in light of subsequent events on London's transpost system, 'secure beneath the watchful eyes' seems even more like a sad, sick joke.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Mon Jul 11, 2005  at  09:32 PM
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