The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
The Bonnie Sweeten Abduction Hoax
Philadelphia Mom Bonnie Sweeten had apparently been embezzling money from a charity where she worked for years. Fearing that she was about to be found out, she fled to Orlando with her daughter, but not before concocting a hoax about being abducted by two black men who rear-ended her SUV. (She placed a call to 911, pretending she was locked in the trunk of the black men's car.)

I guess the hoax was intended to cover her tracks, but I'm not sure if it didn't simply increase police scrutiny, making them search more closely for her than they otherwise would have. Obvious signs that her call was a hoax: a) the call was placed miles from the scene where she said the abduction occurred; b) police soon found her car, unharmed; c) police then identified Sweeten on airport video, boarding a flight to Orlando with her daughter. The police tracked Sweeten down in Orlando and arrested her.

If someone wanted to disappear effectively, I would think they should slip away quietly, to give themselves as much of a head start as possible. And also avoid airports and other places with lots of security cameras.

Links: Yahoo! News, Philly.com.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 29, 2009
Comments (2)
Yeah, sending out a press release, calling 911, etc., are poor ways to avoid detection. And since airports have elaborate security regimens that involve, among other things, showing photo ID and being on video cameras, and airlines maintain lists of everybody on each flight, airports aren't good places to be anonymous, either.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Bahia Escondida, Texas  on  Sun May 31, 2009  at  09:08 AM
I agree. Now, if this gal had studied the way Madelineine McCann's parents pulle dit off, she would be in the money now like they are.
Posted by D F Stuckey  in  Auckland New Zealand  on  Tue Aug 11, 2009  at  02:58 AM
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