The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Life discovered on the moon, 1835
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
Will Ferrell Dies While Paragliding
Status: Hoax
An announcement of actor Will Ferrell's death in a paragliding accident was briefly posted on the wire service iNewswire today, before the service caught wind of it, realized Will Ferrell wasn't dead, and yanked it. The release read, in part:

Los Angeles -- Actor Will Ferrell accidentally died in a freak para-gliding accident yesterday in Torey Pines, Southern California. The accident apparently happened somewhere near the famed paragliding site after a freak wind gush basically blew Ferrell and his companion towards a wooded area where they lost control before crashing into dense foilage. (Click here to see the whole obituary.)

My wife works very close to Torrey Pines, so I'm sure I would have heard from her if something like this had happened. E-online has some more details about the hoax, including that Ferrell's publicist confirmed the actor was still alive and filming a movie in Montreal, and that Ferrell has actually never paraglided anywhere, at any time in his life.

As for who is responsible for the hoax: "iNewswire tried, but failed to find the source of the bogus Ferrell story. The trickster, a non-paying customer, used a proxy server--the ISP address can't be traced, Borgos explained. All that's known about the anonymous user is that he or she tried, but failed to post about 10-15 other press releases on the site Tuesday, he said, including one that clarified that 'Will Ferrell is not really dead.'"

I've already added this hoax to my growing list of fake celebrity obituaries. (Thanks to Brad Wulff for forwarding me the email.)
Categories: Celebrities, Death
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 15, 2006
Comments (10)
Move over, Abe Vigoda.
Posted by Yaanu  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  08:39 AM
is this more Tom Vandetta work?
Posted by katey  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  08:58 AM
Even if it would have been true, does it really count as newsworthy?
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  11:50 AM
It's a shame this story is taking up so much press. The death of Marlon Wayans seems to be going by the wayside.
Posted by AqueousBoy  on  Wed Mar 15, 2006  at  02:54 PM
Killed by a "gush" of wind?
Posted by Joe  on  Thu Mar 16, 2006  at  08:06 AM
Not to mention crash landing in the "foilage".

Seems to me a characteristic of fake press releases is that they're so poorly written.
Posted by Joe  on  Thu Mar 16, 2006  at  08:08 AM
This is sad. If he were dead, we would not have to be exposed to his crappy movies. Ferrell freakin' sux!!! I hate his movies and dislike him. Die, die !!!
Posted by berkman_frick  in  new jersey  on  Fri Mar 17, 2006  at  05:56 PM
WTF? WILL FERRELL DIED? I'M SERIOUSLY CRYING. WILL FERRELL WAS THE SHIZZZZZ. I WILL MISS HIM. DAMN.
Posted by Amanda  in  sc  on  Tue Nov 14, 2006  at  08:57 PM
will ferrell is kick ass and if he really was dead and all of these people were talking such trash on him i feel sorry for his family. his movies are hilarious and i've heard he's a great man. i pray that will ferrell lives on and graces my life with more and more laughs!!!!!!!!
Posted by kaito  on  Sat Dec 08, 2007  at  10:55 PM
Will is one of the funniest ever. There is no other like him, period!!
Posted by chrissie clees  in  detroit, mi  on  Mon Sep 01, 2008  at  05:13 AM
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