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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
George Plimpton (1927-2003)
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 26, 2003
George Plimpton, creator of Sidd Finch (which came in at number 3 on my list of the greatest April Fool's day hoaxes of all time), has died. He was 76 years old.
Categories: Death, Sports Comments (0)
Mickey Mouse Goes to University
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 25, 2003
A British reporter filled out a university application with info for Mickey Mouse, and Mickey was accepted. But to be fair to the university, instead of using the name 'Mickey Mouse,' which would have been a giveaway, he wrote Michael Mouse. That sounds like it really could be someone's name.
Categories: Journalism Comments (0)
Edible Outdoor Gear
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 25, 2003
Here's a strange hoax website (sent in by Stuart Jacobson). It's Eastern Active Technologies (EAT), retailers of edible outdoor gear and equipment. Now when you set off on a weekend hiking trip, laden down with tent, sleeping bag, and backpack, you can return completely empty handed... and well fed.
Categories: Food, Websites Comments (0)
The Collect-Trash-for-Charity Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Schoolchildren in Gloucester, England were fooled by a hoax, versions of which have been around for decades. They received an email message telling them that if they collected 3 kilograms of empty Walker chips packages, then Walker Chips would pay for the treatment of a child born without an arm. The kids collected all the packages of chips, only to learn that Walker Chips had never made such an offer. Like I said, versions of this hoax have happened many times before. They often involve the collection of bottle caps, empty boxes of matches, or other junk, all, so it is said, to support some good cause. Curtis MacDougall, in his classic study of hoaxes, records an example…
Categories: Con Artists Comments (0)
The Truth About the Abominable Snowman
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
The Abominable Snowman, or Yeti, is really just a legend derived from stories about the Himalayan Brown Bear, says this Japanese researcher. He found that 'meti' means brown bear in the language of the indigenous people around the Himalayas. But in one region they say 'yeti' instead of 'meti.' Thus the tales about the Yeti.
Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (3)
The Nature of Reality
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Interesting discussion of the nature of reality. Posits three positions: 1) Reality is hidden and unknowable; 2) Reality is attainable; 3) We can't agree about reality. (via RealityCarnival).
Categories: Religion Comments (0)
Beta-7 and Sega ESPN NFL Football
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
I don't have much time to examine this fully, but a visitor (Rocketboy_X) just alerted me to a possible hoax involving a guy named 'Beta-7' who claims to have been a beta tester for one of Sega's new video games, ESPN NFL Football, until he began to experience blackouts during which he would engage in unpredictable behavior (such as randomly tackling people). On his website (or rather, a website devoted to publicizing his claims), Beta-7 claims that the game (which was just released a few weeks ago) causes this reaction in a small percentage of people, and that Sega knows about this and is trying to cover it up. Of course, this all smells like it's a controversy engineered…
Categories: Technology Comments (2)
Joseph Papp and his Submarine
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Infinite Energy, 'The Magazine of New Energy Science and Technology,' has devoted its entire current issue to analyzing the work of Joseph Papp, the Hungarian inventor who claimed to have built some kind of fusion-powered engine that used noble gases as fuel (i.e. we're talking 'free-energy' technology here). In the 1960s he also claimed to have built a submarine that could travel at 300 mph, and in a test run of this craft he said that he travelled from Canada to France in 13 hours (the airplane ticket that was later found in his pocket debunked this claim). Infinite Energy has one sample article about Papp on its website. I've also got some pictures of Papp's submarine on…
Categories: Free Energy Comments (0)
Laze’s Diet System
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Laze's Diet System: Here's a diet system that promises fast results. It seems to involve sucking your stomach in.
Black People Love Us
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Black People Love Us: Sally and Johnny (a white couple) just want everyone to know that the black community loves them.
Rent-a-Negro
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Rent a Negro: Are you embarrassed by the lack of racial diversity at your social events? Then this website has the answer. Just 'rent a negro' and you too can appear multicultural in the eyes of your friends, all without ever having to challenge your own white privilege.
Wife Odyssey
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Wife Odyssey: He may look like a grouchy old slob, but don't let his appearance deceive you. He's really a 'lonesome artist seeking a soulmate.'
Categories: Sex/Romance Comments (0)
Think of the Children
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Think of the Children: Here's a British group advocating the use of mob violence and vigilante justice against anyone even suspected of committing a crime against a child. Punish first, deliberate about possible guilt or innocence later, seems to be their philosophy.
Mankato, Minnesota
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Mankato: Welcome to Mankato, Minnesota, where you can enjoy whale watching on the Minnesota River.
Categories: Places, Websites Comments (1)
Burmese Mountain Dogs
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Burmese Mountain Dog: A page (also from the creators of the Mankato, Minnesota page) with some info about a rare breed of dog known as the Burmese Mountain Dog. You can examine this a long time and potentially not realize the joke, which is that the actual breed is the Bernese Mountain Dog (it comes from Berne, Switzerland). I guess a lot of people say Burmese instead of Bernese.
Categories: Animals, Websites Comments (18)
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