The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
The X-Files of Music — Did you know that David Duchovny released a record of trashy love songs with titles such as "Alien to Your Arms," "You Must Be From Venus," and "X-File of Love"? Or that Herman Melville wrote a novel called "Symmes' Hole" that was lost for decades but has been recently rediscovered and is now available as an audiobook read by David Byrne of the Talking Heads? I certainly didn't. So I was surprised to discover these rare CDs (and others) discussed at the Entropic Empire. Now I've…
Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004.   Comments (0)

Mobile Phone Birth Control — This one had me going for a while before I figured out it was a joke. The EETimes reports on a small Belgian company called Prophy-Lectric that has developed a cellphone add-on, dubbed the Nippit 3000. This remarkable device "projects a high-intensity ultra-sonic electromagnetic 'sound cone' that is inaudible to the human ear but fatal to any sperm cell within a range of six meters, or about 18 feet." In other words, just place it next to the bed during moments of intimacy, and that's…
Posted: Thu Mar 18, 2004.   Comments (0)

Ted Jesus Christ GOD — Ted Kurts is a humble guy. All he asks is that you recognize that he's the Messiah and the second coming of Jesus Christ. You doubt his claim? You want proof? Then check out his photo to the right. Doesn't he look eerily like certain portrayals of Christ? What better proof could you ask for? Oh, and please don't refer to him as Ted Kurts. It's Ted Jesus Christ God, to you. When I come across sites like this it's hard to know if they're supposed to be taken seriously or not. I kinda…
Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2004.   Comments (73)

Panama City, 1989. NBC Phone Hoax — In December 1989 the U.S. invaded Panama. NBC News managed to obtain a live interview with an American businessman staying in Panama City, Roger Sizemore, who said he was witnessing the invasion as it happened. But ever since then questions have persisted about who Sizemore really was. After the interview 'Roger Sizemore' disappeared without a trace, never to be found again. Then a man named Brian Seifert came forward claiming that he was the man on the phone pretending to be…
Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2004.   Comments (1)


New Homepage Design — Anyone who visits here regularly will notice that I've changed the design of the homepage. I do this fairly often, never being very satisfied with my layout skills. I thought the last design was a little too busy, and some of the images were using up too much bandwidth. So my goal this time was to make the page more minimalist and get rid of the bandwidth-hogging images. I also created a new seal for the Museum of Hoaxes (visible at the right of the banner above). It shows a vegetable…
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004.   Comments (1)

Fake Reporters — The Bush administration is getting some flack for a video it has distributed to news stations showing journalists commenting on the public reaction to the newly passed Medicare law. The problem is that those aren't real journalists. They're actors paid to read from a script. It's a subtle, ambiguous form of deception, since the White House can always say that they really are reporters. After all, they're standing there, in front of a camera, reporting. Doesn't that make them a real…
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004.   Comments (2)

Feline Bewilderment — If your cat has been feeling a little down lately, then you may need to hire the services of Confuse a Cat, Ltd., the world leaders in feline bewilderment. One of their highly trained technicians will come to your house and proceed to bewilder your cat, thus restoring it to its former self.
Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2004.   Comments (4)

The JFK-Marilyn Monroe Correspondence — Lex Cusack is in jail for selling love letters supposedly written in 1961 by JFK to Marilyn Monroe. The problem is that the letters contained zip codes, and zip codes only came into use in 1963. Now the FBI wants to destroy all the letters, and Cusack is crying foul. He argues that even if the letters are fake (he continues to claim they're real), they're still his property and the government can't just destroy them.
Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004.   Comments (2)

The Real Bobby Mason — Bobby Mason, former professional football player for the Wolverhampton Wanderers, was quite a celebrity in Southbourne. Problem is, Bobby Mason wasn't really Bobby Mason. He was an imposter who had been posing as the football player. The real Bobby Mason was quite shocked to learn that someone had been living as him for so long.
Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004.   Comments (0)

Dihydrogen Monoxide Claims A Victim — I didn't think there was anyone left who hadn't heard this joke already. It's the one about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide, a chemical found in many toxic substances and often used as an industrial solvent. Sounds scary, but dihydrogen monoxide is, of course, simply the scientific name for water, or H2O. Apparently the city council of Aliso Viejo, California hadn't heard the joke before, because they were about to ban the use of styrofoam cups because dihydrogen monoxide was used in…
Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004.   Comments (3)

Peppered Moth Evolution Kit — In 1953 Bernard Kettlewell performed a set of experiments that proved that predation by birds was responsible for the peppered moth population changing from mostly white to mostly black. The reasoning was that industrial pollution had caused the barks of trees to turn dark. Therefore black moths resting during the day on the darkened trunks of trees had a selective advantage over white moths, because the birds could see the white moths more easily and prey on them. Kettlewell released…
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004.   Comments (4)

Breast Pillows — Tadeusz, writing from the Netherlands, asked my opinion on whether this product is real or fake: The Breast Pillow (safe for work). It's supposed to prevent women from getting "wrinkling of the cleavage area" as they sleep, especially women who have breast implants. I don't know if it actually works, but I see no reason why it wouldn't be a real product. My wife tells me that some women wear bras to bed for this very reason.
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004.   Comments (2)

Photography and Photoshop — It seems like there have been quite a few articles lately on the growth of hoax photography wrought by photoshop. Now the New York Times has chimed in with an article on the subject.
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

April Fools Day — Because April Fool's Day is fast approaching, I revamped my list of the top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time. I juggled around the top ten a bit to better reflect the popular favorites. Most significantly, I added Sweden's 1962 classic 'Instant Color TV' hoax into the list, placing it at number three. Plus, by using pMachine I added the capability for readers to add comments to any one of the April Fools.
Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

Kingdom Hospital — Kingdom Hospital. It's the 'Hospital that brings out the best in you.' From its website you would think that it's a real hospital, until you start poking around it a bit. Then it gets creepy. It's a tie-in, of course, with ABC's Kingdom Hospital miniseries. But it's pretty well done. (submitted by Brian Flynn).
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004.   Comments (3)

Boyfriend Marker — It's become popular to give party guests little tags to put around their wine glasses so they always know which glass is theirs. Now the same concept has been extended to boyfriends. It's Boyfriend Marker. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004.   Comments (7)

Fake Sick Days — In a recent survey nearly half of Australian workers admitted to taking fake sick days. I assume this means that the other half were still lying about not taking them.
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004.   Comments (1)

Fake Background Noise — Liars and chronic excuse-makers now have a new weapon of deception at their disposal. SounderCover will add fake background noises to a cellular call. So if you're sleeping in late, but you want your boss to think that you're stuck in traffic, just play the sound for background traffic while you lay happily in bed. You can even create and use your own sounds. Ingenious.
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004.   Comments (0)

Scottish Castle For Sale, Again — If you missed the chance to bid on the Scottish Castle that was being sold on eBay, don't worry. You have another chance. The first auction was cancelled after it was flooded by hoax bidders, including a guy living in a two-bedroom flat in Ohio who bid a cool £8 million. Why do people even bother auctioning these high-ticket items on eBay? They attract hoax bidders like a dog attracts fleas.
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004.   Comments (0)

Million Dollar Bill — Apparently in a bid to secure the title of 'Stupidest Criminal Ever,' a woman, Alice Regina Pike, handed a clerk at WalMart a $1,000,000 bill and asked to cash it. The clerk refused, so then Ms. Pike tried to buy $1,675 worth of merchandise with the bill. Still no luck. Finally the cops were called in and the woman was taken away. She probably would have had more luck if she had tried with monopoly money, or perhaps one of those $200 George Bush bills.
Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004.   Comments (0)

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