The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
I'm famous! Catherine Tapia wrote a piece about me for a local publication named San Diego City Beat. She pegs me as a "compulsive collector of weird information and web-surfing addict," which is exactly right.
Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 Comments (0)

If you're going to drive around in a car pretending to be a cop, for God's sake don't pull over a real cop.
Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 Comments (0)

The Guardian has an editorial piece about Bush's recent Turkey-gate scandal (the photo-op in Iraq with the inedible turkey). But Mark Lawson, the author of the article, points out that the bread-and-cheese pub food known as a ploughman's lunch is also a bit of a fake. Ploughman's lunches "claimed to link yuppies in pubs to their ancestors who toiled on the soil" but the seemingly traditional lunch was actually "an invention of the contemporary advertising and catering trades." I've enjoyed quite a few ploughman's lunches, and I never knew that.
Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 Comments (1)

You can buy quite a few unusual gifts for Christmas over at Servonet. For instance, check out the Home Freebasing Kit, as well as the Power Fork. Interestingly, when you try to order one of these products instead of being asked to enter your own credit card number, you're allowed to select a number from their customer database. And then you get a message that their "shipping capabilities have been suspended indefinitely."
Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 Comments (0)


The Roanoke Times reports on a fake sheik who duped some Richmond residents back in 1978.
Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2003 Comments (1)

The Onion has a good parody of the Reality TV genre: Antebellum Island. It's a new 'alternate reality' show, supposedly being aired by CBS, set on an island on which the South won the Civil War. The show's motto is 'Secede, Suppress, Survive.'
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 Comments (0)

It turns out that the turkey President Bush was proudly holding on his recent visit with the troops in Iraq wasn't for eating. It's what's known as a 'Trophy Turkey': one that is just for decoration, not for consumption. I guess it wouldn't have looked as good for the cameras for Bush to walk around holding the slices of processed turkey meat that the soldiers really got.
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2003 Comments (0)

BBC Legacies, the BBC's new website for exploring local history, is doing a feature this month on Local Legends, and has put up an article about one of Bristol's local legends, Princess Caraboo (though perhaps legends is the wrong word to describe the Princess, since she was quite real, though not a real Princess). It's a good article, and they were nice enough to link back to the Museum of Hoaxes in a sidebar.
Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2003 Comments (0)

A Florida elementary school teacher made the mistake of telling her kids that Santa doesn't exist. Now Santa himself is making a special trip down from the North Pole to visit the classroom just to prove that he really does exist. I'm sure the teacher feels appropriately remorseful, but at least she didn't tell her kids that Santa was dead as a British vicar did last year.
Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2003 Comments (0)

This photo of Dick Gephardt's shadow cast across an American flag was snapped today (Dec. 1) at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It appeared on Yahoo News and is quickly spreading across the internet. Despite the suggestive nature of part of the shadow, one has to assume that it hasn't been photoshopped. It's one of those things that seems like a hoax, but actually isn't, much like the picture of the Jamie Oliver calendar that was circulating around recently. Thanks to Kentaro Mori for giving me a heads up about this.
Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2003 Comments (0)

The East Point Police, in East Point, Georgia, have come up with a novel way to reduce the costs of fighting crime. They simply invite criminals to arrest themselves. They have an easy-to-use self arrest form on their website that criminals can fill out and submit online. At first I suspected that the entire East Point Police website was a joke, but this doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, I'm guessing that this self-arrest form is just a bit of police humor, in the same vein as the decision by the police in Kokomo, Indiana to cut costs by closing the police station during the night. Emergency calls would be recorded on an answering machine and answered…
Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2003 Comments (0)

Michael Jackson has set up a website that's serving as his Official Press Room. Apparently Jack the Ripper has now done the same. (Thanks to Kentaro Mori for the link) Update: By the way, don't bother clicking on any of the links on the 'JR News' site. They all lead to spam. Evidently the JR News site is just a front for spammers.
Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 Comments (0)

According to a new study, the Vinland Map (that map of North America drawn by ancient Vikings) may be genuine.
Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2003 Comments (0)

Apparently the great state of California, in which I live, has adopted a new state seal, as can be seen below.
Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2003 Comments (0)

MyStudios.com has an interesting History of Art Forgery (via Fiendish Is The Word). Plus, they challenged 20 contemporary artists to create works in the style of past masters, and you can see the results here.
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2003 Comments (0)

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