The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Just got back from New Mexico where I had been invited to speak at a conference about "Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias." I gave a talk about Internet Hoaxes. Getting back was a nightmare. Almost all the flights into Southern California had been cancelled, but I was lucky enough to get rebooked onto a small propeller plane that was flying into the tiny Carlsbad airport. Flew right over the fires, which was an eerie sight... a thin line of flame stretching from horizon to horizon. Here and there you could see houses burning. I live in the east county of San Diego which is quite close to one of the fires, but my house isn't in any danger. The problem…
Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2003 Comments (0)

Check out the wonders of the Romanian Mint Rubbing Association. (Thanks to t.m.Enzo for the link).
Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 Comments (1)

Here's an interesting item sent to me by Geoduck, just in time for Halloween. Apparently a rumor has been going around suggesting that the image of witches flying on broomsticks, with the brush behind them, is wrong. Back in the old days witches always flew holding the brush in front of them. It was only in modern times, as we came to understand aerodynamics, that we flipped the broom around. This rumor can be traced back to Kevin Carlyon, a self-proclaimed Witch King. But this website, Pagan Prattle, has studied the issue by looking at images of witches dating back as far as the 15th century, and has determined that Carlyon doesn't know what he's talking about. The proper…
Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 Comments (2)

Last month Advanced Micro Devices debuted its new 64-bit micro processor. Apparently it helped promote the launch of this new processor by hiring a group of crop-circle experts to create circles throughout the UK and America. Pictures of their efforts can be seen here (Thanks to Geoduck for the link).
Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 Comments (0)


Here's an odd hoax, brought to my attention by Patrick Georges who lives up the road from me in Carlsbad. It appears that a message has been circulating amongst the Greek community, suggesting that Apple Computer has created a program to teach Ancient Greek online. This program will be hosted by CNN on a page titled Hellenic Quest. The text of this message can be read at the GrecoReport website. The supposed logic behind this move is that learning Ancient Greek promotes creativity and Apple is all about promoting creativity because creative people use Apple Computers. Might be true. I took a couple years of Ancient Greek in high school, and here I am, years later, using an Apple…
Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 Comments (0)

A very extensive collection of Pareidolia data has been collected by a guy calling himself The Folklorist. Pareidolia, in case you don't remember this word from high-school english class, is the phenomenon of seeing meaningful images in random patterns. Examples would include seeing the number 666 on the wall of the Alamo, seeing the figure of the Virgin Mary in the window of a Boston hospital, or seeing the head of an Indian chief in your door.
Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 Comments (0)

Do you really, really love your pet? Then why not marry him or her? Go to MarryYourPet.com, and you can make it happen. Of course, the marriage isn't recognized by a court of law, which makes it somewhat of a hoax, but they really will sell you a marriage certificate, an 'I married my pet' T-shirt, or a wall plaque. They're all incredibly overpriced. If they offered the certificate for $5 instead of $20, they probably would do more business. They're trying to sell the wall plaque for $200. Ouch! Who in their right mind would shell out that much for a gag gift?
Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 Comments (4)

While I was gone, George Clooney apparently got conned by a woman who told him that her daughter, Cindy, had cancer. When Clooney offered to visit, he got a call from the mother telling him that Cindy had died. Evidently Cindy had never existed. She was just a ploy on the woman's part to get Clooney's attention. Somewhat parallel to the Kaycee Nicole Simpson case.
Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 Comments (0)

Mark Allsop was kind enough to send along this photo of him and his kids on holiday in Australia. Thanks, Mark.
Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 Comments (6)

Posted: Sat Oct 18, 2003 Comments (0)

Two aides at a nursing home pull the old urine-in-a-sports-drink prank and discover the victim isn't amused when she discovers what she drank.
Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 Comments (0)

Remember the Raelians and their claims that they've produced a number of human clones? Well, this reporter infiltrated their ranks and writes that the Raelians are now all chuckling about what a brilliant publicity stunt the cloning hoax was.
Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 Comments (0)

Rationalists describe Mother Teresa's miraculous cure of Monica Besra's abdominal tumor as a hoax.
Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 Comments (0)

I've already linked to the website of the art of Johann Dieter Wassmann, but The Age has a full article about this fictitious artist.
Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 Comments (0)

Man plays Russian roulette on British TV as three million viewers watch. Of course, it was just an illusion, vetted in advance by the police. But the stunt causes controversy anyway.
Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 Comments (1)

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.