The Museum of Hoaxes
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Today's Featured Topic:
The Great Turkey Drive of 1866
The Great Chili Scandal — People are up in arms about the Great Chili Scandal. The scandal occurred at the 37th annual Original Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert-Wick Fowler Memorial Championship Chili Cook-Off, which is like the superbowl of Chili Cook-offs. Don Eastep won first place this year. Problem is that Don hadn't actually cooked any of his own chili. His brother Terry had dropped out of the contest at the last minute, so Don posed as his brother and took his place. But instead of cooking…
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2003.   Comments (0)

What Brand Are You? — This is one of those cases where a joke supposedly becomes reality. An advertising company (The Design Conspiracy) created a joke website called What Brand Are You?, whose purpose was to spoof the bizarre brand names that companies are increasingly dreaming up—names such as Aviva, Diageo, and Corus. Visitors to What Brand Are You could type in their name, their 'core values,' and their goals, and the supercomputer powering the website would then spit out a personalized brand name free…
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2003.   Comments (1)

Howard Dean Confederacy Posters — Posters advertising a campaign rally for Howard Dean, and sporting a confederate flag in the background, appeared all over the campus of Dartmouth College. The group hosting the rally denies having created the posters, therefore they're obviously a prank, created by some group as yet unknown.
Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Naked Chef — Here's a picture of the 2004 calendar of Jamie Oliver (aka The Naked Chef). Note the suggestively placed piece of bread. This image originally appeared on the website of Boots, which is a British pharmacy. And it quickly attracted attention, at which point Boots cropped the image in order to remove the offending piece of bread. I can't find another picture of the calendar anywhere online to compare this picture to, but I'm assuming that the piece of bread must have been photoshopped in.…
Posted: Sat Nov 15, 2003.   Comments (0)


Catch Him If You Can — A modern-day 'Catch Me If You Can' criminal is on the run in Australia. He cons women out of money by posing as a pilot. Except that Frank Abagnale was a teenager when he posed as a pilot, whereas this guy is in his 30s.
Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

Science Hoaxes — Tim Radford has a piece in today's Guardian on his Top 10 favorite Science Hoaxes of All Time. The Piltdown Man comes in at number one. Strangely, he seemed to omit a number of very famous cases, such as the Great Moon Hoax of 1835, the Cardiff Giant, the Paul Kammerer 'Case of the Midwife Toad', William Summerlin and his painted mice, Shinichi Fujimura's Stone Age discoveries, and the recent Piltdown Chicken (of National Geographic fame). But then, it is his list, and I guess everyone…
Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

Were there 2 Piltdown Hoaxers? — Here's even more stuff about the Piltdown Man (there's a lot of stuff about this because of the anniversary of the exposure of the fraud). The Independent reports that two academics are going to give a lecture in which they'll argue that two independent hoaxers were responsible for the piltdown frauds. But as far as I know, this theory has actually been floating around for a while.
Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Birth of Rugby — According to legend, the sport of Rugby was born in 1823 when a schoolboy at Rugby School named William Webb Ellis picked up the ball during a football game and started running with it. But according to an interesting piece in the 'Questions Answered' section of the London Times, this legend is probably a hoax. Unfortunately I can't link to the piece, so I've cut and pasted the relevant paragraph: There is very little evidence to support the assertion that William Webb Ellis was the…
Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

Not our governor, he just looks like him — Meet Lyndall Grant, professional Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator. According to an article in the Columbus Dispatch, this guy earns almost $1000 a pop to imitate the Governator at corporate events and parties. Sometimes he does two events a night. When he's not imitating Ah-nold, he works as a landscape designer.
Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

Bigfoot Movie — The actor Judge Reinhold is set to produce a movie based on the life of Ray Wallace, the man whose prank led to the name 'Bigfoot' being coined. Of course, i still haven't seen Shattered Glass, the movie based on the career of media hoaxer Stephen Glass. I want to, but it doesn't appear to be playing in San Diego.
Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

Condom in the Clam Chowder — This woman claims that she was happily eating her clam chowder at a restaurant in Irvine, CA when to her horror she discovered a condom floating in it. Actually, she discovered the condom by biting down on it. Incessant vomiting followed. The restaurant, meanwhile, is denying any responsibility, so the woman has filed a lawsuit, which will commence Jan. 12, 2004. It seems obvious that someone is lying here, but it's basically the woman's word against the word of the restaurant managers.
Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

Fake Lawyer — Here's a pretty outrageous con. A convicted drug dealer has been caught posing as a lawyer and operating a Central Florida law firm while still in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Evidently he only has to spend the night in jail, but every morning he wakes up, hops into his Mercedes, and drives off to his day job as a fake lawyer, from which he's been raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars. I wonder if he'll act as his own lawyer at his trial.
Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

Piltdown Man on TV — Andrew Nixon sends word of a tv program that British hoax enthusiasts might want to watch. It's BBC2's special commemorating the 50th anniversary of the exposure of the Piltdown Man. It'll be titled "Britain's Greatest Hoax," airing Friday 21st November at 9pm.
Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

Cheating Scum — Cheating Scum was a hoax website purporting to offer a forum in which people could expose 'cheating scum' boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, husbands, etc. It only existed for a little while, but Kirun sends word that a mirrored version of it is still online.
Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2003.   Comments (1)

Hi-Brazil — When I was writing up the book version of The Museum of Hoaxes, there were quite a few hoaxes that, for one reason or another, I had to leave out. I went so far as to write up descriptions of many hoaxes that I later had to cut from the book, in order to keep the book's length manageable. All these discarded hoaxes have been sitting on my hard drive for over a year now, but I've decided to put them all up here on the website. I should have done it sooner, but laziness got in the way. So…
Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

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