The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
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…
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (0)

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.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (3)

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).
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (0)

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…
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (2)


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…
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (0)

Laze's Diet System: Here's a diet system that promises fast results. It seems to involve sucking your stomach in.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (2)

Black People Love Us: Sally and Johnny (a white couple) just want everyone to know that the black community loves them.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (0)

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.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (1)

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.'
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (0)

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.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (0)

Mankato: Welcome to Mankato, Minnesota, where you can enjoy whale watching on the Minnesota River.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (1)

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.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (18)

Reemco: Providers of high-quality products such as the 'CDC Ebola Virus Outbreak Action Playset.'
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (0)

Two Towers Protest: This group is protesting the fact that the second installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is named The Two Towers (despite the fact that Tolkein came up with this name some fifty years ago). They feel this might cause emotional discomfort to people following the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. I'm almost positive this was meant to be satirical. But its companion in spirit, The Return of the King Protest site, was definitely a satire. This second group argued that the name of the third installment of the trilogy would cause discomfort to fans of Elvis. The Return of the King Protest site no longer exists, but it can still be partially…
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (2)

A trilogy of sites devoted to exploring the community of New Rotterdam (or New-Rot, for short). First we have the Official Site of the Town of New Rotterdam. Next there's the New Rotterdam Vocational Union High School. And last is the St. Giles School for Male Youth.
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 Comments (0)

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