The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
The Panama Truth Commission hoped to uncover the truth of what happened in that country during the reigns of the dictators Omar Torrijos and Manuel Noriega. So they brought in Sandra Anderson, a dog trainer whose bone-sniffing dog could help locate the bodies of the dead. But now there are fears that Anderson was a fraud who planted evidence when her dog couldn't find any.
Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 Comments (0)

Miami company sells tattoo-like stickers to elderly people, claiming that the stickers will function as high-tech medical alert devices. But it turns out that the stickers weren't high-tech at all. They were just stickers.
Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 Comments (1)

Fark.com is running a contest to photoshop ads that use false advertising. There are a few amusing entries, such as 'Spam: 100% Pure Meat.'
Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 Comments (0)

A hoax involving 9/11 has just been exposed on LiveJournal. It appears there was once a LiveJournal user named Flashman, aka Anthony Joseph Pereira. But on Sept. 11 a friend of his, Rhyein, posted that he had died rushing into one of the burning World Trade Center Towers trying to save people. This caused an outpouring of grief from the LiveJournal community. But some people began to become suspicious when they realized that Anthony Joseph Pereira was never listed in the official lists of the 9/11 dead. To make a long story short, it now appears that Flashman never existed. He was invented by Rhyein. Anthony Joseph Pereira was in reality the original name of Joe Perry of Aerosmith, her…
Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2003 Comments (0)


This story has been getting quite a lot of attention. On Sep. 6, 2003 a man paid for $150 in groceries at a Food Lion in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina with a phony $200 bill bearing George W. Bush's portrait. The bill showed a white house with signs on its lawn reading 'we like ice cream' and 'USA deserves a tax cut.' The cashier accepted the bill and gave $50 change. The Smoking Gun was able to actually get a picture of the $200 bill used in the transaction. What most people don't remember is that this scam is hardly new. Two years ago, on January 28, 2001 a drive-thru…
Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 Comments (3)

Here's a suspicious bit of video forwarded by Mara (who should get a prize for finding this kind of stuff). It shows a young man ducking to the ground as a bus rushes over him. Personally I think he's not actually under the bus. He's on the opposite side of the bus.
Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 Comments (0)

A visitor named Lewy sent in a link to this ABC News story about 'Cough CPR' following up on my post about the subject below. It turns out that a Polish researcher, Dr. Tadeusz Petelenz, published some results just a few weeks ago suggesting that vigorous coughing could help people experiencing cardiac arrest remain conscious long enough to get help. But the jury still seems to be out on the subject. The UK Resuscitation Council says that there's no evidence coughing is going to help. The basic problem is that if you do the cough CPR, you've got to time the coughs exactly right, or you could actually make the heart attack worse. An emergency nurse named Richard…
Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 Comments (0)

You know all those real-life, caught-on-video bloopers and accidents that are the staple of shows like 'Funniest Home Videos'? Guess what? According to the Hollywood Reporter A lot of them are staged. The market for bloopers has simply become too large to rely on accidental bloopers alone.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 Comments (0)

On August 28 a man with a bomb padlocked to his neck robbed a bank in Erie, Pennsylvania. The bomb blew up shortly thereafter, killing the man. The case got a lot of attention, so given human nature it shouldn't surprise anyone that neck-bomb copycat hoaxers are now popping up.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 Comments (0)

There's an email going around warning people not to reenter their car while filling the tank at a gas station. Doing so might create a spark that will set the gas fumes on fire, causing a flash fire. Now this sounds like some kind of urban legend, but Mike Davis at CarConnection.com, who's done some research into the subject, warns that the danger is small but real.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 Comments (0)

The real McCoy has her identity stolen. Fake McCoy still at large.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 Comments (0)

At the Farmer's Museum in upstate New York this weekend they're celebrating the Cardiff Giant's 134th birthday with a birthday cake contest. It seems to me they're celebrating his birthday a little early. I thought he was discovered on October 16, 1869. But I'm not one to split hairs over something like that. I just wish I was there.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 Comments (0)

An email has been going around claiming that vigorous coughing can help you survive a heart attack. I received it, and to be honest I thought it sounded pretty believable. I should have known better. According to heart specialists, coughing won't make a heart attack any worse, but it's also not going to make it any better. Just another example of why you shouldn't believe medical advice you get from forwarded emails. The proper thing to do if you think you're having a heart attack is to take some aspirin.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 Comments (0)

Thanks to Derek Freeman's work, a lot of people know that the anthropologist Margaret Mead was hoaxed into believing that young Samoan girls were far more sexually active than they actually were. But Mead made influential claims about other cultures as well, about which she apparently was just as wrong, according to this article in Front Page Magazine. For instance, she claimed that the Mountain Arapesh, a tribe of New Guinea yam gardeners, had no knowledge of the concept of war. Not quite. Other researchers later found that about half the adult male Arapesh had killed people in battle.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 Comments (0)

Just added Google Ads to the home page of the site (see to the right), and it looks like the Google computer is inferring from the fact that I had one entry referring to identical twins amputating body parts that visitors to my site might be interested in ads about amputation services and DNA testing. How weird. But at least these ads are a lot more interesting than the generic kind of ads for credit cards and mutual funds that are plastered over most of the internet.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 Comments (0)

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