The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
I believe it's now officially confirmed that I'm an idiot. I run a website called the Museum of Hoaxes, and yet I fall for an obvious hoax. Back on July 17 I trumpeted the news that a fossil of a sea serpent had been found on the shores of Loch Ness, and that it wasn't a hoax. What was I thinking? Of course it was a hoax. I believed it because I thought it was perfectly reasonable for someone to find a plesiosaur skeleton. But to find one on the shores of Loch Ness should have raised all kinds of alarm bells. Now researchers who have had a chance to examine the fossil say that it was likely…
|Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003||Comments (2)|
The team of developers on this website claim to be creating a game called '911 Survivor' that allows you to simulate being inside the burning World Trade Center. Reacting to this, quite a few people have immediately speculated that it must be a hoax. But looking through the site, I suspect it isn't. Instead it seems to be some kind of art project designed to make people question the boundaries drawn between real-reality and media-reality.
I've never been to the Burning Man festival, but from what I hear it would be fair to call it representative of hippie culture. You go out into the desert for a few days, smoke dope, listen to music, and generally let it all hang out. So imagine the horror of Burning Man devotees when they come across this website offering a package tour to the festival. The deal included an air-conditioned tent and front-row seats at the festival. It smacked of yuppie/corporate encroachment. But the site turns out to have been a hoax designed by Burning Man regulars.
The NY Times reports on a growing controversy in the art world. The famous Black Paintings by Francisco Goya may not have been painted by Goya at all. A new book coming out speculates that they were actually painted by his son, who's been considered pretty much a nobody as far as art historians have been concerned.
A review of Peter Carey's new book, My Life as a Fake, based on the story of Ern Malley, the Australian literary hoax.
The FBI says: beware fake websites. They're calling it the 'Phisher' scam. You receive an email that lures you to what you think is a legitimate website run by a real company (though it's not). Then you're tricked into divulging your personal information (credit card info, etc.)
An email going around claims to contain, as an attachment, the next cookbook by Jamie Oliver (aka The Naked Chef). It's actually just a mock-up, containing recipes from his previous book. But I'm bummed that I haven't received this email yet.
A legal battle erupts over who owns the copyright to the poems of Ern Malley. If you don't know who he is, Malley is Australia's most famous hoax poet. My favorite line of his continues to be, "I am still the black swan of trespass on alien waters." Brooding, eerie, and completely nonsensical. (I don't have anything about him on the website, but I've got a blurb about him in my book).
So I think it's finally official that Hunting for Bambi is a hoax, a publicity stunt done to sell videos. Isn't it wonderful that public attention gets focused on things like this rather than, oh, poverty, hunger, education, etc.?
So Esquire has commissioned Jayson Blair to write a movie review of Shattered Glass, an upcoming movie about Stephen Glass (another media hoaxer from five years ago). I'm sure his review will, in turn, become one of the most heavily reviewed reviews ever.
|Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2003||Comments (0)|
Here's the Unofficial Daria Movie Rumor Page. I'll let its creator, Barry Edelman, describe it in his own words: I just finished your book and I loved it. I had to check out the site, which is also good. Since you have a section on hoax sites, I had to submit mine. My brother and I, annoyed by bad Hollywood movies based on television shows (and bad Hollywood movies in general), for a few years maintained a site called The Unofficial Daria Movie Rumor Page. The premise is that the MTV cartoon series _Daria_ has been turned into a movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt in the title role. (The title role, being…
|Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2003||Comments (1)|
Is the number 666 slowly becoming visible on the front of the Alamo? And did it first appear there after Ozzy Osbourne urinated on the building while dressed as a woman back in 1982? And when the number becomes fully visible will "something terrible happen"? Yes on all counts if you believe the urban legend that's floating around. Brenda Layland gave me a skeptical heads-up about this one, and for the past fifteen minutes I've been staring at these pictures of the Alamo trying to figure out where the sixes are. I've located one of them, but the other two are still escaping me. No, wait a minute. I think I've found them all now.
|Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2003||Comments (17)|
This is strange: documentary filmmakers stage a fake kidnapping of Kylie Mingoue. Worried onlookers contact the police.
|Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2003||Comments (0)|