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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Outhouse Springs Water — Stuart Elliott, in today's edition of his NY Times email newsletter, writes about a hoax product that recently became a real product. It goes by the name Outhouse Springs water. This brand of bottled water was dreamed up by an advertising agency that wanted to gauge how effective outdoor billboard ads could be. So they put 40 billboards advertising the fictitious Outhouse Springs Water up around Charleston, South Carolina. The billboards sported slogans such as "It's #1, not #2!"…
Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Cesky Sen Hypermarket — How do people react when their expectations built up by advertising collide with reality? That was the question two Czech film students set out to answer. They flooded Czech media with advertisements for a new 'hypermarket'—Cesky sen— offering goods at rock-bottom prices. New TV sets for $19, for instance. Eager shoppers flooded to the hypermarket's address, shopping bags in hand, only to find a large empty scaffold bearing a banner fluttering aimlessly in the wind. (Story via Paul…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

When I do not know if it is a hoax or not — A frustrated visitor asks: "If you don't know whether it's real, or a hoax, then why in the world did you include it on this site of 'hoaxes'!" I assume they were referring to those pictures of the skinny models. Well, as vast as my knowledge is (note: sarcasm intended), sometimes I just don't know whether the weird things that pop up on the news or on the internet are real or false. But when I list things here, usually someone will write in with info that'll point the way towards the…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

Air Guitar For Sale — A brand new air guitar and drum set. Bid on it now at eBay.
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2003.   Comments (1)


They Captured ET — Talk about a pain in the neck. Photoshop has made this guy look a bit like a giraffe, or E.T. This photo has been circulating via email for a few months. It's usually titled 'They finally captured E.T." or some variation of that. I think it's fair to conclude that the neck and stomach of the man being led away by the police officer have been digitally enlarged. Note the boxy pixellation where the photoshopper cut-and-pasted to lengthen the neck: (thanks to Karen Robinson for sending this).
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2003.   Comments (2)

Gollum for Governor — Here's the latest entrant to the California recall election: Gollum, from Lord of the Rings. Considering the other candidates running, he just might have my vote.
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2003.   Comments (0)

Cherie Blair Dance Hit — A dance hit by Cherie Blair, wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is taking the clubs by storm in Spain. Or, um, maybe not. (Thanks to Keith Brogan for emailing me about this). Update 8/14/03: According to this article, maybe it's not a hoax.
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2003.   Comments (0)

Win Toilet Paper — Enter the Win-Toilet-Paper sweepstakes, and the toilet-paper delivery man could soon be knocking on your door. I'm not sure if this is for real or not. I don't feel like supplying them with my email address to find out. Update: Apparently it's real. Strange, but real.
Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2003.   Comments (2)

Buy Land on the Moon — Can you buy land on the moon? According to this website you can. It's the home on the internet of the Lunar Embassy, which claims that it is "the only company in the world to possess a legal basis and copyright for the sale of lunar, and other extraterrestrial property within the confines of our solar system." And if you believe that, then I've got a bridge to sell you. Their basis for this claim is that the UN Outer Space Treaty of 1967 forbid governments from owning extraterrestrial…
Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2003.   Comments (1)

More about the Time Traveler — A visitor, Dave Kaplan, has sent me some correspondence that he has had with Bob, the time traveler in search of a dimensional warp generator. Update: Another visitor has pointed out that Bob is not the first time traveler to have visited us. Three years ago a guy named John Titor made a big splash for a couple of months, before he mysteriously disappeared (he said he was returning to his own time). I guess John had a dimensional warp generator, whereas Bob doesn't.
Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2003.   Comments (0)

How Californias recall election can erase the states deficit — A lot of people have been wondering whether this whole California recall election is some kind of hoax, what with candidates for governor such as Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt, and Angelyne. Well, it's no hoax. All it takes is $3500 and 65 signatures and anyone can announce their candidacy for governor. Personally I think people are failing to see the potential here to get rid of Gray Davis and solve our budget woes all in one fell swoop. Think about it. We've got a $35 billion deficit, and…
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2003.   Comments (0)

Too Skinny? — Here are some images that have been circulating around of anorexically skinny fashion models. Are these models actually this skinny, or have the images been touched up by someone trying to make the fashion industry look like a gallery of horrors? I'm not sure. (Warning: one of the images may not be considered safe for work, though it's no racier than what you'd find in your average issue of National Geographic).
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2003.   Comments (40)

Of Foxes, Turtles, and Ham — A Japanese newspaper scooped its rivals by revealing a serious environmental problem—that foxes were eating the eggs of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. It even had pictures of the foxes eating the eggs. Until it turned out that the only reason the foxes were standing there by the eggs was because the cameramen had lured them there with ham.
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2003.   Comments (0)

Crop Circle — A radio station admits to being the creator of a crop circle.
Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2003.   Comments (0)

More About the Mystery Time Traveler — David Emery, at About.com, has dug up some interesting clues about the time-travel spammer. He notes that an authentic mind warper generator was once offered for sale on eBay, as well as a Generation 4 Dimensional Warp Generator. Bidding on these items has closed. He also notes that there's speculation that the mystery spammer is a well-known, Woburn-based spammer named Robert Todino, since the mystery spammer states that he lives in the Woburn area. But someone who wrote to me claims…
Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2003.   Comments (0)

Fake Vacations — Many Italians are too embarrassed to admit that they can't afford to go on vacation, so they take fake vacations instead (i.e. tell everyone they're going away, then sit in their room with a sunlamp).
Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2003.   Comments (2)

Van Gogh Caught on Film — Dutch filmmakers who claimed to have a roll of film showing Vincent Van Gogh walking by admit it was all a hoax.
Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2003.   Comments (0)

Beware of Lirf Loopa — Edward Ingram writes in: Several years back I remember being taken in be a news story on KAKE-TV in Wichita KS. Supposedly, a woman was driving when her infant began playing with her garage door opener. To her surprise it was noticed by the woman that when the opener was clicked within 100 YDS. of a traffic light, the light would obligingly turn green. The story even went so far as to show a city traffic engineer standing by an opened traffic control box, puzzled. They went on…
Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2003.   Comments (0)

Of Mice and Metallica — The Guardian contemplates the recent Metallica hoax and word-of-mouse advertising.
Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2003.   Comments (0)


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