The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
July 4, 1879 a giant stone man (weight: 800 pounds; height: seven feet) was unearthed near Ithaca, New York (suspiciously close to Cardiff, New York). He was soon dubbed the Taughannock Giant. The stone man was described by a commentator as "a human figure lying on its back, arms nearly straight and the legs crossed at the ankle... well proportioned with the exception of the feet, which appear more like those of an ape." Scientists pronounced it an authentic fossilized man. In reality, it was the handiwork of one Ira Dean who had carved it in his basement. For the complete story, check out the Taughannock Stone Man Web Page created by Dan Dickinson, Jeff Dennis, and Ben…
|Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2003||Comments (0)|
Here's a creepy email that's been making the rounds for at least half a year. It was sent to me by a visitor who wants to know if it's a hoax. Yes, it is. There have been no reported instances of serial killers using this particular modus operandi:Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird.The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run…
|Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2003||Comments (3)|
Here's an odd story: an assistant professor at LSU is accused of sending threatening letters to herself.
Two days ago a giant blob-like creature washed up on a beach in Chile. Chilean scientists were baffled. They had no clue what the creature was. Based on the emails I've received, a lot of people immediately suspected it was some kind of elaborate hoax. But I don't think this was a hoax. Scientists now say that they believe the blobby thing was either the body of a giant octopus or discarded whale blubber. I assume the Chilean blob bears no kinship to another blob which surfaced on the internet about two years ago. To this day I have no clue what this earlier mystery blob was. A real person? A…
|Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2003||Comments (3)|
An Australian woman invented the existence of a child in order to hit up her ex-boyfriend for child support. She even went so far as to provide him with pictures of the (fake) child, and dreamed up a costly medical condition that the kid was suffering from, which she, of course, wanted the boyfriend to pay for.
California farmer annoyed by crop circles that are destroying his wheat.
|Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003||Comments (6)|
Oops. I forgot that yesterday was National Blonde Day, so designated by the Blonde Legal Defense Club. The day is designed to promote respect for the intelligence and accomplishments of blondes. In reality, it's a publicity stunt for the Legally Blonde movie.
What happens when criminals cross paths: A man sells a lump of valuable black bronze to a buyer for $64,000. But it turns out the money was counterfeit. No problem. The bronze was fake also.
South African Airlines is not offering free flights to the public, especially not to people who annoy their friends by forwarding hoax emails on to them.
An interesting comment from a visitor about the Hitler Diaries: Dear Alex, The most tell-tale and overlooked detail about the Hitler Diaries being fake you do not mention in your article, although it makes the complete affair all the more funny: On the front cover were two metal letters, supposedly the initials "A H" for Adolf Hitler, in an old German Gothic lettering. The funny part being that ridiculously neither Gerd Heidemann nor any other from the *Stern* staff nor the experts they consulted saw that the "A" was actually an "F".
Here's an interesting discussion of some historical hoaxes from the Philippines, specifically those perpetrated in the early twentieth century by Jose E. Marco, a philatelic forger.
|Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003||Comments (7)|
Come next April (2004) the town of Cedar City, Utah will be celebrating the Festival Royale of Himmelsk, a four-day event to honor the group of Vikings who founded the town in 956 AD. The entire story of this strange festival is told here. (Thanks to Lansin Carmean for forwarding this story to me).
|Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2003||Comments (0)|