The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Genuine Holy Water from Lourdes — Scam Alert! A company is sending out spam directing people to a website (http://www.0te.com/3) that sells genuine Holy Water from Lourdes. They boast that it's a miracle cure. "Holy Water can save you where medicine failed!" they proclaim. And it's yours for only $39.95. I'm tempted to believe that if you pony up $39.95 they really will send you genuine holy water from Lourdes. That's not the scam. The scam is that you can head on over to lourdeswater.com and buy the same stuff for…
Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2003.   Comments (2)

The Death of Joey Skaggs — Legendary hoaxer Joey Skaggs is dead at 58. Okay, not really. But reports of Skaggs's death have surfaced, much to his surprise. Skaggs comments: "I found it quite amusing, but just to be on the safe side, I'm going to see my doctor about this pain in my ass!"
Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2003.   Comments (0)

Is Popeface a hoax? — In response to a posting I made on July 16 questioning the authenticity of an image showing the pope sticking his tongue out, the webmaster of popeface.com has contacted me to insist that popeface is not a hoax. I'm still a little skeptical. It could be genuine, but it's such an odd picture that it immediately triggers my suspicions. Why were the negatives destroyed? Why is he selling it through a website, rather than through more normal channels such as an auction house or even eBay?
Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2003.   Comments (0)

Time Traveler Needs Help — There's an email going around claiming to be from a time traveler stuck in the year 2003 who needs a dimensional warp generator to get back home. Lots of people, myself included, are wondering what exactly this email is, and why someone is going to the trouble of bulk-mailing it to millions of people.
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2003.   Comments (0)


Meat Shakes — Here's a new hoax website: meatshake.com. It claims to be the homepage of the MeatShake Corporation, operators of the Meat Shake chain of fast food restaurants. You guessed it, MeatShake offers meat lovers the chance to quench their carnivorous appetites with ham, beef, and turkey shakes. Let there be no doubt. This is meat put in a blender and sipped through a straw. Their corporate vision is simple, "Meat. Lots of Meat." (Thanks to Jeff Whealton for pointing the site out to me). In…
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2003.   Comments (0)

A Fake at the Smithsonian — 19th century gold bar on display at the Smithsonian turns out to be a fake.
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

Long-Lost Daughter Hoax — Woman cruelly poses as long-lost daughter of couple. Who knows what deranged motive was behind what she did. The woman, Donna Walker, has now been arrested.
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003.   Comments (1)

Old School Hoax — Inspired by the movie Old School, a bunch of teenagers fake a kidnapping outside of a Wal-Mart. Succeed in terrifying the watching crowd.
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

Hunting for Bambi — It looks like it's now 100% official that Hunting for Bambi was a hoax.
Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Great See ID Credit Card Hoax — Do you have 'See ID' written on the back of your credit card, or know someone who does? I used to, until I had an unpleasant run-in at the post office because of it. Turns out that the idea that it's safer to write 'See ID' on the back of your credit card rather than sign it is just a weird hoax that's floating around. (I used to have this blurb about my experience at the post office on my LiveJournal account, which has now become defunct. I've moved it over here so that it'll have a…
Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2003.   Comments (22)

Bigfoot Symposium — Two interesting links via BoingBoing. First, the website of the International Bigfoot Symposium that will be held September 12-14 in Willow Creek, CA (very close to where the famous Patterson-Gimlin film of a Bigfoot creature was shot). Second, the somewhat surprising news that Jane Goodall, the famous primate researcher, is a Bigfoot believer. You can listen to her discuss her beliefs in a segment recorded from NPR's Science Friday.
Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2003.   Comments (0)

Walled Cats — A visitor (Joanna) asks: I heard about a historical practice that could possibly be a hoax. I visited the Freakatorium in NYC today, and they had on display a mummified cat that they claim was walled into "A New York City Building" to ensure its stability. Now, they assured me that although they had hoaxes in this museum, the cat thing was certainly real, although they were fuzzy on the dates and the location it was found in. I found some references to this practice in medieval times...…
Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003.   Comments (1)

Nessie News — 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…
Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003.   Comments (2)

911 Survivor a Hoax? — 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.
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003.   Comments (0)

Burning Man Hoax — 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…
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003.   Comments (0)

Fake Goyas — 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.
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003.   Comments (0)

Carl Lewis Isn’t Dead — Olympic track star Carl Lewis was reported to have been killed in a bicycle accident in this news report. But actually Lewis is just fine. The report is a phony, rigged up by a biking enthusiast to draw attention to an abutment in a Houston park that he considers dangerous.
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003.   Comments (0)

My Life as a Fake — A review of Peter Carey's new book, My Life as a Fake, based on the story of Ern Malley, the Australian literary hoax.
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2003.   Comments (0)

Fake Website Scam Warning — 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.)
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Naked Chef — 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.
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2003.   Comments (0)

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