The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Now here's an odd story. An article in the Guardian tells the tale of Takako Konishi, a Japanese girl who apparently believed that the movie Fargo was real (perhaps because it says it's a true story at the beginning, though it isn't) and went off to North Dakota to find the million dollars that one of the characters buries during the movie. Unfortunately Takako died trying to find the money. Or so everyone thought. The reporter who went to investigate finds out the real truth behind what happened to Takako.
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 Comments (0)

An 1817 portrait of Princess Caraboo done by Thomas Barker is going up for auction at Christie's soon. Bidding is supposed to reach at least £6000. If I had the money I'd bid on it. It would go nicely above my desk.
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 Comments (0)

Here's the website of Miskatonic University, well known to fans of H.P. Lovecraft. If you don't know who Lovecraft is, you won't get the joke.
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 Comments (0)

The Globe and Mail argues that many of the spoof ads going around recently are actually inside jobs created by the companies being spoofed.
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2003 Comments (0)


Steve Merchant just shared this with me. Apparently it's video footage taken from a camera that survived the destruction of the World Trade Center.
Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 Comments (1)

Guys have been able to shop for mail-order brides for quite some time now, so I guess this was inevitable: mail-order husbands. And what fine specimens of the male species they have available!
Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 Comments (26)

The Canberra Times reports on a different moon hoax from the late 1960s which it, in turn, read about in the most recent newsletter of the Canberra Skeptics society. This hoax was perpetrated by a grad student named Ray Crawford who had managed to get his hands on some NASA stationery: "Shortly after the first moon landing Dr John Lovering at the ANU [Australian National University] received a piece of moon rock to analyse. Ray wrote a letter purporting to be from NASA to Dr Lovering requesting he present a sample of his urine at the US embassy at 3pm on a certain day; this was to be sent to NASA for analysis in case John had become…
Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 Comments (0)

Visitor Michael Melen wrote in with a description of a radio hoax from the mid '80s: "Baltimore had recently undergone a revival of its downtown area, centered on the Inner Harbor development. A radio ad trumpeted the newest addition to Baltimore's Inner Harbor: the world's very first underwater shopping mall called the Loch Ness Mall. The ad went on to describe how wonderful the mall would be and when it would open. It turned out to be a concoction of a radio advertising group, hoping to display the power of radio advertising... It was a very beguiling ad!"
Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 Comments (0)

An article in the magazine Syllabus is discovered to have been plagiarized. The topic of the article was plagiarism.
Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2003 Comments (0)

Someone just sent in this hoax website: Dog Island. It's doggie paradise, where pooches get to roam free and play all day. As the website says: "They live with almost limitless space, and tens of thousands of rabbits, rodents and other natural prey. Surrounded by thousands of other dogs, this is the only place for them to be truly social and create healthy families." Dog Island and Yoga Kitty. Hmmm. Soon we'll have a world of stress-free pets.
Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 Comments (0)

The Unreliable Facts website, established in 1851, offers a motherlode of misinformation.
Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 Comments (0)

Check out the website of Larry Adams, CPA. He writes a regular column about the jargon and street slang of fraud. Much of this is shared on his website. For instance, we find there the definition of Fat-Finger Dialing: "Fat finger dialing scams take advantage of customers whose fingers are too large for the tiny buttons on the telephones. For example, a customer might unintentionally dial 1 (800) COLLETC, 1 (800) CULLECT, or 1 (800) CALLECT, instead of 1 (800) COLLECT. Class action lawsuits have been filed against several companies that intentionally own knockoff numbers that are just digits away from popular 1 (800) phone numbers." You can also order his book, Fraud in Other Words, which is…
Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 Comments (0)

King Bloop Zod from the planet Mars strikes up an email exchange with Mel Martinez, the White House Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and gets a response.
Posted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 Comments (0)

The Iraqi (Mis)Information Minister (aka Comical Ali) is reported to be alive and well in Baghdad.
Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 Comments (0)

The strange case of a man whose death revealed that he had been living as an imposter almost his entire life. His true identity is unknown.
Posted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 Comments (0)

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