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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history

Oops! Microsoft now says that the iLoo was not a hoax, just a bad idea. But why should we believe this latest version of the story? Personally I think they'd have been better off leaving it as a hoax.
Posted: Wed May 14, 2003 Comments (0)

Here's a diagram of the iLoo.
Posted: Tue May 13, 2003 Comments (0)

Microsoft says that the iLoo (the internet toilet) was just a hoax.
Posted: Tue May 13, 2003 Comments (0)


The military has a problem: not enough bugle players to play taps at all the military funerals. Therefore, they came up with the solution of bugles implanted with electronic chips that contain a recording of taps. No skill is required to play them, beyond being able to flip a switch. Now a group is protesting the use of the fake bugles, and is calling on bugle players throughout the nation to assist at military funerals: www.buglesacrossamerica.org
Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 Comments (1)

Scientists puzzle over the mystery of the Solomon stone found in Israel. As the London Times puts it: it "is either a state-of-the-art hoax or an ancient Hebrew inscription - more than 2,000 years old - confirming the Biblical account of Solomon's temple." Many people would dearly want this to be true. So in such cases the burden of evidence should be set even higher, to counter the wish-fulfillment impulse.
Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 Comments (0)

The FBI got fooled into thinking that 5 terrorists were on the loose around New Year's Eve.
Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2003 Comments (0)

Yesterday there was this story about radio pranksters calling up Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and tricking him into believing that he was talking to Fidel Castro.
Posted: Thu Jan 09, 2003 Comments (0)

Recently the controversy surrounding Clonaid's claims that they've created a clone has been the big thing in the world of hoaxes. I got quoted in this Washington Post article about the situation.
Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2003 Comments (0)

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2002 Comments (0)

A lot of people have been getting this e-mail in their inboxes:My name is Bill Palmer, founder of Applebees. In an attempt to get our name out to more people in the rural communities where we are not currently located, we are offering a $50 gift certificate to anyone who forwards this email to 9 of their friends. Just send this email to them and you will receive an email back with a confirmation number to claim your gift certificate. Sincerely Bill Palmer Founder of Applebees Visit us at: www.applebees.com. Hey guys, DONT DELETE THIS EMAIL It really works, I tried it and got my Gift certificate confirmation number in 3 minutes.Yes, it's a hoax! As confirmed on
Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2002 Comments (4)

Laddery on the High Seas. A funny send-up of the Nigerian Bank Scam, in which a couple of lads string-along a scammer.
Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2002 Comments (1)

Regarding the Reverse Sokal Hoax described below: apparently the two brothers supposedly involved in it have denied that it was a hoax (see their statement pasted below). So the mystery continues. TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN It was with the greatest astonishment that we have discovered that 2 members of the Ecole Polytechnique and 2 members of the University of Tours were the sources of an incredible rumor meant to validate the idea>that our papers were purposly written in serious journals as a hoax. Such an assertion is so outrageous that it discredits its authors. The published papers are the result of 6 years of intense and original work induced by our 2 PHD thesis in mathematics…
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 Comments (0)

There is an e-mail going around detailing a so-called 'reverse Sokal hoax.' I'm not sure if the circumstances it describes are real or not. But here's the text of the e-mail verbatim: Sometime ago Alan Sokol et al wrote a completely meaningless article on quantum gravity which was accepted by a leading, refereed "deconstructionist journal". Physicists laughed because the hoax was at the deconstructionists' expense. But now there is is an inverse Sokol hoax in which, apparently, two reporters interviewed a lot of string theorists, wrote meaningless but "right sounding" papers and even got a Ph.D. Details below. What is particularly sad is that a key paper appeared in CQG: Class. Quantum Grav. 18 (7 November 2001) 4341-4372 Topological field…
Posted: Mon Oct 28, 2002 Comments (0)

British authorities report that con men set up a website designed to look like that of a major British bank. Users of the website lost around $100,000. This seems very similar to a case that occurred in South Africa last month, which I posted here at the time. I wonder if it's the same group of con men?
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2002 Comments (4)

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