The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
In its latest issue Sports Illustrated has run a hoax article detailing the career of Simonya Popova, a 17-year-old rising tennis star/sex symbol from Uzbekistan. The name Simonya was a play on the recent movie Simone, about an actress who doesn't really exist. At the end of the article the author, Jon Wertheim, admits Simonya doesn't exist, but this hasn't calmed down the WTA who apparently are up in arms about the hoax. From the AP report: (WTA) Spokesman Chris De Maria called the story deceiving and was annoyed at its emphasis on Simonya's sexuality. "It was misleading and irritating," he said. "There are a lot of great stories out there. We didn't need a fake one."
Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 Comments (0)

This letter has been doing the e-mail rounds. I don't think it's real.
Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2002 Comments (0)

The Mystery of Shoe Corner: "Thousands of shoes have been dumped there over the years, and residents can't figure out how or why."
Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2002 Comments (58)

Lithuania deploys fake police to slow traffic. I think they tried something like this in Washington DC also.
Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2002 Comments (0)


The Independent remembers the "tall tale of Little Tree and the Cherokee who was really a Klansman." A puzzling literary hoax which raises the classic question which always hovers around literary and artistic hoaxes: does it matter if it's a hoax if people enjoy it?
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 Comments (0)

More about the Great Potato Play of Aug. 31, 1987, in which catcher Dave Bresnahan threw a peeled potato out into left field in order to lure a player from third base and tag him out. Bresnahan was fired as soon as the game ended, but his name has become immortal in baseball lore. A year after the event, fans paid one dollar and one potato as admission to celebrate Dave Bresnahan Day.Pictures of Bowman Field, Home of the Potato PlayDan Lewerenz's AP article remembering the potato playA Baseball America piece about the potato play, written a few weeks after it occurred.The Official Site of the Williamsport Crosscutters discusses the potato caper in detail.
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 Comments (0)

The Independent explores the controversy brewing around Loch Ness over whether the local community should exploit their famous fishy monster.
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 Comments (0)

The Sunday Telegraph writes about a recent, literary hoax: the case of Michael "Gambino" Pellegrino, a man who conned Simon and Schuster out of $500,000 by posing as a mafia mobster and selling them a story based on his life experience. It turned out that he was a crook, but was no mobster. (Requires Registration)
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 Comments (2)

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette remembers the Great Minor-League Potato Stunt:Dan Lewerenz (AP): It's been 15 years since Bresnahan, then a backup catcher for the Class AA Williamsport Bills, pulled one of the most infamous stunts in baseball history, throwing a potato into left field to lure a runner off third base. The stunt ended his baseball career, made him an instant celebrity, even got his number retired. Yet to this day, Bresnahan is surprised by the continuing attention he gets -- all because of one lighthearted moment what seems like ages ago. "I didn't throw the potato to be famous or to make money," Bresnahan said in a telephone interview from Tempe, Ariz., where he has lived since his baseball career…
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002 Comments (0)

A crop circle appears in a field in Eaton County, Michigan. Due to its similarity to the crop circles in Signs, authorities dismiss it as a prank.
Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2002 Comments (0)

Rumors that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was introducing rattlesnakes into Wausau County get tempers rising. But the rumors were false.
Posted: Sat Aug 31, 2002 Comments (0)

Yesterday the website of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was hacked and temporarily replaced by a hoax website designed to look like the official one, but actually featuring various subversive links such as "Where can I find information on giant monkeys?" and "Piracy can be beneficial to the music industry." It also offered a free download of Linkin Park's album Reanimation, was headlined "RIAA against music sharing? Not Anymore!" and apologized for the "heavy-handed manner" in which the RIAA had earlier tried to shut down Listen4ever.com.
Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2002 Comments (1)

Hoax Website: www.ayleeorgnet.com. It looks like the homepage of a web design corporation, but it's not. A reader explains what it is:This is a hoax site related to the comic strip at www.sluggy.com. There was an evil web design corporation in the strips for the last few months of this name. There's never been an actual link to the site, but they've mentioned it in the strip several times, and the website is set up just like it would be in the strip. The photo of the receptionist looks just like Gwynn, the cartoon character who was the receptionist. The other title page picture of a ferret is another allusion to the strip, where a ferret is a…
Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2002 Comments (0)

Here's an odd report from the frontlines of the war against terrorism in Argentina (quoted from Agence France Presse):"Authorities said they found fake US dollar bills bearing the portraits of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the home of a possible suspect in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here. Presumably meant for propaganda purposes, the fake money was found along with numerous Arab documents and visa forms filled out by Lebanese citizens at the home of a Lebanese national, court officials told reporters Thursday. The suspect, whose identity was not provided and who is apparently out of the country, is sought in connection with the July 18, 1994 bombing of a Jewish center…
Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2002 Comments (1)

In Australia a fake paraplegic faces charges of fraud. He walked into the court house unaided, using his fully functioning legs.
Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2002 Comments (0)

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