The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Fake abduction — From today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A woman invents an elaborate story about being kidnapped by three abductors, prompting police to send in a SWAT team to rescue her. They find her sitting alone in her car. The abductors were all a figment of her imagination.
Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002.   Comments (0)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — The St. Louis Post-Dispatch asks of the Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo dance troupe: is it parody or real ballet? What is Les Ballets Trockadero all about? From their website, it's about "teaching hairy guys in tutus how to take flight."
Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002.   Comments (0)

Rejection Hotline, II — An LA Times reader reacts to the Sept. 9 story about the hotline for 'losers' (from LA Times, requires registration):The idea of a woman giving out a bogus "loser's" phone number instead of her own is an old one ("Hey, Loser, Got a Message for You," Sept. 9). Some years ago I met an attractive young woman and asked for her number. She gleefully gave it to me. I phoned the very next day, only to hear a taped recording: "Thank you for calling the Los Angeles Zoo.... " My only solace was a…
Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002.   Comments (0)

Rejection Hotline — If someone asks for your phone number and you don't want to give it to them, get rid of them discreetly by giving them the number for the rejection hotline. They'll think it's your number until they dial it up and hear this prerecorded message: "The person who gave you this number obviously did not want you to have their real number. Maybe you're just not this person's type.... This could mean short, fat, ugly, dumb, annoying, arrogant or just a general loser. Maybe you suffer from bad…
Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2002.   Comments (62)


Street Scams — Street Scams of Barcelona (link via bloggerheads).
Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2002.   Comments (0)

Crop Circles: Quest for Truth — There's a new documentary movie out called "Crop Circles: Quest for Truth." It's got a pretty cool website. Apparently it argues that crop circles are the work of extraterrestrial beings of natural forces. But the San Francisco Chronicle reviews it and calls it a "credulous bore."
Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2002.   Comments (0)

Push, Nevada — Elaine Dutka, writing for the LA Times, notes a minor prank that occurred on ABC's 'Good Morning America' show:Producers of ABC's "Good Morning America" inadvertently served up a plug for a new drama-reality series airing on the network, Variety reports. As weatherman Tony Perkins was chatting with folks outside the studio, he encountered some fellows who claimed to be members of the Push, Nev., hockey team. As it happened, there is no such town--except in ABC's new series of the same…
Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2002.   Comments (0)


Fake Psychic — A report by the St. Petersburg Times.Psychic fails to predict her own arrest. From Agence France Presse, Sept. 4:A US woman who claimed to be a psychic medium and conned her clients and the taxman was Wednesday ordered to pay 60,000 dollars restitution to her victims. Sonia Merino, 50 and her husband Steve Merino, 44, each admitted one count of tax fraud in connection with their mail business called "Sonia Psychic Advisor" and agreed to repay 60,000 dollars in ill-gotten gains,…
Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2002.   Comments (0)

TV Fakes — A short history of TV fakes from the Scottish Daily Record.
Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2002.   Comments (0)

Simonya Popova — 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…
Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2002.   Comments (0)

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

Shoe Corner — 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)

Fake Lithuanian Cops — 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)

Little Tree — 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)

The Great Potato Play of August 31, 1987 — 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…
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002.   Comments (0)

Should Nessie Be Exploited? — 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)

Michael Gambino Pellegrino — 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 Great Potato Stunt — 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 --…
Posted: Mon Sep 02, 2002.   Comments (0)

Crop Circle Prank — 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)

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