The Graveyard of Hoax Websites

These aren't sites about hoaxes. These are sites that were, themselves, hoaxes.

This is where hoax websites get buried when they're dead. It's a sad fact of the internet that a substantial portion of it is disappearing all the time. This creates a problem for those of us interested in looking at it retrospectively. So I've created this list of hoax websites that are no more, just to give a sense of what used to be. Happily, portions of these dead sites are often preserved by the Internet Wayback Machine, and when this is the case I've provided a link to that archive. Also, in a few cases I happen to have saved a screenshot of the site. In these instances, I provide a link to that also.

Americans for Purity (Screen Grab) (Wayback Machine)
During the 19th century supporters of the so-called Purity Crusade campaigned against the evil effects of masturbation and other forms of self-gratification (such as enjoying fatty foods). This site appears to be the work of a modern-day Purity Crusader, though its links suggest the webmaster's motives are somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Ban Breast
Back in the late 1950s Alan Abel brought us the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, which publicized the immorality of naked animals wandering all over the place. In the same vein, this organization was designed to alert the public to the evils and immorality of breast feeding. Unfortunately this site is no longer up, and its creators have blocked the Wayback Machine from archiving it. It used to be at, for whatever that's worth. If anyone ever made a screen grab of it, let me know.

Breakwind Travel (Wayback Machine)
A satirical online travel agency that existed in 2002, but is now defunct. This travel agency promised that it would "blow you away." Basically it was all a big fart joke. Only a very small fragment of the original site remains on the Wayback Machine (if you're going to be able to see anything at all). (Wayback Machine)
Launched in 2000, this site purported to be the homepage of a company offering "fast, affordable, murder scene clean-up and corpse removal." A great service for all would-be murderers and assassins. The site apparently was the creation of band named Cadaver Inc. It's now defunct.

Canadian World Domination (Screen Grab) (Wayback Machine)
Demonstrating to the world "that Canada is the final and ultimate power," this site served as the home base for all those promoting Canada's manifest destiny to dominate the world. Now defunct. (Wayback Machine)
The idea was simple, but ingenious: a site where you could expose people who were cheating on their partners. However, it was all just a media stunt concocted by .net magazine to see how many visitors they could attract to a site without spending any money on advertising.

Continental Drift Cam (Screen Grab) (Wayback Machine)
Observe the continents as they drift apart. Offers a convenient slow-motion mode. This site was created around 1997, but appears to have ceased to exist sometime in 2002.

Curry, AKA Rubberburner (Wayback Machine)
In October, 1999 Mahir Cagri became an overnight sensation on the web because of his offbeat, charmingly naive homepage. Advertisers were inspired by his sudden rise to celebrity status, and they quickly set out to find ways to duplicate the Mahir phenomenon for their own ends. The result was the debut in July 2000 of a series of homepages created by the Fallon advertising agency. This is one of those pages. The hope was that these quirky (fictional) characters might become as famous as Mahir, and then somehow their fame could be used to sell Lee Jeans. Also see the entries under "Roy, Born to Destroy" and "Super Greg."

DATADYNE (Wayback Machine)
If you've ever played Perfect Dark, the video game by Nintendo, you would recognize DATADYNE, the evil technology corporation that features prominently in the game. This site was created as part of an advertising campaign by Nintendo to help promote the game by pretending that there really was a DataDyne Corp. DataDyne (i.e. Nintendo) also ran fake ads in campus newspapers pretending to offer employment to 'trustworthy individuals' who possessed adequate self-defense skills. The DataDyne Corp website no longer exists, but here's a link to an article about the marketing campaign. Frownies (Wayback Machine) submitted a trademark application for a 'frownie,' the frowning face emoticon :-(. To its great surprise its application was successful, so it immediately threatened to sue everyone who was illegally using its trademark in their e-mails.

FBN Associates (Wayback Machine)
FBN (or 'Fly By Night') Associates offered a full range of Y2K tools and products. From the same people that created Webnode.

The Force is a Tool of Satan (Wayback Machine)
This site argued that the Star Wars movies promote satanism. But buried deep within the site somewhere there was an admission that the entire site was a joke created by Ooze Magazine. Apparently a few people were fooled.

Freck's New Feet (Wayback Machine)
When it existed, at, this was a twisted classic. Paul Morgan (a.k.a. 'Freck') claimed that on January 5, 2002 he was going to amputate his legs, and that the amputation would be webcast live to a paying audience. He also said that the amputation would be for medical reasons (his legs were paralyzed) and the insurance company wouldn't pay for them to be removed (thus the need to raise money for the operation). I don't think the event ever occurred. The date when it was supposed to occur kept moving forwards in time. Now the site has disappeared altogether (perhaps along with Freck's legs?). (Wayback Machine)
This site started out as part of an April Fool's Day joke written by Ted Fishman for Esquire Magazine (see my description of this under April Fool's Day 2000). It was supposed to be the portal of an internet company whose business plan was to give away free cars in return for the right to sell advertising space on the outside of the cars. Strangely, a few internet companies (now bankrupt) actually made serious attempts at pursuing this money-losing strategy.

The Golden Gate Tunnel (Wayback Machine)
The official web site of the Golden Gate Tunnel and the Golden Gate Tunnel Store.

The Hyper-Redundant-Mart (Wayback Machine)
This internet store claimed that it sold "consumable simulacra." It asked the question, "Why buy the product, when you can buy the idea?" I never completely understood what the store was all about, but evidently it was a hoax.

Magic WebCam (Wayback Machine)
I was never sure whether this should have been classified as a hoax or just a gag (and it was a pretty old gag, at that), but I included it in the list of hoax websites anyway. This site asked you to line your face up in front of the monitor, and then their website (powered by 'Innertrode technology') would take a picture of you and display it online. A picture of a monkey's face was then shown. (Wayback Machine)
This site spoofed specialty food sites by claiming to sell human flesh for the "sophisticated human meat consumer." It caused so much controversy that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration eventually investigated it, but found no evidence that human meat was actually being sold. In July 2001 a Los Angeles graphic designer who called himself Joseph Christopherson admitted to being its creator. (Wayback Machine)
Yet another classic that now is no more. Mary was a woman in search of a man she could love, and she could very well have been serious about her search. Actually, I kind of suspect that she was, but a part of me refused to believe it... because her site was just too bizarre. It began with this declaration: "Gentle, Romantic Woman Seeks Agnostic or Atheist for Strong Attraction, Friendship, Eventual Marriage, and Deepest Love." That wasn't too odd, but then as you began reading the site you discovered that in order to prove that you were worthy of her, you had to patiently locate all the 'signal words' that were hidden in the vast labyrinth of her site and place them together in order to discover the hidden message. She would only respond to emails from those who knew the secret message. She now appears to have a new site called, but there's no content on that site.

National Blonde Day (Wayback Machine)
National Blonde Day was celebrated on July 9, 2001. It was promoted by a group calling itself the Blonde Legal Defense Club whose mission was "to stop the widespread belief that blondes are dumb and incapable." National Blonde Day was actually a publicity stunt to promote a movie that debuted on July 13 called Legally Blonde. The site was resurrected for the opening of Legally Blonde 2, but now it's more clearly a promotional site.

Oklahoma Association of Wine Producers (Wayback Machine)
Oklahoma does have a (small) wine industry, but this was not its homepage. Instead, this site was a spoof.

Online Wedding Auction
British men, and British men only, were invited to make a bid to become Kay Hammond's husband. This site has vanished off the face of the earth. No record of it in the Wayback Machine.
This site caused an international sensation when it advertised that on August 4, 1998 it would host a free live webcast of two 18-year-old teenagers, named Mike and Diane, losing their virginity together. Huge amounts of publicity were generated, but it turned out that Ken Tipton, the man responsible for creating the site, had no intention of webcasting a free "internet deflowering." The scam was to trick people into paying for the event, and then show them nothing. This was probably the first website hoax to achieve mass recognition. The hoax occurred before the Wayback Machine began cataloging the internet. The site was mirrored on for a while, but now even that seems to have disappeared. Which is a shame. Just for historical purposes it would be nice to have the first major website hoax preserved.

Psycho Ex-Girlfriend (Wayback Machine)
The premise of this site was that some guy had saved all the crazy messages that his ex-girlfriend left on his answering machine and then posted them on the web. It was amusing, in a voyeuristic kind of way, but according to the argument made here, it wasn't real. It was all some kind of spam trap. Just as well that it is no more, I suppose. (Wayback Machine)
This site created a lot of controversy back in 1999 and early 2000. It claimed to be an auction site where beautiful models offered up their ova to the highest bidders, thus allowing any couple to have a beautiful child. Supposedly someone bid $42,000 for an egg in the first week the site was online, and over 5 million people visited the site during the first weeks of its existence. But the site was really just a front created by photographer Ron Harris to lure people to his sex-related sites.

Roy, Born to Destroy (Wayback Machine)
Roy likes to destroy things. But he's actually a creation of the Fallon advertising agency, in the same veing as Curry (Rubberburner) and Super Greg.

Super Greg (Wayback Machine)
The final character of the three created by the Fallon advertising agency in imitation of Mahir Cagri. See also Curry (Rubberburner) and Roy (Born to Destroy).

True but Little Known Facts about Women and Aids (Wayback Machine)
Facts compiled by Dr. Juatta Lyon Fueul ('what a lying fool'). The real aim of this site was to promote critical thinking. (Wayback Machine)
It looked like one of those online voyeur sites, but it was actually a site to promote an upcoming horror movie. To my knowledge, the movie never came out.

Webnode (Wayback Machine)
In 1999 a press release was issued over Business Wire announcing the creation of a new company called Webnode. This company, according to the release, had been granted a government contract to regulate ownership of 'nodes' on the 'Next Generation Internet.' Each of these nodes (there were said to be over 50 million of them) represented a route that data could travel. The company was licensed to sell each node for $100. Nodes would increase in value depending on how much traffic they routed, and owners would also receive usage fees based on the amount of data that flowed across their section of the internet. Therefore, bidding for the nodes was expected to become quite intense. Although Webnode was not yet a publicly traded company, the press release declared that shares in the company could be reserved for later purchase, although no money would presently be accepted. Readers were directed to the company's website,, for more information. The 'Next Generation Internet' was a real government project, leading many to assume that Webnode was a legitimate enterprise. But in actuality, it was not. It was a prank created by a group of investors who had met on the Silicon Investor financial website. Business Wire didn't find their prank amusing. It filed a suit against them alleging fraud, breach of contract, defamation, and conspiracy.