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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Lake Tahoe Man invents Sept. 11 heroics, including the claim that he was buried under rubble for over 79 hours.
Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2002 Comments (0)

Using technology to get around the problem of people lying online. From the NY Times (reg. req.). Researchers estimate that 42% of online responses are currently false.
Posted: Tue Jul 23, 2002 Comments (0)

I've heard about psychics reading palms. Now here's one that reads buttocks.
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2002 Comments (4)

Great article in the National Post about the role of ghostwriters in the writing of "autobiographies." Often ghostwriters will invent the lives of their subjects out of whole cloth... And many celebrities never read the autobiographies which they've supposedly written. As the article says, "If the nominal author of a memoir says, 'I want to thank the devoted and talented Ms. Holly Ryle for her expert editorial assistance,' that probably means she wrote every word."
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2002 Comments (0)


The Monkey Man has returned in India, after an absence of about a year. Reports are that a "monkey-like machine" is attacking people as they sleep on rooftops and in open places.
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2002 Comments (0)

An exhibition of the art of Mortimer Menpes is being displayed at the National Library of Australia. Menpes was known for making fakes of the works of the great masters. This was in the early 20th century.
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2002 Comments (0)

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2002 Comments (0)

Cheney promises crackdown on corporate fraud. I don't know. Somehow it seems a little fishy.
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2002 Comments (0)

Baywatch star Traci Bingham has been getting a huge amount of publicity for parading around European cities in her bikini made out of lettuce. Her point was to promote vegetarianism. But purists will note that the bikini was made out of fake lettuce.
Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2002 Comments (1)

Scientists find loopholes in the second law of thermodynamics. True believers in the possibility of a perpetual motion machine will love this.
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 Comments (1)

Bogus coupons circulating through e-mail are causing a headache for Starbucks.
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 Comments (6)

On the subject of Digital Buddies (see below) here's a website where your online digital buddy can be a member of an LA street gang. His name is Pirate. Ask him whatever you want. You even get to see him type his reply.
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 Comments (0)

Digital Buddies are fake friends who will sell you products online. They chat and make jokes, but they're just computer programs. From the LA Times (requires reg.).
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 Comments (1)

For more info about the Nigerian Bank Scam, check out Douglas Cruickshank's article in Salon from August 2001 in which he delved into the strange, seductive poetry of the Bank Scam missives. David Emery also had a piece about them in SF Gate in March 2002, while Ian Kaplan has collected many examples of the scam. Finally, the Embassy of Nigeria actually has a statement on its website from the Central Bank of Nigeria warning people about the swindle.
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 Comments (0)

Wired also had a good article yesterday about the Nigerian Bank Scam, in which they interviewed a Nigerian student who actually used to compose the letters that were sent out to potential victims. The student says that the letters were purposefully designed to read like offbeat soap operas.
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2002 Comments (1)

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