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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
July 2002
Legal Urban Legends — Bob Levey of the Washington Post debunks a few internet legends about people who have received huge financial awards for mishaps that were very minor or their own fault. Such as the one about the woman who threw a soda at her boyfriend in a restaurant, then slipped on the puddle, and successfully sued the restaurant for $113,500. It never happened.
Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2002.   Comments (0)

The Hitler Diaries — New evidence indicates that Gerd Heidemann, the journalist largely behind the Hitler Diaries hoax, was an East German double agent working for the Stasi. This breathes new life into the old theory that the hoax was actually a communist plot.
Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2002.   Comments (0)

Signs, Crop Circles — Daily Variety gave Shyamalan's new film Signs a mediocre review. I loved The Sixth Sense, but found Unbreakable disappointing. So I'm not expecting much from his new one.
Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2002.   Comments (0)

The Cardiff Giant — Go visit Cooperstown, New York, where the Cardiff Giant still resides. It's housed in the Farmer's Museum. Cooperstown is also home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. There's an article about the town in today's Toronto Star.
Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2002.   Comments (0)


NPR Funding Hoax — Good description in the Christian Science Monitor of the NPR Funding hoax. I've got this in my e-mail a couple of times. It's the one in which you're asked to sign a petition to help save NPR. It's not real, so don't sign the thing if you get it. The CSM article ends on a glum note: "It would be nice to think that Americans in the 21st century are too savvy and intelligent to get collectively hookwinked by hoaxes, pranks, or propaganda. Don't you believe it."
Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2002.   Comments (0)

UFO Sightings — UFO sightings expected to increase in the next few weeks. But that bright object in the night sky won't be a UFO. It'll be the International Space Station.
Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2002.   Comments (0)

What separates skeptics from believers — Fascinating article in New Scientist reports on research that posits that what really separates skeptics from believers (when it comes to matters such as paranormal activity) is brain chemistry. Those with high levels of dopamine in their brains seem to be more prone to see patterns and meaning in random pieces of information. When the drug L-dopa was given to skeptics, they likewise became more prone to see patterns in randomness as well. Of course, the researchers seem to be assuming…
Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2002.   Comments (0)

Naperville Crop Circle — Large crop circle found in a field of soybeans outside of Naperville, Illinois. Is it real, or a publicity stunt in anticipation of the release of the movie 'Signs' on August 2?
Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2002.   Comments (0)

Web Site of Supernatural Activity — "Stickboy" sent me an e-mail letting me know about his "official web site of supernatural activity." Check it out.
Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2002.   Comments (0)

Wacky Postcards — Nice collection of 'Wacky Postcards' (also referred to as tall tale postcards, or freak postcards) at the UCM Museum's site. UCM stands for Unusual Collections and Miniature Town. The Museum is located in Louisiana. I've never been to Louisiana, but I'd love to get there someday.
Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2002.   Comments (0)

Remembering Naked Came the Stranger — Robert Wiemer, one of the 25 authors of the 'Naked Came the Stranger' literary hoax from 1969, died yesterday. He was better known as an editorial writer for Newsday. Naked Came the Stranger was a novel that was designed to test just how low the standards of taste of the American public had sunk. 25 Newsday staff members each wrote a chapter of this novel. Their only requirements were that their chapters could contain no plot or character development, no social insight, and no verbal…
Posted: Thu Jul 25, 2002.   Comments (0)

Fake Romanian Soccer Team — A rogue soccer team pretends to be Romania's Olympic team.
Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2002.   Comments (0)

Fake 9/11 Heroics — 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)

Online Liars — 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)

Should it be called palmistry or buttistry? — I've heard about psychics reading palms. Now here's one that reads buttocks.
Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2002.   Comments (4)

Ghostwriting — 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)

Return of the Monkey Man — 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)

Mortimer Menpes — 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)

Bogus Yellow Pages — A bogus yellow pages scam.
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2002.   Comments (0)

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

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