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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2004
Wakerich Asylum for the Criminally Insane — This one almost had me believing that it was real. It's Wakerich Asylum for the Criminally Insane. It all looks very official and real, right down to the phone numbers, staff bios, and maps to the asylum. It only starts to become fishy when you notice that the complete records of all the patients are accessible online. The supposed explanation for this is that "Patient information is being made available to the public after a ruling by The New York State Appellate Court in a Freedom of…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (9)

Extreme Kidnapping — If you're searching for unusual thrills, why not try getting kidnapped? Extreme Kidnapping promises that it will allow you to "customize your own kidnapping!" Yup. For the right price, women in fishnet stockings will show up unannounced at your door, whisk you away, and keep you bound and gagged in their basement for a few days. As weird as this sounds, I actually think it's real, mainly because I've heard of this before. Back in 2002 a guy called Brock Enright was in the news for…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (12)

Lost Pet Scam — Occasionally you see news stories like this one about lost cats who are found hundreds of miles from home, having got themselves locked into moving vans by accident. But watch out. If you lose your cat, then later get a call from movers who say they've found your pet in their van, it can be a scam. As the Crimes-of-Persuasion site details, it's known as the Catastrophic Lost Pet Scam. Those movers don't really have your pet. They're just con artists trying to get you to wire them 'gas…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (3)

O-Yes and Cherry OS, Real or Vaporware? — Last week programmers were all abuzz when a Hawaiian company announced that they had developed software, which they called Cherry OS, that would allow people to run Mac software on PCs. But programmers were also very suspicious, especially since the company has been reluctant to release trial versions of the software. Now it looks like Cherry OS may not be all it was cracked up to be, at least according to this website which claims that it's little more than a fraud. And in a similar…
Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2004.   Comments (5)


Shallow American Roads — While browsing through the alt.folklore.urban usenet group, I noticed a debate raging over the question of how deep American roads are. Apparently (so the urban legend goes) American roads can only be built to a fairly shallow depth in order to make the land under them more easily reclaimed for farming. By contrast, European roads are built to a much deeper depth. As a consequence, European roads are much more durable than American roads and need fewer repairs. The usenet group didn't…
Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004.   Comments (13)

The Dream Machine — The Dream Machine, from Takara USA, "is designed to stimulate the user at the appropriate times during REM sleep to increase the likelihood of dreaming a particular desired dream." It involves incense, soothing background music, and a pre-recorded statement repeated over and over in your ear as you sleep. My guess is that it works about as well as cramming for a test by sleeping on a textbook would work.
Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004.   Comments (16)

Coke vs. Pepsi — According to the Independent, researchers have proven that the difference between Coke and Pepsi really is all in your head. Apparently the popularity of Coke's brand image causes people to think Coca-Cola itself tastes better, even though it really doesn't taste very different from Pepsi. As the article says: "When asked to taste blind, they showed no preference. However, when the participants were shown company logos before they drank, the Coke label, the more famous of the two, had a…
Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004.   Comments (301)

The Center for Chihuahua Exploitation — If you're curious about how to go about exploiting chihuahuas, then the Center for Chihuahua Exploitation is the site for you. If you dig around the site a bit, you'll discover some interesting facts, such as this: "Most people don't realize that the chihuahua is not a true member of the canine family. In fact, it shares the same ancestor as common rats. This opens up new possibilities for the scientific community as chihuahuas can now legally be used in place of lab rats for…
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004.   Comments (3)

Enslave New Zealand — Are you tired of "namby-pamby politicians with their bean-counting, child-smooching sweaty handshakes?" A few Australians are, so they've taken politics into their own hands and formed the Enslave New Zealand Party. If elected, members of this party promise one thing: to invade New Zealand and enslave its entire population. Their plan sounds foolproof. After all, as they point out, "New Zealand bases her defence policy on one simple fact: no one can attack New Zealand without going…
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004.   Comments (14)

Bees — I didn't get around to posting for the last couple of days because a major situation developed in my house. We discovered that an entire wall in our guest room is home to a colony of bees. What a nightmare. I thought (hoped) it was some kind of hoax at first, because I didn't know that bees will build hives inside of walls. But sadly, it's very real. I spent the last two days moving furniture around, getting everything ready for the exterminator to come next week. But as much as it…
Posted: Mon Oct 18, 2004.   Comments (22)

Nick Nolte’s Blog — Here's yet another possible faux celebrity blog. This time it's the blog of Nick Nolte. It's probably becoming a sign of status in Hollywood to have a faux blog... it shows that someone out there cares enough about you to want to pretend to be you. Imagine all the forgotten stars waiting desperately for someone to create a fake blog about them. Maybe they eventually break down and pay someone to pretend to be them... which would make it a faux faux celebrity blog. Lost in Technophilia
Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2004.   Comments (4)

Iraqi Urban legends — Here's an interesting article about Iraqi urban legends regarding the American forces. Here's a few of the more popular beliefs: that the bulletproof vests American soldiers wear actually contain air-conditioning units (I'm sure the soldiers wish this were true) that the sunglasses worn by almost all American soldiers allow them to see through clothing And that American armored vehicles are protected by electrical fields that detonate RPG rockets before they strike, but that this…
Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2004.   Comments (18)

Sleep Sex — Australia's The Age reports on the strange nocturnal exploits of a middle-aged woman living with a steady partner. "By night, she crept out of their house to seek random sex with strangers. But the woman was unaware of her own double life, which was conducted while she was asleep." The doctor who is treating her, Dr. Peter Buchanan, claims that she is suffering from a rare syndrome known as 'Sleep Sex', which he's hoping will soon be officially recognized as a legitimate sleep disorder.…
Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2004.   Comments (9)

The Belly Button Plant — Vincent linked to this in the hoax forum, and I thought it was bizarre enough that I should post it here where I can add a poll to it. The story is that 'Stephan M' lost his clothes overboard while on a canoe trip, so he had to wear the same things for the next six days. When he got home he took off his sweater and discovered that a seedling had sprouted in his belly button lint. He took photos of it as proof. Now to me this seems like a joke. I think he just stuck a leafy twig in his…
Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004.   Comments (16)

Slovakian Satire Reported as News — Here's another case of the media in one country reporting another country's satire as straight news. About a week ago the Austrian paper Der Standard reported that a Canadian-American company was going to privatise and expand the Bratislava airport, which would involve the relocation of the entire village of Ivanka pri Dunaji. And where did Der Standard get this story? From the website of sme.sk, a Slovakian paper. It didn't notice that the story was over six months old and dated April…
Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004.   Comments (0)

Marijuana Mobile — Peptalk seems to be positioning itself as the mobile phone service provider of choice for Dutch marijuana lovers. Check out its website, pepyouraddiction.nl, where you can see that its corporate logo is a hemp plant. Marijuana is, of course, legal in Holland... and PePtalk is a Dutch company, but the weird thing is that beyond that PePtalk doesn't seem to have any rational connection to marijuana. It's as if they just liked the idea of being a pot-lover's phone company... without…
Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004.   Comments (5)

Eight-Legged Cat — Take a look at this picture. Is it real or fake? It kind of looks like two cats held up one behind the other. But it's not. The picture is real. It's Octopussy, the 8-legged cat. It's a cat that was born in Norway in 2001. Information about it can be found over at Messybeast.com: In 2001, I received an email detailing a conjoined kitten which was born in Østfold, Norway in April. Unlike the 1750 six-legged cat which was only doubled from the "waist" down, the Norwegian kitten was…
Posted: Wed Oct 13, 2004.   Comments (16)

Was Bob Heironimus Bigfoot? — Bob Heironimus has been getting a lot of press lately by claiming to have been the guy who dressed up in a Bigfoot costume and mugged for the camera in the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, shot in October 1967. I haven't examined his story closely, so I haven't formed an opinion on whether he really was Patterson's Bigfoot, but looking at that Bigfoot costume he was photographed posing with last week, I've got to say that it doesn't look much like the Bigfoot in Patterson's film. Maybe it…
Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004.   Comments (16)

Cow Manure Tossing — CNN reports that Oklahoma tourism officials have recalled about 200,000 brochures because they contain, among other things, "a photo of an event in which lumps of cow manure are thrown as a part of a contest in the town of Beaver, in western Oklahoma." The way the article described it, I wasn't sure if the cow-manure tossing was a joke that somehow made its way into the brochure, or if it was a serious event. But a quick google search reveals that it's real enough. Here are some photos
Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004.   Comments (7)

Enormous Wave Video — When I first saw this movie clip of a guy surfing a huge wave (windows media player file), I figured it had to be fake, especially since the wave just seems to get bigger and bigger as the camera pans out. But on second thought, I think it's real. Waves in Hawaii or Australia can get huge, and some of those surfers are insane enough to surf them. This clip seems to be footage from the surfing documentary Billabong Odyssey.
Posted: Tue Oct 12, 2004.   Comments (3)

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