The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2004
Soldier Cutting Grass Found — The Oregon Statesman Journal has an article about that photo of a soldier in Iraq tending a small plot of grass (which I posted here back in October). They identify the soldier as Warrant Officer Brook Turner stationed at Camp Cooke north of Baghdad. They even provide his email address in case you want to send him a happy New Year's message. Plus, they mention the Museum of Hoaxes in the article. The weird date on the photo which had everyone confused was apparently just a result of…
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004.   Comments (10)

Elvis Water Sells for $455 — This is of interest only as yet more proof that the sell-junk-on-eBay gag will never, ever end: Wade Jones of North Carolina says he snared a plastic cup from which Elvis Presley drank at a concert in 1977 and kept the cup and the water for 27 years before selling the remaining few tablespoons of water on eBay. The winning bid for the water was $455. He says he won't sell the cup.
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004.   Comments (11)

A Christmas Ghost — Here's a new ghost photo that's begun to do the email rounds. To me it looks like a simple double exposure... but maybe it really is the ghost of Mary's Grandfather. In which case, sell him on eBay!! Here's the text that accompanies the photo. Click photo to enlarge (thanks to Jennifer for sending this to me): This picture is soo freaky..... My co-worker Mary that lives in stockton bought her sister a digital camera for X-mas. Her sister took a picture of their niece and if you look…
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004.   Comments (37)

Dog Food Rebranded as Gourmet Pate — 'Big Gary' spotted this item in a year-end round-up of unlikely stories of 2004: Israeli authorities seized a consignment of 80,000 cans of dog food disguised as gourmet goose liver pate. The Bulgarian product was originally marked as "Chicken for dogs" but was relabelled "Domestic birds' liver pate" and "Pate de foie gras". The importer had also forged a kosher certificate to fulfill the requirements of Jewish dietary law. I wonder if anyone would have realized what they were…
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004.   Comments (14)


Fart Bombs — Hong Kong officials have pulled from store shelves a gag gift named the 'Fart Bomb' because the toy not only does exactly what it promises (produces a giant cloud of stench), but it also causes nausea, headaches, and eye irritation. Just imagine what schoolkids could do if they got their hands on these things. Thanks to Gary for finding this story. As he points out, it may not be the worst toy idea ever, but it's definitely in the top 100. But hey, it looks like you can buy fart bombs…
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004.   Comments (15)

Anonymous Lawyer — The Anonymous Lawyer blog makes clear that it's the diary of a "fictional hiring partner at a large law firm". However, as this NY Times article notes, many people who had become fans of the blog and its account of the "soulless, billable-hours-obsessed partners, the overworked BlackBerry-dependent associates and the wrecked families that are the dark underside of life at his large firm in Los Angeles" were convinced that it had to be written by a real-life "Big Law insider". As it…
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004.   Comments (4)

Christmas Lights Webcam Hoax — Alek Komarnitsky claimed that his christmas lights were web-controlled. Visitors to his site could turn them on and off, and view their work via a webcam. So people with visions of inducing epileptic seizures in his neighbors were busy clicking away. Alek even took a helicopter ride with a local TV station and showed them the lights on his house madly flashing as thousands of visitors to his site supposedly turned the lights on and off. But an article in today's issue of the Wall…
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004.   Comments (16)

Imagine John Lennon Singing Pro-War Songs in Heaven — Ever wondered how John Lennon is getting along in Heaven? According to 'internationally known' psychic Linda Polley he's doing very well. She's been channeling his spirit and reporting on what's going on with him. You can read all the latest news on the John Lennon and George Harrison's Official Website from the Afterlife. The biggest surprise is that John has "officially divorced his former partner Yoko Ono Lennon for her support of homosexuality" and decided to marry a dancer named…
Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004.   Comments (36)

My Strangest Gift — Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates it. I'm not at home this Christmas. Instead I'm in Phoenix, Arizona. So having now received (I think) almost all of my gifts, I'd have to say that the strangest one I got this year was Elephant Dung Paper from Malawi. It says on the info that comes with the paper that "The elephant dung is first collected from Liwonde National Park and then beaten and mixed with recycled waste paper to produce the pulp from which it is made." It actually looks…
Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2004.   Comments (12)

Cheerleader Toss — The cheerleader goes up, and comes down exactly through the basketball hoop. It seems like there has to be a trick to it somehow, though I can't figure out what the trick might be. As I watched the movie clip, I kept thinking 'what if her foot got caught in the net'. At the very least the net must be rigged so that it would rip away from the hoop if her foot were to catch it.
Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2004.   Comments (81)

Salvation Army Gold Coin Mystery — A coin dropped into a Salvation Army kettle last week in Naperville has made headlines. It was a $400 gold coin wrapped in a $1 million bill (the $1 million bill was fake). This brings up the mystery of just who's behind this tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles. Apparently the tradition dates back to 1982, when a gold coin was dropped into a kettle in a Chicago suburb. Gold coins have shown up in kettles in many states ever since then. Some think the coins are…
Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2004.   Comments (33)

10 Best Film Urban Legends — Filmthreat.com has a list of the "10 BEST URBAN LEGENDS IN FILM HISTORY". It's an interesting list, but I think they've chosen an odd choice for number one: the 'urban legend' about President Woodrow Wilson allegedly remarking that the ultra-racist film Birth of a Nation was like "history written with lightning" and "all terribly true." I've heard these comments attributed to Wilson many times. In fact, I can remember sitting in quite a few classes and listening to the lecturer make…
Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2004.   Comments (5)

Prebirth Experiences — At RoyalChild.com Sarah and Brent Hinze investigate Prebirth Experiences. They define these as when "a parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, or grandparent, etc., receives communication from a child before she is born, or in many cases, before he was even conceived." I hadn't heard of this particular variety of psychic (or spiritual) phenomenon before. It seems like a strange offshoot of past-life communication... except that instead of talking with people who once existed, you're communicating…
Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2004.   Comments (173)

Alien Bacteria on eBay — Here's the latest eBay oddity. It's 'Magic Air' that grows alien bacteria and makes your feet swell up: This glass was left outside by one of my kids during a solar eclipse. When I retrieved it I noticed that it weighed over 10 pounds. I didn't notice any contents but tried pouring it out and spilled some of the "Magic Air" on my left foot. My shoe grew from a size 11 to a 17 DDD in less than 15 seconds. I ceased pouring any more of the Magic Air out and placed the Haunted Purple…
Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004.   Comments (22)

Festivus — The NY Times has an interesting article about the growing popularity of Festivus celebrations. Festivus falls on Dec. 23 and is celebrated by gathering around an aluminum pole, airing grievances, and having wrestling matches (among other things). It was introduced to the world by the Frank Costanza character on Seinfeld, but was actually invented back in 1966 by Dan O'Keefe, an editor at Reader's Digest. It looks like there's a good chance the celebration could seriously catch on and…
Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004.   Comments (13)

Coydogs — Coydogs. Are they real creatures, or just the stuff of urban legend? As the name implies, a coydog would be a cross between a coyote and a dog. But according to Chrissie Henner, a biologist at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, they're an urban legend. She says that "there has never been any physical evidence of a half-dog, half-coyote animal." Not that it would be impossible for the two species to mate and produce an offspring, just very unlikely. Though Henner also…
Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004.   Comments (230)

Case of the Phony Dawn — Here's a story that ranks about as high in the weirdness category as that story about the sleep-sex woman. Stephen Hill invites four guys over to his house to have sex with a woman named Dawn. This goes on for three years. Finally, it occurs to the guys: 'are we really having sex with Dawn... or is that just Stephen pretending to be Dawn?' Three years to figure this out! With a story like this you know there's got to be a lot more to it than you're getting in the news report.
Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2004.   Comments (15)

Bloggers Can Be Fakers — Time Magazine is running an article titled "10 Things We Learned About Blogs". One of the things they learned was that "Bloggers Can Be Fakers." They write: Plain Layne, a highly personal blog supposedly belonging to a Minnesota lesbian named Layne Johnson that drew thousands of fans over 3 1/2 years before mysteriously disappearing, was revealed to be a hoax. Hundreds of fans helped track down the real author, Odin Soli, 35, a male entrepreneur from Woodbury, Minn. Later in the year,…
Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004.   Comments (7)

The Top Hoaxes of 2004 — I've created a year-end list of the top hoaxes of 2004. Actually, I've chosen ten hoaxes that I think might be worthy of making the list (my basic criteria was the hoaxes that received the most media and public attention), but I haven't ranked them yet. Instead, I'm opening it up to voting. I think that's a more democratic way of doing it. Check out the list and vote here.
Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004.   Comments (0)

Auto-Urine Therapy — The About.com urban legends forum has a thread going about auto-urine therapy, which translates into 'drinking your own urine'. Is there really a thriving urine-drinking subculture? Well, yes. As the poster points out, all you have to do is google 'drinking your own urine' and you get all kinds of hits. The reason urine-drinking has so many fans is that it's supposed to offer numerous health benefits, including improving the immune system, giving you nice skin, acting great as a gargle…
Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004.   Comments (72)

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