The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2004
End of World Causes Bank Failure — Numerous bad loans to a polygamist sect that believes the end of the world is nigh has caused the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim in Utah to go under. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a small Mormon sect a small splinter sect of the Mormon church, unaffiliated with the main church) was spending money like the end of the world was around the corner... because they thought the end of the world actually was around the corner. And happily funding this spending…
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (5)

The ESP Game — Do you think you have ESP? Test your skills with the ESP game. It's a bit addictive. You're paired with a random partner on the internet, then you're both shown a series of images. You each have to guess what word the other person is typing to describe the image. I ranked as a novice.
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (2)

Have You Forsaken Baby Jesus? — Lots of people are linking to this floating Baby Jesus head that squeaks plaintively, occasionally moans 'WHY', and constantly demands 'WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?' One look at the URL told me that it was a spoof, because it's part of the Objective: Christian Ministries (O:CM) site, probably the most elaborate anti-fundamentalist parody site on the internet. But apparently not everyone is aware of O:CM, so they're getting creeped out thinking the floating Baby Jesus head is supposed to…
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (7)

PhotoBlocker Spray — The makers of PhotoBlocker spray claim that their product will make your license plate invisible to photo radar, red light cameras, and infrared and laster cameras. Special crystals in the spray will reflect back the flash (or light source) used by these cameras, making your license look like a bright blur. Would this actually work? Would it be legal if it did? They say that the spray is invisible to the naked eye, which means that it won't be of much use if a cop pulls you over.…
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (222)


Ghost Cane Sold for $65,000 — So goldenpalace.com, the same online casino that shelled out $28,000 for the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich last month, has now bought the haunted walking cane for $65,000. It occurs to me that this casino is rapidly building a Museum of Hoaxes all of its own. They're becoming the P.T. Barnum's of the 21st Century.
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (14)

How To Pick Up Women — According to Don Diebel, "Americas #1 Singles Expert", the secret to picking up women is hand puppets. (so that's what I was doing wrong back when I was single... no hand puppets!). Here's what you do: When you see a girl that you're attracted to, approach her and tap her on the shoulder lightly with your puppet and when she turns around raise your hand puppet towards her face and say something like this with your puppet, "Hi beautiful, would you like to dance with me?" Move your…
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (19)

Praise from the Guardian — There was a very nice blurb in today's issue of The Guardian about the Museum of Hoaxes. Does this mean I can now tell my mother that I'm famous?
Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2004.   Comments (10)

Santa’s Female Reindeer — David Emery has posted an intriguing piece of netlore concerning the gender of Santa's reindeer. Here's the text of the email that's going around: According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year (the only members of the deer family, Cervidae, to have females do so), male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid December. Female reindeer retain their antlers…
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (17)

ATM Dispenses Fake Cash — When customers of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce tried to withdraw cash from the bank's ATM, instead of money they received "colorful bills used as incentives at Canadian Tire Corp. hardware stores." So what do you do if an ATM gives you funny money instead of real bills? An article in the Charlotte Observer (requires obnoxious registration) gives this advice: "Don't walk or drive away from the teller window without checking the money first... Once you leave the teller, fake…
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (16)

Fake Predictions Seized — Here's an interesting short crime report from the China Post: Hong Kong customs officers have seized nearly 1,500 fake fortunetelling books that contain published predictions for the wrong year, a customs official said Sunday. The fake books, which were seized Friday, purport to offer predictions for the next Chinese calendar year, the Year of the Rooster, but their texts are lifted from published predictions for previous years, said Customs and Excise Department official Chiu…
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (2)

Cluster Ballooning — Cluster Ballooning is air travel achieved by means of tying numerous helium balloons to yourself. I knew about Larry Walters' famous 1982 cluster balloon flight in which he took off from the LA area on a lawn chair tied to helium balloons, so I knew it was possible to do. But I didn't think that people did this regularly as a sport. Apparently they do. It actually looks like fun (the site has some great pictures).
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (1)

Grandfather’s Ghost on eBay — Yet another ghost is up for sale on eBay. This one has received huge amounts of media attention (stories about it on CNN, MSNBC, etc.) thanks to a sob story that goes along with it. Last year this woman's father died. Now her eight-year-old son Collin thinks that the ghost of his grandfather is still living in the house. So the highest bidder will get the ghost of the grandfather (plus the grandfather's walking stick). The one condition is that the winning bidder has to write a letter…
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (12)

Jasper and the Yeast Rolls — This story (author unknown) has been 'floating around' the internet for a few months. I found a discussion of it on alt.folklore.urban. There's an easier to read version of it here. It involves a fox terrier named Jasper who eats twelve uncooked yeast rolls that a woman leaves out to rise before baking. The yeast begins to rise in the dog's stomach, causing him to swell up like a balloon: "He looked like a combination of the Pillsbury dough boy and the Michelin Tire man wrapped up in…
Posted: Sun Dec 05, 2004.   Comments (13)

BBC Falls for Bhopal Hoax — The hoaxing of the BBC has now been all over the news. In case you haven't heard, on Friday the BBC broadcast an interview with a man claiming to be a representative of Dow Chemical, Jude Finisterra (is the guy's last name supposed to mean 'the end of the world'?). During the interview the man said that Dow had decided to accept full responsibility for the chemical disaster that killed thousands of people in Bhopal twenty years ago, and in addition it would pay $12 billion in…
Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004.   Comments (0)

Bush Arrested in Canada — A mock CNN page with news about Bush being arrested in Canada and charged with war crimes has been doing the rounds, and apparently fooling quite a few people. It's pretty well done. The url even looks like it could be the real thing. Axis of Logic also has a satirical article about Bush being arrested on their site. Apparently the Axis of Logic article got picked up by the Google newsbot and was temporarily posted as a real headline on Google News. Hairy Houdini, as he promised in the…
Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004.   Comments (21)

Crucified Santa — According to urban legend there was once a department store in Japan that, shortly after the war, displayed a smiling crucified Santa at Christmas, mistakenly believing that that was how Santa was supposed to be displayed. In different versions of the legend the crucified Santa was either a small miniature or an 'enormous effigy'. There's no evidence that the Japanese crucified Santa ever existed. But people here in America have, of course, deliberately stuck Santas up on crosses.
Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004.   Comments (18)

Aliens Made Me Do It — The BBC reports that the staff of the Northumbria Safety Camera Partnership have come up with the 10 stupidest excuses drivers have come up with to explain why they were speeding. Number one is: "I passed out after seeing UFOs." Not only stupid, but illogical (unless you passed out and somehow jammed your foot on the accelerator). A few of the other excuses are: A jet over-head, not me, triggered the camera I had a severe bout of diarrhoea A gust of wind pushed me over the limit I…
Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004.   Comments (4)

Do You Believe in Santa Claus? — A British psychiatrist, Lynda Breen, has concluded that belief in Santa Claus is actually good for the moral development of children. Apparently believing in the existence of a jolly red-suited man who "'knows if you've been bad or good' helps teach children the difference between right and wrong." As much as my first inclination is to make a sarcastic remark about this, I think I'm going to hold back since there's a whole slew of fantastic beings whose existence I find myself very…
Posted: Thu Dec 02, 2004.   Comments (55)

In the Wake of Grilled Cheese Mary — Following the $28,000 sale of that Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich, it seems like it's been loony season on eBay (if it was ever NOT loony season on eBay, that is). Among the more memorable Grilled Cheese Mary Wannabes have been the Jesus Fish Stick, the NutriGrain cereal that looks like ET, and the piece of popcorn that looks like the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus. Buck Wolf, in his weekly column on ABC News, points out some miracle foods from years past that have beguiled the…
Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004.   Comments (12)

Man Boobs Prank — This is stupid and gross, but kind of funny anyway. Here's the set-up: "Penthouse Playmate, Kyli Ryan, came to The Bear studios for a visit and The Bear's Breakfast decided to pull a fast one. Yukon was blindfolded and was then told he would be able to "cop a feel". Bear listener "Man Boobs" was brought in for Yukon to unknowingly feel up." The page showing the images of the prank is safe for work (depending on where you work, I suppose), but potentially not safe for your feeling of…
Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004.   Comments (7)

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