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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2005
A Wooden Hand — Back in November I posted something about a guy who claimed to have a 'hand of corn' (i.e. an ear of corn shaped like a hand). This struck a chord with Mr. Starbucks (that's his screen name) who remembered that his Grandmother claimed to have once found a piece of wood naturally shaped like a hand. He's now found his Grandma's wooden hand and sent me some pictures of it. He says that, "In my opinion, I think it's a hoax. How would a piece of wood form into that shape?" But, come on, Mr.…
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005.   Comments (5)

Duke of Wellington Cone Prank — For almost twenty years Glaswegians have enthusiastically upheld a tradition of placing traffic cones on top of a statue of the Duke of Wellington that stands in the city center. You can even buy postcards and t-shirts displaying a cone-wearing Wellington. But now the fun might come to an end on account of art historian Gary Nisbet who claims that the cone prank threatens to seriously damage the 160-year-old statue. He's campaigning to get people who climb up on the statue charged with…
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005.   Comments (11)

Insomniac Ukrainian — Here's another example of why Ananova is so widely known as a credible source for news. The title of this latest journalistic gem: Ukrainian hasn't slept in 20 years. The article describes Fyodor Nesterchuk who just stays up reading while everybody else sleeps. The local doctor claims he has "examined Nesterchuk extensively" and can't find anything wrong with him, except for the fact that the guy never sleeps. Although I don't believe for a second that this guy has really gone for…
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005.   Comments (29)

Happy Slappers — The Sun reports that British rowdies have embraced a new hobby: happy slapping. Here's what the Sun says: A VIOLENT craze in which thugs slap strangers across the face and record it on video phone is sweeping Britain. The so-called "happy slappers" attack while an accomplice captures it to post on the internet or send to another mobile. But what started as a schoolkids' prank has escalated into more serious assaults - including fly-kicking strangers' spines - and robberies. This…
Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2005.   Comments (29)


Hunting Nessie — Dan Taylor of South Carolina has built a submarine which he plans to launch in Loch Ness this spring, hoping to find Nessie and collect tissue samples from her, for scientific analysis. The media, of course, are loving this, first playing up the eccentric enthusiast angle, and now playing up the Nessie-fans-outraged-by-the-thought-of-someone-harpooning-the-monster angle. But if you watch the video broadcast that accompanies this article, you realize that it's not so much the idea of…
Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2005.   Comments (28)

Worst Weatherman Ever — Here's a video going around showing what has to be, quite easily, the worst weather broadcast ever. It's so bad you begin to suspect that it was staged. But I don't think so. It seems to be a student-run news show broadcast by Ohio University Public Television. Not to be harsh, but this guy should really think about pursuing a different career. Reporting the weather doesn't seem to be his thing. Update: Apparently there's a few more weird weathermen videos going around (weird…
Posted: Wed Jan 26, 2005.   Comments (19)

Fat Dog — Kentaro Mori of Liquito sent me this picture (click thumbnail to enlarge) of a very fat dog. He says that he found it on a Japanese website. My hunch would be that there's no photo trickery involved here. It really is a very fat dog. Probably comes from the same household as Munchkin the Monster Cat.
Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2005.   Comments (54)

Back Again… — Looks like the site is back... at last. I'm definitely not going to change servers again in a hurry. Uploading files, checking folder permissions, and trying to understand how to get a mysql database to do what I want it to do is not my idea of fun. Anyway, everything on the site seems to be functioning, except for the forum. Go figure. Something had to break during the move. The pages for each individual topic in the forum are working, but the main page for the forum itself won't load.…
Posted: Mon Jan 24, 2005.   Comments (9)

Museum of Hoaxes is Moving — The Museum of Hoaxes will soon be moving to a new home at a different web hosting company (pMachine hosting). This may cause a slight disruption in service (fewer posts) over the following week as I make the switch. At the very least it might mean that the site will temporarily be at a new url (one of those urls that are just a string of numbers) until the internet domain name servers reassign museumofhoaxes.com to the new web host. The reason for the move is that over the past few…
Posted: Sun Jan 23, 2005.   Comments (10)

The Emancipator Bubble — Even though I'm not very proficient in Spanish, I'm pretty sure that the Emancipator Bubble is a hoax. According to the machine translation, the Emancipator Bubble "is an inflatable cockpit, with bubble form, that allows you independent living without leaving the familiarity of your house." In other words, it's a large inflatable bubble that you live in, instead of just living in your room. It comes in various models, such as the Sexmancipator. This racy model is "Made with a plastic…
Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005.   Comments (7)

Missing Monkey (looks like Olsen Twin) — The Tailspinning into Tomorrow Livejournal has posted a picture of a flyer put up by someone searching for their missing monkey. Here's the text of the flyer: Missing Monkey Last seen in diaper carrying blue 'blankie' looks like Olsen twin (circa 1985 Full House baby) Responds to nickname 'F123' If found call: ******* Monkey is NOT trustworthy I like how they specify that the monkey isn't trustworthy. But I'm wondering if the flyer might be an example of the classic weird-missing-pet…
Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005.   Comments (30)

John Goodman Isn’t Dead — A fake news story about the death of actor John Goodman raced around the internet today. It's hard to understand why people believed this for a second, since the story was filled with spelling mistakes and bad grammar. Here's a sample: LOS ANGELES, California (AP) - Actor John Goodman, star of such hits as Monsters Inc and Beyond the Sea, found dead today in his home. Cause of death is not known. Recently seen in the Kevin Spacey epik Beyond the Sea, Goodman was deemed in fine health…
Posted: Fri Jan 21, 2005.   Comments (12)

Man Sells Left Nut on eBay — A guy from Texas is selling his left nut on eBay so that he can buy a tractor. Ha Ha. It's a peanut. But I think I see the face of Jesus on it.
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (13)

When I Woke Up My Leg Was Gone — Here's a news story that bears an eerie resemblance to the urban legend about the guy who shares a drink with a stranger in a bar and wakes up to find his kidney gone. This news report involves a German professor who goes on holiday to Costa Rica and visits a hospital to have them check out his swollen left foot: When I got to the hospital they put me on a bed and I heard the word amputate. I tried to protest, but before I knew it they had given me drugs to black me out, and when I…
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (13)

Weird X-Rays — If this story wasn't in the NY Times, I wouldn't believe that it was true (though I do see that it's actually an AP story picked up by the Times). Patrick Lawler went to the dentist about a toothache and found out he had a four-inch nail lodged inside his head. It came from a nail gun he had been using a few days before. He hadn't realized that the gun had shot a nail inside his head! The x-ray of the nail inside his head (see thumbnail to right) reminds me of the x-ray picture (below)…
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (18)

Aicha Kid Suicide Video — One of the many random viral videos that floats around the internet is this 'Aicha Kid Video' that shows a skinny teenager singing and dancing to the song 'Aicha'. But before you click on the link to see the video, first read about the urban legend that accompanies the video, because I think it makes the video itself much more interesting. According to the UL, there's an 'uncut' version of this video, and in this uncut version... well, this poster from ebaumsworld summarizes it better…
Posted: Thu Jan 20, 2005.   Comments (192)

Abel Raises Caine — Back when I was writing The Museum of Hoaxes (the book) I exchanged a few emails with Jenny Abel, daughter of professional hoaxer Alan Abel. During the course of our correspondence she mentioned that she was making a movie about her father. Now I see that she's completed the movie, titled Abel Raises Caine. It can be seen at the Slamdance Film Festival in LA next week. Phil Reisman describes it in this way (his article also tells about some of Abel's more famous hoaxes): It's an…
Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005.   Comments (2)

Inauguration Pickup Scam — While other people are planning how to spend the day of the Inauguration protesting (or not spending a dime), here's a guy who's figured out that the Inauguration and all the related festivities represent an opportunity to trick women into going out with him. Here's his scam, as he tells it in this post on Craigslist DC (warning: not safe for work language): He placed an ad looking for a date to accompany him to a black tie inaugural ball. The one condition was that he wanted to meet…
Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005.   Comments (2)

Poo Prank — The Sun reports on this very odd form of political protest: GERMAN police are hunting for a gang who have been going around Berlin sticking tiny American flags into dog poo. Officers say they are baffled by the bizarre behaviour - which does not break any laws - and have stepped-up patrols to catch the gang. Cops had initially thought the jokers were protesting about the war in Iraq, according to iol.co.nz. But the pranks continued throughout George W Bush's re-election leaving…
Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005.   Comments (12)

Volkswagen Polo Ad — Check out this ad for the Volkswagen Polo (link may be dead) that's been going around. A suicide bomber blows himself up inside the car, but the car is so tough that it contains the explosion. Seems to push the envelope a bit too much to be an actual ad commissioned by Volkswagen, and sure enough it's not. It's a 'spec ad', created by leeanddan.com. Spec ads are 'speculative ads' created to show potential clients what kind of work you're capable of doing. In other words, Volkswagen…
Posted: Wed Jan 19, 2005.   Comments (18)

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