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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
March 2005
The John Rhys-Davies Internet Rumor Experiment — Rubber Chicken has posted an interesting account of their experiment in spreading rumors and misinformation via their internet. What they wanted to do was plant one seed of misinformation, and see how far it would spread. As it turned out, it spread quite far. Their seed of misinformation was this: they made up a rumor that actor John Rhys-Davies, of Sliders fame, was going to provide the voice for General Grievous, the new CGI villain in Star Wars Episode III. They emailed this rumor…
Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2005.   Comments (9)

Easter Legend is a Hoax — It's long been thought that the word Easter and the traditions we associate with it (the Easter Bunny and hiding eggs) stem from an old Germanic Saxon belief about the goddess Ostara. The Saxons believed that Ostara was sent by the Sun King during the spring to bring an end to winter. She bore a basket of colored eggs, and with the help of a magical rabbit would hide these eggs under plants and flowers to bring them new life. The name Ostara evolved into Oestre, or Easter. Turns out…
Posted: Sun Mar 27, 2005.   Comments (19)

Google and Terri Schiavo — On March 22 Google altered their graphic (as they often do) to show water dripping out of the word 'Google' into a bowl. The rumor immediately started racing around that this was some kind of reference to the Terri Schiavo case. I don't quite follow the logic of the rumor. Did people think that Google was showing how water is dripping out of Schiavo as she dehydrates? I'm not sure. Anyway, it wasn't any kind of reference to Terri Schiavo. Google used the graphic to note that it was
Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005.   Comments (22)

Soldier With Fingers Crossed — Snopes has a listing about a photo that shows a soldier shaking hands with Hillary Clinton while his fingers are crossed. A caption accompanying the photo explains that the soldier was crossing his fingers to signal that he was coerced to shake hands with her. Today Snopes updated this listing to include a link to a Yahoo Personals Page apparently created by the guy in the picture in which he states that he's no fan of Hillary Clinton. Snopes notes that this confirms what the caption…
Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005.   Comments (26)


Earth Dog Tags — This is a cute idea: earth dog tags. "In case of alien abduction these dog tags may save your life. The crucial data an alien will need to get you back to Earth is die stamped into these dog tags." Plus, they come with a money back guarantee: "should you ever be abducted by aliens while wearing Location Earth Dog Tags and not returned safely to Earth you will be entitled to a full refund of the purchase price." But I think they should also sell non-Earth dog tags. You could give them…
Posted: Fri Mar 25, 2005.   Comments (31)

Bombing — I've heard that there's a new internet fad called 'Bombing' which involves internet users getting together to phone in fake emergencies to the police. I have no idea whether or not this is really happening (though it did immediately make me think of the Not-So-Great Internet UFO Hoax, which involved an internet community trying to coordinate calling up authorities with a phony UFO sighting). Has anyone ever heard of this new fad? Is it real? Update: This question arises because a Texas…
Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005.   Comments (24)

The Old Negro Space Program — Conspiracy theorists say that man never landed on the moon, but the truth is even more shocking. As this short documentary film about the Old Negro Space Program reveals, the Blackstronauts of Black 'NASSA' landed on the moon a full three years before White NASA managed to get there. However, this achievement has been covered up by an elaborate 'Black Blackout' in the media. The film manages to capture exactly the right 'Ken Burnsesque' tone. Watch for how they keep repeating 'It was a…
Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005.   Comments (9)

20th Annual April Fool’s Day Parade — Joey Skaggs has announced details of NEW YORK CITY'S 20th ANNUAL APRIL FOOLS' DAY PARADE (he's got that page very oddly formatted in a single long column, but you can also read the news release in pdf format). A few details: This year's parade, "Divided We Stand", will memorialize the efforts made by people around the world to maintain their power, whether political, religious or personal, at the cost of the greater common good. The Parade Grand Marshall will be Ex CBS Anchor, Dan…
Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005.   Comments (3)

Social Security for Sale — 'Billionaires for Bush' placed the American Social Security System up for sale on eBay. Apparently it was quickly pulled, but Billionaires for Bush has archived the auction on their own site: Due to the surprising failure of carefully staged "conversations" across America to convince the American Public that Privatizing Social Security is a good thing, we have decided to take matters into our own hands. As a favor to President Bush and offered exclusively here to the winning bidder…
Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005.   Comments (3)

Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie — I received the following email from Joe Mason. Instead of summarizing it, I'll just cut-and-paste the whole thing: Amazon has a listing for "Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooie". The book also has a homepage at http://www.hamsterhueypress.com/, and it's listed as being written by "renowned story teller" Mabel S. Barr. Hamster Huey is, of course, the fictional book written by "Mabel Syrup" in Calvin and Hobbes. It looks like somebody with a vanity press has ripped off the title (I…
Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2005.   Comments (37)

Pony Express Hoax — According to legend, the Pony Express mail service (which operated from 1860 to 1861) advertised for riders as follows: "Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." But historian Joseph Nardone has determined that the ad is a hoax. It never ran. Or rather, it never ran during the operation of the Pony Express. He scoured hundreds of papers, but couldn't find it listed anywhere. The first time he found it…
Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2005.   Comments (6)

Authentic Alien Mummy Corpse — A guy on eBay is selling what he speculates to be an authentic alien mummy corpse. He claims that he found it lying on the ground near his home in Tampa a few days after hearing loud booms (which he assumed to be a UFO crashing). He writes: "I hestitated about taking it home with me ...could it be radio active? could it have deadly alien pathogens?  After putting on rubber gloves I felt safer, so I took it home with me. There seems to be no animal or insect damage." The thing that…
Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2005.   Comments (35)

Doll Mistaken For Alien — More news from Ananova, though there's nothing inherently unbelievable in this story: A burnt rubber doll was mistaken for a badly injured alien and taken to a hospital in Brazil. It happened after people in Aracruz found a burnt 'body' on the ground after seeing a fireball fall from the sky. A police spokesman told Terra Noticias Populares: "Many people were terrified thinking that an alien invasion was taking place. "They thought the doll was a burnt ET and more than 50 people called…
Posted: Wed Mar 23, 2005.   Comments (6)

Steve Wynn Hotel Ad — If you've seen those commercials with Steve Wynn standing on top of his hotel in Las Vegas you might find this interesting. I had assumed the shot was fake, but apparently it's not. Stuart Elliott has provided some info about this in his NY Times advertising column (I get the column sent to me by email, and I don't think it appears on the Times website, so I've pasted it below): A Reader Asks: In the new commercial for his eponymous hotel, Steve Wynn is shown atop it. Was he really up…
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005.   Comments (2)

Trampoline Baby — I just received an email from Dave Simpson with the attached image. Dave says: Here is a photo of my son, Connor, on our backyard trampoline in Alabama. He was four months old at the time. Feel free to post it on your site. So I'm stumped. Obviously a 4-month-old infant couldn't bounce themselves up and down on a trampoline. So how was the picture taken? I have no idea.
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005.   Comments (87)

Dog Condoms — For the pooch that has everything, the internet now brings you Dog Condoms: What Sizes and Scents Do They Come In? Dog condoms come in three sizes to fit small, medium, and large breeds. Almost every dog will find a comfortable, well-proportioned condom to meet their needs. The condoms also come in lubricated and meat scented varieties to enhance pleasure for both dog partners. How Effective Are They? Clinical studies are still underway, but we expect them to be about as effective, if…
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005.   Comments (17)

Top 10 WORST April Fools Ever — To complement my list of the Top 100 Best April Fool's Day hoaxes of all time, I've now created a list of the Top 10 WORST April Fool's Day hoaxes ever. These aren't jokes that are just lame or old. These are (at least in my opinion) attempts at humor that are profoundly awful. But they're so bad that a few of them are kind of funny, in a dark, twisted way. Enjoy.
Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2005.   Comments (16)

USA Today Photo Request — I just received this request from USA Today. I'm not sure how to respond to it. Any suggestions? Hello, We are doing a story on 10 great places that have fools in their name. Do you have any handout photographs of the exterior or interior of the museum? Thanks so much, Life Picture Desk USA TODAY
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005.   Comments (48)

Extreme Cars — I received an email with these pictures of extreme cars attached. Are they real? I'm not sure, though they look like something you'd find in a Worth1000 photoshop contest. I have the feeling that I've seen the pictures before, but I'm not sure where or when. I'm sure someone will know the story behind them.
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005.   Comments (22)

Pet Pillows — I love my cat, but the idea of making a pillow out of her seems a bit ghoulish to me. But those who fancy the idea can have pet pillows prepared by Jeanette's Taxidermy. However, you have to make sure you follow the instructions carefully: "Please freeze your pet immediately upon passing to insure there will be no hair slippage.  Double bag to insure no freezerburn." This is similar to VIP Fibers, the company that will make a sweater out of your pet's fur, which I posted about last…
Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005.   Comments (15)

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