The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
August 2005
We Rank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 31, 2005
I haven't been able to post for the past few days. I received the edited manuscript of my book back from my publisher and have been going through it and approving/making the changes they suggested. They've given me a tight deadline, so I've been working away at that. But once this is done, I'm totally finished with the book. Anyway, on a different topic, my friend Dave (who writes software) asked me to link to his new site, and I promised I would. His site is called we rank. It uses the same software I use to run this site (Expression Engine), but he's trying to adapt it to allow people to rank comments and…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (15)
Wrinkled Egg
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 31, 2005
Brian Edwards has sent in these photos of a wrinkled egg. I've never heard of an egg getting wrinkled, but the pictures don't look photoshopped. The egg, however, does look a bit like a potato. Soon I'll have to start a new category for odd eggs, what with my previous posts about a spoon-shaped egg, and a tall-tail egg.
Categories: Animals Comments (49)
Hoof Hearted
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 25, 2005
I received this email from "Doctor Psi": I remember a British horse race in which one of the entrants was named 'Hoof Hearted'. This horse was obviously named so as to cause the maximum amount of amusement when listening to the commentary! Anyway, I was looking for a picture of said horse to show a friend, and found the following website: It looks genuine, but I can't believe that these guys haven't stopped to think just how their business name sounds when spoken at a slightly quicker tempo than usual! It took me a few seconds to get the double meaning, but I…
Categories: Animals, Pranks Comments (44)
Fake Registration Day
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 25, 2005
A movement is underfoot to undermine news sites that require registration in order to read their content by submitting fake registrations en masse: We, the undersigned, wish to demonstrate the pointless nature of forced web site registration schemes and the dubious demographic data they collect. On November 13th we will each register an account using fake details at one or more of these top 10 offending sites: While sympathizing with the sentiment, I see a couple of problems with…
Categories: Advertising, Pranks Comments (15)
Giant Alligator
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 25, 2005
An image has been circulating showing a giant alligator hanging from a crane, as a person in uniform walks behind it. But according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (as quoted in the Texarkana Gazette), the image is fake: "It's fake. It didn't happen. We don't just go out and kill alligators just because they are there. I don't know why anyone would perpetuate something like that," he said. "There is a lot that comes across the Internet that is fabricated," said Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Lt. Don Albright... According to the photograph's accompanying text,…
Categories: Animals Comments (97)
Skinny Women
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 25, 2005
Here are two images going around that feature skeletally skinny women. The image of the woman on the beach is captioned "I think I've changed my mind about 'fat chicks'" and the image of the woman walking is captioned "Implants last forever." They could be real, but given how easy it is to fake images like this (see Too Skinny), I suspect they're photoshopped.
Munchkin Identified
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 24, 2005
I think I first became aware of the picture of Munchkin the Monster Cat two years ago. The picture always perplexed me because Munchkin seemed too big to be real, but I couldn't see any evidence it was photoshopped. The Sydney Morning Herald, however, decided it was a hoax. But it turns out Munchkin was real. His owner, Susan Martin of Ontario, Canada, just contacted me with more pictures of her former pet (he died at the age of 8 of heart disease). His real name was Sassy. He certainly was a big guy. She says he weighed forty…
Categories: Animals Comments (30)
Homing Pigeon Find Right Address, Wrong Country
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 22, 2005
Something seems strange about this story. A homing pigeon took off from Malung, Sweden. It was supposed to head for Tangenveien, Norway. Instead it ended up in Tångenvägen, Sweden. It went to the wrong country, but it found a nearly identical street address. Could the bird have been reading street signs? I doubt it, but that's what the media is suggesting. From what I've read, researchers still don't completely understand how homing pigeons navigate, but some believe they follow landmarks on the ground (such as roads). But even if this is the case, I don't think they can read.
Categories: Animals Comments (16)
Piano Man Was a Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 22, 2005
Back in May I wrote an entry about the Piano Man mystery (the institutionalized piano player in England who was lacking an identity). At the time I doubted it was a hoax, but I was wrong. My wife, who immediately said his story reminded her of Princess Caraboo, was right. He was pretending to be mentally ill. (According to the article "he had previously worked with mentally ill patients and had copied some of their characteristics.") A few days ago, he suddenly started speaking and revealed his identity. Now he's been sent back to Germany, his home country. Although the authorities…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (15)
Mutant Three-Eyed Toad
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 22, 2005
James sent in this photo of a "supposedly mutant toad." He writes, "I would like to know whether it is real or not. I have heard stories about chemicals in ponds effecting the tadpoles, and causing deformaties in frogs legs, maybe the same thing has happened to this toad?" If it is fake, it's a pretty decent photoshop job. It doesn't look like either the right or left eye has simply been cut-and-pasted into the middle. However, memories of the four-eyed kitten make me want to say it's fake. Update: The original image was found,…
Categories: Animals Comments (33)
Catholic Church as The Matrix
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 22, 2005
A Matrix-style poster depicting a Catholic priest as Neo isn't a spoof. The Catholic Church really is distributing these things. It's part of their new recruitment campaign: The poster's creator, the Rev. Jonathan Meyer, 28, associate director of youth ministries for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, says pop culture is the key to attracting young men to an occupation that has gotten bad press. "If we can get high-school youth to hang a picture of a priest in their room, that's huge in helping young men to answer the call to the priesthood," the cleric said. "Anyone…
Categories: Religion Comments (364)
Gulliver’s Erotic Adventures
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 22, 2005
A Russian woman, Neonilla Samukhina, claims that the original version of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels was far racier, containing numerous explicit sex scenes... and she happens to have acquired a manuscript of this early version. She published a Russian translation of it last week. The book features the hero of 18th century Irish author Jonathan Swift’s famous satire in physical encounters with tiny Lilliputs — who are only 15 centimeters tall — and in Brobdingnag, which is inhabited by 20-meter giants. No experts seem to be taking her claims very seriously. Obvious signs that it's a hoax are that she refuses to allow anyone to see the manuscript, nor will she allow…
Oompa Loompa Imposters
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 20, 2005
For years Ezzy Dame has been living a lie. Thirty four years ago he padded his resume with the claim that he had played an Oompa Loompa in the 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. With the release of the recent version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, reporters sought him out for his opinion, as an ex-Oompa Loompa, about the film. This caught the attention of a real ex-Oompa Looma, Rusty Goff, who outed him. Goff claims that he's aware of other "Oomposters." There are other Oomposters, Goff said. One little entertainer in New York tried to…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (23)
Amazing Hilltop Homes
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 20, 2005
A reader sent in these photos of amazing hilltop homes wanting to know if they're real or fake. I'd say it's pretty obvious that they're fake, but they're definitely cool, nevertheless. I would guess that they come from a Worth1000 photoshop contest, though I haven't confirmed this yet. I think they've been circulating around for a while, because I have a vague memory of seeing a few of them before. Note that in the second image from the right you can see a car in the garage, if you look closely.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Places Comments (18)
Drive-By Shooting Video
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 19, 2005
A video clip that's been circulating around appears to show a violent gang murder in Compton. A group of gang members driving in a car shoot and kill a guy on the street. It all looks frighteningly real, but according to LA CityBeat writer Mark Cromer it's a scene from the movie Gang Tapes. However, for a long time many police officers who saw the clip were convinced that it was real: Several officers told me the video had been discussed during briefings. Two officers who evaluated the clip numerous times pointed to a variety of nuance that led them…
Categories: Comments (11)
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