The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
February 2006
Comic Book Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 13, 2006
The Comics Should Be Good blog is creating a database of comic book urban legends. I don't recognize all the names and characters referred to, but it makes for interesting reading anyway. Here's a few samples (full explanations for all of these at Comics Should Be Good): Wolverine's costume was patterned in part on the uniforms of the Michigan Wolverines football team. (False) Joker was originally killed off in his SECOND appearance! (True) Wolverine was initially intended to be a genetically mutated wolverine. (True) Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston invented the polygraph test! (False) Marvel Comics licenses the use of the…
Bogus Vintage Wine
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 13, 2006
Status: Counterfeiting scam The Washington Post reports on a growing problem in the vintage wine business: bogus vintage wines. Apparently many collectors who shell out thousands of dollars for a rare bottle of wine are discovering that what they bought is a fake: "The cloud of shame over the last 10 years has been the market for counterfeit trophy wine." Sutcliffe [head of the international wine department at Sotheby's] said there was a psychological block to dealing with the problem because real vintage wine makers in Europe prefer to ignore what is going on as they are afraid of being tarnished with the same brush. "Asian (buyers) tend to ignore the problem because they…
Categories: Food Comments (8)
World-Record Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 09, 2006
I received this email from Alanna Fraser: I am a development producer working at KEO Films in London. I'm looking into the possibility of doing a documentary/series on people who have faked world records/cheated/hood-winked people (either Guinness World Records or others). I came across your website when I was looking for info on this subject on the internet, and wondered whether you might be able to help me out with any advice or suggestions? I'd really appreciate any help that you could give me. I can think of a lot of sports hoaxes (such as Rosie Ruiz), but no world-record hoaxes are coming to mind except for the Cook-Peary controversy over…
Categories: Sports Comments (22)
Mystery of the Manure From the Sky
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 09, 2006
Status: Undetermined A few months ago Timothy Rohn, of Richard Township, Michigan, went outside to discover his car covered in bird poop. Or maybe it was human poop. Or maybe something else entirely. Whatever it was, there was a lot of it. But he didn't worry too much about it. He just let the rain wash it off. But two months later, the same thing has happened again. Something up there really likes pooping on his car. The Saginaw News reports that: Rohn said the substance definitely is excrement and, from what he could see Tuesday night, it may have contained toilet paper that had broken down in chemicals. He said he did not…
Categories: Gross Comments (12)
Trained Goldfish
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 09, 2006
Status: Undetermined Christine sent in a video of four goldfish who have apparently been trained to swim in synchronized patterns. They're definitely the best-trained goldfish I've ever seen. In fact, I didn't even know it was possible to train fish, but a quick google search reveals that I'm wrong. The Clicker Training site shows a film clip of a trained fish (it's the second movie down), and also has a discussion about training fish. Which isn't to say that the movie of the four trained goldfish is real, but I can't see how it's been faked. The clip…
Categories: Animals, Photos/Videos Comments (30)
Jesus Pets
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 08, 2006
Status: Hoax Jesus Pets points out a serious problem that born-again Christians must face if they own a pet: Many Christians believe that animals do not go to heaven. So when Jesus comes back and you return with him to heaven, will there be somebody to take care of your dog or cat? Happily, they offer a solution: We are assembling a community of heathen pet-lovers to care for pets that are “left-behind.” We are coordinating with feed mills and kennels in preparation for your post-apocalyptic pet care needs. Clearly this is tongue-in-cheek, though it's a clever idea.…
Categories: Animals, Religion, Websites Comments (21)
Woman Clings To Ice With Her Teeth
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 08, 2006
Status: Undetermined Ananova, All Headline News, the Mumbai Mirror, and a couple of other highly reputable news sources are reporting a story about a Hungarian woman who fell through the ice while ice skating, and stopped herself from drowning by gripping the edge of the ice with her teeth: The 29-year-old woman was practicing on Lake Velence when the ice cracked and she fell in. With frostbite setting in and her hands unable to move, the only thing left was to grip the edge with her teeth. After being rescued doctors say her quick thinking saved her life. This boggles my mind. If it was so cold…
Categories: Journalism Comments (19)
How To Cook An Egg With Two Cell Phones
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 08, 2006
Status: Joke No, it's not possible to cook an egg with two cell phones. At least, not by using the method outlined on The instructions basically boil down to this: place an egg between two phones, use one phone to call the other, and then wait for radio signals to cook the egg. Wymsey notes that cooking time: very much depends on the power output of your mobile phone. For instance, a pair of mobiles each with 2 Watts of transmitter output will take three minutes to boil a large free range egg. Check your user manual and remember that…
Categories: Food, Technology Comments (11)
Iran Renames Danish Pastries
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 08, 2006
Status: Undetermined A news service called AKI (Adnkronos International) is reporting that Iran has decided to rename Danish pastries "Mohammedan" pastries. It notes that "The name change recalls when some Americans started calling French fries, 'Freedom fries' to protest France's opposition to the United States-led invasion of Iraq." I wouldn't put it past the Iranian government to do this, but what I'm not sure about is whether Danish pastries are actually referred to as Danish pastries in Farsi. Perhaps they use the English term. Also, it seems odd that AFI is the only news source reporting this. A search on lexis-nexis and Google news pulls up nothing else. However, the London Evening Standard is…
Categories: Food, Politics, Religion Comments (30)
Mr. Six Revealed?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 07, 2006
Status: Highly possible The debate over the identity of Mr. Six, that crazy old guy who used to dance around in the commercials for Six Flags (Six Flags no longer uses him), has raged on for quite a while. Many were convinced it was Jaleel White, the actor who played Urkel on Family Matters. Others thought Mr. Six was played by a woman. But no one really had any clue, and Six Flags certainly wasn't telling. Now, at last, the mystery seems like it might have been solved. Paul Davidson has posted on his blog that Mr. Six was Danny Teeson, an…
Knoop Confesses JT Leroy Was a Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 07, 2006
Status: Final nail in coffin of JT Leroy Just in case there was anyone who still doubted that JT Leroy was a hoax, the deception has finally been admitted to by an insider, Geoffrey Knoop. Knoop was the partner of Laura Albert, the woman who (it can now definitely be said) wrote all of JT Leroy's books. The face of JT Leroy, whenever Leroy made any public appearances, was Savannah Knoop, Geoffrey's half-sister. Geoffrey Knoop has said: "The jig is up... I do want to apologize to people who were hurt. It got to a level I didn't expect." Knoop also says that he doubts Laura Albert will ever admit to being JT Leroy: "For her, it's…
Shot Glass Through Ear
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 07, 2006
Status: Real I'm assuming this photo of a guy with a shot glass through his ear is real because it was taken by a Reuters photographer (Jorge Silva) outside the World Social Forum in Caracas on January 25, 2006. The guy with the crazy ear piercing is "Venezuelan tattoo maker Constantino." So when he doesn't have a shot glass in his ear, his earlobes must hang down like big fleshy loops. That's got to be attractive. (And is that a spike through his nose?)
Categories: Body Manipulation Comments (22)
Frozen Squirrel Breaks Windshield
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 06, 2006
Status: Undetermined Norwich Union, a UK car insurance company, has published a list of the ten weirdest claims it received in 2005. Topping the list is this: "A frozen squirrel fell out of a tree and crashed through the windscreen on to the passenger seat." Unfortunately Norwich Union doesn't say if it found the claims to be legitimate. It only says that it received them. In the case of the frozen squirrel, you really have to wonder if it could be true. I suppose a squirrel could freeze to death up in a tree, and it could then fall onto a car parked below. But it would have to fall pretty…
Categories: Animals Comments (8)
Bug-Eyed Hillary Clinton Was Photoshopped
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 06, 2006
Status: Satire A photo of a bug-eyed Senator Clinton greeting someone before the State of the Union address on January 31, 2006 is currently one of the most emailed photos on Yahoo! News. The photo was taken by Jason Reed of Reuters. Now a site called Unconfirmed Sources claims to have "discovered the original electronic versions of the photograph in question, and the conclusion among renowned experts is that indeed the photograph being circulated throughout the press has been doctored, or 'photoshopped'." Compare what they say is the original version to the version circulating by email: I've noticed that a few…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (8)
Alien Baby Found In Attic
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 06, 2006
Status: Undetermined The Guardian reports that screenwriter Barney Broom has discovered a baby alien in his attic, "stored in an old toffee jar wrapped in a copy of the Daily Mirror dating from October 1947." The alien (or rather, model of an alien) resembles the aliens depicted in the alien autopsy movies and appears to be sculpted out of clay. It has a serial number on its foot. Speculation has commenced about what this alien baby might be. Was it something created by the US airforce back in 1947? Broom does live close to some US bases, so maybe a US servicemen renting the…
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life Comments (19)
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