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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2006
Welcome to Detroit — Status: Prank Columnist Tom Greenwood of the Detroit News reports that a sign has been spotted "attached to an authentic Michigan Department of Transportation post on southbound Interstate 75 at the Oakland/Wayne county line." It reads: Welcome to Detroit. We hope you survive. There's no word on how long this has been up, or for how long. Of course, fake road signs have been a popular prank for quite some time. There's the fake road sign project in Lyons, France, in which "105 street…
Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006.   Comments (5)

Cryptozoological Collectibles — Status: Stuff to buy I've asked my wife to buy me these footprint impressions from a crippled Sasquatch for my birthday. (I'll be 38 in June.) I think they would look great hanging on the wall in my office, across from my jackalope, and above my magicshelf. I also like the fact that one gets "Research documentation by Dr. Krantz included at no additional charge." I found the link to the Sasquatch footprint casts via The Proceedings of the Athanasius Kircher Society, a fascinating site…
Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2006.   Comments (5)

Ballymena Boots Hang From Power Line — Status: Prank Power company workers in Ballymena (Northern Ireland) were amazed to discover five pairs of shoes hanging from a power line along the road between Larne and Ballymena. Ballymena Today reports: Electricity engineers could only look skyward in bemusement at the bizarre sight of the shoes and boots hanging from the line, baffled as to who, why and how this was done. The inspiration for the prank may have come from the fantasy film Big Fish. In the film, the most memorable…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (14)

Paris Hilton To Play Mother Teresa — Status: False I'm posting this despite my belief that discussing, or even thinking about, the entity known as Paris Hilton can be dangerous to one's mental health. Apparently an Indian filmmaker known as T. Rajeevnath wants to cast Paris Hilton as Mother Teresa in his biography of the nun that he will begin filming next year. He claims that Paris's facial features closely resemble those of Mother Teresa, and that Paris has "expressed delight" at being considered to play the nun.
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (16)


Twenty Phobias — Status: Bogus fears The BBC invited its readers to tell them what their greatest fears were, and has posted a selection of 20 of the responses. Some of them are hard to take seriously. Especially this one: The letter Y: "M phobia is all about the letter . Ever time I tr to press it on the ke board, it makes me want to cr . I know it seems sill to ever one else, but it all started when I was a bab , and I swallowed a magnetic letter. At least that's what My mumm and dadd told me an wa…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (21)

Fake News On Your TV — Status: advertising disguised as news In Hippo Eats Dwarf I discuss Video News Releases (VNRs) and how their use means that a lot of the news we see on TV is either advertising or propaganda in disguise. (VNRs are video segments created by corporations or the government, that are then aired on TV news, often without their true source ever being revealed). RAW STORY reports that "over a ten month span, 77 television stations from all across the nation aired video news releases without…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (2)

Alien Autopsy Creator Revealed — Status: News about a hoax Sculptor John Humphreys has confessed to being the guy who created the alien that appeared in the infamous "alien autopsy" video. Remember that journalistic gem... how the camera would inexplicably go out of focus every time it neared the obviously rubber body? The Manchester Evening News reports: Until now, he says, he has kept secret his most well-known work - footage of an alleged post mortem of an alien which, some say, crashed to Earth in Roswell in the…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (15)

Plastic Assets Follow-Up — Status: follow-up info about a hoax A month ago I posted about Plastic Assets, a faux credit card company offering free breast implants as a sign-up bonus. I noted that the site was an entrant in the Contagious Festival, a contest to create a high-traffic parody site. Now Plastic Assets has officially won the contest, receiving five times more visitors than its closest competitor. And the media, typically late to the party, are announcing that the site has just been revealed to be a…
Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2006.   Comments (4)

Lasik At Home — Status: Hoax I have pretty bad eyesight and have worn contacts most of my life, but up until now I've never been tempted to try Lasik surgery. However, I am tempted to give this new LASIK@Home device a try. It's the "Affordable In-Home LASIK Surgery You Can Do Yourself!™": LASIK@Home is the same patented surgical procedure performed at eye clinics around the world, but without the unnecessary equipment and staff. I like the instructions for use: "1) Find a quiet place with no…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (9)

Plane Delays Landing for Tea Break — Status: True Imagine getting delayed because of this: STUNNED holiday-makers flying back to Britain from Tenerife said they were told by the captain they could not land because an air traffic controller was on a tea break. Because this occurred on April 1st, the passengers initially thought the captain was joking when he announced the reason for the delay over the intercom, but it turned out he wasn't. So the plane had to circle for almost half an hour until the guy came back to…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (13)

Bank Withdrawal Prank — Status: Prank that backfired The Brainerd Dispatch (requires registration) reports on an April Fool's Day prank that went slightly wrong, ending up with the prankster, a 57-year-old woman, getting charged with disorderly conduct: About 10:15 a.m. Saturday, the woman stopped at Wells Fargo Bank at 424 W. Washington St. in Brainerd to make a legitimate withdrawal from an account. When she was finished, she handed the teller a note that read, "I'm here to take money," said Brainerd Police…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (7)

Attack of the Mario Power-Up Cubes — Status: Misinterpreted April Fool's Day Prank This story offers a sad commentary on the state of affairs in America. Five teenage girls living in Ravenna, Ohio got into the spirit of April 1st by decorating a few public places in their town with brightly colored boxes designed to look like the power-up cubes in the Super Mario Bros. game (the ones you jump up to hit and get extra energy). They got the idea from qwantz.com. Local residents who didn't recognize what the boxes were…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (15)

Story Rights to Purdue Basketball Hoax For Sale — Status: True. Make an offer! Back in December 2003 media outlets including ESPN and the San Diego Union Tribune ran a story about Purdue signing the wrong Jason Smith to a basketball scholarship. Due to a paperwork mix-up, Purdue had apparently given the scholarship to 5'6" Jason Smith computer geek, instead of 6'6" Jason Smith point guard. (Both Smiths attended the same school.) The story, it turned out, wasn't true. It was the fictional work of Josh Whicker who had posted it on his…
Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006.   Comments (5)

Amazon Review Contest — Last month I promised that I would send a free book to whomever posted the most creative review of Hippo Eats Dwarf on Amazon.com (the time limit being the end of March). I didn't forget! There were some great ones, which made it really hard to pick a winner. So I narrowed it down to my favorite five and then randomly picked one. And the winner is Arthur Hippo for his "Totally Useless Cookbook!!!" review: While I admit that the recipes in this volume can be daring, absolutely no…
Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006.   Comments (7)

Strange Tax Deductions — Status: Tax Scams With April 15th fast approaching, taxpayers are once again scheming to dream up all kinds of deductions they can take. Bankrate.com has a list of some unusual ones (Thanks to Kathy for the link), such as: • The guy who claimed his dog as a dependent • The man who tried to claim a sperm donation as a 'depletion allowance' • The furniture-store owner who hired an arsonist to burn his business down so that he could claim the insurance, and then deducted the $10,000 he…
Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006.   Comments (17)

Rare Time Alignment Tomorrow — Status: Partially true, partially false An email is circulating around that makes the following claim: On Wednesday of this week (tomorrow), at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 a.m., the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06. This will never happen again. That's just wrong. It probably won't happen again in any of our lifetimes, but it will happen again: in 2106, 2206, 2306, etc. And in Europe they write the date as day, month, year, so it won't be true over there. (But you…
Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006.   Comments (9)

The Dolakha Baby — Status: Probably real eKantipur.com (a Nepalese website) has reported the birth of a severely deformed child to a woman in Dolakha. (Warning: the newspaper article contains a possibly disturbing image.) The poor child looks a bit like a mutant muppet doll and created quite a stir in Nepal: The news about such a baby being brought to the hospital spread like wildfire and there were hundreds gathered at the hospital to have a look. The police had to be deployed to control the crowd.
Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006.   Comments (36)

Did UKTV Do Their Own Research? — Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it sure seems like all the items in UKTV's list of 20 Great April Fools, which Jon Holmes presented on air on April 1st over in Britain, were lifted almost verbatim from my list of the Top 100 April Fools ever. Not to complain (actually to complain bitterly), but it took me a long time to create that list... a lot of tedious searching through decades of old newspaper archives to find all the April Fool's Day classics that had been, for the most part,…
Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006.   Comments (28)

Buying Strawberries Out of Season Kills Hippos — Status: True A story about the threat to hippos posed by consumers buying strawberries out of season appeared in a few papers last week. Because of the story's proximity to April Fool's Day, it seemed like it might have been a joke, but apparently it wasn't. The reasoning behind the warning is that Kenya is a major supplier of strawberries to Europe. But in order to keep up with the demand for year-round strawberries, Kenyan farmers are draining Lake Naivasha, which is home to thousands…
Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2006.   Comments (22)

April Fool’s Day Roundup, 2006 — Status: April Foolery Happy April Fools, everyone! Sorry about the light posting recently, but the past few days I've been doing almost back-to-back radio interviews to promote Hippo Eats Dwarf. (I've got a few more radio interviews today, then I'm doing a book signing at the Borders in downtown San Diego.) You may also have noticed that the site is loading slowly. That's the April Fool's Day effect, which happens every year. Traffic to the site spikes, causing the server to grind to a…
Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2006.   Comments (17)

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