The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2006
Back From Scotland
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 23, 2006
I'm back from hunting the Loch Ness Monster and Wild Haggises (Haggii?) with fellow Museum of Hoaxers in Scotland. It was a great trip. Despite the Scottish climate staying true to reputation by raining every single day I was there, I saw and did lots of stuff: went on a ghost tour, sampled some whisky, experimented with a Victorian electric shock machine, etc. But the best part was meeting everyone else who was there. My theory that regular readers of this site are all exceptionally fun, intelligent, and attractive people was definitely confirmed. I kept being amazed that what started out years ago as a way for me to procrastinate (i.e. creating my website) ended up inspiring a group of…
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (24)
Please Take This Survey
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 15, 2006
I've signed up with a new ad network called Federated Media recently started by John Battelle (one of the founders of Wired Magazine, according to the Wikipedia entry about him). In an effort to better match readers of this site to potential advertisers, Federated Media wants you all to take a brief survey. It's only a few questions: age, address, social security number, credit card info, bank account info, etc. (No, just kidding... they're not looking to steal your identity.) Apparently these surveys are important to advertisers, so if you have a few minutes it would be a great way to help the site out. And hopefully it will result in some better ads. Thanks.
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (24)
Love Spud
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 14, 2006
Status: Real A rare heart-shaped potato has been found by Linda Greene of Moon Township, Pa. She found it in a sack of potatoes back in February and emailed the Idaho Potato Commission about it in March. For some reason it's only making headlines now. What makes the discovery of the potato strange is that irregularly shaped potatoes are supposed to be removed during the sorting process and used for french fries. The potato commission president said: "I would guarantee someone saw it and thought, 'This is cool, we'll let this go through.'... Typically, unique shapes will go into processing _ dehydrated or cut…
Categories: Food Comments (3)
Inflatable Pub
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 14, 2006
Status: Strange, but real Speaking of fake Irish bars, now it's possible to have an instant fake British pub, anywhere you like. It's advertised as "the Worlds first fully functioning Mobile Inflatable Pub." This comes from the same people who brought us the world's first inflatable church. Ideally it should come with a bartender who fakes a British accent.
Categories: Food, Places Comments (3)
The Great Edinburgh Adventure
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 14, 2006
Tomorrow (Monday) I'll be flying to Edinburgh to participate in an exciting experiment: the first face-to-face meeting of Museum-of-Hoaxers. We'll be coming from all corners of the earth: Australia, America, and Europe. Will we be able to tolerate each other in real life (as opposed to virtual life)? Will we all end up in jail? Stay tuned. I hope to post some reports from Edinburgh. I should note that this adventure wasn't my idea. The credit goes to a group of regulars who hang out in the forum (often seen congregating in the off-topic chit chat thread) and who decided that they wanted to meet each other in real life. I was invited along since my…
Will The Real Guy Kewney Please Stand Up?
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 13, 2006
Status: Case of mistaken identity Guy Kewney, editor of, was scheduled to be interviewed by the BBC about the Apple Computer vs. Apple record label case. But as he stood in the lobby of the BBC building waiting to be met by the studio manager, he saw, to his surprise, someone else introduced and then interviewed under his name. Guy Kewney, according to his own description, is "fair-haired, blue-eyed, prominent-nosed, and with the sort of pale skin that makes my dermatologist wince each time I complain about an itchy mole." By contrast, the Guy Kewney being interviewed on air was "Black. Also, he spoke with a French-sounding accent, and he seemed as baffled as…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (5)
Naked Skydiving
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 12, 2006
Status: Hoax Here's an amusing article that deserves mention on Regret the Error (the weblog about newspaper corrections), if it isn't already there.Tabloid Aftonbladet has been forced to withdraw an article about naked Swedish skydivers, after it turned out that the paper had been the victim of a hoax. The article, headed "It's wonderful - but cold", described how Stockholm Skydiving Club had celebrated spring by jumping from a height of 4,000 metres in their birthday suits. The paper quoted Johan Persson, a supposed member of the club, who described the naked jump over the…
Categories: Journalism, Sports Comments (7)
George Lutz, RIP
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 12, 2006
Status: Obituary George Lutz of Amityville Horror fame has given up the ghost. He died of a heart attack in Las Vegas on May 8. George and his family lived in the house in Amityville, New York for four weeks in 1975 before supposedly being driven out of it by repeated paranormal occurrences (weird sounds and voices, green slime dripping from the ceiling, etc.) They left the house in a hurry, but weren't so scared that they weren't able to return and hold a garage sale. Personally I think the Amityville Horror story is complete baloney, but reportedly George Lutz always swore what happened was real. But then, he had so much invested in the…
Categories: Death, Paranormal Comments (34)
Ann Arbor Fairy Doors
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 12, 2006
Status: Real doors Fairy Doors are popping up around Ann Arbor, Michigan. No one knows who's building them. They just mysteriously appear. The Washington Post reports: The entryways are Thumbelina small and are so subtle and incongruent that they're easy to overlook -- or dismiss. At first glance, you might mistake one of the eight doors for an electric socket or a mismatched brick. But look closely and you'll see evidence that, yes indeed, something very little could live in there. One Ann Arbor resident speculates that the fairies are moving into Ann Arbor because they're…
Categories: Paranormal Comments (11)
Long Live The Hodag
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 10, 2006
Status: New Book Kurt Kortenhof has sent word that his new book, LONG LIVE THE HODAG — The Life and Legacy of Eugene Simeon Shepard is now in print. For anyone interested in hoaxes, tall tales, and folklore, I figure it should be interesting. I've already ordered a copy. For those who don't know what the Hodag is, it's a creature native to Wisconsin. It's said to have the head of a bull, the back of a dinosaur, and the leering features of a giant man. You can still find it featured on many Wisconsin postcards. Here's the book description:
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales Comments (2)
Vote For Padre Pio
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 10, 2006
Status: Joke ballot Reuters reports on a case of a dead guy who was temporarily in the running for Italy's president: With no hope of immediately electing a president, lawmakers have been throwing away votes for the past two days while party leaders negotiate a consensus candidate. A secret ballot has allowed them to get creative. For one elector, the political deadlock offered a rare chance to vote for Padre Pio, a 20th century mystic monk who had the stigmata -- bleeding wounds in the hands and feet similar to those of Christ -- and was…
Categories: Death, Politics Comments (5)
IQ Challenge
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 10, 2006
Status: Practical joke I evidently don't spend enough time on LiveJournal, because if I did I would have known about the IQ Challenge sooner. (It was evidently quite popular on LiveJournal.) As it is, I completely missed out on it, and now it's over. What it was (or claimed to be) was an IQ test offered by Once you completed the test, it produced a small graphic showing your score that you could post on your site. The joke was that the test gave everyone a high score. But the graphic that you posted on your site would (unbeknownst to you) show a low score. You can imagine the results this produced. Here's…
Categories: Psychology Comments (36)
Article About Plagiarism Plagiarized
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 09, 2006
Status: Purposeful plagiarism A hoax? A ploy? A gimmick? I'm not sure what to call this. Check out this piece by David Edelstein on plagiarism. Now read this, which reveals that Edelstein's piece on plagiarism was, except for the first and last lines, entirely plagiarized from other sources. Very clever! Seriously -- that's pretty neat. Very meta. (This post was plagiarized from Penguins on the Equator... and thanks to Joe Littrell for the heads up about the New York Magazine piece.)
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (5)
In Memory of Father Noise
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 09, 2006
Status: Believed to be a hoax Here's an interesting news report from Ireland: It has emerged that a joke bronze plaque found on Dublin's O'Connell Bridge has been there for three years. The plaque claims to mark the spot where a Father Pat Noise drowned when his carriage plunged into the Liffey, in suspicious circumstances, in 1919. But Dublin City Council says the priest is a fictitious figure, and wants the mystery sculptor to come forward. The plaque is arousing great public interest, and flowers and candles have been left on the bridge in memory of…
Categories: History, Places Comments (11)
The Earl of Buckingham
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 09, 2006
Status: Imposter The scam of pretending to be British peerage is still going strong. A few months ago we heard about that guy in Minnesota who was picking up teenage girls by claiming to be the Fifth Duke of Cleveland (aka the Earl of Scooby). Now comes word of a far more elaborate scam. The man in question called himself Christopher Buckingham, the Earl of Buckingham. He had been living under that identity for almost twenty years. Police realized last year that he was living under a false name when his passport got checked as he was crossing the Channel. (The real Christopher Buckingham…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (8)
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