The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
September 2006
Quick Links: Itsy Bitsy Imposter, etc. — Itsy Bitsy Imposter Paul Vance, co-writer of the song 'Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini' was slightly startled to read his own obituary - the result of an imposter. Robot Art Goes On Display A Portugese artist has devised a robot that creates its own paintings. Teddy Bear Causes 2,500 Trout Deaths A teddy bear that fell into a pool at a Fish and Game Department hatchery earlier this month clogged a drain, and suffocated a large number of trout in New Hampshire. A written…
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006.   Comments (15)

Microscopic Art — Alex from Colombia forwarded me these pictures of microscopic art. The pictures come with this caption: Willard is a resident of Birmingham, England. The show is in Manchester. He has a learning disability, Dyslexia, but has talented hands. He makes the sculptures out of dust particles, sugar crystals, etc. He works only around midnight, and can do some of the work only between heartbeats. Yes, it's all true. The artist's full name is Willard Wigan. You can check out his website.
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006.   Comments (17)

Writer Behind J.T. LeRoy Comes Clean — Laura Albert, the writer behind J.T. LeRoy, has finally confessed to the hoax. She says that her psychiatrist encouraged her to write when she was in therapy. In terms of her attitude to perpetrating a hoax, the article says: When asked if she felt any shame about misleading people, she replied: "I bleed, but it's a different kind of shame... If knowing that I'm 15 years older than (LeRoy) devalues the work, then I'm sorry they feel that way." Although it was fairly clear that the…
Posted: Thu Sep 28, 2006.   Comments (3)

My Twinn — My Twinn is a legitimate website selling dolls which look like the child you're buying them for. First you pick an outfit, skin tone, and hair and eye colour. You send in a photograph of your child, and the artists craft the doll to resemble the photograph, including painting on such things as freckles or birthmarks. You can also buy matching outfits for the doll and child, and matching accessories. The dolls do seem very well made - they really do look like the children they're made…
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006.   Comments (32)


Quick Links: Henrietta the Four Legged chicken, etc. — Henrietta the Four Legged Chicken Henrietta had been living peacefully among 36,000 other chickens for 18 months when her owners noticed that she had four legs. Separation Agency Takes the Stress Out of Breaking Up A German agency will break up with your partner for you, if you are too scared to do it yourself. The client gives the agency three reasons why they want to break up, which are then passed on to the dumpee. The service costs 20 Euros by phone, or 50 Euros in person. Dog…
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006.   Comments (3)

Nuclear Explosion Over Netherlands — Gerrit forwarded links to radar maps showing some extremely unusual cloud activity over the Netherlands. I managed to visit the radar sites myself in time to see the unusual clouds. However, the maps have since updated and are no longer showing the same activity. But I can vouch that, for a while, they really were displaying the sudden appearance of a mysterious ring of clouds around the Netherlands. Screenshots of the radar image have been posted here and here. Has anyone checked that…
Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006.   Comments (28)

American Airlines 9/11-Themed Ad — Here we go again. Yet another ad circulating around that features a plane flying towards two tower-like structures. Wilson Bryan Key would probably claim that it's done deliberately as a form of subliminal seduction, like the skulls hidden inside ice cubes in alcohol ads. I, on the other hand, am willing to give the advertisers the benefit of the doubt. Although I'm not sure exactly what those tower-like structures are. Stereo speakers, I'm guessing. (Submitted anonymously) Update:
Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006.   Comments (25)

Live Fish Discovered in Duck Egg — Biologists at the University of Manchester were on a field trip to the French Alps when they found a duck egg in a small pond. Noticing its movement, they cracked it open, to discover three live minnows inside. The scientists, despite their combined knowledge of the natural world, are at a loss as to how the fish got inside the visibly uncracked egg. Dr Matthew Cobb, a lecturer in animal behaviour at the university, said: "As 21st century scientists rather than 17th century…
Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006.   Comments (19)

Cockroach vs. Weatherman — The weatherman in this clip is Justin Mosely, meteorologist for Sarasota station SNN6. He has a rather over-the-top reaction to the appearance of a cockroach (which remains off camera). The clip looks staged, but it isn't. However, neither did it appear on-air. The St. Petersburg Times reports:Contrary to what people may think, the footage never aired, said station general manager Lisa DesMarais. Someone anonymously posted the clip on YouTube without SNN6's knowledge or authorization.
Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006.   Comments (7)

Quick Links: The Welsh Robin Hood, etc. — Was Robin Hood Welsh? American historian claims Robin Hood was Welsh, not English. Also that his real name was Bran. "He claims Robin would not have been able to hide out in Sherwood Forest because it would have been too small and well chartered." The Nottingham City Council says: "We laugh at this suggestion." Pastor Indicted For Faking Raffles We've learned not to trust internet lotteries. It looks like church lotteries are going the same way: "Rev. Robert J. Ascolese... would call…
Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006.   Comments (6)

Quick Links: Man Bites Panda, etc. — Man Bites Panda A drunken tourist climbed in with Gu Gu the panda at Beijing zoo. When the startled panda bit him, he bit it back. "I bit the panda on its back but its fur was too thick," Mr Zhang recalled. He went on: "No one ever said they would bite people. I just wanted to touch it." Jerusalem - There's No Such City! According to a mistranslated sightseeing brochure, at least. The pamphlet, translated from Hebrew, should have read "Jerusalem - there's no city like it!". Dog With…
Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2006.   Comments (17)

Snouts — Snouts are cups that look like pig snouts, causing 'hilarity' when you raise the cup to your mouth. However, the website selling them is remarkably bare, featuring very little information and only two pictures. The online order form asks for rather a lot of details for a site that in itself gives none, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be happy giving my credit card information to them. It may be just bad web design, or it may be a scam, but I don't think I want to risk it.
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006.   Comments (18)

Quick Links: Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos, etc. — Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos Unsurprisingly, several videos have popped up on YouTube portraying Steve Irwin's death. They're pretty unconvincing. (Thanks, Nai Art.) IT Skills in Return For Gropes The mirror of a now deleted post from Craigslist, the title really says it all. I particularly liked: "I have a lot of tech knowledge in my life and regrettably no boobs." (Via BoingBoing, thanks Cranky Media Guy.) Building Using Recycled Paper "Papercrete [is] a mixture of Portland cement,…
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006.   Comments (8)

Lamborghini On Teacups — Outside a William Ashley store in downtown Toronto a Lamborghini Gallardo has been posed on top of four china cups. Autoblog writes: "The Gallardo was hoisted up with a crane and delicately set atop four tea cups beneath each wheel. There's literally nothing holding up this car's curb weight of 3,153 lbs. except four tiny tea cups." Is this real? Can four tea cups really support the weight of a car? After all, that's 788 lbs of pressure per cup. I'd feel a little nervous standing on…
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006.   Comments (34)

Quick Links: Gnomes and Gropers — Yet Another Traveling Gnome Back in the Spring Allen Snyder's gnome disappeared from his garden. Now he's learned that it's been attending Pittsburgh Steelers' games. Next stop an airplane to somewhere far away. Submitted by Big Gary who notes: "Predicatable, but I thought you'd want to keep your gnome section up-to-date." Pretends to be mentally ill to get a grope This is pathetic. William Mucklow has been accused of pretending to be mentally ill so that he can hire nurses to take…
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006.   Comments (5)

Motorcycle-Eating Tree — Back in July I posted about a bicycle-eating tree in Washington state. That tree is real. Now here we have a motorcycle-eating tree. I don't have much information about it. According to the site I found it on, the picture was taken in Thailand. I'm inclined to think it's real. After all, there are trees that grow quite fast, and this motorcycle does look rusted.
Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006.   Comments (9)

Con Artist Poses as Rock Star — A man identifying himself as Rob Valenti claimed to have been the guitarist for REO Speedwagon and managed to con two men out of hundreds of dollars. On Saturday, he contacted real estate agents, saying he was interested in purchasing property as a tax investment. After they'd showed him properties from $800,000 upwards, he started preliminary paperwork on at least two properties, before the agents bought him dinner and arranged for him to have a room for the night. That evening, he…
Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006.   Comments (4)

Real-Life Donkey Kong? — It took me a while to decide whether or not this photo had been photoshopped, perhaps because I really wanted it to be real. But eventually I grudgingly decided it had to be photoshopped. (I was thinking an artist may have placed cardboard cutouts on the scaffolding.) I found the photo on hot-potato.org, which identifies the building as McCarren Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The photo was taken by Steve Ingkavet.
Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006.   Comments (12)

Quick Links: Magic Goats, etc. — Murdered goat turns into man Here's an original alibi: What I killed was a goat, Officer. Then that goat magically transformed into my brother. I'd like to see this excuse appear in an episode of CSI. Man, 29, passes for toddler Mark Coshever flew from Britain to Amsterdam using his two-year-old daughter's passport. Airline staff never noticed. He must have a babyface. Fifth grader generates glass pieces from her head "The phenomenon started when Sarita fainted one day after which…
Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006.   Comments (15)

The First Amish Newsletter — The First Amish Newsletter is a fake website with this introduction: Hello! My name is Eli Lapp and I'd like to welcome thee to the first Amish Newsletter, made by the American Amish for the American Amish. Now that we've hit the 21st Century, our church elders have decided that we will try to not be so "technologically impaired". We are discovering electricity, computers, and other modern wonders. I'm especially enjoying this thing called Internet! Throughout the site are many nice…
Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2006.   Comments (15)

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