The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2006
Rat Salad — Todd Haley, a Dallas Cowboys assistant coach, issued a lawsuit against McDonalds on Thursday. He alleges that his wife and au pair found a dead rat in their take-away salad this June. The story goes that, on June 5th, Christine Haley and Kathryn Kelley ordered $14 of food, including the salad. They drove home, where they both ate some of the salad before uncovering a young, dead rat (pictured right, the rat has been digitally coloured to show up as blue). The rat was determined to be…
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006.   Comments (62)

Another Message In A Bottle Hoax — In February 2003 12-year-old Emily Streight tossed a message in a bottle into the creek near her home in Carlton, Oregon. She gave her name, her age, her height (which she described as 6-foot-2, a slight exaggeration), listed two boys she had a crush on at school, and added, "If this is a guy who finds this, send a picture." In October of this year she got a response from 16-year-old Keoni in Hawaii. Somehow her bottle had traveled down Panther Creek, into the North Yahmill River, then…
Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2006.   Comments (7)

Finger Found in Subway Sandwich — Only 50 miles away from where the infamous Wendy's chili finger hoax was perpetrated last year, a woman has found what appears to be a finger in her Subway sandwich. Health inspectors did not find that any staff had lost a digit, but the half-inch piece has been sent to a lab for testing. A spokesman for Subway has said the company won't comment until the investigation is completed. He says, however: "The Subway restaurant chain takes every customer comment seriously. We don't know…
Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006.   Comments (11)

Quick Links: Chris De Burgh, etc. — Chris De Burgh, Miracle Healer Pop singer Chris De Burgh supposedly cures a woman's paralyzed arm by laying on his "healing hands." I had no idea who he even was when I first saw this. But I googled him and found out he's the guy who sings "Lady In Red." There's already a Church of Tom Jones. So why not a Church of Chris De Burgh? Doll Experience Rooms Apparently these are the hot new thing at Korean brothels. "A 'doll experience room' is a place punters rent for some…
Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2006.   Comments (10)


Quick Links: Bull on Roof, etc. — Bull on Roof Chumuckla Elementary School found a lifesize fibreglass bull on the roof on Monday. The bull belongs to a local ranch owner, and is worth more than $1000. £1/4M Compass is £50 Fake A compass, said to have been used by Lawrence of Arabia in his adventures and sold for £254,000 at Christie's auction house along with a watch and cigarette case, could be worth no more than £50. Kaczynski stands in for Kaczynski Polish President Lech Kaczynski has stepped in to replace his…
Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2006.   Comments (10)

Halloween Plane Crash Display Mistaken for Real — According to Reuters, a mock-up plane crash erected as a Halloween display was mistaken for the real thing. Los Angeles police visited the home, but were informed by the homeowner that it was not a real accident. The homeowner is an aircraft mechanic in training and the parts are from a real Gulfstream jet. Apparently, once people realise it's just a display, the only problem is them slowing their cars to take a good look. (Thanks, Robert.)
Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2006.   Comments (13)

Quick Links: Bear Hunting, etc. — Spanish King Shoots Drunk Bear When the Spanish King visited Russia recently he was taken on a bear hunt. But apparently "hunt organizers, keen to make the King of Spain's chances of killing a bear easier, provided a tame one drunk on vodka." Sad. But the last paragraph of the story is even more pathetic: "Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev had trouble with his aim in his later years. Some of the animals he liked to stalk were either tied to trees or plied with booze." (Thanks, Big Gary)
Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2006.   Comments (11)

Has the U.S. Banned Vegemite? — Disturbing news reports are leaking out of Australia. Apparently U.S. customs has banned the importation of Vegemite into the United States. What will Aussies living here do without their favorite food? The Sunday Times reports:THE US has banned Vegemite, even to the point of searching Australians for jars of the spread when they enter the country. The bizarre crackdown was prompted because Vegemite has been deemed illegal under US food laws... Kraft spokeswoman Joanna Scott said: "The…
Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2006.   Comments (32)

NFL Stadiums Bomb Hoax — The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have announced that threats made online last week to plant 'dirty bombs' at NFL stadiums were a hoax. The threat, dated Oct. 12, appeared on a Web site, The Friend Society, that links to various online forums and off-color cartoons. Its author, identified in the message as "javness," said trucks would deliver radiological bombs Sunday to stadiums in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Cleveland and Oakland, Calif., and that Osama bin…
Posted: Fri Oct 20, 2006.   Comments (12)

Fake College Student — David Jovani Vanegas claimed to be a sophomore transfer student at Rice University. In reality he had never managed to get into Rice. Last September, Vanegas started attending classes. He also ate in the university's cafeterias, hung out with other students, and occasionally crashed in people's dorms when he was too tired to go back to his off-campus lodgings. Vanegas appears to have been relatively friendly towards students, but didn't seem to form many lasting relationships. Hardly…
Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2006.   Comments (34)

Chupacabra Captured? — Posted on YouTube, a news report from Coleman, Texas, talks of a creature (described as "A mix between a hairless dog, a rat, and a kangaroo") that has been trapped by a farmer. The farmer had set the trap after some of his turkeys and chickens had been killed. The animal has been sent to Texas Parks and Wildlife in the hope that they can discover what exactly it is. (Thanks, Tah and Christopher.)
Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006.   Comments (23)

Happy Birthday, Cardiff Giant — He's 137 years old today (October 16). The Washington Post reports: On Oct. 16, 1869, workers in Cardiff, New York, dug up what they thought was a 10-foot-tall petrified man. The Cardiff Giant was big, all right -- a big hoax. A year earlier, George Hull paid $2,600 to have the giant made, then buried on a farm. Even after Hull admitted the hoax, people wanted to see it. They still do: The Cardiff Giant has been displayed in Cooperstown, New York, since 1948. Of course, I have much more…
Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006.   Comments (6)

High-Speed Message in a Bottle — In the news over the weekend was this report of a message-in-a-bottle that traveled all the way from the north-east coast of Scotland to New Zealand... in 47 days. That means it traveled at a continuous rate of 18 miles per hour. It really didn't have any time for detours. It must have made a beeline straight to its destination. The sender of the message was six-year-old Keely Reid, and it was discovered by six-year-old James Wilson. This all sounds too perfect to be believable. Even…
Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006.   Comments (8)

Underwater Basket Weaving — I can't remember why I searched for "Underwater Basket Weaving" on wikipedia, but when I did I was surprised to discover that it's a real craft. I had frequently heard the phrase used in college as a joke to mean an easy class, and it always made me imagine people submerged in a swimming pool trying to weave a basket. I never thought it was something real. But turns out it is real. Wikipedia defines it as: a process of making wicker baskets which involves dipping reeds or stalks of…
Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2006.   Comments (25)

Aleksey Vayner — Well, this was brought to my attention by both Outeast and Goobermaster (Thanks, guys.) and, now that I have a new computer that's able to show videos without shutting down, I can see why. Aleksey Vayner sent his resume to an investment bank. He's going to be a class of '07 Yalie, and he's looking for a job. Fair enough. However, along with the resume and covering letter he attached a video. That would be when the fuss started. The IvyGate blog - one which covers events in the Ivy…
Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2006.   Comments (20)

1990 Buckwheat Hoax — In October 1990 ABC aired an interview with a man who, so they believed, had played Buckwheat in the Our Gang series during the 1930s. I have a page about this case of mistaken identity in the hoaxes throughout history gallery: Buckwheat was the wide-eyed, African-American character played for almost ten years by William Thomas. He was famous for his signature phrase, "O-Tay!" After leaving the show, Thomas dropped from the public eye. 20/20 claimed that it had tracked him down to…
Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2006.   Comments (11)

Madonna Adopts Baby in Malawi — Officials in Malawi apparently claimed that Madonna asked them to select a group of children from local orphanages, from which she chose one for adoption. Spokeswoman Adrina Michiela said: "She asked us to identify boys only, which we have done after visiting four orphanages in Lilongwe." However, Madonna, through her publicist, is denying this claim. "I can confirm Madonna is in Malawi on a private visit. She is building an orphanage and child care center and is involved in other…
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006.   Comments (13)

Quick Links: False Lobster, etc. — False Lobster Maine Senator Olympia Snowe is lobbying to remove the pelagic crab known as "langostino lobster" from restaurant menus in Maine. The issue came to light after a California-based restaurant chain, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill, was sued last year by customers for using the less expensive langostino instead of lobster in its "lobster burrito." "Rubio's decision to put cheaper and inferior langostino meat on its menus as 'lobster' is a material fraud uniformly affecting…
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006.   Comments (14)

Nigerian Bulldog Scam — The latest in the long series of what are known as 'Nigerian Scams' is one featuring bulldog puppies. Three red flags went up when Mindy Gorman enquired after a $500 bulldog advertised on the Savannah Morning News website. When she emailed the sellers, they replied with an announcement that the puppies had been sold, but: "... You're lucky to have mailed at this time because the puppy has just been placed on adoption by one of my customers, who went on a veterinarian work transfer…
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006.   Comments (398)

An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violin — The literary world has been talking about a work of fiction that managed a brief masquerade as nonfiction. The book is An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violin, by Rohan Kriwaczek. As the title suggests, it tells the history of that popular genre of music, funerary violin music. The Guardian reports: By the early 19th century, the book says, virtually every town had its own funerary violinist, but the tradition was almost wiped out in the Great Funerary Purges of the…
Posted: Mon Oct 09, 2006.   Comments (15)

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