The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2006
1990 Buckwheat Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 11, 2006
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 Tempe, Arizona where he was working at a low-paying job as a grocery bagger. It aired an interview with him…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (11)
Madonna Adopts Baby in Malawi
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 09, 2006
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 initiatives geared toward helping children orphaned by AIDS through the Raising Malawi organization. She has not adopted a baby…
Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (13)
Quick Links: False Lobster, etc.
Posted by Boo on Mon Oct 09, 2006
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 hundreds of thousands of California consumers," plaintiff lawyer Ray Gallo wrote in court documents.
Nigerian Bulldog Scam
Posted by Boo on Mon Oct 09, 2006
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…
Categories: Animals, Con Artists Comments (398)
An Incomplete History of the Art of the Funerary Violin
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 09, 2006
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 1830s and…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (15)
Soldier Head Twist
Posted by Boo on Thu Oct 05, 2006
On this footage from Google Video, it seems that a soldier is able to twist his head a full 180 degrees. One of the tags for the video says 'fake', and I can't work out whether or not it is (partially due to the problems I'm having with my computer, which means that video tends to make it shut down). My gut feeling says it isn't real, though.
Categories: Photos/Videos Comments (18)
Elevator Illusion
Posted by Boo on Wed Oct 04, 2006
The floor of this elevator, in Taiwan, is painted to look as if there is no floor, just the lift shaft. As someone who's terrified of heights, I would need to be crowbarred into this lift. There's not a chance of me voluntarily travelling in it - it would freak me out too much. Yes, I'm a wuss. (Thanks, Charybdis.)
Categories: Art Comments (22)
Quick Links: Banyan Tree Gets Police Protection, etc.
Posted by Boo on Wed Oct 04, 2006
Banyan Tree Gets Police Protection A century-old banyan tree in Jakarta has been given police protection after a group of youths attacked it to prove it had no mystical powers. Parents Kidnap Bride-To-Be The day before her wedding, Julianna Redd's parents told her they were taking her on a shopping trip. Instead, they drove her 240 miles to Colorado and held her there until after the wedding was supposed to take place. 3D Studies of the Mona Lisa New 3D studies of…
Yellow Lines Painted Under Parked Car
Posted by Boo on Wed Oct 04, 2006
Nasser Khan left his car in what he was sure was an unmarked section of road. He was understandably bemused to return the next morning only to find yellow lines beneath his car and a ticket for illegal parking on his windscreen. CCTV footage showed workmen crouching beneath the car to paint in the lines, whilst a traffic warden waited to write the ticket. It appears that the machinery used to paint the lines damaged the tyres on Mr Khan's car, which were then declared unroadworthy by…
‘Mockumentary’ May Get Superintendent Fired
Posted by Boo on Wed Oct 04, 2006
Rich Mitchell may lose his job after making a mock documentary portraying his staff as killers, strippers and drug dealers. The Bremen High School District Superintendent did video interviews with his faculty members, then spliced in his own footage. "How do you like to unwind?" Bremen High School District Superintendent Rich Mitchell asks in the mock documentary that he later posted on the Internet. The tape cuts to a teacher who replies: "I enjoy a lot of leisure activities." "Such as?" Mitchell asks. "Killing," says the teacher. Mitchell…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Pranks Comments (10)
Quick Links: Man Dives 50 Feet for 20 Dollars, etc.
Posted by Boo on Mon Oct 02, 2006
Man Dives 50 Feet for 20 Dollars $20 blew out of Mark Giorgio's hand when he was crossing a bridge. So he followed it. Prisoners Train as Crocodile Handlers Five prisoners from Darwin Correction Centre in Northern Australia are currently involved in an 11-week rehabilitation pilot scheme. Mosquito Dance Track The Mosquito anti-teenager device has theoretically already been used as a ring tone. Now it's being made into a dance track - 'Buzzin' - which mixes two tracks, one normal, and one using the…
Talking Elephant
Posted by Boo on Mon Oct 02, 2006
A sixteen-year-old Asian elephant named Kosik has been found to echo eight words back to his keeper. Staff at the South Korean amusement park say that Korik 'says' words such as 'yes', 'no', 'sit' and 'lie down' by putting his trunk into his mouth and shaking it whilst exhaling. It is not known whether Kosik knows the meaning of the words, but spectograms show that the elephant's voice frequency is a 94% match with his keeper's voice, prompting speculation that he is trying to bond with the keeper by copying the noises. Video can be found here. (Thanks, Nettie.)
Categories: Animals Comments (8)
Quick Links: Eating Sand, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Oct 02, 2006
Woman eats 1.5kg of sand daily Ram Rati, 80, credits her good health to her sand-eating habit. I'm amazed she's still alive if she really eats that every day. Sounds to me like she may have the eating disorder pica. A case of gnome-icide Store causes controversy by selling "stabbed" gnomes. "Shelly Oldfield, of Wakefield, was shopping with her elderly mother at Tong Garden Centre, Bradford, when they stumbled across the lifeless bodies – on sale for £9.99 each – and raised the alarm." Hamster grounds airplane A plane is forced to land to search for a passenger's escaped hamster. Big Gary…
Categories: Animals, Food, Gnomes Comments (12)
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