Hoax Museum Blog Posts: July 2007

Alex’s African Adventure — I'm back! The return flight from Africa took almost 30 hours (and with layovers it basically was two entire days of travel), but I made it. I got back late Monday night and then spent Tuesday decompressing, trying to shake off the jet lag. After a quick glance around, it looks like the site survived my absence. Thanks to Cranky Media Guy for filling in as the Guest Curator while I was gone. He did a great job. I guess this means I'm pretty much expendable around here! Africa was…
Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007.   Comments (26)

Speaking of urban legends in the Third World… — A young Indian boy is claiming to be the reincarnation of an American scientist. According to the article linked below, he speaks mostly gibberish with a few "scientific" words mixed in. Proof enough for me! I especially like the next-to-last paragraph of the article. [Thanks to the reader who submitted this story] Indian boy claims to be reincarnation of American scientist
Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007.   Comments (18)

Yet another urban myth from Iraq — On the heels of the "American troops eat babies" myth comes the story of the Giant, Man-eating Badgers of Basra: Ferocious British badgers an urban myth in Iraq
Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007.   Comments (7)

So, do the super-rich really have private subs or not? — I got an email from a MoH reader with the story I link to below. His question was whether the article is a hoax. It's about super-rich people having private submarines. We're not talking about itty-bitty things like in a James Bond movie, but BIG subs for their private use. My sense is that it's legit, since it cross-references other stories I've seen recently about Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen owning a literal Yellow Submarine, but that, of course, is not proof that this is…
Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2007.   Comments (14)

A peek into Alex’s world — In my role as fill-in for Alex while he's visiting his sister in Africa, I've developed a new appreciation for what it takes to curate the MoH. Some days, I get dozens of emails, pitching story ideas or asking questions about some aspect of the site. That's to be expected, but what do you do with something like this: Iam really intrested in joining the nigerian navy i have ND in architectural technology but i dont know when the forms will be out and also wan to know the requirments
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007.   Comments (8)

72 hours to get ready for a date—it’s ART! — Unlike a lot of people, I actually tend to like modern art. I can understand, however, why people think that some of it isn't really art, though. It seems that the way to become an art world sensation is to come up with what more accurately be called a publicity stunt, do it in a gallery, perhaps, call it A*R*T and find a super rich guy like Charles Saatchi (a patron of the modern art world in Great Britain) to pay you an enormous sum of money for whatever physical manifestation of it…
Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2007.   Comments (16)

American troops eat babies? — Among the many difficulties American troops are encountering in Iraq (I won't get all political here by listing them), one is a little bit more bizarre than others. It seems that some Iraqis believe that American soldiers carry poison-tipped bullets and eat babies. Kinda tough to win hearts and minds when you're dealing with people who think you dine on infants, I would imagine. I wondered if this story itself was a hoax until I followed the link I found and saw that it lead to Stars…
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007.   Comments (17)

Chinese man cooks fish with his bare hands, cures arthritis — I guess with over one billion people, it's inevitable that China would produce its share of kooks, quacks and crazies. This 71-year-old man who claims to let 220 volts flow through his body as a form of exercise and says he can cook fish in his bare hands in two minutes fits into at least two of those categories. Oh, he can cure arthritis, too. I just upped him to all three categories. Chinese man cures arthritis with electricity
Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2007.   Comments (7)

Oregon townfolk see penises everywhere — My wife says this isn't a hoax so she doesn't think it belongs on MoH. She may be right, but it's just so damn wacky, I felt I should share it with you all. The city of Keizer, Oregon, a suburb of Oregon's capital, Salem, spent $20,000 to install some run-of-the-mill concrete pillars, designed to keep cars from killing pedestrians should drivers lose control and veer onto the sidewalk. So far, so good. The trouble started when some unspecified people decided that the pillars looked…
Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2007.   Comments (32)

Perpetual motion machine introduction delayed — Steorn is an Irish company which has announced that it's developed a "free energy" machine. "Free energy" is another name for "perpetual motion." As you may recall from high school physics, perpetual motion is theoretically impossible according to the known laws of physics. "Pshaw" says Steorn (figuratively, anyway). So, time for the Big Unveiling came...and went. "Technical problems" says Steorn. Gee, you'd think that a company which has a paradigm-shattering technology would…
Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007.   Comments (13)

“New” Pearl Harbor photos a hoax? — I was unaware of this, but apparently a bunch of what appears to be previously-undiscovered photos of the attack at Pearl Harbor has been found. The article I'm linking to here (and the article IT links to) makes the claim that they aren't new at all, but are merely photos that have been around since the time of the attack, some altered to look new. So, if this is a hoax, what's the point? Why would someone go to this length? "New" Pearl Harbor photos a hoax?
Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007.   Comments (6)

Net Authority — Net Authority is a site that claims to be...well, I'm not completely sure WHAT it's claiming to be. Something about being the controlling authority over the Internet. That sounds vague, but if you look at the site, you'll see what I mean. I'm very sure this is a hoax, based on how just-outside-of-credible the writing is, but it's very well done. "Net authority" hoax? OK, I just found this by the guy who claims to have come up with Net Authority: "Net authority" revealed? OK, I…
Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007.   Comments (6)

Hot dog eating champ faking an injury? — Takeru Kobayashi, six-time world record hot dog eater, is claiming to have a jaw injury which may hamper his competition today at Nathan's Famous in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. Some think the champ is faking, playing head games with Joey Chestnut, who beat Kobayashi's record of 59 1/2 franks and buns two weeks ago. The two are the favorites in this year's event at Nathan's. Would Kobayashi really pull such a stunt, potentially tarnishing the great sport of competitive eating?
Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007.   Comments (9)

Roswell, 60 years and still going strong — Everyone knows the Roswell story, right? People say they saw a flying saucer. The Air Force says it was merely the remnants of a weather balloon. Some claim that the government is covering up the fact that it had the actual corpses of aliens in a hangar. You may have thought that the whole thing was finally put to rest when the Feds published a very thick report on the Roswell Incident in the 90's (I saw the thing in the Government Book Store near the White House and it was at…
Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007.   Comments (14)

A “faster Internet” scam/hoax — So, this guy tells people he has a "revolutionary" technology that speeds up downloading from the Internet by a factor of maybe a hundred times or more. With it, you can download a full-length movie in seconds. He's had meetings with the President and vice-President about it and is working on ways to use it to beef up national security. Who wouldn't invest in a thing like that? He even wheedles money out of his relatives and his wife's family. OK, you can see where this is going,…
Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2007.   Comments (12)

Google taking a side in the health care debate? — This appears to be legit, but I guess we'll find out soon. Google apparently has a "Health Advertising Team" which tries to get medical-related companies to advertise on the search engine giant. OK, fair enough. The thing is, though, that their pitch seems to be to tell the companies that they can advertise on Google as a way to blunt the criticism they're going to get as a result of Michael Moore's movie "Sicko." The ethics of "taking sides" in a national debate can themselves be…
Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007.   Comments (8)

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