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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
August 2007
New From Elliot: Brooklyn Bridge Scams — Elliot's latest addition to the Hoaxipedia details scams involving the Brooklyn Bridge. I like this one in particular: In 1886, not long after the Brooklyn Bridge opened, another famous scam was perpetrated by a Brooklyn bookie named Steve Brodie. According to the story, Brodie’s scam originated in a bet with a Brooklyn bartender named Chuck Connors. The bookie wagered Connors that he could jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and survive the fall. Steve Brodie ultimately won the bet and wound…
Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2007.   Comments (5)

Enormous Green Diamond Found — A Cape Town property developer, Brett Jolly, is claiming that a mine he owns shares in has found what could be the largest diamond ever, weighing in at 7000 carats. Plus, it's green. By contrast, the largest diamond found to date is only 3106.75 carats. And the largest green diamond only 40.7 carats. Initial reports said that this new diamond was as big as a soccer ball, but a photo of it has now been released, and in the photo it doesn't look quite that large. I'd say it looks only…
Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007.   Comments (12)

Wrapping Rove’s Car — White House pranksters wrapped Karl Rove's car in plastic wrap, as a way to say goodbye to the guy. CBS News reports: Rove, the top White House political strategist who recently announced his resignation, left his car on the driveway while visiting Texas and traveling with President Bush. He was due back in Washington Wednesday evening. Since the lot is heavily patrolled by the Secret Service, reports Maer, the joke looks like an inside job. It would have been funnier if they…
Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007.   Comments (8)

New From Elliot: Great Golf Hustlers — Elliot has posted an article about great golf hustlers. Read it and find out why, if someone wants to bet you that they can drive a golfball a mile, never bet that they can't.
Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007.   Comments (6)


Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments — I've posted a list of the Top 20 Most Bizarre Experiments of All Time. The descriptions are all summarized from longer accounts that can be found in my new book, Elephants on Acid. Basically, although the list can stand on its own, it's meant to be one big ad for the book. My hope is that people might be intrigued enough by what they read in the list to want to find out what else can be found in the book. (They'll either be intrigued or horrified. When people hear about some of these…
Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2007.   Comments (8)

Introducing Elliot Feldman — I was browsing the web a few days ago when I came across a guy who was posting lots of great hoax-related articles to the Associated Content site. He seemed to know all kinds of fascinating, obscure things. That guy was Elliot Feldman. I emailed him and asked him if he'd consider posting some articles here to the Museum of Hoaxes. Luckily, he agreed. So I want to introduce everyone to Elliot. We should be getting to read his articles regularly from now on. Elliot says that he was a…
Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2007.   Comments (12)

Self-Adhesive Sunroof — I'm torn between thinking this is one of the stupidest products I've ever seen, and actually kinda wanting one. It's a self-adhesive sunroof, recently offered for sale on eBay. The seller writes: Do you want your car to have the look of a real sunroof? You can install it in 5 minutes!! Extremely fashion and new aparent sun roof, made of a sticker that will give any car the image of a real sunroof... The DECANO™ adhesive sunroof feels like glass, it´s anti-scracth and mirror like. Each…
Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007.   Comments (21)

Fake Al Sharpton Fools MSNBC — Newsgroper is a parody site full of fake celebrity blogs. To make sure that no one confuses its content with real news, it posts the warning "Fake Parody Blogs, Political Humor, Celebrity Satire, Funny Commentary" in the title bar of every page. Apparently, this warning wasn't enough for MSNBC's Alex Johnson. In a piece about Michael Vick, he quoted from Newsgroper's fake Al Sharpton blog, presenting the following quotation as if it were something Sharpton really had said:"If the…
Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007.   Comments (7)

Fake Money For Strippers — Damon Armagost probably thought he had a pretty good scam going. He had printed up some fake $100 bills from an image he downloaded off the internet. He was then using this counterfeit money to pay for lap dances at a strip club. He must have thought the strippers would never notice the money was fake. Unfortunately for him, they did and alerted the police, who arrested Armagost and charged him with manufacturing and passing counterfeit currency. Carl Sifakis, in his book Hoaxes and…
Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007.   Comments (7)

Best of the Forum - 24th August 07 — Due to personal circumstances, this week's Best of the Forum post is brought to you by guest writer and board moderator Madmouse. Unauthorised Reincarnation Banned in Tibet (MadCarlotta) China has banned Buddhists from reincarnating without permission, in an apparent attempt to have the next Dalai Lama chosen by the Chinese government. From the news article: "According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month…
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007.   Comments (11)

Kaweah Nation Citizenship Scam — The Texas Attorney General has filed charges against three individuals who were running an elaborate citizenship scam. They claimed to represent the Kaweah Indian Nation, and were telling non-citizens that $400 would purchase a "tribal membership" in the Kaweah Nation. This membership supposedly carried the significant benefit of allowing them to circumvent the ordinary legalization process and entitling them to U.S. citizenship. Of course, becoming a member of an Indian tribe doesn't…
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007.   Comments (7)

Minor Change — I decided to add a few visuals to the top of the page. I thought it was looking a bit too plain before. I wonder if anyone can identify all the figures without looking through the museum to find out what they are. (There's no prize. I'm just curious if anyone can do it.) At some point I'll make the figures clickable, so that they'll link to whatever they represent, but that's a bit of work. I'll save that project for later. Also, from time to time I might change them around. Take some…
Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007.   Comments (17)

Camp Okutta — Posters for Camp Okutta have recently been appearing in various Canadian cities. Camp Okutta is described as an adventure camp for kids. But in addition to normal activities such as hiking and games, kids also get a summer of "throwing grenades, shooting AK-47 assault rifles, and receiving minefield training — all for children aged eight through 12." Some people have been so outraged by the signs that they've ripped them down. Sarah Heywood is one of these people. She told CBC News…
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007.   Comments (10)

Feejee Mermaid on Display — The Feejee Mermaid is apparently currently on display as part of the American Museum of Natural History's exhibit on Mythic Creatures. A Flickr user, despite being told that photography was forbidden in the exhibit, managed to surreptitiously snap a picture of it anyway. The one time I saw the Feejee Mermaid was back in 1998 when it was housed at Harvard's Peabody Museum. It wasn't on display, so I had to ask for special permission to see it back in the archives. I managed to snap a…
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007.   Comments (5)

Old man plays songs on a leaf — I have no problem believing it when the old man uses a leaf to play the theme from The Godfather. It's when he plays the tune while simultaneously balancing on the neck of a wine bottle that the video turns kind of surreal. Still, I think it's possible, though he must have very good balance, and very sticky feet.
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007.   Comments (2)

World’s Biggest Cat — Meet Angie from Chernobyl. She's the biggest cat in the world. She belongs to Dr. Maricek, who's a radiation scientist. Angie's missing a gene that controls her growth. As a result, she just keeps growing and growing (and growing!). She currently weighs about 800 lbs and eats 60 lbs of food a day. Despite her size, Angie behaves like a normal cat, though she is extremely shy with people. Angie's very cute (and looks a bit like my cat Boo), but if she ever curled up on someone's lap, I…
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007.   Comments (8)

Japanese dolls made out of real human corpse skin? — Could it be? So claims this email:The pictures below are Japanese dolls which are created by using real human corpse skin and hair! Seeing these pictures are enough to freak anybody out! I am not sure how authentic these Japanese dolls are but if you were to look closely at the pictures, you will notice some red blood lines around the nose, eyes and mouth area. This means if they really used human corpse skin, they actually sliced the face out to be put on these dolls!
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007.   Comments (22)

Chinese Arrest Creators of Urban Legends — Joe Littrell forwarded an interesting story from the People's Daily Online. It reports that police in China have arrested or warned 60 people this year for spreading rumors or threats through text messages and the internet. Wow. If spreading urban legends was a crime here in America, just imagine how many people would be in jail. Some of the messages that rumormongers circulated: On July 11, a text message began circulating in Jiangsu, claiming victims of full-blown AIDS were spreading…
Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2007.   Comments (7)

What will J.K. Rowling write next? — At the Edinburgh International Book Festival crime-writer Ian Rankin recently announced that he had some inside intelligence about what fellow Edinburgh resident J.K. Rowling was planning to write next. This announcement was then printed in the Sunday Times: The Sunday Times newspaper quoted Ian Rankin, a fellow author and neighbor of Rowling's, as saying the creator of the "Harry Potter" books is turning to crime fiction. "My wife spotted her writing her Edinburgh criminal detective…
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007.   Comments (14)

Topless Car Wash — Young women in Shirley, New York held up signs along the parkway advertising a topless car wash. Eager male drivers willingly paid their $5, and drove up to get their car wash. Unfortunately, it turned out to be not quite what they expected. Hidden behind a blue tarp were shirtless male firefighters, who proceeded to wash their car. "A little bit of a bait-and-switch," Assistant Chief Donald Prince admitted. "All the guys back there are all topless." (Link: allaroundphilly.com)
Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2007.   Comments (8)

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