The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
December 2007
Christmas Cards From Heaven
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 25, 2007
Thirty-four people received Christmas cards from Oregon-resident Chet Fitch this year. What made this unusual is that Chet died two months ago. The cards, written in his own handwriting, had a return address of "Heaven" and contained messages such as: "I asked Big Guy if I could sneak back and send some cards. At first he said no; but at my insistence he finally said, 'Oh well, what the heaven, go ahead but don't (tarry) there.' Wish I could tell you about things here but words cannot explain. Better get back as Big Guy said he stretched a point to…
Categories: Comments (8)
Cheer Chains
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 23, 2007
If you've been to Starbucks in the past week or so, you've been at risk of finding yourself trapped in a "cheer chain." What this means is that the person in line in front of you pays for your drink, and in return you're supposed to pay for the drink of the person behind you. This goes on and on, ad nauseam. The Associated Press reported on one cheer chain that totaled 1,013 customers. The question is, are these cheer chains a true spontaneous phenomenon, or are they a cynically created pr stunt? The phenomenon supposedly began when Arthur Rosenfeld offered to pay for the drink…
Categories: Advertising, Food Comments (16)
Quick Links: Dec. 22, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Sat Dec 22, 2007
MAVAV Strikes Again The State of New York produced an educational video to warn about the dangers of video games. The video includes a list of "resources" parents can visit to learn more, one of which is the website of "Mothers Against Videogame Addiction and Violence." Obviously the state of New York hasn't been reading this website, since we listed MAVAV as a hoax back in 2004. Chuck Norris Sues Chuck Norris is suing the publisher and author of The Truth About Chuck Norris for "trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and privacy rights." Plus, he disputes the claim that his tears cure cancer. Painting in the…
Categories: Art, Technology Comments (5)
Quick Links: Dec. 19, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 19, 2007
Survivor Tale of Woe A contestant on the TV show Survivor:China may have lied about losing her job as a janitor at an Elementary School. If I still watched Survivor I might care more about this, but I haven't seen it in years. Princeton Hoax Exposed A student at Princeton who was a member of an anti-sex club claimed he was beaten up by horny liberals who were enraged by his "brave stand against promiscuity." Turns out he beat himself up. Figures. Gold Pills Offered for sale at the New Store Museum. "Pure gold passes straight through the body…
Drive Someone Insane With Postcards
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 19, 2007
On eBay, right now, you have the chance to bid on a chance to participate in a prank that will "Drive Someone Insane with Postcards." The seller's description reads: I will be spending the Christmas holiday in Poland in a tiny village that has one church with no bell because angry Germans stole it. Aside from vodka, there is not a lot for me to do. During the course of my holiday I will send three postcards to one person of your choosing. These postcards will be rant-ravingly insane,…
Categories: eBay, Pranks Comments (4)
Quick Links: Dec. 17, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 18, 2007
My 61 Memorable Games A special updated edition of Bobby Fischer's book, "My 60 Memorable Games," is up for auction on eBay, and bidding has already reached $3,050. The New York Times Chess Blog wonders whether the book is real. Giant Skeleton photo doing the rounds again National Geographic has an article about the Giant Skeleton photo, which dates back to 2004. The article says it's now enjoying a revival. I'm even quoted, though I don't remember talking to National Geographic. However, it sounds like something I would say. It must have been a while ago that they talked to me. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Sports Comments (2)
Student receives detention for using Firefox
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 18, 2007
A letter describing how a high school student received detention for using the Firefox browser -- apparently because his teacher didn't understand that Firefox is simply a different kind of browser -- has been doing the rounds: The letter actually says "Foxfire" not "Firefox" -- which makes it sound like the teacher was totally clueless. I believed the letter when I saw it. In fact, I didn't notice that anyone was skeptical of it (though apparently a few people were). But it turns out to be a hoax. The Big Spring School District has posted a notice online
Categories: Technology Comments (8)
Prank Call Leads to Electric Shock Treatment
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 18, 2007
Prank phone calls and electric-shock gadgets are perennial favorites of pranksters. So I guess what happened at the Judge Rotenberg Education Center was just a novel combination of the two: Call up and order electric-shock treatment for someone. It's actually kind of scary to think that it's that easy to order treatment for a patient. Boston Herald reports: State officials are investigating complaints that staff at the Judge Rotenberg Education Center gave three people — including two teens — unnecessary electric shock treatments after receiving a prank phone call from someone pretending to be from the office of the school’s founder.
Categories: Health/Medicine, Pranks Comments (2)
Loch Ness Terror Plot?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 18, 2007
This is weird: An east London electrician accused of having terror ties claimed he was not attending training camps but hunting for the Loch Ness Monster during a trip to Scotland with other terror suspects, the Scottish Daily Record reported Saturday. Kader Ahmed, 20, was up in the Loch Ness area with a group organized by preacher Mohammed Hamid. I wonder if they went on the Nessie Hunter cruise with that boat captain who sounded like Sean Connery?
Bigfoot Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 17, 2007
WTVY News reports on a prank that reminded me of the Winsted Wild Man hoax from 1895, although quite a bit less sensational: A teenager wore an outfit depicting the mythical Bigfoot creature. He then carried a fellow young person on each shoulder. Alarmed residents called the sheriff's department and several others armed with shotguns headed to where the prank was taking place. The young people, ranging in age from 18-to-23, were given a warning. However, sheriff's officials say those involved in any copycat incidents will face reckless endangerment charges.
Categories: Cryptozoology, Pranks Comments (5)
Misleading Papa Johns Ad
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 17, 2007
Here's another case of a misleading claim in an advertisement. This time from Papa Johns, who offers unlimited toppings, as long as you have a maximum of no more than five toppings. (posted by Nave_7 on flickr.) Related posts: Deceptive Ad (Dec 3, 2007) Deceptive Sign (Sep 10, 2007)
Categories: Advertising Comments (13)
Fake is Japan’s Annual Symbol
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 17, 2007
The Japan Kanji ability assessment association has selected the Chinese character meaning "fake" as the symbol that best describes Japan in 2007. reports: The result represented Japanese people's anger over the society's darkness exposed in 2007, including a series of financial scandals involving Cabinet ministers, the Social Insurance Agency's blunder of losing about 50 million pension records and some well-know food companies' forgery of production dates. My wife was recently thinking of getting a small tattoo, because she's always wanted one, but has never had the courage to get one. So I told her that if she got one,…
Categories: Literature/Language Comments (2)
Not Andy Warhol
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 16, 2007 has an article describing a hoax perpetrated by Andy Warhol back in 1967. He had been asked to do a speaking tour at various colleges, but decided, at the last minute, that he didn't want to do it. So he sent someone else, Allen Midgette, who pretended to be him: "Midgette whitened his hair and face and adopted a Warhol persona, and, accompanied by Morrissey, went on tour. And most believed the forged artist was authentic." People finally figured out that Midgette was not Warhol when they compared photos of the two men. Apparently the stunt was not an attempt to make any kind of artistic statement. Warhol…
Jesus X-Ray
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 13, 2007
A Florida man who recently had a chest X-ray says that he can see Jesus in it. Which raises the question, just what HAS that guy been smoking? Personally, I can't see it at all. (Thanks Joe and Bob)
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (21)
Quick Links: Dec. 12, 2007
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 13, 2007
Sextuplet husband gets three years Remember that couple who pretended they had sextuplets last year? The guy has now been sentenced to three years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. His wife is still at large. Pregnant lawyer made up abduction "pregnant Ohio attorney Karyn McConnell Hancock confessed Monday to fabricating a story about being kidnapped by three people at gunpoint in Toledo last week." I'm going to start keeping track of these fake abduction cases. There are so many of them! Fake office assumed role of government A fake government office in northern India was collecting taxes, providing…
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