The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2008
Sheep Circle — About 100 sheep in Kington, Herefordshire spontaneously formed a ring in a field. Apparently they did this entirely on their own. A photographer was on hand who captured the strange scene. The Daily Mail interviewed Dan Seaborne, farm manager at Herefordshire College of Technology, who speculated: "I just think they've been fed with dry feed in that shape - you can get snacker feeders now and you tow behind a quad and it drops pellets on the ground. I would imagine that's what's…
Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008.   Comments (4)

Is Blue the new Green? — In what is one of the most absurd articles I've read in a while, Chicago Tribune reporter Nara Schoenberg tries to argue that "blue" is the new "green". In other words, green (as a symbol of environmentalism) is old hat. So people are now starting to say "blue" instead of "green". Her main evidence is that Mercedes-Benz calls its new clean-diesel technology BLUETEC. And a few environmental websites have blue pages. I refer to this journalistic technique in Hippo Eats Dwarf as the…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (7)

Quick Links: Jan. 25, 2008 — Caught Lipsyncing Amusing video on youtube of a guy caught lipsyncing. I like how he tries to pretend that nothing happened. Live Frog in Lettuce Yet another case of a family finding a live frog in their lettuce. The amazing thing is that instead of trying to sue someone, the family has adopted the frog as a pet. They call him "curious." Fake Leg as Weapon "Police said Donna Sturkie-Anthony took her elder sister's prosthetic leg and beat her with it."
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (4)

Ghostly face floats near floor — 17-year-old Matthew Summers used his mobile phone to take a picture of his sister and some friends as they were preparing to go out. Closer inspection of the photo revealed a ghostly face floating near the floor. Thisislondon.co.uk writes: His photo joins a long line of apparently paranormal snaps. The most memorable in recent times was a cloaked figure photographed standing in a doorway at Hampton Court Palace in 2003. However, Ciaran O'Keeffe, a parapsychologist on Living TV's…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (27)


The Unrecognised States Numismatic Society — The Unrecognised States Numismatic Society (USNS) describes itself as a "group catering to numismatists whose collecting interests largely focus on coins minted by groups purporting, pretending or appearing to be sovereign states, but which are not recognised as such by established governments." They've got examples of coins from a bunch of unrecognized nations, including the Principality of Sealand, Atlantis, the Confederation of Antarctica, and the Dominion of West Florida, which…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (3)

Jesus Hides in Potatoes — Renee Brewster of Florida found Jesus while preparing potato salad. His image was clearly visible in the moldy rot that had formed in the center of the first potato she split open. She put aside the holy potato and finished making the potato salad, which reportedly tasted excellent. According to MyFoxOrlando, Renee and her husband feel that "the site of their savior in a potato has reinvigorated their faith." But Cranky Media Guy wonders if this is manufactured pareidolia, noting…
Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008.   Comments (7)

Halle Berry and her Six Toes — Does Halle Berry have six toes on her right foot? There are people out there who have spent a lot of time pondering this question. The evidence for the six-toe theory is based on these pictures, which are at least two years old. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that, no matter what these pictures appear to show, Halle Berry is not polydactyl. If she was, she'd admit it.
Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2008.   Comments (25)

Wrong Number Generator — SpySite.com is selling a prank gadget that seems like it would have the potential to drive someone crazy... such as a boss you intensely dislike. Unfortunately the gadget costs $89, which is a bit steep. From spysite's description: It causes calls made from the target phones to reach wrong numbers! Think about how absolutely maddening and frustrating that would be if it were to happen to your phone. Now, you'll begin to appreciate the devastating effect that this device can have.
Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2008.   Comments (5)

Brother Roshan Wants Your Donations! — Canadian police are searching for two men who "falsely represented themselves as a spiritual healer and his assistant." Which raises the question: what counts as a real spiritual healer? The healer guy advertised himself on the radio as Brother Roshan. He used a magic trick to con his victims out of money. CTV.CA reports: Roshan wrote the names of each of his client's family members on each egg. He then placed the eggs in a covered pot of boiling water. Once they were cooked, he took…
Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2008.   Comments (2)

Quick Links: January 22, 2008 — Hiding in plainview A police officer agreed to escort a car containing a pregnant woman to the hospital only to find the car was stolen - and the woman wasn't pregnant. An honest politician? Ed Hamilton is running for the position of Kerr County treasurer. His campaign promise is that, if elected, he won't serve. He won't even take a paycheck. Sounds like the right man for the job. More men opting for chest implants At least, that's what the headline claims. The article itself gives…
Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008.   Comments (0)

Serial prankster claims to find time machine — Julian Lee Hobbs, aka Rory Emerald, recently placed an ad in the Helena Independent Record claiming to have found H.G. Wells' time machine. The ad became the talk of Helena. Turns out Emerald is a serial prankster who's done this kind of thing often: The prankster, which California papers have called “a would be actor,” has placed fictitious ads in the past, including the Roanoke Times, where he allegedly found the diary of a “very famous American” inside an old clock, and in the…
Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008.   Comments (2)

The Martian Bigfoot — Flora posted an image in the forum of what looks like a Martian bigfoot. (I inserted a picture of the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot for comparison.) According to metro.co.uk, the image was taken by NASA's Mars Explorer Spirit, but it "wasn't until space and science fiction enthusiasts became involved that the images were taken more seriously." Here's the complete NASA image (thanks, Mongo) from which the image above was enlarged. I drew a red circle around the Bigfoot image. It's barely…
Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008.   Comments (15)

Is the Antarctic IceCube Telescope really an Alien Receptor Centre? — Down in the Antarctic researchers are building an "ice cube telescope" to detect neutrinos. It's one of the stranger telescopes ever built. Popular Science provides this description of it: Using a five-megawatt jet of hot water, technicians are melting two-foot-wide holes 1.5 miles into the Antarctic ice near the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Before the water refreezes, they insert a cable strung like a set of Christmas-tree lights with globular camera housings. By the time the…
Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008.   Comments (7)

End of the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge — At the beginning of this month, James Randi announced that he will be ending his offer of $1 million to anyone who can provide "evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event." From the announcement on his website: The James Randi Educational Foundation Million-Dollar Challenge will be discontinued 24 months from this coming March 6th, and those prize funds will then be available to generally add to our flexibility. This move will free us to do many more projects,…
Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008.   Comments (3)

Rare Coin on eBay — This is one of the stupidest eBay auctions I've seen in a while: GEORGE WASHINGTON COIN,MISS PRINT WHIT BOUTH 2 FACES OF GEORGE WASHINTON 1 IN 1994 AND OTHER SIDE 1979. Starting bid is $1,000,000. No bids yet. Some people in the coin talk forum think it might be two magician's coins, cut in half and glued together. I think the guy just took photos of two separate coins. The misspellings definitely add to the seller's credibility.
Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008.   Comments (6)

Hrbacek’s Head Finds New Body — Some surgeons (particularly Robert White) believe that "total body replacement" might be a viable option for people suffering from incurable diseases such as cancer. Just cut off the patient's head and attach it to a healthy body. In the meantime, photo editors have long been using "total body replacement" for a more mundane purpose: making their subjects look better. Recently, the campaign office of congressional candidate Dean Hrbacek admitted that their candidate had been a victim…
Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008.   Comments (3)

A Warning to Mac Users — I'm a Mac user, and I recently decided to upgrade to the new operating system, OS X Leopard. I thought it would be relatively simple to upgrade. But it wasn't. I've spent the last two days stuck in front of my computer working out all the kinks. So I thought I'd post a warning to help any other people in a similar situation avoid the mistakes I made. My big mistake was apparently my choice to simply upgrade the existing system. It took an hour or two to complete the installation…
Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008.   Comments (14)

Is Bigfoot really Cain? — Here's a Bigfoot theory I haven't heard before. Apparently there are some in the Mormon church who hypothesize that Bigfoot may actually be Cain, condemned to walk the earth forever. Matt Bowman provides some scholarly elaboration on this theory on the Mormon Mentality blog. Apparently the Bigfoot-Cain connection traces back to a story told by an early leader of the Mormon church, David W. Patten. Patten claimed that in 1835 he encountered Cain walking along the side of the road. He…
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008.   Comments (27)

The Filipino Monkey — Following up on last week's post about the confrontation between US and Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf, the mysterious threat that the U.S. ships received -- the one in which they heard someone say "I am coming to you... You will explode after... minutes" -- is now being attributed to the "Filipino Monkey." The Filipino Monkey is apparently a prankster who interjects obscenities and threats into ship-to-ship radio communications in the Persian Gulf. Or rather, it's many…
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008.   Comments (9)

Twins get married… or maybe not — Last week this story was EVERYWHERE. A pair of twins in Britain, who had been adopted into different families, met and fell in love... without realizing they were twins. They then got married, only to discover the terrible secret they shared. Their marriage was promptly annulled. When I first read about this, it sounded pretty fishy to me -- very much like an urban legend being reported as news -- but on a cursory reading of the story I also got the impression that there were officials…
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008.   Comments (15)

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