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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2008
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)

Quick Links: January 14, 2008 — Nuclear Reactor in Garage A 22-year-old man was boasting on an amateur science blog that he had built a mini-nuclear reactor in his garage. His boasts earned him a visit from federal authorities who determined that he didn't actually have a nuclear reactor. But he did have some kind of strange experiment going on that, had it continued, "would have been a cleanup issue." (Thanks, Joe) Dead Man Cashing Check Scam "Two men were arrested on Tuesday after pushing a corpse, seated in an…
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008.   Comments (2)

Non-Smokers Not Fired — Last week quite a few papers ran this story: NON-SMOKERS NEED NOT APPLY BERLIN -- The owner of a small German computer company has fired three non-smoking workers because they were threatening to push demands for a smoke-free environment. The manager of the 10-member IT company in Buesum, named Thomas J., told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper he had fired the trio because their non-smoking was causing disruptions. "I can't be bothered with trouble-makers," Thomas said. "We're on the…
Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008.   Comments (5)

Ernst Bettler — Back in 2000 a graphic design magazine called Dot Dot Dot ran an article about a subversive artist from the 1950s called Ernst Bettler. Design Observer summarizes the article's central tale: In the late 1950s, Bettler was asked to design a series of posters to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfäfferli+Huber. Aware of reports that P+H had been involved in testing prisoners in German concentration camps less than 15 years before, he hesitated, and…
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008.   Comments (4)

Husband meets wife in brothel — This story sounds suspiciously like an urban legend being reported as news. It could, of course, be true, though the source (a Polish tabloid called Super Express) makes it difficult to fact check: WARSAW (Reuters) - A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. Polish tabloid Super Express said the woman had been making some extra money on the side while telling her husband she worked at a store in a nearby…
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008.   Comments (6)

Bigfoot Bait — I wonder how many women are going to respond to this craigslist ad? The scary thing is that the guy's probably completely serious.
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008.   Comments (6)

Jontex Condom Ad - Possible Hoax — The image to the right shows what is supposedly a guerrilla marketing campaign by Jontex, a Brazilian brand of condoms owned by Johnson & Johnson. The campaign involves a cardboard cutout that can be positioned beneath the door of a bathroom stall. The Brazilian phrase translates to, "You do not know when it can be necessary." But strangely, Johnson and Johnson is denying responsibility for the ad. Or, at least, the folks who run the Johnson and Johnson blog claim it's not their…
Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008.   Comments (3)

Gulf of Tonkin vs. Persian Gulf — In 1964 North Vietnamese forces supposedly attacked a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. President Johnson used this incident to obtain approval for the Vietnam War from Congress. But on Tuesday the National Security Agency declassified documents revealing -- to almost no one's surprise -- that the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened. Also on Tuesday, by an odd coincidence, the US military released video of an incident in a different Gulf... the Persian one. The video shows…
Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008.   Comments (4)

Two views from an airplane windo — One of these might be fake. Can you guess which? Update: My apologies. Apparently quite a few people didn't realize I was being sarcastic when I said "one of these might be fake." I thought it was pretty obvious both of them were fake. (Note that I didn't say 'only one is fake'.) To make up for it, here's a third view from an airplane window, and this one is definitely real. This photo was taken on July 13, 2004 aboard an AirTran flight from Atlanta to Orlando with 110 people on…
Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008.   Comments (41)

Fictitious Countries — Elliot has posted five new articles in the hoaxipedia. His theme was fictitious countries. Or rather, countries of an ambiguous legal status. The Principality of New Utopia An island "country" in the Caribbean established in 1999 by Oklahoma businessman Howard Turney, who prefers to be known as HSH Prince Lazarus. The Dominion of Melchizedek A South Pacific island country, that happens to be entirely underwater. It was founded in 1987 by California father and son Evan and Mark…
Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008.   Comments (14)

Gnome goes to Antarctica — Jerome Angus Graham III, a 25-centimeter-tall garden gnome, has been all around the world. But he hasn't been to Antarctica. Nor apparently, has any other gnome. But that's about to change. Jerome is heading to Antarctica, thanks to an invitation from Belgian travel firm Asteria Expeditions. Jerome will become "the first gnome to set foot on the frozen continent." The adventures of Jerome can be followed at travellinggnome.net. Earthtimes.org also reports that last year Jerome become…
Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008.   Comments (3)

Name Change Prank — Robert Ashton and Aisling Davis have been playing tricks on each other for years. But when Robert dyed Aisling's hair blonde while she was asleep, she decided she needed to come up with something big to get him back. What she eventually dreamed up was to legally change Robert's name... to "Ima Stapler." The Halifax Courier reports: Aisling, of Sowerby Bridge, decided to take her revenge. She knew someone who had recently changed their middle name by deed poll and wondered if it would…
Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008.   Comments (8)

Clarkson’s Account Gets Hacked — Jeremy Clarkson, host of Top Gear, (which you can see in America if you get BBC America on cable) publicly mocked a story about some computer discs being lost that held the bank details of 25 million people. He claimed that there was no way hackers would be able to use the information to withdraw money from people's accounts. To show how certain he was of this, he published his own account code and routing number. A few days later, according to Clarkson: "I opened my bank statement…
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008.   Comments (8)

I Buy Strays — The latest hoax website doing the rounds is IBuyStrays.com. I posted a page about it in the hoaxipedia. The site purports to be a business that buys people's unwanted pets and resells them to research labs. Animal lovers, of course, are up in arms about this. It's pretty obvious the site is a fake. Its over-the-top tone, if nothing else, gives it away: You can enjoy their wonderful puppy / kitten stage and then reap a cash reward for having grown such a fine specimen. Start over…
Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008.   Comments (1)

Phantom Tent City on Roof — According to a rumor that circulates among the population of South Carolina's Hilton Head Island, there's a group of Mexican immigrants living on top of one of the local supermarkets. It may be the Bi-Lo Supermarket, or the Port Royal Plaza, or the Harris Teeter. Supposedly this tent city of roof-living immigrants tapped into the store's electricity and even diverted the air conditioning system to cool their tents. The Island Packet News is pretty sure that the story of the rooftop…
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008.   Comments (6)

Virgin Mary on Living Room Wall — A New Mexico family reports that an image of the Virgin Mary has appeared in the pattern of the texture of their wall. Their granddaughter says, "I think God is trying to tell us something, like a message from heaven." Maybe that message is, "Don't get a job applying wall texture." Is it just me, or are these Virgin Mary sightings getting harder and harder to see? I can barely make this one out at all. Bob forwarded me the link with the comment, "How ridiculous would a 'sighting' of…
Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008.   Comments (21)

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