The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
August 2008
Sarah Palin in a Miniskirt — McCain announced his decision yesterday (Friday) that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be his running mate, and already the photoshopped pics of Palin are starting to circulate. Actually, this picture of Palin in a miniskirt seems to predate Friday's announcement, but now that she's on the ticket with McCain it's begun to appear everywhere. It definitely is photoshopped -- a case of head transplantation. The real picture of Palin, from which her head was lifted, seems to be the one…
Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2008.   Comments (14)

Pareidolia Roundup: August 2008 — It's time for the monthly pareidolia roundup: Toronto Virgin Mary Christopher Moreau was having a beer in his garden, when he realized that scarring on a tree limb in his yard looked kind of like the Virgin Mary. His neighbor is a bit skeptical, but doesn't really care as long as the religious sightseers stay out of her yard. JC in Cell Phone Pensacola resident Linda Square thinks an image stored on her cell phone shows her in silhouette with Jesus Christ beside her. She swears that…
Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2008.   Comments (13)

Fosh Automotive — The website of Fosh Automotive appeared a few weeks ago, promising that the company was soon going to unveil an unlimited mileage electric car that would sell for under $25,000. A lot of people were skeptical. Fast forward to a few days ago, when Fosh unveiled something, but it wasn't an electric car. Instead, it was a bizarre anti-Obama, anti-abortion diatribe. Turns out the whole "electric car" thing was a bait-and-switch to lure eco-liberals to their site and then hit them with…
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008.   Comments (4)

Cursed By Allah — There was an interesting post on alt.folklore.urban discussing several examples of Muslim hoaxes alleging there have been people who were recently cursed by Allah, for one reason or another, and transformed into bizarre animals. For instance, Arabic newspapers ran one story about a girl who threw the Quran at her mother and was transformed into a large, rat-like creature. (The story became a popular video as well.) An image (below) accompanied the story, showing what the girl had…
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008.   Comments (41)


Photo Quiz Criticism — Real or Photoshop quizzes are becoming pretty common on the web. Here's another one. My criticism of this one is that it's using the term "photoshop" to refer to any fake photo, including ones that have been staged or falsely captioned. I've noticed this usage becoming increasingly common. However, if you're going to call falsely captioned photos fake, then you need to at least include the caption. Otherwise, the photos aren't making any claim, true or false. For instance, the quiz…
Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008.   Comments (12)

Confused Prankster — MSNBC reported a case a few days ago of a confused prankster. A delivery woman showed up outside the house of Joe Biden with a pizza: After determining that no one inside had placed the order, the officer placed a call to "Chris," whose name was on the tag. "It's a prank?!" the officer asked incredulously. He then walked out of range of reporters to get some information from the pizza villain. There was a credit number on file, but no telling if it was valid. Or why anyone would…
Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008.   Comments (3)

Fake iPhone Queues — There probably is some sound marketing psychology to the idea that if people are seen lining up for something, other people will assume it's desirable. I've often suspected that those people who line up to buy Sony Playstations (or whatever the product might be) are getting paid. From Scotsman.com: A POLISH mobile phone operator said yesterday it had hired actors to stand in line to buy Apple's iPhone as the device went on sale for the first time in the eastern European country. The…
Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2008.   Comments (8)

Wine Spectator Hoaxed — Osteria L’Intrepido, a restaurant in Milan, Italy, was recently awarded Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for its wine list. Problem is, Osteria L'Intrepido doesn't exist. It was a hoax restaurant created by Robin Goldstein (author of The Wine Trials) which he created to test the validity of Wine Spectator's award program. Goldstein's description of the hoax can be read here. Wine Spectator's response is here. If you don't know much about Wine Spectator's award program (as I…
Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008.   Comments (9)

The Pooping Intern — Gawker has reported a rumor -- the tale of the pooping intern -- that has all the earmarks of an urban legend. The rumor, about an unnamed person, comes from an unnamed source, and it details the kind of too-awful-to-be-true scenario that's the stock-in-trade of urban legends. Which isn't to say that the story isn't true. I have no idea. I'm just saying it sounds like an urban legend. The story, to summarize: A young woman had recently taken a trip to Israel where she caught a stomach…
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008.   Comments (14)

747 Struck By Lightning — From YouTube: A Boeing 747 being struck by lightning. It's been circulating around for a while, but it's new to me, and apparently it's real. (No reason to doubt it's not.) I haven't been able to find out exactly where and when this video was taken, but some versions of the video on YouTube state that it was an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight leaving Osaka, Japan. Update: Accipiter tracked down some info about this video (see the comments). The plane was taking off from Kamatzu Air…
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008.   Comments (4)

Checking in with Bigfoot — Last week I predicted that the discovery of Bigfoot's body was bound to be a hoax. Score one for me. I also said the "body" looked like a Bigfoot costume. Score another one for me. In all fairness, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. The Bigfoot Body farce was so obviously a hoax that I'm surprised it gained as much traction as it did. But then, the media can be relied upon to eat up a good Bigfoot story. Meanwhile, Bigfoot promoter Tom Biscardi, who paid Georgia "Bigfoot…
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008.   Comments (20)

Shroud of Turin Update — The 1988 radiocarbon results that dated the Shroud of Turin to the Middle Ages have long been a thorn in the side to the True Believers. But they may get the chance to have new tests conducted, thanks to the efforts of John and Rebecca Jackson of Colorado. From the LA Times: Jackson, 62, is getting his chance to challenge the radiocarbon dating. Oxford University, which participated in the original radiocarbon testing, has agreed to work with him in reconsidering the age of the shroud.…
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008.   Comments (20)

Evidence of Adultery For Sale — Bidding ended today on eBay Australia for an "EMPTY CONDOM PACKET & A PHOTO OF 'THE TART'S' KNICKERS." The winning bid was US $303.00. The story was that a woman was selling a picture of black lacy underwear she had found in her bed after catching her husband having an affair. From Reuters: The woman says she returned from work after receiving a romantic text message from her husband of 22 years that was clearly misdirected to find him at home watching a DVD and discouraging her from…
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008.   Comments (9)

Artificial hips are all the rage — Kenyan men like women with large hips. So Kenyan women eager for male attention are flocking to beauticians who are selling artificial hips. The hips consist of foam padding held on by skin-tight bike shorts and covered by cotton fabric. The Kenya Standard reports: Ready-made shape boosters (not their original name) go for as much as Sh250. Those who bring their own bikers pay Sh100 for hips only and Sh150 for all that goes on the backside. However, the hips do have some potential…
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008.   Comments (5)

Art Object Prank — Small, round, orange stickers are appearing on objects all over downtown Appleton, Wisconsin. The stickers are stamped with the phrase "art object" and a price (ranging from one cent to $10,000). They're appearing on park benches, fire hydrants, store windows, etc. No one seems to know who's responsible for the stickers or what their purpose is. From the Appleton Post-Crescent: Police Lt. Steve Elliott said putting stickers on public or private objects without the owner's consent falls…
Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008.   Comments (2)

Lenseless Glasses at the Olympics — Reuters has posted an article claiming that some Olympic volleyball players are wearing glasses with no lenses during games. It's all about money, of course: beach volleyball players at the Olympics took to the court wearing frames with no lenses. "The lenses fog up because of the humidity, so you can't wear the glasses without popping out the lenses," U.S. men's volleyballer Phil Dalhausser told reporters on Monday. High humidity is a regular feature of the weather in Beijing at this…
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008.   Comments (4)

Lost Dog — Most people, when they lose their dog, put up flyers around the neighborhood. When Dov Charney, founder of American Apparel, lost his dog recently, he placed two billboards at Sunset and Alvardo in LA to let people know. The billboards showed his dog, HedKayce, dressed in American Apparel fashions. This made everyone suspicious that the billboard was some kind of publicity stunt. In fact, there were rumors that his dog may have been missing since April. But as of yesterday, the…
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008.   Comments (4)

Bigfoot Body Found—Sure to be a hoax — On Friday Aug 15 a press conference is scheduled in Palo Alto to present evidence suggesting that the corpse of a Bigfoot has been found in Georgia. DNA evidence and photo evidence will be presented. (Thanks to everyone who emailed me about this.) I'd just like to go on record before the press conference to predict that it's going to be a hoax. Bigfoot hasn't been found. Why? Because if a Bigfoot species existed in North America, it would have been found long ago. To remain hidden this…
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2008.   Comments (49)

Two Stupid Criminals — Desperate for free porn A man entered an adult novelty store, told the clerk that he was a detective with the Longmont Police Department's "age verification unit," and demanded that the clerk provide him with pornographic videos so that he could verify the ages of the actors in them. The Longmont Police have no age verification unit. The clerk turned him away, and then the manager called the real police. (Thanks, Bob!) Cheesecake Box Bomb A man entered a movie rental store, placed a…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008.   Comments (4)

The Olympics So Far — 1) The school child who walked at the front of the Chinese team during the opening ceremonies (he was a survivor of the Sichuan earthquake) was carrying an upside-down Chinese flag. Why is debatable. Maybe it was an innocent mistake, or maybe it was a coded message of "great distress" (as upside-down flags mean in nautical convention). Whatever the reason, the Chinese media cropped the upside-down flag out of the photos they showed Chinese audiences. 2) The opening ceremonies included…
Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008.   Comments (6)

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