The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
April 2009
Mystery Stones Explained — The mystery of why someone has been leaving white stones with cryptic black markings on them around Orleans, Massachusetts has been solved. The creator of the stones sent an explanatory letter to the local paper: The writer said the backward “R” and an “R” separated by three slashes on one line and an “X” book ended by two vertical lines underneath means “Remember 9-11.” He (most believe the writer is a male) said he came up with the design about two years ago “When I became…
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009.   Comments (11)

Sued for Fake Ghost Rumors — The book Weird Ohio and accompanying website claimed that the oldest grist mill in Ohio was haunted. But so many ghost hunters started visiting the mill that its owners felt compelled to spend thousands of dollars on security measures. Then they decided to sue the website for spreading false rumors. The judge recently delivered his verdict. The website isn't responsible for the owners' emotional distress, nor is it responsible for the people trespassing on the property, but it does owe…
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009.   Comments (3)

Pigeon Drop Scam Becomes Robbery — There's a report of a pigeon drop scam in which the scammers approached a woman at an ATM and tried to convince her to buy a diamond (that was supposedly such a bargain that she'd easily make a profit if she resold it). But in this case the scammers got tired of haggling with her and eventually just grabbed her money and ran. Which means that the scammers are now guilty of grand theft. [Mercury News]
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009.   Comments (6)

Disgusting Fake Doctor — A man has been arrested in Spain for posing as a fake doctor. He was performing breast and buttock augmentations in his home, which was reported to be filthy (full of numerous pets). Plus, he was using veterinary tools to inject liquid silicone. The reason real surgeons haven't used liquid silicone since the 1960s is because it can cause discoloration, open sores, and gangrene. [metro.co.uk]
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009.   Comments (11)


Saudis Censor Katy Perry — Blogger Susie Of Arabia reports that after buying a copy of Katy Perry's album One of the Boys in Saudi Arabia, she realized that all the pictures of Katy Perry had been heavily doctored by Saudi censors. Below (left) is the original album cover, and on the right is the Saudi version. This is standard practice in Saudi Arabia. A few years ago I posted about Mariah Carey album covers that were similarly doctored by the Saudis. Susie suggests that the Katy Perry albums were…
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009.   Comments (15)

Swiss Spaghetti Harvest Skeptic — If there's one thing I've learned from running a website it's that you can't please everyone. And apparently my selection of the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest as the #1 April Fool's Day Hoax of All Time hasn't pleased Mike Jones, staff writer for the Gaylord Herald Times. I recently stumbled upon this comment he made in his column: All-time hoax, not! One thing we like here at the old “5 Nuggets of Knowledge” is “best of and top 10” lists. We recently came across “The Top 100 April Fool’s…
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009.   Comments (24)

Too Many Fake Soldiers — German politicians are upset by all the fake soldiers hanging around the Brandenburg Gate. The fake soldiers are there trying to make a buck from the tourists, who want their picture taken with someone in a Cold War-era uniform. But the politicians are worried that the Brandenburg gate is deteriorating into a miniature Disneyland and may go the route of Checkpoint Charlie which has become "a tacky tourist trap unworthy of its historical significance." I was in Berlin just a few months…
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009.   Comments (2)

Dolphins vs. Pirates — China's official news agency, Xinhua, is claiming that thousands of dolphins spontaneously decided to protect a fleet of Chinese merchant ships that were being attacked by Somali pirates: The Chinese merchant ships escorted by a China’s fleet sailed on the Gulf of Aden when they met some suspected pirate ships. Thousands of dolphins suddenly leaped out of water between pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the China’s. The suspected pirates ships stopped and then turned…
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009.   Comments (4)

Domino’s Video Prank — One of the mysteries of law enforcement in the age of YouTube: Why do people proudly post videos of themselves engaged in illegal acts? They're just begging to have the police come knocking on their door. So anyway, the latest example of video self-incrimination involves two Domino's employees who created a prank video showing one of them farting on the food and sticking it up his nose as the other one laughed and egged him on. They posted the video on YouTube and it promptly went…
Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2009.   Comments (4)

Another Cancer Hoaxer — Dallas, Texas is home to the latest case of Munchausen Syndrome. Hope Ybarra managed to raise $100,000 by convincing an entire community that she was dying of cancer. She even fooled her family. Apparently the ruse went on for years. To their credit, once her family found out she wasn't really sick they put an end to the entire thing and are offering to return everyone's money. [Yahoo! Video]
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009.   Comments (15)

Is it really a prank? — Seniors at Westlake High School in Texas are being praised. For their senior prank, they chose to build a garden in a traffic island. Hmm. I think it's a nice gesture, but is it really a prank? At my High School I think the senior class all chipped in to donate a bench, but we never called it a prank. However, if the Westlake seniors surreptitiously planted seeds in their garden that will sprout a year from now, spelling a rude message, then I'll be impressed. [wlfi.com]
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009.   Comments (9)

Cash Stops Bullet — Mythbusters did an episode on the urban legend of a bullet being stopped by a Bible (or a Zippo lighter). They found that a hardcover book of at least 400 pages might stop a bullet, but anything less (including a Zippo) didn't have a chance. Nevertheless, police in Sao Paulo, Brazil are saying that the wad of cash a woman had stuffed in her bra slowed down a bullet enough to save her life. I'm sure the woman is very lucky, but I suspect the cash had nothing to do with her good fortune.[Yahoo!]
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009.   Comments (13)

Red Mercury in Sewing Machines — Red Mercury, according to a decades-old rumor, is a key component in the manufacture of nuclear bombs and worth millions of dollars. But now a new variant of the rumor has surfaced in Saudi Arabia, claiming that Red Mercury can also be used to find treasure and ward off evil spirits (in addition to its nuclear-bomb-making abilities). Plus, old Singer sewing machines are said to contain the substance in trace amounts. As a result, many Saudis are in a frenzy to acquire these old sewing…
Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2009.   Comments (4)

Brain Ads — Some woman (who doesn't name herself) has realized that for years people have been reading her mind. "TV shows were following my daily thoughts and stores began bringing products I had been wishing for, it finally dawned on me that they were not just teasing me, they were actually getting more viewers and selling more products!" Instead of fighting this condition, she's decided to accept it and profit from it. For which reason, she's now accepting "brain ads." In return for a donation,…
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (7)

Never Gonna Pay You Anything — Pete Waterman wrote the song Never Gonna Give You Up, which is the focal point of the massively popular Rickrolling prank. But he's now complaining that, despite the millions of times that video has been viewed online, he's earned only £11 from Google for all those views. He earns more from his local radio station playing the song than he does from YouTube. Welcome to the internet economy, Mr. Waterman! [Telegraph]
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (6)

Tila Tequila Not Dead — You can breathe a sigh of relief. Tila Tequila is not dead, despite the "tweet" posted on her twitter account claiming that someone had broken into her house and killed her and her dog. Seems that someone had hacked into her account. I have no idea who Tila Tequila is. I'm guessing she's some kind of D-list celebrity. [binside]
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (3)

Neighborhood dispute gets ugly — The term Neighbor From Hell seems an appropriate one for Julie Rank-Earley. Her neighbor once filed a police complaint about her, resulting in a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Instead of letting the issue drop, Rank-Earley decided to up the ante by subscribing to hundreds of dollars worth of pornographic magazines in the name of her neighbor. Her neighbor simply complained to the police again when she started getting all the bills. Now Rank-Earley is sitting in jail. [Dayton…
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (1)

The Ghost of Alexander the Great — "International spirit medium" Stephen Hermann claims he contacted the ghost of Alexander the Great during a recent seance. Alex's message: He urges the people of Macedonia to stop fighting and embrace peace. Surprisingly, he had nothing to say about that atrocious Oliver Stone movie about his life. [Balkan Insight]
Posted: Tue Apr 14, 2009.   Comments (5)

Ads Disguised as News Columns — Should the LA Times have run an ad designed to look like a regular news column on its front page? (The ad was for an NBC news show Southland.) Critics, who include quite a few of the paper's own staffers, argue that it crossed a line of journalistic integrity. The paper's defenders point out that all newspapers are losing money nowadays, so whether you like it or not, expect to see more ads disguised as news columns in the future. [Editors Weblog]
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009.   Comments (10)

Unforeseen Commitments — An announcement posted on the website of British psychic Derek Acorah:
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009.   Comments (4)

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