Hoax Museum Blog Posts: April 2009

Lil’ Kim for Mayor — Someone circulated a bogus press release claiming that rap star Lil' Kim was running for mayor of Hoboken. Local media in New York duly reported it as fact. But in a world where Ronald Reagan became president and Arnold Schwarzenegger is Governor of California, I can understand why they took it seriously. [NY Daily News]
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009.   Comments (0)

Bottle Caps For Charity — The latest victims of the decades-old trash-for-charity hoax are the students of PS 46 in Staten Island. They were collecting plastic bottle caps in the belief that for every 1000 caps collected a child with cancer would get chemotherapy. Finally one of the students did an online search for "bottle caps" and "charity" and figured out it was a hoax. [silive.com]
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009.   Comments (7)

Ghost Meter — Amazon is selling a ghost meter for only $27.98. Sounds like a bargain. And according to the reviews it's "a reliable indicator of paranormal activity." Of course, what it really detects is electromagnetic fluctuations, such as the kind produced by any electrical device. So as a home repair tool for finding live wires, it could be useful.
Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009.   Comments (8)

Little Green Pill Hoax — It must have seemed like a good idea to someone at Greenpeace to leave mysterious green pills labeled "nuclear radiation pills" on the doorsteps of various Toronto homes. The homeowners panicked and called the police. The pills were actually seaweed tablets. Greenpeace had been hoping to raise awareness of a nuclear power plant being built in the area. [citynews.ca]
Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009.   Comments (3)


Fake death and fake funeral — Faye Shilling is accused of not only buying life insurance policies for people who didn't exist, but also of holding fake funerals for their (fake) deaths. She would fill the casket with "various materials" to make it the right weight, then bury it. And then, because she was afraid authorities would somehow later find an empty casket, she would file fake documents to indicate the body had been exhumed and then file more fake documents to show it had been cremated. [Daily Breeze]
Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2009.   Comments (1)

Don’t Smash Out The Window! — Yet another example of the "manipulative phone call" prank. A man staying in a Best Western hotel in Jamestown, NY received a call telling him that the fire department and HAZMAT were in the hotel investigating a gas/carbon monoxide leak. The caller advised the man to smash out a window to avoid injury or death. The man then proceeded to do this. According to the article, "The Jamestown Police Department is advising the public and businesses to be aware of this type of scam, and to…
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (6)

New Lincoln Death Photos — After President Lincoln died, there was a huge demand for photos of him lying in his casket. However, the army didn't allow any photos to be taken. As a result, a lot of fake Lincoln death photos appeared. I've posted about this before, and I have an example of a fake Lincoln death photo in the Hoax Photo Database. Mary Curtis just sent me an old newspaper clipping describing some Lincoln death photos owned by her grandmother. Unfortunately, no one knows where the photos are now.…
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (7)

The Dark Side of April Fool’s Day — For some, April Fool's Day means innocent fun. For others it appears to be an invitation to explore the dark corners of their twisted psyches. That's the only reason I can think of to explain why every April 1st stories like this one, featuring a woman who "pranked" her brother-in-law by calling him and telling him that her 1-year-old child wasn't breathing, appear in the news.
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (2)

The New Number One April Fool’s Day Prank — According to the Chicago Tribune, 18,786,325 people viewed Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" video on YouTube on April 1st. That indicates the number of victims that were RickRolled by pranksters on April Fool's Day. Which means that in only two years, rickrolling has risen from nothing to become the most popular April Fool's Day prank, eclipsing even the classic "trick a victim into phoning the zoo" prank. [Chicago Tribune]
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (0)

Enforcer Skunks — There's a lot of speculation in the town of York, New Hampshire Maine about the skunk signs that were placed on many traffic-enforcement signs on April 1st. The signs feature hand-painted, smiling skunks wearing yellow sashes with the word "Enforcer" painted on. The signs also have a drawing of a zebra with the statement, "Whoever says they did it, didn't do it." When asked if the police were going to be contacted, Community Development Director Steve Burns said, "They're our No. 1…
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (4)

Mystery Lamb Prank — Why did pranksters steal a lamb from Jim Dufosee's field on Salisbury Plain and leave it on a doorstep of a house in Pound Street. Nobody knows. However, the picture of the lamb being held by the farmer should provide you with your daily dose of cuteness. [wiltshire.co.uk]
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (0)

Smell of Books — Hoax Website: The smell of books aroma spray. "Now you can finally enjoy reading e-books without giving up the smell you love so much. With Smell of Books™ you can have the best of both worlds, the convenience of an e-book and the smell of your favorite paper book. Smell of Books™ is compatible with a wide range of e-reading devices and e-book formats and is 100% DRM-compatible. Whether you read your e-books on a Kindle or an iPhone using Stanza, Smell of Books™ will bring back that…
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009.   Comments (6)

Fake Parking Tickets — • People are angry at a bar in New Zealand for placing fake parking tickets on thousands of cars in Auckland as an April Fool's Day prank/promotional stunt. The thing is, these fake tickets weren't like the typical ones that, upon examination, are obviously fake. These were exactly identical to real tickets in every detail except for listing a different website and phone number. As a publicity stunt, I'd say it crosses the line. [stuff.co.nz]
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009.   Comments (1)

Reusing your hotel towels: sensible behavior or scam? — Jill Hunter Pellettieri writes in Slate.com about how she hates those notices you now find in all the hotels asking you to re-use your towels in order to "Save Our Planet." Like her, I find them to be disingenuous. The real beneficiaries are the hotels, not the environment, because the hotels save lots of money on laundry costs, and they don't bother to pass those cost-savings along to the customers. [slate.com]
Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2009.   Comments (24)

Fake Grave — Deacon Freeman Moore doesn't think that the fake grave someone dug behind his church was a funny prank. It had a black, wooden cross at one end, with the name "Eli" on it. He called the police, who did a bit of digging before deciding it was a hoax. [ajc.com]
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (1)

Bathroom stall robbery — It's safe to use the bathroom again. Two weeks ago a New York man said he was robbed in a bathroom stall in the Atlanta airport. He was just sitting there, doing his business, when two men poked their heads "over the top of the stall," pointed a silver handgun at him, and demanded his wallet. Police have now determined the robbery report was a hoax. [AJC.com]
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (2)

Knights Templar Turin Shroud — Shroud of Turin News: A Vatican historian says she's uncovered documents indicating that between 1204 and 1353 the Shroud of Turin was kept hidden by the Knights Templar, who worshipped it as a holy relic. Apparently they required their members to "venerate the image by kissing its feet three times." (Some of their other rituals may have involved spitting on the cross, stripping naked and kissing their superior on the buttocks, navel, and lips, and submitting to sodomy.) The Vatican is…
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (5)

Over-Reacting —A slight over-reaction, perhaps. Two guys at a science park pranked a colleague on April 1st by moving his car. When the guy couldn't find his car, the science-park security force naturally thought it must be a terrorist threat and evacuated the entire building. [Chester Evening Leader]. Update: Here's a link that should work. Plus, this article (unlike the first one I linked to) makes clear that what actually happened is that the guys moved the car into a restricted parking lot,…
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (3)

Quick Links: Worst April Fools, Missing Women, etc. — • An online brokerage, Zecco, pretended to give customers multi-million trading accounts on April 1st. Funny until customers began doing actual trades with the money. Lots of blogs were linking to this story, calling it the worst April Fool's ever. (I'm not sure about that. It's still not as bad as some on the official list.) But now the company is saying it was an accident, not a purposeful prank. Comments • A Chinese doctor hasn't cut his hair in more than 60 years. He says doing so…
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (0)

No NASCAR — Car and Driver's April Fool's Day hoax claiming that President Obama had ordered that Chevrolet and Dodge withdraw from NASCAR seems to have been one of the few AF hoaxes this year that actually fooled a significant number of people. [USA Today]
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (1)

Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 >