The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
May 2009
Looking for Urquhart Castle — If you visit Loch Ness, you probably won't see Nessie, but you will see a lot of confused tourists, thanks to confusing road signs that local businesses have been putting up. For instance, many tourists who are looking for Urquhart Castle wind up in the Loch Ness Monster Visitor Centre because of a large road sign for "Glen Urquhart Castle" that points toward the Visitor Centre. The word "Glen" is in tiny, small letters, and most people probably wouldn't realize that Glen Urquhart…
Posted: Fri May 29, 2009.   Comments (2)

The Science Channel’s Top 10 Science Hoaxes — The Science Channel has a list of the Top 10 Science Hoaxes. I'm giving it a thumbs down, because it's a pretty feeble list. It's the kind of thing someone who didn't know much about science or hoaxes might put together by surfing the web for a few hours. It starts off with Harold Miner's analysis of the Nacirema tribe at #10. This is a famous anthropological satire (Nacirema is American spelled backwards), but I wouldn't consider it a hoax, unless any comedy or fiction can count as a…
Posted: Fri May 29, 2009.   Comments (6)

The Bonnie Sweeten Abduction Hoax — Philadelphia Mom Bonnie Sweeten had apparently been embezzling money from a charity where she worked for years. Fearing that she was about to be found out, she fled to Orlando with her daughter, but not before concocting a hoax about being abducted by two black men who rear-ended her SUV. (She placed a call to 911, pretending she was locked in the trunk of the black men's car.) I guess the hoax was intended to cover her tracks, but I'm not sure if it didn't simply increase police…
Posted: Fri May 29, 2009.   Comments (2)

Welsh road signs — The BBC reports that Welsh-language road signs mysteriously appeared on the Longthorpe Parkway in Cambridgeshire. They suspect it was the work of a practical joker. Presumably a Welsh practical joker.
Posted: Fri May 29, 2009.   Comments (2)


New Look — I periodically get bored with how the site looks and decide it needs to be overhauled. That's the kind of mood I was in today, so I redesigned the blog. I'm not sure if the new look is better or worse than the old one, but it is different, which is the important thing. (I haven't yet changed the comments or permalink pages, so if you're nostalgic for the old look, you can see it there, for now.) In another year or two I'll probably get bored of this look and change it again. More…
Posted: Thu May 21, 2009.   Comments (18)

The Apple — A few months ago it was revealed that Herman Rosenblat had invented his story about how he met his wife while he was imprisoned in the Buchenwald concentration camp, and she was a young girl from the nearby village who would give him apples through the fence. The revelation caused his book deal to be canceled. But Gawker reports that York House Press is now turning his tale into a book anyway... they're just clearly labeling it as fiction. And they paid someone else to write it. I…
Posted: Mon May 18, 2009.   Comments (8)

The Panama Women’s Cricket Team — The latest viral hoax photos circulating online claim to show shots of the Panama Women's Cricket Team. It doesn't take a degree in Photoshop to realize these women's buttocks have been digitally altered. Fool Blogger has tracked down what appears to be one of the unaltered originals. The Fakes: The Real One: What I don't know is whether this actually is the Panama Women's Cricket Team. A google search for "Panama Women's Cricket Team" simply brings up these photos.
Posted: Fri May 15, 2009.   Comments (28)

What Students Want — Scottish high school students were given a survey to find out what resources they would like to see in the area to help it develop. The answer: fast-food restaurants, cinemas, and a brothel. [BBC]
Posted: Mon May 11, 2009.   Comments (14)

Severed Arm Prank — A strange April Fool's Day prank: A Ministry of Fisheries worker on a trawler in subantarctic waters radioed his superior to tell him that a human arm had been found in the water. Specifically, his message said: "Me again. We had a rather gruesome catch in tonight's shot. The remains of a human arm. It has been taken off below the elbow and it is not a clean cut. Yuk. It hasn't been in the water for very long, and I was wondering if any of the Russian boats has had an accident. The…
Posted: Mon May 11, 2009.   Comments (2)

MomSourcing — MomSourcing: "You know you should call your mom on Mother's Day. But in today's fast-paced world, between work, hobbies, and "me time," it can be hard to squeeze in. We can help. Outsource your Mother's Day responsibilities to MomSourcing and let us make the call for you." According to Boing Boing, it's a joke. But I wonder how long before it proves to be a case of satirical prophecy.
Posted: Mon May 11, 2009.   Comments (1)

Snake Head with Broccoli — The latest case of the gross things found in food scam: A man dining at TGI Friday's claimed he found a rotting snake head in his side order of broccoli. But testing has now revealed that the snake's head was never cooked and must have been placed in the broccoli at some point after the cooking process. So foul play is now suspected. The guy who found the head claims he didn't put it there, and since he isn't suing the restaurant, he may be telling the truth.
Posted: Mon May 11, 2009.   Comments (4)

Moms Behaving Badly — A dispute between two young girls escalated into an online fight between the mothers. The mother of one of the girls posted an ad on Craigslist offering sex with men, and listed the phone number of the other girl's mother as the contact. Twenty-two people called the number. The woman has now been charged with aggravated harrassment. [Newsday]
Posted: Mon May 11, 2009.   Comments (2)

Wikipedia Hoax — Irish student Shane Fitzgerald conducted an experiment to test whether journalists blindly rely upon wikipedia as a source of information. Shortly after composer Maurice Jarre died, Fitzgerald placed a false quote on the wikipedia page about him, claiming Jarre had said: "One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing…
Posted: Thu May 07, 2009.   Comments (9)

Is the bust of Nefertiti a fake? — Swiss art historian Henri Stierlin argues that the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti on display in Berlin's Pergamon museum is a fake. He says that it was created around 1912 as a way for an archaeologist to color test ancient pigments found at the digs, but when a German prince mistook it for an ancient work of art, the archaeologist didn't have the courage to correct his important guest. And so the statue came to be regarded as an ancient work of art. [Agence France Presse]
Posted: Thu May 07, 2009.   Comments (4)

Car Wrapped Around Flag Pole — Students at Fruita Monument High School in Colorado welded an Eagle hatchback around the school's flag pole as a senior prank. It took them an hour and 15 minutes of welding to do it. Now this is more like what a prank should be... not like that garden-planting prank from a few weeks ago. [KITV]
Posted: Thu May 07, 2009.   Comments (7)

Lots of Fake Whisky — Last July I posted about how radioactive fallout can be used to authenticate art. Isotopes released into the environment from nuclear bombs provide a way of determining if a work of art dates from before or after 1945. Apparently a similar process can be used to authenticate whisky, and experts are discovering that the whisky market is flooded with fakes. Researchers at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit say, "So far there have probably been more fakes among the samples we've…
Posted: Thu May 07, 2009.   Comments (7)

Back in Action! — I'm back, after a two-week absence! It was two weeks spent doing the always fun job of home remodeling (sarcasm). My wife and I are slowly remodeling our home. Since we figure we can't afford to move any time soon, we're fixing up the house we have to make it nicer to live in. But since we also can't afford to hire real contractors, I get stuck doing all the work. Last year I redid the hallway bathroom. This time, it was the master bathroom. I thought I would be able to keep blogging…
Posted: Thu May 07, 2009.   Comments (8)

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