The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
June 2009
The Evolution of the Werewolf and Bigfoot — Brian Regal, a historian of science at Kean University in New Jersey, has an interesting theory about the relationship between werewolves and Bigfoot. He notes that hundreds of years ago werewolves were very prominent in popular culture. But during the past 150 years the werewolf's place in popular culture has declined, while Bigfoot has grown enormously in popularity. He attributes this shift to the theory of evolution. From Science Daily: From the late 19th century onwards, stories…
Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009.   Comments (8)

Official verdict: Steorn didn’t develop free energy technology — Back in August 2006, the Irish company Steorn declared it had developed "revolutionary free energy technology." To back up its claim, they ran an ad in the Economist inviting a jury of independent experts to scrutinize its claims. It's been almost three years, but the jury has finally delivered its verdict. The unanimous verdict of the Jury is that Steorn's attempts to demonstrate the claim have not shown the production of energy. The jury is therefore ceasing work. So the whole…
Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009.   Comments (11)

In 1945 there was a fake death craze following Roosevelt’s death — The fake celebrity death toll following Michael Jackson's death continues to rise. The body count so far: Rick Astley (found dead in a Berlin hotel room), Natalie Portman (fell off a cliff), George Clooney (fell off a cliff), P. Diddy, Jeff Goldblum (fell off a cliff), Harrison Ford, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Louie Anderson. The media is describing this death rumor craze as an internet phenomenon. Of course, the internet is the medium through which the rumors are…
Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009.   Comments (5)

More Celebrity Death Hoaxes — It's been the week of the celebrity death hoax, triggered by the real-life deaths of a string of celebrities (Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays). The recent celebrity death hoaxes have included: Jeff Goldblum, Harrison Ford, Louie Anderson, Ellen DeGeneres, Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus. In the case of Jeff Goldblum and Louie Anderson, the fake deaths were simply old rumors that were recycled. But in the case of Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, and Miley…
Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009.   Comments (2)


Museum of Hoaxes on Twitter — I recently created a twitter page for the Museum of Hoaxes, so if you're on twitter, check it out. I'm pretty inept at this social networking stuff. I created a personal twitter page months ago, but almost never posted to it. Hopefully I'll be more disciplined about tweeting on the MOH page. There may be a bit of a learning curve, because I still haven't figured out all the twitter lingo. RT is the only abbreviation I understand. But I'm excited that I already have nine "followers,"…
Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2009.   Comments (8)

Where is my pond? — At 9 a.m. George Terry Dinnie left his house to walk Buckley, his bouvier des Flandres. When he returned, an hour-and-a-half later, he discovered that his 2500 gallon pond had disappeared. He figures someone took it, though he doesn't know why or how someone removed that much water: "They pumped the water out faster than I can fill it up again. It's as weird as weird can be." Something fishy is going on. That's for sure. [morning call]
Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2009.   Comments (7)

Astrologer arrested for making prediction — The Sri Lankan government recently arrested the astrologer Chandrasiri Bandara. Unfortunately, it wasn't because he was peddling pseudoscience, but because his predictions had political implications they didn't like. He had foreseen that a planetary change on October 8 would be inauspicious for the government, and that it wouldn't be able to contain rising living costs. [BBC]
Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2009.   Comments (4)

Students hoax Paris Match — A pair of French students attending Strasbourg university won first place in Paris Match's photoreporting competition, a prize that came with €5000. But upon receiving the prize, they revealed that all their photos had been staged. From the British Journal of Photography: Guillaume Chauvin and Rémi Hubert won for a reportage chronicling the harsh difficulties some poor students encounter while studying at the Strasbourg university. Their images showed students living in basements or…
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2009.   Comments (3)

Pranksters move Loch Ness signs — Pranksters in Inverness have made it even more difficult to find Nessie by moving the road signs for Loch Ness so that they point in the wrong direction. The leading suspects are concert-goers attending the RockNess music festival. But here's the part of the article I found interesting. One resident "likened the alterations to World War II, when the authorities removed signs to prevent German soldiers from navigating their way round the country if they invaded." I didn't know that had…
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2009.   Comments (12)

Jeff Goldblum isn’t dead, nor is Harrison Ford — In the wake of the news of the death of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, a rumor that Jeff Goldblum had also died began to circulate. Reportedly he died when he fell off a cliff while filming a movie in New Zealand. Then a rumor surfaced that Harrison Ford had died on board a yacht cruising off the coast of St. Tropez. Both Ford and Goldblum are still alive. In fact, the Goldblum rumor was simply a rehash of a three-year-old rumor that originally involved Tom Hanks falling off a…
Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2009.   Comments (0)

Does Farrah Fawcett’s hair spell “SEX” in her famous poster? — In honor of Farrah Fawcett, let's revisit one of the major urban legends of the late 1970s: that the curls of Fawcett's hair, in her famous red-bathing-suit poster, spell out the word "SEX." This legend arose to explain the incredible popularity of the poster, which sold over 12 million copies (by some accounts). It was always a bit of a mystery why that image in particular became such a focus of popular fixation. After all, there were plenty of other posters of scantily clad…
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009.   Comments (18)

Michael Jackson Dies… For Real — It appears that Michael Jackson has died, which is only worth mentioning here because in addition to being the "King of Pop," he was also the King of the fake death rumor. Even The Onion satirically predicted his death back in 2005. But this time, it seems to be for real. Now the "he faked his death" rumors can start.
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009.   Comments (10)

Stoned Wallabies Make Crop Circles — Traditional explanations for crop circles: 1) Drunken pranksters; 2) tourism councils; 3) UFOs; 4) whirlwinds; 5) magnetic vortices. To this we can add a sixth: stoned wallabies. Posted by Beasjt in the forum: WALLABIES are hopping into Tasmania’s opium poppy fields and getting high. The revelation has also solved what some growers say has spurred a campfire legend about mysterious crop circles which appear in the state’s poppy paddocks. In true X-Files style, Attorney-General Lara…
Posted: Thu Jun 25, 2009.   Comments (4)

Fake Chinese ‘Made in India’ Garments sold in Nigeria — The commerce department of India is considering filing a formal diplomatic complaint against China because of Chinese garments being sold in Nigeria with fake "Made in India" tags. I'm sure it's a serious diplomatic matter, but if you could just somehow add a Russian gangster and a Spanish prisoner into the mix, you'd have a perfect storm of scam artists. [Economic Times]
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (4)

The Photoshop Effect — This video exposing the "Photoshop Effect" (how photoshop is used to make models look more perfect than they really are) seems to be a thinly veiled excuse to put an attractive model in front of the camera and then photoshop her. That's good enough for me.
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (10)

The Loch Ness Monster of the Vosges — The small French town of Xertigny, in the Vosges Mountains, thinks it may have its own Loch Ness Monster. Though instead of being a sea serpent, it's a crocodile, and it's in a pond instead of a loch. The village of Xertigny, which has 3,000 inhabitants, has been stunned by the unexplained sightings and sightseers have gathered by the water to follow the hunt. A chicken has been left by the water to attract the animal but has so far remained unscathed and local authorities are…
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (2)

The Jiffy Prank — Apparently there's a tradition of past employees of Jiffy Lube breaking into the store and stealing the bleeder valve on the compressor, thus rendering the machine useless. It's called the "Jiffy prank." At least, that's the excuse Paul Marvella is giving to explain why he took the valve. He later returned it, but nevertheless the store is charging him with felony commercial burglary. [Hernando Today]
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (3)

Jon & Kate Plus Fake — I've purposefully avoided watching "Jon & Kate Plus 8," and on a personal level I couldn't care less about what happens to Jon & Kate, but in recently filed divorce papers Kate Gosselin states that she and her husband have lived "separate and apart" for the last two years. [Link] This is interesting because, apparently, on last season's show they made a big deal out of renewing their wedding vows in Hawaii. Evidently the whole thing was staged. And so they become another footnote in…
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (2)

Does Robert Pattinson paint on his abs? — Here's a question the world needs answered: Did Robert Pattinson (star of Twilight) have makeup artists use liquid body paint to make it appear as if he had six-pack abs for a scene in the forthcoming New Moon? Well, that's the rumor. Given that it was for a scene in a movie, I think it would be more surprising if makeup wasn't used. But for chiselled abs it's actually more important to be really skinny than to workout a lot. And the guy looks like he's genuinely skinny.
Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2009.   Comments (5)

Fake Air France Footage — Posted by Peter in the forum: TV station airs Lost as Air France crash footage A BOLIVIAN television news channel has been left red-faced after falling for a hoax that saw it claim pictures from the hit TV show Lost were actually the last moment of Air France flight AF447 before it plunged into the ocean on June 1. Source This confirms my theory that should a suitably dramatic picture of a major event not exist, one will be created. It's because our culture craves visual images. And…
Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2009.   Comments (1)

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