The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
September 2009
Health warnings on airbrushed photographs? — A group of French politicians has proposed a law that would require a warning to be placed on digitally enhanced fashion images. From The Telegraph: A group of 50 politicians want a new law stating published images must have bold printed notice stating they have been digitally enhanced. Campaigning MP Valerie Boyer, of President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party, said the wording should read:"Retouched photograph aimed at changing a person's physical appearance". Mrs Boyer, who has also…
Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009.   Comments (20)

The Piltdown Man: The Play — A new play opening at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, Fake by Eric Simonson, is based on the Piltdown Man hoax. It looks pretty good, but I can't find any indication if there are plans for it to go on tour and come to San Diego. In 1914, renowned mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invites four guests to his English country home. Each visitor has a connection to the infamous "Piltdown Man," purported to be the missing link between ape and man—later exposed as a hoax. Swinging back and…
Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009.   Comments (1)

The Montgomery Animal Shelter Isn’t Closing — From nj.com: If you want to bombard a township with calls from angry people, start a rumor that cats and dogs are going to die. That's exactly what happened Tuesday and today, when an Internet rumor claiming the local animal shelter in Montgomery was going to close and all cats and dogs remaining there would be euthanized. And it happened across the country, too, as a viral rumor with countless incarnations made similar claims about shelters in communities named Montgomery. Only one…
Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009.   Comments (3)

Is this fish a world record or a cheat? — From Wired.com: On September 5, Saskatchewan fisherman Sean Konrad caught a 48-pound, world-record rainbow trout. The fish came from Lake Diefenbaker, where trout genetically engineered to grow extra-big escaped from a fish farm nine years ago... Technically known as triploids, they’re designed with three sets of chromosomes, making them sterile and channeling energies normally spent reproducing towards growth. In 2007, on a message board of the International Game Fish Association, the…
Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009.   Comments (14)


Billboards for Submarines? — Around 1954 Ivar Haglund anchored billboards to the bottom of Puget Sound. He said that he thought it would be a good way to advertise his restaurant, Ivar's Chowder, to anyone who happened to be passing by in a submarine. The modern-day Ivar's restaurant chain is now raising the billboards from the sea. Or are they? Some suspect a hoax. From the Seattle Times: In the past month, the company has had divers bring up three of the billboards — about 7 by 22 feet and made of stainless…
Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009.   Comments (3)

Visit Denmark, and get a girl pregnant — As posted recently by LaMa in the forum, a video recently began to circulate that appeared to have been created by a Danish girl who was trying to find the father of her child. She said the father had been a tourist in Denmark. They had had a one-night stand a year ago. Turns out the video was actually created by Denmark's National Tourist Agency as part of a viral marketing campaign. The tourist agency has since issued an apology: Local media reported yesterday the woman is…
Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2009.   Comments (17)

Natural History Museum to provide positive identification of Nessie — According to the Daily Mail, recently released documents from the archives of the British Natural History Museum reveal that in 1987 the Museum struck a deal with the bookmaker William Hill. The Museum agreed that, should the body of the Loch Ness Monster ever be found, the Museum would provide "positive identification." Only if it receives a positive id, will the bookmaker pay out on bets about the creature's existence. (It offers odds of 500/1 on the Loch Ness Monster being found…
Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2009.   Comments (6)

Derren Brown Predicts UK National Lottery — Last Wednesday Derren Brown performed a trick in which he appeared to predict the results of the UK national lottery on live TV. This immediately led to much speculation about how he did it. Of course, he didn't disclose his "prediction" until after the lottery results had been announced, which makes it meaningless as a prediction. But it was still a clever publicity stunt. On Friday Brown revealed the secret of the trick, or rather he pretended to. He didn't actually reveal anything…
Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009.   Comments (11)

Matt Damon reacts to false rumors of his death — From The Globe and Mail: "All my wife said was, well, that's weird," recounts Damon, shaking his head. "Then she reminded me that the same thing had happened to George [Clooney] a few years ago. What amazed me even more was that the calls we were getting were from [news groups] that were very reputable. I asked them did you even read the story on the Internet? It read like the lyrics to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The truth of the matter is all these mother [expletive] are lazy [and…
Posted: Mon Sep 14, 2009.   Comments (11)

Solar Panel Made From Human Hair — Milan Karki, a young inventor from rural Nepal, claims to have figured out a way to replace the silicon in solar panels with human hair. From the Daily Mail: Milan and four classmates initially made the solar panel as an experiment but the teens are convinced it has wide applicability and commercial viability. 'I'm trying to produce commercially and distribute to the districts. We've already sent a couple out to the districts to test for feasibility,' he said. The solar panel, which…
Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2009.   Comments (11)

Give Grand Marais the Bird — A fake seagull perched on a billboard outside the town of Grand Marais, Minnesota recently went missing. Residents suspect it was stolen, and they want it back. So the town has organized a "give us the bird" campaign, in which they're offering a free vacation in Grand Marais in return for information leading to the safe return of the seagull. The best story wins. A strict adherence to the truth, in this case, would seem to be irrelevant. [upi.com]
Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2009.   Comments (2)

The Lying Down Craze — An internet fad that managed to escape my attention is the "lying down" craze, in which people post photos of themselves lying face down, hands against their sides, in unusual locations. This sounded like fun to a group of British doctors and nurses: "The staff were pictured face down on resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and the air ambulance heli-pad during a night shift at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, Wilts." Their mistake was to then post the photos on Facebook. Seven of…
Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2009.   Comments (5)

Perverted Big Brother — Nine Turkish women thought they had signed up to participate in a reality show. Instead, they had fallen into the clutches of a pornographer, who kept them imprisoned for two months while selling naked photos of them on the internet. "The women were not abused or harassed sexually. They were told however, to fight each other, to wear bikinis and dance by villa's pool." Turkish police finally realized what was going on and freed them. [msnbc.com]
Posted: Thu Sep 10, 2009.   Comments (1)

Healer knows all your problems before you even mention them to him — The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa has determined that Dr. Abdallah Kiwa has been "'duping' people into paying for services that cannot possibly be delivered." Specifically, Kiwa has distributed advertising pamphlets in which he has made the following claims: • ENSURES SUCCESS AS YOU GET RICH QUICKLY • BRING BACK LOST LOVER… • REMOVE BAD SPELLS FROM HOMES, BUSINESS ECT • ENSURES THAT PROMOTION YOU HAVE DESIRED FOR A LONG TIME AT WORK OR IN YOUR CAREER. • REMOVE…
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2009.   Comments (6)

Water Bottle Trick — An African villager named Winston shows off his skills as a human water spout: Apparently this isn't a magic trick, but rather an example of controlled regurgitation. The Human Marvels offers some background on the history of human water spout acts: In the mid 17th century a Frenchman named Jean Royer was known for his regurgitating and spouting abilities. Another spouter, Blaise Manfre, was noted for his ability to drink water and regurgitate wine. Of course, his feat was…
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2009.   Comments (2)

The Phantom Dog Poisoner — Dog owners in the town of Basildon are concerned that someone may be trying to poison their pets. They've organized meetings to discuss the danger. Not that any dogs have been poisoned so far. No one has even seen any signs of poison around. But an email rumor has everyone spooked.
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2009.   Comments (4)

Syringe Attacks in China: Did they actually happen? — Last week there were mass demonstrations in the Chinese city of Urumqi following what were described as a wave of "politically motivated syringe attacks." But now people are questioning how many syringe attacks actually happened, and were any of them politically motivated? From the Toronto Star: The government said more than 500 people claimed to have been attacked, but only 170 show any signs of injury. Of those, 22 were being monitored and none were expected to suffer repercussions,…
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2009.   Comments (1)

Shanghai Sperm Bank Offers Helping Hand — Pictures showing a Shanghai Sperm Bank that allegedly "gives men a hand" with sperm donations did the rounds last year, and now they seem to be circulating again. The deal is supposedly that if you agree to get a health check and abstain from sex and masturbation, then you can donate your sperm 4-5 times a month. You get paid RMB200 per session. The sperm bank is located in Ren ji Hospital, No 145 Shan Dong Zhong Lu, Building 1, 7th FL, near Fu Zhou Lu, Shanghai, China. Click here and
Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009.   Comments (15)

Milkman Experiment — Swedish father Ragnar Bengtsson is pumping his breasts at three-hour intervals every day, in the hope that eventually he will start to lactate and be able to breastfeed his future children. If it works, he has no plans to breastfeed his 2-year-old son. The experiment is being filmed by Swedish TV8. Odds that he may produce some milk if he works at it long enough: pretty good. Odds that he'll produce enough to feed a child: close to zero. He could help his cause by starving himself,…
Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009.   Comments (7)

Alien Baby or Hoax? — I'm guessing it's a hoax: The Daily Telegraph reports on an ongoing controversy about a "baby alien" discovered in Mexico in 2007. It was supposedly discovered by a farmer who drowned it out of fear. This farmer later burned to death in a parked car (killed by the baby's parents?). Scientists are said to be baffled by the creature.
Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009.   Comments (12)

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