The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
October 2009
Stalin, black orchids, and Eva Peron — Lorena writes to ask: You seem to know a lot about hoaxes so....I am doing some research, and I was asked if the story about Stalin sending black orchids to Eva Peron's funeral are a hoax. Problem is, I can't even find stories about it at all. Have you ever heard this? I'm flattered Lorena thinks I might be knowledgeable enough to have the answer to this, but unfortunately I've never heard the story before and can't find any references to it. In a July 28, 1952 Associated Press…
Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2009.   Comments (8)

Religious urban legends that refuse to die — Even though the famous atheist’s body [Madalyn Murray O’Hair] was discovered in 1998 and positively identified in Texas -- and even though she apparently has been dead since she disappeared in 1995 -- patently false rumors about her alleged anti-Christian campaigns continue to spread. Credulous Christians who once forwarded these kinds of rumors in mimeographed chain letters or spread them on talk radio now can broadcast them around the world with the mere click of a mouse. Link:
Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2009.   Comments (7)

A note from the curator — I've recently started work on a new book, which is the reason for my absence from the site. I need to deliver the manuscript to the publisher (Macmillan) by June 2010. I assume it will be published in late 2010 or early 2011. The title is still undecided, but the book will essentially be a sequel to Elephants on Acid — though sequels are always worse than the original, so I prefer to think of it as an entirely new project that also happens to be about bizarre things done in the name of…
Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2009.   Comments (8)

Treasure hunt prank, from beyond the grave — Patty Henken found a small envelope in a rocking chair she bought at auction. In the envelope was a key and a note giving her directions to where $250 in U.S. gold coins was supposedly buried in a lead chest. The note was signed "Chauncey Wolcott." There was also a request to contact the State Journal-Register newspaper of Springfield, if the treasure was found. The Associated Press tells the rest: With help of a donated backhoe, Patty Henken tore up a vacant lot in Springfield, Ill...
Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2009.   Comments (12)

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