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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
January 2012
Manhattan School Employees Behaving Badly — Two stories have been in the news recently about Manhattan school employees who were somewhat derelict in their commitment to the truth. The first was Joan Barnett, a parent coordinator, who, in order to get two-and-a-half weeks of vacation, claimed her daughter "Xinia Daley Herman" had died. Her mistake: she submitted a death certificate with weird, misaligned fonts. When busted, she initially claimed her daughter really had "died of a heart condition." But eventually she broke down…
Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012.   Comments (0)


Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross - A Possible Fake? — Questions have been raised about the authenticity of a valuable and historically important painting, Swearing Allegiance to the Southern Cross. And the debate about the painting is tangled up in a controversy about the so-called Eureka Flag, which is believed to be the precursor to Australia's current national flag. Story in Brief: The Eureka Flag rose to prominence in the mid-20th Century, at which time it became a symbol of Australian nationalism. But questions lingered about its…
Posted: Thu Jan 12, 2012.   Comments (1)

The Continuing Troubles of Stephen Glass — Former media hoaxer Stephen Glass, whose exploits were depicted in the movie Shattered Glass, is back in the news. It seems that his career since getting fired from the New Republic has been a bit rocky. He made $140,000 from his 2003 semi-autobiographical novel, The Fabulist, but that money didn't last too long. In recent years, he's been trying to become a lawyer. According to SFGate.com, he passed the bar exam and applied for an attorney's license in 2007, but the State Bar of…
Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012.   Comments (1)


Quantum Levitation Car Racing — A video of a race between miniature cars floating above a track by means of "quantum levitation" was recently debunked. The intro screen to the video credited it to the (fictitious) "Japan Institute of Science and Technology," but the true creator was Sony and SCE Studio Liverpool. The Business Insider says: "the video was a ploy by Sony and developer SCE Studio Liverpool to promote the Wipeout 2048 game that's coming out on the PS Vita." I'm assuming the video was inspired by a…
Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012.   Comments (2)

Evidence of Extraterrestrials in North Korea? — The Alien Disclosure Group (ADG) UK has posted a video on youtube in which they suggest that the funeral of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il may have been attended by extraterrestrials. Or very tall earthlings. One or the other. The ADG seems eager to see aliens in any mystery. But their video does highlight two legitimate items of strangeness from Kim Jong-Il's funeral. The first is that there apparently really was an extremely tall person standing in the crowd watching Kim…
Posted: Wed Jan 04, 2012.   Comments (5)

Two new hoax-themed novels — Two new novels involve hoaxes as their central theme. So they might be of interest to hoaxologists. The first novel is The Prague Cemetery, by Umberto Eco. From the Irish Independent's review: Eco illuminates an age like no other writer -- the era in this case being fin de siecle Paris, its filthy streets bristling with communists, conspirators and con men, Jesuits and Freemasons, and, most of all, Jews. The novel was heavily criticised in its native Italy for having an anti-semitic…
Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012.   Comments (0)

The Ingushetia Yeti — Near the end of December, reports emerged of a yeti caught in the Caucasus mountain, in the Russian republic of Ingushetia. Interfax reported Bagaudin Marshani, former head of Ingushetia's labor ministry, as saying: "The creature looks like a gorilla, about two metres tall, probably a male, and it's very massive. But a gorilla stands four-footed, and this stands vertically, like a person... It growls and makes strange sounds ... and eats meat and vegetables. Some people say it's an…
Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012.   Comments (2)

The Chinese Octomom — In China, a photography studio recently posted an advertisement online displaying examples of baby photos it had taken. The problem was that the photos showed a family of eight kids, four boys and four girls, belonging to parents who had apparently paid $160,000 to have the kids delivered by surrogate mothers. However, it's illegal for Chinese hospitals to provide surrogacy procedures. Not to mention China's one-child policy. Which makes the public display of the photos a pretty…
Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2012.   Comments (1)

The Fake Death of Cheetah the Chimp — As far as death hoaxes goes, this is a strange one, both because it involves a chimp and also because it's a fake death report of someone who died long ago. The story began last week, around Christmas, when it was reported that Cheetah, the chimp who played Tarzan's sidekick in the 1930s Tarzan films, had died at the ripe old age of 80. He had apparently spent the last decades of his life at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Florida. The cause of death was kidney failure. I remember…
Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2012.   Comments (1)

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