The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
February 2013
Bird Poo Jesus — Thanks to LaMa for bringing this recent Jesus sighting to our attention. A bird pooped on the windshield of Jim Lawry's car, while the car was parked in his parents' driveway outside their Brooklyn, Ohio home. When he got into his car, Lawry could clearly see the face of Jesus looking at him from within the poop. Lawry says it's "some sort of sign." [newsnet5.com]
Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013.   Comments (6)

Dog Fight Hoax — Over in Perth (home to a couple of MOHers!) there's a rumor going around about an organized dog fighting ring that's stealing pets and using them in fights. The larger dogs are supposedly starved and turned into fighters, while smaller animals are used as "bait." A flier (below), posted on Facebook, is helping to spread the warning. People are also being warned that the pet thieves are tagging the homes of potential victims with red dots, as shown in this picture: However, the…
Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013.   Comments (0)

Pig Rescues Baby Goat Hoax — Back in September 2012, a video was uploaded to youtube showing a pig rescuing a baby goat that was supposedly stuck in a pond at a petting zoo. The video got millions of views on youtube and was widely aired in the media (including being shown on Good Morning America, the NBC Nightly News, and Fox News). Yesterday, it was revealed to be entirely staged. It was created for a Comedy Central series, "Nathan For You," which is debuting this week (thus the timing of the reveal). The pig…
Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2013.   Comments (1)

Did Gerard de Nerval walk his pet lobster through Paris? — Legend has it that the 19th-century French Romantic poet Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855) had a pet lobster named Thibault that he took on walks in the Palais Royal gardens of Paris, using a blue silk ribbon as a leash. When asked why he did this, he replied Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog? Or a cat, or a gazelle, or a lion, or any other animal that one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. They know the…
Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013.   Comments (1)


104-year-old woman forced to lie about age on Facebook — On the internet nobody knows if you're a dog. And on Facebook, nobody knows if you're really a 104-year-old woman... because Facebook won't accept 104 as a valid age! Woman, 104, forced to lie about age on Facebook dailyherald.com Marguerite Joseph can be forgiven for lying about her age on Facebook. The 104-year-old Michigan woman's granddaughter says Joseph is unable to list her real age on the social media site. Gail Marlow says when she tries inputting her grandmother's birth year…
Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2013.   Comments (3)

Wedding Hoaxer — Pinder Sondhi's wife was upset to find out that all of her husband's guests at their wedding were actors. He had invited fake friends, relatives, and even parents. His parents were played by an elderly couple who had agreed to do the job on the condition that "they would keep whatever gifts they received in the wedding." Plus, Sondhi had told his wife that he was a banker. That wasn't true. And he was simultaneously married to another woman. He lived with wife #2 during the week, and…
Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013.   Comments (0)

Banksy Arrest Hoax — A press release posted yesterday on PRLog.com announced that not only had Banksy been arrested (on charges of vandalism, conspiracy, racketeering and counterfeiting), but that his identity had been revealed—his real name supposedly being "Paul William Horner." The press release was a hoax, but a number of media outlets ran with the story before cottoning on to the deception. A humor site, IYWIB.com, appears to be behind the hoax. How a Fake Press Release Convinced the Internet Banksy…
Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013.   Comments (3)

Chili Finger Lady back in the news — Remember Anna Ayala? She was the woman who, back in 2005, concocted the story about finding a human finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili. That story got her 4 years in prison. Looks like she's back in the news, and again for lying to the police. This time she came up with a story about how her son was shot in the foot by an assailant. The truth, however, was that her son shot himself in the foot, but he wasn't allowed to possess a gun because of a burglary conviction, so she was trying to…
Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2013.   Comments (0)

Horse milk taking the gourmet scene by storm! — Horses, of course, do produce milk. And horse milk is considered a delicacy in some cultures. However, this site extolling the virtues of horse milk seems pretty clearly to be tongue-in-cheek: taste test show that consumers clearly prefer horse milk to dog and cat milk, and we know that consumers are tiring of ordinary bovine lactation.  Clearly, horse milk is no flash in the pan. As a gourmet food, horse milk is very expensive but worth the extra cost. Unlike cows, horses have only…
Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2013.   Comments (1)

For Sale: The Minnesota Iceman — In an obscure corner of the site, I have a brief blurb about a hoax from the 1960s — the Minnesota Iceman. It was "a strange creature frozen in ice... exhibited at carnivals throughout the Midwest. It appeared to be some kind of neanderthal man." My blurb ends by noting, "Its current whereabouts are not known." But this is no longer true! A few days ago it popped up for sale on eBay. The seller wanted $20,000 for it. And apparently the seller got that much, because it's already sold.
Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013.   Comments (1)

Bigfoot researcher finds novel way to get published — Good grief! This is kinda sad. Melba Ketchum fancies herself a bona fide scientist. But her subject-of-choice is Bigfoot, which immediately exiles her to the crackpot fringe of science. For which reason, she found that she couldn't get her paper on her "Sasquatch genome study" published anywhere. So what did she do? She created her own journal, the DeNovo Journal of Science. But instead of admitting she created it, she's pretending that it's some kind of independent journal. The…
Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013.   Comments (3)

Do not push this button! — Here's a prank that's also an interesting experiment in social psychology. In the middle of a busy public square, a big sign over a red button says, "DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON." Of course, random people walking by inevitably do push the button. At which point, everyone in the square appears to drop dead. So what does the person who pushed the button do? Does he/she try to help the people? No. Every single person who pushed the button runs away, as if trying to escape being found out.
Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013.   Comments (4)

The Fake Beggar of Gothenburg — Over in Gothenburg, Sweden, locals were puzzled by a homeless person begging for money at the train station, who, upon closer inspection, turned out to be a doll. Police thought it might be some kind of fraud (i.e. a homeless people using a mannequin to beg for him). But it turned out to be the work of a 13-year-old kid, Adam, who created it as "something fun" for a school art project. Brings to mind Alan Abel's Omar the Beggar hoax. The english-language article didn't have a picture…
Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013.   Comments (0)

Car goes through ice on live TV — Although this may appear to be footage from a newscast, it's actually a video purposefully designed to go viral, created by a Danish pr firm calling itself PublicAttack. On its youtube page you can find the same actor appearing in its other videos. The car going through the ice is apparently a CG effect.
Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013.   Comments (0)

The North American House Hippo — I don't care what the skeptics say. The House Hippo is real!
Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013.   Comments (2)

Lawyer who lied about her age — Soma Sengupta has recently been convicted of lying extensively about her past work experience in order to advance her legal career. She claimed that she had previously been an accomplished trial lawyer, although she hadn't been. She also forged reference letters and school transcripts. But what tripped her up was a much simpler lie. She stated on an application that she was 29, but a clerk who was reviewing the form took one look at her and couldn't believe it. Turned out she was…
Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013.   Comments (4)

The Proposal Rejection Prank — The Proposal Rejection Prank is a perennial favorite. Back in 2005 I posted about how a couple had developed a routine they were performing at basketball game halftime shows, in which the guy would propose to the girl in front of the entire crowd. But instead of saying yes, the girl would break into tears and run away. It never failed to get a reaction from the crowds. The PrankvsPrank duo recently performed the identical stunt at various locations outdoors. Their resulting youtube…
Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013.   Comments (0)

Watch For Falling Rocks! — Found on Facebook (via Not An Exact Science Show). The fact that there wouldn't be an English-language sign in a Russian-speaking area gives it away that it's fake, but it's a clever idea!
Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2013.   Comments (2)

Attention NYC Residents—Something to do on Feb. 23 — I'm passing along a message from longtime friend of the Museum, Bob Pagani: A few weeks ago, I was invited by the Maccarone Gallery in NYC to come and talk about my friendship with Andy Kaufman as part of a celebration of Andy's life and work. I invited Alan Abel to stop by. He did and the two of us spent several hours talking to gallery visitors about Andy (I am the one who introduced Alan to Andy) and our experiences in the Wonderful World of Media Hoaxing. Here's a link to a NY…
Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013.   Comments (4)

The Science of Jackalopes — As part of its coverage of the debate in Wyoming over whether to make the jackalope the state's official mythological critter, the Casper Star-Tribune profiles Prof. James Holliday, emeritus professor of biology at Lafayette College, who's perhaps the foremost expert on the biology of jackalopes. Scientific basis for the myth of the jackalope trib.com "There is a virus that causes growths on the jack rabbit," Holliday said. The virus is called Shope papillomavirus. Growths can come out…
Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013.   Comments (1)

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