The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
March 2013
Bacon Mouthwash — Slightly in advance of April 1st, Scope is introducing Bacon Mouthwash. From their product info page: Scope Bacon is the newest addition to our line of products. It tastes like bacon, while still killing 99.9% of bad breath germs. And, it keeps your breath minty fresh 5 times longer than brushing alone. Does Scope Bacon make my breath smell like bacon? No. Scope Bacon just tastes like bacon while you swish, but leaves your breath smelling minty fresh 5 times longer than brushing…
Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013.   Comments (2)

The Roosterfish — Fred Freer sent in the following press release. I'll let everyone form their own conclusions about this "roosterfish." Fossil Find of the Century? Local artist and stonescaper, Fred Freer, discovers unique fossil in Chena Ridge hills. While teaching his sons the art and process of hand-splitting stone (for landscaping purposes), Freer Uncovered what seemed to be fossil remains of a birds head and beak. But upon further examination and cleaning the tail and fins of a fish also began…
Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013.   Comments (2)

How to make cotton cakes — Back in the 19th century, food pranks were very popular on April Fool's Day. And one of the most popular forms of trick food was the "cotton cake." Instructions for how to make this delicacy were reported by Jane Eddington in the Chicago Daily Tribune on Apr 1, 1929: One of the older American cooking jokes of the days was the cotton cakes. I heard a woman tell how to do this in an up to date way, imitating what her great grandmother did who made cotton cakes and sent them around to…
Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013.   Comments (0)

Museum Mail: April Fool Prank — Thanks to Joy for sharing this: After college, I took a job as a legal secretary at a law firm in Atlanta, GA. At the time, we all used Selectric III typewriters (PCs weren't around, and WANGs had just come on the market). We had a very nice, intelligent associate who had started about a month or so before April 1st, and although he was extremely smart at law, he was also a little too trusting and pretty naive. I clued the attorney I worked for into my plan, gave him some lines, and…
Posted: Fri Mar 29, 2013.   Comments (1)


Fake Chinese Walnuts — Chinese consumers are being warned to watch out for fake walnuts. Scam artists are apparently taking empty walnut shells, stuffing them with bits of concrete and paper, gluing the shells back together, and then selling them as real walnuts. [treehugger.com, ministryoftofu.com] It seems like a very labor-intensive way to make what can't be a lot of money. But I guess it's enough money to make it a profitable scam. This isn't the first fake food product we've seen from China. In the…
Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013.   Comments (3)

The Very Tall Bride — The above picture has been doing the rounds in recent months, often with the caption "Very Tall Bride." The bride in the photo is Allyssa DeHaan, a collegiate basketball player at Michigan State University from 2006 to 2010. In real life DeHaan is very tall — 6 ft 9in. So could this photo be real? Well, no. When I first saw it, I thought perhaps she was standing on a box, perhaps for a gag photo. But some more investigation revealed her height in the photo is a result of good,…
Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013.   Comments (1)

The Girl Scout Cookie Order Hoax — This is all over the news. [oregonlive, csmonitor] Some girl scouts in Portland, Oregon thought they had landed a massive sale of cookies when they received an order via email for 6000 boxes — a $24,000 order. Whoever was handling the order (a scout's mother, I assume) exchanged some emails with the buyer, and everything seemed legitimate. The buyer was even an acquaintance of the troop. So the girl scouts went ahead and processed the order, committing themselves to receiving 6000…
Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013.   Comments (1)

Ukrainian Attack Dolphins — Word got out this week that the Ukrainian military had lost three dolphins in the Black Sea after the dolphins swam away from their trainers, apparently to search for mates. The problem: these were trained attack dolphins "equipped with firearms." The source of the story was a document that appeared online that seemed to be a scan of a letter from the head of a Ukrainian military research institute to naval command warning of the dolphin escape. The story took off when it got picked…
Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2013.   Comments (0)

Motor Trip Hoax, 1944 — I found the following story posted in the March 3, 1944 issue of the Carteret Press (scanned and hosted by the Woodbridge, NJ Public Library): MOTOR TRIP HOAX Los Angeles — A new kind of hoax was pulled when four men answered an ad asking for passengers on a trip to Raleigh, N.C. The driver picked them up, collected $50 from each and then stopped at the post office. He went inside and that was the last the passengers saw of him. The car had been rented. But I'm having trouble…
Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2013.   Comments (4)

Aliens among us? — File this under Low Threshold of Belief. Several Southeast Asian news sites have recently published photos that supposedly document the presence of "extra terrestrial beings" here on Earth. For instance, the Visayan Daily Star ran a picture (below) of "Emily Santodelsis" posing with a small alien. Strangely, she insisted that she hadn't noticed the alien while the picture was being taken. She only spotted it later, when she looked at the photo. And back in January, the Bangkok Post
Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013.   Comments (2)

Fake Crystal Skulls — The latest issue of Chemical & Engineering News has an article that reviews the history of how the crystal "Aztec" skulls that began showing up in the mid-19th century were eventually found to be fake. The take home is that the following pieces of evidence led researchers to conclude the skulls were modern forgeries: The skulls didn't come from documented archaeological sites. The skulls' teeth were suspiciously linear and perfect, whereas the teeth in other Aztec art reflected the…
Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2013.   Comments (1)

Ralph Napierski, Fake Bishop — On Monday, a man calling himself "Basilius," wearing a cassock, black fedora and purple sash, tried to gain access to the pre-conclave meeting of cardinals at the Vatican. He made it through one level of security before being stopped by the Swiss Guard. Spiegel Online has a profile of the guy, whose real name is Ralph Napierski. Apparently Napierski has a history of posing as a Catholic bishop, though Spiegel isn't quite sure what to make of him, debating whether he's "a joker, a church…
Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013.   Comments (0)

A levitating computer mouse? — This levitating computer mouse (aka "The Bat") is listed as a product in the "testing period and research" phase on the site of Kibardin Design. But it's raising a few skeptical eyebrows. Not that it wouldn't be possible to build a levitating mouse, but io9 notes, "to us it looks a little like someone took a Microsoft Arc Mouse, fixed it to a plastic ring, and added a few aesthetic details with the help of some carefully applied modeling clay and a couple coats of Krylon." The…
Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013.   Comments (1)

Bonsai Kitten—The Book — Remember Bonsai Kittens — the hoax about growing kittens in a jar? It seems that they've finally made their way from the internet into print, serving as the title for Lakshmi Narayan's new novel. I would have expected that a novel titled "Bonsai Kitten" would be a work of gross-out fiction aimed at young men. But not so! Narayan was inspired by the idea of a Bonsai Kitten to write a work of serious literary fiction about the struggles of young brides in Indian society. Here's the
Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013.   Comments (1)

Miniature Amityville Horror house — Artist Tracey Snelling has created an installation which she calls Last House on the Left. It consists of 4 miniature houses from horror films (The Birds, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and the Amityville Horror. It's the Amityville Horror Dutch Colonial that caught my eye. If I ever did have a brick-and-mortar hoax museum, it would make a great addition! Snelling's miniature houses feature sound effects as well as tiny LCDs that play clips from the films when you look through…
Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013.   Comments (0)

Gummy Virgin Mary — Desmond and Amy Duguay of Turner, Maine claim that they found a piece of Dot gummy candy that resembles the Virgin Mary. They've put it up for sale on eBay, and bidding is currently at $215. [Bangor Daily News] But some are crying hoax. The website corporatemal.com notes that there are Virgin Mary molds, which might have been used to create the Virgin Mary Dot. However, the Duguays are sticking to their guns and insist their "Gummy Virgin Mary" is no hoax. In response to the…
Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013.   Comments (0)

The Pirate Bay isn’t moving to North Korea — On Monday, The Pirate Bay issued a press release on its blog announcing that it was moving to North Korea: PRESS RELEASE, NEW PROVIDER FOR TPB FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 3 MARCH 102, 평양 (PYONGYANG). The Pirate Bay has been hunted in many countries around the world. Not for illegal activities but being persecuted for beliefs of freedom of information. Today, a new chapter is written in the history of the movement, as well as the history of the internets... Today we can reveal that we…
Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2013.   Comments (0)

No meat in Nautabökunni? — In response to the widening horse-meat scandal in Europe, Icelandic food authorities decided to conduct tests on some of their country's own food products. They didn't find any horse meat, but to their surprise they discovered that one brand of beef pie, Nautabökunni, contained no meat at all. Or, at least, the pies had "no mammalian DNA." Instead, the pies contained some kind of vegetable matter masquerading as beef. The company that makes the pies says it's dumbfounded by the…
Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013.   Comments (4)

Man fakes his own abduction to avoid girlfriend’s wrath — Not exactly a criminal mastermind. Rahmell Pettway needed a good excuse to explain his two-week absence from his Bedford-Stuyvesant home to his girlfriend. So he faked his own abduction, tying himself up with duct tape on the side of a street. When found, he told police that two men in a light-blue minivan had first abducted him and then dumped him there. The problem? The roll of duct tape was still dangling from his wrists. This made the police suspicious, and soon Pettway confessed…
Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013.   Comments (0)

Belly Ballot Baby Name Hoax — Belly Ballot is an internet site that helps parents name their baby by "crowdsourcing" the process. That is, it allows parents to create a shortlist of names that their friends and family can vote on. Back in January, the site announced a "Belly Branding" contest: "One lucky pregnant couple may win $5000 in exchange for letting the entire world decide their baby's name." And in mid-February it declared a winner, LA-based art teacher Natasha Hill. It posted some photos of Natasha as…
Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2013.   Comments (1)

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