Hoax Museum Blog Posts: January 2014

Giant French Invasion Raft, circa 1798 — I think this prisoner may have been telling a bit of a tall tale. "An Exact representation of a raft, and its apparatus, as invented by the French for their proposed invasion of England — from a drawing of a prisoner who has made his escape from France" Source: Bibliotheque Nationale de France via Retronaut
Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014.   Comments (1)

Pilgrims Flock to Manoppello’s Shrine — Promoters of the Manoppello Image are hoping that it's soon going to be as popular as the Shroud of Turin. Like the Shroud, it's supposedly the actual face of Jesus miraculously imprinted onto a piece of cloth. But I see a problem with their plan. The Shroud of Turin, say what you will about it, genuinely looks mysterious and creepy. But the Manoppello Image just looks like a bad painting. U.S. Pilgrims Flock to Manoppello’s Shrine After Benedict XVI Visit National Catholic…
Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014.   Comments (4)

Monster Map — Tah gave me a heads up about this 'Here There Be Monsters' shirt that was the deal-of-the-day at Shirt Woot! It reminded me that I recently came across a foldout Storyteller's Map of American Myths in the Aug 22, 1960 issue of Life magazine. It's full of strange creatures such as the Arizona Ghost Camel ("once imported by the army, wandered the desert with dead riders), Michigan Tigerfish ("lurking around Saginaw Bay ate cabin boys"), and the New Jersey Mosquito ("as large as a…
Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014.   Comments (0)

Catching up with Stephen Glass — Stephen Glass can't catch a break. He burned his bridges in journalism, and now the lawyers don't want him either. Stephen Glass, journalist fired for fake stories, denied law license abclocal.go.com SAN FRANCISCO (KABC) -- Disgraced former journalist Stephen Glass was denied a license to practice law in California in a state supreme court ruling on Monday. The court ruled unanimously against Glass, a magazine writer who was fired after 31 of 42 high-profile stories were determined to…
Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014.   Comments (2)


100-year-old Time Capsule Letter Hoax — Matt Novak, writing for Gizmodo Australia, notes that 100 years ago a news story circulated reporting that Frank Rockwell, the mayor of Akron, Ohio, had written a letter to Akron's future mayor in 2014: Fort Wayne Sentinel - Jan 24, 1914 Mayor Rockwell wrote a letter yesterday to the person who will be mayor of Akron 100 years hence. The epistle tells the future mayor of the present debt, the names of all the city officials, the problems confronting the municipality and the political…
Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014.   Comments (1)

Marlboro Marijuana Cigarettes — The latest fake news story to go viral claims that, due to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, Philip Morris has decided to start selling Marlboro Marijuana Cigarettes, marketed under the brand name "Marlboro M". The fake news story was posted on the satire site "Abril Uno" on January 21st. From the article: Phillip Morris, the world’s biggest cigarette producer, announced today that they will join the marijuana legalization bandwagon and start producing marijuana…
Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014.   Comments (26)

This is not U2 — Mysterious ways of Dave Fanning hoax; 2fm DJ passes off song by obscure English band as the latest single from U2. The Sunday Times (London) January 26, 2014 DUE TO a long friendship with U2, his radio show is always the first to play any new songs from the Dublin group. Earlier this month, however, U2 fans didn't find what they were looking for when Dave Fanning, the 2fm DJ, promised to play their new single - but instead spun a track from an unknown British band... What listeners…
Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014.   Comments (2)

We Will All Be Microchipped! — Scare stories about how governments are going to force us all to be "microchipped like dogs" have been circulating for well over a decade. Mixed in with these stories have been Christian fundamentalist claims that implanted microchips are the "Mark of the Beast". The latest scare story to surface is an article (written in broken English) recently posted on topinfopost.com, claiming that "On May 2014, through Europe newborn children will be compelled to take in a subcutaneous RFID…
Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014.   Comments (2)

Giant Red Palm Weevil Larva — An Italian newspaper has reported that firefighters near Naples recently discovered a giant larva of a Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus). The larva, which was as big as an adult pig, was still alive, and as the firefighters approached it, the thing emitted a shrill cry similar to the whinny of a horse. The larva appears to be a result of "radioactive gigantism" caused by toxic waste in the so-called "Land of Fires" region of southern Italy. It has been taken to the Naples…
Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014.   Comments (2)

Theodore Roosevelt Rides a Moose — Theodore Roosevelt served as President of the United States for 8 years, from 1901-1909. He was, as Wikipedia notes, acclaimed for his "cowboy persona and robust masculinity." However, his masculinity was not so robust that he once rode a moose, despite what this photo appears to show. In 1912, Roosevelt split from the Republican Party, after having become unhappy with its increasingly conservative policies. He then ran for President as head of the newly formed Progressive Party.…
Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014.   Comments (3)

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014.   Comments (0)

Beijing residents are not flocking to see virtual sunrises — Well, I fell for this. A recent article posted on the Daily Mail was headlined, "China starts televising the sunrise on giant TV screens because Beijing is so clouded in smog." An accompanying photo showed a giant TV screen in a smoggy Tiananmen Square showing a sunrise. The article elaborated: The smog has become so thick in Beijing that the city’s natural light-starved masses have begun flocking to huge digital commercial television screens across the city to observe virtual…
Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014.   Comments (0)

Henry Clay Hooker and the Great Turkey Drive of 1866

Henry Clay Hooker was a wealthy rancher in the Old West, known as the "cattle king of Arizona." Modern audiences may know him because he was played by Charlton Heston in the 1993 movie Tombstone. Perhaps the most famous part of Hooker's life story is the claim that he made his fortune by herding 500 turkeys over the Sierra Nevada mountain range into Nevada. Henry Clay Hooker (source: wikipedia) The story goes that Hooker moved out to California from the East Coast as a young man. He opened a hardware store in Placerville, and was growing quite successful until tragedy struck in…

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014.   Comments (2)

Is the “Hercules the World’s Biggest Dog” photo fake, as everyone has assumed?

This photo of "Hercules, the World's Biggest Dog" is one of the best known "hoax" viral images on the Web. It started circulating in early 2007, initially on its own, but soon the Internet had supplied an explanatory caption: Hercules: The World's Biggest Dog Ever According to Guinness World Records Hercules was recently awarded the honorable distinction of Worlds Biggest Dog by Guinness World Records. Hercules is an English Mastiff and has a 38 inch neck and weighs 282 pounds. With "paws the size of softballs" (reports the Boston Herald), the three-year-old monster is far larger…

Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2014.   Comments (7)

Squirrel AIDS is a hoax — The Ocean County Health Department of New Jersey recently began receiving numerous phone calls and emails from people worried about the health risk posed by squirrels with AIDS. Many parents asked whether they should allow their children to play outside. In response, the health department has posted a statement assuring the public that there is no such thing as 'Squirrel AIDS' or 'SQUAIDS'. Nor have there been any confirmed cases of illness transmitted to a human from a squirrel. No…
Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014.   Comments (0)

U.S. secretly run by Nazi space aliens, says Iranian news agency

Max Fisher of the Washington Post tells how Iran's Fars News Agency (which is often described as a "semi-official" news agency with ties to the government) recently revealed the shocking news that "The United States government has been secretly run by a 'shadow government' of space aliens since 1945." It seems that these aliens initially supported the Nazis, but switched to Team USA after that didn't work out. This information, says Fars, comes from NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014.   Comments (0)

Calling 999 does not charge your mobile phone battery — Idiotic things people will believe: The Bedfordshire Police recently posted a statement on their website, informing everyone that calling 999 and then disconnecting immediately will not actually boost the battery life of your mobile phone battery, despite a rumor to the contrary. Apparently emergency operators have been receiving a lot of these phone-charging calls. There's a similar rumor that claims you can recharge your mobile phone by putting it in a microwave for a minute. Also…
Posted: Fri Jan 17, 2014.   Comments (2)

Pastor drowns trying to walk on water — A news story has been circulating recently about a west African preacher, Franck Kabele, who drowned while trying to show his congregation that he could walk on water just like Jesus Christ. source: ReportGhanaNews.com This story is almost certainly a hoax that media outlets are repeating as real news. The Christian Post notes that this story about Franck Kabele was first reported in British papers back in August 2006. They say it first appeared in the Scottish Daily Record, but I…
Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014.   Comments (1)

Giant Santa Monica Squid

The latest fake news article masquerading as authentic report involves a giant squid — grown to mutant size because of Fukushima radiation — supposedly washed ashore near Santa Monica. The photo of the giant squid is circulating with hashtags such as #RadioactiveGigantism and #GiantSeaCreature. The story comes from a site called The Lightly Braised Turnip. I suppose that name is supposed to tip you off that the site is like The Onion, or aspires to be. But it's not The Onion. It's a lightly braised turnip instead. A few months ago a giant squid really did wash ashore in Spain,…

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2014.   Comments (0)

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >