This Day in the History of Hoaxes: August 29 Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 29, 2014 August 29, 1923: Grover Bergdoll's Gold The claim that a road worker had discovered Grover Bergdoll's buried pot of gold prompted a two-day investigation by federal agents. But on this day in 1923, the story was revealed to be a practical joke among the workers that spun out of control. The pot of gold in question was believed to have been buried by the wealthy draft dodger Bergdoll in 1917. He escaped prison in 1920 by convincing his guards of its existence and then slipping free of them when they accompanied him to find it. Treasure hunters continued to look for it. But in 1939, after finally surrendering to authorities, Bergdoll admitted there was no buried pot of gold. [Pennsylvania Historical Society] Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) Das Can-in-Stein Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 28, 2014 April Fool becomes reality. ThinkGeek first introduced "Das Can-in-Stein" on April 1st, as an April Fool's Day joke. The idea was to insert your beer can into the device so that you could pretend you were drinking from a pewter beer stein. ThinkGeek has now decided to sell this product for real. You can purchase one for $10. Categories: April Fools Day Comments (0) For ZZ Top, life imitates hoax Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 28, 2014 In 2012, a ZZ Top fan made a hoax video that purported to show the trio performing the 1955 folk-country classic "Sixteen Tons" with guitarist Jeff Beck. In a case of life imitating hoax, Jeff Beck and ZZ Top recently performed together in L.A., and they decided to play "Sixteen Tons" — because of the fan's hoax video. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top said, "It’s a mega meta kinda thang. [LA Times] Categories: Music Comments (1) Sailing Stones Explained Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 28, 2014 The Sailing Stones of Death Valley are the real-life counterpart of Dan De Quille's 1867 hoax about the "traveling stones" of Pahranagat Valley. The sailing stones mysteriously move across dried mud, leaving tracks behind them. For a long time, no one knew exactly what made the sailing stones move. But now researchers have figured it out. [Discover] Categories: Science Comments (1) The Shadwell Shams Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 28, 2014 The Spitalfields Life blog has a brief account (with lots of pictures) of the so-called Shadwell Shams. These were supposedly medieval trinkets, specifically pilgrim's badges (tens of thousands of them), that a pair of forgers, William Smith & Charles Eaton (aka Billy & Charley), claimed to have found in the mud along the Thames. The pair did a good business for over 10 years, from 1856 to 1867, managing to completely fool most archaeologists. The article notes that, "today their Shadwell Shams are commonly worth more than the genuine antiquities they forged." Categories: History Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: August 28 Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 28, 2014 August 28, 1972: Clifford Irving Goes to Prison On this day in 1972, Clifford Irving began serving a 2½-year sentence for conspiracy and fraud on account of selling publisher McGraw-Hill a fake autobiography of billionaire Howard Hughes, for which he was paid $750,000. By the time he went to prison, he had returned $500,000 of that money. He was released early after serving 16 months. More… Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) Happy Meal Ouija Board Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 27, 2014 After Amy Bruni (of SyFy's Ghost Hunters) posted on Facebook about how excited she was that McDonald's had decided to offer a Ouija Board as the new Halloween Happy Meal toy, so many people believed her that Snopes debunked the rumor the next day. Categories: Paranormal Comments (0) An interview with a fake news site Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 27, 2014 The American Press Institute interviews the founders of Nipsys News, which is one of those sites that allows anyone to create fake news stories. Most recently Nipsys was responsible for a viral hoax alleging that the the legal drinking age in the U.S. would soon change to 25. The founders of Nipsys gloss over the ethics of what they're doing with some hand-waving about "freedom of expression." But at the end of the interview they offer some advice about how to identify fake news. And it's actually good advice: "We just advise readers to check if the information from the article can be found in other sources as well. Don’t trust just one source." Categories: Journalism Comments (1) Gnome sighting in Pennsylvania Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 27, 2014 Author Keith Sniadach set up a camera in the woods behind his summer cabin in western Pennsylvania, programming the camera to take photos when it detected heat or motion. And recently he found something unusual in the photos it took — a creature that appears to be a "gnome, troll or brownie of some sort." When I first saw the headline for this story on Cryptozoology News I thought it was meant to be a joke. But no. I think Sniadach genuinely wants people to believe that he photographed a gnome. As in, not a garden gnome statue that you might buy from a garden supply store, but a living, breathing gnome. He's provided… Categories: Cryptozoology, Gnomes Comments (6) Pregnancy Hoax Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 27, 2014 Kevin and Becky Clark, who were hoping to adopt a child, were contacted by a woman claiming to be pregnant and hoping to find a couple to adopt it. For over a month the Clarks were in daily contact with the woman, planning the adoption, until she told them the baby was stillborn. But it turned out there was no baby. She had never been pregnant. What makes this unusual is that the hoaxer doesn't seem to have been looking for any money. Instead, she just craved attention. And it wasn't the first time she had done this. [Columbus Dispatch] Categories: Birth/Babies Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: August 27 Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 27, 2014 August 27, 2003: Mars as big as the Moon The news that on this day in 2003 the Earth and Mars would be closer than they had been in 60,000 years (only 56 million km apart) inspired a viral email claiming that on the night of the 27th Mars would "look as large as the full moon" in the sky, and that "No one alive today will ever see this again." Since 2003, this viral email has resurfaced every year as August 27 approaches, despite attempts by NASA (and many others) to debunk it. [NASA] Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) Fake News Hoax: Zimmerman Arrested in Ferguson Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 26, 2014 The latest fake news story gone viral on social media is the claim that George Zimmerman (who shot Trayvon Martin back in 2012) was recently arrested in Ferguson after following two black teenagers out of a Dunkin Donuts and then aiming a handgun at them when they confronted him. The story originated with fake news site National Report. It's completely bogus. [hoax-slayer] Categories: Law/Police/Crime, Social Networking Sites Comments (0) Ebola Rumors Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 26, 2014 Ebola rumors and conspiracy theories are spreading fast in Africa. One rumor is that the disease itself is a hoax invented by governments to boost their power. Another is that drinking salt water can cure the disease. Researchers note that the spread of rumors and conspiracy theories is to be expected in a situation such as a terrifying outbreak, because the rumors are actually "psychologically reassuring," allowing people to restore a feeling of control in the face of an unpredictable threat. [nytimes.com] Categories: Health/Medicine Comments (0) Nessie Explanations Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 26, 2014 Mental Floss has a list of 7 explanations for the Loch Ness Monster. That is, 7 things that people might be seeing and misinterpreting as Nessie. The list is: lake sturgeons, surfacing trees, indigenous eels, mountainous reflections, bird wakes, bubbles produced by seismic activity, and swimming elephants. Over the years, there have been quite a few more explanations than this offered to account for Nessie sightings. And some of the explanations are definitely strange. One of these days I'll get around to producing a full list of them. Categories: Nessie Comments (1) Yellowstone Rumor Control Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 26, 2014 Guides at Yellowstone are having to spend more time debunking rumors because of a large increase in the number of scare stories about the park circulating online. The rumors mostly focus on the Yellowstone supervolcano and the fear that it's about to erupt. One rumor claims the park is being evacuated because of an imminent eruption. Another says the release of high levels of helium from the park's thermal features is a sign the volcano is about to blow. (The helium release is normal). Melting asphalt on the roads is also normal. And bison are not fleeing the park. It's common for them to migrate to lower elevations in search of food. [yellowstonegate.com] Categories: Urban Legends Comments (0) Page 4 of 301 pages ‹ First < 2 3 4 5 6 > Last › Member Login/Password? Forum Posts Researchers claim evidence of Russian Bigfoot— Jack the Ripper named. (again)— Can somebody explain marijuana to me?— My Superior Manly Intelligence— Dog elected Mayor in Minnesota town— Man fined for pretending to be ghost— http://stopmasturbationnow.org/— Database error when I log in— Oh the irony...— Hitler died in Brazil???— Subscribe To receive Hoax Museum blog posts by email, enter your email address:via Feedburner Blog Categories Advertising Animals April Fools Day Art Bad Excuses Birth/Babies Body Manipulation Books Business/Finance Celebrations Celebrities Con Artists Conspiracy Theories Crop Circles Cryptozoology Nessie Death eBay Education Email Hoaxes Entertainment Exploration/Travel Extraterrestrial Life Fake News Fashion Folklore/Tall Tales Food Free Energy Future/Time Gnomes Gross Hate Crimes/Terror Health/Medicine History Identity/Imposters Journalism Law/Police/Crime Literature/Language Magic Mass Delusion Military Miscellaneous Music Paranormal Pareidolia Photos/Videos Places Politics Pranks Products Pseudoscience Psychology Radio Religion Scams Science Sex/Romance Social Networking Sites Sports Technology This Day in History Urban Legends Videos Websites zzPhoto Archive Large Animals viral images Blog Archive September, 2014 August, 2014 July, 2014 June, 2014 May, 2014 April, 2014 March, 2014 February, 2014 January, 2014 December, 2013 November, 2013 October, 2013 September, 2013 August, 2013 May, 2013 April, 2013 March, 2013 February, 2013 January, 2013 October, 2012 September, 2012 August, 2012 July, 2012 June, 2012 May, 2012 April, 2012 March, 2012 February, 2012 January, 2012 December, 2011 November, 2011 October, 2011 September, 2011 August, 2011 November, 2010 April, 2010 January, 2010 December, 2009 November, 2009 October, 2009 September, 2009 August, 2009 July, 2009 June, 2009 May, 2009 April, 2009 March, 2009 February, 2009 January, 2009 December, 2008 November, 2008 October, 2008 September, 2008 August, 2008 July, 2008 June, 2008 May, 2008 April, 2008 March, 2008 February, 2008 January, 2008 December, 2007 November, 2007 October, 2007 September, 2007 August, 2007 July, 2007 June, 2007 May, 2007 April, 2007 March, 2007 February, 2007 January, 2007 December, 2006 November, 2006 October, 2006 September, 2006 August, 2006 July, 2006 June, 2006 May, 2006 April, 2006 March, 2006 February, 2006 January, 2006 December, 2005 November, 2005 October, 2005 September, 2005 August, 2005 July, 2005 June, 2005 May, 2005 April, 2005 March, 2005 February, 2005 January, 2005 December, 2004 November, 2004 October, 2004 September, 2004 August, 2004 July, 2004 June, 2004 May, 2004 April, 2004 March, 2004 February, 2004 January, 2004 December, 2003 November, 2003 October, 2003 September, 2003 August, 2003 July, 2003 June, 2003 May, 2003 January, 2003 November, 2002 October, 2002 September, 2002 August, 2002 July, 2002 The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874 Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend Van Gogh's ear exhibited, 1935 Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'? The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842 BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929 Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951 The Berners Street Hoax, 1810 The Gallery of Fake Viral Images Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966? Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976 Man flies by own lung power, 1934 The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959 Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996 Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974 The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD Paul Krassner's Stereophonic Hoax, 1960 Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps? Site Map Main Page Recent Comments About the Museum Contact Archives Hoax Archive Hoax Photo Archive April Fool Archive Tall-Tale Creatures Forum Old Forum Galleries Top 100 April Fools Hoax Political Candidates Top 10 College Pranks Tests Hoax Photo Tests Gullibility Tests All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.