The Hoax Museum Blog
For Sale: The Minnesota Iceman
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 21, 2013
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. I have no idea who bought it, but if they were willing to pay that much, they must have felt pretty sure…
Bigfoot researcher finds novel way to get published
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 20, 2013
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 problem: her Bigfoot-DNA paper is the one and only article this "journal" has ever published. A Texas Geneticist Apparently Invented a Science Journal to Publish Her DNA Proof of Bigfoot dallasobserver.com…
Bigfoot For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 26, 2012
Here's another item that would make a great addition to a real-life Museum of Hoaxes. It's a life-sized replica of Bigfoot. It was up for sale on eBay. The sellers wanted $80,000 for it, and no one came up with that much money, so the auction ended without it being sold. It's a nice piece. Would have looked great in my living room. But I have no idea how they came up with a value of $80,000 for it. Seems a bit like wishful thinking. From the auction description: In 1976, after years of study and research, a young man named Clifford LaBrecque undertook a challenge that stunned the Bigfoot world.…
Ithamar Sprague, a 19th Century Mormon Bigfoot Hoaxer
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 06, 2012
I've previously noted a connection between Mormon folklore and Bigfoot — namely that some Mormons believe Bigfoot to be the Biblical figure Cain, condemned to walk the earth forever (and apparently grown big and hairy). But I recently came across another Mormon/Bigfoot connection. Back around 1870, there was a Mormon settler named Ithamar Sprague who lived in the town of Washington, Utah. He terrified his fellow town's folk by creating giant wooden feet, three-feet long, that he used to place monster footprints all over town during the night. Rumors began to spread about a terrifying creature loose in the region. A posse was organized to hunt the beast down, but Sprague confessed before the situation got…
Sonar Image Shows Nessie… or Algae
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 23, 2012
Marcus Atkinson, skipper of a Loch Ness tourist boat, noticed something strange on his sonar fish finder: a long, snake-like object at a depth of 75 ft. (In the image, the green line to the left of the number 25.) So he quickly snapped a picture of the sonar screen with his mobile phone. The picture recently won him bookmaker William Hill's Best Nessie Sighting of The Year Award. Of course, the scientists have to throw cold water on the excitement of all the Nessie fans. Dr Simon Boxall, of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, says: The image shows a bloom of algae and zooplankton that would exist…
Canadian artist makes Bigfoot track shoes
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 18, 2012
Montreal-based artist Maskull Lasserre has designed shoes that make footprints in the ground as you walk along, instead of shoe prints. He's got a human-footprint shoe, but also a bigfoot-print shoe. He's quoted as saying: 'Living now in the city, I found a strange kind of loneliness seeing only human shoe prints in the puddles and snow. 'This project was my way of introducing a sort of mysterious possibility to the urban landscape, for those who happened upon it. 'But I admit that I just couldn't resist making a Bigfoot track.' It doesn't seem that the shoes are available for purchase because each shoe is hand-carved. He shows them at art exhibitions,…
Icelandic Worm Monster
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 25, 2012
Earlier this month, Icelandic resident Hjörtur E. Kjerúlf was having coffee in his house near Lake Lagarfljót, when he spotted something moving in the water. He immediately picked up his camera and started recording (link: Iceland Review). Below is the video he took. Is it evidence of the existence of the Lagarfljót Worm -- the giant worm monster said to live in Lake Lagarfljót? Or is it just a piece of fishing net floating in the water? The worm monster, or Lagarfljótsormur, is Iceland's equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster. The legend of it is centuries old. Wikipedia offers this account of…
The Owlman of Mawnan
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 24, 2012
This Is Cornwall has a brief article about the "Owlman of Mawnan." They write: The first sighting occurred in April of that year. Don Melling, who was holidaying in the area, said that on April 17 his young daughters, June and Vicky, were walking through woods near Mawnan church when they saw a "half-man half-owl" hovering above the church. The incident is suspected to be a hoax because Tony "Doc" Shiels became involved. He was the first person Melling told about the sighting, and then became the source for various illustrations of the Owlman. Shiels already has a place in the Hoax Museum because he was the source of the "Loch Ness Muppet"…
The Buxton Mermaid
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 16, 2012
An old mermaid was recently found, stored in the archives of the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, and a research team from the University of Lincoln decided to examine it. So far they've discovered that its hair is human, its upper body is constructed of wood and wire, its teeth are carved bone, and its eyes are mollusc shell. Future tests will determine what fish its tail came from. (link: BBC News) At first I thought it looked like the Bloomsbury Mermaid (pictured below). But no, they're definitely different mermaids. Though similar in design. (Thanks, Hudson!)
The Ingushetia Yeti
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 02, 2012
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 Abominable Snowman, and others say that it's a great ape. But honestly, I've never seen anything like it."
Is Nessie a Phantimal?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 31, 2011
An article by Nick Redfern on mania.com discusses the theory that the Loch Ness Monster (and Bigfoot) may be "phantimals". That is, "the spirits or ghosts of creatures that became extinct thousands of years ago." This theory is promoted by paranormal expert Joshua P. Warren, author of Pet Ghosts, who argues that "the world’s most famous lake-monster, Nessie, might actually represent some form of 'ghostly plesiosaur,' rather than a literal, living animal or colony of animals." Nice theory. But what I found more interesting was the next part of the article, in which Redfern discusses the research of Jim Marrs, author of PSI Spies, who learned that during some of the U.S. government's experiments with
What really lurks in Loch Ness
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 10, 2009
Apparently, it's golf balls. From cnn.com: It seems the simple plastic golf ball is increasingly becoming a major litter problem. The scale of the dilemma was underlined recently in Scotland, where scientists -- who scoured the watery depths in a submarine hoping to discover evidence of the prehistoric Loch Ness monster -- were surprised to find hundreds of thousands of golf balls lining the bed of the loch. It is thought tourists and locals have used the loch as an alternative driving range for many years. It would be kind of sad if Nessie died choking on a golf ball.
RIP Robert Rines
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 02, 2009
Nessie Hunter Robert Rines died of heart failure yesterday in his Boston home. From Boston.com: He was 87 and had spent the past 37 years lending his hefty intellectual bona fides to the search for a creature in the waters of Loch Ness. "It looked like the back of an elephant," he told the Globe in 1997, recalling that moment in 1972 when he looked out the window of a friend's house in Scotland during a tea party and watched the curve of something he couldn't identify repeatedly disturb the water's surface. "I know there was a big unknown thing in that lake. That's why I haven't let go."
Natural History Museum to provide positive identification of Nessie
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 16, 2009
According to the Daily Mail, recently released documents from the archives of the British Natural History Museum reveal that in 1987 the Museum struck a deal with the bookmaker William Hill. The Museum agreed that, should the body of the Loch Ness Monster ever be found, the Museum would provide "positive identification." Only if it receives a positive id, will the bookmaker pay out on bets about the creature's existence. (It offers odds of 500/1 on the Loch Ness Monster being found within a year.) It seems like a pretty good deal for the Museum, since the bookmaker pays them £1,000 per year to maintain the contract.
Alien Baby or Hoax?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 04, 2009
I'm guessing it's a hoax: The Daily Telegraph reports on an ongoing controversy about a "baby alien" discovered in Mexico in 2007. It was supposedly discovered by a farmer who drowned it out of fear. This farmer later burned to death in a parked car (killed by the baby's parents?). Scientists are said to be baffled by the creature.