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Category: Death
Jeff Goldblum isn’t dead, nor is Harrison Ford
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 26, 2009
In the wake of the news of the death of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, a rumor that Jeff Goldblum had also died began to circulate. Reportedly he died when he fell off a cliff while filming a movie in New Zealand. Then a rumor surfaced that Harrison Ford had died on board a yacht cruising off the coast of St. Tropez. Both Ford and Goldblum are still alive. In fact, the Goldblum rumor was simply a rehash of a three-year-old rumor that originally involved Tom Hanks falling off a cliff, and later Tom Cruise. Maegan has posted more details in the forum. Some links:…
Categories: Celebrities, Death Comments (0)
Michael Jackson Dies… For Real
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 25, 2009
It appears that Michael Jackson has died, which is only worth mentioning here because in addition to being the "King of Pop," he was also the King of the fake death rumor. Even The Onion satirically predicted his death back in 2005. But this time, it seems to be for real. Now the "he faked his death" rumors can start.
Categories: Celebrities, Death Comments (10)
China’s Fountain of Youth
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 15, 2009
ABC News has a report on the village of Bama, "China's Fountain of youth." People there are said to live unusually long lives. Out of the population of 500, six people are over 100 years old. The locals attribute this longevity to pure water (which is "a striking blue because of low alkilinity"), simple home-grown food, and a special magnetic field. Bama has become a big tourist destination in China. Billboards promote its special powers. New hotels are being constructed there. And you can shop at a store that sells products labeled "The 100-year-old Man." But the key phrase in the report is that "there are no birth…
Categories: Death, Health/Medicine Comments (9)
Online Pseuicides
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 09, 2009
Howard Swains recently reported in Wired on the phenomenon of fake online deaths. He writes: Many online tales of death and suffering are works of complete fiction, "pseuicides" dressed up as real-life catastrophes. Some are contrived to titillate or garner attention, some result from something more serious, and some are the result of a uniquely modern psychiatric disorder known as Munchausen by internet. And: In two investigations between 2007 and 2009, I encountered countless examples of fake deaths in…
Categories: Death, Identity/Imposters Comments (7)
Tila Tequila Not Dead
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 14, 2009
You can breathe a sigh of relief. Tila Tequila is not dead, despite the "tweet" posted on her twitter account claiming that someone had broken into her house and killed her and her dog. Seems that someone had hacked into her account. I have no idea who Tila Tequila is. I'm guessing she's some kind of D-list celebrity. [binside]
Fake death and fake funeral
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 09, 2009
Faye Shilling is accused of not only buying life insurance policies for people who didn't exist, but also of holding fake funerals for their (fake) deaths. She would fill the casket with "various materials" to make it the right weight, then bury it. And then, because she was afraid authorities would somehow later find an empty casket, she would file fake documents to indicate the body had been exhumed and then file more fake documents to show it had been cremated. [Daily Breeze]
Categories: Death, Scams Comments (1)
New Lincoln Death Photos
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 08, 2009
After President Lincoln died, there was a huge demand for photos of him lying in his casket. However, the army didn't allow any photos to be taken. As a result, a lot of fake Lincoln death photos appeared. I've posted about this before, and I have an example of a fake Lincoln death photo in the Hoax Photo Database. Mary Curtis just sent me an old newspaper clipping describing some Lincoln death photos owned by her grandmother. Unfortunately, no one knows where the photos are now. According to the clipping, she kept them "in a bank vault in a nearby town."…
Categories: Death, Photos/Videos Comments (7)
Fake Grave
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 06, 2009
Deacon Freeman Moore doesn't think that the fake grave someone dug behind his church was a funny prank. It had a black, wooden cross at one end, with the name "Eli" on it. He called the police, who did a bit of digging before deciding it was a hoax. [ajc.com]
Categories: Death, Pranks Comments (1)
The Mona Lisa Suicide
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 27, 2008
Occasionally I've run across references to a French artist who supposedly committed suicide because he was driven mad by the mystery of the Mona Lisa's smile. There aren't many details to the story. The Telegraph, in an article from 2003, summarizes the entire tale: On June 23, 1852, a young French artist, Luc Maspero, threw himself from the fourth floor window of his Paris hotel. In a final letter, he wrote: "For years I have grappled desperately with [Mona Lisa's] smile. I prefer to die." Many articles about the Mona…
Categories: Art, Death Comments (4)
Mystery Coffin
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 19, 2008
A woman walking her dog in the Welsh countryside recently found an empty coffin sitting in the middle of a field. The coffin had a note in it: "Jump in, you're next." No one knows who put the coffin there, but the likely suspects are local students since it's freshman week and there have been other pranks in the region, such as "a tree full of knickers and a young driver sticky taped into his car." Link: North Wales Chronicle
Categories: Death, Pranks Comments (4)
Ken Campbell and the Royal Dickens Company
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 11, 2008
Ken Campbell recently died at the age of 66. The Telegraph's obituary describes him as "an actor, writer and director of wilful eccentricity" who worked in experimental theater. However, he was perhaps best known for a hoax he pulled off in 1980, when he sent around letters announcing that the Royal Shakespeare Company was renaming itself the Royal Dickens Company. I couldn't find a good description of this hoax online (and, unfortunately, I've never gotten around to writing one up... so many hoaxes, so little time). So here's an account of the hoax from Nick Yapp's book Great Hoaxes of the World:
Did Steve Fossett fake his death?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 28, 2008
That's the latest rumor. The Telegraph reports: Lieutenant Colonel Cynthia Ryan of the US Civil Air Patrol has said Fossett, whose body or plane was never found, could still be alive. She said: "I've been doing this search and rescue for 14 years. Fossett should have been found. "It's not like we didn't have our eyes open. We found six other planes while we were looking for him. We're pretty good at what we do." Some anomalies about his disappearance: Only one person saw him take off. He took no emergency equipment. He…
Categories: Death Comments (12)
Well-Dying Courses
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 22, 2008
Suicide has become such a problem in South Korea that many companies, including Samsung and Hyundai, are sending their employees on "well-dying" courses, which involve writing out your will and faking your own funeral. Somehow this is supposed to prevent suicide. From the Financial Times: Before they are "buried", participants are asked to pose for their funeral portrait. Participants enter a "death experience room" where they choose a coffin and put on a "death robe". Course members get into their coffins and a flower is laid on each person's…
Categories: Death Comments (7)
Your classmate has died—but not really
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 04, 2008
I've previously noted a few cases where extreme shock tactics were used to teach a lesson. (See Fake Attack at Elementary School and Fake Terrorism Drill.) The following case isn't as bad as those earlier examples, but it still comes across as creepy for officials to trick students into believing their classmate had died in order to teach a lesson about drunk driving. From signonsandiego.com: Many juniors and seniors were driven to tears – a few to near hysterics – May 26 when a uniformed police officer arrived in several classrooms to notify them that…
Categories: Death, Law/Police/Crime Comments (22)
Woman claims to be 120
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2008
Mariam Amash, who lives in the village of Jisr a-Zarka in Israel, claims that she is 120 years old. Her claim recently surfaced when she applied for a new Israeli identity card. She might be telling the truth. Apparently she has a birth certificate issued by Turkish authorities, who ruled Jisr a-Zarka back in 1888 when Amash says she was born. She also has eleven children, the eldest one being in her late 80s. So assuming that her children aren't lying about their ages, Amash would have to be at least over 100 years old. If Amash really is 120, that would make her the…
Categories: Death, Health/Medicine Comments (2)
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