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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Exploration/Travel
Fake Vacation Plagiarism? — Turns out there's some controversy surrounding Zilla van den Born's fake vacation (see previous post). Another art student, Merel Brugman, says that Zilla stole the idea from her, because two years ago, while Merel was at the Willem de Kooning Academy, she did an art project that was almost identical. Merel's project was called "Same Same But Different" and also involved simulating a vacation in Asia via photoshopped pictures. There's an article (in Dutch) about the controversy here. And details of Merel Brugman's project are on her site.
Posted: Wed Sep 10, 2014.   Comments (0)

Zilla’s Fake-ation — Zilla van den Born told her friends and family that she was going on a 5-week holiday to Southeast Asia. She waved goodbye to her family at the airport. And then for the next 5 weeks all her Facebook friends got to see photos of Zilla enjoying her awesome vacation. But the reality was that Zilla never left Amsterdam. She remained there in an apartment with her boyfriend, and the two of them spent their time creating fake vacation photos to post on Facebook. Many of the photos were photoshopped. For instance, Zilla took an underwater photo of herself in a swimming pool, and then… Continue…
Posted: Wed Sep 10, 2014.   Comments (1)

Miss Travel—flying beautiful people around the world for free. Real or Fake? — Miss Travel calls itself "The #1 Travel Dating Site." But I'm not sure how many other travel dating sites there are. Is it the only one? The premise is that if you're an attractive person (but most likely a woman) who likes to travel, they'll pair you with a "generous" traveler who wants a traveling companion (a rich guy). So it's like a high-class escort service, trading travel for "companionship." The concept seemed a bit dubious to me, but as far as I can tell the site is…
Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012.   Comments (1)

Study finds that chivalry at sea is a myth. Men survive shipwrecks at much higher rate than women. — If you're a woman, don't expect much help from men during a shipwreck. In fact, the men are likely to be shoving the women out of the way in their eagerness to save themselves. That's the general message of a new study by Swedish economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson, "Every Man for Himself! Gender, Norms and Survival in Maritime Disasters." Women fare worst on British ships — contrary to the tradition of British chivalry. The one exception to this rule was the Titanic, where…
Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012.   Comments (0)


Those French beaches look great, because they’re really in Hawaii — France's tourism agency has been embarrassed after it's been revealed that a whole series of photos it's been using to promote French beaches don't actually show French locations at all. They're stock photos, taken in Hawaii and South Africa, in the background of which the tourism agency sometimes photoshopped sections of French coastline. It seems stupid since France has some great scenery, but the tourism agency was apparently too cheap to hire a photographer to take photos of any of…
Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012.   Comments (0)

Myths of the Titanic — The BBC has an interesting article about myths associated with the Titanic. The five myths they list, summarized, are: The unsinkability of the Titanic: "the White Star Line never made any substantive claims that the Titanic was unsinkable - and nobody really talked about the ship's unsinkability until after the event"The band played Nearer, My God, To Thee: The band probably did play on deck as the ship sank, but there's no good evidence that their final song was 'Nearer, My God, To…
Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2012.   Comments (3)

The Adventures of the Little Cardiff Giant in New Zealand — The Little Cardiff Giant recently wound up his travels through New Zealand. Some pictures are below. As you may remember, his world tour started in Southern California, then he went to Perth, and then NZ. His next stop, if all goes according to plan, is Melbourne. My administrative duties as the coordinator of his tour went a little awry at first. I should have created a master list of everyone who volunteered to host him, but instead I just let emails accumulate. So now I'm…
Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2012.   Comments (7)

Ghetto Hikes — The author of "Ghetto Hikes," which is a twitter feed and accompanying website, offers this description of it: I'm 28. I have a full time job leading urban kids (of all races) on nature hikes. I simply write down shit they say. It's kind of obvious that it's a parody in the style of "Shit My Dad Says," but the Village Voice confirms it isn't real: Looks like Ghetto Hikes is a parody account -- and an unfunny one at that. According to a just-released tweet, Men's Humor and Ghetto Hikes…
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2012.   Comments (0)

The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941 — Source: eBay In 1941, Tommy Graham employed a clever, but slightly duplicitous, technique to get rides as he hitchhiked from Maryland to California. He used an oil can as a suitcase, so that drivers thought his car had broken down and stopped to help him out. I wonder if this technique would work today. Do people even pick up hitchhikers anymore? from The Bradford Era, Nov. 4, 1941
Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2012.   Comments (4)

Cardiff Giant in Perth — Here are some pictures, courtesy of Nettie and Smerk, of the Cardiff Giant enjoying the sights in Perth. (Nettie sent me the pictures about three weeks ago, but Thanksgiving and the moon hoax distracted me. At least, that's the excuse for my slowness that I'm going with.) So where should the Cardiff Giant go next? Any volunteers to host him? I'm hoping it might be possible to send him somewhere in the general neighborhood of Australia.…
Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2011.   Comments (6)

Cardiff Giants Invade Pasadena — I use Google news alerts to find out whenever various keywords I'm interested in appear in news stories or on websites. One of these keywords is "Cardiff Giant". This particular keyword search doesn't usually generate many results. Perhaps one or two a week. But on friday night my patience was rewarded when I got a google news alert about the creation of a new site: cardiff1869.com. The site is the creation of a Pasadena-based artist who chooses to remain anonymous, using the alias…
Posted: Sun Oct 09, 2011.   Comments (9)

MOH chosen as one of America’s Kitschiest Roadside Attractions — It's official. American Express's Travel and Leisure Magazine has chosen the Museum of Hoaxes as one of America's Kitschiest Roadside Attractions. We're honored to be recognized in this way!
Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011.   Comments (9)

Gravity-Defying Message in a Bottle — Looks like another case of the old Message in a Bottle hoax. Two years ago 4-year-old Libbi Wallace threw a bottled message into the Kennebec River, inspired by her dad's tales of doing so as a kid. According to Maine's The Times Record, she recently received a reply from someone who claimed to have found her bottle while kayaking on Lake Erie. Her correspondent chose to remain anonymous, identifying themselves only as "Surprised in Cleveland." But as Brian Bienkowski of the Great…
Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011.   Comments (5)

The Hotelicopter — The premise: According to Hotelicopter.com, a giant helicopter (a Soviet-made Mil V-12) has been transformed into a flying hotel: The Hotelicopter features 18 luxuriously-appointed rooms for adrenaline junkies seeking a truly unique and memorable travel experience. Each soundproofed room is equipped with a queen-sized bed, fine linens, a mini-bar, coffee machine, wireless internet access, and all the luxurious appointments you’d expect from a flying five star hotel. Room service is…
Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009.   Comments (10)

Man mails himself from New York to Las Vegas — Doing some catchup here on hoaxes I've missed: Wade Whitcomb claimed he squeezed himself into a cramped wooden crate and mailed himself via UPS from New York to Las Vegas. Because this would violate a number of laws, it attracted the attention of the FBI, who interviewed Whitcomb, who then promptly admitted he had made the entire thing up. "We have no further interest in this," said the FBI spokesman. And nor, frankly, do I. (Thanks, Bob!)
Posted: Fri Mar 13, 2009.   Comments (0)

Is “Where the Hell is Matt” a hoax? — Time magazine listed the Where The Hell Is Matt? video (which shows Matt Harding doing an odd little dance in various locations around the world) as the #1 viral video of 2008. But at a conference on December 11, Harding confessed that the video was just a hoax. He said the whole thing had been shot in front of a green screen, and that animatronic mannequins had been used to make it look like people were dancing with him. Check out the full video of his confession: Now, when I watch…
Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009.   Comments (13)

Gays must leave the plane — Posted recently by Tobester in the Hoax Forum: I couldn't resist doing some research on this. Here's what I found. a) It's definitely an urban legend. b) I can't find any record of it ever appearing in the New York Times. c) The earliest mention of it I can find in print dates back to July 10, 2000, when it was discussed in the Sydney Morning Herald. Apparently, in a version circulating back then, they were identified as the source of the tale. They denied this, pointed out the…
Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2008.   Comments (6)

Fly Derrie-Air — Derrie-Air claims to be the world's only carbon-neutral luxury airline. From its website: Welcome to Derrie-Air, the world's only carbon-neutral luxury airline, where you don't have to choose between living the high life and saving the planet. Nine out of ten scientists agree—we need to reduce our carbon emissions or perish from the face of the earth. Air travel is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions and global warming. Derrie-Air will be the only airline that plants trees…
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008.   Comments (7)

Diesel Trees — With the price of gas going through the roof, there's been a lot of interest in alternative fuel supplies. For instance, various schemes to use water as a fuel have been getting renewed interest. But a new idea (at least, new to me) is the Diesel Tree. This is a tree that directly produces diesel fuel. All you have to do is tap the tree (just as you would tap a maple tree for its syrup), then fill up your tank with the oil, and you're good to go. From treehugger.com: the Brazilian…
Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008.   Comments (4)

The Bus Stop to Nowhere — This is a little sad, but odd. There's a bus stop located outside the Benrath Senior Centre in Dusseldorf. People occasionally walk up to the stop and stand there, waiting for a bus, but a bus never comes. In fact, the stop is on no bus route. It's a faux bus stop, purposefully created by the local department of transportation as a lure designed to deceive Alzheimer's patients from the senior centre. From telegraph.co.uk: “It sounds funny,” said Old Lions Chairman Franz-Josef Goebel,…
Posted: Wed Jun 04, 2008.   Comments (11)

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