The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Exploration/Travel
Great Wall of China Visible From Space — Apparently the Great Wall of China is visible from space. This confirms the old myth, but reverses reports from last year stating that the wall wasn't visible. A Chinese astronaut was able to snap a picture of it as he orbited overhead in the space station. Unfortunately it's not very visible. The astronaut wasn't even sure if he had actually photographed it or not. Plus, it turns out that many man-made things are visible from space. Update: Here's a story in China Daily that contains…
Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005.   Comments (33)

The Old Negro Space Program — Conspiracy theorists say that man never landed on the moon, but the truth is even more shocking. As this short documentary film about the Old Negro Space Program reveals, the Blackstronauts of Black 'NASSA' landed on the moon a full three years before White NASA managed to get there. However, this achievement has been covered up by an elaborate 'Black Blackout' in the media. The film manages to capture exactly the right 'Ken Burnsesque' tone. Watch for how they keep repeating 'It was a…
Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005.   Comments (9)

Moon Base Clavius — Moon Base Clavius is "an organization of amateurs and professionals devoted to the Apollo program and its manned exploration of the moon. Our special mission is to debunk the so-called conspiracy theories that state such a landing may never have occurred." Their site is "named after the Clavius Moon Base in Arthur C. Clarke's novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and visualized by Stanley Kubrick in the film of the same name." I've only just begun browsing around their site, but already…
Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2005.   Comments (26)

First Contact Tours — The latest issue of Outside Magazine has an article about the new thing in adventure vacations: a First Contact tour. On these tours, run by guide Kelly Woolford, you get to trek into the rainforest of Papua New Guinea and make contact with a 'Stone Age' tribe that has never met people from the outside world before. Apparently such tribes do still exist (though obviously they won't for long if these tours get more popular). Michael Behar, author of the article, decides to go on one of…
Posted: Thu Feb 10, 2005.   Comments (14)


Trying To Leave Haugesund — A curious bug in Microsoft's MapPoint site has been getting a lot of attention. If you ask for driving directions from Haugesund, Norway to Trondheim, Norway it will send you on a very strange route. Instead of going the direct route between the two cities, it will tell you to first cross the North Sea, drive down through England, cross the Channel, go east across Europe, and up through Sweden and Norway, until you finally arrive at your destination. Playing around with this a bit, I…
Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005.   Comments (12)

Atlantis Found — A lot of people lately seem to be finding the lost city of Atlantis. Back in June a researcher said he located it off the southern coast of Spain by studying satellite images. Then last month US researchers said they found the city off the coast of Cyprus by using sonar technology. But my favorite is the discovery of Atlantis announced yesterday by the Hawaiian Phonics tutor Dennis Brooks. He's studied the issue deeply and has concluded that Atlantis is, in fact, Tampa, Florida. He…
Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004.   Comments (9)

America Looks Beyond — America Looks Beyond is the name of a visionary new project jointly funded by the PEW Charitable Trusts and the Gates Foundation. Armed with a budget of over $1 billion a year, this is what they plan to do: "Starting in 2005, every high school student in America is going to be offered a six-week trip to a third world country. To broaden their horizons. To gain a more intimate understanding of the world. And to fight the global War on Terror in a positive way, through education and…
Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2004.   Comments (8)

Roving Ovines Return — Three and a half years ago Larry and Sean disappeared from their home in Norfolk. Larry and Sean were ornamental sheep. Plywood cutouts covered with a woolly coat. About a week ago they reappeared, much to the delight of their owner, and they brought back with them a letter marked 'Larry and Sean's Holiday Photos,' showing the adventures they had in India. Turns out that Larry and Sean had been sheep-napped by a local man, Joe Claydon, who saw them one night while stumbling home from a…
Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2004.   Comments (3)

Club Med, Croatian-Style — This is probably not a hoax. Just a really bad idea. Croatia is hoping to strike it rich by luring in tourists curious to see what it would be like to spend a couple of days in a hard-labor camp. So they're considering reopening a communist-era prison on a barren island in the Adriatic Sea, and offering it as a tourist destination. They envision "tourists being issued convict uniforms, pounding large stones with a sledgehammer and hauling the pieces on their backs to quarries around the…
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (8)

Fidobag — Here's an odd product from Samsung-Italia. It's the Fidobag. The site explaining the Fidobag is in Italian, but apparently it's a suitcase that will respond to the voice of its owner and come at their command (that would be useful for finding a bag in an airport). Also, if someone tries to steal your bag, all you need do is call out and the Fidobag will start to 'bark' at an intensity of 197.5 decibels, thereby stunning and exposing the would-be thief. Gizmodo offers a more complete…
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004.   Comments (8)

Shallow American Roads — While browsing through the alt.folklore.urban usenet group, I noticed a debate raging over the question of how deep American roads are. Apparently (so the urban legend goes) American roads can only be built to a fairly shallow depth in order to make the land under them more easily reclaimed for farming. By contrast, European roads are built to a much deeper depth. As a consequence, European roads are much more durable than American roads and need fewer repairs. The usenet group didn't…
Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2004.   Comments (13)

Runaway Car — Hicham Dequiedt claims that the reason he had to drive 125 miles at 120 mph, weaving in and out of traffic and speeding down the hard shoulder, was that the cruise control got stuck. Somehow, miraculously, he managed to stop the car just before he would have smashed into a toll booth. His story sounded a little fishy to me the first time I saw it two days ago. And apparently other people think it's fishy as well. Renault, the manufacturer of his car, says that they've examined his…
Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004.   Comments (5)

Back Home — I've finally made it back to San Diego. The vacation was great, but it's good to be back home. I'm also glad to see that the site wasn't completely overrun by spammers in my absence. Here's a few snapshots from the trip: Posing with Nessie in Drumnadrochit. The relatives I was staying with in Gloucester had a weird, mutant goldfish swimming around in their backyard pond. I dubbed it Nessie. Later we learned that the poor fish was suffering from dropsy and had to be put down…
Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2004.   Comments (19)

The Secret History of the Flying Carpet — In late July an essay appeared in the Australian literary journal Meanjin written by Azhar Abidi. It was titled 'The Secret History of the Flying Carpet'. The essay described the discovery of 13th-century Persian scrolls that suggested there was some truth to the old legends of flying carpets. Ancient Persian artisans had apparently discovered a process of boiling fibers in a magnetic clay before weaving them into a carpet. These magnetized fibers then floated above the ground, repelled…
Posted: Tue Aug 10, 2004.   Comments (6)

Worst Named Bus — About a week ago I posted a picture of a 'Big Hairy Fanny' bus that supposedly operates in Finland. I suspected the picture was a fake, and it turns out that my suspicion was correct. Quite a few people commented that they had seen other pictures of the same bus with the name 'Fücker' painted on the side, and today Iain Cartmill sent me a picture of this bus. A quick google search turned up lots of other images of it, as well as the website of the Fücker travel company, based in…
Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2004.   Comments (17)

Finland Fanny Bus — This image may have been circulating around for a while, but I just got it in my email for the first time today. It purports to show the 'worst named bus company in Finland.' That would be the 'Big Hairy Fanny' Bus Line. I've come across oddly named bus lines before (specifically the Lamers bus company that operates in Wisconsin), but I refuse to believe that there's really a bus company in Finland calling itself Big Hairy Fanny. My suspicion is that the picture was photoshopped (it's…
Posted: Tue Jul 06, 2004.   Comments (9)

Motorcycle Trip Through Chernobyl — A month or two ago a woman named Elena posted a travelogue on the web about her solitary motorcycle ride through the deserted area around Chernobyl. With all the eerie pictures she took of the abandoned, irradiated 'ghost town,' her travelogue quickly became one of the most linked-to sites on the net. Now there are accusations that her travelogue wasn't completely honest. Apparently she didn't go around alone on a motorcycle. She went in a car with her husband and a friend. Elena…
Posted: Fri May 21, 2004.   Comments (43)

Fake Vacation Photo Generator — Inspired by an entry I wrote last year about a growing trend in Italy of taking fake vacations (i.e. people can't afford to go anywhere, so they just tell everyone they went away, while they really spend the whole time at home), Michaela Eaves has created this Fake Vacation Photo Generator, to help people embellish their fake vacation stories with fake vacation photos. Thanks, Michaela. This will come in handy on my 'trip' to Hawaii later this year.
Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004.   Comments (2)

New Atlantic Tunnel — The new Atlantic Tunnel will open in September 2009. It's being built by the Atlantic Tunnel Corporation (who else?). Check out their website to learn all about this amazing feat of engineering. You can even enter a competition to win a trip on the first train through the tunnel. There's a rumor that the London ad agency TBWAGGT is also somehow involved in this.
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2004.   Comments (9)

Caravaners Revolt — Bob and Denise are caravaners. In other words, they live in a caravan as they drive around the country. But they resent the way non-caravanners treat them. For instance, the way people in flashy sports cars sometimes make rude gestures as they speed by their caravan on the road. So Bob and Denise are organizing a campaign "to secure equality and respect for caravanners." They're hoping to mastermind a 'ring of aluminum' that will circle London on June 5th, created by thousands of…
Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2004.   Comments (0)

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