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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Exploration/Travel
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)

Voyage of Hollow Earth Discovery — In 1818 John Cleves Symmes, Jr. issued a pamphlet declaring his intention to travel to the Arctic in order to find the polar hole that would lead down into the hollow earth. He urged his fellow countrymen to join him on his quest. He had quite a few takers, but somehow funding for the voyage never materialized. But if you're bummed that you were born too late to join Symmes on his fanciful voyage, never fear. Because now a new, modern-day hollow earther has issued another call to arms.…
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2004.   Comments (7)

Where Is My Gnome, Part 2 — A lot of people have been emailing me to let me know that the Where Is My Gnome site is part of a viral web campaign by Travelocity, but I've been too busy and never got around to updating that entry. But here's an article that explains the Gnome campaign.
Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2004.   Comments (2)

Go Lamers — Would you take a ride with a bus company called Lamers? It sounds like a joke, but it's not. It's just a company with an odd name.
Posted: Tue Jan 06, 2004.   Comments (2)

Where Is My Gnome — Bill has lost his garden gnome. Someone stole it from his lawn. Now he's hoping that you can help him find it. There's even a 1-800 number you can call if you have any info, but Dani, who told me about the site, reports that if you call the number "a nervous sounding man asks you to leave a message if you have information about his gnome, then before the beep, he says 'Mom, if this is you, hang up now.'"
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003.   Comments (1)

Hi-Brazil — When I was writing up the book version of The Museum of Hoaxes, there were quite a few hoaxes that, for one reason or another, I had to leave out. I went so far as to write up descriptions of many hoaxes that I later had to cut from the book, in order to keep the book's length manageable. All these discarded hoaxes have been sitting on my hard drive for over a year now, but I've decided to put them all up here on the website. I should have done it sooner, but laziness got in the way. So…
Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

Skyhigh Airlines — Here's a new hoax website that's making the rounds: Skyhigh Airlines. It's motto is 'Flying More. Caring Less.' I love their Challenge Seating Innovation. You fight with other passengers for the seat you want. Also check out the list of cities they fly out of. Where else can you get a roundtrip ticket from Araz Stage Stop, CA to Smeltertown, TX? The site appears to have been created by Alaska Airlines, as part of a new humor-themed advertising campaign. There are accompanying TV and…
Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2003.   Comments (1)

Lake Michigan Whale Watching — Lake Michigan Whale Watching: One of the best guarded secrets of the Great Lakes
Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003.   Comments (0)

Fake Names on Air Canada — Flight attendants on Air Canada are all going to start wearing fake names on their name tags, as a security measure. So your stewardess could now be Xena, Warrior Princess or Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2003.   Comments (0)

Tourist Flights to Mars — This story is five years old (dating back to 1998) but someone just sent it to me anyway. It details what appears to be a case of extreme gullibility. But a search on Lexis-Nexis for any newspaper report of this scam occurring in the past twenty years turned up nothing—except for skeptical references to this same email. So I've got to conclude that the case this email describes is just an urban legend. This person posting on SpaceFuture.com's message board back in 1998 agrees. Here's…
Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2003.   Comments (2)

Fake Vacations — Many Italians are too embarrassed to admit that they can't afford to go on vacation, so they take fake vacations instead (i.e. tell everyone they're going away, then sit in their room with a sunlamp).
Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2003.   Comments (2)

Burning Man Hoax — I've never been to the Burning Man festival, but from what I hear it would be fair to call it representative of hippie culture. You go out into the desert for a few days, smoke dope, listen to music, and generally let it all hang out. So imagine the horror of Burning Man devotees when they come across this website offering a package tour to the festival. The deal included an air-conditioned tent and front-row seats at the festival. It smacked of yuppie/corporate encroachment. But the…
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003.   Comments (0)

Balloons in Space — I just read about this British plan to fly a hot-air balloon right up to the very edge of space. The balloon pilots will have to wear spacesuits to protect them from the low air pressure and cosmic rays at that elevation. Of course, they've already been beaten out by Hans Pfaall who rode a hot air balloon all the way to the moon back in 1835.
Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2003.   Comments (0)

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