The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Exploration/Travel
Back Home
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 26, 2004
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 before…
The Secret History of the Flying Carpet
Posted by The Curator on Tue Aug 10, 2004
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 by the Earth's own magnetism. According to the scrolls, the fledgling flying carpet industry was driven out of existence by horse and camel breeders worried about future competition. This all sounds pretty fantastic, and it obviously is. But nevertheless, Abidi's…
Worst Named Bus
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 13, 2004
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 Germany (click on the 'Die Busflotte' button…
Finland Fanny Bus
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 06, 2004
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 pretty easy to insert text into pictures). Or perhaps there really is a bus touring around somewhere with 'Big…
Motorcycle Trip Through Chernobyl
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 21, 2004
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 defends herself, admitting that much of her story was 'more poetry' than reality, but noting that most of it was still reality. I'm…
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Places Comments (43)
Fake Vacation Photo Generator
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 05, 2004
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.
New Atlantic Tunnel
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 01, 2004
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.
Caravaners Revolt
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 28, 2004
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 caravanners going slow as they drive along the M25 that circles London. That's all well and good, but something smells fishy about Bob and Denise. They're just a little…
Voyage of Hollow Earth Discovery
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 19, 2004
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. Steve Currey, of Steve Currey's Expedition Company, has announced that he will be chartering a Russian nuclear icebreaker and sailing up…
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (7)
Where Is My Gnome, Part 2
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 08, 2004
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.
Go Lamers
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 06, 2004
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.
Categories: Exploration/Travel Comments (2)
Where Is My Gnome
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 28, 2003
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.'"
Hi-Brazil
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 12, 2003
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 over the next few weeks I'll be adding these hoaxes to the site. For the first hoax I'm going…
Skyhigh Airlines
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 30, 2003
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 radio ads for Skyhigh Airlines (that reveal themselves to be ads for Alaska Airlines before they're over).
Lake Michigan Whale Watching
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 21, 2003
Lake Michigan Whale Watching: One of the best guarded secrets of the Great Lakes
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