The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Hate Crimes/Terror
A Visit from the Secret Service
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 01, 2004
A couple of stories about writers receiving visits from the Secret Service have been getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere, and a lot of people have been wondering if they're real or fake. The first case involves fanfic writer Annie Sewell-Jennings who posted an entry on her blog in which she satirically prayed that Bush would die. A couple of weeks later, according to her, "the Secret Service showed up on my mother's front door to talk to me about what I said about the President, as what I said could apparently be misconstrued as a threat to his life. After about ten minutes of talking to me and my family, they quickly came to the…
Transformers Comic Book Predicted 9/11
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 23, 2004
Here's something that brings back memories of the Nostradamus predictions that swirled around in the weeks after 9/11. Some guy is claiming that comic book artist Simon Furman predicted 9/11 in a Transformers comic book published on Sep. 14, 1991. His main proof: a picture of a transformer (rodimus prime) hanging between the destroyed towers of the World Trade Center. He's selling the comic book that contains this picture (as well as some other stuff) on eBay UK. He launches into some convoluted explanation of other ways in which his Transformers comic book predicted 9/11, and then he winds up his sales pitch with this startling, though…
Hoax Execution and ABC News
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 07, 2004
Today ABC News sent a camerateam around to my house to interview me about the hoax execution of Benjamin Vanderford. Vanderford used special-effects to stage his own execution by Islamic militants, then uploaded footage of the scene onto file-sharing networks, and waited for the media to bite. It took three months, but the media finally did bite, reporting it as an actual execution yesterday. At which point, Vanderford confessed to the hoax. I got a call from ABC this morning asking if I'd be willing to do an interview. I had only just read about Vanderford's hoax a few minutes before they called, but I said sure, why not. About an hour later the camerateam was there. I…
Fake Terrorism Drill
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 05, 2004
This should win some kind of award for stupidity. Government officials in Carter County, Tenn. were settling down to their meeting about property taxes when armed intruders burst into the room, fired shots into the air, and proceeded to take hostages. "There will be no new taxes, everyone here is going to vote no," one intruder shouted. People panicked and rushed for cover. But no need. Turns out it was just a "drill" orchestrated by the local Emergency Management Director. Problem is, while the Director had told a few people there was going to be some kind of exercise, he hadn't warned anyone about the nature of it. Maybe it's just me, but I can't imagine that the…
Terror in the Skies
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 16, 2004
A story published on the Women Wall Street website about a possible new terrorist threat has been setting the blosophere abuzz. The story, written by Annie Jacobsen, describes her experiences on a four-hour plane ride during which a group of 14 Syrian men began to act suspiciously (in her eyes), whispering to each other and making frequent trips to the bathroom. After the plane landed, Jacobsen did some investigating and learned that authorities are worried about gangs of terrorists separately carrying aboard the parts needed to make a bomb, and then assembling the bombs onboard in the bathroom. However, the Syrians on Jacobsen's flight were apparently just a group of musicians. A lot of
Some Terror and War Related Hoaxes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 16, 2004
While I was away in Virginia I got behind on posting and didn't note some terror/war related hoaxes occurring in the news. So for the sake of completeness, here's a quick rundown of these stories. First we had Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, a soldier in Iraq suspected of faking his own abduction (tip: if you're going to fake your abduction, don't call your family on your cellphone while you're supposed to be abducted). Then there was the bizarre case of American soldier-of-fortune types in Afghanistan who set up a fake prison in order to interrogate people they grabbed off the street whom they thought might be al-qaeda members.…
Terror Email Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 10, 2004
A lot of people in New York have been getting an email warning them not to ride the subways this Friday because terrorists may be planning a big attack. It's your typical I-heard-it-from-a-friend-of-a-friend nonsense, laced with a liberal helping of numerology (Friday being 6/11, WTC attack 9/11, Madrid bombing 3/11), plus bogus information (the city hasn't ordered a couple thousand extra body bags). You can read the full email over at Gawker. The New York City Police insist that they have no knowledge of an impending attack.
Abu Ghraib Prison Fantasy Camp
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 11, 2004
Something like this was inevitable, I suppose. It's the Abu Ghraib Iraqi Prison Fantasy Camp, situated in scenic Mountain Home, Idaho. I'm assuming this was inspired by Rush Limbaugh's recent comments about the torture scandal. According to the website: "Just want to 'blow off some steam' (as Rush Limbaugh so correctly put it)? Abu Ghraib Fantasy Camp is here for you! (actual opening date set for Summer '04). At Abu Ghraib Fantasy Camp... you'll find dozens of 'Iraqi prisoners' you'll be able to 'discipline.' Don't worry, they (and you) will be perfectly safe. Unlike in Iraq, we've taken every precaution to protect your safety." Update: It…
Updates from the War Against Terror
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 02, 2004
Here are a couple of news reports that are deeply disturbing on many different levels. First, a story from Macedonia where the police have admitted that seven Pakistani 'terrorists' they gunned down two years weren't terrorists at all. The seven men were actually completely innocent would-be immigrants who were lured to Macedonia with the promise of being granted access to Western Europe. The Macedonian police then killed them and created a phony story about how they were terrorists in order to win US support. Next, there were those photos of Iraqi prisoners being tortured by US soldiers that recently surfaced, prompting President Bush to remark how disgusted he was by what he saw. I haven't heard anything to…
Fake Abductions More Common Than Most People Realize
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 13, 2004
The abduction of Audrey Seiler, and subsequent revelation that she had faked the abduction herself, has been generating a lot of media attention. But in an interview with the Newhouse News Service, Ben Radford, managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, points out that cases like this are far more common than most people realize. By his estimate, they occur about three of four times a month, but most of the cases slip under the media's radar. In the early stages of the Seiler case, when she was first found, Ben actually emailed me betting me $10 that the case would turn out to be a hoax. Luckily, I didn't take that bet.
Hate Crime or Hoax Crime?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Mar 24, 2004
On March 9 Kerri Dunn, a psychology professor at Claremont McKenna College east of LA, reported that her car had been vandalized and covered with racist graffiti. Now the police suspect that Ms. Dunn, who often spoke out against racism, may have staged the crime herself. Apparently some witnesses claim that the car was already covered with graffiti when she pulled into the college parking lot where the crime supposedly took place. She denies this, of course. So we'll have to wait and see how this plays out.
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 18, 2004
Back in February if you were shopping for a Valentine's Day card at Wal-Mart, you might have been able to pick up a card that showed a black 'Sambo' version of SpongeBob Squarepants. Wal-Mart officials report that it was quite a popular item. Amazingly only one person complained about the blatantly racist image. But when the manufacturer of the card found out about the card, they hit the roof, because a Black SpongeBob was definitely not what they had ordered from the printer. The mystery is how 'racist SpongeBob' ever got created. Who was responsible for it? Was it a joke by the printer in China? Seems unlikely, since all the…
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 14, 2003
Here's a site that's in incredibly bad taste, but it is DEFINITELY a hoax. It's Columbine Paintball. It purports to be a paintball arena in Cheyenne, Wyoming that allows you to play a paintball game inside a recreation of the Columbine high school. As I said, it's a hoax.
Think of the Children
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 24, 2003
Think of the Children: Here's a British group advocating the use of mob violence and vigilante justice against anyone even suspected of committing a crime against a child. Punish first, deliberate about possible guilt or innocence later, seems to be their philosophy.
Another 9/11 Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 17, 2003
Here's yet another 9/11 hoax. Cyril Kendall has been sentenced to 11 to 33 years in prison for claiming that his son Wilfred died in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Because of his claim he got $160,000 from the Red Cross, which he used to buy a new car. The only problem: he never had a son named Wilfred. (Story in the NY Times, Reg. Req.).