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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: History
The Vinland Map — The debate about the Vinland Map continues, and Scientific American summarizes the controversy. Everyone agrees that the parchment the map was written on is medieval, but what about the ink? That's the question.
Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2004.   Comments (0)

Kensington Runestone — The Kensington Runestone, unearthed in Minnesota in 1898 and hailed as evidence of the presence of Norse explorers in ancient America, is off on a grand tour. First stop Sweden.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (0)


The Michigan Relics — In October, 1890 James Scotford unearthed some relics while digging postholes for a fence in Montcalm County, Michigan. The relics appeared to demonstrate the prior existence of a Near Eastern culture in ancient America. They were eventually debunked as frauds, though not before attracting a lot of attention and stirring up lots of controversy. Now the relics are on display again. The Michigan Historical Museum has a special exhibit devoted to them titled 'Digging Up Controversy: The…
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2004.   Comments (0)


Vindication for Man Will Never Fly Society — The reenactment of the Wright Brothers' first flight failed. I hate to say it, but the members of the Man Will Never Fly Society, whom I linked to just a few posts below, did predict that would happen.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003.   Comments (0)

Manned Flight is a Hoax — According to the members of the Man Will Never Fly Society, the official account of the Wright Brothers' 1903 first flight, the anniversary of which is coming up on Dec. 17th, is all a hoax. They contend that the plane never flew... and all subsequent manned flights are a hoax also. Never mind that the majority of the members of this society are pilots. Every year they meet and have a boozy celebration to commemmorate the Wright Brothers' non-flight. In fact, alcohol seems to be the…
Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

Antebellum Island — The Onion has a good parody of the Reality TV genre: Antebellum Island. It's a new 'alternate reality' show, supposedly being aired by CBS, set on an island on which the South won the Civil War. The show's motto is 'Secede, Suppress, Survive.'
Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2003.   Comments (0)

Princess Caraboo — BBC Legacies, the BBC's new website for exploring local history, is doing a feature this month on Local Legends, and has put up an article about one of Bristol's local legends, Princess Caraboo (though perhaps legends is the wrong word to describe the Princess, since she was quite real, though not a real Princess). It's a good article, and they were nice enough to link back to the Museum of Hoaxes in a sidebar.
Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2003.   Comments (0)

Vinland Map — According to a new study, the Vinland Map (that map of North America drawn by ancient Vikings) may be genuine.
Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2003.   Comments (0)

Hitler Hoaxes — Mixing together some content that had been on the site before, with a little stuff from my book, I just created a small gallery of hoaxes involving Adolf Hitler. He was a strange man, and he inspired some strange hoaxes.
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2003.   Comments (0)

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)

Cardiff Giant — At the Farmer's Museum in upstate New York this weekend they're celebrating the Cardiff Giant's 134th birthday with a birthday cake contest. It seems to me they're celebrating his birthday a little early. I thought he was discovered on October 16, 1869. But I'm not one to split hairs over something like that. I just wish I was there.
Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

A Fake at the Smithsonian — 19th century gold bar on display at the Smithsonian turns out to be a fake.
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

San Diego Faux History — Being a San Diegan I appreciated this hoax history of San Diego from the San Diego Hysterical Society.
Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

Happy Birthday, P.T. Barnum! — America's greatest showman, Phineas Taylor Barnum, born July 5, 1810, celebrates his 193rd birthday today. Happy Birthday, Barnum! In his autobiography Barnum had this to say about his birthday: My first appearance upon this stage was on the 5th day of July, Anno Domini 1810. Independence Day had gone by, the cannons had ceased to thunder forth their remembrances of our National Anniversary, the smoke had all cleared away, the drums had finished their rattle, and when peace and quiet…
Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Taughannock Giant — July 4, 1879 a giant stone man (weight: 800 pounds; height: seven feet) was unearthed near Ithaca, New York (suspiciously close to Cardiff, New York). He was soon dubbed the Taughannock Giant. The stone man was described by a commentator as "a human figure lying on its back, arms nearly straight and the legs crossed at the ankle... well proportioned with the exception of the feet, which appear more like those of an ape." Scientists pronounced it an authentic fossilized man. In reality,…
Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Hitler Diaries — An interesting comment from a visitor about the Hitler Diaries: Dear Alex, The most tell-tale and overlooked detail about the Hitler Diaries being fake you do not mention in your article, although it makes the complete affair all the more funny: On the front cover were two metal letters, supposedly the initials "A H" for Adolf Hitler, in an old German Gothic lettering. The funny part being that ridiculously neither Gerd Heidemann nor any other from the *Stern* staff nor the experts…
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

Hoaxes from the Philippines — Here's an interesting discussion of some historical hoaxes from the Philippines, specifically those perpetrated in the early twentieth century by Jose E. Marco, a philatelic forger.
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003.   Comments (7)

Utah town celebrates Viking origin — Come next April (2004) the town of Cedar City, Utah will be celebrating the Festival Royale of Himmelsk, a four-day event to honor the group of Vikings who founded the town in 956 AD. The entire story of this strange festival is told here. (Thanks to Lansin Carmean for forwarding this story to me).
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

Princess Caraboo Parking Lot — I've just learned from a resident of Bristol that the gravesite of Princess Caraboo is soon going to be paved over and turned into a parking lot. It seems a poor way for Bristol to treat one of its most famous historical figures. I found one page protesting the planned parking lot.
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003.   Comments (1)

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