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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Identity/Imposters
Be A Celeb
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 16, 2004
Fake blogs are a growing trend on the web. Just recently we saw Plain Layne exposed as Odin Soli. But now, with the advent of an online role-playing game called Be A Celeb, the fake-blog phenomenon seems to be rising to a whole new level. The goal of Be A Celeb is to create a convincing fake celebrity blog. You can choose to be whatever celebrity you like, as long as someone else hasn't already taken the celebrity. Celebrities already in play include Clay Aiken, Jessica Biel, and Kirsten Dunst. Once you've created your fake celebrity, you can then make them interact with other fake celebrities... kind of like a…
Fake Eunuchs Run Amok
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 07, 2004
Apparently there's a tradition in India that a eunuch can show up at a house after a birth or marriage and ask for money. But nowadays more and more fake eunuchs are elbowing in on this lucrative market... much to the annoyment of the real eunuchs. The fake eunuchs are also involved in a lot of other even more criminal activities: "From extorting money to robbing shopkeepers and passengers in trains, these fake eunuchs are running a parallel network." Honestly, I never knew there was such a thing as a eunuch crime network, let alone a parallel fake eunuch crime network. For some reason this sounds like something out of a Monty Python skit.
Plain Layne is Odin Soli
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 28, 2004
This isn't going to mean much to anyone, but when I heard the news I was dumbfounded. Plain Layne is Odin Soli. I haven't seen Odin in years, but I know him quite well. We went to grad school together at UC San Diego, though he left before I did. I've also read a novel he wrote. It was a detective story and pretty good. We TA'ed for the same class, plus we had quite a few beers together in the campus pub. Well, this makes the entire Plain Layne saga much more up close and personal for me. Strange how people in your past can suddenly pop up again like that. I'm going to have to see…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (4)
Plain Layne (and other fake bloggers)
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 22, 2004
The big news in the blogosphere last week was the revelation that a blogger named 'Plain Layne' wasn't who she said she was. Of course if you, like me, had never heard of Plain Layne before, then the news didn't mean a whole lot. But the people who thought they knew her seemed genuinely shocked. Plain Layne wrote about her life, and her life happened to be far more exciting and racy than the lives of most people, which is why she had a fairly large following. Jason Kottke has provided a great summary of some of her experiences: In the…
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (10)
Really Unfortunate Last Names
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 10, 2004
A couple of weeks ago I posted an entry about a Brazilian professor of Geology who has a rather unfortunate last name. That inspired quite a few people to chime in with other unfortunate last names they've encountered. But I think I've found a contest winner (not that there is any contest). Meet Miss Chew Shit Fun, a professor of Natural Sciences at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. As far as I can tell, that really is her name. (via The Peking Duck)
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (7)
Second Thoughts About Rance
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 02, 2004
Yesterday I suggested that the anonymous blogger 'Rance' might really be a cartoonist/screenwriter named Keith Thomson because Thomson's name kept popping up when I tracked down who was initially hyping Rance in internet discussion groups. But people have pointed out that movie studios and talent agencies often create phony identities that they use to hype projects they're working on. Maybe the phony identities they used to hype Rance just happened to have been used earlier to hype Thomson's work. Could be. And whoever runs Defamer seems to feel confident that Rance really is a celebrity. So I'm willing to consider that Rance is a celebrity. If this is the case, then it…
Who is Rance?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 01, 2004
The latest buzz in the blogosphere is about the weblog of 'Rance,' an anonymous blogger who claims to be a well-known, A-list, Hollywood celebrity. Or as he coyly puts it on his weblog, "I can tell you what it's like to see your picture on the magazine rack every now and again when you pay for groceries." For a couple of months he's been dishing up dirt on life in Hollywood, and he's succeeded in attracting a huge following. He even got interviewed (anonymously) by Reuters last week. But of course, he won't reveal who he is... which just makes everyone crazy to find out the secret. Is Rance really a celebrity, or is he just…
Unfortunate Last Names
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 20, 2004
I've always thought my last name was pretty bad. And I mean that in the literal sense. 'Boese' means 'bad' (or angry) in German. But its meaning wouldn't matter much if only English-speaking people could pronounce it (it's 'burr-za', as if it had an 'r' in it... not 'boose'). But I shouldn't feel too sorry for myself, because this guy in Brazil, Mr. Reinhardt Adolfo Fuck, has me beat hands down. As far as I can tell, that really is his name. He must get endless jokes about it.
Categories: Identity/Imposters Comments (693)
Saudi Princess from Buffalo
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 10, 2004
She said she was Princess Antoinette Millard from Saudi Arabia. She was actually from Buffalo, New York. But somehow she managed to con her way into millions of dollars. Her cover was blown when she filed fake insurance claims. It's amazing how the old fake princess con never seems to go out of style.
Micah Wright, Pseudo Army Ranger
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 02, 2004
Micah Wright is the author of You Back the Attack, We'll Bomb Who We Want, a satirical take on war propaganda. Publishers Weekly described him as a "former Army Ranger turned antiwar comic book artist." In an interview with the Washington Post in July, 2003 Wright elaborated at some length on his experience as an Army Ranger. Here's a quote from that article: He endured rigorous Ranger training, including capturing and eating a snake. He says he participated in classified combat missions in South and Central America, but can talk only about Operation Just Cause, the capture of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega. (Or, as he calls it, "Operation Just Because.") Did he ever kill anyone? "That's one…
Hot Abercrombie Chick Mystery Solved, Probably
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 28, 2004
A few days ago I posted about the controversy brewing around the Hot Abercrombie Chick (or HAC, for short). The HAC appeared to be an extremely photogenic young female blogger whose blog was rapidly increasing in popularity. But then rumors started to circulate that she wasn't a she at all. She was a he. And the blog's popularity appeared to be due to manipulation of the way blogs are tracked. Justin Foster and Cameron Marlow have done some impressive internet detective work and traced down who the HAC most likely is: a guy living in St. Louis named Daniel Zeigenbein. They did it by uncovering the IP…
Tax Refund for a Princess
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 27, 2004
If you're going to cheat on your tax forms, you might as well do it big, like this university cafeteria worker did. She claimed to be a Hawaiian princess and managed to get a $2.1 million refund from the IRS. The only thing is, she really believes she is a Hawaiian princess. Her defense lawyer argues that she suffers from an "irrational insistence upon an identity that is not her own." Maybe she's the second coming of Princess Caraboo.
Will the real Ella Schultz please stand up?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 26, 2004
Ella Schultz, an elderly black woman living in Kentwood, Michigan, is quite the emailer. Over the past year she's been shooting off emails to teachers, school administrators, and even a few journalists. But it turns out that Ella isn't actually real. The person actually sending those emails was Edward Kape, a Kentwood Board of Education member (who has now resigned). Or at least, he was one of the people using 'Ella Schultz' as their nom de plume. He insists there were others, though he's not naming any names. The tip off for those receiving the emails should have been that they came from Yahoo and Hotmail accounts. Whenever I receive an email from someone I don't know who's…
Who is the Hot Abercrombie Chick?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 20, 2004
If you're a regular reader of Blogdex, as I am, then you'll recognize the name Hot Abercrombie Chick (aka Amanda Doerty). For some reason her weblog keeps rising to the top of Blogdex's index. I've never been able to figure out why. Her posts just don't seem that interesting or relevant. To be honest, I find them boring. Apparently other people have had the same thought, because now she's being accused of gaming Blogdex. But that's not all. Julia Set reports receiving an inside tip that Hot Abercrombie Chick isn't a chick at all. According to Julia, "Hot Abercrombie Chick is really a male college student capitalizing on…
Is this Baby Jessica?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 13, 2004
Back in 1987 'Baby Jessica' became famous when she fell down a well and was saved following a dramatic rescue operation. Stuff Magazine is now featuring a photo of 'Baby Jessica' all grown up and posing by a well, but is that really Baby Jessica? Makeup and lighting will do a lot (as will digital touch-up work), but the woman in the photo doesn't look that much like Jessica as she appeared a few years ago in this picture. Here's a link to a hi-res scan of the Stuff article. Note that they refer to Baby Jessica as Jessica McClain, even though her actual name is Jessica McClure. Innocent…
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