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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Identity/Imposters
Woman Marries Blow-Up Bob — Remarries, to be exact. From Yahoo! News: Sheila Smith's husband, Bob, had to go away on business and couldn't make the Valentine's Day recommitment service at Grove City United Methodist Church. So friends brought a life-size inflatable doll to serve as a stand-in. They dressed Blow-up Bob in dress pants, a shirt and tie, and taped on a head-shot photo of the real Bob Smith. There's definitely an emerging trend of cardboard or inflatable spouses. Usually it involves military spouses…
Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2008.   Comments (4)

Mayor uses magazine picture of himself as ID — A few days ago papers reported a weird news item about Charleston mayor Danny Jones who used a picture of himself in Charleston magazine to ID himself before boarding an airplane. Turns out that "impromptu IDs" are a perennial urban-legend theme. The Legends & Rumors blog has collected a long list of them. The examples include a case of a porn star who showed a nude picture of herself in a magazine to ID herself while cashing a check, as well as a nineteenth-century case of a man who…
Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2008.   Comments (8)

Quick Links: Jan. 29, 2008 — Russian election draws eccentric candidates Four empresses are running, as well as a tsar. Fake tickets offer strange message Police in Boulder are warning drivers to be on the lookout for fake parking tickets that bear this cryptic message: "The foregoing is falsely alleged upon personal initiative. This ticket hereby notes discredibility. Remember: Things could be worse. Get over yourself." I'm Not Dead Yet Polish resident Piotr Kucy is trying to convince officials that he isn't…
Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2008.   Comments (2)

Name Change Prank — Robert Ashton and Aisling Davis have been playing tricks on each other for years. But when Robert dyed Aisling's hair blonde while she was asleep, she decided she needed to come up with something big to get him back. What she eventually dreamed up was to legally change Robert's name... to "Ima Stapler." The Halifax Courier reports: Aisling, of Sowerby Bridge, decided to take her revenge. She knew someone who had recently changed their middle name by deed poll and wondered if it would…
Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008.   Comments (8)


Not Andy Warhol — Kutv.com has an article describing a hoax perpetrated by Andy Warhol back in 1967. He had been asked to do a speaking tour at various colleges, but decided, at the last minute, that he didn't want to do it. So he sent someone else, Allen Midgette, who pretended to be him: "Midgette whitened his hair and face and adopted a Warhol persona, and, accompanied by Morrissey, went on tour. And most believed the forged artist was authentic." People finally figured out that Midgette was not…
Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007.   Comments (5)

Best of the forum - 21st September 07 — Due to my ongoing computer problems and personal situation, this is again brought to you by Madmouse. Peruvian Meteorite (eovti) An apparent meteorite landing in Peru has led to reports of illness amongst locals. Original suggestions for the cause of the sickness included radiation poisoning, but that seems unlikely. Sign Language Translator (Madmouse) There’s been a lot of discussion in the forum about this story. A group of UK students have developed a system to translate spoken…
Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2007.   Comments (0)

Florida man pretends to be Red Sox pitcher — Bill Henry used to like to tell his wife and friends stories about when he was a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox back in the 1950s and 60s. He had a lifetime ERA of 3.26. When the Lakeland, Fla. resident died, the Associated Press ran his obituary. But Red Sox fan David Lambert noticed something wrong with it. The obituary said that Henry had been born in 1924, but Lambert knew that Henry was actually born in 1927. He decided to phone Henry's family (whose address he found in…
Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2007.   Comments (3)

Introducing Elliot Feldman — I was browsing the web a few days ago when I came across a guy who was posting lots of great hoax-related articles to the Associated Content site. He seemed to know all kinds of fascinating, obscure things. That guy was Elliot Feldman. I emailed him and asked him if he'd consider posting some articles here to the Museum of Hoaxes. Luckily, he agreed. So I want to introduce everyone to Elliot. We should be getting to read his articles regularly from now on. Elliot says that he was a…
Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2007.   Comments (12)

Malaysian Man Masquerades as Dentist — An unidentified Malaysian man ran a dental practice out of his home for 29 years -- without any kind of dental training. He learned his trade by carrying the bags of an army dentist for sixteen years. But apparently while he was carrying bags he was also observing closely, because he later figured he could do what the dentist did. And the truth is, after 16 years of watching the guy, he might have been right. The fake dentist charged 20 ringgit for extractions and 130 ringgit for…
Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007.   Comments (1)

Mother poses as son’s wife — Christopher Crowe had pleaded guilty to domestic battery. When the judge asked his wife to stand up and state if she accepted the plea deal, 47-year-old Rebecca Crowe stood up and said she did. But Rebecca was actually his mother. (Let's hope she was just pretending to be his wife, and it wasn't anything weirder.) The court realized the deception when a prosecutor later saw a picture of Crowe's actual wife. The article also notes: "Courtroom personnel later admitted they thought the…
Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007.   Comments (1)

Cardboard Kids Slow Traffic — Mike Wood of West Salem, Ohio has figured out an ingenious way to slow traffic in his neighborhood. He makes life-size cardboard cutouts of his children. Then he places the cutouts along the side of the road. People driving by think there's a real kid standing by the side of the road and they slow down. I could use some of these on my street. I live on a busy road and sometimes people just go tearing up it. Though some traffic cones and a detour sign might be able to eliminate the…
Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2007.   Comments (11)

Speaking of urban legends in the Third World… — A young Indian boy is claiming to be the reincarnation of an American scientist. According to the article linked below, he speaks mostly gibberish with a few "scientific" words mixed in. Proof enough for me! I especially like the next-to-last paragraph of the article. [Thanks to the reader who submitted this story] Indian boy claims to be reincarnation of American scientist
Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007.   Comments (18)

Elizabeth Albanese — The Press Club of Dallas has been a much-respected institution for years, offering the annual Katie awards to journalists for high quality work. Recently, though, the organisation’s reputation has been dealt a crippling blow, with the news that their recent president, Elizabeth Albanese, has been falsifying the award results for at least the past two years. Albanese became involved with the Katies in 2003, the year she first won prizes, and has been reportedly tampering with the…
Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007.   Comments (19)

JT LeRoy, phantom author (Updated!) — This is a weird one. A book allegedly written by a young man, JT LeRoy, made a sensation recently. JT was a truck stop hooker, got involved with drugs, was possibly transgendered and generally had a pretty screwed-up life. The book was billed as non-fiction, supposedly the true story of JT's life. Naturally, it sold very well. Oprah loved it, the movie director Gus VanSant and other Hollywood types were interested in it. Then the JT LeRoy saga started coming apart. Funny story,…
Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2007.   Comments (11)

Best of the Forum – 22nd June 07 — Flowers growing from a steel pipe (NEO) A Chinese man has found what he believes to be a patch of white flowers growing from a steel pipe in his vegetable garden. Ding has consulted his neighbours, who believe the flowers are the legendary Youtan Poluo flower, which blossoms only once every 3,000 years. “No soil, no water. These flowers can bring me good luck,” he added. Forum members suspect, however, that the 'flowers' are lacewing eggs (see pictures to compare.) Make your bad…
Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2007.   Comments (7)

Quick Links: Belly Dancer Has Half Her Bottom Removed, etc. — Belly Dancer Has Half Her Bottom Removed German belly dancer Julia 'Cleopatra' Meyer went to a private clinic to get liposuction on her thighs. Unfortunately, the surgeon removed fat from her right buttock instead. She was awarded the equivalent of £12,000 - twice what she had asked for in compensation. (Thanks, Sophie.) Imposter at Stanford For eight months, Azia Kim lived on campus, studied with friends, and ate in the cafeteria. Trouble is, she wasn't actually a student there.
Posted: Tue May 29, 2007.   Comments (5)

Fake Sewage Workers Go Door-to-Door — Here's an odd story reported in the Mainichi Daily News: A tablet given to a local woman by a group of men posing as sewage workers who told her to swallow it if her tap water became dirty, has proven to be an chemical pipe cleaning agent, investigators said.... Several men visited the home of the victim in the Nagata Sannodai district of Minami-ku, Yokohama on Thursday morning, and handed a blue and white tablet to the resident, bureau officials said. "We're carrying out sewage works…
Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007.   Comments (5)

Quick Links: Fake Gucci Advertisement Fools Newspaper, etc. — Fake Gucci Advertisemant Fools Newspaper A man in Switzerland phoned a national newspaper and managed to get them to run a two-page advertisement showing himself posing beside a bottle of Gucci perfume. He told the newspaper he was a representative for the company, and told them to send the 60,000 Swiss Frank bill to Gucci. Forum thread here. (Thanks, Carlotta.) Shark with ‘Webbed Feet’ Caught A Malaysian fisherman recently caught what appeared to be a shark with webbed feet. The…
Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2007.   Comments (13)

Quick Links: Fake Cyber Romance Leads to Death, etc. — Fake Cyber Romance Leads to Death 22-year-old Brian Barrett was shot to death by his 47-year-old co-worker, Thomas Montgomery, who was jealous of his internet relationship with the young woman that Montgomery had been having a cyber fling with. What neither of them knew was that the woman involved was not 18, as she said, but a 40-something mother who was using her daughter’s identity. CNN Debunks Obama Report CNN have refuted Insight magazine’s claims that Democratic Sen. Barack…
Posted: Wed Jan 24, 2007.   Comments (15)

Quick Links: Giant Pawprints Puzzle Couple, etc. — Giant Pawprints Puzzle Couple Mr and Mrs May, of Ipswich, are mystified by a set of large pawprints, seemingly of an animal with claws or toes, which have appeared in their garden. Maybe it's Bernard. Drivers Buy Fake Emblems Increasing numbers of car owners are going to dealers, or to eBay, to buy emblems to make their cars look like more expensive versions. Fake Breastfeeding Picture of ABC Anchor Elizabeth Vargas was disappointed that the magazine Marie Claire photoshopped her…
Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006.   Comments (8)

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