This Day in the History of Hoaxes: June 3 Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 03, 2014 June 3, 2002: The Retractable Capitol Dome On this day in 2002, the Beijing Evening News ran a story alleging that the U.S. Congress was hoping to construct a new Capitol building that included a retractable dome roof. When critics mocked the newspaper for having mistaken a satirical story in The Onion for real news, the paper's editor denied this, saying "How can you prove it's not correct? Is it incorrect just because you say it is?" More … Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: June 2 Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 02, 2014 June 2, 2001: Dave Manning Exposed Newsweek reporter John Horn revealed that movie reviewer Dave Manning, whose positive blurbs often appeared on ads for movies put out by Columbia Pictures, didn't actually exist. He was a fictional person created by a marketing executive at Sony, the parent company of Columbia Pictures, entirely for the purpose of making it appear as if their movies were getting good reviews. More… Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: June 1 Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 01, 2014 June 1, 1997: Wear Sunscreen! Mary Schmich published a humorous column in the Chicago Tribune on June 1 advising college grads that her best advice for the future was to "wear sunscreen." Two months later, the text of her column began circulating widely via email, but attributed to Kurt Vonnegut and said to be a commencement speech he had given at MIT. Even Vonnegut's wife reportedly received the hoax email and, believing it to actually be the work of her husband, forwarded it to family and friends. [about.com, Chicago Tribune] June 1, 2007: De Grote Donorshow The premise of the Dutch reality TV show De Grote Donorshow (The Big Donor Show) was that a terminally ill woman with an incurable brain tumor would decide which of 25 "contestants" in need of a kidney transplant would get to have her organ. Despite widespread condemnation, the show went ahead as planned, airing on June 1, 2007. But minutes before the end, the entire thing was revealed to be a hoax designed to publicize the urgent need for more organ donors. [wikipedia] Categories: This Day in History Comments (1) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: May 31 Posted by The Curator on Sat May 31, 2014 May 31, 1725: The Lying Stones of Dr. Beringer On this day, Dr. Johann Beringer, a University of Würzburg professor, was given three unusual fossils that showed images (the sun and several worms) in three-dimensional relief. Beringer thought he had made a remarkable discovery and grew even more convinced of this when many more, similar stones turned up. He eventually authored a book about the stones. At which point, he found out that two fellow professors had created the stones to hoax him. More… May 31, 2003: The Cesky Sen Hypermarket Lured by ads throughout Prague promoting a new hypermarket called Cesky Sen ("Czech Dream") that would sell products at unbelievably low prices, hundreds of people showed up at the Lethany Fairgrounds for the grand opening. But all they found was a giant Cesky Sen banner. There was no hypermarket, nor plans to build one. Several student filmmakers had set out to record what would happen when consumer's expectations collided with reality, and so had launched a marketing blitz to promote a non-existent, too-good-to-be-true store. More… Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: May 30 Posted by The Curator on Fri May 30, 2014 May 30, 2000: spud server revealed to be a hoax It was purported to be a web server powered entirely by potatoes, and it served up web pages at an appropriately slow, potato-powered speed. After gaining international media exposure — both USA Today and the BBC reported about it — the makers of Spud Server admitted it was all a joke. There was no giant potato battery powering their site. More… Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: May 29 Posted by The Curator on Thu May 29, 2014 May 29, 1947: Sea Monster Attacks Tokyo The armed forces radio station in Tokyo interrupted its evening broadcast to report that a 20-foot sea monster had emerged from Tokyo Bay and was making its way inland. A series of bulletins provided updates on the progress of the creature as it derailed trains and smashed buildings. The report caused widespread panic. Military police were put on alert, and Japanese police were told to stand by to fight the monster. But after an hour, the announcer admitted the news flashes had just been a joke in honor of the station's fifth anniversary. More… Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) Futility Closet on the Dreadnought Hoax Posted by The Curator on Wed May 28, 2014 The Futility Closet blog recently posted a podcast about the 1910 Dreadnought hoax, in which upper-class British pranksters, disguised as Abyssinian princes, managed to fool the British navy into giving them a tour of the HMS Dreadnought. Even if you're familiar with the story, it's worth a listen, because it's a good account of it. Categories: History Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: May 28 Posted by The Curator on Wed May 28, 2014 May 28, 1952: The Cornell War Broadcast Hoax On the night of May 28, 1952, a group of Cornell students disguised by halloween masks raided the campus radio station, WVBR, and began broadcasting news flashes claiming that Russian planes had bombed Paris, Marseilles, and London. The reports initially caused hysteria in the dorms, although most people soon realized they were fake. The Dean of the University later described it as a "lunatic stunt." The students involved were suspended for a year. [Cornell Archives] Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: May 27 Posted by The Curator on Tue May 27, 2014 May 27, 1959: SINA makes Today Show debut Actor Buck Henry, in character as G. Clifford Prout, president of the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, appeared on NBC's Today Show. As Prout, he urged Americans to promote decency by putting clothes on naked animals. SINA continued its unusual campaign for four years until it was revealed to be a hoax masterminded by Alan Abel. More… Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) Norwegian artist ate his own hip, maybe Posted by The Curator on Mon May 26, 2014 Norwegian conceptual artist Alexander Wengshoel claims that following a hip replacement operation four years ago, he was allowed to keep his removed hip. So he went home, boiled the bone to remove the meat, and then ate the meat accompanied by some wine and potato gratin. He said it tasted like "wild sheep, if you take a sheep that goes in the mountains and eats mushrooms. It was goaty." Sensing that Wengshoel's story might be complete baloney, the reporter from The Local asked him if it was a hoax — apparently on the theory that, if asked, a hoaxer will readily admit he's lying. Wengshoel replied: "You can either believe it… Categories: Food Comments (3) Release the Crickets! Posted by The Curator on Mon May 26, 2014 Several students at Chartiers Valley High School in Pennsylvania are facing disciplinary action following a senior prank that involved the release of "several thousand" crickets in the school. Apparently insect release pranks have been popular lately. KDKA News in Pittsburgh notes, "Last year, seven Kentucky students were involved in a similar prank." But these recent examples of the prank don't have quite the same wit that was exhibited in a 1911 instance of it reported at the time by the Washington Post: Locusts Invade a Church New York, May 28 — For the text of his sermon today the… Categories: Pranks Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: May 26 Posted by The Curator on Mon May 26, 2014 May 26, 1930: Hugo N. Frye Sesquicentennial U.S. politicians, including the Vice President, received letters inviting them to a May 26 party at Cornell University in honor of the sesquicentennial birthday anniversary of "Hugo N. Frye," who was said to have been the founder of the Republican party in New York State. None could attend, but most replied with letters expressing their sincere admiration for Hugo N. Frye. Unfortunately for them, Frye did not exist. The invitation was a student prank, and Frye's name was just a gag ("You Go and Fry!"). More… Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) This Day in the History of Hoaxes: May 25 Posted by The Curator on Sun May 25, 2014 May 25, 1933: Norman Jefferies, author of the Jersey Devil hoax, dies Norman Jefferies was a Philadelphia publicist and theatrical booking agent, who was best known for the stunt he engineered in January 1909 while working at the Ninth and Arch Street Museum. He announced that the legendary "Jersey Devil" (aka "Leeds Devil") had been captured and would be exhibited at the museum. Thousands came to see it. Although what they actually viewed was a kangaroo painted with green stripes and outfitted with fake wings. Categories: This Day in History Comments (0) La Réalité Posted by The Curator on Sat May 24, 2014 French artist Rémy Dautin has put together a book that he's titled La Réalité. In it, he's collected about 60 pictures of cryptids in which he's "erased the paranormal element (loch ness monster, alien, yeti, etc.) in order for them to become pictures of the reality." Unfortunately, I don't think the book is available for purchase. It's a project he did while pursuing a degree in graphic design, and he sent me an email to let me know about it. However, you can check out some of the pictures from La Réalité… Categories: Cryptozoology Comments (0) Why do people cling to false beliefs? Posted by The Curator on Sat May 24, 2014 According to Dartmouth professor Brendan Nyhan (as reported by Maria Konnikova in the New Yorker), "persistently false beliefs stem from issues closely tied to our conception of self." So in order to change deeply held misperceptions, it's useless to present people with facts and information. Instead, you need to "target people’s beliefs about themselves." This recalls what's long been known by hoaxers, that it's easy to fool people if you just tell them what they want to believe. That is, people readily accept ideas that complement their pre-existing view of the world and of themselves. I also recall an old finding from social psychology, that people who rate low on self-confidence… Categories: Psychology Comments (1) Page 12 of 301 pages ‹ First < 10 11 12 13 14 > Last › Member Login/Password? Forum Posts Researchers claim evidence of Russian Bigfoot— Jack the Ripper named. 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'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874 Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871 The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954 Cursed by Allah Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974 Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes Dead Body of Loch Ness Monster Found, 1972 Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939 Site Map Main Page Recent Comments About the Museum Contact Archives Hoax Archive Hoax Photo Archive April Fool Archive Tall-Tale Creatures Forum Old Forum Galleries Top 100 April Fools Hoax Political Candidates Top 10 College Pranks Tests Hoax Photo Tests Gullibility Tests All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.