The Hoax Museum Blog
Push Button for Walk Signal
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 01, 2004
I've long suspected that those buttons on corners that you're supposed to push to get a walk signal are a bizarre hoax. Just a facade created by city governments to let us pedestrians feel like we possess some small measure of control. Now this article (NY Times, reg. req.) largely confirms my suspicion. The article only discusses New York City, but I think the situation is the same throughout most of the country.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 08, 2003
Self Arrest Form
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 27, 2003
The East Point Police, in East Point, Georgia, have come up with a novel way to reduce the costs of fighting crime. They simply invite criminals to arrest themselves. They have an easy-to-use self arrest form on their website that criminals can fill out and submit online. At first I suspected that the entire East Point Police website was a joke, but this doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, I'm guessing that this self-arrest form is just a bit of police humor, in the same vein as the decision by the police in Kokomo, Indiana to cut costs by closing the police station during the night. Emergency calls would be recorded on an answering machine and answered…
No Joke. It’s a Robbery!
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 04, 2003
Here's an interesting situation. A robber walks into a store, waves a gun around, and tells the cashier to give him all the money in the register. The cashier takes one look at the gun, thinks it's plastic, and assumes the guy is joking. So she tells him to get lost. Frustrated, the would-be robber runs out of the store. But authorities now believe the robbery attempt was real, which makes the woman quite lucky. But there's still the possibility that the gun actually was a fake. After all, if the guy really did have a loaded gun, why didn't he fire a warning shot to let the cashier know he was serious?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 17, 2003
The Panama Truth Commission hoped to uncover the truth of what happened in that country during the reigns of the dictators Omar Torrijos and Manuel Noriega. So they brought in Sandra Anderson, a dog trainer whose bone-sniffing dog could help locate the bodies of the dead. But now there are fears that Anderson was a fraud who planted evidence when her dog couldn't find any.
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 14, 2003
On August 28 a man with a bomb padlocked to his neck robbed a bank in Erie, Pennsylvania. The bomb blew up shortly thereafter, killing the man. The case got a lot of attention, so given human nature it shouldn't surprise anyone that neck-bomb copycat hoaxers are now popping up.
Posted by The Curator on Sat Sep 06, 2003
Crawford County police were alarmed when they discovered leg bones sticking out of a pair of work boots that were standing on the bank of Lake Shepherd Springs in Arkansas. They launched a massive investigation, until they realized the bones came from an animal. They warn that whoever is responsible for the hoax will be prosecuted for committing a crime.
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jul 16, 2003
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 25, 2003
The following email has been making the rounds. Someone asked me if it's real: The Veil By now you've heard of Sultaana Freeman. Sultaana is the Muslim convert in Florida who is refusing to remove her veil for a driver's license photo. So do you want to see what she looks like? Well here you go. Sultaana with and without her veil! Wait a minute! Doesn't that look like a mug shot on the left? Why, yes! I think it is! I guess she was arrested! Well, as a matter of fact she was. It happened in 1997 in Decatur,…
FBI chases fake terrorists
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 09, 2003
Fake Ticker Tape Parade
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 08, 2002
Yesterday NYC staged a fake ticker tape parade. Bored firemen and policemen marched up and down the same block three times while, according to the NY Post, "drunken office workers shouting like morons to one another" dumped paper on their head. The whole exercise was supposed to persuade the Olympic committee to choose NYC as the site for the Olympics in 2012.
Fake Tourists Catch Cheats
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 17, 2002
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 16, 2002
From today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: A woman invents an elaborate story about being kidnapped by three abductors, prompting police to send in a SWAT team to rescue her. They find her sitting alone in her car. The abductors were all a figment of her imagination.
Fake Lithuanian Cops
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 04, 2002
Unusual Bomb Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 18, 2002
Normally I don't like to mention bomb hoaxes, since giving them any attention only plays into the hoaxer's hand, but this case seems to be an exception. A man, while clearing out his closet, threw out a fake bomb that he had once created for a marketing project in college. The next day his building was evacuated when someone saw it lying in the dumpster. Full story at the NY Times (reg. required).