The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Mass Delusion
Killer Phone Calls
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jul 20, 2004
Here's a new penis-melting-zionist-robot-comb-type rumor that's spreading through Africa. Agence France Presse is reporting that many mobile-phone users in Nigeria are terrified that if they receive a phone call from one of two numbers, either 0802 311 1999 or 0802 222 5999, it will cause them instant death. A spokesman for the Nigerian mobile-phone company is trying to squash the rumor by assuring people that, "from an engineering point of view, it is absolutely impracticable, and there is no such record whatsoever anywhere in the world, that anyone has died or can die from merely receiving or making a phone call." The AFP reporter braved death and actually called both numbers but was unable to get…
Penis-Melting Zionist Robot Combs
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jun 14, 2004
The phrase 'penis-melting Zionist robot combs,' while not widely known, does seem to be growing in popularity. The phrase refers to a mass panic that swept through Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, in September 2003. The people of Khartoum feared that a Satanic foreigner was going around shaking hands with Sudanese men and thereby causing their penises to melt upwards inside their body. In one case a man reported that he was approached by a stranger at the market. The stranger handed him a comb and asked him to comb his hair. "When he did so, within seconds... he felt a strange sensation and discovered that he had lost his penis." The Sudanese journalist Ja'far Abbas…
Weeping Mary Returns
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 13, 2004
About a year and a half ago I posted an entry about a statue of the Virgin Mary in Perth that was weeping rose-scented tears. Critics and church officials dismissed it as a hoax created by filling the statue with some kind of oil. Now that same statue is back in the news again, crying even more publicly. The Archbishop of Perth has cautioned people that "the case for a miraculous happening has not been proved."
The 1938 Panic Broadcast Revisited
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 30, 2003
The Toronto Star has an article about the 1938 War of the Worlds panic (the anniversary of which is today)... and they quote me in it! The article argues that the mass panic was much smaller than is popularly thought. I'm inclined to agree with this. My reasons are: being familiar with the way in which stories about hoaxes are told, I know that the impact hoaxes make is often exaggerated in order to tell a better story. So it sounds a lot more dramatic to say that one million people panicked in 1938, but the truth is that it was probably only a few thousand.
Return of the Monkey Man
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 22, 2002