The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Military
Supermanning — Status: Real Add this to the list of strange extreme sports. Crewmen on military helicopters have apparently been engaging in an activity known as Supermanning. This involves "hanging from an open cargo door and letting the rushing wind 'fly' [your] body, attached only by a safety belt." This practice came to light when Petty Officer Brian Joplin recently died as a result of it. (He fell 125 feet from the helicopter into the Persian Gulf after the safety belt slipped over his…
Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2005.   Comments (17)

China Invades Japan — Status: Hoax (Fake News Story) A fake news article ruffled a few feathers over in Asia by reporting that China had invaded the Japanese island of Okinawa. In the context of growing tensions between the two countries, this was apparently believable to some people. Though there's no word on how many people fell for it. The hoaxers disguised their fake story as a Yahoo! News page. Usually fake news stories are easily spotted by examining the URL. If it looks like a Yahoo! News page, but…
Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005.   Comments (21)

Killer Dolphins Set Loose by Katrina — Status: Highly Doubtful I've received a lot of emails about a story in The Observer a few days ago alleging that thirty-six dolphins "trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater" and "carrying 'toxic dart' guns" were swept out of their tanks by Hurricane Katrina and are now at large in the Gulf of Mexico. This story is very doubtful for a number of reasons. First, it seems to be a wild rumor inspired by the true report that eight bottlenose dolphins…
Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005.   Comments (15)

Keep Your City Clean — Big Gary pointed out this AP photo to me. I don't doubt the photo is real, but the caption explains the irony of the scene: A car bomb explodes, detonated by U.S. troops after it was discovered at the scene of the double car bombing in Baghdad, Iraq Thursday, April 14, 2005. The initial attack killed 18 and wounded three dozen, but no one was injured in this controlled explosion. The sign at left reads 'Keep Your City Clean' in Arabic.(AP Photo/Samir Mizban)
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2005.   Comments (4)


Terrorist Catch and Release — This image has been floating around the internet for at least two years. It usually is accompanied by the caption: "In 2003 the US Navy initiates its new 'Terrorist Catch and Release Program.'" Obviously the caption is a joke, and I'm guessing that the car has been photoshopped in. But what would the crowd be standing there for? Would it be safe for them to stand there as a plane was taking off?
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2005.   Comments (49)

Soldier With Fingers Crossed — Snopes has a listing about a photo that shows a soldier shaking hands with Hillary Clinton while his fingers are crossed. A caption accompanying the photo explains that the soldier was crossing his fingers to signal that he was coerced to shake hands with her. Today Snopes updated this listing to include a link to a Yahoo Personals Page apparently created by the guy in the picture in which he states that he's no fan of Hillary Clinton. Snopes notes that this confirms what the caption…
Posted: Sat Mar 26, 2005.   Comments (26)

Phony ‘Forsake Our Troops’ Site — A new shock site called Forsake Our Troops is doing the rounds. It purports to be the homepage of an organization "dedicated to the notion that our nation's military is grossly overcompensated, at the expense of the American taxpayers." In actuality, it's just an attempt to be outrageous. Apparently it was created by a White Power activist called Michael Crook (according to the True or Better blog). Crook seems to have a history of doing things like this. Last year he created a fake…
Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005.   Comments (99)

War Widow By Proxy — Sarah Kenney said that her husband died in Iraq when he dove in front of a bullet that would have hit a child. Her story attracted the sympathy of a group called Homefront Heroes, which then told the media about it. But it turns out that Kenney's husband didn't die in Iraq. He's still alive and well here in America. He isn't even a soldier. Kenney had made the entire thing up. This sounds like a case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, in which people attract attention by inventing…
Posted: Fri Feb 11, 2005.   Comments (8)

Islamic Hostage Barbie Hoax — The Islamic Hostage Barbie Hoax as Instapundit has dubbed it (i.e. that hoax photo of a captured U.S. soldier) is now all over the blogosphere. It seems quite clear that it was an action figure in the photo, not an American soldier. But it's not clear to me where this photo originally came from. Where is this mysterious Islamic website that the picture was posted on? If we knew that it would be a lot easier to tell if it was meant as a joke, or as a serious (though absurd) threat.
Posted: Wed Feb 02, 2005.   Comments (14)

Vietnam Vote Article — In the wake of yesterday's vote in Iraq, an email has been circulating around containing the text of what is, supposedly, a New York Times article from 1967. Here's a sample of the text: U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote : Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror by Peter Grose, Special to the New York Times (9/4/1967: p. 2) WASHINGTON, Sept. 3-- United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a…
Posted: Mon Jan 31, 2005.   Comments (18)

Soldier Cutting Grass Found — The Oregon Statesman Journal has an article about that photo of a soldier in Iraq tending a small plot of grass (which I posted here back in October). They identify the soldier as Warrant Officer Brook Turner stationed at Camp Cooke north of Baghdad. They even provide his email address in case you want to send him a happy New Year's message. Plus, they mention the Museum of Hoaxes in the article. The weird date on the photo which had everyone confused was apparently just a result of…
Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004.   Comments (10)

Tank Silencer — Here's another photo that's doing the rounds on the internet. It's captioned 'Tank Silencer'. I have no idea what this device is actually used for, but somehow I don't think it's a tank silencer. So this would be a case of 'real picture, false caption.' Click image for larger version. (via Hell in a Handbasket)
Posted: Tue Nov 30, 2004.   Comments (26)

Stunning Ingratitude of De Gaulle — In 1945 did Charles De Gaulle really say to Winston Churchill, in reference to the military aid that the Allies provided to France to defeat Germany, that "We shall stun you with our ingratitude"? Monday, November 22 was the birthday of De Gaulle, and a number of right-leaning blogs marked the occasion by posting this quotation (they seem to have picked it up from an article in the Belfast Telegraph). So did De Gaulle really say this? Even though the tense verbal exchanges between…
Posted: Sat Nov 27, 2004.   Comments (7)

70-Year-Old Reservist Called Up to Serve — Ted Wallace thought it was a little odd when he received orders to report for duty at Fort Irwin. Odd, because Ted is 70 years old. Everyone knows that the army is relying heavily on reservists to fight the war in Iraq, but has the situation really become so desperate that they're rounding up the septuagenarians? But Ted was ready to go. He only asked that his call-up be deferred until after his knee-replacement operation. Luckily for Ted, he won't be shipped out to Iraq. The orders
Posted: Mon Oct 25, 2004.   Comments (4)

Iraqi Urban legends — Here's an interesting article about Iraqi urban legends regarding the American forces. Here's a few of the more popular beliefs: that the bulletproof vests American soldiers wear actually contain air-conditioning units (I'm sure the soldiers wish this were true) that the sunglasses worn by almost all American soldiers allow them to see through clothing And that American armored vehicles are protected by electrical fields that detonate RPG rockets before they strike, but that this…
Posted: Thu Oct 14, 2004.   Comments (18)

Soldier in Iraq Cuts the Grass — A picture of a soldier cutting a small square of grass outside his tent is making the rounds. It's accompanied by this text. Sometimes the little things we take for granted - Priceless Here is a soldier stationed in Iraq, stationed in a big sand box he asked his wife to send him dirt, fertilizer and some grass seeds so he can have the sweet aroma and feel the grass grow beneath his feet.  If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of scissors.  Sometimes we are in such…
Posted: Sat Oct 09, 2004.   Comments (19)

Operation Mincemeat — Captain Bill Jewell, the British submarine commander responsible for carrying out Operation Mincemeat, died last month. Operation Mincemeat was the top-secret WWII military subterfuge that, many argue, helped to ensure the success of D-Day the southern invasion of Europe. A dead soldier's body was launched overboard by Captain Jewell with Allied plans for an invasion of Corsica and Sardinia chained to his wrist. The Nazis found the body (and the plans) when it washed up on the coast of…
Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004.   Comments (16)

Cruise Missile For Sale — Bruce Simpson is advertising that for a very modest sum he'll show you how to build your very own cruise missile. As he says on his website: "Whether you're a very small nation looking to extend its military capabilities while perhaps creating a highly profitable export industry, or an entrepreneur seeking to enter the massive market low-cost UAVs, RPVs and other pilotless vehicles, or whether you just want a single missile to mount on your SUV as a roof ornament -- I'm your man."
Posted: Fri Jul 23, 2004.   Comments (0)

Some Terror and War Related Hoaxes — While I was away in Virginia I got behind on posting and didn't note some terror/war related hoaxes occurring in the news. So for the sake of completeness, here's a quick rundown of these stories. First we had Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, a soldier in Iraq suspected of faking his own abduction (tip: if you're going to fake your abduction, don't call your family on your cellphone while you're supposed to be abducted). Then there was the bizarre case of American soldier-of-fortune…
Posted: Fri Jul 16, 2004.   Comments (0)

Birdman Weapons Systems — Birdman Weapons Systems offers "unfriendly products for an unfriendly world." For instance, they sell the ShotCaller2000 9mm Telephone (it'll fire one shot into the ear of whoever answers it), the Mountain Dew Shotgun (in case you have the urge to fire cans of Mountain Dew at high velocity), and, of course, the Nuke 50 Micronuclear ("a mind bending MicroNuclear blast  in a tiny, convenient and affordable package"). Definitely check out the video of the Nuke 50 in action. Unfortunately…
Posted: Mon Jun 14, 2004.   Comments (4)

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.