The Hoax Museum Blog
Halloween Plane Crash Display Mistaken for Real
Posted by Boo on Mon Oct 23, 2006
According to Reuters, a mock-up plane crash erected as a Halloween display was mistaken for the real thing. Los Angeles police visited the home, but were informed by the homeowner that it was not a real accident. The homeowner is an aircraft mechanic in training and the parts are from a real Gulfstream jet. Apparently, once people realise it's just a display, the only problem is them slowing their cars to take a good look. (Thanks, Robert.)
Fake College Student
Posted by Boo on Tue Oct 17, 2006
David Jovani Vanegas claimed to be a sophomore transfer student at Rice University. In reality he had never managed to get into Rice. Last September, Vanegas started attending classes. He also ate in the university's cafeterias, hung out with other students, and occasionally crashed in people's dorms when he was too tired to go back to his off-campus lodgings. Vanegas appears to have been relatively friendly towards students, but didn't seem to form many lasting relationships. Hardly surprising, really. It was Vanegas' friend Daniel Rasheed that turned him in to the police. He says he wasn't expecting such repercussions. On September 13th 2006, Vanegas was arrested.
Quick Links: Banyan Tree Gets Police Protection, etc.
Posted by Boo on Wed Oct 04, 2006
Banyan Tree Gets Police Protection A century-old banyan tree in Jakarta has been given police protection after a group of youths attacked it to prove it had no mystical powers. Parents Kidnap Bride-To-Be The day before her wedding, Julianna Redd's parents told her they were taking her on a shopping trip. Instead, they drove her 240 miles to Colorado and held her there until after the wedding was supposed to take place. 3D Studies of the Mona Lisa New 3D studies of…
Yellow Lines Painted Under Parked Car
Posted by Boo on Wed Oct 04, 2006
Nasser Khan left his car in what he was sure was an unmarked section of road. He was understandably bemused to return the next morning only to find yellow lines beneath his car and a ticket for illegal parking on his windscreen. CCTV footage showed workmen crouching beneath the car to paint in the lines, whilst a traffic warden waited to write the ticket. It appears that the machinery used to paint the lines damaged the tyres on Mr Khan's car, which were then declared unroadworthy by…
Posted by Boo on Wed Sep 27, 2006
My Twinn is a legitimate website selling dolls which look like the child you're buying them for. First you pick an outfit, skin tone, and hair and eye colour. You send in a photograph of your child, and the artists craft the doll to resemble the photograph, including painting on such things as freckles or birthmarks. You can also buy matching outfits for the doll and child, and matching accessories. The dolls do seem very well made - they really do look like the children they're made for. One of the testimonials from previous customers states that "Over the…
Quick Links: Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos, etc.
Posted by Boo on Thu Sep 21, 2006
Fake Steve Irwin Death Videos Unsurprisingly, several videos have popped up on YouTube portraying Steve Irwin's death. They're pretty unconvincing. (Thanks, Nai Art.) IT Skills in Return For Gropes The mirror of a now deleted post from Craigslist, the title really says it all. I particularly liked: "I have a lot of tech knowledge in my life and regrettably no boobs." (Via BoingBoing, thanks Cranky Media Guy.) Building Using Recycled Paper "Papercrete [is] a mixture of Portland cement, sand, and recycled newspapers/magazines, which can be used as a building material."…
Quick Links: Heart-In Baby Diamonds, etc.
Posted by Boo on Fri Sep 08, 2006
Heart-In Baby Diamonds Anybody for an artificial diamond made of baby hair? Squirrel Sabotages Opera Singer A squirrel broke the nose of Finnish opera singer Esa Ruuttunen when it ran into the spokes of his bicycle. Flat Parents Life-sized cardboard cutouts of deployed service members are being given to their spouses, children and relatives by the Maine National Guard. Designer Underwear If you wish to sport the more... hirsute look, this pair of underwear may be for you. (Link not suitable for work.)
Posted by The Curator on Sun Sep 03, 2006
Just a quick note to say that I've been away for the past few days (still am), visiting my parents in the Northern Neck region of Virginia. I arrived at their house just hours before Tropical Storm Ernesto hit, temporarily knocking out our power. Which meant that I was also without an internet connection. Here's a photo of me with their dog, Falcon, a 180-pound Great Dane. He's the biggest dog I've ever known. He's literally almost as big as that hoax photo of a giant dog that was circulating a year or two ago. I'm six-foot tall, but I…
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 04, 2006
Two things to announce. First, I've got a deal to write another book. But it's not another book about hoaxes, so it will be a bit of a new direction for me. It'll be a book about unusual scientific experiments. The kind of experiments that make people say, "Did they really do that?" Experiments such as Stanley Milgram's electric-shock experiments, Ewen Cameron's brainwashing experiments, Louis Jolyon West's "elephant on acid" experiment, as well as some more light-hearted ones. I've known about the deal for a while, but I only received a final contract this week, so I didn't want to jinx it by publicly announcing it prematurely. However, because I'll need to focus on writing the book,…
Back From Scotland
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 23, 2006
I'm back from hunting the Loch Ness Monster and Wild Haggises (Haggii?) with fellow Museum of Hoaxers in Scotland. It was a great trip. Despite the Scottish climate staying true to reputation by raining every single day I was there, I saw and did lots of stuff: went on a ghost tour, sampled some whisky, experimented with a Victorian electric shock machine, etc. But the best part was meeting everyone else who was there. My theory that regular readers of this site are all exceptionally fun, intelligent, and attractive people was definitely confirmed. I kept being amazed that what started out years ago as a way for me to procrastinate (i.e. creating my website) ended up inspiring a group of…
Please Take This Survey
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 15, 2006
I've signed up with a new ad network called Federated Media recently started by John Battelle (one of the founders of Wired Magazine, according to the Wikipedia entry about him). In an effort to better match readers of this site to potential advertisers, Federated Media wants you all to take a brief survey. It's only a few questions: age, address, social security number, credit card info, bank account info, etc. (No, just kidding... they're not looking to steal your identity.) Apparently these surveys are important to advertisers, so if you have a few minutes it would be a great way to help the site out. And hopefully it will result in some better ads. Thanks.
The Great Edinburgh Adventure
Posted by The Curator on Sun May 14, 2006
Tomorrow (Monday) I'll be flying to Edinburgh to participate in an exciting experiment: the first face-to-face meeting of Museum-of-Hoaxers. We'll be coming from all corners of the earth: Australia, America, and Europe. Will we be able to tolerate each other in real life (as opposed to virtual life)? Will we all end up in jail? Stay tuned. I hope to post some reports from Edinburgh. I should note that this adventure wasn't my idea. The credit goes to a group of regulars who hang out in the forum (often seen congregating in the off-topic chit chat thread) and who decided that they wanted to meet each other in real life. I was invited along since my…
Amazon Review Contest
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 04, 2006
Last month I promised that I would send a free book to whomever posted the most creative review of Hippo Eats Dwarf on Amazon.com (the time limit being the end of March). I didn't forget! There were some great ones, which made it really hard to pick a winner. So I narrowed it down to my favorite five and then randomly picked one. And the winner is Arthur Hippo for his "Totally Useless Cookbook!!!" review: While I admit that the recipes in this volume can be daring, absolutely no guidance is provided as to the initial preparation of the dwarf, or any hints as to where to procure one in the first place. Also, would…
Did UKTV Do Their Own Research?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 04, 2006
Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it sure seems like all the items in UKTV's list of 20 Great April Fools, which Jon Holmes presented on air on April 1st over in Britain, were lifted almost verbatim from my list of the Top 100 April Fools ever. Not to complain (actually to complain bitterly), but it took me a long time to create that list... a lot of tedious searching through decades of old newspaper archives to find all the April Fool's Day classics that had been, for the most part, forgotten. If UKTV did their own research and collected together what they thought were the Top 20 April Fools, that would be fine.…
Museum of Hoaxes in Christian Science Monitor
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 28, 2006
The Museum of Hoaxes got mentioned twice in the Christian Science Monitor in the past two days. The first time is in a story by Randy Dotinga titled "When computers do news, hoaxes slip in." It's about the spate of recent online press release hoaxes, such as Tom Vendetta's hoax of a few days ago. I get quoted at the end of the article: "In the old days, to perpetrate a hoax and get it in front of the eyes of the millions of people, you had to be in the media some way or have access to a reporter. Nowadays, literally anybody can do it," says Alex Boese, author of "Hippo Eats…