The Hoax Museum Blog
The Lady in the Tree
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 07, 2008
More tree pareidolia. But this time, it's not the Virgin Mary. It's a naked lady. In theory, it could be a naked Virgin Mary, but no one has made that claim. The tree, which is over 100 years old, stood on a corner in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It was going to be cut down. After its branches were removed, local residents noticed the woman. It wasn't enough to save the tree. They chopped it down anyway, but the owners are planning on making a statue out of the wood.
Toast Appears on Jesus Christ
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 30, 2008
John Ordover sent this in. He was looking at a picture of Jesus (or rather, an artist's interpretation of what Jesus might have looked like) when he realized a piece of toast had miraculously appeared on it. I think this must be a message from John's toaster! But can we be sure that actually is a piece of toast? It kinda looks like a granola bar to me.
Cheesus and Mary
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 25, 2008
Two examples of religious pareidolia have made headlines recently. The first is "Cheesus" -- a Jesus-shaped Cheeto found by Steve Cragg, a youth director at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston. He actually found it a couple of years ago, but decided to unveil it recently in honor of Easter. The second is the Virgin Mary on an Easter egg. KGBT reports: "Veronica Cervera said she was making "cascarones" by dyeing hollow eggshells on Good Friday when an image suddenly appeared. Cervera is convinced it's the Virgin Mary." I can't see the image at all. It…
Palm Leaf Mary
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 20, 2008
And now for your daily pareidolia. (Well, weekly pareidolia, at least.) Manny Duenas of Sacramento was cutting down some old palm leaves in his yard -- on Palm Sunday, no less -- when he happened to look at one of the leaves in his hand and saw an image of the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus in her arms. Duenas says: "God is out there and maybe these are one of the messages that they send." Actually, I don't so much see the Virgin Mary figure, but I definitely see an…
Jesus in the Door
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 18, 2008
Ten years ago Wendy Divock felt a touch on her cheek. She thought it was her husband touching her, but when she turned around, he wasn't there. What she saw instead was an image of a face in her closet door. Initially Wendy and her husband called the image the "guy in the door," but after doing some research on the internet they decided that it was Jesus. The pastor across the street assures them that the image is "very significant and that it's authentic." The Dovicks have created a site, jesusinthedoor.com, to publicize their door. They're selling 8x10 glossy photos of…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 11, 2008
According to the website dnaindia.com, 50 people in the Kottayam district of India have lost their vision after gazing into the sun for hours trying to see an image of the Virgin Mary: Though alarmed health authorities have installed a signboard to counter the rumour that a solar image of Virgin Mary appeared to the believers, curious onlookers, including foreign travellers, have been thronging the venue of the ‘miracle’. St Joseph’s ENT and Eye Hospital in Kanjirappally alone has recorded 48 cases of vision loss due to photochemical burns on the retina... There are quite a few people still seeking…
Jesus or Mary in a tree
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 27, 2008
Donna and Frank Pascariello have a tree on their property that has a light patch on its bark. Of course, the patch MUST represent a religious figure of some kind. This is the rule whenever trees display any kind of discoloration. However, in the case of the Pascariello's tree, no one is sure exactly which religious figure it is. Jesus? Mary? A saint? I think it looks like a generic ghost.
Jesus (or a lobster) in a tree
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 12, 2008
Here's another "Jesus Image in a Tree" for my collection. This one was found by Pennsylvania resident Craig O'Connor. MyFoxColorado.com reports: By counting the tree rings, O'Connor believes the tree was at least 40-50 years old. As a furniture maker of 25 years, O'Connor has worked with wood and seen plenty of different stains and marks. He says this one is radically different from all the others. O'Connor is a Catholic and believes it's a sign from God. When asked what the message is, he replied that it's like Jesus saying, "Believe…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 11, 2008
With the Martian Bigfoot recently making headlines, Dr. Charles Lintott wrote an article for the BBC that traces the long history of Martian pareidolia. Something about Mars makes us see things that aren't really there. It began with early astronomers believing that the surface of Mars was covered with canals. During the 1960s, some astronomers reported seeing signs of vegetation on the planet's surface. The image below shows (on the top row) the Martian canals. The bottow row (from left to right) is the "face on Mars" taken by NASA's Viking spacecraft in the 1970s; the fossils that NASA researchers claimed to have found in a Martian meteorite…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 04, 2008
Bob (aka Cranky Media Guy) sent me a link to an article about "Scientific Hoaxes" scanned from the Dec. 1931 issue of Modern Mechanix magazine. I love old popular-science magazines like this. They're a great source of strange information. Unfortunately whoever scanned this article missed two pages, so you skip from a discussion of the Central Park Zoo Escape straight into a discussion of the Cardiff Giant. Nevertheless, the image of a "petrified foot" on the front page caught my curiosity. The caption reads: "A water-worn stone was once offered to the Smithsonian Institute as a petrified foot. Note the striking resemblance."
Ghostly face floats near floor
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 25, 2008
17-year-old Matthew Summers used his mobile phone to take a picture of his sister and some friends as they were preparing to go out. Closer inspection of the photo revealed a ghostly face floating near the floor. Thisislondon.co.uk writes: His photo joins a long line of apparently paranormal snaps. The most memorable in recent times was a cloaked figure photographed standing in a doorway at Hampton Court Palace in 2003. However, Ciaran O'Keeffe, a parapsychologist on Living TV's Most Haunted show, has a…
Jesus Hides in Potatoes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 25, 2008
Renee Brewster of Florida found Jesus while preparing potato salad. His image was clearly visible in the moldy rot that had formed in the center of the first potato she split open. She put aside the holy potato and finished making the potato salad, which reportedly tasted excellent. According to MyFoxOrlando, Renee and her husband feel that "the site of their savior in a potato has reinvigorated their faith." But Cranky Media Guy wonders if this is manufactured pareidolia, noting that, "For the first time in memory, I can actually make out the figure they think they see."
The Martian Bigfoot
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 22, 2008
Flora posted an image in the forum of what looks like a Martian bigfoot. (I inserted a picture of the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot for comparison.) According to metro.co.uk, the image was taken by NASA's Mars Explorer Spirit, but it "wasn't until space and science fiction enthusiasts became involved that the images were taken more seriously." Here's the complete NASA image (thanks, Mongo) from which the image above was enlarged. I drew a red circle around the Bigfoot image. It's barely visible, in the far left corner. As you can see, the Martian Bigfoot is very, very small. Perhaps Littlefoot…
Virgin Mary on Living Room Wall
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 03, 2008
A New Mexico family reports that an image of the Virgin Mary has appeared in the pattern of the texture of their wall. Their granddaughter says, "I think God is trying to tell us something, like a message from heaven." Maybe that message is, "Don't get a job applying wall texture." Is it just me, or are these Virgin Mary sightings getting harder and harder to see? I can barely make this one out at all. Bob forwarded me the link with the comment, "How ridiculous would a 'sighting' of the Virgin Mary have to be before the news would refuse to report it?" I…
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 13, 2007