The Hoax Museum Blog
Princess Juliana Airport
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 20, 2004
This is a pretty amazing picture, and it screams 'Photoshop!' After all, where in the world would planes really land that close to sunbathers on a beach? It looks like the plane is landing right on top of them. Well, the place is Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten. And the airplanes really do come in that close to the beach. A collection of shots of planes landing at Princess Juliana is circulating as a powerpoint file via email. Jozee V sent the file along to me (Thanks, Jozee!). At first I couldn't believe that the shots were real, but after a little research I was convinced. The thumbnail shot…
Why you should not feed your cat table scraps
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 18, 2004
I don't know what it is about oversized domestic cats that's so endlessly fascinating, but I've got to admit that, as the owner of a rather corpulent kitty, I'm just as intrigued by this subject as everyone else seems to be. So anyway, first there was Snowball. Then along came Munchkin. And now the latest tubby tabby to do the email rounds is Scrappy, the Super-Sized Cat. This email comes with the subject line: Why you shouldn't feed your cat table scraps. I don't know if it's real or not, but at the risk of putting my reputation as a hoax expert on the line, it kind of…
Hanoi John, Part II
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 17, 2004
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 17, 2004
A doctored photo of John Kerry speaking with Jane Fonda (aka 'Hanoi Jane') at a 1971 anti-war rally has been making the rounds lately and getting a lot of attention. It was almost immediately debunked as a phony. As this Newsday article describes, the original photo was taken by Ken Light. The doctored version of it began popping up in conservative chat rooms a few weeks ago. As the political campaign heats up, I expect that many more photoshopped pictures of political candidates will surface. What I found surprising was not the picture itself, but the speed at which it was…
Mountain Lion Email Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 06, 2004
Quite a few people have received this picture in their email showing a man holding up a giant (dead) mountain lion. According to the accompanying text, the lion was shot by the man near Leon, Kansas while he was out deer hunting, though different versions of the email list different locations. Is the picture real? It is. But the accompanying text is incorrect. According to this article on Buckmasters.com, the lion was actually shot near Seattle, Washington. The picture first appeared in Fair Chase magazine, published by the Boone and Crockett Club, before it spread to email.
Tall-Tale Aviation Photo
Posted by The Curator on Sun Feb 01, 2004
Richard has written in with a question about the photograph (to the right) that's being sold as a print by The New York Times. It shows the sky above Portland, Oregon filled with biplanes. It was taken in 1920 by the photographer C.S. Woodruff. Richard questions whether the picture can possibly be real, and I think he's right to do so. First of all, the biplanes seem dangerously close to each other, all clustered together in a swarm. Second, by 1920 there were hundreds of biplanes and trained pilots in the U.S. But what would they have been doing all gathered together in Portland? Could one city have produced that…
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 20, 2004
I just received this spooky photo from Katherine DeLong who explains that it's been making the rounds via email. The photo is accompanied by the following text: This picture was taken in one of the rooms of "Our Lady of Charity" hospital in Toluca, Mexico while one of the patients was asleep, the patient had been involved in a multiple car accident and the lady under the bed was the only one person who died in the same accident and taken to the morgue, the brother's patient captured this image with his own camera and the picture has been seen around the world and has been authenticated by…
The Commissar Vanishes
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 12, 2004
The Newseum presents The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs in Stalin's Russia.
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 17, 2003
The American Museum of Photography has a nice collection of William H. "Dad"�Martin's tall-tale photographs online. Martin made a fortune selling tall-tale postcards during the early twentieth century. He had a company called the Martin Post Card Company based in Ottawa, Kansas.
New Stealth Bomber
Posted by The Curator on Tue Dec 09, 2003
He casts a long shadow
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 01, 2003
This photo of Dick Gephardt's shadow cast across an American flag was snapped today (Dec. 1) at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It appeared on Yahoo News and is quickly spreading across the internet. Despite the suggestive nature of part of the shadow, one has to assume that it hasn't been photoshopped. It's one of those things that seems like a hoax, but actually isn't, much like the picture of the Jamie Oliver calendar that was circulating around recently. Thanks to Kentaro Mori for giving me a heads up about this.
The Naked Chef
Posted by The Curator on Sat Nov 15, 2003
Here's a picture of the 2004 calendar of Jamie Oliver (aka The Naked Chef). Note the suggestively placed piece of bread. This image originally appeared on the website of Boots, which is a British pharmacy. And it quickly attracted attention, at which point Boots cropped the image in order to remove the offending piece of bread. I can't find another picture of the calendar anywhere online to compare this picture to, but I'm assuming that the piece of bread must have been photoshopped in. Probably by a mischievous Boots employee. Update 2 (11/17/03): David Emery reports that he was able to find the real version of the…
Posted by The Curator on Mon Nov 03, 2003
Here's another image from the San Diego fires that seems to be too amazing to be real, but is actually totally genuine. It's circulating around with the caption 'lucky bastard' (enlarge it to see why this makes perfect sense). It was sent to me by Kentaro Mori of Liquito. I think that the photo was taken in the Scripps Ranch neighborhood of San Diego, though I could be wrong about that. According to the navy website which the picture comes from, the photo was taken from a Sea King helicopter by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Michael J. Pusnik, Jr.
Is The Blood Red Water Real?
Posted by The Curator on Sun Nov 02, 2003
An environmental activism group named Sea Shepherd photographed and videotaped Japanese fishermen slaughtering sixty dolphins in a cove near Taiji, Japan. They posted the pictures of the slaughter on their website, thereby causing widespread outcry. But one of the pictures is also provoking debate of a different kind. It shows the water of the cove turned an almost neon red color because of the blood of the dolphins. People looking at this are wondering, can that possibly be real? Can the water really be that red? Or did Sea Shepherd, perhaps, tweak the colors in the picture via photoshop? I don't have the answer. In an accompanying videotape the water…