Hoax Museum Blog: Photos

New Lincoln Death Photos — After President Lincoln died, there was a huge demand for photos of him lying in his casket. However, the army didn't allow any photos to be taken. As a result, a lot of fake Lincoln death photos appeared. I've posted about this before, and I have an example of a fake Lincoln death photo in the Hoax Photo Database. Mary Curtis just sent me an old newspaper clipping describing some Lincoln death photos owned by her grandmother. Unfortunately, no one knows where the photos are now.…
Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009.   Comments (7)

Missing Women — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the rest of his new government posed for an official photo in Jerusalem on April 1. But when the photo appeared in the ultra-orthodox newspaper Yated Neeman, all the women had been digitally removed from the photo. Apparently ultra-orthodox Jews don't like the idea of women in politics and seem to believe that if they can't see them, then they don't exist. [Suomen Kuvalehti]
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (4)

Can you see Half Dome from the Central Valley? — This may be of interest only to Californians, but so be it... On February 18 the Patterson Irrigator posted a picture that appeared to show the Half Dome in Yosemite, visible from Patterson. (It's a little hard to see, but if you look closely it's there.) The thing is, Patterson is in the Central Valley, about 100 miles from Yosemite. So the photo met with a very skeptical reaction. A lot of people simply refused to believe that Half Dome could be seen from that far away. There was…
Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009.   Comments (19)

Wolverine Blow-Up Doll — A picture of a Wolverine toy with an unfortunately positioned blow-up valve has been doing the rounds. It's another case of satire mistaken as news. The picture originated on the satire site christwire.org, under the headline "Marvel Now Promotes Gay Agenda With Wolverine Toy." But once the image got loose on the web, its satirical origin was lost. Thus, the confusion.
Posted: Fri Mar 20, 2009.   Comments (11)


Bush and the Turkey — I received the following email about the photo in the Hoax Photo Database of Pres. Bush holding a "Trophy Turkey" during his 2003 Thanksgiving trip to Iraq: you claim that the turkey George Bush is holding is plastic. This urban myth has been debunked a thousand times and yet still keeps resurfacing. Even the New York Times was forced to print a retraction of this myth back in 2004... If you want to maintain a reputation for accuracy I suggest you amend the caption accordingly. The…
Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009.   Comments (31)

Krassner’s Anti-Communism Poster — In 1963 Paul Krassner included a poster that said "Fuck Communism" in his magazine The Realist. The poster was very popular with counter-culture types. Kurt Vonnegut described it as a "miracle of compressed intelligence nearly as admirable for potent simplicity, in my opinion, as Einstein's e=mc2" because it demonstrated "how preposterous it was for so many people to be responding to both words with such cockamamie Pavlovian fear and alarm." Krassner himself often told this story about…
Posted: Thu Feb 05, 2009.   Comments (6)

Eating the world’s hottest pepper — This has to be fake. If he really did eat the Bhut Jolokia, the world's hottest pepper, he wouldn't be talking by the end of the video. His tongue would be too blistered and swollen. Still, it's a good video. (via J-Walk)
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009.   Comments (27)

Is “Where the Hell is Matt” a hoax? — Time magazine listed the Where The Hell Is Matt? video (which shows Matt Harding doing an odd little dance in various locations around the world) as the #1 viral video of 2008. But at a conference on December 11, Harding confessed that the video was just a hoax. He said the whole thing had been shot in front of a green screen, and that animatronic mannequins had been used to make it look like people were dancing with him. Check out the full video of his confession: Now, when I watch…
Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009.   Comments (13)

The Airbrushed Asian — When Scottish tourism officials first unveiled the promotional poster for next year's Homecoming Scotland campaign (whose purpose is to get people of Scottish descent to visit the homeland), people looked at it and remarked, "You know, not everyone in Scotland is white." So a second version of the poster was sneaked out, with one small change: an Asian guy had been photoshopped in. (He's on the left side of the bottom image). But most people seem to think the change is even worse than…
Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008.   Comments (10)

Adobe on Facebook — Each week Adobe -- the creator of Photoshop -- will give you five images to test if you can differentiate between the real and the fake. I got them all right! WooHoo!
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008.   Comments (3)

The strongest man in the world — Here's an entertaining example of complete bs. An Arabic TV station interviews a man who claims to be the "Incredible Hulk" of Egypt. He says that he has the strength of 30,000 men! He never sleeps! He has sex 15 times a day with his four wives! And he's so strong that the government doesn't allow him to work, for fear that he might accidentally hurt someone. But the only evidence of his strength that he offers is his ability to tear a coin in half. This, of course, is a well-known…
Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2008.   Comments (7)

The case of the inserted belly button — I've heard of photo editors airbrushing out navels on swimsuit models (see the case of the vanishing belly button from 1964), but I hadn't heard of navels being inserted into photos. But that appears to be the case with Victoria's Secret model Karolina Kurkova. Fashion watchers have recently noticed that Kurkova doesn't appear to have a full belly button. Instead she only has a "smooth dimple". Wikipedia speculates that the lack of a belly button is due to an abdominal operation in…
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008.   Comments (13)

Ahmadinejad’s Wife — This photograph, which supposedly shows Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his wife, has been circulating online for a few months. It's often linked to with teasing, tongue-in-cheek phrases such as "Ahmadinejad's wife is a hottie!" or "Ahmadinejad's wife is hotter than Palin!" But is the image real? Is that really his wife? If so, why and when did Ahmadinejad pose for the photo? It hasn't been easy to find any answers to these questions. One source claims the image came from…
Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008.   Comments (17)

Kim Jong-Il’s Shadow — A recently released photograph of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was supposed to prove that he's alive and well. Instead, it's raising even more suspicions about his health because the photo seems to be doctored. As the Times Online notes: While the legs of his soldiers cast a shadow at a sharp angle, the shadow of the “Dear Leader” is dead straight. In addition, there is a black line running horizontally behind the soldiers’ legs, but it mysteriously disappears behind Mr Kim. The…
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008.   Comments (19)

Piper Palin gives one-finger salute — A picture (top) has been doing the rounds showing Piper Palin, Gov. Palin's six-year-old daughter, apparently giving a boy the finger. Yes, it's a hoax. In the original (bottom), which can be found on the Alaska state website, it's clear that Piper has two fingers raised.
Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008.   Comments (84)

Phony 9/11 Photos — Recently the Delray Beach Public Library arranged an exhibition of photographs taken by 71-year-old Milt Goldstein. The pictures were taken immediately following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and showed rescue workers searching for victims. Goldstein told anyone willing to listen how he had gained access to ground zero by buying an NYPD hat and jacket from a vendor on Canal Street. Goldstein was offering to sell individual pictures for prices ranging from $200 to $350. But it turned…
Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008.   Comments (5)

Hoax Photo Database: Recent Additions — What I've added during the past week to the Hoax Photo Database: U.S. Army Releases Doctored Photographs Bob Owen of the San Antonio Express-News noticed that these two photos released by the U.S. Army of soldiers recently killed in Iraq were almost identical, except for the soldiers' face, name, and rank. Oswald's Backyard Photo This photo of Lee Harvey Oswald posing with a rifle in his backyard is one of the most hotly debated photos in history. Conspiracy theorists continue to argue…
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008.   Comments (0)

Will one be wanting fries with that? — This is obviously fake. For a start, the smoothness of the arms don't match the age of the face. And then there's the more obvious clue. Still, I thought it was amusing. I think it first appeared a month ago on the b3ta message boards.
Posted: Thu Sep 11, 2008.   Comments (14)

Hoax Photo Database: Recent Additions — I've been a bit lazy about posting on the blog for the past few days, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on the site! I've actually been adding lots of content to the Hoax Photo Database. Here are a few of the photos I've added recently: The Vanishing Belly Button Back in 1964 the LA Times ran an ad for Scandinavian Airlines showing a blonde model posing on top of a rock. Strangely, the Times felt the need to remove the model's belly button... because a belly button might…
Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2008.   Comments (6)

The Telegraph’s Memorable Photo Fakes — The Telegraph recently came out with a list of "20 memorable picture fakes." And the Museum of Hoaxes is listed as one of the sources they used to do their research... along with a few of the other usual suspects. It strikes me as a bit of a random list. They leave out some classics, such as the Surgeon's Photo (which I would think would be in the top 10 or 20 on any list of famous picture fakes) as well as National Geographic's cover on which they moved the pyramids, but they include…
Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2008.   Comments (3)

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