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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Places
The State of Maddocha — Status: Fiction Olivia Bruce emailed me to ask: Where is this place...or does it just not exist? I'd be hard-pressed to say where exactly Maddocha is. (Its official website simply says that Maddocha was "a wide-open space that was discovered and then occupied by John Madly and his family.") So I'm going to go with option B. It just doesn't exist. A quick google search reveals that Maddocha seems to be the creation of Deartra D. Boone.
Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2006.   Comments (12)

Cooling Down With David — Status: Fake Maybe some city really did sponsor the urban art project depicted below. But I doubt it. It definitely looks photoshopped to me. There must be an original David-free version of this picture floating around somewhere. Update: The fountain is real. It's the Crown Fountain designed by artist Jaume Plensa in Chicago's Millennium Park. But the image of David is fake. The Millennium Park website explains: The fountain consists of two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a…
Posted: Thu Dec 01, 2005.   Comments (8)

Big Foot High School — Status: Real I know of many high schools named after Washington, Lincoln, or other famous characters from U.S. history, but as far as I'm aware, there's only one Big Foot High School. It's located in Walworth, Wisconsin. However, it's not named after the Bigfoot monster. Instead, it's named after an Indian Chief: Big Foot Union High School is named after the Potawatomi Indian Chief Big Foot who lived along the banks of Geneva Lake until his tribe was relocated by the United States…
Posted: Mon Nov 28, 2005.   Comments (27)

The Palace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan — Status: Email hoax (real pictures, fake caption)Bad: Falling for an email hoax. Worse: Using the hoax as the basis for your presentation to the local city planning commission, thereby displaying your gullibility to the entire public. As reported by the Muncie Star Press (no link), Don Love gets the award for doing the latter. He received an email containing a series of pictures of an opulent estate (shown below), with the caption: In case you're wondering where this hotel is, it isn't…
Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2005.   Comments (69)


Japanese Urban Legends — Status: Urban legends The blog of Mari Kanazawa has an interesting post about Japanese urban legends. Here are some of the highlights: Turbo Gramma: When you drive on the highway at a blistering speed gramma knocks on the car window. If you see her, you will have a car accident. Someone made a turbo gramma game. Touch the Red G-String: The delivery company trade mark of Sagawa is "Hikyaku", a traditional Japanese postman. Hikyaku wore a traditional red Japanese g-string Fundoshi! The…
Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005.   Comments (7)

Grand Canyon Skywalk — Status: Real My wife emailed me this image, wondering if it was real. Yes, it's real. I think it's been circulating around for a while. It's one of those once-in-a-blue-moon kind of emails in which all the information is actually correct: New Grand Canyon Sky walk * Scheduled to open Jan. 1, 2006 Hualapai Indian Reservation * Juts about 70 feet into the canyon, 4000 ft above the Colorado River * Will accommodate 120 people comfortably * Built with more than a million pounds of…
Posted: Fri Nov 04, 2005.   Comments (47)

The Curse of Saint Edmund — Status: Unlikely A group of anti-development activists calling themselves the Knights of Saint Edmund have hit upon an unusual way of stopping a shopping center from being built in their hometown, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. They're threatening to unleash the ancient Curse of St. Edmund upon the developers. Their website states that: On St Edmund's day, the 20th November 2005, a formal and public cursing ceremony will take place at Bury St Edmunds to once again summon the avenging saint…
Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2005.   Comments (18)

Loo With A View — Status: Real A photo is doing the email circuit, showing a bathroom that men who don't enjoy being watched as they 'go about their business' might not want to use. Yes, it is a real bathroom. It's located on the second floor of the Sofitel Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand. Here's from a press release about the bathroom: Queenstown photographer Sheena Haywood shot the images of models from local agency Ican -- after Auckland model agencies turned down the job when they heard where the…
Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005.   Comments (14)

Volkswagen Autostadt Car Tower — Status: Real Here's a new picture doing the email circuit. It's accompanied by this caption: A Volkswagen Polo is loaded in the car towers of the VW Autostadt in Wolfsburg, northern Germany on Wednesday. The Autostadt, situated next to Volkswagen's headquarter, is the company's theme park, and distribution centre where daily 5,500 visitors view Volkswagen brands like Bentley, Audi, Lamborghini. It looks like something out of a science-fiction movie, but it's real, as is the caption.…
Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005.   Comments (23)

Killing Fields Cafe — Status: Weird, but true If you've ever wondered what it would be like to subsist on a starvation diet, such as the kind millions of people endured during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, now you have your chance. A restaurant has recently opened in Phnom Penh called the "Khmer Rouge Experience Cafe." It serves up the kind of watery gruel people actually ate in the killing fields, with a "'theme menu' of salted rice-water, followed by corn mixed with water and leaves, and dove…
Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005.   Comments (3)

Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey! — Status: True As you drive out of Brooklyn on the Williamsburg Bridge you'll see a traffic sign above you reading "Leaving Brooklyn. Oy Vey!" No, the sign isn't the work of a prankster, nor is the photo of the sign (to the right) a photoshop job. It's a real sign, placed there last week by the Department of Transportation at the request of Marty Markowitz, Borough President of Brooklyn. Says Markowitz: "Oy vey is an original Jewish 'expression of dismay or hurt.' The beauty is, every…
Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005.   Comments (6)

Giant Jesus Prevents Auto Accidents — Status: Unlikely (though the people who think it does won't care what I say) Along I-75 in Ohio there stands a 62-foot-tall fiberglass and styrofoam statue of Jesus, his hands raised into the air. It's very visible from the highway. Nicknames for it include Super Savior, Touchdown Jesus, Drowning Jesus (because it's located in front of a reflecting pool), and Jeeebus. It was completed last summer, and according to rumor there have been no accidents along the stretch of highway in front…
Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2005.   Comments (21)

Sharks in New Orleans — David Emery throws some cold water on rumors that sharks are swimming through the streets of New Orleans. He points out that the shark sightings seem to be the "seen by a friend of a friend" variety: I found repeated references to unnamed "authorities" and "officials" reporting one "3-foot shark cruising the city." Which authorities? Which officials? Digging further, I could only find mention of one by name: Mayor Aaron Broussard of Jefferson Parish (a New Orleans suburb), who,…
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005.   Comments (9)

Katrina Survivor Story — After 9/11 fake tales of heroism and survival soon began to pop up, so it's inevitable that after Katrina people will also invent stories. A tale that's been posted on a gamer's site has some people suspecting a hoax. I have no idea if it's real or not, so you'll have to decide for yourself. In the story, Naomi tells of how life on the coast of Alabama has descended into a state of primitive lawlessness. She claims to be living on the second floor of a house (the first floor was…
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005.   Comments (11)

Amazing Hilltop Homes — A reader sent in these photos of amazing hilltop homes wanting to know if they're real or fake. I'd say it's pretty obvious that they're fake, but they're definitely cool, nevertheless. I would guess that they come from a Worth1000 photoshop contest, though I haven't confirmed this yet. I think they've been circulating around for a while, because I have a vague memory of seeing a few of them before. Note that in the second image from the right you can see a car in the garage, if you…
Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005.   Comments (18)

Pismo Beach, Faux Clam Capital of California — This week's edition of the LA Times Magazine includes an article about various small towns in California that claim to be capitals for various types of food, such as Gilroy 'the garlic capital of the world', or Yuba City 'the prune capital of the U.S.' The article includes this description of Pismo Beach, which claims to be the clam capital of California: Call it the ultimate bait and switch. The clams disappeared from this thriving seaside town, almost exactly halfway between San…
Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2005.   Comments (10)

Gibraltar Airport — This seems kind of odd: a runway with a road going across it. And yet it's real. It's Gibraltar Airport, which is the only airport in the world that has a road crossing the runway. A view of the airport can also be seen via Google Maps (if you don't believe the picture is real). It reminds me of Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten, in terms of being a very unusual airport. (via Outhouse Rag)
Posted: Sun Jul 31, 2005.   Comments (17)

Fun With Google Maps — In a series of articles over the past week, the Register has pointed out some strange things that can be found with Google Maps. First, check out the map of the moon that Google added to its service today in honor of the moon landing anniversary. Zoom in as close as possible and you'll discover an unusual revelation. Second, Google maps reveals that there's a building on a military base here in San Diego that's built in the shape of a swastika. Strange, but true. It's not clear why…
Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2005.   Comments (23)

Secret Powerline Codes — I've heard in the past that shoes hanging from a powerline means that you can buy drugs in the area. But according to this article, in which a utility worker is interviewed, there are even more secret codes: "The tennis shoes hanging up there mark drug areas," the worker says. "It's a sign to those who are 'in the know' that drugs are available for sale in that neighborhood." He goes on to explain the alleged meaning of yoyos and deflated helium balloons. "That meaning is a lot…
Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2005.   Comments (59)

Storm Near Bunbury? — Some amazing pictures of a tornado have been doing the rounds. According to the info that accompanies them, these are "Photos of storm near Bunbury" (which is in Australia), although the text also notes that "you'd swear these were taken in america's mid west / tornado belt..." This has started some discussion on alt.folklore.urban, as people try to locate exactly where these photos were taken. The scenery does look a lot like the midwest.
Posted: Fri May 20, 2005.   Comments (81)

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