The Hoax Museum Blog
Radio station fined for cash hoax
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 06, 2009
The FCC has charged a Pittsburgh radio station a $6000 fine for a Thanksgiving day hoax in which the station told listeners they were giving away one-million dollars to the thirteenth caller. There wasn't actually any money, but they kept one guy on hold for 45 minutes, making him believe he had won. I can see the FCC's point. A million-dollar prize isn't something that's inherently unbelievable. So for the radio station to claim it had the money when it didn't isn't exactly an amusing hoax. It's more like a blatant lie.
The Filipino Monkey
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Following up on last week's post about the confrontation between US and Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf, the mysterious threat that the U.S. ships received -- the one in which they heard someone say "I am coming to you... You will explode after... minutes" -- is now being attributed to the "Filipino Monkey." The Filipino Monkey is apparently a prankster who interjects obscenities and threats into ship-to-ship radio communications in the Persian Gulf. Or rather, it's many pranksters. The name "Filipino Monkey" now serves as a generic term for rogue radio operators in the Middle East. I became intrigued by the Filipino Monkey phenomenon, so I did some…
Porn Radio Replaces Christian Radio
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 31, 2006
Status: Publicity stunt When I first read this article I thought it was an example of satire masquerading as news. Now, however, I think it's just a publicity stunt:Kingsburg-based KFYE, FM 106.3, offered Christian programming until a week ago. In a neck-snapping, did-I-really-hear-that? turn of events, it now provocatively calls itself "Porn Radio" — presenting a mix of music, moans and suggestive announcements... The station's titillating playlist runs from "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" by The Beatles, to "Sexual Healing" by Marvin Gaye, to "Strokin'" by Clarence Carter, to "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred and "Nasty"…
Schwarzenegger Blows Up the Moon
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 12, 2005
Former congressman and current MSNBC political commentator Joe Scarborough has had to apologize for claiming that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to blow up the moon. Scarborough had criticized Schwarzenegger for making the following remark: "If we get rid of the moon, women, those menstrual cycles are governed by the moon, will not get (pre-menstrual syndrome). They will stop bitching and whining." But although it's very believable that our Governor would have said something like that, in this case he was innocent. The remarks were actually made by a Schwarzenegger impersonator on the Howard Stern show.
Star 100.7 Becomes Jack 100.7
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 07, 2005
Every day when my wife drives home from work (here in San Diego) she tunes in to radio station Star 100.7 to listen to a show called 'The Daily Dirt' (which is basically entertainment gossip). Today she was surprised to discover that the station had abruptly switched to a 'classic rock' format that randomly plays songs from the 80's, 90's, and the present. Plus, it was no longer Star 100.7. It was now Jack 100.7. Even the DJs were different. She thought it might be some kind of belated April Fool's Day prank. But when she got home we did some research and learned it was no prank. Apparently this is happening…
Intergalactic Personal Ads
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jun 20, 2004
Leave a message on Endless Echoes' answering machine, and for only $24.95 they'll beam it into outer space, where it will theoretically travel forever. They bill it as the perfect way to send a message to loved ones who have died (why dead people would get the message in outer space, I don't know). I think the service would be better targeted at lonely hearts in search of alien companionship (Single White Female ISO Single Green Alien). But the whole thing has a hoaxy feel to it... along the lines of those companies that offer to name a star after you, or sell people plots of land on…
The 1938 Panic Broadcast Revisited
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 30, 2003
The Toronto Star has an article about the 1938 War of the Worlds panic (the anniversary of which is today)... and they quote me in it! The article argues that the mass panic was much smaller than is popularly thought. I'm inclined to agree with this. My reasons are: being familiar with the way in which stories about hoaxes are told, I know that the impact hoaxes make is often exaggerated in order to tell a better story. So it sounds a lot more dramatic to say that one million people panicked in 1938, but the truth is that it was probably only a few thousand.
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 08, 2003
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 14, 2003
Castro Radio Prank
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jun 18, 2003
The Loch Ness Mall
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 05, 2003
Visitor Michael Melen wrote in with a description of a radio hoax from the mid '80s: "Baltimore had recently undergone a revival of its downtown area, centered on the Inner Harbor development. A radio ad trumpeted the newest addition to Baltimore's Inner Harbor: the world's very first underwater shopping mall called the Loch Ness Mall. The ad went on to describe how wonderful the mall would be and when it would open. It turned out to be a concoction of a radio advertising group, hoping to display the power of radio advertising... It was a very beguiling ad!"
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jan 09, 2003
Britney Spears Phone Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 26, 2002
A deejay at a Montreal radio station made a successful prank phone call to Britney Spears. While pretending to be Celine Dion, the deejay got Spears to agree to sing a duet with Tiger Woods called Let's Make A Hole in One. All for charity, of course. Read about it here. Or visit the homepage of the radio prankster where you can buy a recording of the actual prank.
NPR Funding Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Sat Jul 27, 2002
Good description in the Christian Science Monitor of the NPR Funding hoax. I've got this in my e-mail a couple of times. It's the one in which you're asked to sign a petition to help save NPR. It's not real, so don't sign the thing if you get it. The CSM article ends on a glum note: "It would be nice to think that Americans in the 21st century are too savvy and intelligent to get collectively hookwinked by hoaxes, pranks, or propaganda. Don't you believe it."