The Hoax Museum Blog
Posted by The Curator on Sat Feb 23, 2013
Pinder Sondhi's wife was upset to find out that all of her husband's guests at their wedding were actors. He had invited fake friends, relatives, and even parents. His parents were played by an elderly couple who had agreed to do the job on the condition that "they would keep whatever gifts they received in the wedding." Plus, Sondhi had told his wife that he was a banker. That wasn't true. And he was simultaneously married to another woman. He lived with wife #2 during the week, and wife #1 on weekends. [Times of India]
The Proposal Rejection Prank
Posted by The Curator on Mon Feb 18, 2013
The Proposal Rejection Prank is a perennial favorite. Back in 2005 I posted about how a couple had developed a routine they were performing at basketball game halftime shows, in which the guy would propose to the girl in front of the entire crowd. But instead of saying yes, the girl would break into tears and run away. It never failed to get a reaction from the crowds. The PrankvsPrank duo recently performed the identical stunt at various locations outdoors. Their resulting youtube video currently has over 4 million views.
Woody Hayes and the turtle
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 14, 2013
Woody HayesAt a recent Ohio Coaches' Convention, Urban Meyer told an interesting story about legendary Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes. The story involved an interaction between Hayes's genitals and a turtle. Here's the story, as Meyer told it: "So I guess Ohio State had lost the bowl game, so Earl Bruce brings in Woody Hayes. I had been there just a week and I'm thinking, 'Holy, this is Coach Hayes.' I'm sitting in the back. Coach Hayes was not healthy at the time, but stands up and starts laying into the coaching staff about toughness. That we have no toughness in the program. That's why we lost the game. On and on…
Slave Girl for $7.14 Hoax, 1959
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 28, 2013
Here's an example of a rumor that swept through an African community back in 1959. The story appeared in The Bakersfield Californian (Nov. 10, 1959). Slave Girl For $7.14 All A Hoax MOMBASA, Kenya (UPI) — Crowds of Africans who wanted to buy wives for $7.14 each have been told by the government that those stories about slave auctions were only rumor. Local official W.P.M. Maigacho had to issue an official denial of the rumors after men from outlying tribes twice gathered in the town of Tononka, expecting to take part in a slave auction. According to the rumors, native girls from a local mission…
The Diamond Club—an erotic literary experiment
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 10, 2012
Justin Young and Brian Bushwood, of the NSFWshow podcast, were intrigued by the success of the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. They were particularly impressed with how many books were selling well for no other reason, apparently, than that they looked Fifty Shades of Grey. So they decided to conduct an experiment — to find out whether an ebook could succeed simply by resembling Fifty Shades of Grey. They came up with a title for their novel, The Diamond Club. They also sketched out a rough outline of a plot: When Brianna Young discovers that Roman Dyle, the man she built a relationship…
Naked Came the Stranger: the x-rated movie
Posted by The Curator on Thu May 17, 2012
As I noted in my previous post, Mike McGrady, creator of the 1969 "Naked Came the Stranger" literary hoax, died recently. A little-known footnote to this hoax is that it inspired an x-rated movie in 1975. Here's the trailer for that movie. (It's pretty much safe for work.)
Story about jilted woman who pulled out all her ex-boyfriend’s teeth turns out to be a hoax
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 09, 2012
At the end of April, a news story was widely reported involving a jilted Polish woman, Anna Maćkowiak, who got revenge on her ex-boyfriend by pulling out all his teeth. Seems she was a dentist, and he made the mistake of showing up at her practice complaining of toothache. So she sedated him, and set to work. He woke up later with no toothache, and no teeth. This got posted over at Weird Universe (though not by me), but it didn't trigger any hoax alarms in my head. But it should have. MSNBC reporter Erin Tennant was suspicious, did some investigating, and discovered it was all a hoax. Or rather, it seems to have been…
Controversy over Egyptian ‘Farewell Intercourse Law’
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 30, 2012
Late last week a strange story emerged alleging that Egypt's parliament was considering a 'Farewell Intercourse Law' to make it legal for Egyptian husbands to have sex with their dead wives for up to six hours after death. Why six hours? I assume to make sure the tender last moments are wrapped up before rigor mortis fully sets in. Though according to Wikipedia, rigor mortis begins after 3 to 4 hours, so that might be a bit awkward. Naturally a lot of news orgs ran the story without bothering to do any kind of fact-checking. Then they had to backpedal after it became apparent there wasn't any kind of truth to the report.
Miss Travel—flying beautiful people around the world for free. Real or Fake?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 24, 2012
Miss Travel calls itself "The #1 Travel Dating Site." But I'm not sure how many other travel dating sites there are. Is it the only one? The premise is that if you're an attractive person (but most likely a woman) who likes to travel, they'll pair you with a "generous" traveler who wants a traveling companion (a rich guy). So it's like a high-class escort service, trading travel for "companionship." The concept seemed a bit dubious to me, but as far as I can tell the site is legitimate. It's registered to InfoStream Group Inc., which is in the business of "millionaire & fantasy dating." They've had the site registered since 2001.…
Professor argues dating sites do nothing more than weed out the freaks
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 17, 2012
UCLA Professor Benjamin Karney thinks that online dating site eHarmony is making fraudulent claims about the scientific basis of its business. He admits it may provide a helpful service by providing access to a larger dating pool and 'weeding out the freaks.' But the company also claims that it's using "scientifically proven" methods in order to predict "happier, healthier long-term relationships." And that, Karney insists, just isn't so. UCLA Professors Say eHarmony Is Unscientific and its Customers Are 'Duped.' Here's Why. laweekly.com "If you're gonna make scientific claims, act like a scientist. Or don't make scientific claims," UCLA social psychology professor Benjamin Karney says, leaning forward in his chair in his office at…
Yet Another Fake Girlfriend Company
Posted by The Curator on Wed Apr 04, 2012
The Fake Girlfriend industry is amazingly robust. I posted about some fake-girlfriend companies just a few months ago, and here's another one: Girlfriend Hire. For only $5, a real girl (or someone claiming to be a real girl) will pretend to be your girlfriend, or help you break up with your actual girlfriend, or do pretty much anything that doesn't involve physically meeting. (via Gizmodo)
Sea Captain Date—real or fake?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 21, 2012
As far as niche dating sites go, you can't get much more niche than SeaCaptainDate.com. It describes itself as "the only place for Sea Captains to connect with men and women who share a love of the ocean." Now I'm willing to believe that there are niche dating sites out there, but SeaCaptainDate.com seems a little too weird to be real. Is it really just an elaborate joke? I'm not the first to ponder this question. The site first attracted attention back in Jan 2011, when articles about it appeared on nerve.com, time.com, and howaboutwe.com (among others). These sites expressed some doubts, but…
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 06, 2011
The Huffington Post reports that FakeGirlfriend.co is a texting service that has joined the ranks of fake-girlfriend providers: you need to save the Fake Girlfriend number into your phone under her fictitious name. Then, when you're out with friends or a woman you're trying to make jealous, just text that number. You'll shortly get a text and then a pre-recorded call. In a similar vein, Cloud Girlfriend is a service that allows you to create a fake Facebook girlfriend. I wrote a bit about the history of imaginary online girlfriends in Hippo Eats Dwarf. The…
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 17, 2010
The news from Italy is that Silvio Berlusconi has been engaging in some wild "Bunga Bunga" parties. Or so says a 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer who attended one of these parties. No one is really sure what a Bunga Bunga party entails, except that Berlusconi apparently learned the practice from Muammar Kaddafi, and it has something to do with sex. On Slate.com, Brian Palmer explores the mystery of just what Bunga Bunga might be. The leading theory is that it derives from an old joke in which some western explorers are caught by a primitive tribe and offered a choice between Death or Bunga Bunga. I've actually…
Margaret Mead Redeemed?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 21, 2009
A new salvo has been fired in the ongoing controversy about whether the anthropologist Margaret Mead was "hoaxed" during her research in Samoa in 1925. I've got a brief article about the controversy in the hoax archive. To summarize: Mead traveled to Samoa, interviewed some teenage girls about their sexual behavior, and concluded that Samoan culture had very relaxed, easygoing attitudes about sex. Almost sixty years later Derek Freeman challenged her findings and claimed that the teenage girls had told her wild tales, which she had been gullible enough to believe. Freeman's claims were partially based on the testimony of one of Mead's interviewees, Fa'apua'a, whom he tracked down in Samoa.