Happy Holidays (also seeking suggestions for the top ten hoaxes of 2005)

I've been ignoring the internet for the past few days because I've been too busy eating, drinking, and opening presents. So I'll wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas now, or whatever holiday you celebrate: Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia—for all those ancient Romans out there (since I studied Latin for eight years, I consider myself an honorary ancient Roman)— or nothing at all.

Although I was trying to ignore the outside world, it did manage to briefly track me down. A reporter from the Washington Post called to talk about the case of fraudulent cloning research in South Korea that's been making headlines. Here's what I said (that made it into the article):

The stem cell case has parallels with some earlier hoaxes, according to Alex Boese, who studies and writes about such cases. In the Piltdown man claim, for example, the British researchers may have been motivated in part by national pride. "At the time, it was assumed that whatever country discovered the missing link would be the root of mankind," Boese said. "Maybe in this case South Koreans wanted to prove their scientific credentials."

I'm putting together a list of the top ten hoaxes of 2005, which I hope to have posted by Jan. 1. I think the South Korean cloning case deserves a place on the list. Another contender is the Kodee hoax (which I never posted anything about at the time because I was too busy finishing my book), in which the Southern Illinois University student paper invented an elaborate story about an 8-year-old girl, Kodee, struggling with her father being overseas in Iraq. If you have any other suggestions for hoaxes that should make the top ten list, let me know.


Posted on Mon Dec 26, 2005


I'm going to nominate the Space Cadets TV show, simply for the fact that only an idiot would fall for it, and the fact that 3 idiots did fall for it.
Posted by Andrew Nixon  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  10:51 AM
I nominate all the fake favorable stories the Bush administration paid to have put in news media both in the U.S. and in Iraq.
Posted by Big Gary in Fairbanks, Alaska  in  Fairbanks, Alaska, USA  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  12:45 PM
There was also the fake abuse photos published in the Daily Mirror in the UK. Great hoax really as it cost Piers Morgan his job, and he really needed something to knock him down a peg or two.
Posted by Andrew Nixon  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  01:25 PM
Another one you missed over the holidays was the UMass Dartmouth "DHS Agents Came After Me When I Tried To Check Out A Chairman Mao Book From The Library" story.
Posted by Andy  in  Brooklyn  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  01:35 PM
Andy, Alex didn't miss the "Little Red Book" story; he posted something about it on December 19.
Posted by Big Gary in Fairbanks, Alaska  in  Fairbanks, Alaska, USA  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  02:02 PM
Yeah, I didn't miss the DHS agents story. (I think it'll make the top 10 hoaxes.) Space cadets is also a good candidate. The Daily Mirror pictures can't make the list, however, since they occurred in 2004. But they were on my list of the top 2004 hoaxes:
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  02:13 PM
Damn, my memory is going......
Posted by Andrew Nixon  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  03:47 PM
Why are all of you voting only for things that happened recently?
Posted by Lady Hedoniste  in  Chilling with 14 other tiny people in your head.  on  Mon Dec 26, 2005  at  09:40 PM
"Why... voting only for things that happened recently?"

Because we only have short-term... er... thingies.
Posted by Peter  in  London  on  Tue Dec 27, 2005  at  07:17 AM
The Runaway Bride lady comes to mind for the top 10.
Posted by BugbearSloth  in  earth, 3rd planet, sol system  on  Wed Dec 28, 2005  at  10:17 AM
I'd have to say that the whole trend of seeing Jesus' or the Virgin Mary's face in something, then selling that something for a profit on eBay has to be one of the greatest hoaxes ever, and one that people keep falling for, over and over again.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Dec 28, 2005  at  11:54 AM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.