The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Nigerian Navy Recruitment Scam
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 08, 2003
Just when we had all gotten used to those Nigerian email scams that fill up our inboxes every day, the Nigerian criminal class has gone back to the drawing board and come up with an entirely new way to con people out of money: it's the Nigerian Navy Recruitment Scam. Nigerian fraud artists are circulating fake documents that appear to be recruitment forms for the Nigerian Navy. I'm at a loss to see how exactly they make money out of this, but I'm sure they have a way. Meanwhile, the real Nigerian navy has announced that it will begin circulating real recruitment forms sometime this month.
Fame
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 08, 2003
I'm famous! Catherine Tapia wrote a piece about me for a local publication named San Diego City Beat. She pegs me as a "compulsive collector of weird information and web-surfing addict," which is exactly right.
Categories: Miscellaneous Comments (0)
Fake Cop
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 08, 2003
If you're going to drive around in a car pretending to be a cop, for God's sake don't pull over a real cop.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
Plastic Turkeys and Ploughman Lunches
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 07, 2003
The Guardian has an editorial piece about Bush's recent Turkey-gate scandal (the photo-op in Iraq with the inedible turkey). But Mark Lawson, the author of the article, points out that the bread-and-cheese pub food known as a ploughman's lunch is also a bit of a fake. Ploughman's lunches "claimed to link yuppies in pubs to their ancestors who toiled on the soil" but the seemingly traditional lunch was actually "an invention of the contemporary advertising and catering trades." I've enjoyed quite a few ploughman's lunches, and I never knew that.
Categories: Food Comments (1)
Servonet
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 07, 2003
You can buy quite a few unusual gifts for Christmas over at Servonet. For instance, check out the Home Freebasing Kit, as well as the Power Fork. Interestingly, when you try to order one of these products instead of being asked to enter your own credit card number, you're allowed to select a number from their customer database. And then you get a message that their "shipping capabilities have been suspended indefinitely."
Fake Sheik
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 07, 2003
The Roanoke Times reports on a fake sheik who duped some Richmond residents back in 1978.
Antebellum Island
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 04, 2003
The Onion has a good parody of the Reality TV genre: Antebellum Island. It's a new 'alternate reality' show, supposedly being aired by CBS, set on an island on which the South won the Civil War. The show's motto is 'Secede, Suppress, Survive.'
Categories: Entertainment, History Comments (0)
Trophy Turkey
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 04, 2003
It turns out that the turkey President Bush was proudly holding on his recent visit with the troops in Iraq wasn't for eating. It's what's known as a 'Trophy Turkey': one that is just for decoration, not for consumption. I guess it wouldn't have looked as good for the cameras for Bush to walk around holding the slices of processed turkey meat that the soldiers really got.
Categories: Food, Politics Comments (0)
Princess Caraboo
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 03, 2003
BBC Legacies, the BBC's new website for exploring local history, is doing a feature this month on Local Legends, and has put up an article about one of Bristol's local legends, Princess Caraboo (though perhaps legends is the wrong word to describe the Princess, since she was quite real, though not a real Princess). It's a good article, and they were nice enough to link back to the Museum of Hoaxes in a sidebar.
Does Santa Exist?
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 03, 2003
A Florida elementary school teacher made the mistake of telling her kids that Santa doesn't exist. Now Santa himself is making a special trip down from the North Pole to visit the classroom just to prove that he really does exist. I'm sure the teacher feels appropriately remorseful, but at least she didn't tell her kids that Santa was dead as a British vicar did last year.
Categories: Folklore/Tall Tales Comments (0)
He casts a long shadow
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 01, 2003
This photo of Dick Gephardt's shadow cast across an American flag was snapped today (Dec. 1) at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It appeared on Yahoo News and is quickly spreading across the internet. Despite the suggestive nature of part of the shadow, one has to assume that it hasn't been photoshopped. It's one of those things that seems like a hoax, but actually isn't, much like the picture of the Jamie Oliver calendar that was circulating around recently. Thanks to Kentaro Mori for giving me a heads up about this.
Self Arrest Form
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 27, 2003
The East Point Police, in East Point, Georgia, have come up with a novel way to reduce the costs of fighting crime. They simply invite criminals to arrest themselves. They have an easy-to-use self arrest form on their website that criminals can fill out and submit online. At first I suspected that the entire East Point Police website was a joke, but this doesn't appear to be the case. Instead, I'm guessing that this self-arrest form is just a bit of police humor, in the same vein as the decision by the police in Kokomo, Indiana to cut costs by closing the police station during the night. Emergency calls would be recorded on an answering machine and answered…
Categories: Law/Police/Crime Comments (0)
MJ and JR News
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 26, 2003
Michael Jackson has set up a website that's serving as his Official Press Room. Apparently Jack the Ripper has now done the same. (Thanks to Kentaro Mori for the link) Update: By the way, don't bother clicking on any of the links on the 'JR News' site. They all lead to spam. Evidently the JR News site is just a front for spammers.
Categories: Celebrities, Websites Comments (0)
Vinland Map
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 26, 2003
According to a new study, the Vinland Map (that map of North America drawn by ancient Vikings) may be genuine.
Categories: History Comments (0)
State Seal of Kahlifoania
Posted by The Curator on Tue Nov 25, 2003
Apparently the great state of California, in which I live, has adopted a new state seal, as can be seen below.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
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