The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Winston Churchill’s Parrot — Newspapers are reporting the story of Charlie, a parrot that is 104 years old, once belonged to Winston Churchill, and still swears at the Nazis. When I read about Charlie, I figured it couldn't be true. First of all, could a parrot really live that long? Well, apparently in rare cases they can. So that part of the story might be true. But there is a lot of doubt about whether Charlie ever belonged to Churchill. Churchill's family is denying that Winston ever owned a parrot. Charlie…
Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2004.   Comments (44)

Mexican Ghost — I just received this spooky photo from Katherine DeLong who explains that it's been making the rounds via email. The photo is accompanied by the following text: This picture was taken in one of the rooms of "Our Lady of Charity" hospital in Toluca, Mexico while one of the patients was asleep, the patient had been involved in a multiple car accident and the lady under the bed was the only one person who died in the same accident and taken to the morgue, the brother's patient captured…
Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2004.   Comments (11)

Suspicious Soy Sauce — I've often heard tales about all the weird, disgusting things that get thrown into hot dogs and chicken nuggets during the manufacturing process... but soy sauce! I always figured that would simply be sauce made from soy beans. Turns out I was wrong. Over in China they're cracking down on companies that are surreptitiously manufacturing soy sauce from human hair. Watch our for sauce that's described on the label as being 'blended,' because that means it's not really made from soy. It's…
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2004.   Comments (2)

Voyage of Hollow Earth Discovery — In 1818 John Cleves Symmes, Jr. issued a pamphlet declaring his intention to travel to the Arctic in order to find the polar hole that would lead down into the hollow earth. He urged his fellow countrymen to join him on his quest. He had quite a few takers, but somehow funding for the voyage never materialized. But if you're bummed that you were born too late to join Symmes on his fanciful voyage, never fear. Because now a new, modern-day hollow earther has issued another call to arms.…
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2004.   Comments (7)


RYT Hospital — The RYT Hospital-Dwayne Medical Center has been on the forefront of recent medical advances. They've developed a transgenic mouse with the cognitive abilities of a human. They've helped a man give birth. They've even developed nano-robots to deliver gene therapies and repair tissue. Pretty amazing stuff. And they've got a very slick website. Too bad none of it is real. (Thanks to Ross Harvey for the link).
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2004.   Comments (24)

From Couch Potato to Bodybuilder — JohnStoneFitness.com is a site that documents the remarkable physical transformation of a man named John Stone. Within the space of a few months he goes from being a pale, flabby, out-of-shape guy, into being a buff and muscular bodybuilder. Emily emailed me to ask if the site was for real. She felt that his muscle development happened a little too quickly to be believable, and quite a few people whom I've shown the site to have had the same reaction. But I would say it's definitely…
Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2004.   Comments (6)

My Pet Fat — This should be a joke, but I don't think it is. Apparently inspired by the pet rock phenomenon of decades ago, an entrepreneur is now trying to sell globs of artificial fat under the name 'My Pet Fat.' The gimmick is that carrying around this artificial fat will supposedly inspire you to eat less and thus lose unwanted body fat. This is so dumb that it has to be real.
Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2004.   Comments (6)

How Much For That State? — In the latest hoax to hit eBay, someone attempted to auction off the state of West Virginia. Bidding hit $100 million before the auction was yanked.
Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2004.   Comments (0)

Reporter in Trouble — Another journalist is in trouble for possible plagiarism and creating hoax stories. This time it's Jack Kelley of USA Today.
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2004.   Comments (0)

Phantom is not a Hoax — Back in August I noted there were rumors that the Phantom game console was just a hoax. Turns out it's real.
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2004.   Comments (0)

I See Jesus — Pareidolia is defined as the perception of meaningful images in random patterns. In other words, seeing things that aren't really there. For instance, people might see a face in a cloud. Or they might see the Virgin Mary in the window of a Boston hospital. When people start seeing religious images on the walls or windows of buildings, it almost always leads to good business for the business affected, as massive crowds flock there to see the image. So now there's a company calling itself…
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2004.   Comments (0)

Floral Sculpture Clinic — I'm not sure if this is real or fake. The Floral Sculpture Clinic says that it will implant bone tissue sculpted into the shape of a flower beneath your skin. The result will be a visibly raised bony pattern on your skin. If real, it's very strange.Update: Boing Boing reports that the Floral Sculpture Clinic is indeed a hoax. It's part of a conceptual art project dreamed up by the Dutch artist Simone Van Bakel. The images of the inserted implants are photoshopped.
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2004.   Comments (2)

The Indian Rope Trick — A new book by Peter Lamont chronicles the history of the Indian rope trick. According to him the trick is a hoax, not just in the sense that it's an illusion. Rather, in the sense that the trick never existed. It was never performed. In fact, it began its life in 1890 as the fictional creation of a Chicago reporter. The book is reviewed by The Guardian.
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2004.   Comments (1)

Flatulent Technologies — Flatulent Technologies is a company that is committed to "extracting energy from everything that stinks or rots." Sounds like a great idea. The company's NYSE ticker symbol is even better: FART. Too bad a little disclaimer at the bottom of the company's webpage admits it's a parody.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (2)

Kensington Runestone — The Kensington Runestone, unearthed in Minnesota in 1898 and hailed as evidence of the presence of Norse explorers in ancient America, is off on a grand tour. First stop Sweden.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

Real Dog — Why own a living, breathing dog that you have to feed every day, when you can own a RealDog instead?
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (2)


Fake UFO Photos — How to fake a UFO photo, courtesy of Skeptical Inquirer.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

Mokele-Mbembe — The Arizona Republic has a short piece on Mokele-Mbembe, the African Loch Ness Monster.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

Majestic Twelve — Anson also sent along a second site: Majestic Twelve. This is the webpage of a super-above-top secret organization that may or may not cooperate with aliens in the abduction of human beings.
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2004.   Comments (0)

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