The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Where Is My Gnome — Bill has lost his garden gnome. Someone stole it from his lawn. Now he's hoping that you can help him find it. There's even a 1-800 number you can call if you have any info, but Dani, who told me about the site, reports that if you call the number "a nervous sounding man asks you to leave a message if you have information about his gnome, then before the beep, he says 'Mom, if this is you, hang up now.'"
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003.   Comments (1)

The Death Clock — The Internet Death Clock will calculate the time of your death, telling you exactly how many seconds you have left to live. But Chris has written in noting that there's something fishy about it because every time you click the button to calculate your time of death, you get a different number. I would add that I once had a fortune teller read my tarot cards and tell me when I was going to die, and the internet death clock doesn't agree with this reading... so it must be a hoax. (note:…
Posted: Sun Dec 28, 2003.   Comments (16)

Hampton Court Ghost — Quite a few people have sent me links to this: a ghost captured on film exiting Hampton Court Palace (where Henry VIII once lived). Or maybe it's just a guy wearing a bathrobe and a mask.
Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2003.   Comments (16)

MIT Honors the Wright Brothers — A couple of days ago a replica of the Wright Brothers' plane refused to fly. But nevertheless, the plane still managed to make a successful landing on top of MIT's Great Dome.
Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2003.   Comments (0)


Tall-Tale Postcards — The American Museum of Photography has a nice collection of William H. "Dad"�Martin's tall-tale photographs online. Martin made a fortune selling tall-tale postcards during the early twentieth century. He had a company called the Martin Post Card Company based in Ottawa, Kansas.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003.   Comments (0)

Record-Breaking Snowflake — Was the 15 inch snowflake that was recorded to have fallen in eastern Montana on Jan. 28, 1887 a tall tale? It was either that or a bunch of snowflakes frozen together.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003.   Comments (0)

Vindication for Man Will Never Fly Society — The reenactment of the Wright Brothers' first flight failed. I hate to say it, but the members of the Man Will Never Fly Society, whom I linked to just a few posts below, did predict that would happen.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003.   Comments (0)

Diet Holy Water — If you're feeling a little sinful, wash away your sins with some Diet Holy Water. Now, I don't think this is a hoax in the sense that this stuff isn't really for sale. Instead I'm linking to it because it seems like a marketing effort that has tongue firmly in cheek.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003.   Comments (1)

The Voynich Manuscript Solved? — Computer Scientist Gordon Rugg may have proven that the mysterious Voynich Manuscript (the famously untranslatable medieval book full of pictures of naked women) is a hoax. He theorizes that it was created by a sixteenth-century Englishman named Edward Kelley in order to con Emperor Rudolph II. Kelley could have created the book by using an encryption device called a Cardan Grille. Voynich scholars are still undecided about Rugg's theory, but whether or not Rugg is right, it should now…
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003.   Comments (14)

Garden Gnomes Under Threat — Residents of Derbyshire (in the north Midlands of England) have received official-looking letters threatening them with criminal prosecution if they don't remove all gnomes from their gardens. The presence of the gnomes supposedly runs afoul of government planning regulations. Real officials warn that the letters are a hoax.
Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2003.   Comments (0)

Saddam Claus — John Walkenbach has a great photoshop on his weblog (J-Walk): the disguise Saddam Hussein was wearing when he was captured.
Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2003.   Comments (1)

Columbine Paintball — Here's a site that's in incredibly bad taste, but it is DEFINITELY a hoax. It's Columbine Paintball. It purports to be a paintball arena in Cheyenne, Wyoming that allows you to play a paintball game inside a recreation of the Columbine high school. As I said, it's a hoax.
Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2003.   Comments (7)

Manned Flight is a Hoax — According to the members of the Man Will Never Fly Society, the official account of the Wright Brothers' 1903 first flight, the anniversary of which is coming up on Dec. 17th, is all a hoax. They contend that the plane never flew... and all subsequent manned flights are a hoax also. Never mind that the majority of the members of this society are pilots. Every year they meet and have a boozy celebration to commemmorate the Wright Brothers' non-flight. In fact, alcohol seems to be the…
Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

Death by Lizards — I'm not sure whether or not this is a hoax, but it's definitely strange. Back in 1910 a young woman died in Akron, Ohio and the local doctor reported that the cause of her death was lizards living in her stomach. Common sense would say that this couldn't have been the case. Lizards couldn't survive for an extended period in the acid of a person's stomach. So did the doctor really believe lizards were the cause of the woman's death, or was he purposefully trying to make an outrageous…
Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2003.   Comments (0)

LordCo Centre — The religiously inclined can find shops tailored to their needs over at the LordCo Centre Mall. Book a cruise on Noah Cruise Lines, or have all your financial needs taken care of at MeccaBank. (Warning: the site automatically plays obnoxious music).
Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2003.   Comments (1)

The Pizza Delivery Prank — Back in college I dated a girl who once ordered a stack of pizzas to my room as a practical joke. I can't really remember what I did when the pizza delivery guy showed up at my door, but I think that I just told him I hadn't ordered the pizzas, and he went away. But that's not what happened when this pizza guy was told he had the wrong address.
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2003.   
Comments (0)

Bad Santa — I saw the movie Bad Santa last week and loved it. Now here's a case of a real-life bad santa who's scamming businesses in Mississippi by pretending to be collecting money for charity.
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2003.   Comments (0)

Bum-Breathing Turtles — I received an email from Tammy who had an important question for me. "Is it true a turtle can breath out of his butt?" she wants to know. Dear Tammy, yes this is true. At least, I know it's true that some species of turtle, such as the Fitzroy River Turtle, can perform this amazing trick, but I wouldn't stick my neck out to say that every species of turtle can. Those turtles which can are known scientifically as 'bum-breathing turtles.'
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2003.   Comments (0)

New Stealth Bomber — Here it is. The first unclassified photo of the new F-22 Stealth Fighter Bomber. Invisible not only to radar but also to the human eye. (Thanks to Darren McEwen for the picture).
Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2003.   Comments (2)

Nigerian Navy Recruitment Scam — 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…
Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2003.   Comments (47)

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