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The Hoax Museum Blog
Hoaxes, mischief, and misinformation throughout history
Two interesting links via BoingBoing. First, the website of the International Bigfoot Symposium that will be held September 12-14 in Willow Creek, CA (very close to where the famous Patterson-Gimlin film of a Bigfoot creature was shot). Second, the somewhat surprising news that Jane Goodall, the famous primate researcher, is a Bigfoot believer. You can listen to her discuss her beliefs in a segment recorded from NPR's Science Friday.
Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2003 Comments (0)

A visitor (Joanna) asks: I heard about a historical practice that could possibly be a hoax. I visited the Freakatorium in NYC today, and they had on display a mummified cat that they claim was walled into "A New York City Building" to ensure its stability. Now, they assured me that although they had hoaxes in this museum, the cat thing was certainly real, although they were fuzzy on the dates and the location it was found in. I found some references to this practice in medieval times... However, I can't imagine this happening as late as the 1800's, when this practice supposedly took place in New York. Any thoughts on this? My Answer: I'm…
Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 Comments (1)

I believe it's now officially confirmed that I'm an idiot. I run a website called the Museum of Hoaxes, and yet I fall for an obvious hoax. Back on July 17 I trumpeted the news that a fossil of a sea serpent had been found on the shores of Loch Ness, and that it wasn't a hoax. What was I thinking? Of course it was a hoax. I believed it because I thought it was perfectly reasonable for someone to find a plesiosaur skeleton. But to find one on the shores of Loch Ness should have raised all kinds of alarm bells. Now researchers who have had a chance to examine the fossil say that it was likely…
Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 Comments (2)

The team of developers on this website claim to be creating a game called '911 Survivor' that allows you to simulate being inside the burning World Trade Center. Reacting to this, quite a few people have immediately speculated that it must be a hoax. But looking through the site, I suspect it isn't. Instead it seems to be some kind of art project designed to make people question the boundaries drawn between real-reality and media-reality.
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 Comments (0)


I've never been to the Burning Man festival, but from what I hear it would be fair to call it representative of hippie culture. You go out into the desert for a few days, smoke dope, listen to music, and generally let it all hang out. So imagine the horror of Burning Man devotees when they come across this website offering a package tour to the festival. The deal included an air-conditioned tent and front-row seats at the festival. It smacked of yuppie/corporate encroachment. But the site turns out to have been a hoax designed by Burning Man regulars.
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 Comments (0)

The NY Times reports on a growing controversy in the art world. The famous Black Paintings by Francisco Goya may not have been painted by Goya at all. A new book coming out speculates that they were actually painted by his son, who's been considered pretty much a nobody as far as art historians have been concerned.
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 Comments (0)

Olympic track star Carl Lewis was reported to have been killed in a bicycle accident in this news report. But actually Lewis is just fine. The report is a phony, rigged up by a biking enthusiast to draw attention to an abutment in a Houston park that he considers dangerous.
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 Comments (0)

A review of Peter Carey's new book, My Life as a Fake, based on the story of Ern Malley, the Australian literary hoax.
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 Comments (0)

The FBI says: beware fake websites. They're calling it the 'Phisher' scam. You receive an email that lures you to what you think is a legitimate website run by a real company (though it's not). Then you're tricked into divulging your personal information (credit card info, etc.)
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 Comments (0)

An email going around claims to contain, as an attachment, the next cookbook by Jamie Oliver (aka The Naked Chef). It's actually just a mock-up, containing recipes from his previous book. But I'm bummed that I haven't received this email yet.
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 Comments (0)

A legal battle erupts over who owns the copyright to the poems of Ern Malley. If you don't know who he is, Malley is Australia's most famous hoax poet. My favorite line of his continues to be, "I am still the black swan of trespass on alien waters." Brooding, eerie, and completely nonsensical. (I don't have anything about him on the website, but I've got a blurb about him in my book).
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 Comments (0)

So I think it's finally official that Hunting for Bambi is a hoax, a publicity stunt done to sell videos. Isn't it wonderful that public attention gets focused on things like this rather than, oh, poverty, hunger, education, etc.?
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 Comments (0)

So Esquire has commissioned Jayson Blair to write a movie review of Shattered Glass, an upcoming movie about Stephen Glass (another media hoaxer from five years ago). I'm sure his review will, in turn, become one of the most heavily reviewed reviews ever.
Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 Comments (0)

Here's the Unofficial Daria Movie Rumor Page. I'll let its creator, Barry Edelman, describe it in his own words: I just finished your book and I loved it. I had to check out the site, which is also good. Since you have a section on hoax sites, I had to submit mine. My brother and I, annoyed by bad Hollywood movies based on television shows (and bad Hollywood movies in general), for a few years maintained a site called The Unofficial Daria Movie Rumor Page. The premise is that the MTV cartoon series _Daria_ has been turned into a movie starring Jennifer Love Hewitt in the title role. (The title role, being…
Posted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 Comments (1)


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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.