Hoax Museum Blog: Conspiracy Theories

Unmanned Mission? — image Hmmm. There's either a typo in the caption to this Yahoo! News photo, or maybe they're trying to tell us that all those NASA manned space missions really were a hoax:

A Mercury-Redstone rocket that once stood upright at the credentialing center at the Kennedy Space Center (news - web sites) in Titusville, Fla. lies on the grass after being blown down by Hurricane Frances Saturday, Sept. 5, 2004. A rocket similar to this was used to launch Alan Shepard on the first unmanned suborbital mission. (AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove)

Posted: Tue Sep 07, 2004.   Comments (10)

International Jewish Conspiracy — All true conspiracy wackos know that there's an international Jewish conspiracy to control the world, but they may not have realized that this conspiracy has its own website, appropriately called InternationalJewishConspiracy.com. The site offers the lowdown on all aspects of the Jewish conspiracy, such as a refresher on secret Jewish signs as well as a list of some of the lesser known protocols of the Elders of Zion. Obviously the site is a spoof, and pretty funny. But still, I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be wearing one of the 'International Jewish Conspiracy' t-shirts they sell. I'd worry that people wouldn't recognize it as a joke. (Thanks to Jim Terr for the submission)
Posted: Tue Jul 20, 2004.   Comments (2)

Impact in June — image Head for the hills. The end of the world is near. For the past month conspiracy-theory sites have been all abuzz with the latest scare story: that a comet surrounded by a cloud of dust is going to hit the Earth this month and trigger an end-of-the-human-race scenario.

Word of the approaching comet was first leaked on the internet by someone using the screen name 'Aussie Bloke,' who claimed to be an Australian astronomer. You can look at some of his posts over at Bushcountry.org (thanks to Marco Langbroek for sending the link). They make pretty dramatic reading. For instance, here's where he describes the effect that the cometary impact will have:

"There will be several impacts of differing sizes spread over the globe. The bombardment will last a week or so at most. The largest fragment will rock the planet and the smaller ones will wipe out a city here or there depending on where they come down. There WILL be quakes and firestorms and major flooding of coastlines due to ocean impacts. Yes...it will be much like the movie 'deep impact' only worse."

According to Aussie Bloke, there's not much time to get your affairs in order because the dust cloud will begin to reach us tomorrow (June 8), and the first impact will occur on June 18.

Now it seemed pretty easy to dismiss some random guy calling himself Aussie Bloke, but then he decided to reveal his true identity. He said that he was Dr. Grant Gartrell, and sure enough there definitely is a fully credentialed Australian astronomer by that name... who has published articles about meteors and cometary impacts. But unfortunately (or fortunately, rather), that Dr. Grant Gartrell completely denies any knowledge of this 'Impact in June' stuff. In fact, he's been retired from astronomy for quite a while and now spends his time running a blueberry farm, not tracking comets.

It looks like the entire 'Impact in June' hysteria has actually been an elaborate hoax designed to poke fun at the conspiracy nuts. One clue that it was all a joke can be found in the evidence that was presented. For instance, one poster noted that you could tell the comet was approaching because "fireballs have increased significantly over the last several weeks and are happening EVERYWHERE." He then noted that a fireball was seen near Grover's Mill, New Jersey (scroll about a third of the way down the page). Grover's Mill, of course, is where the Martians supposedly landed during the 1938 War of the Worlds Panic Broadcast.
Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2004.   Comments (8)

Eric Bruderton — image A guy calling himself Eric Bruderton has some dramatic footage up on his website of people (soldiers or mercenaries? It's hard to tell) being attacked by unseen assailants wielding rocket-propelled grenades. Bruderton himself admits he doesn't know what the footage is about. As he writes, "I don’t know these people, I don’t know who’s shooting at them and I don’t know why they are being targeted. I don’t even know where they are. Maybe the Middle East." But he insists that the footage is important, and that he has somehow put himself in danger by making the footage publicly available. The whole thing reeks of a Blair-Witch-style publicity stunt. But the footage, if it is staged (which I'm guessing it is), is pretty high production value. (the video takes about 20 or 30 seconds to load). (via Chapel Perilous)
Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2004.   Comments (26)

Boycott Gillette — image I've received quite a few emails with questions like this: Is Gillette really putting spy chips inside of their products that allow them to spy on consumers at a distance? Is the company surreptitiously snapping photographs of people who pick up their products from store shelves? Are these and other claims being made at the Boycott Gillette website really true? Well, the strange thing is, as wild as these claims sound, they're actually true. Or rather, they used to be true... and could be true again in the future. Gillette did experiment with putting 'spy chips' (wireless transmitting devices, also known as RFID tags, or Radio Frequency Identification Tags) inside of the packaging of its products. And it did experiment with photographing people who picked up its products in stores. This was all revealed last year (read about it in this Guardian article). Gillette claims that it's not currently continuing these experiments, but it's still an enthusiastic supporter of the concept of the use of RFID tags, believing that they could help prevent theft and help the company better manage its inventory. They dismiss claims that the chips would be used to spy on people outside of the store. Dick Cantwell, Vice-president of global business management for Gillette, has been quoted in the media as saying that Gillette would probably only consider putting RFID tags in all its products once the price of the tags came down to around one cent each. Maybe in ten years or so. Another organization (besides Boycott Gillette) that's worried about the privacy concerns that the use of RFID tags raises is Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering. Personally, I've been boycotting Gillette for years for a different reason. Their razor blades are too expensive. Plus, I don't see a need to have double, triple, or quadruple-bladed razors (or whatever number they're now up too). A cheap single-bladed, generic razor works fine for me.
Posted: Sat May 22, 2004.   Comments (3)

New World Radio — image Nat wrote to me hoping I could shed some light on the mystery posed by this website, New World Radio, but unfortunately I can't. Some mysteries just run far too deep for me. If you care to check it out, it purports to be the front for the 'New World Order' that is soon going to come into power. The agenda for this New World Order includes making all drugs (including alcohol) absolutely illegal, taking back the right to vote from women, and imposing strict censorship on all websites. So they sound like a real fun bunch. The kind it would be nice to kick back and have a beer with. If you actually take the time to listen to their internet radio broadcast (I admit that, yes, I did this), you'll be treated to muzak interspersed with Orwellian tracts read by a computer-synthesized voice. Why would anyone go to all the trouble of creating such a site? My first thought... maybe it's satire? Or maybe it's a ploy to sell a few cafepress t-shirts? The weird thing, as Nat points out, is that they went to an awful lot of effort to hide their identity by registering the site through an IP-redirector service, sytes.net.
Posted: Wed May 12, 2004.   Comments (7)

The Mystery of Polybius — image Polybius, if you believe this website, was a video game developed by the CIA (or some other shadowy government organization) back in the early days of video games, 1981. But the game was really a secret experiment in behavior modification. Only a few of the game machines ever saw the light of day. They appeared in a few arcades in a suburb of Portland. Kids who played the game reportedly suffered disturbing side effects. They "woke up at night screaming, having horrible nightmares." Some later developed amnesia. Occasionally black-coat types would come to collect 'records' from the games. So did Polybius really exist, or is it all a hoax? Here is a rare photograph of one of the Polybius machines (or perhaps it's just a modern photoshop). Even if it is just a hoax (which, yeah, it probably is) it still makes a pretty good story. (Thanks, Rob).
Posted: Wed May 12, 2004.   Comments (37)

The JFK-Marilyn Monroe Correspondence — Lex Cusack is in jail for selling love letters supposedly written in 1961 by JFK to Marilyn Monroe. The problem is that the letters contained zip codes, and zip codes only came into use in 1963. Now the FBI wants to destroy all the letters, and Cusack is crying foul. He argues that even if the letters are fake (he continues to claim they're real), they're still his property and the government can't just destroy them.
Posted: Sun Mar 14, 2004.   Comments (2)

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)

Blow Up the Moon — The moon is our enemy. Therefore, we must blow it up. That pretty much sums up the philosophy of the Citizens' Association to Blow Up the Moon.
Posted: Thu Jan 01, 2004.   Comments (1)

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)

Manned Flight is a Hoax — men will never flyAccording 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 main focus of their meetings, because the more they drink the more confident they become in the truth of their position. So it might best be described as a drinking club. Their motto is "Birds fly. Men drink," and their website proclaims: "The Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society has fought the hallucination of airplane flight with every weapon at its command save sobriety." Sounds like a fun group to be a member of. (Thanks to Alex Richbourg for the link).
Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2003.   Comments (0)

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2003.   Comments (1)

The Secret of Drive-In Theaters — Thanks to an anonymous visitor for this link which documents, at last, what I've long suspected—that drive-in movie theaters were designed and built by aliens from outer space for the purpose of studying us and beaming messages into our brains.
Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2003.   Comments (1)

Thin line between fact and fiction — Truth and paranoid fiction becoming blurred in the modern world (Editorial from the Daily Pennsylvanian).
Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2002.   Comments (1)

Page 2 of 2 pages  < 1 2