Tag Archives | Hoaxes

The Halloween Revolt Hoax

Remember the “Purge” that was supposed to happen last Halloween where hordes of bloodthirsty tweens and teens were going to go on a murder spree?

This year the Fear Porn Du Jour is the “Halloween Revolt” where bloodthirsty anarchists go on a rampage murdering cops. Because anarchy. Then again, for the police, any excuse to ramp up the violence rhetoric is a good enough excuse.

Harmless Trick or Treaters or Murderous Anarchists?

Harmless Trick or Treaters or Murderous Anarchists? (photo: Flickr)

The Art of Not Being Governed spells (get it? Spells. Because Halloween? Ho ho.) out this frighteningly stupid hoax for us:

In the last couple of days, the media has been absolutely freaking out over what would otherwise sound like the plot to a bad action move. It’s called “The Halloween Revolt.” The script goes something like this: the FBI has gained intelligence that on Halloween of this year, a shadowy anarchist group called the National Liberation Militia is asking people to dress up and randomly attack police officers, and only the most righteous defenders of the Thin Blue Line can stop them.

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Hoax Hunter: Taryn Wright Busts People Who Fake Illnesses Online

The strange part of cyberculture where people fake serious illness via the Internet, for money, sympathy or some less tangible benefit, is fairly well known (see our earlier coverage). But now there is a cyber-vigilante hunting them down. Taryn Wright, self-styled hoax hunter, explains why she does it, at Fusion:

Three years ago, on Mother’s Day, I read a Facebook post about the tragic death of a young trauma surgeon in Saskatchewan. Dana Dirr, pregnant with her eleventh child, had been in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Rushed to the very hospital where she saved people on a daily basis, Dana delivered her baby Evelyn and then passed away.

dana dirr

As if that wasn’t awful enough, the family’s seven-year-old son, Eli Dirr, was in the final stages of a long battle with cancer and wasn’t expected to live for much longer. Dana’s husband, Canadian Mountie J.S. Dirr, posted a long, emotional tribute to his wife just hours after her death.

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11 Lies People (And My Mom) Tell About Drugs

This story originally appeared here at The Fix.

When I was a kid, I remember being terrified about going to junior high school. My mom told me that kids were going to try and force me to do drugs. I wouldn’t be safe at recess, or in the halls. They were going to hold me down and force drugs down my throat.

It wasn’t until later that I realized how totally ridiculous this was. People either possess drugs because they like them and want to take them to get high, or because they want to sell them and make money. There is no instance where someone has drugs with the plan of jamming them down some 7th graders throat. No way that happens.

This was the first, but not the last, time that I was lied to about drugs. Here are 10 other lies I’ve heard over the years.

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Why hasn’t anyone been “back to” the Moon?

In an essay from a few years ago that is sure to rankle many a reader (but not you, Gentle Disinfonauts—you’re what the kids call ‘open-minded,’ of this I am sure) and stick in the craw of every Official Story™ adherent, conspiracy researcher Dave McGowan ponders why we haven’t returned to the Moon. (And of course, by that extension, the question of why hasn’t anyone else been to the Moon should irritate the linings of your mind like a bad rash.)

We're #1!

We’re #1!

Grab your tin foil hat and let’s get lunar, folks:

Anyway, as I noted in the last Apollo post, “whenever NASA types talk about going ‘back’ to the Moon,” they invariably seem to “unintentionally raise questions about the legitimacy of the Apollo missions.” And sure enough, the boys over at Lockheed Martin (one of NASA’s longtime partners-in-crime) certainly didn’t let me down in that regard with this latest proposal.

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HOAX! The High School Investment Genius Lied, Didn’t Make $72 Million

Even though New York City’s Stuyvesant High School has more than its fair share of highly intelligent students, it did seem a stretch that one of them could have made $72 Million trading stocks, as was widely reported over the last few days. The New York Observer reveals it was a hoax:

It’s been a tough month for factchecking. After the Rolling Stone campus rape story unraveled, readers of all publications can be forgiven for questioning the process by which Americans get our news. And now it turns out that another blockbuster story is —to quote its subject in an exclusive Observer interview—”not true.”

Monday’s edition of New York magazine includes an irresistible story about a Stuyvesant High senior named Mohammed Islam who had made a fortune investing in the stock market. Reporter Jessica Pressler wrote regarding the precise number, “Though he is shy about the $72 million number, he confirmed his net worth is in the “’high eight figures.’” The New York Post followed up with a story of its own, with the fat figure playing a key role in the headline: “High school student scores $72M playing the stock market.”

Stuyvesant HS

And now it turns out, the real number is … zero.

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The Man Behind Snopes.com

Snopes logo.png

Most disinfonauts know Snopes.com, not least because Snopes often spoils all the fun of the weirder and wackier stories that our contributors offer for your delectation. But do you know the man behind the Snopes mask? io9 profiles David Mikkelson and asks him some questions, including this:

In your opinion, what was the most outrageous story that turned out to actually be true?

I hesitate to repeat any because I’m not sure you can print them! [Laughs.] There was one I just sort of dusted off and re-published, but it dates way back to when I first started. Back in the early days of the Internet, there was this text that used to circulate via email that was supposedly a medical journal article. It had to do with a doctor who treated a patient whose scrotum was all swollen, and discolored, and had metal bits in it.

They eventually coax the story out of the patient: he worked in a machine shop, and when everyone else went to lunch, he would use the belt sander or some piece of machinery to pleasure himself.

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Chris Bovey, Chemtrails Conspiracy Troll


What do you make of Chris Bovey? Assuming his story is true, does his fake chemtrail spraying video prove anything more than it is possible to hoodwink ardent believers of chemtrails / geoengineering theories? Vice presents his story as a debunking, while it seems to me more akin to claiming that because some crop circles are man made, then necessarily all crop circles are hoaxes…

The chemtrails conspiracy theory has been circulating for a while among the same sorts of people who believe that 9/11 was an inside job and celebrities are being controlled by the CIA. In brief, chemtrail enthusiasts think that those white trails of vapor you see pouring out of planes are actually nasty chemical or biological agents that governments are using to geo-engineer the weather, create a vast electromagnetic super-weapon, control the population, or—well, you get the idea. There’s no science or proof whatsoever behind this, but plenty of people are still willing to entertain this vaguely supervillain-esque notion.

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Tech Company ‘Proves’ Faked Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory As Hoax

Nvidia, the tech company that makes the graphics card for your gaming PC, says it has debunked the faked moon landing conspiracy theory. Here’s the video, about which Nvidia says “Explore the truth behind the iconic Buzz Aldrin moon landing photo. See how modern graphics innovations can shed new light on a 35-year-old conspiracy theory”:

What do you think, disinfonauts?

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Dust: The Proof That We Landed On The Moon

In an unapologetic attack on Moon-landing hoax proponents, Popular Science, claims that the proof that we landed on the Moon is the movement of dust behind the lunar rover:

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11’s lunar landing, which means the Moon hoax theorists are out in full force. And while scientists have refuted the hoaxers most common arguments like how the Apollo flags apparently wave in a vacuum, there’s one interesting way to prove that we did in fact land on the Moon that we don’t see all that often: the movement of dust kicked up by the lunar rover on Apollo 16.

Apollo 16 was the second Apollo mission to take a lunar rover to Moon. In April of 1972, Commander John Young and Lunar Module Pilot Charlie Duke spent a little more than 20 hours exploring the Moon’s Descartes region. The rover allowed them to cover more ground than they would have been able to on foot, and also gave them a unique off-roading experience.

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