These photographs of ‘spirits’ are taken from an album of photographs unearthed in a Lancashire antiquarian bookshop. They were taken by a controversial medium called William Hope (1863-1933). In about 1905 he became interested in spirit photography after capturing the supposed image of a ghost while photographing a friend. He went on to found the Crewe Circle – a group of six spirit photographers.
By 1922 Hope had moved to London where he became a professional medium. The work of the Crew Circle was investigated on various occasions, exposing Hope as a fraudster. However, many of Hope’s most ardent supporters spoke out on his behalf, the most famous being Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Tag Archives | Hoaxes
Lunar man-bats, unicorns, bipedal beavers and a triad of mysterious solar temples featured in a sensational hoax perpetuated by the New York Sun in 1835. This from Victorian Gothic:
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Imagine that you wake up one morning, sit at your computer, and you are bombarded with links to a developing story from a major news outlet: Stephen Hawking, by making novel use of Cambridge University’s new quantum supercomputer to analyze data from SETI’s telescope array, has discerned that the universe is awash with signals from intelligent life. It reads like a regular science story, at first, but soon it is revealed that Hawking and his colleagues have tapped into an extra-terrestrial television transmission, and are even now watching, breathless, as the first, dream-like images of alien civilizations display themselves on the Q-computer’s tiny monitor.
You and your friends refresh your browsers compulsively, talking over each new description that emerges of strange alien races and the exotic landscapes they inhabit, as gleaned from upon the wacky sitcoms and low-budget reality shows that they are indiscriminately beaming into space.
Remember five months ago when the world almost came to an end, but then God granted us a last-minute reprieve? Tomorrow, we’re going to do it all over again. Get out the signs, air horns, and foam fingers! From Beliefnet:
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This time the end of the world will be real, says 90-year-old California radio mogul Harold Camping — October 21, so be ready.
But he doesn’t sound quite so confident this time. He suffered a stroke shortly after his most recent false alarm — May 21. He’s been in a nursing home. But now, he’s proclaiming new warning.
Absent this time are his trusting disciples who traveled across America last spring proclaiming his urgent warning — the Rapture would occur May 21, so be ready when Gabriel’s horn sounds, the sky rolls away and Jesus arrives to judge the living and the dead.
Of course, May 21 came and went — despite millions of dollars of billboards and bus-bench signs and rental trucks festooned with his urgent message, all underwritten by donations.
Ever feel as though you’re trapped in a waking nightmare? An ordinary Egyptian man’s terrible saga, via Huffington Post:
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An Egyptian man who looks like Saddam Hussein says a gang of Iraqi kidnappers tried to force him to act in a pornographic film.
After refusing a $330,000 offer to play Hussein in a sex tape — which was purportedly planned to be sold to the media as an authentic recording of the deceased Iraqi dictator — Mohamed Bishr told al-Ahram that three men in black suits attempted to abduct him as he walked to a cafe in Alexandria on Sunday.
“The three men, who had guns hanging from their belts, forced me out of my car and shoved me into a van, hitting my head,” Bishr told the publication. For some reason, the abductors began arguing with each other and tossed him out of the vehicle, Bishr claims.
While plotting ways to destabilize Hussein before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the CIA considered concocting a hoax video featuring a Hussein look-alike having sex with a teenage boy.
No biggie, just let it go to voicemail. Via the BBC:
Nigeria’s authorities have been forced to reassure the public that a mobile phone number cannot kill, after rumors were spread…that several people had died when they answered calls with the ID 09141.
The regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission, said this was “unimaginable” and “unscrupulous persons” were spreading fear.
A BBC reporter was unable to get through to the number.
Text messages gave conflicting accounts of the number of people killed when they answered the call – some put the death toll at seven while others put it at 10.
A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it. Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountain tops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.
Then again, what makes any Apple store “real” when the point is to use psychology to sell an intangible “brand”? And how can you tell a real Apple store from a fraudulent one? Paradoxically, real Apple stores never say “Apple store”. The Consumerist reports:
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An American blogger living in the middle of China was amazed to stumble across a fake Apple store in her town. It was a complete counterfeit of a real Apple store, designed to look like the real thing. It had signage, and employees walking around in the iconic blue shirts with those lanyard nametags. It had the big long wooden tables with Apple products on them and the typical Apple store winding staircase. But certain details were off.
None of the employee nametags had their names on it. They just said “staff.” And Apple never writes “Apple Store” on their signs, they just put up their logo.
AKB48 is Japan's most popular female pop group. With give-or-take 48 members, its latest member is Aimi Eguchi, who has rocketed from obscurity to become the poster girl for a Japanese ice candy, Ice no Mi. Now revealed as a computer composite of other girls in the group, she appears 4 seconds in below.
René Magritte may have been one of the twentieth century’s great Surrealist painters, but for income, he created and trafficked forgeries of famous works by artists such as Picasso, Ernst…and Magritte. Further confusing matters, his forging could in itself be a grand Surrealist statement. The Independent attempts to explain:
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One is an original. The other, evidently, a copy. But René Magritte was a Surrealist, and the truth behind The Flavour of Tears suggests he was enjoying a huge – and probably lucrative – joke.
The Flavour of Tears was produced around the time Magritte’s close friend Marcel Mariën claimed Magritte was creating forgeries. In his 1983 autobiography, Le Radeau de la Mémoire, Mariën said Magritte was making money by selling and producing forgeries of works by Picasso, Titian, Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico and Meindert Hobbema.
Two collectors saw The Flavour of Tears independently in Magritte’s studio. “We can only assume Magritte painted two identical versions of the same painting.