Tag Archives | Hoaxes

The Russian Dead Alien Video

Just what the bleep are those Russians saying?!? This video has stormed the Internet, whatever it is, but it’s almost certainly a fake. Isn’t it?

Russia Today says:

A video of what was claimed to be a mutilated alien corpse is said to be fake. The tiny “dead alien” is just skin from chicken filled with bread, reports the website 7d.org.ua. Police questioned the men who claimed to have found the “body” and they allegedly confessed to creating it themselves…

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GE’s Fake Plan To Pay Taxes Causes Massive Stock Price Drop

General ElectricOur friends the Yes Men are once again deftly mocking the shady practices of ethically-challenged business executives. Why large corporations and the mainstream media that cover them (sorry USA Today) keep falling for their ruses, I don’t know, but you gotta love it. Morgan Clendaniel reports on the activists’ latest shenanigans for Fast Company:

Today, GE appeared to put out a press release noting that it had decided to do the right thing and pay the $6.3 billion taxes that it owed for 2010. And all the thanks it got was a quick drop in its stock price. If GE’s paying the government, that’s less money for shareholders. We can’t have that.

Remember the story that GE paid no taxes last year–and in fact, got money back from the government–despite making $11 billion in revenues (though, as with all tax law, the story was maybe a little more complicated than that).

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Successful People Who Never Existed

Burdell's Store

Burdell's, in Georgia Tech's student center. Photo: Disavian (CC)

Adam K. Raymond of Mental Floss writes on CNN:

George P. Burdell was a man born of a simple mistake. In 1927, someone in the admissions office at Georgia Tech accidentally sent student Ed Smith two registration forms instead of one.

Sensing an opportunity for mischief, Smith filled out one form for himself and the other for George P. Burdell — a student he completely made up. When Smith arrived at school, he kept the ruse going by enrolling Burdell in all of his classes and even turning in assignments under his name.

In fact, Smith did so much work on behalf of his imaginary friend that Burdell eventually graduated.When other students found out about the hoax, they helped keep Burdell’s story going.

According to his résumé, Burdell flew 12 missions over Europe during World War II and served on MAD magazine’s Board of Directors from 1969 to 1981.

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Anonymous: It’s A Trap! (From the Westboro Baptist Church)

Anonymous: It's A Trap!Ms. Smith writes on Network World:

According to Anonymous, Westboro Baptist Church was behind the Open Letter allegedly from Anonymous, and then added fuel to the flames with WBC’s “Bring it” reply. Anonymous warns don’t DDoS, it’s a trap to collect IPs for suing.

Twitter is on fire with the news of an upcoming troll-on-troll feud of Anonymous vs. Westboro Baptist Church. In case you missed it — in an Open Letter, Anonymous allegedly told the anti-gay, fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church to stop the hate now or else “the damage incurred will be irreversible” and “neither your institution nor your congregation will ever be able to fully recover.” The Topeka, Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church struck back, telling Anonymous to “bring it!” and that God hates “lousy hackers.”

In-between the two, this other Open Letter from Anonymous gained less attention, but told WBC that Anonymous knew it was a trap, and the short-on-money, thrive-on-attention WBC was in fact behind the first Open Letter supposedly from Anonymous.

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Ass Reflexology Hoax Shames Integrative Medicine Conference

Readers may be familiar with the infamous Sokal Affair, where a physicist successfully published an utterly nonsensical article in Social Text, a journal of postmodern cultural studies, in order to demonstrate its poor editorial standards and idealogical biases.

Recently, professor of medical education John C. McLachlan pulled the same stunt on an “International Conference on Integrative Medicine” held in Jerusalem in 2010, where he was invited to present a paper on the promising new field of ass reflexology. He described his findings as such:

McLaughlins Ass Reflexology Map

McLachlan's Ass Reflexology Map

Recently, as a result of my developmental studies on human embryos, I have discovered a new version of reflexology, which identifies a homunculus represented in the human body, over the area of the buttocks.

The homunculus is inverted, such that the head is represented in the inferior position, the left buttock corresponds to the right hand side of the body, and the lateral aspect is represented medially.

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Who Stole King Tut’s Genitals?

king-tutA mystery that may never be solved … The genitals on the mummy of Egyptian king Tutankhamen were declared missing in 1968 but were later found buried in the sand. However, scientists now suggest that the genitals were “swapped” and the real thing is missing. No one has any idea where King Tut’s private parts are hidden, or in whose possession, or why … Perhaps they are haunting someone. From TIME:

After some digging, Marchant was able to confirm that the king’s genitalia was attached to the mummy during its first unwrapping in 1922, meaning the postmortem castration likely occurred in modern times. Interestingly, Tut’s penis was declared missing in 1968 until a CT scan discovered it hidden in the sand that surrounded the mummy. (Penises, Brains and Skulls: The Most Amazing Stolen Body Parts)

This evidence has lead some to believe that Tut’s penis was swapped sometime after his body was embalmed, suggesting a conspiracy existed to save him from embarrassment of the locker room variety, even in the afterlife.

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The BBC’s April Fool’s Day Spaghetti Tree Hoax (Video)

Spaghetti HarvestGood to discover that the BBC has a much better sense of humor than American news networks, even in 1957. Via Wikipedia:

The spaghetti tree hoax is a famous 3-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools’ Day 1957 by the BBC current affairs program Panorama. It told a tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the fictitious spaghetti tree, broadcast at a time when this Italian dish was not widely eaten in the UK and some Britons were unaware spaghetti is a pasta made from wheat flour and water.

Hundreds of viewers phoned into the BBC, either to say the story was not true, or wondering about it, with some even asking how to grow their own spaghetti trees. Decades later CNN called this broadcast “the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled.”

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Georgia TV Station Creates Panic With Spoof Documentary Claiming Russian Invasion

From Variety:

A pro-government Georgian television station sparked widespread panic in the Caucasian country when it ran a spoof documentary claiming the Russians had invaded again. The half-hour show — which aired Saturday night — brought chaos to the country after it claimed Russian troops were already in the capital Tbilisi and aired “unconfirmed reports” that pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili had been assassinated.

Mobile telephone networks crashed, cinemas emptied as parents called their children home and people spilled out on to the street of towns and cities across the country to seek safety. But the report on Imedi-TV — once Georgia’s leading independent station until Saakashvili took it off air following the death of its owner, opposition figure Badri Patarkatsishvili in 2008 — was nothing but a hoax, apparently aired by a pro-government station in an attempt to discredit the opposition before key municipal elections in May.

Georgia Media Production Holdings, which now owns the station, claims the broadcast was designed to show the “real threat” of how events in a fresh Russian invasion might unfold.

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Atomic Bomb Book Author Admits He Was Duped

You have to feel sorry for the author I guess, but shouldn’t his publisher have checked the facts? From the New York Times:

A new book about the atomic destruction of Hiroshima has won critical acclaim with its heartbreaking portrayals of the bomb’s survivors and is set to be made into a movie by James Cameron.

The Last Train from Hiroshima,” published in January by Henry Holt, also claims to reveal a secret accident with the atom bomb that killed one American and irradiated others and greatly reduced the weapon’s destructive power.

There is just one problem. That section of the book and other technical details of the mission are based on the recollections of Joseph Fuoco, who is described as a last-minute substitute on one of the two observation planes that escorted the Enola Gay.

But Mr. Fuoco, who died in 2008 at age 84 and lived in Westbury, N.Y., never flew on the bombing run, and he never substituted for James R. Corliss, the plane’s regular flight engineer, Mr. Corliss’s family says. They, along with angry ranks of scientists, historians and veterans, are denouncing the book and calling Mr. Fuoco an impostor…

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