Urban Legends

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Mirage Men: Smoke, Mirrors & Government Disinformation

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Filed under: Conspiracy Theories, Fact or Fiction?, Urban Legends

AOTP contributor John Lundberg’s movie Mirage Men, co-produced with Mark Pilkington, Roland Denning & Kypros Kyprianou, is now available for rent and on DVD. The book, Mirage Men: A Journey into Disinformation, Paranoia and UFOs: The Weird Truth Behind UFOs, written by Mark Pilkington and published in 2010 by Constable, documents the making of the film.

Watch the trailer:

The Guardian in the UK covered the movie:

The real Men in Black, Hollywood and the great UFO cover-up

In a new documentary, US government agents claim they spent decades giving fake evidence of extraterrestrials to gullible ufologists. But why? And how can we trust them now?

Read the whole article here.


Purging The Purge

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Filed under: High School Pranks, Satire, Urban Legends

In the last two weeks, the Purge hoax has gone viral, causing alarm in numerous cities… again.

In July, 2014, after the premiere of The Purge 2 Anarchy (the sequel to The Purge, a sleeper hit movie in which for 12 hours all crime is legal without consequence), a humor website CreamBMP.com reported that “a group of teenagers re-enacting the plot of the film The Purge 2 in Chicago murdered over 112 people”. Read Chicago ‘Purge’ Murders on Snopes.com.

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Then last week, a Louisville high school student tweeted what he thought was a joke: “Whos (sic) trying to get a Louisville Purge Started With Me?” and all hell broke loose. See this article posted by the Crimson Student Press detailing the story: Teen responsible for “Purge” hoax speaks up.

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From there, both panic and humor have hit cities all over the country. See Additional Purge Warnings on Snopes.com.

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Bigfoot — Escape Artist

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Filed under: Urban Legends

While performing with the Tiny Top Circus during the Perform Chinatown: Chaos Reigns festival in LA on July 26, 2014, BIGFOOT once again escaped. The $10 million dollar reward, which had been rescinded when he returned from his sojourn in New York, has been reinstated. Everyone is warned to approach with caution, as BIGFOOT can be extremely flatulent.

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Watch the video:

Who Put the White Flags on the Brooklyn Bridge?

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Filed under: Urban Legends

Who raised white flags on Brooklyn Bridge — and why?
by Michael Winter
USA TODAY
July 22, 2014

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The New York Police Department had a big whodunit on its hands Tuesday, in addition to egg on its face.

Who swapped out two big American flags flying over the Brooklyn Bridge towers with Old Glories that had been bleached white? And, more important, why?

But a more pressing concern was how did the overnight caper happen right under the noses of the NYPD on one of the city’s most heavily guarded and constantly watched landmarks?

“We’re lucky they just put a flag up there “” and not a bomb,” a law enforcement source told the New York Post. “It’s an embarrassment.”

Read more here.

Tiny Top Circus & BIGFOOT to Appear in LA

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Filed under: Urban Legends

From Joey Skaggs and the Tiny Top Circus, the world’s only pataphysical circus:


Two weeks ago, BIGFOOT mysteriously returned to the circus compound after escaping from the Tiny Top Circus while performing in New York City. The $10 million dollar reward has now been rescinded. Tiny Top Circus thanks New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Police for their outstanding assistance.

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Tiny Top Circus will now resume its touring schedule with an appearance at Perform Chinatown in Los Angeles on Saturday, July 26, 2014. Admission is free.

Perform Chinatown 2014 – Chaos Reigns!
July 26, 2014, between 12 Noon and 10 pm
Next to the historic Wishing Well in Gin Ling Way
Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

For more details, press release and posters, visit http://tinytopcircus.com

Bigfoot Sighted at World Cup Celebration

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Filed under: Urban Legends

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photo: AP/ibnlive.in.com

Another Bigfoot Sighting!

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Filed under: Urban Legends

Bigfoot was spotted but not captured at a 4th of July celebration yesterday:

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Bigfoot Sighting!

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Filed under: Urban Legends

Bigfoot spotted at New York”™s annual Gay Pride Parade, June 29, 2014:

Bigfoot spotted at NYC Gay Pride Parade

Thanks Nick Gaetano
photo: hulubei.net

The Bigfoot Movie

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Filed under: Urban Legends

Watch the movie:

Tiny Top Circus Cast & Crew: Proprietor & Ringmaster: Joey Skaggs; Barker: Sarah Farrell; Performers: BIGFOOT, Justin Blaser, a.k.a. Stitch the Geek, Ian Harvey, a.k.a. Trick, the Bastard; Army Special Forces: Tom Tenney, Felipe Ribeiro; Clowns: Rev Jen Miller; Joe Heaps Nelson; Marc Slanger; Miranda Torn; Strongman: Andrew Carr; Sign Carriers: Matt Lucas, Bobby Savage, Norman Savage; Himalayas Band: Welf Dorr, Matthew Fass, Nina Geiger, Jennifer Harris, Sandra Koponen, Jocelyn Selene Perry, Robyn Siwula, Kenny Wollesen

Production: Producer & Still Photographer: Judy Drosd; Cinematography & Editing: Kate McCamy; Additional Camera: Tony Torn; Music & Sound Effects: Colby Johnson; Cage & Costume construction: Ivy Drechney, Troy Suite; Graphics & Signage: Paula Sharpe

Special Thanks: Tony Barsha, Katryn Beckwith, Doris Deither, Iliya Fridman, Akim Fridman, Francis “Faceboy” Hall, Dr. Larry Herbert , Albert Kahn, Valentina Kvasova, Jim Monroe, Naomi Pitcairn, Libby Reed, Erin Rogers, Dorothy Skaggs, Jon Truskey, Nancy Weber, Henry Zemel

On Squaids and Squids

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Filed under: Urban Legends

David Emery investigates urban legends, hoaxes, rumors, and all manner of codswallop for About.com. Hears a taste of this week’s fodder. For more, check out About.com Urban Legends:


Internet Prank Causes ‘SQUAIDS’ Panic in NJ Township

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The Ocean County Health Department issued a press release yesterday responding to “numerous calls and emails” about an online report claiming that the squirrel population of Lacey Township, New Jersey is infected with a communicable disease called “SQUAIDS.” Read more…


Giant Squid Found in California?

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Viral article claims a 160-foot-long giant squid was found washed up on a California beach and is believed to have originated from waters near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Read more…


Lighten up?

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief, Urban Legends

From Joe King: Unfortunately the gravity shift is a hoax:


Jan. 4, 2014: “˜Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity”™ Allowing People to Float is an Old Hoax
by Jack Phillips
Epoch Times
December 30, 2013

hoax_screenshot-200A rumor from the News-Hound.net blog is claiming there”™s a “zero-G day” at 9:47 a.m. on January 4, 2014, that will decrease gravity allowing people to float for five minutes due to an “extraordinary astronomical event.” But it”™s not real as it was a hoax perpetrated by astronomer Sir Patrick Moore four decades ago.

“At exactly 9:47 am, the planet Pluto will pass directly behind Jupiter, in relation to the Earth. This rare alignment will mean that the combined gravitational force of the two planets would exert a stronger tidal pull, temporarily counteracting the Earth”™s own gravity and making people weigh less. Moore calls this the Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect,” reads the blog that has hundreds of thousands of “likes” and shares on Facebook, saying that the “theory” was attributed to astronomer Sir Patrick Moore.

However, the whole thing was a hoax created several decades ago by Moore but websites and blogs kept passing it along every year, saying it will happen a few days after New Year”™s Day.

Moore, who was the BBC Radio 2 astronomer, said the event would happen as part of an April Fools Day prank in 1976.

(more…)

Elf Advocates and Environmentalists Join Forces

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Urban Legends

From Ellie:


Iceland’s hidden elves delay road projects
by Jenna Gottlieb
World News NBCnews.com
December 22, 2013

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REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) “” In this land of fire and ice, where the fog-shrouded lava fields offer a spooky landscape in which anything might lurk, stories abound of the “hidden folk” “” thousands of elves, making their homes in Iceland”™s wilderness.

So perhaps it was only a matter of time before 21st-century elves got political representation.

Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from to the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church.

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The Fiddle File #7

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Filed under: Prank Busters, Urban Legends

fiddler-75Editor’s Note: Ask The Fiddler is a lifestyle advice column that aims to remedy more chaos and confusion than it creates. Questions may be submitted to us here at Art of the Prank, and good luck.


The Fiddle File #7

Here we go with another madcap roundup of hoaxes, scams and damn fool idiocy making the rounds these days. Take heed. Some of these fiddles may soon be showing up on your computer, phone or even up close and personal. Check it out:

Washington State: I read the news today, oh boy. Fake article posted about son”™s alleged suicide.

China: Do these eggs taste kind of funny to you? I mean, not funny ha-ha, funny yuck.

Vancouver BC: The on-line date you haven”™t met yet has hit you up for $500,000 in loans. Talk about screwed without a kiss.

Washington DC: Sorry to hear you slipped on a banana peel. By the way, that”™s a felony.

Watch the video

Louisiana: You jokingly yell to your sleeping friend that the car is on fire and about to explode. His panic reaction leads to a near-death experience.

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Sobering Up on the Python Story

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Filed under: Prank Busters, Urban Legends

From Joe King: Apparently the python-swallows-drunk tale has appeared in various permutations here there and everywhere


“˜Python Eats Drunk Man in India”™ Most Likely a Hoax; Media Outlets Fooled
by Jack Phillips
Epoch Times
November 28, 2013

An article titled “Python Eats Drunk Man in India” is a hoax, according to a report.

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David Emery with About.com wrote that the photo, which shows a python with a large object inside of it as people stand nearby, has been around for at least two years.

“Depending on which version of the story you read, the overstuffed python above swallowed a drunk guy in India, an unknown woman in South Africa, an unknown man in Qujing, China, a person of unknown gender in Indonesia, or a 4-year-old child in Malaysia,” he wrote. (more…)

Size Matters When it Comes to Squid

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Filed under: Hype, Urban Legends

How Big Is A Colossal Squid Really?
by Dr. M
October 22, 2013

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Recently, Quarks to Quasar”™s on Facebook published an illustration of how massive a Colossal Squid can reach. The Facebook post was liked by 3,300 people and shared 1,150 times (they have 351k followers). I am excited that the Colossal Squid is loved by this many people. One problem. The illustration is wrong. Really wrong. Although the Colossal Squid can reach, well, colossal proportions, the length of this big squid is grossly exaggerated in the above illustration. (more…)