Urban Myths. Stories of hoaxes funny events

Fact or fiction?  That is the $64,000 dollar question.  The
beauty of urban myths is that while they stretch belief, they don't
burst the bubble.  The stories leave you with the feeling that there
maybe some basis for the urban myth.  What's for sure is that urban
myths spread with speed of a bush fire.

       
Urban Myths

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  • Airlines to Avoid
  • April Fool's Day Hoaxes
  • Credit
    Card Scam (True)
  • Grammy Gordon
  • Imposter Stories
  • Just Like Archie
  • Kilroy and Chad Urban Myth
  • Pay Error
  • Lighthouse Yarn
  • Loch Ness Monster
  • Military Hoaxes
  • Piltdown Man
    Hoax
  • Spaghetti Hoax
  • Supermarket Saga
  • Swedish Colour TV Hoax
  • Traffic incident
  • USA v Canada Rivalry
 

Statues of Men on Horseback

The myth of the man on horseback statue is that horse's hooves
indicate how the famous rider died.  This is how the sculptor's
code works:

  • One hoof raised - rider wounded in battle.
  • Two hooves raised - rider died in battle.
  • Four hooves off the ground - rider survived the war and returned
    home alive.

Will and Guy's latest take on this horses hooves code is that it was
true for equestrian statues of Gettysburg but that later sculptors
forgot the convention, thus later statues are misleading.

For Example:

Four hooves on the ground (Survived the war)
General
Ulysses S. Grant
General William Tecumseh Sherman

One hoof raised (Wounded in battle)
Major General
Winfield Scott Hancock
Major General John A Logan

It has to be admitted that there are numerous later statues which
don't match this code, thus we have to declare the myth busted.

Titanic Hull number: 3909 04 - NO POPE

Few ships spawn a greater mixture of true stories and urban myths than the Titanic.  For instance, did
the band really play on as she sank?  Yes.   Survivors say
they played ragtime and waltzes as the stern began to lift out of the water
as the bow sank.Titanic - Urban Myth

It is the NO POPE saga that
interests Will and Guy the most, partly because it has been quoted in erudite works
about this famous liner.

So the story goes, one of the welders working on the liner noticed that the
hull's number 3909 04 looked like NO POPE when viewed in a mirror.  In
some accounts of the saga the Irish Catholic shipbuilders were offended, and
cursed the ship.  Another variation has it that workers warned their
bosses that the ship was the work of the devil.

The truth:  White Star's Titanic liner did indeed have
a hull number, but it was the more mundane 401.

Grammy Gordon - Urban Myth

Charges were dropped yesterday against Ruth '
Grammy' Gordon, an 83-year-old wheelchair-bound grandmother, who was originally
charged with assault and battery, and assault with a deadly weapon, because of
an altercation she had last week with six airport security guards, that left all
six hospitalised.  Read more about
the case of Grammy Gordon

ExExamples of Will and Guy's Hoaxes and Urban
Myths

Kilroy Was Here

There are numerous urban myths surrounding the origin of the catch phrase: 'Kilroy
was here'. Check out Kilroy

Piltdown Man

How could a part man, part ape skull fool so many for so
long.  This true story has the extra ingredient that no-one has
conclusively solved who carried out the hoax.
Investigate Piltdown Man yourself

Supermarket Saga

Dylan is in
a queue at the Supermarket when he notices that the rather dishy blonde behind
him has just raised her hand and is giving him a big ' hello' .
Find out why the dishy blonde was giving Dylan the time of day.

Difficult Landing - Urban Myth

An airline pilot on this particular flight
hammered his plane into the runway really hard.  In light of his bad
landing, he had difficulty looking the passengers in the eye, all the time he
thought that a passenger would have a smart comment.  However, it seemed
that all the passengers were too shell shocked to say anything.
Why was not all sweetness and light for the pilot?

Spaghetti Bushes

What made this convincing was that it was put on the
BBC.  This was a time when the BBC was the pillar of society, no-one could
believe that even on the first of April, that the BBC would put out a fake
program about the manufacture of spaghetti.
This is how they pulled off the hoax.

War of the Worlds

Watch
out for alien hoaxes on the first of April.  However, the first alien hoax
was on the 30th of October 1938.  This famous ' War of the Worlds hoax
caught millions by surprise.  See what actually
happened.

Turn a Black and White TV into Color

Will and I choose this hoax because
it illustrates the naivety that you get when any new technology hits the masses.
This is how Kjell Stensson tricked thousands of
Swedish viewers.

Human contact spreads computer viruses (April Fool Day Hoax)

The well respected PC Magazine published an article by 'A.C. Feafunnoll' on
April Fool's Day 2005. It stated that:

'The federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Science
Foundation (NSF) have issued a stunning joint announcement: PC viruses, worms,
and spyware can now be transmitted via human contact. Researchers at St. Paul's
College in Virginia have isolated roughly 100 cases of systems infected by human
contact, the two agencies said at a press conference at NSF headquarters in
Arlington, Virginia...

One researcher, Avril Hidokwon, said she investigated a case where the
Netsky.P virus spread to 10 systems by sneezing'

The story then gave a link: 'For instructions on how you can decontaminate
yourself and your PC and also avoid infection.'  This URL took gullible
readers to an April Fool announcement.

Footnote:
Please send us your favourite urban myth