Hoaxes & Pranks

GerdaWordyer

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
844
Likes
1,136
Points
139
Mark Simpson: How Karen Matthews made a fool out of me
8 February 2017

Shannon Matthews's disappearance in a 2008 hoax-kidnapping is being recounted in a BBC drama. BBC News's Mark Simpson, who reported on the case, looks back at the deception.

Karen Matthews made a fool out of me.
I looked into her sunken eyes, saw that she was petrified and gave her the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe my judgement was coloured by the fact that she chose to give me her first interview.
Maybe it was clouded by seeing inside her small semi-detached house, and the grim conditions in which she and her seven children were living.
Maybe I was so cold at the time, my brain froze.

Karen's daughter Shannon, nine, disappeared on the coldest night of the year in February 2008.
Police divers who searched a lake near her home in Dewsbury Moor in West Yorkshire had to break through ice to get into the water. The air temperature had dipped to -4C.

The night Karen agreed to talk to me, I was shaking with cold after spending hour after hour talking live on the BBC News Channel (or BBC News 24 as it was then).
Karen spotted me out of her front window and came out to talk. She was shaking too, but out of fear.
She was scared - scared of being found out.

She gave me no eye contact. She looked down the barrel of the BBC camera and said; "Shannon if you're out there, please come home. We love you to bits, we miss you so much. Please, I'm begging you baby, come home."

When the police saw her interview on the BBC Ten O'Clock News, they were annoyed.
They had advised her not to talk to the media. They were as surprised as me that she agreed to give me an interview.
So was this erratic behaviour the first sign that all was not what it seemed?
In hindsight, it may seem so, but at the time, it seemed simply a desperate act by a desperate mother.

Fresh in my mind were the Soham murders of schoolgirls Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells. When children disappeared for more than 48 hours, the outcome was usually not good.
That is why there was such a huge community effort to try to find Shannon. People realised that time was short.
Yes, I did wonder if Karen Matthews was telling the truth. Everyone did.
However, I believed her. And I was not alone.

As well as searching hedges and parkland, the police drew up a map showing where convicted paedophiles lived in the Dewsbury area.
They checked, and double-checked. There was no sign of Shannon.

As days turned to weeks, the more convinced detectives became that Shannon would not be coming home.
However, Karen's friends and neighbours never gave up, and neither did the police.
About 10% of the force's officers were put on the case and more than £3m was spent in what was one of the largest search operations since the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.

Shannon was eventually found, 24 days after she disappeared. A BBC colleague got a tip-off and phoned me.
I was shopping in Ikea in Leeds at the time, and nearly dropped my phone on a multi-coloured Swedish rug when I heard the news.
As I drove down the A6110 to Dewsbury, I wondered if Karen would give me an interview again.
We could do it in the same spot where we had first spoken.
The only difference would be that this time she would be with Shannon beside her.
The tears would turn to cheers. For once, it would be a story with a happy ending.
What a fool I was.

It later emerged that Shannon had been kept drugged and hidden in the base of a divan bed by the very people appealing for her safe return.

That September Karen, and Michael Donovan, the uncle of Karen's partner, went on trial for kidnap, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice. They were jailed for eight years after the court heard about their plot to hide the child and claim a £50,000 reward that subsequently had been offered by the Sun.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38906967
:mad:
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
25,463
Likes
31,161
Points
284
We watched Pt 1 of this new show the other night, it was brilliant, I remember watching it all unfold on TV at the time .. and the actress looked incredibly like Karen Mathews. From memory, as part of the investigation, it was discovered that one of the guys in the family had also been watching child porn online ..
 

Tribble

Killjoy Boffin
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
2,252
Likes
4,332
Points
154

CarlosTheDJ

Antediluvian
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
5,898
Likes
5,547
Points
294
Location
Sussex
When I watched that video I did think the mirror came off a little bit easily. They should be more robust than that...
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
25,463
Likes
31,161
Points
284
Somebody winding up a phone support tech guy, apparently this company had been phone stalking the prankster for months .. NSFW for a bit of swearing


edit: .. and .. again, NSFW

 
Last edited:

rynner2

Great Old One
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,246
Likes
8,964
Points
284
Cornwall Air Ambulance helicopter was sent to Newquay after a chilling hoax 999 call
By CGMikeS | Posted: April 25, 2017

A chilling hoax 999 call led to all the emergency services including the air ambulance helicopter rushing to Newquay while the bogus caller claimed to be doing CPR on a heart-attack victim.

A 30-year-old man from London called 999 on Easter Monday to report that a woman had suffered a heart attack in Newquay. As a result the air ambulance, a paramedic in an ambulance service fast response vehicle, a crewed ambulance, the fire service and police rushed to the scene to treat the patient.
The man stayed on the phone to the ambulance service while they were on route to the scene and stated that he was carrying out CPR on the patient.

But after the helicopter landed on the Killacourt and the other emergency services arrived there was nobody to be found at the location and it became clear the call had been a hoax.

After police spent nearly an hour searching the area for the hoax caller - who remained on the phone throughout the manhunt - the caller was found and arrested in Bank Street for alleged malicious communications offences.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the man was taken into custody but later released without charge due to mental health issues.
"The man stayed on the phone stating he was doing CPR on the patient and police located him in a shop while he was still on the phone to emergency services," the spokesman said.

"A 30-year-old man from London was arrested and taken into custody, but was released without charge due to mental health issues. There is no likelihood of prosecution at this time. Police urge members of the public to only use the 999 system in a genuine emergency."

A spokesman for the Cornwall Air Ambulance charity said such calls wasted its precious donated funds.
"As a charity, Cornwall Air Ambulance relies on donations to keep the air ambulance flying and save lives, so it is very disappointing to hear that this was a hoax call," he said.
"Not only do hoax calls waste precious charity funds, they can also potentially put lives at risk if an emergency happens elsewhere."

He added that the air ambulance was unable to put a figure on how much the mission cost the charity, although an average mission for an air ambulance charity costs about £2,500.
"There are so many variables, including how far the air ambulance has to travel, how much weight it's carrying," he said.
"For example, a mission to the Isles of Scilly and back on the secondary helicopter featuring the extra weight of the flotation devices would cost more than a mission on the lighter primary helicopter to Wadebridge."

http://www.cornwalllive.com/cornwal...oax-999-call/story-30292355-detail/story.html
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
25,463
Likes
31,161
Points
284
The thumb trick .. my Grandad used to do this one but at a slower speed ..

 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
6,518
Likes
16,412
Points
294
Fruit fool: Scottish students go viral after pineapple stunt cons art gallery
Ruairi Gray and Lloyd Jack put a £1 pineapple on display at a Robert Gordon University exhibition and managed to convince the gallery it was a work of art.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/fruit-fool-scottish-students-go-10382819
 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
6,518
Likes
16,412
Points
294
Hee hee ... top work ! ... this should also be in the 'Modern art is rubbish thread' :)
I've been to a few student art shows and some of the stuff they put on show is amazing - empty boxes, some rocks and a pram full of leaves among them. Of course there is a three page explanation of what it means.
A friend of mine walked into one of those shows once and heard a bloke with a goatee and floppy bow-tie telling one of the art students "What you've done is deconstructed and then reconstructed in a surrealistic fashion."
My mate's response was to bellow "THIS IS BULLSHIT!" and walk out.
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
25,463
Likes
31,161
Points
284
I've been to a few student art shows and some of the stuff they put on show is amazing - empty boxes, some rocks and a pram full of leaves among them. Of course there is a three page explanation of what it means.
A friend of mine walked into one of those shows once and heard a bloke with a goatee and floppy bow-tie telling one of the art students "What you've done is deconstructed and then reconstructed in a surrealistic fashion."
My mate's response was to bellow "THIS IS BULLSHIT!" and walk out.
I went to an art school and part of my course was photography ... my lecturer looked at some black and white pics I'd taken one day and told me to reprint them because there wasn't enough contrast ... a few hours later i was in the student cafe buying a coffee from the vending machine when my lecturer walked in, noticed THE EXACT SAME PICS and stated ... "Oh yes, they're much better now!" ... I pointed out they were the same ones as before ..

At the same school, we'd been given a still life oil pastel project: we were to draw a load of fruit and I was panicking because I wasn't the greatest of artist (I'm still not) .... my mate Jez came around to visit and I told him my worries ... he was a bricklayer and replied with "Don't worry about it, these art schools are full of wankers ... you see that green apple?, paint it blue and you see that orange? paint it a mix of red and yellow" etc etc ... I got a great mark :rolleyes: ..... we were also also that we weren't allowed to like Salvador Dali's art because he came from a rich family. FFS.
 

Bigphoot2

Not sprouts! I hate sprouts.
Joined
Jul 30, 2005
Messages
6,518
Likes
16,412
Points
294
I went to an art school and part of my course was photography ... my lecturer looked at some black and white pics I'd taken one day and told me to reprint them because there wasn't enough contrast ... a few hours later i was in the student cafe buying a coffee from the vending machine when my lecturer walked in, noticed THE EXACT SAME PICS and stated ... "Oh yes, they're much better now!" ... I pointed out they were the same ones as before ..

At the same school, we'd been given a still life oil pastel project: we were to draw a load of fruit and I was panicking because I wasn't the greatest of artist (I'm still not) .... my mate Jez came around to visit and I told him my worries ... he was a bricklayer and replied with "Don't worry about it, these art schools are full of wankers ... you see that green apple?, paint it blue and you see that orange? paint it a mix of red and yellow" etc etc ... I got a great mark :rolleyes: ..... we were also also that we weren't allowed to like Salvador Dali's art because he came from a rich family. FFS.
I started a degree in photography and gave up because I wasn't learning about photography, I was learning how to talk pretentious bollocks about photography.
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
25,463
Likes
31,161
Points
284
PILLOW FIGHT !!! :) .... if you tried this in London, you'd probably be shot followed by a riot ..

 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
26,652
Likes
27,461
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
Berners Street hoax
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Berners Street hoax was perpetrated by Theodore Hook in Westminster, England, in 1810.[1][2] Hook had made a bet with his friend, Samuel Beazley, that he could transform any house in London into the most talked-about address in a week, which he achieved by sending out thousands of letters in the name of Mrs Tottenham, who lived at 54 Berners Street, requesting deliveries, visitors, and assistance.[3]

On 27 November, at five o'clock in the morning, a sweep arrived to sweep the chimneys of Mrs Tottenham's house. The maid who answered the door informed him that no sweep had been requested, and that his services were not required. A few moments later another sweep presented himself, then another, and another; twelve in all. After the last of the sweeps had been sent away, a fleet of carts carrying large deliveries of coal began to arrive, followed by a series of cakemakers delivering large wedding cakes, then doctors, lawyers, vicars and priests summoned to minister to someone in the house they had been told was dying. Fishmongers, shoemakers, and over a dozen pianos were among the next to appear, along with "six stout men bearing an organ". Dignitaries, including the Governor of the Bank of England, the Duke of York, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Mayor of London also arrived. The narrow streets soon became severely congested with tradesmen and onlookers. Deliveries and visits continued until the early evening, bringing a large part of London to a standstill.[4]

Every Officer that could be mustered was enlisted to disperse the people, and they were placed at the corners of Berners Street to prevent trades people from advancing towards the house with goods. The street was not cleared at a late hour, as servants of every denomination wanting places began to assemble at five o'clock. It turned out that letters had been written to the different trades people, which stated recommendations from persons of quality. A reward has been offered for the apprehension of the author of the criminal hoax.[5]

Hook stationed himself in the house directly opposite 54 Berners Street, from where he and his friend spent the day watching the chaos unfold.[4]

Despite a "fervent hue and cry" to find the perpetrator, Hook managed to evade detection, although many of those who knew him suspected him of being responsible. It was reported that he felt it prudent to be "laid up for a week or two" before embarking on a tour of the country, supposedly to convalesce.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berners_Street_hoax
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
25,463
Likes
31,161
Points
284
hee hee ...


... and, Chat Roulette 'eye vagina' .. no vaginas but still sort of NSFW, extra points for spotting Allan Partridge.

 
Last edited:

sherbetbizarre

Special Branch
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
3,864
Likes
2,222
Points
184
Walkers Crisps Gary Lineker campaign suffers Twitter sabotage

Within hours of the launch of a Champions League final campaign, which included the chance to win tickets for next weekend's Cardiff showpiece, their crisp-eater-in-chief Gary Lineker has been pictured clutching photos of Fred West and Harold Shipman in online videos on Twitter.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40047816

 
Top