Hoaxes & Pranks

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
29,635
Reaction score
15,658
Points
309
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5387834.stm

Itsy Bitsy writer 'death' error

A man who co-wrote the song Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini was wrongly reported as dead after the death of a man who claimed authorship.

The widow of Paul Van Valkenburgh, of Ormond Beach, Florida, said he claimed to have written the song as Paul Vance.

Rose Leroux said she had had no reason to doubt her late husband's claim to fame and was "devastated".

The real Paul Vance, of Coral Springs, Florida, said the phones "don't stop with people calling thinking I'm dead".

BBC News was among the organisations that reported the writer's death after the Associated Press ran the story.

The songwriter, who now owns race horses, said two of his horses were withdrawn from races on Wednesday because people thought he had died.

"Do you know what it's like to have grandchildren calling you and say, 'Grandpa, you're still alive?'" said 76-year-old Vance.

"This is not a game. I am who I am and I'm proud of who I am."

'Money machine'

Vance co-wrote the hit track with Lee Pockriss. It was recorded by teenage singer Brian Hyland and topped the US Billboard chart in 1960.

It has since been featured in adverts and film soundtracks including Sister Act 2 and Revenge of the Nerds II.

"It's a money machine," said Vance, who provided proof of ongoing royalty payments.

Mrs Leroux said her late husband, who was 68 when he died, had always told her he sold the royalties to the song in his late teens.

He was working as a salesman when they met almost 40 years ago, and later became a painting contractor, she said.

"It's such a long time ago. To have it come out now, I'm kind of devastated," said Mrs Leroux.

Vance also wrote Catch a Falling Star for Perry Como, and various hits for artists including Johnny Mathis.
Just shows how a little white lie can spiral out of control.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,028
Points
284
TV 'survival king' stayed in hotels
Robert Booth

TO LIVE up to his public image of a rugged, ex-SAS adventurer, it must have seemed essential for Bear Grylls to appear at ease sleeping rough and catching his own food in his television survival series.

But it has emerged that Grylls, 33, was enjoying a far more conventional form of comfort, retreating some nights from filming in mountains and on desert islands to nearby lodges and hotels.

Now Channel 4 has launched an investigation into whether Grylls, who has conquered Everest and the Arctic, deceived the public in his series Born Survivor.

The series, screened in March and April and watched by 1.4m viewers, built up Grylls’s credentials as a tough outdoorsman. In a question and answer session on Channel 4’s website, he recalls how station bosses pitched the venture to him stating: “We just drop you into a lot of different hellholes equipped with nothing, and you do what you have to do to survive.”

But an adviser to Born Survivor has disclosed that at one location where the adventurer claimed to be a “real life Robin-son Crusoe” trapped on “a desert island”, he was actually on an outlying part of the Hawaiian archipelago and spent nights at a motel.

On another occasion in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains where he was filmed biting off the head of a snake for breakfast and struggling for survival “with just a water bottle, a cup and a flint for making fire”, he actually slept some nights with the crew in a lodge fitted with television and internet access. The Pines Resort at Bass Lake is advertised as “a cosy getaway for families” with blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

In one episode Grylls, son of the late Tory MP Sir Michael Grylls, was shown apparently building a Polynesian-style raft using only materials around him, including bamboo, hibiscus twine and palm leaves for a sail.

But according to Mark Weinert, an Oregon-based survival consultant brought in for the job, it was he who led the team that built the raft. It was then dismantled so that Grylls could be shown building it on camera.

In another episode viewers watched as Grylls tried to coax an apparently wild mustang into a lasso in the Sierra Nevada. “I’m in luck,” he told viewers, apparently coming across four wild horses grazing in a meadow. “A chance to use an old native American mode of transport comes my way. This is one of the few places in the whole of the US where horses still roam wild.”

In fact, Weinert said, the horses were not wild but were brought in by trailer from a nearby trekking station for the “choreographed” feature.

“If you really believe everything happens the way it is shown on TV, you are being a little bit naive,” he said. [All my illusions are shattered! :shock: ]

Channel 4 confirmed that Grylls had used hotels during expeditions and has now asked Diverse, the Bristol-based production company that made the programme, to look into the other claims.

“We take any allegations of misleading our audiences seriously,” said a spokeswoman for the channel.

The latest suggestion that Channel 4 may have breached viewer trust comes as the broad-caster’s supervisory board prepares to issue new editorial guidelines to suppliers in order to stamp out alleged sharp practices that mislead viewers.

“Born Survivor is not an observational documentary series but a ‘how to’ guide to basic survival techniques in extreme environments,” the spokeswoman said.

“The programme explicitly does not claim that presenter Bear Grylls’s experience is one of unaided solo survival.”

Nevertheless, the disclosure is likely to disappoint fans of the Eton-educated adventurer, who at the age of 23 became the youngest Briton to scale Everest. Just two years before that he had broken his back in three places after his parachute ripped during a military exercise.

On screen he has emerged as a natural performer, with stunts such as squeezing water from animal dung and sucking the fluid from fish eyeballs.

Grylls could not be contacted for comment this weekend as he was trekking in the Brecon Beacons with his four-year-old son. [As you do... :roll: ]

Link*

*EDIT: Link shortened by WhistlingJack
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
29,635
Reaction score
15,658
Points
309
Harry Hill will be heartbroken.
 

WhistlingJack

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,564
Reaction score
30
Points
69
Police Seek Tribal Healer After Diesel Hoax

Police seek tribal healer after diesel hoax

Published: 23 July 2007

When traditional healer Rotina Mavhunga claimed in April that she had discovered deposits of refined diesel seeping from rocks near a spiritual shrine, the find was heralded as manna from heaven.

Long-suffering Zimbabweans jumped on the news as a welcome respite from their daily economic gloom - including an acute diesel shortage - and the government investigated reports that the liquid had powered a diesel vehicle.

But yesterday the bubble burst when state media reported that police had arrested 50 followers of Mavhunga. The tribal healer herself was on the run.

Government spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira conceded that there were no fuel deposits, according to the ruling party newspaper The Voice.

"Nothing convincing was found, meaning there were no deposits of diesel in the area," the paper quoted him as saying.

The healer made headlines with her claims that she had found the fuel near an ancestral shrine in the Chinhoyi district, 60 miles north-west of Harare, state radio said.

The witchdoctor told her followers the fuel could last hundreds of years and was "a gift from ancestral spirits who saw their children suffering because of the shortages of fuel," the state Sunday Mail, a government mouthpiece, said.

Traditional healers are held in high regard in Zimbabwe, like many other African nations, and superstition runs high.

Three top politicians, Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi, in charge of police, went to the district to investigate the claims - a sign that the government took them seriously.

But after their visit, "experts said it was scientifically implausible that diesel would gush out of any rock," the Voice said.

From the outset, fuel industry executives said the only source of the fuel could have been secret underground tanks abandoned by the white-led colonial-era military in the last days of the guerrilla war that swept President Robert Mugabe to power at independence in 1980.

The Sunday Mail said it was not clear under which laws Mavhunga or her followers were to be charged.

© 2007 Independent News and Media Limited
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Cornwall Great White Shark photo 'a hoax'

A man who claimed to have photographed a Great White Shark swimming dangerously close to the Cornwall coast has reportedly admitted he took the snap in South Africa.

Kevin Keeble's terrifying photograph of the man-eater created a nationwide stir after it was first published on the front page of the Newquay Guardian last month.

National newspapers soon picked up the story, which created alarm over whether it was safe to bathe off the Newquay coast.

But rival publication the Newquay Voice today has quoted Mr Keeble, a 52-year-old nightclub bouncer, as saying that he sent the photograph in as a hoax.

"I took it whilst I was on a fishing trip in Cape Town and just sent it in as a joke," he reportedly told the Newquay Voice.

"I didn't expect anyone to be daft enough to take it seriously."

When the photograph was first published, Mr Keeble said he was fishing for mackerel when he spotted a dorsal fin about 100ft from his hired boat.

"We were out about one mile off Towan Head and I saw this fin in the distance," he was reported as saying.

"We were reeling in the mackerel but I picked up my camera and caught a picture with my telephoto lens.

"The shark was about 100ft away. It was only there for a few seconds before it disappeared."

He added: "I've been fishing off Newquay for 25 years and I've never seen anything like it. I've seen porbeagles, basking sharks, bull sharks — but this was something else."

Media coverage of the Great White scare was fierce, with the Sun running a series of articles on shark fever engulfing Britain and offering every Sun online reader a free Jaws ring tone.

Experts who saw Mr Keeble's photograph at the time said it looked like it could have been taken on a shark diving trip off South Africa.
Link
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,028
Points
284
‘Coal tipped into volcano’ for fake Grylls film
Robert Booth and Dipesh Gadher

IT was billed as one of Bear Grylls’s most audacious challenges yet. The Eton-educated television adventurer had to escape an active volcano in the Pacific by leaping across molten lava and avoiding clouds of “killer” gas.

However, the episode of Born Survivor set on the Mount Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has emerged as faked in a scandal that has embroiled the television industry - and now threatens Grylls’s future TV career.

The white clouds of poisonous “sulphur dioxide” that billowed around the former SAS explorer were, in fact, harmless vapour created by smoke machines. And according to insiders, the red glow of the molten magma which he warned could incinerate him “in seconds” was supplemented by burning hot coals brought in by members of the production team.

This weekend Discovery Channel, which produced the programme, said the trickery had been identified as part of a review of the show.

Last month The Sunday Times disclosed how other parts of the programme, which were sold to Channel 4, were also faked: Grylls stayed in hotels when he claimed to be “a real life Robinson Crusoe” on a desert island; a raft he was shown building to use to escape was, in fact, put together by a team of experts; in another episode the producers shipped horses from a trekking station to pose as wild mustangs.

Now Grylls is in danger of being dropped from the C4 schedules. “If what has been alleged is proven to be true, I think the channel would have to think very seriously about its future relationship with him,” said a senior C4 executive.

Grylls, who once served with 21 SAS Territorial Army Squadron, first came to the public eye as the youngest Briton to climb Everest, at the age of 23, before moving into adventure documentaries.

In the volcano episode, which has not been broadcast on C4, he is filmed amid clouds of white gas seeping from the crust of the lava field. “Look at this, you can actually see the sulphur dioxide seeping out of these vents,” he says. “In high concentrations this gas is a killer.”

But this was “special effects” according to a safety adviser.

“Sulphur dioxide fumes are colourless and you can’t see it, so smoke generators were used off-screen to make the existing fumes seem visible,” he said.

A Discovery insider said the fakery was “unacceptable” and had been identified in an internal investigation. Now the channel is reediting the series. Viewers will hear a disclaimer before each show stating that Grylls receives help from survival experts and health and safety officers.

C4 will decide whether to continue broadcasting Grylls’s programmes after its own investigation into Born Survivor concludes this autumn. It has already decided not to repeat the show, which drew 1.4m viewers in 2006.

A spokesman for Grylls said he felt unable to comment as the investigation was continuing.

Link*

*EDIT: Link shortened by WhistlingJack
 

Timble2

Imaginary Person
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Messages
5,839
Reaction score
1,590
Points
234
Location
In a Liminal Zone
BTW: I noticed that "Bear" Grylls's real name is Edward, so that would be "Teddy Bear" Grylls....and I'm guessing what they called him in the army...
 

stu neville

Commissioner.
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
11,734
Reaction score
4,771
Points
234
I feel a bit sorry for Bear Grylls in a way. He's not an actor, nor a manufactured presenter, but a genuine survival expert, a legit former SAS squaddie, and he has genuinely climbed Everest. The fact that survival training isn't actually the most dynamically telegenic of activities (caution, clear thought and conservation of energy and resources are the key), and is as a result sexed-up for this series, isn't really his fault. If they showed it as most of it really is, you may as well just repeat Ray Mears, who covers much the same ground but at a far more contemplative, unsensational pace. They obviously didn't want another Ray Mears though, they wanted a castaway Steve Irwin.

Besides, being shot in the States, I imagine the insurers and lawyers had a lot more to do with all of this than he did.
 

Graylien

As if!
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
4,441
Reaction score
3,187
Points
184
Location
Norwich.
Cape author pens Oprah fiction

Not only did this guy falsely claim on his website that his self-published novel had been featured on Oprah's Book Club, but he even created a 5 page transcript of his interview with Oprah. Now that's what I call chutzpah!

("I must tell you that I immediately fell in love with this book when I first read it," Oprah gushed upon meeting him.)
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,028
Points
284
Cornwall's 'best beach' is a cheeky tourist trap
Last Updated: 2:28am BST 27/09/2007

It is, supposedly, Cornwall's best-kept secret, so holidaymakers who find the website detailing Porthemmet Beach are understandably keen to pay it a visit.

For not only is it the county's "largest beach", it "looks more like a tropical paradise" than the British seaside. And it is also the "only beach in the UK to allow topless sunbathing".

No wonder so many flock to Cornwall in search of this hidden treasure – except it does not exist, and they are victims of a hoax by Cambridge graduate Jonty Haywood.

He created the site - Porthemmet.com – after hearing of a similar prank in Scandanavia.

The beach's name gives the game away to locals, as "emmet" is a derogatory term for a tourist.

But the website, which tells visitors to Porthemmet to "head north up the A30" and look for the signs, warns them not to listen to people who claim it does not exist.

"There is a private joke in Cornwall whereby locals will pretend not to know where Porthemmet Beach is. Don't be fooled," it advises.

News of the hoax has led more than 2,000 people to join its group on the social networking site Facebook.

Mr Haywood, from Truro, admits: "Some discussions have got fairly heated regarding the general dislike of tourists versus their input into the Cornish economy."

Malcolm Bell, the chief executive of South West Tourism, said: "Although it is a spoof and it can be taken negatively, I'm sure people will see the West Country humour.

"It does mean we're talking about Cornwall and it may bring people down to discover beaches that do exist!"

http://tinyurl.com/2ed7fe
 

WhistlingJack

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,564
Reaction score
30
Points
69
Depardieu Imposter Fools Hotel Staff In Rome

Depardieu imposter fools hotel staff in Rome

Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:13am BST

By Eric J. Lyman


ROME (Hollywood Reporter) - A look-alike pretending to be French actor Gerard Depardieu walked into a luxury hotel in Rome and walked out with a gift basket weighed down with freebies, local media reports said Friday.

Depardieu is scheduled to come to the RomaCinemaFest, which got under way Thursday, to promote his film La Abbuffata -- in which he plays himself.

Police said Friday that the Depardieu doppelganger looked and sounded enough like the real thing that staff members at the Hotel de Russie allowed him into the gift suite, where he reportedly took a purse, a bikini, a pair of sunglasses, a cashmere sweater and a designer bra. The error was discovered a short time later, but by then the look-alike was long gone.

"We're on the lookout for someone who looks like Gerard Depardieu but who is not Gerard Depardieu," a spokesman for the Rome-based Carabinieri police said Friday.

The actor has not yet arrived in Rome, and festival officials said that when he did arrive he would have his own chance to take a few gifts from the suite.

The festival concludes October 27.

© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
29,635
Reaction score
15,658
Points
309
Funnily enough, Depardieu played a lookalike imposter in The Return of Martin Guerre. Art imitates life? Or vice versa?
 

The late Pete Younger

Venerable and Missed
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
5,885
Reaction score
149
Points
129
Re: Depardieu Imposter Fools Hotel Staff In Rome

WhistlingJack said:
"We're on the lookout for someone who looks like Gerard Depardieu but who is not Gerard Depardieu," a spokesman for the Rome-based Carabinieri police said Friday.
And dresses like a woman apparently! :)
 

Graylien

As if!
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
4,441
Reaction score
3,187
Points
184
Location
Norwich.
Wasn't there a guy who used to get free meals at swish restaurants by passing himself off as Stanley Kubrick?
 

Xanatico

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
1,101
Reaction score
9
Points
54
I believe there was even a movie made about that starring John Malkovich as the Kubrick impersonator.
 

WhistlingJack

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Oct 29, 2003
Messages
3,564
Reaction score
30
Points
69
The Counterfeit Kubrick

The impostor was Alan Conway: -

The counterfeit Kubrick

Alan Conway dined out as 'Stanley Kubrick' for years. In fact, he was a travel agent from Harrow


By Andrew Anthony

Sunday March 14, 1999

Guardian Unlimited


In the early Nineties, a man called Alan Conway went about London telling people he was Stanley Kubrick. Strangely, even though he was English, beardless and had apparently only seen a couple of Kubrick's films, Conway persuaded various influential figures that he was indeed the semi-mythical, hirsute American director who had exiled himself in Hertfordshire.

One evening in Covent Garden, a tableful of showbiz-savvy Americans - including the New York Times's then razor-sharp theatre critic Frank Rich, and a Hollywood producer who had actually met Kubrick - fell for Conway's act. As 'Kubrick', Conway gained entrance to the Groucho Club and other exclusive nightspots, where he was careful never to pay a bill or sign a cheque. He went backstage at the theatre and told Julie Walters and Patricia Hayes he was considering using them in a film. Others who thought they had befriended the world's most reclusive 'auteur' included the former Tory MP Sir Fergus Montgomery and the light-entertainment vocalist Joe Longthorne.

Eventually, Conway, a former travel agent, was unmasked in a Vanity Fair article and went on to admit his deception on TV, in a series called The Lying Game. Far from appearing sad or pathetic, there was something morally satisfying about the story. The director of 2001: A Space Odyssey had long ago left behind the world of fame, but celebrity abhors a vacuum. If Kubrick did not want to exist in public, then somebody had to invent him. The reason Conway's invention proved so successful had little to do with his powers of mimicry but much to do with his victims' weakness of vanity. People believed Conway was Kubrick because they wanted to believe one of the planet's most secretive men had decided to reveal himself to them.

'I really did believe I was Stanley Kubrick,' Conway admitted. 'I could have carried on until the day I died.' Or, he might have added, until Kubrick died.

One evening last week, at the door of a grim little flat in Harrow, north London, I asked to see Alan Conway. 'I'm his son,' answered a young man. 'What's it about?'

'Stanley Kubrick.'

'He's dead,' said the man, who introduced himself as Martin Conway.

'Yes,' I said. 'He died a few days ago.'

'No,' he explained. 'My father, Alan Conway, is dead. But come in, I'll tell you about him. You'll get more truth out of me than you ever would have done from him.'

Conway Snr died at home on 5 December last year, just a few months before the man whose identity he had so profitably adopted expired in his country mansion. His son, a 23-year-old law student, invited me into a cramped living-room and set about telling a tale that, in its own twisted way, rivalled Kubrick's for mystery. By turns comic, tragic and bizarre, it also exposed a humanity more raw and complex than any depicted in the filmmaker's oeuvre.

Conway was born Eddie Alan Jablowsky in 1934. He told friends, in later years, that he was a Polish Jew who had escaped Nazi occupation. In fact, he was born in Whitechapel. At 13, he was sent to Borstal for theft. In a move that demonstrated his cheeky self-dramatisation, Jablowsky changed his name to Alan Conn (Conway was one of his many later personae). By the time he met Martin's mother, he had a string of convictions for deception. The family moved to South Africa, but had to return when a number of Conway's business deals came under official scrutiny. Nevertheless, back in Britain he was able, with his wife, to build a travel agency with offices in Harrow, Muswell Hill and London's West End.

Things started to go wrong in the late Eighties, when Conway left his wife for his gay lover, who was to die later of Aids. The business collapsed, he became an alcoholic and started to indulge his fantasies. Kubrick once said that 'watching a film is really like taking part in a controlled dream'. For Martin Conway, watching his father's life was like an uncontrollable nightmare.

After his mother died, Martin moved in with his father, who was prone to violent fits of temper. 'He physically abused me and set his friends on me. Once, one of them chased me in front of a car and I broke my kneecap. He terrorised me.' Eventually, the social services became involved and, aged 16, Martin was placed in a children's home.

'He used to answer the phone in this terrible American accent,' recalls Martin. 'And his friends used to call him "Stanley".'

While he was in summer season in Torquay, Joe Longthorne met Conway, or rather a man he took to be Kubrick. Longthorne does not want to talk about the episode but his agent told me the singer thought the director was 'going to make him a star. Joe treated him like a king. He laid on a Roller for him and put him up in a top hotel. The guy told Joe he was going to put him in his next film'.

Quite what the seaside entertainer thought the most obsessive filmmaker in history was doing talent-scouting on Devon's cabaret circuit is not clear. Longthorne's extravagant hospitality came to an end a week later when he learnt, via Warner Brothers, that Stanley Kubrick was not in fact in the vicinity of the English Riviera.

Longthorne's was the most expensive example of gullibility but, arguably, not the least likely. That award probably goes to Frank Rich, the former 'Butcher of Broadway'. He and his friends invited a drunk Conway to join them at their table in Joe Allen's restaurant. Conway was with Sir Fergus and a couple of young men who caused the Americans to suspect the three-times married Kubrick was homosexual. 'Everyone always thought Hal the computer acted like a jealous gay lover,' Rich observed.

Again, having made their appeals for exclusive interviews, the journalists were disappointed to learn, on checking with Warners, that their man was an impostor. One of the party was so beguiled by the 'counterfeit Kubrick' that, unthwarted by Warner's denials, he contacted Kubrick's lawyer, only once more to be told that the director was still with beard and was not in the habit of dining in London restaurants. The lawyer informed Kubrick of his alter ego. Apparently, the director was fascinated by the idea.

Back at home, Conway was increasingly unable to distinguish between his real life and the fictions he was creating. If ever his son confronted him with his fantasies, the father would accuse him of lying. Conway would later say that, almost in a dream state as 'Kubrick', he travelled to New York and Rio (Kubrick, of course, hated to fly and, as far as anyone knew, had not left England for years). Martin doesn't know if these trips took place or were imagined.

In 1995, Conway checked into the Priory, to be treated for alcoholism. He never drank again and became a committed member of Alcoholics Anonymous. One of the tenets of AA is that participants are punishingly honest with themselves and with each other. As part of this process, they are called upon to recount their biographies. Martin came across his father's AA diary and learnt that he had invented yet another life story in which he had businesses in the Cayman Islands and led a flamboyant lifestyle far away from the drudgery of Harrow. 'He was a compulsive liar,' said his son, shaking his head in disbelief.

In his will, Conway left £30,000 to a former friend, £5,000 to another man, and the rest of his money to his son. The only problem was that Conway didn't have a penny. Martin discovered that the former friend, whom he assumes had mistaken Conway for Kubrick, was still owed £30,000 by his father and the will was just a jokey reference to the debt. Martin also showed me unpaid bills in different names from Amex, Barclaycard and other companies, running into many thousands of pounds. There was an outstanding phone bill for £879.17, primarily from calling gay chat lines.

Conway died from cardiac thrombosis, although initially the police suspected foul play owing to an unexplained bruise on his neck. Whatever happened, it sounds like a lonely death, far more solitary than the demise of the supposedly hermetic Kubrick. Martin, who had been living with Conway again, was not there when his father died. He still harbours an enormous and understandable resentment towards a man who, in his fantasies and personality swings, eluded everybody including himself. Yet, as he says, he misses him.

A short while after Conway died, his son returned to the flat and heard an answerphone message. 'Hi Stanley,' said a threatening voice. 'I'm going to get you this time. I'm going to get you.' The truth is, though, nobody ever really got 'Stanley'.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
29,635
Reaction score
15,658
Points
309
gncxx said:
Here's a superb one I found while reading the weird TV broadcasts stuff on Wiki:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMLwlUDpi7w&v3

Sort of a Czech Art of Landscape type show hijacked by art pranksters. Ingenious.
Uh-oh...

From Breaking News:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/zei ... 88,00.html

Mushroom Cloud Pranksters to Stand Trial

A Prague artists' collective made headlines in 2007 -- and frightened a number of people -- by slipping a digital image of a nuclear blast into a live weather-cam broadcast. Now six artists may face jail.

Last June, anyone watching a certain Czech weather channel at the right moment saw a panning shot of the countryside near the Krkonose, or Giant Mountains, in Bohemia, when a yellow flash filled their screens and a skinny mushroom cloud lifted in the distance.

It was a hoax. A Czech artists' group had inserted the explosion digitally. A state prosecutor said on Thursday that six members of the group will now have to stand trial for the hack. They could face up to three years in jail.

The TV channel CT2 received frantic phone calls from viewers who thought a nuclear war had started. But the Prague-based collective, Ztohoven, said it had mounted the hoax to show how media images could be manipulated.

"We are neither a terrorist organization nor a political group," a statement by Ztohoven said. "Our aim is not to intimidate society or manipulate it, which is something we witness on a daily basis both in the real world and that created by the media. On June 17 2007, [we] attacked the space of TV broadcasting, distorting it, questioning its truthfulness and its credibility."

They had climbed a TV tower and hacked into the weather camera and broadcast cable with a computer. They also inserted a Web address for Ztohoven in a corner of the screen.

No one was hurt, but a spokesman for Czech Television said, according to the UK's Guardian newspaper, "The fake broadcast was really very inadvisable and could have provoked panic among a wide group of people."

Ztohoven won an award for young artists last year from Prague's National Gallery -- unconnected to the mushroom-cloud stunt -- and in 2003, when President Vaclav Havel stepped down, they covered half of a red heart-shaped neon installation at Prague Castle so that it resembled a question mark.
Will Banksy be next up against the wall? A sense of humour might have helped their case, I think. Jail's a bit harsh, how about a fine for hijacking the airwaves?
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
29,635
Reaction score
15,658
Points
309
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/also_in_the_news/7192196.stm

Officials unamused by Rome stunt
By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Rome

The historic centre of Rome has been brought to a standstill by a protest with a difference.

Authorities took several hours to clean it up - but the stunt has brought huge publicity to the man who staged it.

Visitors to the Spanish Steps on Wednesday were greeted by a rather peculiar sight.

For most of the morning street cleaners and smartly uniformed policemen were chasing little brightly coloured balls, armed with dustpans and brushes.

To everyone's amazement half a million of these balls were suddenly bouncing down the steps.

Within minutes, the famed Piazza de Spagna resembled a children's playground.

The joke was largely on the policemen.

Trevi Fountain

It was another colourful stand from Graziano Cecchini, a man who protests against government incompetence in the most unusual ways.

Last year he poured a dye into the Trevi Fountain, turning it red.

This latest stunt cost him £15,000 (20,000 euros) - and probably a rather large fine.

Tourists grabbed the balls as mementoes at the base of the steps.

When Mr Cecchini finally appeared, walking down the steps with balls bouncing around him, he said he had done it to raise the profile of Burma and the Karen people.

The Karen are a minority who have fought for an independent state since 1949, and accuse the military junta of ethnic cleansing.

The city's head of security, Jean Leonard Touadi, said it was all quite unacceptable.

To err is human, he said, but to persevere is diabolical. And to get publicity at the city's cost was just not funny.

He is probably right - but then it does seem to work.
A non-violent protest with imagination - I like it. But then, I didn't have to clear it up.
 

uair01

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
2,582
Reaction score
2,441
Points
184
Location
Rotterdam
That reminds me of the story:
"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman by Harlan Ellison.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,028
Points
284
Nigeria champion fisherman jailed

The winner of a prestigious Nigerian fishing festival has been stripped of his title and thrown in jail after rivals complained he cheated.
The 66kg (10st 6lb) fish that won the competition in Argungu, in northern Kebbi State, was already dead when it came out of the water, officials said.

Bello Yakub has been arrested and will appear before a magistrate next week.

The monster fish netted him prizes worth $33,000, including a car and a ticket to go on the Hajj pilgrimage.

It is thought the fish may have been caught in the much larger Niger River and brought to Argungu, where fishing is banned except during the festival.

"Other fishermen claimed he was not really one of them," the Emir of Argungu, Samaila Mera, said.

"We investigated and found that he couldn't have taken it from the river in Argungu because the gills showed the fish was long dead."

The BBC's Hassan Sahabi who was at the festival says this may seriously damage the reputation of an event considered a major tourist attraction in Nigeria.

Mr Yakub had told reporters this was the first time he had won in more than 30 attempts.

"I just hope I can use the prize money for something good," he said.

The festival has been held regularly, along with an agricultural show and other cultural displays, since 1934.

Tens of thousands of fishermen wade through the water, which reaches chin-high in parts, dragging nets along the bottom.

Fish are placed inside a hollowed out calabash - a kind of dried pumpkin.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7306601.stm

the Emir of Argungu..
I love that name! I may change mine from rynner to The Emir of Boslowick... :D
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,028
Points
284
JamesWhitehead said:
Can I be the Slob of Wickomire? :)
I feel that lacks class - you can do betther than that, James! 8)
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,242
Reaction score
9,028
Points
284
Hoax caller jailed for four years

A man who made more than a dozen hoax calls to the emergency services has been jailed for four years.

David John Mason, 57, of Yates Street, Tonge Moor, Bolton, pretended he needed to get help for ill or injured elderly people and children.

Police even broke into the house of a person who Mason claimed was suffering a heart attack, only to find the homeowner knew nothing about the call.

He admitted causing a public nuisance and was jailed at Bolton Crown Court.

All the hoaxes were said to have taken place near his home.

The court was told Mason had a string of previous convictions for similar offences over the last 40 years, including a bomb hoax and impersonating a police officer.

'No laughing matter'

Greater Manchester Police said Mason was a "menace" to the community.

Con Ian Deary said: "Mason has been a menace to both the emergency services and the local community, whose lives he put at risk.

"This was not a child, but a 57-year-old man who made dozens of hoax calls, many of which related to serious allegations which officers were duty bound to respond to accordingly.

He added: "He thought nothing of the consequences of his behaviour and the fact that if officers were tied up dealing with his hoax calls and not a real incident that someone could have died.

"I hope this serves as a warning to anyone who thinks making prank calls to the emergency services is funny. It is no laughing matter."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manc ... 322882.stm

Serves him right, stupid so-and-so... :evil:
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
29,635
Reaction score
15,658
Points
309
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bradford/7333898.stm

Shannon mother arrested by police

The mother of Shannon Matthews has been arrested by police investigating the nine-year-old's disappearance.

Karen Matthews, 32, was arrested in Dewsbury on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

Meanwhile, the man accused of abducting Shannon, who was found safe on 14 March, has been treated in hospital after a "serious case of self harm".

Michael Donovan, 39, was later taken from hospital back to Leeds prison where he is currently on remand.

The three-week search for Shannon ended when she was found hidden in the base of a bed in a flat on 14 March - 24 days after she went missing.

Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice can cover a wide range of actions but one suggestion is that when Shannon first disappeared, Ms Matthews might have known more about her daughter's whereabouts than she told police.

Detectives however, are not confirming if this is the case...
If this was a hoax, it's a doozy. I don't see what the family could have got out of pretending their daughter was kidnapped. It's brought them nothing but sorrow and now the stepfather has been outed as a possessor of child porn.

Remember the tearful mother on the news a few weeks ago? Was she acting?
 

taras

Least Haunted
Joined
Oct 27, 2002
Messages
1,535
Reaction score
111
Points
94
Location
Edinburgh
gncxx said:
I don't see what the family could have got out of pretending their daughter was kidnapped.
Someone in my office suggested they wanted to cash in on a bit of Maddie-style celebdom, much as (<generalisation alert!>) the same people might get a nice healthy orange glow and particular hairstyles in order to look like Posh & Becks.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
29,635
Reaction score
15,658
Points
309
ttaarraass said:
gncxx said:
I don't see what the family could have got out of pretending their daughter was kidnapped.
Someone in my office suggested they wanted to cash in on a bit of Maddie-style celebdom, much as (<generalisation alert!>) the same people might get a nice healthy orange glow and particular hairstyles in order to look like Posh & Becks.
You might be right. It has been reported today that they tried to get money out of the McCanns' funds.
 
Top