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Hoaxes & Myths


Combining two or more images or otherwise manipulating images.

Click on the title to see the complete hoax text, a description, brief history, reporting date in a new browser window. In many cases, the hoax description site may also include reactions from hoax subjects, an extensive history, and provide links to additional analysis and interviews.


Hurricane Lili Triple Tornado - This widely circulated photo with caption purportedly shows a "triple tornado" accompanying Hurricane Lili, which made landfall in Louisiana in October 2002. This is a hoax. In this case, has substantiated evidence that the photo was taken in the Gulf of Mexico in June 2001 of the 240-foot "C-Rambler" supply boat by a crewmember.

Unsuspecting WTC Tourist Photo - This hoax borders on completely sick and genious, depending on your viewpoint. A photo of a tourist on the top of the World Trade Center supposedly shows a plane just before it strikes the building on September 11, 2001. This is a hoax. This hoax was in wide circulation in the months following the tragedy. The CIAC site discusses this photo in length, and provides proof that the original photo of the tourist was doctored.

The original print of the pirated photo is included as part of the evidence. also addresses this hoax. An update from apparently answers the question of authorship. In November of 2001 a Hungarian man, named Peter, admitted to the hoax and produced a copy of the photo along with similar snapshots of himself from the same session. He admitted that he was the creator of the hoax photo. WIRED News interviewed Peter and published the story online November 20, 2001.

This listing is also on the September 11 Hoaxes & Rumors page.

Shark-Helicopter Encounter - This photo hoax shows a shark jumping out of the water within feet of a serviceman climbing up a rope-ladder to a helicopter. This is a hoax. Although the photo was supposedly taken in South Africa, the bridge in the background is San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Needless to say, the entire photo is a fake. National Geographic has issued a statement. details this hoax, shows the two photos that were combined, and further names the photographer of the original shark photo.

Photo Shows Cracks in Shuttle Columbia's Wing - An article and photo published by the Israeli news service Maariv several days following the destruction of the space shuttle Columbia and it's crew, purportedly shows visible cracks in Columbia's left wing. This is a hoax. The photo in question is of the cargo bay, not the wing, and the cracks are actually seams in the fabric covering. includes the controversial photo and several other photos, with their report on this hoax (click on the title above).


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