Category: Hoaxes

Mysterious bones of Jesus, Joseph and Mary

In a scene worthy of a Dan Brown novel, archaeologists a quarter of a century ago unearthed a burial chamber near Jerusalem. Inside they found ossuaries, or boxes of bones, marked with the names of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. Then one of the ossuaries went missing. The human remains inside were destroyed before any DNA testing could be carried out. While Middle East academics doubt that the relics belong to the Holy Family, the issue is about to be exposed to a blaze of publicity with the publication next week of a book.

It’s the gospel truth? Faith-based legends abound

Dozens of urban legends with religious themes circulate on the Internet. Snopes.com, the self-styled “urban legends reference pages,” lists 49 religion tales. Madalyn Murray O’Hair never petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to get religious broadcasting off the air. James Dobson never launched a petition drive to stop her. O’Hair died more than a decade ago, but the rumor about her FCC petition lives on. The commission has received millions of inquiries about it, many the result of church-sponsored letter-writing campaigns. It’s gotten so bad that the FCC’s official Web site has a page debunking the rumor. (The page notes that

Naples blood boils at miracle’s ‘debunking’

For centuries the faithful have gathered in their thousands to watch one of Christianity’s most enduring mysteries. But yesterday they were told that the “miracle of the blood” was an elaborate hoax. Every year Neapolitans pack into the city’s cathedral to witness the “miracle”. In an atmosphere nearing hysteria, the archbishop holds up a glass phial that is said to contain the dried blood of San Gennaro, the city’s patron saint, and declares that it has liquefied. Liquefaction, a central part of life in Naples, is held to guarantee good fortune. By contrast, its failure is thought to presage disasters

Anti-Semitic lie: Woman convicted

PONTOISE, France (AP) — A young French woman who admitted to lying about being the victim of an anti-Semitic attack has been convicted for fabricating a story that stunned France and given a four-month suspended sentence. The 22-year-old woman, Marie Leblanc, was also on Monday ordered to receive counseling and put under probation for two years at the trial in Pontoise, north of Paris. Related Frenchwoman Says She Lied About Anti-Semitic Attack Gang Attacks Paris Woman, Draws Swastikas On Stomach Defense lawyers and her mother have described the woman as psychologically fragile and deeply sorry for her lie, which created

Cloning a Previous Hoax?

Raelian Claims Highlight a ’78 Fraud — and Challenge of Proving Success Washington Post, Dec. 31, 2002 http://www.washingtonpost.com/ By Rick Weiss For all the speed with which science was progressing, virtually no one had thought it would happen so soon. Yet there it was in huge block letters on the front page of the New York Post: The world’s first human clone had been born. The next day, The Washington Post and other newspapers across the country ran with the story about the rogue scientists who had cloned a human on an undisclosed island. A spokesman connected to the effort