August 30, 2000: Prison Escape Prank On this day in 2000, residents of Millbrae, CA were terrified when two handcuffed men in orange jail jumpsuits went around the neighborhood, pounding on doors, asking for help in removing their shackles.
Eric Shipton's Yeti footprint photos, taken on his 1951 Everest expedition, are going up for sale. These photos played a big role in Bigfoot history since it was these photos that inspired a Yeti craze in the media during the 1950s, which then fed directly into the Bigfoot craze that started when giant-size footprints were found in California in 1958.
Earlier this month, images of a new product, instant champagne tablets, went viral in France. They were supposedly the creation of the champagne label Veuve Clicquot.
August 29, 1923: Grover Bergdoll's Gold The claim that a road worker had discovered Grover Bergdoll's buried pot of gold prompted a two-day investigation by federal agents.
April Fool becomes reality. ThinkGeek first introduced "Das Can-in-Stein" on April 1st, as an April Fool's Day joke.
In 2012, a ZZ Top fan made a hoax video that purported to show the trio performing the 1955 folk-country classic "Sixteen Tons" with guitarist Jeff Beck.
The Sailing Stones of Death Valley are the real-life counterpart of Dan De Quille's 1867 hoax about the "traveling stones" of Pahranagat Valley.
The Spitalfields Life blog has a brief account (with lots of pictures) of the so-called Shadwell Shams.
August 28, 1972: Clifford Irving Goes to Prison On this day in 1972, Clifford Irving began serving a 2½-year sentence for conspiracy and fraud on account of selling publisher McGraw-Hill a fake autobiography of billionaire Howard Hughes, for which he was paid $750,000.
After Amy Bruni (of SyFy's Ghost Hunters) posted on Facebook about how excited she was that McDonald's had decided to offer a Ouija Board as the new Halloween Happy Meal toy, so many people believed her that Snopes debunked the rumor the next day.
The American Press Institute interviews the founders of Nipsys News, which is one of those sites that allows anyone to create fake news stories.
Author Keith Sniadach set up a camera in the woods behind his summer cabin in western Pennsylvania, programming the camera to take photos when it detected heat or motion.
Kevin and Becky Clark, who were hoping to adopt a child, were contacted by a woman claiming to be pregnant and hoping to find a couple to adopt it.
August 27, 2003: Mars as big as the Moon The news that on this day in 2003 the Earth and Mars would be closer than they had been in 60,000 years (only 56 million km apart) inspired a viral email claiming that on the night of the 27th Mars would "look as large as the full moon" in the sky, and that "No one alive today will ever see this again." Since 2003, this viral email has resurfaced every year as August 27 approaches, despite attempts by NASA (and many others) to debunk it.
The latest fake news story gone viral on social media is the claim that George Zimmerman (who shot Trayvon Martin back in 2012) was recently arrested in Ferguson after following two black teenagers out of a Dunkin Donuts and then aiming a handgun at them when they confronted him.
Ebola rumors and conspiracy theories are spreading fast in Africa. One rumor is that the disease itself is a hoax invented by governments to boost their power.
Mental Floss has a list of 7 explanations for the Loch Ness Monster. That is, 7 things that people might be seeing and misinterpreting as Nessie.
Guides at Yellowstone report that they're having to spend a lot more time debunking rumors because of a large increase in the number of scare stories about the park circulating online.
August 26, 1966: Trained the Wrong Side The press described it as "one of the war's most confused episodes" when Sgt.
August 25, 1835: The Great Moon Hoax The New York Sun announced that the British astronomer Sir John Herschel had discovered life on the moon by means of a new telescope "of vast dimensions and an entirely new principle." Later updates revealed the existence of creatures such as lunar bison, fire-wielding biped beavers, and winged "man-bats." The report caused an enormous sensation.