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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2004 :  22:58:31  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
I remember reading an article when I was very young about an annual college tradition (at M.I.T. if I'm not mistaken, but it's been so long), where on a fine clear night the graduating class would launch a UFO. Well, actually it was an octagonal wooden frame which they had laced with colored lights and sent aloft on balloons--which the locals would invariably mistake for a UFO. They would then sit up listening to police broadcasts and following media reports on the progress of their creation. It always sounded quite fun to me.

So, with Halloween fast approaching, I find the merry prankster in myself getting restless. I've never actually attempted a true hoax of any kind (I once threw a smoke bomb into our grill during a family picnic, but it didn't go over so well), so I'm looking for ideas. Ideally, it would be something cheap, original, non-destructive, and fool as many people as possible.

Crop circles would be an example of something cheap and relatively easy, but they entail destruction of property. The alien autopsy film was original and fooled a lot of people, but it required some heavy financing. So as you can see it's rather tough to find something that fits the bill.

Well, I know we have an abundance of brilliant minds on these forums, and I'm sure we can come up with something excellent if we tried. Recently I encountered a late night procession of people in my neighborhood--a guided "ghost walk" tour. They would seem an enticing target, but I don't think simply running past them with a sheet over my head would fool many. Hmmmm.

I need ideas, people.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie

Edited by - H. Humbert on 10/12/2004 23:06:07

Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2004 :  23:35:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
but I don't think simply running past them with a sheet over my head would fool many.


You would be surprised.

Going with the flying object idea, you could get a remote controlled plane and attach some lights to it. Then hide in the bushes and have it fly over some random person's head, maybe circle a few times and then fly off. Not sure how much those planes cost though.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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Plyss
Skeptic Friend

Netherlands
231 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  01:32:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Plyss a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert
I need ideas, people.



How about pretending to be psychic? Odds are it would fool a lot of people, and as long as you don't charge money there's little harm done.

Miss Tick sniffed. 'You could say this piece of advice is pricesless', she said. 'Are you listening?'
'Yes' said Tiffany.
'Good now...If you trust in yourself.."
'Yes..?'
'..and believe in your dreams...'
'yes?'
'...and follow your star..' Miss Tick went on.
'Yes?'
'You'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Goodbye.'
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  03:19:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
A few years ago, I had a roach ranch going. I was raising the Madagascar hissing cockroach to feed to some young monitor lizards. They are quite large, bear their young alive, and are quite prolific.

When Halloween came around that year, I'd grab a handful of roaches and put them in my beard every time I'd answer the door. The effect was remarkable and gratifing. But after the initial shock wore off, the kids loved it, alas.

Of course many of the bugs fell out and got loose in the house, but a reliable 'possum took care of that. If he hadn't boric acid would have. Unfortunatly, as my beard has been untrimmed and unkempt for decades, there may still be a few in there....

But you want something within the bounds of reason and sanity, yes?

Hmm, difficult, this reason and sanity limitation.......

There are few things more startling after dark than a moving shadow. A black or dark brown sheet rolled up to form a large, partly coiled snake and laid on the ground in such a way that it can seen only when it moves might cause some damp underwear. Movement can be done by blackened strings. Get a recording of a large crocodilian's defensive hiss and play it at the appropreate moment.

The hiss just by itself can awaken the terrified Neandertal lurking in the ancient protion of our minds. I know this from experience.

Around here this could get you shot, but the sheet trick could actually be a pretty good one if the sheet is black and the cover just right. If there is a breeze, hang it from a low limb. Hell, rig a wire and run it slowly toward the victims subjects on a pully, fluttering (and hissing, perhaps) ominously.

Do you have a body of water nearby; one regularly visited by the locals? Two sets of footprints, not quite human-looking, one leaving the water and one returning, might stir up some comment. Make them deep to give the impression of size.

La casa filth assumes no responsibility for coronaries, anurisms, gunshot wounds, nor any other injury resulting from these suggestions,


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Gorgo
SFN Die Hard

USA
5310 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  04:19:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Gorgo a Private Message
Let's pretend that George 'W' Bush has a chance in this election.

Oh. Sorry, that's probably way too unethical to try. Scare too many people. Apologies.

I know the rent is in arrears
The dog has not been fed in years
It's even worse than it appears
But it's alright-
Jerry Garcia
Robert Hunter



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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  07:14:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Plyss

quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert
I need ideas, people.



How about pretending to be psychic? Odds are it would fool a lot of people, and as long as you don't charge money there's little harm done.



Heck, If you want to put a little money in it, I can teach you how to read Tarot. Most of it is intuitive. The rest is starting off with a general statement/question and then letting them do most of the talking.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Plyss
Skeptic Friend

Netherlands
231 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  07:15:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Plyss a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy


When Halloween came around that year, I'd grab a handful of roaches and put them in my beard every time I'd answer the door. The effect was remarkable and gratifing. But after the initial shock wore off, the kids loved it, alas.




You scare me, Filthy

Miss Tick sniffed. 'You could say this piece of advice is pricesless', she said. 'Are you listening?'
'Yes' said Tiffany.
'Good now...If you trust in yourself.."
'Yes..?'
'..and believe in your dreams...'
'yes?'
'...and follow your star..' Miss Tick went on.
'Yes?'
'You'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy. Goodbye.'
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  08:50:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message
quote:
When Halloween came around that year, I'd grab a handful of roaches and put them in my beard every time I'd answer the door. The effect was remarkable and gratifing. But after the initial shock wore off, the kids loved it, alas.

If they weren't dead and cold, like I'd probably be...

I. hate. cockroaches. -twitches-

Ahem. Anyway.

Tarot is very easy to read, as runes and the likes, but the UFO idea is far too tempting...

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  08:55:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Plyss

quote:
Originally posted by filthy


When Halloween came around that year, I'd grab a handful of roaches and put them in my beard every time I'd answer the door. The effect was remarkable and gratifing. But after the initial shock wore off, the kids loved it, alas.




You scare me, Filthy

Being somewhat ugly and fairly bloody-minded, and possessing a nasty sense of humor, I used to scare lots of folks, even when I wasn't trying. But now, I've passed the baton of keeping the community on it's collective toes to my beloved grandruffians. They are coming along nicely. Halloween will involve several, large snake sheds left in stratigic places -- an oldie but goodie. They'll start planing for the first of April soon and I expect I'll be asked to participate.

A gag I have wanted to pull for many years is to take a fossil from the early Cretatious or even earlier and cut it in such a way as to fit a piece of a flint arrowhead into it so that it looks as if the animal was killed by a human hunter. Then haul that bad boy to CA and, with loud denuncionations of the Theory of Evolution, hand it over to the ICR. Do ya think that if it were skillfully done, it would jack up both the Creationists and the Evolutionists?

Hehe, I can almost hear the strangled rants from various pulpits and the angry cries of, "FRAUD!" now.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  13:17:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
filthy wrote:
quote:
A gag I have wanted to pull for many years is to take a fossil from the early Cretatious or even earlier and cut it in such a way as to fit a piece of a flint arrowhead into it so that it looks as if the animal was killed by a human hunter. Then haul that bad boy to CA and, with loud denuncionations of the Theory of Evolution, hand it over to the ICR. Do ya think that if it were skillfully done, it would jack up both the Creationists and the Evolutionists?
Well, dangit! I can't find the wonderful report of the skeptics' group that created a "fossil" of a dinosaur (a raptor, if I remember correctly) comingled with a "fossil" of a hominid in such a way that it was unmistakable that both were killed and buried while the raptor was in the act of eating the hominid. This joke nabbed some creationists. As did a Discover magazine April Fool's story about Neandetal musical instruments, including the "xylobone."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  14:06:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

filthy wrote:
quote:
A gag I have wanted to pull for many years is to take a fossil from the early Cretatious or even earlier and cut it in such a way as to fit a piece of a flint arrowhead into it so that it looks as if the animal was killed by a human hunter. Then haul that bad boy to CA and, with loud denuncionations of the Theory of Evolution, hand it over to the ICR. Do ya think that if it were skillfully done, it would jack up both the Creationists and the Evolutionists?
Well, dangit! I can't find the wonderful report of the skeptics' group that created a "fossil" of a dinosaur (a raptor, if I remember correctly) comingled with a "fossil" of a hominid in such a way that it was unmistakable that both were killed and buried while the raptor was in the act of eating the hominid. This joke nabbed some creationists. As did a Discover magazine April Fool's story about Neandetal musical instruments, including the "xylobone."

That one was a splended goof on a dummied-up allosarus fossil and our old friend Piltdown was in on it. The hilarious part is that just from the write-ups and coorespondence by the crew, it was an obvious jape and they took it hook, line, sinker, rod & reel, and the hand attached it. Nina Pendeha, indeed!

I wonder where the nobel Piltdown has got to. HEY PILTDOWN! GETCHER ASS BACK HERE! We miss ya, bro.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  14:46:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
You could always create "messages from God". For example, smear some oil on a window in a public place, making it look like the face of Jesus. Or, being Halloween, try finding a pumpkin that looks like Kent Hovind. You could then let people ask the pumpkin questions about evolution, and as opposed to the original, it might actually provide an intelligent answer.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  14:48:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hawks

You could always create "messages from God". For example, smear some oil on a window in a public place, making it look like the face of Jesus. Or, being Halloween, try finding a pumpkin that looks like Kent Hovind. You could then let people ask the pumpkin questions about evolution, and as opposed to the original, it might actually provide an intelligent answer.



Hah, put some kind of walki-talki in it and have and then get some tape recordings of hovind....

Hey, that makes me think of an idea. You know how people have created sound boards of famous stars and then made prank calls with them? We should do that with Hovind.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  15:54:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message

The image of Mary/Jesus/Whoever-da-hell is a good one. Here'd be a way to do it, if you have a little artistic talent: find a steel surface that's good and rusty, and make the image with a rust remover like Naval Jelly. Shading can be done by how long a part of the remover is left on to work. This one can last for months or even years, unlike dirty windows, etc. And it doesn't have to really look like much of anyone to hook the more rabid believers and soon the newspapers.


"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25973 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  18:05:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
filthy wrote:
quote:
That one was a splended goof on a dummied-up allosarus fossil and our old friend Piltdown was in on it.
Actually, Piltdown denied involvement. But, thanks to you, I found that the name "allosaurus" was the clue I needed. Here's the original report on Onyate Man. And here is the explanation, with a detailed analysis of the aftermath.

Edited to add: See also this page for a bit on how Kent Hovind suggested that people view the Onyate Man hoax site for evidence of contemporary humans and dinosaurs.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2004 :  18:51:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

filthy wrote:
quote:
That one was a splended goof on a dummied-up allosarus fossil and our old friend Piltdown was in on it.
Actually, Piltdown denied involvement. But, thanks to you, I found that the name "allosaurus" was the clue I needed. Here's the original report on Onyate Man. And here is the explanation, with a detailed analysis of the aftermath.

Ah, I remember now.

I had a conversation with Piltdown on the old forum, lo these many years ago, and I was under the impression that he was, if not in on it, at least in the know.

Wish I'da been in on it.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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