Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsHoax
IN THE NEWS

Hoax

FEATURED ARTICLES
ENTERTAINMENT
September 16, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
If publicity-averse Thomas Pynchon decided to come out of seclusion, would he do it on Twitter? With an account named @PynchonOfficial? No, says his publisher. "It's a fake," Penguin Press Vice President Tracy Locke confirmed via email. The fake Pynchon Twitter account launched Sept. 3. Although it has posted only a handful of tweets, it  included the sensational "'Bleeding Edge' is my last book. I'm done with fiction. T.P. " Remember: Fake. Pynchon is the 76-year-old author of "Gravity's Rainbow," which won the National Book Award in 1974.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
April 16, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
A 25-year-old man who describes himself as a performance artist will be arraigned Wednesday on charges in connection with a hoax bomb placed at the site where two bombs exploded last year at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260. Kevin “Kayvon” Edson will be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court, Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston, told the Los Angeles Times...
Advertisement
SPORTS
January 17, 2013 | By Houston Mitchell
Some of the key participants in the alleged Notre Dame star Manti Te'o-dead girlfriend hoax, have ties right here in the Southland. Lennay Kekua, Te'o's girlfriend, who apparently never existed, supposedly lived in Carson. Deadspin.com, which broke the girlfriend hoax story, first became suspicious when they called several mortuaries in and around the Carson area and dicsovered none of them had heard of Kekua. “We called all the mortuaries in Carson and they had no information,” said Deadspin.com editor Timothy Burke in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey were advising Southern California residents Monday evening about a hoax letter that is warning of an "impending large quake. " The letter with the agency's logo was apparently being sent to residents in Orange County, urging them to be prepared for a large quake. "California is issuing a statewide warning," the letter states. The agency advises residents to check the USGS website for the latest earthquake information. The letter comes in the wake of Friday's 5.1 magnitude temblor centered in La Habra.
BUSINESS
May 9, 2012 | By Rene Lynch
Were you among the millions of people who gasped in horror -- and maybe a little glee -- at the story of the scorned dentist who yanked out her ex-lover's teeth in revenge? Turns out the story appears to be a hoax. And among those who fell for it? Yours truly, and the Los Angeles Times. On May 1, I wrote how the story of a vengeful dentist in Poland named Anna Mackowiak was richocheting around the Internet and setting social media channels on fire. On Facebook alone, it was shared thousands upon thousands of times.
NATIONAL
September 6, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
A security threat that forced an airliner to return to Philadelphia was a hoax, officials said on Thursday. US Airways Flight 1267 was an hour en route to Dallas when authorities recalled the plane because of a report that a suspicious item containing liquid explosives had been placed on the airliner. The craft, carrying 74 passengers and crew members, was returned to Philadelphia where it was searched and found to be free of any explosive material, FBI Special Agent Frank Burton Jr. said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times.
OPINION
December 5, 2013 | Meghan Daum
It was a reality show all its own. Last Thursday, 30-year-old Elan Gale, a hirsute hipster and television producer whose credits include several seasons of "The Bachelor" franchise, sent a series of tweets to his roughly 35,000 Twitter followers. Explaining that he was on a delayed flight trying to make it home for Thanksgiving dinner, he described the shockingly rude antics of a fellow passenger named Diane. Over a four-hour period, Gale tweeted a blow-by-blow of a feud that apparently played out through an exchange of handwritten notes, which Gale snapped photos of and posted on his Twitter feed.
NATIONAL
January 18, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Military jets scrambled Thursday night and escorted a flight from Hawaii to Seattle after receiving a hoax call that there was a hijacker aboard. The FBI interviewed one of the passengers aboard the Alaska Airlines flight from Kona, Hawaii, but no arrest was expected, officials told reporters, according to the Associated Press. The incident was being investigated as a hoax,  FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told reporters there. Two F-15 jets from the Oregon Air National Guard escorted Flight 819 in to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a threat call was received at the Honolulu FBI office in the afternoon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey were advising Southern California residents Monday evening about a hoax letter that is warning of an "impending large quake. " The letter with the agency's logo was apparently being sent to residents in Orange County, urging them to be prepared for a large quake. "California is issuing a statewide warning," the letter states. The agency advises residents to check the USGS website for the latest earthquake information. The letter comes in the wake of Friday's 5.1 magnitude temblor centered in La Habra.
NATIONAL
September 7, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Christopher Shell celebrated his 29th birthday as the victim of a security hoax that forced authorities to order his flight back to Philadelphia . He celebrated the day after his birthday in custody in Texas on unrelated misdemeanor drug charges. Shell was turned over to Collin County authorities in Texas on Friday morning, officials said. He was being held on two misdemeanor warrants, possession of a controlled substance and possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, Lt. John Norton said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 16, 2014 | By Mike Boehm
After a hoax report that Wayne Knight had died in a traffic accident near the New York - Pennsylvania border, the actor who played Newman on "Seinfeld" and a treacherous techie in "Jurassic Park" took humorously to his Twitter account to dispel the rumors of his sudden demise. “Some of you will be glad to hear this, others strangely disappointed … but I am alive and well!” tweeted Knight, 58, taking a wry view of some folks' tendency to confuse him with the characters he has played.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 6, 2014 | By Tony Barboza, Adolfo Flores and Joseph Serna
Two Southern California high schools were placed on lockdown Thursday as police investigated a bomb threat and a call of a student being held hostage at gunpoint. The two unrelated reports were deemed hoaxes by authorities. Beverly Hills police received a call about 2:45 p.m. from a person claiming to be a 16-year-old being held hostage by a man with a gun at Beverly Hills High School, said Lt. Lincoln Hoshino. Though many students had already gone home, those who remained were placed on lockdown while officers conducted a full search of the campus.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Someone made Paris Hilton the butt of a Twitter hoax Thursday involving "her" reaction to the death of Nelson Mandela, and girlfriend is not happy about it.  "RIP Nelson Mandela," the Photoshopped tweet read. "Your 'I Have A Dream' speech was so inspiring. An amazing man. " That's right, Hilton was supposedly so dumb she confused Mandela with Martin Luther King Jr., the fake tweet would have you believe. Photos: Celebrities react to the death of Nelson Mandela A quick check of Hilton's verified account at the time the hoax started revealed she was on a plane to Miami.
OPINION
December 5, 2013 | Meghan Daum
It was a reality show all its own. Last Thursday, 30-year-old Elan Gale, a hirsute hipster and television producer whose credits include several seasons of "The Bachelor" franchise, sent a series of tweets to his roughly 35,000 Twitter followers. Explaining that he was on a delayed flight trying to make it home for Thanksgiving dinner, he described the shockingly rude antics of a fellow passenger named Diane. Over a four-hour period, Gale tweeted a blow-by-blow of a feud that apparently played out through an exchange of handwritten notes, which Gale snapped photos of and posted on his Twitter feed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2013 | By Tony Perry
A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat that led to the shutdown of a San Diego freeway on Thanksgiving. Victor Manuel Diaz remains in San Diego County jail on two felony counts of making threats. Bail is set at $50,000. According to the California Highway Patrol, Diaz made a cellphone call to his sister Thursday afternoon as she was driving northbound on Interstate 15 in San Diego. He told her that a bomb had been placed in her car, the CHP said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 2013 | By Kate Mather and Richard Winton
A Los Angeles man's story of being kidnapped while walking his dog last week -- just days before he was supposed to testify in a celebrity-linked burglary case -- has been deemed a ruse, police said. Police spent three days looking for Darwin Vela, 22, after his dog returned to their Southwest L.A. home alone the night of Nov. 19. Vela's fiancee said she called 911 after spotting blood on the chocolate Labrador's leash. Vela was found Friday afternoon, after he flagged down a motorist on the Westside.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2011 | Andrew Blankstein and Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
A Los Angeles school police officer who was wounded last week in a shooting that prompted authorities to shut down a large swath of Woodland Hills concocted a story that he was the victim of the shooting, authorities said Thursday night. The startling revelation came at a hastily called news conference by Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, who said detectives became suspicious about the officer's story as they investigated the case. Police earlier had said that Los Angeles Unified School District Officer Jeff Stenroos was shot in the chest after he was confronted by a man Jan. 19 as he was attempting to break into vehicles in Woodland Hills, near the eastern boundary of the El Camino Real High School campus.
WORLD
December 5, 2012 | By Janet Stobart, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
LONDON -- A hoax call from Australia duped staff at the London hospital where  Catherine Middleton, the duchess of Cambridge, was recovering from acute morning sickness into giving details of her condition, the medical facility revealed Wednesday. The King Edward VII Hospital, famed for its discretion and favored by the British royal family and other high-profile patients, confirmed Wednesday that an update on the duchess' condition was given to an Australian TV station presenter posing as Queen Elizabeth II. "King Edward VII's Hospital Sister Agnes can confirm that an Australian radio station made a hoax call to the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning.   This call was transferred through to a ward and a short conversation was held with one of the nursing staff,” the statement read, adding that the hospital “deeply regrets this incident.” The duchess is in the early stages of her first pregnancy with her husband, Prince William.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 25, 2013 | By Ruben Vives, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
A 40-year-old man who pleaded guilty to making false bomb threats against his former employer, United Airlines, has been sentenced to prison, federal prosecutors said Monday. United States District Judge Otis D. Wright II sentenced Patrick Cau, who also used the last name Kaiser, to 18 months in federal prison.   Wright ordered Cau to pay $304,495 in restitution to United Airlines and reimburse $8,838 to the Los Angeles Police Department for the expenses incurred as a result of the bogus threats.  Cau, a German citizen and former flight attendant for United, pleaded guilty in August to one count of giving false information and hoaxes.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
In what may be the least surprising development of the week, Andy Kaufman's brother Michael, who appeared onstage in New York on Monday with a woman claiming to be the late comedian's daughter, now claims he is the victim of a hoax. Rumors that Kaufman staged his own demise and was now a family man living under an assumed identity, possibly in Albuquerque, have stubbornly persisted since the "Taxi" star succumbed to kidney failure related to a rare form of lung cancer in 1984.  The conspiracy theory lit up the Internet this week after a young woman came forward at the Andy Kaufman Awards claiming the comedian is still alive and that she is his daughter.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|