Wednesday Weirdness Roundup

Martian plesiosaurs, Mossad sharks, and teleporting dolphins. Oh my. Felicity Lowde, convicted in 2007 of harassing 7/7 bombing survivor Rachel North, has now turned her cybertongue against Pagans and Freemasons in Bristol, speculating they may have abducted and ritually murdered Joanne Yeates in a macabre Solstice initiation ceremony. Circumstantial evidence includes the fact that some... Continue Reading →

Wednesday Weirdness Roundup

"The Wikipediatrician", Nataliedee.com "The 10 Biggest Hoaxes in Wikipedia's First 10 Years". I like the one where the founder of Orange Julius created a shower stall for pigeons, but I notice that the really big hoaxes (like the Essjay thing) aren't mentioned. That's okay, though, because you can find most of them on Wikipedia itself.... Continue Reading →

Fake Teens

Perpetual adolescence may sound like hell, but these folks went to astounding lengths to make it happen... Part I: James Hogue, self-educated cowboy and Ivy League track star Part II: Brian McKinnon and other fake students Part III: Predatory Fake Teens Part IV: Serial Teen Treva Throneberry, the female Peter Pan Part V: Frederic Bourdin,... Continue Reading →

Fake Teens Part VII: The Messiah

Before moving on to 2011, I have one last fake teen tale for you. I've saved the most unsettling one for last, probably because I don't even like thinking about it. Please proceed with caution.Place: Kurim, Czech RepublicTime: May 10, 2007In some ways, Moravia is the perfect setting for a tale of Gothic horror. The... Continue Reading →

Fake Teens VI: Online Teens

One of the following two stories ends in tragedy. The other ends somewhat happily for everyone. But both shine a bright light into the depths of online deception. I see these cases not so much as suspense thrillers (like the documentaries made about them), nor cautionary tales (as the media presents them), but as reminders... Continue Reading →

Fake Teens V: Serial Teen Frederic Bourdin

This case bears some resemblance to Arthur Hutchens' 1928 impersonation of the missing Los Angeles boy Walter Collins, but there are darker twists to the tale.A Changeling in Spain13-year-old Nicholas Barclay went missing from San Antonio, Texas, in 1994. On June 10, he phoned home to ask for a ride after playing basketball with his... Continue Reading →

Fake Teens IV: Serial Teen Treva Throneberry

The next two fake teens in this series were "serial teens", people who posed as teenagers over and over again in multiple locations for reasons that are barely comprehensible.Treva vs. BriannaIn the spring of 1997, a teenager turned up at Glad Tidings Church in Vancouver, Washington. She was a tall, solidly built girl with brown... Continue Reading →

Fake Teens Part III: Predatory Fake Teens

Our next four fake teens had darker motives than just recapturing their lost youth.Two-Time MormonIn 1994, a young Mormon known (by request) only as Jessica was serving her church mission in Santa Monica when she met a sad and bedraggled homeless boy, 15-year-old Scott Davion. He said he had left his home state, New York,... Continue Reading →

Fake Teens Part II: Brian MacKinnon and Other Fake Students

Close, but no degreeLike the career criminal James Hogue, Brian MacKinnon of Scotland tried to recapture lost opportunities by impersonating a high school student. He just wasn't terribly good at it.From boyhood, Brian wanted to be a doctor. And at the age of 18 he was on his way, leaving Bearsden Academy in East Dunbartonshire... Continue Reading →

Fake Teens Part I: James Hogue

"You ever come across anything like time travel?" - Uncle Rico, Napoleon DynamiteJames Arthur Hogue, now 51, was possibly the first high-profile fake teen. Unlike the "serial teens" we'll meet later in this series, his reasons for impersonating a high-schooler weren't terribly complex: He wanted a second shot at athletic glory, and he felt entitled... Continue Reading →

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