Help Spread Holiday Hoaxes: The Internet Patrol Gets Taken In

There’s an old saying that it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Well, it’s not nice to fool us, either. But that’s just what Alek Komarnitsky did with his Christmas lights which you could turn on and off with your web browser.

Or, rather, which you couldn’t.


Yes, it seems that the whole thing was a rather elaborate hoax by Mr. Komarnitsky, and was actually accomplished by his rotating a series of several fixed photos of his holiday lights in different states of illumination.

Says Mr. Komarnitsky, in a statement on his web site:

“First, let me say there was never any malicious intent here – it started out a “technology puzzle” and I figured I could provide some holiday cheer to folks. Each year, it got bigger and bigger … and then in 2004, it went exponential, as a local story went out on the National AP wire and was picked up by a LOT of US papers and then internationally. I then got deluged with dozens of radio interviews, a number of TV spots (including a helicopter ride from Channel-7 to report “live” on my blinking christmas lights), millions of hits on my web site, and over a thousand Emails – I lost track!

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So while I debated keeping it “secret” and continuing to provide holiday cheer to people around the world, it has gotten too big and started to become a distraction to my family life. Also, while I’ve enjoyed my 15 seconds of fame, I’m ready to return back to “boring” normal life. So while I think I could pull it off another year, I’m “coming out” just after Christmas/2004 with the assistance of the best newspaper in the world – The Wall Street Journal as Charles Forelle writes “High-Tech Holiday Light Display Draws Everyone But the Skeptics.”

I apologize to those people who may be angry with me, but hopefully most will see the humor in the whole situation … and realize that my attempt to bring joy and a smile to people’s faces was successful.”


Successful or not by his standards, I offer my most abject apologies to you all for unwittingly helping to spread this hoax and leading you astray. Hopefully you are among the people who enjoyed the site regardless, and if not, well, I really don’t blame you.

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5 Replies to “Help Spread Holiday Hoaxes: The Internet Patrol Gets Taken In”

  1. Mike wrote: “I tried the spam filter you endorse above and found it to be ad ware. Do you consider this to be an acceptable tradeoff for spam?”

    Dear Mike, we have never endorsed a “” on these pages, or elsewhere. Indeed, we are not familiar with a product called, or SpecificMail, or anything similar.

  2. I tried the spam filter you endorse above and found it to be ad ware. Do you consider this to be an acceptable tradeoff for spam…

  3. lighten up everybody, nobody got hurt, no bad virus was sent out. Maybe it’s time to remember how to laugh at our self’s again.

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