The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014
Cryptozoology Hoaxes
The Surgeon’s Photo (1934)
In April 1934, Colonel Robert Wilson, a respected British surgeon, came forward with a picture that appeared to show a sea serpent rising out of the water of Loch Ness. Wilson claimed he took the photograph early in the morning on April 19, 1934, while driving along the northern shore of the Loch. He said he noticed something moving in the water and stopped his car to take a photo. For decades this photo was considered to be the best evidence of the existence of a sea monster in the Loch. But Wilson himself refused to have his name associated with it. Therefore it came to be known simply as "The Surgeon's Photo." more details…
The Giant Penguin of Clearwater, Florida (1948)
In February 1948, giant three-toed footprints were found on a Florida beach. They looked like they had been made by an enormous sea turtle, except for the fact they were spaced too far apart. Over the following months, more prints continued to be found. In Nov. 1948, naturalist Ivan Sanderson examined some of them and speculated they had been made by a "vast penguin," 15-feet tall. The mystery wasn't fully solved until 1988 when a local prankster, Tony Signorini, admitted he had made them with the help of a friend. He had strapped cast-iron monster-print shoes to his feet and then stomped up and down along local beaches. [Tampa Bay Times, Orgone Research]
The Birth of Bigfoot (1958)
While working on a rural road construction project near Bluff Creek, California, tractor-operator Jerry Crew found a series of massive footprints in the mud. Due to the size of the prints, the media began referring to the creature that created them as "Bigfoot." The name stuck and soon became the most widely used term for North America's legendary ape-man. However, it was suspected that Crew's prank-loving boss, Ray Wallace, created the prints by strapping carved wooden feet to his boots and stomping around in the mud. Wallace's family confirmed this after his death in 2002. more details…
The Brooksville Monster (1959)
Reports of a giant monster with glowing eyes stalking the woods of Central Florida at night aroused the curiosity of two Tampa Tribune reporters. But after interviewing locals, they discovered that the creature was actually a "homemade spook" created by a housewife who had fashioned it out of a bed sheet, a cow's skull, and a flashlight inside the skull. She had tied her monster to a 100-foot rope between two trees and pulled it from side to side with a fishing line. more details…
Body of Nessie Found (1972)
On the day before April Fool's Day, 1972, a team of British zoologists from the Flamingo Park Zoo found a mysterious carcass floating in Loch Ness. Initial reports claimed it weighed a ton and a half and was 15 ½ feet long. more details…
Hoax Archive Categories
Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014

All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.