The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
Hoaxes Throughout History
Middle AgesEarly Modern1700s1800-1840s1850-1890s
1900s1910s1920s1930s1940s1950s1960s1970s1980s1990s21st Century2014
The NASA Satellite Photo

Soon after 9/11 an email began to circulate urging people to light a candle and stand outside their home with it at a specified date and time (the date varied between versions of the email). Supposedly a NASA satellite would then take a photograph of the entire nation illuminated by candlelight in order to demonstrate the solidarity of the American people in the face of terrorist aggression. The photo would appear on NASA's website the following day.

NASA never planned to take such a photograph. The light of even 200 million candles spread out over the entire nation would be invisible from space. Therefore, a photo of the nation illuminated by candlelight would be dark. Nevertheless, at the specified time numerous people dutifully stepped outside their homes and held a candle up to the sky.

It is not known who started this email hoax. It might have been started by someone who thought it would be a good idea if NASA would take such a photo, not realizing that such a photo would show nothing.


Submit a Comment

Note: Comments by non-members are all checked by a moderator before appearing on the site. This may take a while.











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