Hoax Museum Blog Posts: August 2014

Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2014.   Comments (4)

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: August 31

August 31, 1987: The Great Potato Play
During a game between the double-A Williamsport Bills and the Reading Phillies, on this day in 1987, everyone thought they saw catcher Dave Bresnahan throw the ball wild past third base. So how was it that when the man on third came running toward home, Bresnahan still had the ball and tagged him out? It was because Bresnahan had actually thrown a peeled potato into left field, and not a ball. The stunt cost Bresnahan his job with the Bills, but it also earned him an immortal place in baseball history, becoming forever known as the Great Potato Play. A year after the event, fans paid one dollar and one potato as admission to celebrate Dave Bresnahan Day. More…
Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014.   Comments (0)

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: August 30

August 30, 2000: Prison Escape Prank
On this day in 2000, residents of Millbrae, CA were terrified when two handcuffed men in orange jail jumpsuits went around the neighborhood, pounding on doors, asking for help in removing their shackles. The police soon arrived and arrested "Big Joe" Lopez and Graham Herbert who, it turned out, were merely posing as prisoners as part of an on-air prank for San Francisco station KYLD-FM. Lopez was sentenced to 45 days in county jail. Herbert (who was a 19-year-old intern) got a year's probation. [sfgate.com]
Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014.   Comments (0)


Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014.   Comments (1)

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: August 29

August 29, 1923: Grover Bergdoll's Gold
The claim that a road worker had discovered Grover Bergdoll's buried pot of gold prompted a two-day investigation by federal agents. But on this day in 1923, the story was revealed to be a practical joke among the workers that spun out of control. The pot of gold in question was believed to have been buried by the wealthy draft dodger Bergdoll in 1917. He escaped prison in 1920 by convincing his guards of its existence and then slipping free of them when they accompanied him to find it. Treasure hunters continued to look for it. But in 1939, after finally surrendering to authorities, Bergdoll admitted there was no buried pot of gold. [Pennsylvania Historical Society]
Posted: Fri Aug 29, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014.   Comments (1)

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014.   Comments (1)

Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014.   Comments (0)

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: August 28

August 28, 1972: Clifford Irving Goes to Prison
On this day in 1972, Clifford Irving began serving a 2½-year sentence for conspiracy and fraud on account of selling publisher McGraw-Hill a fake autobiography of billionaire Howard Hughes, for which he was paid $750,000. By the time he went to prison, he had returned $500,000 of that money. He was released early after serving 16 months. More…
Posted: Thu Aug 28, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014.   Comments (1)

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014.   Comments (7)

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014.   Comments (0)

This Day in the History of Hoaxes: August 27

August 27, 2003: Mars as big as the Moon
The news that on this day in 2003 the Earth and Mars would be closer than they had been in 60,000 years (only 56 million km apart) inspired a viral email claiming that on the night of the 27th Mars would "look as large as the full moon" in the sky, and that "No one alive today will ever see this again." Since 2003, this viral email has resurfaced every year as August 27 approaches, despite attempts by NASA (and many others) to debunk it. [NASA]
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014.   Comments (0)

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014.   Comments (1)

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