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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: History
A Fake at the Smithsonian — 19th century gold bar on display at the Smithsonian turns out to be a fake.
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

San Diego Faux History — Being a San Diegan I appreciated this hoax history of San Diego from the San Diego Hysterical Society.
Posted: Mon Jul 14, 2003.   Comments (0)

Happy Birthday, P.T. Barnum! — America's greatest showman, Phineas Taylor Barnum, born July 5, 1810, celebrates his 193rd birthday today. Happy Birthday, Barnum! In his autobiography Barnum had this to say about his birthday: My first appearance upon this stage was on the 5th day of July, Anno Domini 1810. Independence Day had gone by, the cannons had ceased to thunder forth their remembrances of our National Anniversary, the smoke had all cleared away, the drums had finished their rattle, and when peace and quiet…
Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Taughannock Giant — July 4, 1879 a giant stone man (weight: 800 pounds; height: seven feet) was unearthed near Ithaca, New York (suspiciously close to Cardiff, New York). He was soon dubbed the Taughannock Giant. The stone man was described by a commentator as "a human figure lying on its back, arms nearly straight and the legs crossed at the ankle... well proportioned with the exception of the feet, which appear more like those of an ape." Scientists pronounced it an authentic fossilized man. In reality,…
Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2003.   Comments (0)


The Hitler Diaries — An interesting comment from a visitor about the Hitler Diaries: Dear Alex, The most tell-tale and overlooked detail about the Hitler Diaries being fake you do not mention in your article, although it makes the complete affair all the more funny: On the front cover were two metal letters, supposedly the initials "A H" for Adolf Hitler, in an old German Gothic lettering. The funny part being that ridiculously neither Gerd Heidemann nor any other from the *Stern* staff nor the experts…
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

Hoaxes from the Philippines — Here's an interesting discussion of some historical hoaxes from the Philippines, specifically those perpetrated in the early twentieth century by Jose E. Marco, a philatelic forger.
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003.   Comments (7)

Utah town celebrates Viking origin — Come next April (2004) the town of Cedar City, Utah will be celebrating the Festival Royale of Himmelsk, a four-day event to honor the group of Vikings who founded the town in 956 AD. The entire story of this strange festival is told here. (Thanks to Lansin Carmean for forwarding this story to me).
Posted: Tue Jul 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

Princess Caraboo Parking Lot — I've just learned from a resident of Bristol that the gravesite of Princess Caraboo is soon going to be paved over and turned into a parking lot. It seems a poor way for Bristol to treat one of its most famous historical figures. I found one page protesting the planned parking lot.
Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2003.   Comments (1)

Great Wall of China Hoax — This day in hoax history. June 25, 1899: The Great Wall of China Hoax.
Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2003.   Comments (0)

Mein Kampf Sequel — It turns out that Hitler wrote a sequel to Mein Kampf, and unlike the infamous Hitler Diaries, it's not a hoax. It's soon going to be published in an English translation. This NY Times article about it also contains a good summary of the Hitler Diaries hoax.
Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003.   Comments (0)

Brother of Jesus — The box that some people claim once contained the remains of the brother of Jesus has been determined to be a fake.
Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2003.   Comments (0)

Yehoash Tablet — The "Yehoash Tablet" found in Israel last year turns out to be a fake.
Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2003.   Comments (0)

Laramie Kid Hoax — More about the Laramie Kid Hoax. I just received an email from the Long Riders guild alerting me to the great series of articles they have on their website, fully debunking the claims of Frank Hopkins (aka the Laramie Kid). Hopkins claimed to have been one of the great horse riders of all time, including among his accomplishments winning a 3000 mile horse race across Arabia on a mustang called 'Hidalgo.' In October 2003 Disney will be releasing a film based on this supposed event,…
Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

Electric Kite Hoax — MAJOR HOAX NEWS: Historian Tom Tucker argues in a recent book that Benjamin Franklin's story about flying a kite in a thunderstorm to prove that lightning was a form of electricity was actually a hoax. Franklin never did the experiment. I'm going to order a copy of Tucker's book (which will be released in a week or so) to read the full argument for myself, but if true, then I guess I can add the 'electric kite hoax' to the list of Franklin's other hoaxes.
Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2003.   Comments (0)

The Solomon Stone — Scientists puzzle over the mystery of the Solomon stone found in Israel. As the London Times puts it: it "is either a state-of-the-art hoax or an ancient Hebrew inscription - more than 2,000 years old - confirming the Biblical account of Solomon's temple." Many people would dearly want this to be true. So in such cases the burden of evidence should be set even higher, to counter the wish-fulfillment impulse.
Posted: Sun Jan 19, 2003.   Comments (0)

US News & World Report and the Great Moon Hoax of 1835 — US News & World Report has a special double issue this week on "The Art of the Hoax". Check out the lead article, "Strange but true: This is the golden age of hoaxes." Yours truly was interviewed for it and gets mentioned twice! Very exciting. But also check out their short piece on the Great Moon Hoax of 1835. As it turns out, they fell for a tall-tale about this hoax. In the first paragraph they claim that because of this newspaper hoax:"Daily sales of the Sun skyrocketed from 4,000…
Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2002.   Comments (1)

South Sea Bubble — The Guardian reviews a new book about the South Sea Bubble of the 1720s, titled A Very English Deceit by Malcolm Balen. It seems pretty timely, given all the financial scandals of today. Apparently all the Enrons and Worldcoms don't even compare to the South Sea Bubble when it comes to truly world-class fraud on a grand scale.
Posted: Fri Aug 09, 2002.   Comments (0)

The Poet and the Murderer — The London Times reviews a new book about Mark Hoffman, the forger (and murderer) who fabricated many documents from Mormon history. The book is called The Poet and the Murderer, by Simon Worrall.
Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2002.   Comments (0)

The Vinland Map — The Vinland Map has finally been proven to be a fake. It supposedly was a map that showed the discovery of North America by Leif Eriksson in 1000 BC, but analysis of map's ink has shown that it was created after 1923. Details will appear in an upcoming issue of Analytical Chemistry published by the American Chemical Society.
Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2002.   Comments (0)

The Hitler Diaries — New evidence indicates that Gerd Heidemann, the journalist largely behind the Hitler Diaries hoax, was an East German double agent working for the Stasi. This breathes new life into the old theory that the hoax was actually a communist plot.
Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2002.   Comments (0)

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