Status: Hoax claims victim
In my Gallery of Hoax Websites
(which I created about four years ago, and which has since been superceded by the Hoax Websites category
of the weblog), I list the website of Boilerplate, the Victorian Era Robot
. The site details the history of a robot named Boilerplate who was supposedly created during the 19th century in order to replace humans in combat. I admit that the site had me going for a while, and that I only realized it was a hoax when I tried to check the bibliographic references, none of which referred to real books. It seems I wasn't the only one to be taken in by Boilerplate. The New York Times reports
that comedian Chris Elliott, believing Boilerplate was a nineteenth-hoax (not a modern one), incorporated the robot into his historical novel, The Shroud of the Thwacker
. Only when the creator of Boilerplate threatened to sue him for copyright infringement did Elliott realize his mistake. If only Elliott had checked my site, he would have known better.