Dragon Hoax Was a Hoax
Back in January I posted an entry about what I called the Almost Great Dragon Hoax
. It described a tiny dragon that had been found in a jar of formaldehyde in a garage in Oxfordshire. Supposedly the dragon had been created in the nineteenth century by German scientists trying to hoax their British counterparts, but the joke had been spotted by the British and placed in the trash... only to be recovered from there and end up years later in the Oxfordshire garage. Now it turns out that the dragon is actually of a much more modern origin. BBC News is reporting
that author Allistair Mitchell created the story about the dragon as a publicity stunt in order to convince a publisher to publish his book, Unearthly History
. It worked, because he just signed a deal with Waterstone. The dragon itself was built by Crawley Creatures, professional model makers. (Thanks to everyone who sent me links about this story).
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Not exactly. The book is self-published, and the stunt was to persuade Waterstone's bookshop chain to stock and promote it (normally major bookshops aren't very interested in books in that category). Ref: Publishing News.