Back in July 1953 three pranksters left the hairless/tailless body of a monkey lying in the middle of a Georgia highway. When a policeman came along, they told him it was the body of an extraterrestrial that they had accidentally run over. Its friends had escaped moments before in a spacecraft. The prank managed to make national headlines. (I describe it in greater detail in the Hoax Archive
has an article (with picture) about the Great Monkey Hoax. The occasion for it is a visit by an AP reporter to the museum of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, where the body of the monkey is still preserved.
Seven years ago, when I was writing the book version of The Museum of Hoaxes
, I spent some time on the phone trying to track down this monkey. I had heard that the GBI still had it, but I wanted to confirm the info.
I eventually reached a woman who worked in the archives of the GBI and asked her if they still had the hairless monkey. I explained the history of the prank to her, but she had no clue what I was going on about. From her tone of voice she evidently thought I was playing a prank on her. She swore to me that the GBI had no such monkey. Looks like she was wrong. They do still have it!