Cranky Media Guy drew my attention to a list of the "Top 10 Hoaxes of all time" posted by Kelvin Lynch on examiner.com. Cranky asks: "Haven't we seen this exact list before... recently, in fact?"
I can't recall if this list had been posted elsewhere recently, but as I was reading through it, I felt that a lot of the language was strangely familiar. And then I realized why this was so. Much of the text has been lifted directly from the print version of The Museum of Hoaxes, published back in 2002.
For instance, here's part of what I wrote in my book about the Surgeon's Photo:
A highly respectable British surgeon, Colonel Robert Wilson, was driving along the shore of the loch on April 19, 1934, early in the morning, when, he said afterward, he noticed something moving in the water. He happened to have a camera with him, so he quickly stopped his car and snapped a photo. The resulting image showed the slender neck of a serpent rising out of the loch. For decades this photo was considered to be the best evidence ever obtained of the existence of a sea monster in the loch.
And here's what Kelvin Lynch writes:
Colonel Robert Wilson, a highly respectable British surgeon, said that he noticed something moving in the water and took a picture of it. The resulting image showed the slender neck of a serpent rising out of the Loch. The photo came to be known simply as "The Surgeon's Photo" and for decades it was considered to be the best evidence of the monster.
What I wrote about the Hitler Diaries:
On April 22, 1983, the German magazine Der Stern announced that it had made the greatest Nazi memorabilia find of all time: a diary kept by Adolf Hitler himself. And this was not just one thin journal. It was a sixty-two-volume mother lode, covering the crucial years of 1932-1945.
What Kelvin Lynch writes:
On April 22, 1983 the German magazine Der Stern announced that it had made the greatest Nazi memorabilia find of all time: a diary kept by Adolf Hitler himself. And this was not just one thin journal.
And it goes on like this for a number of the other items in the list. Strangely, Kelvin Lynch doesn't cite the Museum of Hoaxes as a reference. So I guess he just coincidentally came up with the exact same words as I did to describe these hoaxes!
I've had this problem before with finding my writing posted on associated content and examiner.com. (My list of the Top 100 April Fool's Day hoaxes has been a popular source of content.) The people who write for those sites seem to think that if they slightly shuffle other people's words, that makes it their own, and there's no need to give any credit. What makes this not only rude but illegal is that they're getting paid to post these articles.
Update: Looks like examiner.com took down the article. I never even got around to complaining directly to them.