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Water-Skiing Elephant
Status: Publicity Stunt
You can find a lot of weird stuff on YouTube, such as this video of a water-skiing elephant. Watching it, I feel kind of sorry for the poor elephant made to do this.

The story behind the video is that it was a publicity stunt from 1959 dreamed up by New York PR man Max Rosey in order to promote an amusement park. Rosey was also the man who came up with the idea for an annual hot dog eating contest in Coney Island to promote Nathan's hot dogs.

I found this video (and the explanation about it) on a blog called Liquid Soap, which is about publicity stunts of yesteryear. The blog is written by Mark Borkowski, who's also the head of the UK's Borkowski PR agency.
Categories: Advertising, Animals
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 06, 2007
Comments (9)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
Thanks for plugging my blog. My new site has a section called In Search of Son's of Barnum its celebrates the lives of the wild movie publicists and stuntsters.
Posted by Mark Borkowski  on  Thu Sep 06, 2007  at  04:26 AM
Hasn't anyone else ever seen Honky Tonk Freeway?
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Thu Sep 06, 2007  at  09:33 AM
Years ago I remember reading about a water-skiing elephant that was drowned in an accident (the "skis" were attached to its feet and they flipped over). Is this the same act?
Posted by Mark  on  Sat Sep 08, 2007  at  07:48 AM
Alex, if it isn't too late, this photo would make great cover art for "Elephants on Acid."
Posted by Big Gary  on  Mon Sep 10, 2007  at  12:36 PM
Sadly it is too late. And I don't have much control over the cover art anyway.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Sep 12, 2007  at  03:57 PM
This is in response to the message and YouTube video posted by "Alex" on September 6, 2007.

I'm not sure where you got the information about this being a publicity stunt dreamed up by Max Posey. Perhaps, at one point, he did - but it wasn't with the elephant shown in the YouTube video -- That elephant is "Queenie" - The man on the skis with her was my Dad, Bill Green. We were in Pittsburgh, PA for the city's Bicentennial Festival the summer of 1959. The movie/video was filmed as they were skiing on the Monongahela River by "The Point". Queenie (and my Dad) did get "toppled" by a passing towboat (on June 8, 1959) but neither suffered any ill effects. Fortunately, a crane from a nearby construction project was able to safely haul both of them out of the water.

Queenie was taught to water-ski at Ponce de Leon Springs (now a State Park)in DeLeon Springs, FL. I also skiied with her there during the winter of 1958-59 and well as the winter of 1959-60.

My Dad passed away, in 1965; however, Queenie is still alive and well and is enjoying "retirement" at Wild Adventures, a theme park, in Valdosta, Georgia. I visit her often.

Liz (Green) Dane
Posted by Elisabeth (Green) Dane  on  Thu Mar 27, 2008  at  07:23 PM
My father in law was the head of this ski show in Ponce de Leon. Jim Rusing, trust me, no animals were ever hurt!!! My mother in law, still living, was the head of the Aquabells and together (with my hubby & brother in law) they had several animal including an Ocelot and had numerous shows in Daytona, Sea World (san diego) He was also, in the waterski hall of fame and has had several pictorials in TIME magazine.
Posted by Krystle  on  Wed Jul 23, 2008  at  06:51 PM
Krystle -

I was so pleased to get your response that was posted on the Museum of Hoaxes website. Would love to be able to e-mail you directly. My e-mail address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I have quite a bit of footage (from my 8mm movie camera) that includes your in-laws water-skiing show - and probably of your husband, too. So, please send me an e-mail? Thanks.

Liz (Green) Dane
Posted by Liz (Green) Dane  on  Thu Jul 24, 2008  at  12:35 PM
liz, here is a shocker for you. My sister was the girl that married Phil Gossett,now sullivan of enumclaw wa.That is where i am moving. I was shocked that a friend found this. I just spoke with Patti,so do not be supprised to here from her soon. I am on my friends computer, so you will want to respond to that e-address. Thanks lary lamb
Posted by lary lamb [jacky]  on  Wed Sep 09, 2009  at  04:13 PM
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