The Atlantic Swim Hoax

A couple of people emailed me about this, though I think it's more a case of miscommunication rather than a deliberate hoax.

A little over a week ago the media reported that 56-year-old Jennifer Figge had become the first woman to swim the Atlantic. But then people started to do the math, and realized that if she had really swum 2100 in 25 days, then she had performed a superhuman feat.

Two days later the AP published a retraction, quoting Figge's spokesman who stated she swam only 250 miles, not 2100. Which is why it seems more like a case of miscommunication to me. Figge didn't appear to go out of her way to promote the claim she had swum the Atlantic.

To find a real long-distance swimming hoax, you need to go back to 1927 when Dorothy Cochrane Lange claimed to have swum the English Channel, but a few days later admitted she had only swum the first and last mile. Her motive, she said, was to prove how easy it was to pull off such a hoax.


Posted on Mon Feb 16, 2009


Apparently a female purple martin "allegedly" flew from the Amazon Basin to Pennsylvania, 4660 miles, in only 13 days, averaging 358 miles a day. How gullible does that bird think we are?
Posted by Canadarm  on  Tue Feb 17, 2009  at  12:06 PM
"Miscommunication"? This same thing happened 10 years ago (Benoit Lecomte) but at least LeComte had the good sense of doing for 73 days. There would be no cheap/easy way of staying in place while resting. My guess is that Lecomte at least swam a few hundred more miles.

It is an amazing feat, of course, but this Figge woman really seemed to foster deception and the press should be ashamed of their stupidity.
Posted by floormaster squeeze  on  Wed Feb 18, 2009  at  01:00 PM
I, Raoul, Man of a Thousand Strokes, have also swam across the Atlantic Ocean. It took me three days, but I had to fight many winds and great beasts of the deep, so I was slowed down. I did so naked and coated with petroleum jelly, and for this I had practiced on many Saturday nights. And I swam some, too... ha ha hah, Raoul is just fooling you, so don't get upset, okay? Rrrraoul
Posted by Raoul  on  Sun Feb 22, 2009  at  09:42 AM
I actually worked on his sons race team at this years Daytona 24hr race.

He was telling us what she was doing, and seemed pretty happy about it...
Posted by Andrew  on  Sun Feb 22, 2009  at  10:21 PM
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