Top 10 Hoaxes of All Time

September 4, 2013 | 0

Hoaxes are smartly done lies or cons that appear real, till the truth is found out.  Here are the top ten greatest hoaxes of all time.

10.   Microsoft’s purchase of the Catholic Church – In 1994, there was a press release online which claimed that Microsoft had purchased the Catholic Church.  The release outlined that Bill Gates was looking at religion as a  lucrative market. The deal had terms which made it clear that the computer giant had acquired exclusive rights to the Bible online.  This was also the first Internet hoax that had maximum penetration online.  Till date, the creators of this Internet hoax is unidentified. Microsoft had to issue a formal denial by the end of the same year.

Sponsored link

9. Amityville Horror – In 1974, six family members of Ronald DeFeo Jr. were shot dead by him in Amityville, New York. A year later, when the Lutz family moved into stay, they had the fright of their lives, when they were terrorized by ghostly presence.  They moved away from the haunted home in a month’s time. The story became the stuff of legends and Jay Anson to whom, the Lutz narrated and sold the rights of the book, wrote the famous novel called The Amityville Horror – A True Story, which later became a blockbuster horror film.  But on closer investigation, it was found that the story in the book was farce much like the horror happenings, which the police investigators believed never happened in the first place.

8.  The Cardiff Giant – This is one of the most well-known hoaxes in the US history.  Busy workers who were digging a well in Cardiff,  New York stumbled upon a ten feet tall ‘petrified man’.  This giant was created by a New York citizen called George Hull, who decided to  create this one, after an argument with someone over the Bible passage; where he emphasized that giants once lived on Earth.

Hull made men built a  10 feet long creation out of gypsum, in Iowa, telling them that he wanted this to make a monument in dedication for Abraham Lincoln in New York. He ensured that the block was shipped to Chicago, where he entrusted upon a German engraver to carve the block into the shape of a giant man. Acids and stains were added to make the giant look old and weary. He ensured that the giant was buried for more than a year than hired two men, to do some digging work. Evidently, they found an old, giant man buried and one of them shouted in excitement that they had found some old Indian buried. Soon, the discovery became a point of relentless discussions and visits to the site.  So much that entertainer, P.T.Barnum even offered to pay $60,000 just to rent ‘Cardiff Giant’ for just 3 months.   George and his syndicate turned him down, so angrily P.T. Barnum went to create a plastic replica of the giant’s shape in wax.  He even went on to say that his ‘giant’ was the real one and the Cardiff giant was fake. Finally on February 2, 1870; the court declared that both these so-called giants were fakes.

7. Balloon Boy – In October 2009, news spread think and fast that a six year old boy was flown in a home-made gas balloon. TV crews clamored to get maximum footage live of the air balloon flying high in the air. Truth later emerged that the boy was very much at home, hiding to glory. It was later revealed that the father had engineered this hoax, he  did this because he was desperate to get into reality TV show.

Sponsored link

6.  Taco Liberty Bell –  Taco decided to think out of the box and found no better day that April Fools’ Day to carry out the hoax.  In 1996, the fast food giant initiated a full page in seven maor newspapers in the US saying that it had bought Liberty Bell to cut down the cost of the countrys debt and were renaming it the ‘Taco Liberty Bell’. Angry protestors criticized the move before it was revealed that the news was hoax. Taco had achieved its goal.

5. LonelyGirl15 – Lonelygirl15 was the handle of a girl on Youtube which became viral and memorable.  Though the video blog started off in a nondescript manner, with the girl talking about her life and teenage blues; soon, she began to talk about something bizarre happening with her. She began to talk about a strange cult that her family was involved in. The Youtube views increased and her video channel became very popular. Month later, it emerged that the videos were scripted and it became apparent that the entire video and its content was a hoax, the web series became quite popular from 2006 to 2008.

4.  The naming of Idaho – Did you know that the name for the US State Idaho was borne out of a hoax?  When names were being thrown around to name a new territory ,  lobbyist George M.Willing suggested the name ‘Idaho’ stating that it was a Native American term for ‘germ of the mountains’.Later it was revealed that Willing had created the name himself and then the administrators on finding the hoax, decided to rename ‘Idaho’ as ‘Colorado’. Later, the controversy faded and people thought it was fine to cool the real Idaho by the same name, when it was formally formed in 1863.

3. Google TV  hoax – Google  TV is a myth that is fed upon for years and will be so. Mark Erickson did you cash-on the speculation and did a professional how-to video on how one can gain access to the hidden beta features of the service. Many people fell for it. The irony is Hulu has features that are quite similar to what Erickson described.

2. The Alien Autopsy Footage – On May 5, 1995, a London based movie-maker called Ray Santili, showed what is known as the ‘Alien Autopsy’ footage to UFO researchers and the media. The body was believed to be one of the aliens found at the  Roswell UFO crash site in 1947. The news became what is known in today’s times as ‘viral’.One of give-aways is a warning sign on the wall of the autopsy which says that it has been made in 1967, two decades after the alleged event.  While some people think that it is a mannequin, others think that it is a girl with either Progeia or Turner’s Syndrome. There are some who swear that it is indeed an alien. In 2006, there was a British comedy movie called ‘Alien Autopsy’  which revolved around Santili faking the autopsy; he was also a part of the movie’s production which does make the audience believe that the footage was indeed a fake one.

q. Loch Ness Monster Photo –  The Scottish legend often speaks of a giant sea monster that lived in the Loch Ness waters. In 1934, Colonel Robert Wilson, a British surgeon of good repute, claimed that he took a picture of something strange popping out of the sea. The image was that of a thin neck of a serpent arising out of the Loch. The photo became famous as the ‘Surgeon’s Photo’ and for years, it was taken on face-value as the best proof of Loch Ness Monster.

It took a good 70 years for the hoax to be out in the open. Christian Spurling, before he died at the age of 90 said that it was a hoax and along with him, were Mr. Wetherell and Colonel Wilson himself; they had created the photo.

Sponsored link

About the Author (Author Profile)