The Museum of Hoaxes
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April Fool's Day, 1936
Vikings in Hawaii. (1936)
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin ran a story about the discovery of an ancient Viking ship in a sandstone quarry near Waimanalo, Oahu. The article was written in a tone of absolute seriousness, discussing details of the ship such as its dimensions and objects found alongside it. The only clue that the article wasn't entirely serious came at the end, when it was revealed that the letters A—R—FJOL—E. had been found inscribed on the stern of the vessel. Lest this was too subtle, the article noted that, "Its equivalent in English is APRIL FOOL." More…
The Cloud Cinema. (1936)
The Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung reported that a "cloud cinema" had debuted in Berlin. Five massive lenses projected a moving image onto a cloudy sky. The picture, visible throughout much of the city, measured 1000x750 meters, "four times as long and three times as high as the new zeppelin is long." The image was, at present, slightly blurry, but improvements were promised in the future. And on days without cloud cover, it was planned to create artificial clouds via fog machines attached to balloons. In its subsequent issue, the magazine admitted, "All the angels would watch and be stirred out of their peace if the cloud cinema of our April edition were true." More…
Philadelphia Sea Monster. (1936)
The Philadelphia Record ran a story, with accompanying picture, titled, "Deep Sea Monster Visits Philadelphia." Although modern viewers have little difficulty in spotting the picture as a fake, it fooled many of the Record's readers. More…
Gasoline Alley… An Extraction Anyway. (1936)
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Stealing the Alamo. (1936)
The San Antonio Light revealed that a plot to move the Alamo from San Antonio to Dallas had been foiled at the last minute: "Vigilance of patriotic San Antonians Wednesday was all that saved the historic Alamo for this city. Since Dallas was awarded main Centennial celebration, its citizens have been casting envious eyes on the shrine of Texas liberty. Early rising San Antonians today were astounded to find the Alamo had been loaded on trucks, preparatory to being taken bodily to Dallas for exhibition at the Centennial. Irate citizens and hastily summoned police halted the outrage and restored Alamo to its proper place." More…
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