The Museum of Hoaxes
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Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
Dead Body of Loch Ness Monster Found, 1972
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
The Olympic Underwear Relay, 1956
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
Athens Pollution Alert -- April Fool's Day, 1982
Greece's state-controlled National Radio Network issued a warning that pollution had reached emergency levels in downtown Athens, and that the city would have to be immediately evacuated. All schools were called upon to close immediately, and the children to be sent home. Furthermore, anyone driving a car was asked to abandon it and flee to open ground.

Many people took the broadcast seriously and attempted to leave the city, since pollution was (and is) a serious problem in Athens. Within three hours the Radio Network had retracted the broadcast, revealing it to be a joke, but by then the damage had been done. One man sued the network for $820,000, claiming the prank had caused him mental distress. The director of the network submitted his resignation over the incident, and the originator of the hoax was fired.

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.