The Museum of Hoaxes
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Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
Samsung invents the on/off switch
Old-Time Photo Fakery, 1900 to 1919
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Tourist Guy 9/11 Hoax, Sep 2001
Fishing Line Banned -- April Fool's Day, 1978
Dave Heberle, outdoors columnist for the Erie Times-News, reported that monofilament fishing line (a popular type of line used in trout fishing) was being banned in Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania after an EPA researcher, Dr. Ayper Ilfu, found it caused cancer in brook trout. Dr. Ilfu conceded however, "We're not 100 percent sure about rainbows or browns." Violators would be fined $50 on a first offense and $75 for repeat infractions.

The Pennsylvania Fish Commission was flooded by calls from concerned fishermen. Also, anglers rushed to tackle shops to stock up on the popular line. Robert Herbert, owner a tackle shop south of Erie, said, "I'll tell you, it was brutal. People just panicked."

The newspaper subsequently printed a retraction, "we're truly sorry. The article that appeared... was a joke that turned out to be a nightmare. It was a false story, supposed to be an April Fool's Day joke, which backfired louder than a 1930 vintage car." Heberle was fired from his job.


April Fool Categories: Sports, Newspapers, United States, 1978.
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.