The Museum of Hoaxes
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Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
The Hitler Diary Hoax, 1983
Dog wins art contest, 1974
The Great Space Monkey Hoax, 1953
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Swiss Lunar Landing Hoax -- April Fool's Day, 1967
An hour-long Swiss Radio broadcast announced that U.S. astronauts had just landed on the moon.

The broadcast (which aired on all German-language Swiss radio stations) began with a news flash interrupting the regularly scheduled show. Listeners heard reports from Swiss radio correspondents in cities around the world, as well as interviews with experts and men in the street. The broadcast also included (prestaged) "technical faults," such as slamming doors and the sound of newscasters running in with late-breaking bulletins.

The announcement generated enormous excitement. Telephone exchanges became jammed as people tried to phone friends to share the news. Even U.S. authorities in Switzerland initially weren't sure if the news was true or false. Americans vacationing in the resort of Klosters staged a huge celebration.

The broadcast concluded with the report that the moonship would take off from the moon at 7 p.m. Listeners were urged to climb to a high vantage point, away from the city lights, to watch it return to Earth. As a result, there was a huge rush of people who tried to leave Zurich and get to the top of Mt. Uetliberg, overlooking the city. The railroad up the mountain had to add additional trains to handle the number of passengers.

The hoax broadcast was directed by newscaster Hans Menge of Radio Zurich.

U.S. astronauts landed on the moon for real approximately two years later (July 20, 1969).

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