The Museum of Hoaxes
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Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
The Cottingley Fairies, 1917
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
Dog wins art contest, 1974
BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974
The Eruption of Mt. Milton -- April Fool's Day, 1980
The Channel 7 news in Boston ended with a special bulletin announcing that a 635-foot hill in Milton, Massachusetts known as the Great Blue Hill had erupted, and that lava and ash were raining down on nearby homes. Footage was shown of lava pouring down a hillside. The announcer explained that the eruption had been triggered by a geological chain reaction set off by the recent eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington. An audio tape was played in which President Carter and the Governor of Massachusetts were heard declaring the eruption to be a “serious situation.“

At the end of the segment, the repoter held up a sign that read “April Fool.“ However, by that time local authorities had already been flooded with frantic phone calls from Milton residents. One man, believing that his house would soon be engulfed by lava, had carried his sick wife outside in order to escape. The Milton police continued to receive worried phone calls well into the night. Channel 7 was so embarrassed by the panicked reaction that they apologized for the confusion later that night, and the executive producer responsible for the prank was fired.

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