The Museum of Hoaxes
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Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
The Great Cave Sell -- April Fool's Day, circa 1845
On an undetermined April 1 in the 1840s, a story appeared in the Boston Post announcing that a cave full of treasure had been discovered beneath Boston Common. It had supposedly been uncovered by workmen as they removed a tree from the Common. As the tree fell, it revealed a stone trap-door with a large iron ring set in it. Beneath the door was a stone stairway that led to an underground cave. In this cave lay piles of jewels, old coins, and weapons with jeweled handles. As word of the discovery spread throughout Boston, parties of excited curiosity-seekers began marching out across the Common to view the treasure. A witness later described the scene: "It was rainy, that 1st of April, the Legislature was in session, and it was an animated scene that the Common presented, roofed with umbrellas, sheltering pilgrims on their way to the new-found sell. A procession of grave legislators marched solemnly down under their green gingham, while philosophers, archaeologists, numismatists, antiquarians of all qualities, and the public generally paid tribute to the Post's ingenuity." Of course, the Common was empty of all jewel-bearing caverns, as the crowd of treasure seekers eventually discovered to its disappointment.

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