The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
Eras: 0-1699 1700s 1800-1868 1869-1913 1914-1949 1950-1976 1977-1989 1990s 2000s
The Hoax Archive — A collection of the most notorious deceptions throughout history
Stockmarket Hoaxes
The Great Stock Exchange Hoax of 1814. In 1814 a man wearing a British military uniform rowed up to a dock on the coast of the English Channel and told the guards there that Napoleon had been killed. Immediately riders were sent to London. When traders on the London stock exchange heard the news they celebrated by bidding up the price of stocks. But soon after they realized the truth, that the war against Napoleon was still raging on. They had been tricked. Immediately the market... Continue…
The Civil War Gold Hoax, 1864. An attempt at stockmarket manipulation. Several New York papers were tricked into printing bad news about the Civil War. In response, investors dumped stocks and bought gold, perceived as a safer investment. But the bad news had been planted by a newspaper insider who had previously invested heavily in gold, hoping to profit from the anticipated rise in its price. He was tracked down and arrested within 3 days. Continue…
The Gold Accumulator, 1896. Prescott Jernegan claimed he had found a way to cheaply extract gold from sea water. His "Gold Accumulator" consisted of a wooden box, inside of which was a pan of mercury mixed with a secret ingredient. A wire connected the mercury to a small battery. When lowered into the ocean, this contraption supposedly sucked gold out of the water. A test conducted in Narragansett Bay in February 1897 proved the gold accumulator worked. After a few hours... Continue…
The Dayton Hudson Hoax, 1987. On 23 June 1987, P. David Herrlinger, a 46-year-old investment adviser working out of Cincinnati, called up the Dow Jones News Service and informed them that he represented a large private investment firm which was about to offer to buy the retailer Dayton Hudson for $6.8 billion. The news immediately triggered a $9 spike in the company's stock price. The news turned out to be completely bogus. Herrlinger had apparently made the call after... Continue…
The Emulex Hoax, 2000. A US Attorney announces the arrest of Mark Jakob Disturbing headlines greeted the shareholders of Emulex Corp. on the morning of August 25, 2000: "Emulex Announces Revised Earnings; SEC Launches Investigation Into Accounting Practices. Paul Folino Steps Down As CEO." The company's stock price responded swiftly to this news, which ran on all the major wire services, sinking from a morning high of $113.06 to a low of $43 by 10:30 a.m. Emulex... Continue…

Hoax Archive Categories
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  • Television Hoaxes

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