The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974
Van Gogh's ear exhibited, 1935
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
Use your left ear to detect lies
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
The Captain of Köpenick, 1906
On October 16, 1906, an out-of-work German shoemaker named Wilhelm Voigt donned a second-hand military captain's uniform he had bought in a store, walked out into the street, and assumed control of a company of soldiers marching past. He led them to the town hall of Köpenick, a small suburb of Berlin, arrested the mayor and the treasurer on charges of embezzlement, and took possession of 4,000 marks from the town treasury. He then disappeared with the money. The incident became famous as a symbol of the blind obedience of German soldiers to authority — even fake authority.

The police tracked him down nine days later, and he was sentenced to four years in jail. But he proved to be such a likable character (and popular hero) that the Kaiser pardoned Voigt after he had served less than two years. Voigt subsequently pursued a career in show business, where he entertained audiences by re-enacting his stunt on the stage.

Links and References
Categories: Military, Imposters, 1869-1913
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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.