The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Loch Ness Monster Hoaxes
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
Fake Smoke Over Beirut
Reuters distributed the top image, showing smoke rising over Beirut after an Israeli air strike, on August 5, 2006. It had been taken by Lebanese photographer Adnan Hajj, who had been freelancing for Reuters for ten years.

The conservative "Little Green Footballs" website soon identified the photo as a fake, noting that, based on the unusual repetitive patterns in the smoke, it appeared Hajj must have used Photoshop's cloning tool to add additional smoke to the sky. When questioned by Reuters, Hajj admitted the photo was altered, but claimed he had simply tried to remove some dust marks from it. Reuters withdrew the image and replaced it with the original (middle).

Other altered photos by Hajj were subsequently found, including one of an Israeli F-16 (bottom) in which a flare has been replicated several times. Reuters informed Hajj that it would no longer use his photos, and it deleted all his images from its archive.

Links and References
Blogger Takes Aim At News Media and Makes a Direct Hit. (Aug 9, 2006). Washington Post.
Picture editors shocked by doctored Reuters photos. (Aug 11, 2006). Press Gazette.

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