The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
Use your left ear to detect lies
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
Dead Body of Loch Ness Monster Found, 1972
Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
What do the lines on Solo cups mean?
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Iceberg floats into Sydney Harbor, 1978
Snowball the Monster Cat, 2000
Missing in Action
The top photo made national headlines when it surfaced in July, 1991. It appeared to show three American fliers, who had been listed as missing during the Vietnam War, holding a sign with the date 25-5-90. The implication was that the men were still alive somewhere in south-east Asia.

The families of the men were convinced the photo was authentic, but Pentagon officials had doubts. They noted the men looked unusually well nourished for having been in captivity for two decades; the sign they were holding appeared to have been pasted into the photo; and the source of the photo was dubious. It had been faxed to the Pentagon by a man of Cambodian descent living in Los Angeles who, in turn, said he had received it from a former prison guard living in Phnom Penh. $2 million was being demanded to help arrange the return of the fliers.

The Pentagon sent a team to Thailand to investigate. They eventually discovered the true source of the photo. It was a doctored version of a 1923 photograph (bottom) of three Soviet farmers which had been published in the December 1989 issue of a Khmer-language magazine called Soviet Union. The con artists had cropped the original image, added moustaches to the men, and pasted in the sign.

Links and References
Brugioni, D. (1999). Photo Fakery. Brassey's: pgs. 64-65.


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