The Museum of Hoaxes
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Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Did Poe say 'The best things in life make you sweaty'?
BMW's April Fool's Day Hoaxes
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper Hoax, 1998
The Falling Soldier
Robert Capa's photo of a soldier falling backward from the impact of a shot to his head, taken during the Spanish Civil War, has often been called the greatest war photograph of all time. Its full title is "Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936."

In 1975 Phillip Knightley created a controversy by alleging in his book, The First Casualty, that the photo had been staged. His source of information was fellow journalist O.D. Gallagher. Gallagher claimed he and Capa had shared a hotel room in 1936, during which time Capa confessed staging the photo. Other skeptics then argued that the falling soldier could be seen alive in a later frame on the same roll of film.

Subsequent research has vindicated Capa. For instance, there is no evidence Gallagher and Capa ever met before 1939, which casts doubt on Gallagher's claims. And careful analysis shows the second soldier in the later frame to be a different person.

In 1996, a search of military archives identified the falling soldier as 24-year-old mill worker Federico Borrell Garcia.

Links and References


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