The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Mule elected G.O.P. committeeman, 1938
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
Tourist Guy 9/11 Hoax, Sep 2001
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
The Gallery of Fake Viral Images
Princess Caraboo, servant girl who became a princess, 1817
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
What do the lines on Solo cups mean?
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
The Missing Pole
On May 4, 1970 members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on anti-war demonstrators at Kent State University. Four students were killed and nine wounded. Student photographer John Filo captured an image (top) of 14-year-old runaway Mary Ann Vecchio screaming with grief as she knelt beside the body of Jeffrey Miller.

The picture became one of the most famous of the twentieth century. Filo won a Pulitzer Prize for it in 1971. But sometime around 1972 an unknown photo editor decided to airbrush out the pole that was awkwardly situated behind Vecchio's head.

The altered image (bottom) replaced the original in the Time-Life Picture Archive and consequently became the standard print used by most publications. Although the de-poled photo ran in many magazines, no one noticed the deletion until May 1995, when it appeared in Life Magazine.

Links and References
Mystery of the Missing Pole -- Solved!, National Press Photographers Association email listserver (via Web Archive).


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