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The reenactment of the Wright Brothers' first flight failed. I hate to say it, but the members of the Man Will Never Fly Society, whom I linked to just a few posts below, did predict that would happen.
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, History
Posted by Alex on Wed Dec 17, 2003
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men will never flyAccording to the members of the Man Will Never Fly Society, the official account of the Wright Brothers' 1903 first flight, the anniversary of which is coming up on Dec. 17th, is all a hoax. They contend that the plane never flew... and all subsequent manned flights are a hoax also. Never mind that the majority of the members of this society are pilots. Every year they meet and have a boozy celebration to commemmorate the Wright Brothers' non-flight. In fact, alcohol seems to be the main focus of their meetings, because the more they drink the more confident they become in the truth of their position. So it might best be described as a drinking club. Their motto is "Birds fly. Men drink," and their website proclaims: "The Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society has fought the hallucination of airplane flight with every weapon at its command save sobriety." Sounds like a fun group to be a member of. (Thanks to Alex Richbourg for the link).
Categories: Conspiracy Theories, History
Posted by Alex on Fri Dec 12, 2003
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antebellum islandThe Onion has a good parody of the Reality TV genre: Antebellum Island. It's a new 'alternate reality' show, supposedly being aired by CBS, set on an island on which the South won the Civil War. The show's motto is 'Secede, Suppress, Survive.'
Categories: Entertainment, History
Posted by Alex on Thu Dec 04, 2003
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BBC Legacies, the BBC's new website for exploring local history, is doing a feature this month on Local Legends, and has put up an article about one of Bristol's local legends, Princess Caraboo (though perhaps legends is the wrong word to describe the Princess, since she was quite real, though not a real Princess). It's a good article, and they were nice enough to link back to the Museum of Hoaxes in a sidebar.
Categories: History, Identity/Imposters
Posted by Alex on Wed Dec 03, 2003
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According to a new study, the Vinland Map (that map of North America drawn by ancient Vikings) may be genuine.
Categories: History
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 26, 2003
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Mixing together some content that had been on the site before, with a little stuff from my book, I just created a small gallery of hoaxes involving Adolf Hitler. He was a strange man, and he inspired some strange hoaxes.
Categories: History, Politics
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 18, 2003
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When I was writing up the book version of The Museum of Hoaxes, there were quite a few hoaxes that, for one reason or another, I had to leave out. I went so far as to write up descriptions of many hoaxes that I later had to cut from the book, in order to keep the book's length manageable. All these discarded hoaxes have been sitting on my hard drive for over a year now, but I've decided to put them all up here on the website. I should have done it sooner, but laziness got in the way. So over the next few weeks I'll be adding these hoaxes to the site. For the first hoax I'm going all the way back to the 1600s to the legend of the magical island of Hi-Brazil, and the man who claimed that he had actually found the island.
Categories: Exploration/Travel, History
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 12, 2003
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At the Farmer's Museum in upstate New York this weekend they're celebrating the Cardiff Giant's 134th birthday with a birthday cake contest. It seems to me they're celebrating his birthday a little early. I thought he was discovered on October 16, 1869. But I'm not one to split hairs over something like that. I just wish I was there.
Categories: History
Posted by Alex on Sun Sep 14, 2003
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19th century gold bar on display at the Smithsonian turns out to be a fake.
Categories: History
Posted by Alex on Fri Aug 01, 2003
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Being a San Diegan I appreciated this hoax history of San Diego from the San Diego Hysterical Society.
Categories: History, Places
Posted by Alex on Mon Jul 14, 2003
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America's greatest showman, Phineas Taylor Barnum, born July 5, 1810, celebrates his 193rd birthday today. Happy Birthday, Barnum! In his autobiography Barnum had this to say about his birthday:
My first appearance upon this stage was on the 5th day of July, Anno Domini 1810. Independence Day had gone by, the cannons had ceased to thunder forth their remembrances of our National Anniversary, the smoke had all cleared away, the drums had finished their rattle, and when peace and quiet were restored, I made my debut. This propensity of keeping out of harm's way has always stuck by me.
Barnum was responsible for many hoaxes. Among his more famous ones were Joice Heth (billed as the oldest woman in the world) and the Feejee Mermaid. But he's probably best remembered for the circus he established later in his career, following his stint as a museum proprietor.
Categories: History
Posted by Alex on Sun Jul 06, 2003
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July 4, 1879 a giant stone man (weight: 800 pounds; height: seven feet) was unearthed near Ithaca, New York (suspiciously close to Cardiff, New York). He was soon dubbed the Taughannock Giant. The stone man was described by a commentator as "a human figure lying on its back, arms nearly straight and the legs crossed at the ankle... well proportioned with the exception of the feet, which appear more like those of an ape." Scientists pronounced it an authentic fossilized man. In reality, it was the handiwork of one Ira Dean who had carved it in his basement. For the complete story, check out the Taughannock Stone Man Web Page created by Dan Dickinson, Jeff Dennis, and Ben Land.
Categories: History
Posted by Alex on Sat Jul 05, 2003
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