The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
The Hitler Diary Hoax, 1983
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
Can a bar of soap between your sheets ease muscle cramps?
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Another Moon Hoax
The Canberra Times reports on a different moon hoax from the late 1960s which it, in turn, read about in the most recent newsletter of the Canberra Skeptics society. This hoax was perpetrated by a grad student named Ray Crawford who had managed to get his hands on some NASA stationery:

"Shortly after the first moon landing Dr John Lovering at the ANU [Australian National University] received a piece of moon rock to analyse. Ray wrote a letter purporting to be from NASA to Dr Lovering requesting he present a sample of his urine at the US embassy at 3pm on a certain day; this was to be sent to NASA for analysis in case John had become infected by some alien life form.'

Dr Lovering, for all his intellectual eminence, seems to have fallen for the hoax and to have consulted an ANU biochemist about the best way to collect the requested specimen.

'But as urine samples are best collected early morning' Mr Griffith reports [and as this seemed at odds with the request to Dr Lovering to show up with his sample at 3pm] the biochemist 'smelled a rat'.

'So the US Embassy staff were contacted. Of course they knew nothing about this and, after a lot of coming and going with NASA, the urine sample went down the drain, so to speak. The Yanks were not amused and tried their hardest to find out who was behind the letter. But, as with the weapons of mass destruction, the CIA just could not get its act together on this one either.'"
Categories: Extraterrestrial Life
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jun 05, 2003
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