The Museum of Hoaxes
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Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
The Great Wall of China Hoax, 1899
Fake Fish Photos
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
Rachael Ray cooks her family and her dog
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
Stotham, Massachusetts: the town that didn't exist, 1920
Pierre Brassau, Monkey Artist, 1964
Fake Duke Scam
Status: Imposter
I kinda thought the posing-as-British-royalty scam had gone out of style with the end of the British Empire. But it seems con artists are still getting mileage out of it, as seen by this story in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press:

A group of Stillwater student journalists discovered [Joshua Adam] Gardner had been using a false identity when visiting the school in recent weeks. He'd been posing as "Caspian James Crichton-Stuart IV, the Fifth Duke of Cleveland" while staying with a Stillwater family for the past two months, investigators say.

Caspian James Crichton-Stuart IV, the Fifth Duke of Cleveland? People believed that? Though it seems his primary targets were teenage girls (who were probably pretty impressed to meet a Duke).

Update: CNN has published an article about this guy, who also called himself the "Earl of Scooby." It details how the students exposed him as a fraud. It also reveals how he came up with his name: ""Caspian" was a nickname he'd taken from the "Chronicles of Narnia" book series, he said, and Crichton is from author Michael Crichton."
Categories: Identity/Imposters
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jan 16, 2006
Comments (3)
I'm not completely convinced that today's teenaged girls would know what an Earl was.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  04:01 AM
Of course they do! An earl is what you put in your browser to go to Myspace.
Posted by Rich  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  03:19 PM
Good one, Rich!
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Jan 16, 2006  at  08:49 PM
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