The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
The Great New York Zoo Escape Hoax, 1874
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
The Olympic Underwear Relay, 1956
The most sacred relic: the Holy Foreskin, circa 800 AD
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
Myths of the Titanic
The BBC has an interesting article about myths associated with the Titanic. The five myths they list, summarized, are:
  1. The unsinkability of the Titanic: "the White Star Line never made any substantive claims that the Titanic was unsinkable - and nobody really talked about the ship's unsinkability until after the event"
  2. The band played Nearer, My God, To Thee: The band probably did play on deck as the ship sank, but there's no good evidence that their final song was 'Nearer, My God, To Thee.'
  3. The Heroic Captain Smith: Captain Smith really wasn't that heroic. In fact, his inaction meant that there wasn't a more orderly evacuation.
  4. The Villainous J Bruce Ismay: Ismay, present of the company that built the Titanic, is traditionally portrayed as a villainous businessman who bullied Captain Smith into going faster, and then jumped into the first available lifeboat to save himself. But he probably wasn't that villainous in real life. He actually helped a lot of people into boats.
  5. Forcibly barring third-class passengers from the lifeboats: There was no deliberate attempt to prevent third-class passengers from reaching lifeboats. However, "Gates did exist which barred the third class passengers from the other passengers. But this was not in anticipation of a shipwreck but in compliance with US immigration laws and the feared spread of infectious diseases." As a result, only one-third of steerage passengers survived.
Categories: Exploration/Travel, Urban Legends
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 06, 2012
Comments (3)
Actually the full length gates seen in the movies are a myth. Most of the gates that separated the third class were only waist high. I've been reading a lot about the Titanic lately. I found http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org a good source of information. Here's an example about the gates:

http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/forums/lost-saved/2246-3rd-survivors.html
Posted by KAE  in  Wisconsin  on  Fri Apr 06, 2012  at  07:47 PM
For a good summary of all Titanic myths, watch James Cameron's movie. He pretty much employed them all except he somehow forgot about the mummy's curse. It must have ended up on the cutting room floor.
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Sat Apr 07, 2012  at  04:18 PM
With regard to the claim that Titanic was unsinkable, I've heard it said that in those days each time a new, bigger ship was built it was casually refered to as unsinkable. This only becomes pertinent in the aftermath of one of our greatest maritime disasters.

Captain Al, we're not talking about the mummy's curse, in case Cameron hears of it and gets the notion use it as the basis of a sequel to that awful movie.
Posted by Paul Taylor  in  Peterborough, UK  on  Sun Apr 08, 2012  at  11:11 AM
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