|Louis de Rougemont|
1. Left-Handed Whopper - Burger King cooked up a whopper of a different sort for April Fools' Day in 1998, but that didn't mean fast-food customers were any less willing to swallow it. In a full-page ad in USA Today, Burger King announced a solution for the 1.4 million left-handed customers visiting their restaurants every day: the Left-Handed Whopper. Southpaws eagerly tried to order the burger the next day. The thought that a burger is basically, you know, a circle apparently never crossed their minds.
3. George Hull’s Giant - In 1869, workers digging behind a barn in New York unearthed a 10 foot tall petrified man. George Hull set up a tent, charging people 50 cents a head to come see the giant man. By December of that year, Hull confessed it was a hoax. He had paid for the man to be carved out of gypsum by Chicago stonecutter Edward Burghardt. Eventually, Hull sold his interest in the giant for $23,000 ($425,000 today).
5. Napoleon’s Dead - In 1814, a man wearing the uniform of a British military officer arrived at an inn on the coast of the English Channel, claiming that Napoleon was dead. News quickly spread to London, where jubilant investors quickly bid up the prices of stock on the London Exchange. Bad news soon arrived: reports of Napoleon's death had been a hoax created to manipulate stock prices. Lord Thomas Cochrane was implicated and imprisoned as the mastermind of the plot.
7. Fiji Mermaid - By the 19th century, mermaids had been included in side-shows for hundreds of years. In 1842, P.T. Barnum came into possession of a curiosity purported to be a mermaid. In reality, the creature was the torso of a monkey attached to the back half of a fish and covered in paper-machè.
8. Piltdown Man was a hoax in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilized remains of a previously unknown early human. These fragments consisted of parts of a skull and jawbone, said to have been collected in 1912 from a gravel pit at Piltdown, East Sussex, England. The significance of the specimen remained the subject of controversy until it was exposed in 1953 as a forgery, consisting of the lower jawbone of an orangutan deliberately combined with the skull of a fully developed modern human.
10. War of the Worlds - On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles took to the radio waves to read a dramatiazation of H.G. Wells's novel War of the Worlds. The first 2/3rds of the broadcast were presented as news reports, and many who were listening believed that the fictional tale was true. It didn't help that the story was presented without commercial interruptions. Although there was a disclaimer at the beginning of the program, many tuned in in-progress, which led to a small panic.
11. Balloon Boy - On October 15, 2009, a balloon released by Richard Heene was reported to have onboard his son, Falcon. After a more than hour-long flight, the balloon landed near Denver International Airport. When authorities found that the balloon was empty, a man-hunt began to find the boy, who many believed may have fallen from the balloon. Later that afternoon, it was revealed that the boy had been hiding in the attic the entire time.
|Publicity for Blair Witch Project|