A hoax is a deliberate fabrication of the truth, and as such, it can deceive and cheat many people, even the smartest among us. Some of them are financial, intending to trick people into acquiring their money, some are just for popularity and status, and some may serve as propaganda. These are some of the hoaxes we consider to be the greatest the world has seen throughout its history.
10. The Boy That Yelled Balloon
The Baloon Boy hoax got a lot of the public involved in trying to find and rescue a 6-year-old boy who was allegedly lost in the sky by being "blown away" in a homemade gas balloon. Soon enough, the event was proved to be a hoax, and the young boy was hiding in his room the entire time, with the help of his father, who was an accomplice and apparently a sucker for publicity.
9. The War Of The Worlds
This one is truly a classic among the hoaxes. It was during 1938 that a radio broadcasting the novel "The War of the Worlds" caused great panic among its listeners who were afraid they heard about the threat of a real Martian invasion happening.
The dramatization of the novel was narrated by Orson Welles, and it was presented in the form of news bulletins, which certainly made the events seem that more realistic.
8. Fast-Food Liberty Bell
As if fast-food companies do not already play enough jokes on our health, Taco Bell bought a full-page advertisement in all the major U.S newspapers, announcing their new ownership of the Liberty Bell.
They claimed to have bought it to reduce the country's debt and named it the "Taco Liberty Bell." Of course, it was a hoax, made on April Fool's Day, but it still got people all riled up for protesting.
7. Fake Paul McCartney
In 1969, a group of prankster college students thought it would be funny if they published articles which claimed that the famous Beatles member is actually dead and was being replaced by an imposter that looks a lot like him. The public was instructed to look into lyrics and artwork of their record for further proof of this conspiracy. I guess it was not that funny for McCartney, as he dismissed the whole thing in later interviews.
6. The Piltdown Man
The most notorious paleontological hoax was supposed to provide evidence for an unknown human species. Bones of this species were found in Piltdown, England, in 1912, and it was not until 1953 that the fossil remains were revealed as a fake. They were actually bones of an orangutan together with the parts of the human skull.
5. The Loch Ness Monster
There are not many people that have not heard of the notorious "Nessie," the monster of the Loch Ness lake. We are not telling you that Nessie does not exist, but the iconic photographs of the monster were revealed as fake in the '70s, even though their creator, the photographer Dr. Wilson claimed they were real.
4. Amityville Murders
Sometime in 1974, a family was murdered in New York, and the murderer was the youngest son of that same family, Butch DeFeo. Next year, another family named Lutz moved into the same house and claimed they were experiencing supernatural phenomena, being attacked by spirits of the dead.
This story was a collaboration with a novelist named Jay Anson, who adapted their story for the movie "The Amityville Horror," and all of them made a significant profit. Both the Lutzes and DeFeo were in collaboration with Jay Anson, as was later confirmed by DeFeo's lawyers.
3. Alien Crop Circles
These things have been a motif in many extraterrestrial science fiction movies, and even though you may belive that such phenomena have been reported since forever, it is only during the last 30 years that the crop circle mysteries began.
They first appeared in Great Britain and provoked great public interest until 1991 when Doug Bower and Dave Chorley confessed it was all a prank that they did to convince people of UFO presence. Their hoax is the one that was responsible for all the others that would follow.
2. Sexual Intercourse With A Rabbit
This hilarious hoax belongs to an English woman named Mary Toft. In 1726, Miss Toft informed her neighbor that she was a victim of a sexual assault and that the perpetrator was a rabbit. Even though the story was dismissed, it soon gained more popularity in England as well as the rest of Europe due to a published report stating that Mary Toft gave birth to bunnies. She was eventually exposed and confessed to hiding the rabbits in her bedsheets with the help of her husband.
1. The Raelians
This hoax was orchestrated by a religious group calling themselves Raelians. They informed the public of creating the world's first human clone. The clone's name was Eve, and she was a baby girl. Their supreme leader, Rael, an alien descendent, claimed that their main goal was the achievement of immortality.
Their announcement was met with critique and skepticism, as well as bans on human cloning by President George W.Bush. Still, their efforts were eventually dismissed and forgotten, as the sect never provided any evidence for their outrages claims.
What is a hoax?
A hoax is a deliberate fabrication of the truth, and as such, it can deceive and cheat many people, even the smartest among us.
Your MLA Citation
Your APA Citation
Your Chicago Citation
Your Harvard CitationRemember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.