Category:
Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators

Joan Lowell and CRADLE OF THE DEEP



In 1929, Joan Lowell published an autobiography, Cradle of the Deep, published by Simon & Schuster, in which she claimed that her sea captain father took her aboard his ship, the Minnie A. Caine, at the age of three months when she was suffering from malnutrition. He nursed her back to health. She lived on the ship, with its all-male crew, until she was 17. She became skilled in the art of seamanship and once harpooned a whale by herself. Ultimately, the ship burned and sank off Australia, and Lowell swam three miles to safety, with a family of kittens clinging by their claws to her back. In fact, the book was a fabrication; Lowell had been on the ship, which remained safe in California, for only 15 months. The book was a sensational best seller until it was exposed as pure invention.[1] The book was later parodied by Corey Ford in his book Salt Water Taffy in which Lowell abandons the sinking ship (which had previously sunk several times before "very badly") and swims to safety with her manuscript.


Her Wikipedia page.

An article on the hoax.


Read the book here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 18, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Movies, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, 1920s

Goblu and Beatosu, Ohio

The 1978-79 Michigan Highway map included some creative geography. If you looked at the part of the map that depicted neighboring Ohio, you found two new towns. There was Goblu, shown just east of Toledo near Bono, and Beatosu, shown to the west near Elmira. These names sounded a lot like the cries of University of Michigan football fans against rival Ohio State University.

They were included in the map at the order of Peter Fletcher, the highway commission chairman, who said he included the names to demonstrate his "loyalty to the Athens of the West, the University of Michigan." The fictitious towns were deleted from the next edition of the map. The map with the towns is now a collector's item. One is currently available for $32.55 on eBay.

More info: wikipedia





Lansing State Journal - Dec 23, 1977 (click to enlarge)

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 17, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Geography and Maps, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, 1970s

Don’t Cry For Me, Roentgen-tina!



Once upon a time Juan Peron's Argentina, tricked by a quasi-scientific hoaxer, claimed they had perfected fusion power. You can see the legacy of their project in the picture above.

Read the full story here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 12, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Technology, 1940s, 1950s, South America

Hitler Is Alive!

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In its heyday, THE POLICE GAZETTE was a goldmine of weird news. It was recently revived by Steven Westlake, son of the famous crime novelist Donald Westlake, and he has now compiled a book of the best Hitler articles from the magazine. Looks like a winner!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 22, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Magazines, Europe, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

One Of Our own

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No list of weird collections would be complete without the inclusion of one of our WUvian founders. Alex and his Museum of Hoaxes is, of course, one of the top weird collections on the net!

Posted By: patty - Sat Aug 01, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Authorities and Experts, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Museums, Alex

The Angel of Hadley

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I had long been aware of the WWI legend of The Angel of Mons, in which a piece of deliberate fiction was accepted as literal truth.

But I was unaware until recently that right in my own backyard, in nearby Hadley, Massachusetts, a similar bit of fiction-as-history existed, the Angel of Hadley, the account of how a mysterious elderly warrior saved settlers from the Indians.

Another good piece on the subject here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Dec 29, 2014 - Comments (1)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Myths and Fairytales, Historical Figure, Europe, North America, Nineteenth Century, Seventeenth Century, Native Americans

David Holzman’s Diary



I never knew of the existence of this film until reading the obituary of one of its creators, L. M. Kit Carson. As an ancestor of Spinal Tap and others of that ilk, it should appeal to WU-vies, I think.

Unfortunately, the entire video does not seem available online. There's a snippet above, and a mini-documentary about the documentary in two parts below. (Caution: brief flash of modest nudity in part two.) You can buy the disc or stream it at Amazon.









Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 01, 2014 - Comments (0)
Category: Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Documentaries, 1960s

William Skinner’s Gravity Engine





Apparently, some 75 years on, people are still trying to prove the reality of this perpetual motion machine.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 16, 2014 - Comments (19)
Category: Eccentrics, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Inventions, 1930s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

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