Hoaxes

Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true. —Francis Bacon

Documents at this web site.

  • Beringer's stones. Dr. Hohann Bartholemew Adam Beringer discovers fossils he thinks carved by the hand of God, planted in his dig by colleagues as a prank to discredit him. (18th century)
  • [NEW] The Moon Hoax of the New York Sun. Newspaper reports discovery of men on the moon, 1835. Versão em português.
  • [NEW] Arthur Conan Doyle was duped in 1917 by faked photos of fairies taken by two teenage girls. [New: All five photos are now here, in high resolution.] Versão em português.
  • The Cardiff Giant Hoax. The Cardiff Giant, a petrified 12 foot tall prehistoric man dug up in New York State in 1889, was a carved fake. P. T. Barnum even made a fake copy of the fake! Now the original, one and only, fake giant is peacefully resting at the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Andrew Dickson White was there, and chapter LVI of his autobiography tells the whole story with exceptional perceptiveness. The incident inspired Mark Twain's A Ghost Story.
  • [NEW] The Keely Engine Company. In 1872 John Worrell Keely promised machines which would power steamships on a gallon of water by tapping "etheric energy". Gullible people actually invested in his scheme.

See my bibliography for the seminar Abuses of Science for additional references on some of these topics.

Links to other web sites.


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