1. Tourist Guy
After the traumatizing experience of 9/11, an image became viral of a man standing on top of the observation deck of one of the twin towers.
Why this never happened:
- It was a warm day and the man is obviously wearing winter clothing
- The plane shown was not the one that crashed into the towers. It was a 767 that crashed and not a 757.
- Photo qualities were not great back in early 2000s, so if the plane was in fact moving, wouldn’t it be motion blurred?
- The plane had hit one of the buildings at 9:03 am and the observation deck does not open until 9:30am.
In 2001, a website was claimed to be selling human meat for “sophisticated human meat consumer.” Immediately, the site gathered attention enough for people to start petitions to take the site down and even enough for the Food & Drug Administration investigated. However, it was found that no evidence of human meat was every being sold. The person to claim to have started the website was a graphic designer under the alias “Joseph Christopher” describing that his motive was “The subject of human meat was chosen because of its ability to churn the viewer’s stomach and help outrage the more ‘sensitive’ viewers. This includes Bible thumpers.”
3. The Cottingley Fairies
Around the 1920s, photos were seen of two girls, France Griffith and Elise Wright, posing with what appeared to be fairies. These photos were considered to be consider some of the most widely recognized photos that existed. Not until 1978 were the photos declared fake by James Randi when he noticed the resemblance of the fairies to a drawing in a book titled Princess Mary’s Gift Book. In 1981, Elise Wright admitted that they were fakes and were sketched off drawings from that book.
4. The Loch Ness Monster
The Loch Ness Monster started to gain popularity after a road was built along the northern shore of Loch Ness in 1933. Those who drove claimed to have seen a large animal in the lake. A famous big-game hunter name Marmaduke Wetherell. He was able to locate large footprints that lead into the water, but retreated from public once the Natural History Museum concluded that the prints were made by a dried hippos foot which, at the time, were commonly used for umbrella stands. Colonel Robert Wilson brought in the popular photograph shown above, but in 1994 it was revealed that the photo had been identified as a fake because Christian Spurling admitted of being apart of the hoax with Wetherell and Wilson. The “monster” was actually a serpent head tied to a toy submarine.
5. Balloon Boy
On October 15th, 2009, 6 year old, Falcon Heene was launched in a giant silver balloon and floated for miles, or so the media thought. When the balloon had landed 12 miles away from the Denver International Airport hours later. Falcon was never found in the balloon because he was hiding in his room as the scene unfolded. During an interview on Larry King Live, Wolf Blitzer asked why Falcon had hid in his room so long in which Falcon responded with: “You guys said that, um, we did this for a show.”
6. Bonsai Kitten
Started in 2000, was the infamous Bonsai Cat website. This website was dedicated to shaping kittens in plastic containers. The website was obviously a hoax because of the morbid explanations they would use such as: “At only a few weeks of age, a kitten’s bones have not yet hardened and become osseous. They are extremely soft and springy. In fact, if you take a week-old kitten and throw it to the floor, it will actually bounce!” The site caused so much controversy that it caught the attention of the FBI, but after their investigations, no evidence was found of animal cruelty of any kind.
7. Hitler’s “Silly Dance”
On June 21, 1940, was when Hitler had accepted the surrender of France. In the footage, Hitler takes a step back, but the reel was modified by John Grierson to make Hitler appear as if he was dancing. He wanted to loop the clip repeatedly to make him appear as if he was dancing for joy.
8. The Rolling Stones of Pahranagat, Nevada
On the 26th of October 1867, Dan De Quille, a journalist, published an article on the Territorial Enterprise. He claimed that in the desert of Pahranagat, Nevada that there were perfectly round pebbles that when taken apart would mysteriously roll back together. Letters poured in for Dan De Quille about the peebles until he grew very tired of them, so he attempted to debunk his own hoax. Even after the attempt he still kept receiving the letters.
9. The Patagonian Giant
A ship called the Dolphin circumnavigated the globe in 1766 and once landed in London, a rumor began to spread that the crew had encountered 9ft giants of the Patagonian Tribe. The story began to go in print on May 9, 1766. John Byron debunked the rumor after he said he had encountered the Patagonian Tribe afterall, but the tallest of them being only about 6’6″.
10. King Tut’s Curse
In November 1922, Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen, but 2 months later, the sponsor of the expedition died of a bacterial infection caused by a mosquito bite. The press took this opportunity to blame the curse of King Tut. A scientist, name Herbert Winlock, mentioned that the deaths were to be statistically expected. Of the 22 people that were on the expedition, only 6 had died in the end. So, King Tut’s curse was merely an invention of the media.
11. The Wingdings Prophecy
In 1992, Microsoft released Windows 3.1. If you used the font to write NYC, what would appear was this message:
making the font display antisemitic messages. So in the later introduce font Webdings, it was intentional to display the happy message:
After 9/11, the controversy was reintroduced because if you were type “Q33NY” (rumored to be the flight number of one of the planes) in wingdings it would give off the message shown above. This couldn’t have been possible because the flight numbers were actually 11 and 175.
12. The Hitler Diaries
On the 22nd of April in 1983, a German magazine named Stern published an article claiming that the discovery of Hitler’s personal diaries had been recovered from a plane crash. The article claimed that the plane was from Operation Seraglio which was a removal project to move the important documents to Southern Germany. Less than two weeks after the publishing of the article, forensics discovered that the diaries were forged. Many were arrested, fined, and lost jobs over the entire incident.
13. The Central Park Zoo Escape
November 9th, 1874 – The Herald published an article stating that all the animals in Central Park Zoo had escaped into the streets. The hoax inspired an incredible for those around- police were sent out, people armed themselves to shoot the first animal they saw. Many rivaling newspapers took this opportunity to write about the incident and The New York Times reported that a group of citizens attempted to bring charges against the Herald but no charges were ever given.
14. Arm the Homeless
In the December of 1993, there was a press release in the Columbus, Ohio news media announced the charity of providing training and weapons for the homeless. The charity was called “Arm the Homeless Coalition.” It caused controversy in the media immediately, dragging the attention of the Columbus Dispatch to write an article against the charity and the Charitable Solicitations Board of Columbus wrote a cease-and-desist letter to stop the organization. Turns out, the “press release” it belonged to, Paul Badger, an Ohio State University graduate student. Badger and two of his classmates soon sent a notarized statement confessing that the charity was a hoax after-all.
15. I Buy Strays
In the December of 2007, another website was released to provoke animals named I Buy Strays which claimed to buy and sell animals to companies who used animals for experiments. The website posted ads on craigslists in multiple countries to attract it’s attention. However, the site was obviously a hoax due to its provoking word use to invite the controversy.
16. The Left-Handed Whopper
In a 1998 issue of USA Today, Burger King released a full page advertisement to announce a new kind of Whopper targeted toward left-handed consumers. The described the burger had it’s condiments rotated 180 degrees to redistribute the weight of the sandwich. This was merely an April Fool’s joke by the company as the following issue of USA Today admitted so.
17. The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest
April Fool’s day of 1957, the British News show, Panorama, televised a 3 minute segment about the successful harvest of spaghetti in southern Switzerland. BBC calls were consisted of happy viewers who enjoyed the joke to questions of how to grow the crop. They later released a broadcast admitting to the joke.
18. Theodore Roosevelt Rides a Moose
One of America’s former presidents was depicted in this picture to have rode a moose. However, this photo was edited to make him appear as if he was. The image was created for an advertisement on an upcoming election to represent Teddy for being apart of the “Bull Moose Party” since he had left the Republican party in 1912.
19. Snowball the Monster Cat
Snowball the Monster Cat was shown being held by a bearded man and enlarged to give him a huge appearance. An unknown prankster added a caption to a photo claiming that the cat was owned by Rodger Degagne of Ottawa, Canada and that snowball was 87 pounds and that his mother was found by a Canadian Nuclear lab. After the photo appeared on many popular shows such as, NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Cordell Hauglie came forward to admit that “Snowball” was actually named “Jumper” and belonged to his daughter. Below, is the actual size of Jumper.