Our consciousness is crammed with myths. Some of them have nothing real under them and are only a product of the folklore of modern civilization.
But other myths are just man-made propaganda and are designed to hide unwanted truth from the masses. How to distinguish one from the other? Consider the most famous world myths and hoaxes.
Autopsy of the Roswell Alien. In 1995, a sensational video appeared from the English producer Ray Santilli. It shows how in 1947 a dead alien was dissected. This event was called the Roswell incident. Later it turned out that this film is a fake, the humanoid itself is a props, and the producer himself was the customer. Later, this incident was even played in the British television comedy with Declan Donnelly and Anthony McPartin.
The giant from Cardiff. In 1868, the American archaeologist George Hull set about creating a major hoax. A three-meter giant carved from plaster was transported to Cardiff, New York, from Chicago. The giant squeezed his stomach with his right hand, it seemed that he was in great pain at the time of death. As a result, it took Hull 2 years to prepare the hoax. To do this, he recreated the smallest details of the giant with the help of sharp tools - nails were visible on the fingers, pores on the skin, the genitals were worked out in detail. And so, on October 15, 1869, the burial was "accidentally" discovered by workers. No one doubted that it was either a petrified giant, or at least an ancient statue. Tourists flocked to the farm in droves. The then famous impresario P.T. Barnum offered 50 thousand dollars for the find, but was refused. Without thinking twice, he created his own giant, claiming that he had managed to make a purchase. A lengthy trial ensued, each side claiming that the opponent's giant was a fake. As a result, Hull was forced to admit that the Cardiff giant was just a hoax.
Boy on the ball. In October 2009, the whole world was excited by the news about six-year-old Falcon Heen, who was blown into the sky in Colorado by a homemade balloon. The baby was in serious danger, he could break or freeze. When a ball landed on one of the fields, rescuers abandoned to save the boy, but they did not find him there. They began to check the version of the child falling out of the basket during the flight. But soon it became known that the boy was alive and well and did not fly away anywhere. And this whole story is a hoax of Falcon's parents. Previously, they had already received their portion of fame by participating in a reality show, so they wanted to be again under the gun of TV cameras. However, the joke turned into a criminal case for them.
Protocols of the Elders of Zion. At the beginning of the last century, information appeared in Russia about the existence of a secret document "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Soon the texts themselves began to be published. The publishers said that this collection is documents of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy. It was argued that in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland, the Zionist Congress was held, at which the main provisions for the seizure of world domination were adopted. The texts described how to infiltrate government structures, gain control over other nations, and root out other religions. Despite the fact that the forgery of the "Protocols" has long been proven, many still believe in this anti-Semitic hoax. Belief in the secret thoughts of the Jews is especially widespread in the Islamic world. There, in some countries, the study of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is even included in the school curriculum.
Catholic Microsoft. In 1994, a document appeared on the Internet in which Microsoft allegedly announced that it had acquired the Catholic Church. In this press release, Bill Gates himself stated: "The combined resources of Microsoft and the Catholic Church will enable us to make religion easier and more fun for a wider range of people." The document was so widespread that the head of the company even had to give an official refutation. This event was the first large-scale online draw. Around the same time, another hoax began involving the same company. This time it was much more confusing. Users around the world began to receive letters in which Microsoft invited them to participate in important research. For this it was necessary to forward this letter to acquaintances. For such an action, he promised to pay as much as $ 245. If the recipient sends the letter to someone else, the first recipient will be paid an additional $ 241. Etc. There were a lot of people who wanted to earn extra money, of course, the company itself did not conduct such an action. The result was just a flood of spam, not a large number of rich people.
The phenomenal Sidd Finch. In April 1985, the American magazine Sports Illustrated published an article about the new acquisition of the New York Mets baseball team, Sidda Finche. It was reported that he can throw the ball at an amazing speed of 270 km / h, which is 2 times the capabilities of other players, and also never misses. Surprisingly, Sidd has never played this game professionally before. Such amazing results were achieved thanks to his studies in a Tibetan monastery under the guidance of the great Lama Milaraspa. Many people believed in this story, the magazine was inundated with letters asking to tell more about the player and his training method. In fact, the story turned out to be a banal April Fools' rally, which was invented by sports journalist George Plymton.
The Fuhrer's diaries. In 1983, the famous German magazine Stern began to publish sensational excerpts from the allegedly discovered diaries of Adolf Hitler himself. The magazine put out several million marks to purchase the leader's notes for 1932-1945. However, meticulous skeptics found out that these documents were fake. The exposure itself became an even greater hoax than the diaries themselves. The authors of the deception were former Nazis, who sought to somehow rehabilitate the image of Hitler, to give him humanity.
A joke on Sarah Palin. During the 2008 presidential campaign, it was Sarah who was the Republican candidate for vice president. A woman politician was the victim of a prank call by Canadian comedian and radio host Marc-Antoine Odette. The caller introduced himself to Sarah as French President Nicolas Sarkozy. During a fascinating conversation, Palin managed to discuss political issues with her interlocutor, the difficulties of going hunting with Vice President Cheney and, of course, the beautiful wife of a French politician. Despite the fact that during the conversation the journalist hinted several times that this was a practical joke, Sarah did not fully understand anything. So, the pseudo-Sarkozy explained that to follow the course of the election race with the help of his adviser in America, the French singer Johnny Holliday, the Canadian singer Steph Kars was called the Prime Minister of Canada. But this did not in the least cause bewilderment among Palin. At the end of the conversation, the "president" said that he liked the Palin documentary, mentioning the pornographic tape "Nailin Paylin" from the founder of Hustler, in which the lead actress looked like Sarah. The same one only answered: "Thank you very much, this is so great." It was then that Odette opened her eyes to what was happening, saying his name and the radio station for which he works.
Fake Olympic champion. In 1972, at the Olympics in Munich, during a 42-kilometer marathon, German student Norbert Sadhaus deftly joined the group of athletes. Less than a kilometer remained to the finish line, the athlete was tired, so the joker was able to overtake them all and come to the finish line first. The "Olympic champion" quickly became the center of attention. True, the fame did not last long - the officials quickly exposed the impostor. But he was able to get into history as an extraordinary joker.
Fake Bigfoot. In August 2008, news spread all over the world that science had finally gotten Bigfoot at its disposal. Dead, however, but in excellent condition. This was announced at a special conference in Palo Alto, California by "cryptozoologist" Tom Biscardi and two yeti hunters - Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer. However, upon closer inspection, it turned out that the Bigfoot's corpse is nothing more than a rubber gorilla suit. However, the hoax succeeded - the sensational news was reprinted by all the mainstream media, even today photographs of a rubber gorilla in the refrigerator pop up as an illustration to articles about Bigfoot. It is curious that in 2005 the same Biscardi already arranged something similar. Then he was able to make good money selling online views of the remains of Bigfoot, which in the end no one saw.
Bath hoax. In 1917, the popular New York Evening Mail published a false story of the appearance of baths in the United States. Thus, the journalist Henry Mencken specifically demonstrated how the public can be easily deceived with the help of the media. The article described the fact that in the United States, baths were extremely reluctant, which appeared there in the middle of the 19th century. Then, supposedly, baths were officially recognized as harmful to health, in this regard, in some places they were imposed with huge taxes or even banned altogether. But even the absurdity of the information presented and their obvious falsity did not prevent the article from gaining fame and being quoted many times in various publications and even serious scientific works. Self-exposure came only eight years later, when Mencken published the truth. However, even this did not prevent the baths' fake reputation. For example, in 1952, part of Mencken's article was quoted by President Truman in a speech on health care. In 2004, the Washington Post used a false fact in the column "I bet you don't know what ..."
First shot of Nessie. Many have tried to see the mysterious inhabitant of Loch Ness. And so, in 1934, the first ever photograph of the Loch Ness Monster appeared in the English Daily Mail. The author of the picture was the London doctor Wilson, who claimed that he took the picture by accident while walking in the vicinity of the lake. The forgery was only exposed in 1994, when it became known that the forgery was made by Wilson and his three accomplices. At that time, two of them confessed to their crime, and the first confession dates back to 1975. However, then the public ignored the fact, since no one could believe in Dr. Wilson's deception, because he, it would seem, had no reason to deceive.
Hamburger for left-handed people. One of the most famous April Fools' pranks took place in 1998, when Burger King published an advertising article in USA Today magazine that a new "Left-Handed Whopper" hamburger would be created specifically for 32 million left-handed Americans. The announcement stated that the new product uses the same composition as the original Whopper, but for the interests of left-handed customers, all ingredients are rotated 180 degrees. Although Burger King posted a rebuttal the next day, claiming it was a joke, restaurants had already had several thousand customers demanding a new sandwich. Even more people demanded Whopper for themselves - the original sandwich for right-handers.
The Autobiography of Howard Hughes. The author of the loudest literary hoax of the 20th century was the American writer Clifford Irving. After a series of failures in his field, he decided to organize a scam: to create a fake autobiography of Howard Hughes, an eccentric billionaire. The idea was a success, because everyone wanted to know more about him. Irving himself received both money and fame, but in the end he was accused of fraud and ended up in prison. In 2006, this story served as the basis for the film with Richard Gere "The Hoax".
Jump from the Brooklyn Bridge. This building cost the country $ 16 million and has already claimed 26 lives. Not surprisingly, the bridge has become infamous. From it into the waters of the East River, many suicides rushed. But the very first jump turned out to be quite successful. Desperate young man Steve Brody argued with friends that he could jump from a height of 42 meters and stay alive. Subsequently, it turned out that his friends threw a scarecrow off the bridge, while Steve himself at the right time just emerged in the right place. However, the exposure did not prevent him from enjoying the glory of a heroic diver from the Brooklyn Bridge for a long time.
Crop Circles. There has long been evidence of the emergence of mysterious figures in the fields. England has become especially famous for them in the last 20-30 years. There were many versions about the causes of the anomaly: from aliens to magnetic fields. In 1991, two British artists, Dave Chorley and Doug Bauer, declared that all circles created in the English fields over the past thirteen years were created by them. According to them, they were able to deceive scientists, farmers' organizations and government agencies. The circles themselves were created using poles, planks and ropes. To prove their words, the artists were able to reproduce a completely authentic circle in a cornfield in Kent. However, such a prosaic reason did not convince many. Therefore, it is possible that their very story is a hoax in this story.
Shroud of Turin. This shrine is kept in the Cathedral of John the Baptist in Turin. The Shroud is an undeniable proof of the existence of Christ for many believers, but the inquisitive brain of scientists is trying to get to the bottom of the truth, regardless of religious dogma. A lot of scientific research has been conducted over the shrine, ranging from historical to modern radiocarbon analysis. Although scientists questioned the authenticity of the relic, they could not convincingly refute its age and status, as well as confirm it. Today, in addition to the main one, there are about 1300 other hypotheses regarding the Turin Shroud. One of the most popular versions says that this shrine was created much later by Leonardo da Vinci, and this is exactly what is captured on it. This version is confirmed by radiocarbon analysis, which attributed the time of the creation of the shroud to the era of Leonardo.
Death of Paul. There is a long-standing legend that in 1966 Paul McCartney of the Beatles died and was replaced by a doppelganger with a similar appearance and voice. Supporters of the legend associate the termination of the band's concerts this year with this fact. True, the performances stopped even before the supposed date of Paul's death. Meticulous researchers, as proof of the version, find in the work of the Beatles some "keys" - the design of the covers, lyrics and music, which supposedly give a hint of the death of one of the participants. Evidence such as sounds heard when scrolling backwards, vague metaphors in song lyrics, ambiguous images, etc. True, some of these "keys" do not agree with each other, as well as do not correspond to generally known facts from the life of McCartney and other members of the group. Sometimes the question even arises - is this not a joke or another "conspiracy theory". Sociologists have researched this legend many times. At one time it was believed that this rumor was deliberately spread by the Beatles themselves as a publicity stunt and hoax.However, all members of the group have repeatedly denied their participation in the creation of this rumor.
Piltdown man. In 1912-1913, the Englishman Charles Dawson, who was engaged in archeology without education, but at the call of his heart, presented the skulls of early hominids to the scientific world. This find was the missing link between primates and humans, and stone tools were also found during excavations near the village of Piltdown. The find was quickly dubbed a scientific sensation, and it remained so until 1949, when it was revealed that the Piltdown Man was a clever hoax. Parts of the skull belonged to an orangutan and a man, and the age of stone tools did not exceed 3 thousand years. The complex of finds was deliberately tinted with special colors to recreate the hue of ferruginous gravels. The teeth on the jaw were specially filed. But Dawson's guilt remained unproven. There is even an opinion according to which Dawson was the only one among the archaeologists-fraudsters who did not suspect what was really happening.
War of the Worlds. One of the most famous hoaxes was the pseudo-documentary radio show of the novel "The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells. On the eve of All Saints' Day on October 30, 1938, the story of the landing of the Martians, directed by Orson Welles, appeared on the air. The news on the radio has caused panic among millions of people on the East Coast of the United States and parts of Canada. After all, the radio play was created in the form of a report about a real invasion of aliens. The credibility of the production was given by the inclusion of other radio stations on the air, as well as by President Roosevelt's fictitious appeal to the population. People so believed in the reality of what was happening that there were massive cases of hysterics, residents jumped out the windows and ran out of their houses in panic. Gigantic traffic jams formed on the roads, cars rushed, not observing any rules. The phones of government agencies, police and hospitals were ringing incessantly - people begged to save them. The most belligerent citizens demanded the opening of arsenals and the distribution of weapons to the population for protection, mine roads along the route of aliens, and even the use of suicide pilots with planes filled with explosives. There were even witnesses who saw the Martians and the atrocities they committed with their eyes and miraculously escaped death themselves. These pictorial descriptions made the panic even worse. In the morning, however, the passions subsided, people began to return home. Orson Welles, thanks to this radio show, went down in history as the man who managed to scare America.