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World's Greatest Hoaxes & Frauds !!!



Mermaid Fever

Mermaid Fever In the late 1840s, reports appeared in several American newspapers about a stuffed mermaid like creature. It belonged to Dr Griffin from the Lyceum of Natural History in London and he had brought it from a museum in China. A little later Dr Griffin was seen in a hotel in Philadelphia. Newspapers reporters went to the hotel to see the amazing mermaid for themselves, and then wrote articles about the creature they had seen. The mermaid became such a talking point that it had to be put on public show, and hundreds of people queued to see it. Eventually it was revealed that the mermaid was a fake. Dr Griffin did not exist, and the whole episode had been a hoax devised by master showman, Phineas Taylor Barnum.



Monster from the Depths

Monster from the Depths In 1845, Dr Albert C Koch exhibited the skeleton of a 34.5-metre (114-foot) long sea serpent. Koch charged visitors 25 cents to see his amazing fossil. He did quite well until professor Jeffries Wyman, an anatomist, decided to examine it. He discovered that the serpent had been made from the bones of several creatures and was a fake. Underterred, Koch simply changed the name of the creature and exhibited it somewhere else. He was exposed as a hoaxer several times, but each time he simply moved on to another place, making money as he went.



The Dream of Everlasting Beaury

The Dream of Everlasting Beaury Sarah Rachel Leverson offered Victorian women what they dreamed of everlasting beauty. She claimed that her preparations were the key to a perfect appearance. She sold preparations such as Jordan Water brought by racing camel from the River Jordan itself. In actual fact the water she used came direct from her kitchen tap. She also sold magnetic rock which contained the secret of everlasting beauty, dew of the Sahara which got rid of wrinkles,a beauty preparation supposedly made for the SUltana of Turkey and used by Europe's Royal Brides, and many other beauty products. As these cost anything from $200 to $1000, depending upon the buyer's status in society, Sarah became quite rich. Sarah then turned to blackmailing her clients. But one of them went to the police and Sarah's lucrative career came to an end.



Animals should be Clothed

Animals should be Clothed On 27 May, 1959, G Clifford Prout, President of the Society Against Indecency of Naked Animals, appeared on American television insisting that all animals should be clothed. He claimed that moral standards in America were declining due to the fact that animals were allowed to go around naked. The broadcast was an immediate success and thousands of letters and postcards arrived at the society's headquarters backing their aims. Numerous other television, radio and newspapers interviews followed. The Society's campaign to rid the world of naked animals continued for six years- and fooled many people. The society was, however, an invention of New York's principle prankster, Alan Abel.



Radio Sheik Up

Radio Sheik Up The managing director of a radio studio in Liverpool, England, was most impressed when he received a telephone call from a large oil company. When he was told that the sheik, His Eminence Shubtill of Sharjah wanted to visit the studio, he was thrilled. When the sheik, dressed in a smart suit, white silk head-dress and dark glasses arrived at the studio he was royally entertained. He was also interviewed on the air about oil exploration in the persian Gulf before being escorted back to his chauffeur driven white Jaguar. Later it was discovered that the 'sheik' was really a computer expert called Neville Duncan, who had decided to hoax the radio station because the voice of one of their disc jockeys had been getting on his nerves!



Prime Minister of Mirth

Prime Minister of Mirth Horace de Vere Cole was well known in London during the 1920s for his hilarious hoaxes; he never missed an opportunity to play a practical joke. Cole bore a striking resemblance to the British Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, which he exploited to the full. He would often stand on asmall wooden box in one of London's major streets and make a speech to the passers-by. People were naturally very surprise to see their Prime Minister insulting his own government and persuading people to vote Conservative when he was the leader of the Labour Party.


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