In 1976 scammers tricked the French government to invest hundreds of millions in developing “planes that could sniff oil”. The scammer obviously didn’t know how to develop such a plane. This lead to a political crisis called “Great Oil Sniffer Hoax ” in 1979.
In 1948, a man wore 30-pound, 3-toed lead shoes and stomped around a Florida beach in the night. The footprints lead people to believe that a 15-foot tall penguin was roaming their lands. He kept up the prank for 10 years, visiting various beaches. The hoax wasn’t revealed until 40 years later.
Locals in Cornwall created an imaginary beach to deal with overcrowded beaches. Fake signposts were put up all over the county leading to the ‘Best Beach In Cornwall,” however the signs actually diverted tourists in the opposite direction from any of the coasts.
There are people in the world that think nuclear bombs are impossible and that every explosion has been faked for propaganda including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
A hoax propagated since the 1960s claims that a psychoactive substance, bananadine, can be extracted from banana peels.
During a 1964 hoax, a Swedish journalist exhibited paintings done by a chimpanzee under the name Pierre Brassau. The journalist was testing whether critics could tell the difference between true avant-garde modern artwork and a chimp’s work. They could not, and in fact, praised the works.
In 1910 a group of students from Cambridge darkened their skin, donned turbans, and presented themselves to the British Royal Navy as ambassadors from Abyssinia. They conducted an inspection of the fleet, bestowed honors upon British officers, and spoke in a Latin/Greek gibberish.
A man faked his death, lived next door without his kids knowing, fled to Panama with his wife on a fake passport, tried to build a hotel using his insurance money, after a visa policy change he returned home and pretended not to remember anything; his ruse was revealed by a Google search.
As a result of a 20-year-old online joke that the German city of Bielefield doesn’t actually exist, the city released a press statement titled ‘There Really is a Bielefeld!’. However as it was released on April 1st, this humorously only added to the conspiracy.
A man in Texas was abducted from his home right in front of his wife by two masked men with guns. He returned two days later unharmed. Turns out he staged his own kidnapping so he could go out and party with friends.