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World's Greatest Hoaxes & Frauds !!!

Fur-bearing Trout

Fur-bearing Trout One day, a lady took a trout covered with white fur to the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh. She had bought the stuffed fish in Canada and wanted to know more about it. The notice attached to the fish stated that it had been caught in Lake Superior and that it was thought that 'the great depth and the extreme penetrating coldness of the water in which these fish live has caused them to grow their dense coat of (usually)white fur'. The lady was pleased when the museum told her that the fish was indeed a trout. Then it was explained to her that the fur did not belong to the fish but had in fact come from a rabbit. When she realized that she had been hoaxed, the lady donated the fur-bearing trout to the museum where it remains to this day.

Caught by Computer Failure

Caught by Computer Failure A man working in a bank in Minnesota, USA programmed its computer to ignore any cheques drawn on his account. The fraud worked quite well - until the computer broke down and his crime was discovered.

Europe's Greatest Imposter

Europe's Greatest Imposter According to his followers, the Count of Cagliostro could turn lead into gold, make diamonds grow larger, convert flax into silk and cure any known ill. For seven years Cagliostro lived in luxury and was the friend of kings, bishops, ministers, scientists, and philosophers. He supplied them with elixirs, prophecies and useful contacts with people in high places. He claimed to have been born before Noah's flood, and to have known Moses and Solomon and been a good friend of Roman emperors. He said hehad been instructed in all the sciences by an old sage called Althotas. In reality, Count Cagliostro had been born in 1743 , the son of a poor family in Palermo, Sicily. His name was Guiseppe Balsamo. During his early life, he stole money from his uncle, forged documents and sold homemade beauty creams. In 1768 he arrived in Rome claiming to be Count Alessandro Cagliostro. He was accompanied by his wife, Lorenza Feliciani, whom he introduced as the Countess Serafina. He claimed to have rescued her from a harem. The criminal couple travelled all over Europe in princely splendour, but this came to an end when Cagliostro was put into prison for something he dedn't do. While he was in prison his wife began to tell stories of how they had duped everyone in previous years. So when Cahliostro was released, nine months later, people were not so ready to believe his fantastic claims. Cagliostro was eventually jailed in Italy and he remained in prison until his death in 1795.

Metric Time

Metric Time Britain is gradually being converted to metric measurement, so it was no surprise to some people in Birmingham when they received letters stating that the 24-hour clock was to be abolished in favour of a metric system. Under this new system there would be 10 seconds to the minute, 10 minutes to the hour and 10 hours to the day. Seconds would in future be known as millidays, hours would be decidays, or millimonths, and years would from now on be known as kilodays . One problem of the new system was that people would have to work longer but would not receive any more money, except in the case of leap kilodays when salaries would be adjusted at the end of the hectoday - every 1.46 decimonths. As the latter bore the name of the City of Birmingham Education Department, many people believed it to be genuine and several factory managers pinned it to their notice boards. But the letters proved to be an enormous hoax.

Feathered Fraud

Feathered Fraud In 1879, R Bowdler Sharpe, an authority on birds, described a species of bird that was new to science. He thought it came from Madras and he gave it the Latin name Lalage melanothorax. The only real evidence Sharpe had of the bird's existence was a stuffed specimen. Being a scientist of high repute, he examined the specimen several times and even showed it to other scientists. It was not until several years later that he discovered the bird to be a hoax. It had been made from the bodies of two real birds - a drongo and a cuckoo shrike.

The Abyssinian Visit

The Abyssinian Visit Admiral Sir william May, commander-in-chief of the British fleet at Portland was a little annoyed when he received a message from the Foreign Office saying that he had to welcome a partuy from Abyssinia later in the day. He had other things to di for he had to prepare the fleet for the spring manoeuvres of 1910. But orders are orders and the visit from the Emperor of Abyssinia was obviously important. Two hours later, the Emperor and his entourage arrived, accompanied by a Foreign Office official, Herbert Cholmondesly. They were duly welcomed on board the flagship HMS Dreadnought, shown around the ship and taken below to meet the admiral in his stateroom. Before they left, the visitors were photographed with their navy hosts. On their return journey to London, the 'Abyssinians' stopped speaking the unintelligible rubbish they had used on board ship and spoke good English. They recalled with glee, the day's events, for the party were not what they seemed. Cholmondesly was in fact a well known practical joker, Horace de Vere Cole, and the Abyssinians were in reality the novelist, Virginia Woolf, sportsman, Anthony Buxton, artist, Duncan Grant, judge's son, Gay Ridley and, accompanying them as an 'interpreter' Viriginia Woolf's brother, Adrian.

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