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Old July 16th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #1

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History's greatest documented hoaxes

What are some of history's greatest documented hoaxes/frauds. True enough, one person's treasure-documents are another person's junk-documents. Nonetheless and whatever, please give the hoax/fraud and the documentation. For example,
Piltdown_Man Piltdown_Man
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Old July 16th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #2

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Here is another example that springs to mind - the supposed Hitler Diaries.

Hitler_Diaries Hitler_Diaries
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Old July 16th, 2012, 03:20 PM   #3

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Originally Posted by srb7677 View Post
Here is another example that springs to mind - the supposed Hitler Diaries.

Hitler Diaries - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nice one. In fact, very nice!
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Old July 16th, 2012, 04:06 PM   #4
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The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion The_Protocols_of_the_Elders_of_Zion
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Old July 16th, 2012, 06:12 PM   #5

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War of the Worlds by Orson Welles has to be up there lol
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Old July 16th, 2012, 06:51 PM   #6

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Old July 16th, 2012, 06:57 PM   #7

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The Mechanical Turk or Automaton Chess Player

" a fake
Chess Chess
Artificial_intelligence Artificial_intelligence
constructed in the late 18th century. From 1770 until its destruction by fire in 1854, it was exhibited by various owners as an
Automaton Automaton
, though it was exposed in the early 1820s as an elaborate
Hoax Hoax
.[1] Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by
Wolfgang_von_Kempelen Wolfgang_von_Kempelen
(1734–1804) to impress the Empress
Maria_Theresa_of_Austria Maria_Theresa_of_Austria
, the mechanism appeared to be able to play a strong game of chess against a human opponent, as well as perform the knight's tour, a puzzle that requires the player to move a knight to occupy every square of a
Chessboard Chessboard
exactly once.
The Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master hiding inside to operate the machine. With a skilled operator, the Turk won most of the games played during its demonstrations around
Europe Europe
and the Americas for nearly 84 years, playing and defeating many challengers including statesmen such as
Napoleon_I_of_France Napoleon_I_of_France
Benjamin_Franklin Benjamin_Franklin
. Although many had suspected the hidden human operator, the hoax was revealed only in the 1820s by the Londoner Robert Willis.[2] The operator(s) within the mechanism during Kempelen's original tour remains a mystery. When the device was later purchased in 1804 and exhibited by Johann Nepomuk Mälzel, the chess masters who secretly operated it included
Johann_Baptist_Allgaier Johann_Baptist_Allgaier
, Boncourt,
Aaron_Alexandre Aaron_Alexandre
, William Lewis, Jacques Mouret, and
William_Schlumberger William_Schlumberger

The_Turk The_Turk
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Old July 16th, 2012, 06:58 PM   #8

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The Donation of Constantine

Internet History Sourcebooks Project

From the introduction:

"This is perhaps the most famous forgery in history. For centuries, until Lorenzo Valla proved it was forgery during the Renaissance it provied the basis for papal territorial and jurisdictional claims in Italy. Probably at least a first draft of it was made shortly after the middle of the eighth century in order to assist Pope Stephen II in his negotiations with the Frankish Mayor of the Palace, Pepin the Short. The Pope crossed the Alps to anoint the latter as king in 754, thereby enabling, the Carolingian family, to which Pepin belonged, to supplant the old Merovingian royal line which had become decadent and powerless and to become in law as well as in fact rulers of the Franks. In return, Pepin seems to have promised to give to the Pope those lands in Italy which the Lombards had taken from Byzantium. The promise was fulfilled in 756. Constantine's alleged gift made it possible to interpret Pepin's grant not as a benefaction but as a restoration."
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Old July 16th, 2012, 07:37 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by ucanefan View Post
War of the Worlds by Orson Welles has to be up there lol
Reminds me in a way of cultural susceptibility to the Chicken Little virus.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 07:39 PM   #10

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Lock Ness Monster.
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