In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report.
But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3
. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report
investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 20, 2012 -
Bogus! Why do fakes get made? Why do people fall for hoaxes? Greed, pride, revenge, nationalism, pranks, and gullibility mix in an archaeological setting.
Archaeology Magazine examines eight classic cases, and more.
posted by amyms
on Dec 23, 2009 -
Jean Shepherd has been mentioned before
but WFMU's Beware of the Blog
has finally dug out an mp3 of Shepherd himself telling the story of "I, Libertine" (mp3 link)
). I, Libertine
was a literary hoax that began as a practical joke. Shepherd asked his listeners ("the Night People") to go into bookstores and ask for a book that didn't exist. Fueled by bewildered bookstore owners and distributors, I, Libertine eventually did end up as a genuine bestseller, proving his point that the process of choosing bestsellers was flawed.
posted by krautland
on Jun 29, 2008 -
Piri Reis Map
I am a sucker for those books that hypothesize that Earth was visited by extra-terrestrials in the distant pass. One artifact that is brought up in nearly all of them is The Piri Reis Map
, a document that seems to be a map includes parts of the world (such as Antarctica's ice-covered mountains) that were thought to be very recent discoveries. But, are they a hoax
posted by synecdoche
on Apr 21, 2004 -