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  • Hi I'm John Green. Welcome to my Salon...hey there Ron Swanson. And we're going to start

  • this week with a popular psychological test: "While at her mother's funeral, a girl met

  • a guy who she didn't know. She fell in love with the guy on the spot. A few days later,

  • the girl killed her own sister. What is her motive in killing her sister?"

  • (scary stuff)

  • If you answered that she was hoping that the guy would appear at her sister's funeral...you

  • think like a psychopath, as proven by a "genuine psychological test" conducted by a famous

  • psychologist... IS the first of 51 hoaxes I'm going to prove wrong today.

  • In 1995, Fox Television played a film featuring the dismantling of an alien corpse whose UFO

  • had allegedly crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The culprit here was Ray Santilli,

  • an English filmmaker whose false footage was the basis of Fox's extraordinarily popular

  • broadcast. Later, Santilli and his partner fessed up that their footage was merely a

  • "reenactment" of a REAL alien autopsy, which, they didn't capture on camera becase... reasons.

  • So pretty much all of us vloggers here on the Internet owe a lot to a fake homeschooled

  • teenage girl video blogger whose family just happened to be members of a murderous cult.

  • Lonelygirl15 blew up in 2006 quickly gaining over 100,000 YouTube subscribers, which back

  • then was a lot, but a sting operation conducted by some fans...including me, not to brag...

  • revealed a connection between the project and a talent agency in Hollywood. Turns out

  • "Bree" was in fact 20-year-old actress, Jessica Rose.

  • I was just bragging to everybody about my central role in uncovering lonelygirl15. In

  • fact, my only role in uncovering lonelygirl15, was that I was part of the community that

  • uncovered her, but at every turn I urged people to go what turned out to be the wrong direction.

  • I was also convinced that her family actually was a part of a murderous cult and that she

  • was not an actress....its all very embarrassing now.

  • In 1869, a 10-foot-tall giant stone man was uncovered while workers were digging a well

  • in Cardiff, New York. The owner of the New York farm, William Newell started charging

  • tourists 50 cents apiece to view the giant, which was later discovered as a hoax orchestrated

  • by George Hull. Hull had created the false giant as a tongue-in-cheek prank after getting

  • into an argument with a Methodist on whether Genesis's claim that giants once ruled the

  • Earth should be taken literally. He did score some money out of the argument though, eventually

  • selling the fake giant for $37,000.

  • Now I get to show off my Dutch pronunciation. Jarno Smeets uploaded a video to YouTube in

  • March of 2012. But this wasn't your typical babies-biting-fingers or cats-playing-keyboards

  • clip. The video showed Smeets donning wings and then flying through the sky. Turns out

  • Jarno Smeets was not a bird man but actually animator Floris Kaayk...I lived in Holland

  • and that is my prnounciation...anyway, he was working on a media product...a pretty

  • successful one.

  • When the second war in Iraq was just beginning, a photo emerged of a gigantic Camel spider

  • in email inboxes around the country asking for sympathy for the troops. Mark is there

  • a spider behind my shoulder? *screams*

  • Oh sweet holy lord, how could you have a smurf holding a present right above that gigantic

  • spider?

  • Anyway, the email claimed that the flesh-eating spiders, which were tormenting US troops,

  • could run twenty-five miles per hour and jump three feet in the air. These spiders do exist,

  • and they are big. But this is a cleverly angled picture. Plus, they definitely don't run that

  • fast and they can't really jump at all...but Mark, can the escape from glass?

  • In 1814, during the Napoleonic Wars, a man dressed as a colonel went around London claiming

  • that Napoleon was dead and the Bourbons had won the war. The news resulted in British

  • stock prices rising before falling back to normal when it was revealed that Napoleon

  • was...not dead. And in fact Lord Thomas Cochrane, the man who benefited from the stock fraud,

  • was subsequently arrested.

  • People went wild in 1994 with an Internet press release that Microsoft had acquired

  • "the Roman Catholic Church in exchange for an unspecified number of shares of Microsoft

  • common stock." The press release was, of course, phony, but Microsoft had to come out with

  • an official statement assuring that they were not going to make sacraments available online

  • anytime soon. And in fact, to this day, even if you make a confession on one of those Tumblr

  • blogs, it still doesn't count.

  • A 2007 widely-circulated email claimed that an 8-inch mummified fairy was found in a garden

  • in Derbyshire, England. With descriptions of wings, teeth, and hollow bones, along with

  • pictures...many people were hopeful that we had finally located Tinkerbell. But, in fact,

  • it was. a. hoax.

  • And not the first fairy hoax either. Perhaps the most famous was the Cottingley Fairies,

  • pictures taken by two young girls PROVING the existence of fairies in 1917. The fairies

  • turned out to be cardboard cutouts. Because you know, no Photoshop.

  • In the 1800s in Hungary, the Mechanical Turk amazed everyone with its ability to play clever

  • chess against a human opponent, often winning. It even beat Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon

  • Bonaparte. But , it was a hoax. There was a little guy inside controlling the Turk and

  • moving the pieces around. *Sigh* Mark would like me to clarify that it was not, in fact,

  • a little guy...he was a regular sized person.

  • The Fiji mermaid, allegedly discovered by an English doctor, Dr. J. Griffin was a widely-discussed

  • hoax in the mid-1800s. Many came to see it and were disappointed by its non-beauty. Which

  • makes sense considering the mermaid was, in fact, a paper-mached monkey connected to a

  • fish bottom. So I don't want to over simplify, but it was essentially just like Donkey Kong

  • riding a mermaid.

  • In 1912, Charles Dawson found a bunch of skull fragments, which were put together by his

  • team to reveal the Piltdown Man. The completed skull would essentially serve as proof of

  • evolution by fitting the description of half-man-half-ape. Scientists were unconvinced. And they were

  • right because the Piltdown Man skull was actually comprised of the bones of three different

  • species. Charles Dawson, truly the poorest man's Charles Darwin.

  • In 1904, Frederick Lorz won the marathon at the Summer Olympics, but only sort of. Because

  • he stopped after nine miles, got a ride from his manager for the next eleven...and when

  • the car broke down, Lorz walked back to the Olympic stadium and "won" the marathon, crossing

  • the finish line, breaking the tape and everything. Then he went on to claim that it was all a

  • joke, but only once people started accusing him of not actually running the entire race.

  • In his defense, he did run NINE MILES. That seems like a lot to me...I'd give you a metal

  • for that!

  • Alien crop circles are pretty common hoaxes these days (including in M. Night Shyamalan

  • movies), but all thanks to Doug Bower and Dave Chorley who cut their first of many "flying

  • saucer nests" in an English wheat field in 1976.

  • In 1938, Orson Welles went on CBS radio, reading from The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells,

  • but in a standard news format. Confused listeners believed that they were listening to a report

  • of an alien invasion that was occurring in the United States. This unintentional hoax

  • was so believable that some people initially tried, but failed, to sue CBS for "mental

  • anguish." Studies claim that six million were listening to The War of the Worlds and 28%

  • of those listeners believed that the alien invasion was truly happening. It's the same

  • 28% that's current yelling at me about my alien crop circles comment.

  • A hoax was actually used in order to ensure D-Day's success. The day before the fighting

  • in Normandy, the British used actor-soldier M. E. Clifton James, a General Monty Montgomery

  • lookalike, to distract the Germans. By the way, apropos of nothing, General Montgomery

  • had dogs named Hitler and Rommel. German troops headed to the Mediterranean

  • to fight the decoy General, allowing the true Monty Montgomery to invade Normandy on D-Day.

  • M. E. Clifton James later played both himself AND Montgomery in a movie dramatizing the

  • hoax.

  • We call that the Eddie Murphy. Alright, let's pick up the pace here.

  • Left-Handed Whopper. Yes, this was a real hoax that had right-handed Whopper eaters

  • up in arms. Meredith. "Up in Arms".... I expect better of you. Burger King said they rotated

  • condiments 180 degrees for their left-handed patrons. But that turned out to be an April

  • Fool's Day joke.

  • Hitler Diaries, purchased by a German news magazine in 1983 for $6 million...not Hitler's

  • Diaries, in fact.

  • And I'm sorry Ladies, Pope Joan, the pope who casually went into labor during a procession,

  • is a hoax deriving from folklore. There has never been a female Pope.

  • Despite what you've heard on the internet: egg whites, flour and butter... none of these

  • things help heal burns...they do however make for delicious baking, if you want to turn

  • your burns into cookies.

  • Balloon Boy was up in the attic the entire time that his family claimed that he was on

  • a crazy balloon ride.

  • The WingDings computer font didn't predict 9/11. Typing in "Q33 NY" DOES give you an

  • airplane, towers, a skull, and a Star of David. BUT "Q33" is NOT the flight number of either

  • of the planes and actually has nothing to do with 9/11....and whaaaat...this is crazy!

  • There's no such thing as Triple Waterspouts. Also, these are definitely not 24) UFOs. Oh,

  • "photographic evidence" hoaxes. The Internet only made you more prominent.

  • Here, I made you a list of people that are definitely dead: Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson,

  • Andy Kaufman, Tupac (that was a hologram), Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix.

  • And here are some people, despite rumors to the contrary, are not dead: Gene Simmons,

  • Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Garth Brooks, Charlie Sheen, Eddie Murphy, Tony Danza, Bill

  • Cosby, Justin Bieber, Dave Matthews, Paul McCartney. One of those people is probably

  • going to die before we upload this video... between now and when the video is uploaded...and

  • they're going to be like, "Paul McCartney is so dead...." I didn't know Paul McCartney

  • was going to die. I mean if it was going to be someone....but I didn't know!

  • Anyways speaking of Paul McCartney, The Masked Marauders, an album featuring a collaboration

  • between him, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, and John Lennon was the subject of a satirical article

  • in Rolling Stone, much to the disappointment of many confused fans.

  • You can't charge your iPod using electrolytes. The popular YouTube video was a hoax. Stop

  • asking Yahoo Answers and stop plugging your iPod into onions.

  • Blair Witch Project? Hoax. Paranormal Activity. Also a hoax. But still terrifying.

  • YouTube is not shutting down to "select a winner of the all time best video." That was

  • an April Fools prank, besides we all know we would win. Also Facebook is not considering

  • charging...because who would pay for that?

  • And lastly, this should really go without saying, Do NOT trust any website offering

  • to sell you a device for at-home do-it-yourself LASIK surgery. Here, Mark made a list of all

  • the things you should buy on the internet that shoot you in the eye with lasers. The

  • famous site LASIK@Home, first created in 2006.... yah, nooo. Really. No.

  • Thanks for watching mental_floss, which is brought to you with the help of these nice

  • people. Every week we try to answer one question that you have asked. This week's question

  • (we don't know how to spell the username), is it true that Alfred Nobel, creator of the

  • Nobel Prize, blew up his brother with dynamite. Yes. In fact, you know where all that Nobel

  • Prize money came from? Dynamite.

  • Thanks for watching and DFTBA.

Hi I'm John Green. Welcome to my Salon...hey there Ron Swanson. And we're going to start

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49 Hoaxes People Actually Believed - mental_floss on YouTube (Ep.12)

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