Photos: Manti Te’o and 14 famous hoaxes and lies that fooled the world

 

 
 
 
 
The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s non-existent inspirational girlfriend is a giant hoax that gets more bizarre by the minute. But it is just the latest in a long list of famous hoaxes that fooled everyone. Keep clicking to see Photos: Manti Te'o and 14 other hoaxes and lies that fooled the world.
 
 

The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s non-existent inspirational girlfriend is a giant hoax that gets more bizarre by the minute. But it is just the latest in a long list of famous hoaxes that fooled everyone. Keep clicking to see Photos: Manti Te'o and 14 other hoaxes and lies that fooled the world.

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The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s non-existent inspirational girlfriend is a giant hoax that gets more bizarre by the minute. But it is just the latest in a long list of famous hoaxes that fooled everyone.

Click here to see Photos: Manti Te’o and 14 other famous hoaxes and lies that fooled the world.

(Details from Wikipedia)

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The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s non-existent inspirational girlfriend is a giant hoax that gets more bizarre by the minute. But it is just the latest in a long list of famous hoaxes that fooled everyone. Keep clicking to see Photos: Manti Te'o and 14 other hoaxes and lies that fooled the world.
 

The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s non-existent inspirational girlfriend is a giant hoax that gets more bizarre by the minute. But it is just the latest in a long list of famous hoaxes that fooled everyone. Keep clicking to see Photos: Manti Te'o and 14 other hoaxes and lies that fooled the world.

 
The story of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o’s non-existent inspirational girlfriend is a giant hoax that gets more bizarre by the minute. But it is just the latest in a long list of famous hoaxes that fooled everyone. Keep clicking to see Photos: Manti Te'o and 14 other hoaxes and lies that fooled the world.
<b>Manti Te&#8217;o</b><br>
The star linebacker of Notre Dame&#8217;s Fighting Irish says he&#8217;s the victim of a cruel hoax by an online girlfriend he never met. But many others think they are the victims of a hoax perpetrated by Te&#8217;o, whose &#8220;girlfriend&#8217;s&#8221; death from leukemia was widely held to be a big part of the inspiration behind his football success.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
There are still many questions to be answered, not the least of which is: How did so many sports publications and news agencies get so fooled? Stay tuned on this one.
<b>Royal baby hoax</b><br>
When Kate Middleton was admitted to hospital because of acute morning sickness, two Australian DJs impersonating Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles called to get information about Middleton&#8217;s condition. The nurse who took the hoax call, 46-year-old mom of two Jacintha Saldanha, committed suicide three days later.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
DJs Mel Greig and Michael Christian tearfully apologized at a press conference, saying they thought their accents had been so atrocious they never imagined anyone would fall for the prank. Officials are still investigating but it&#8217;s unlikely the DJs will face charges for the prank.
<b>Falcon Heene aka Balloon Boy</b><br>
In October 2009, Richard and Mayumi Heene of Fort Collins, Colorado claimed their son Falcon was stuck in a helium-filled balloon that had floated away. Viewers around the world were glued to their televisions as rescue teams chased the balloon &#8211; which reached heights of 7,000 feet &#8211; that was said to contain six-year-old Falcon. When the balloon landed, one hour and 80 km later, it was found to be empty. A panicked search then began for Falcon, who was thought to have fallen from the balloon.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
The whole incident was found to have been an elaborate hoax dreamed up by Falcon&#8217;s parents, who&#8217;d hoped to get a reality show out of the ruse. Richard Heene was sentenced to 90 days in jail while Mayumi received 20 days. The couple was also ordered to pay $36,000 in restitution.
<b>Milli Vanilli</b><br>
In 1988, record producer Frank Farian created Milli Vanilli, a pop group that sounded great but needed a marketable image. Enter frontmen Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus, two models/dancers who looked great but couldn&#8217;t sing. It was a marriage that resulted in international success and a 1990 Grammy for best new artist.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
The hoax began unravelling when one of the &#8220;real&#8221; singers told a U.S. publication that Morvan and Pilatus were not the voices of Milli Vanilli. A number of lawsuits were filed, including a class action lawsuit on behalf of people who&#8217;d purchased the Milli Vanilli album or attended one of their concerts. Morvan and Pilatus fared equally dismally post-scandal: Morvan has had limited success performing at lounges and hotels, while Pilatus turned to drugs and crime, spending three months in jail at one point. In 1998, Pilatus was found dead in a Frankfurt hotel room; his death was ruled accidental and suspected to be due to a booze and pill overdose.
<b>Murderer Susan Smith</b><br>
Susan Smith&#8217;s racial hoax in 1991 - in which she claimed she&#8217;d been carjacked by a black man who then drove away with her two sons - led to a frantic nine-day nationwide search. During that time, Smith made numerous tearful pleas on television for the return of her boys. Due to inconsistencies in her story, police suspected from the beginning that Smith was at least partially involved in the boys&#8217; disappearance. The South Carolina woman finally confessed she&#8217;d killed her sons, three-year-old Michael Daniel Smith and 14-month-old Alexander Tyler Smith, by rolling her car into a nearby lake and drowning them. The reason: She was said to be involved with a wealthy local man who didn&#8217;t want to be encumbered by children.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
Susan Smith was convicted in 1995 of murdering her two sons. She&#8217;ll be eligible for parole in 2024 after serving a minimum of 30 years.
<b>Taco Liberty Bell</b><br>
On April 1, 1996, Taco Bell announced via several full-page newspaper ads that the restaurant chain had bought the Liberty Bell &#8220;to reduce the country&#8217;s debt&#8221; and that the U.S. landmark would be renamed &#8220;Taco Liberty Bell.&#8221;
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
A furor erupted before Taco Bell revealed at noon on April 1 that the announcement had been a prank. The campaign cost just $300,000 but is estimated to have generated the equivalent of $25 million in publicity.
<b>Jennifer Wilbanks, the Runaway Bride</b><br>
Jennifer Wilbanks became known as the Runaway Bride after running away from her Duluth, Georgia home in 2005 to avoid her wedding to fianc&#233; John Mason. Wilbanks surfaced three days later, calling Mason from Albuquerque, New Mexico and claiming she&#8217;d been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a Hispanic male and a Caucasian woman who then set her free.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
Wilbanks was charged with giving false information to police. She pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to two years&#8217; probation, 120 hours of community service and a $2,250 fine. Wilbanks&#8217; ex-fiance John Mason married another woman in 2008.
<b>Jayson Blair, New York Times</b><br>
Jayson Blair was a New York Times reporter found to have plagiarized and fabricated details in numerous stories. Blair explained later that the deception first started when he used a quote from a press conference that he hadn&#8217;t attended. Over time, fabricating details became a pattern for Blair.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
After his resignation from the paper in 2003, the NYT reported on the whole affair in a front page story titled Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception. Blair wrote a memoir the year after, titled Burning Down My Master&#8217;s House, that tanked in spectacular fashion.
<b>Janet Cooke, Washinton Post</b><br>
Reporter Janet Cooke&#8217;s feature Jimmy&#8217;s World, published in the Washington Post in 1980, centred on the life of an eight-year-old heroin addict. It was so compelling it won a 1982 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
After city officials launched a concerted effort to find &#8220;Jimmy&#8221; and failed, questions arose about whether the boy really existed. Two days after the Pulitzer Prize was awarded, the Washington Post admitted the story was false. After resigning, Cooke told Phil Donahue that she&#8217;d created &#8220;Jimmy&#8221; in response to the pressure her editors had put on her to find a subject like him.
<b>James Frey</b><br>
James Frey&#8217;s 2003 best-selling memoir A Million Little Pieces, a tale of drug and alcohol addiction, was found to have been fabricated in parts. The truth was uncovered in 2006 by The Smoking Gun in an article titled A Million Little Lies. The Smoking Gun's editor, William Bastone, told CNN: &#8220;The (six-week-long) probe was prompted after the Oprah show aired. We initially set off to just find a mug shot of him... It basically set off a chain of events that started with us having a difficult time finding a booking photo of this guy.&#8221;
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
Oprah Winfrey, who&#8217;d chosen the book as an Oprah&#8217;s Book Club selection, appeared on the Larry King Show to support Frey. After being criticized for her defense of Frey, Winfrey did a 180, inviting Frey to her show to blast him for his deception. Frey has continued to write; his Bright Shiny Morning was published in 2007 and made the New York Times bestseller list.
<b>Allegra Coleman, Esquire</b><br>
Allegra Coleman was the name of a fictional &#8220;It&#8221; girl invented for a hoax Esquire cover story in 1996. The article was later revealed to be a parody of the celebrity profile, and featured model Ali Larter posing as &#8220;Allegra Coleman.&#8221;
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
Studios called, hoping to scoop Allegra Coleman for their movies even as some publications focused on the ethics of perpetrating such a hoax. The whole affair did great things for model Ali Larter, however, launching her entre into television and movies.
<b>North Korea leader Kim Jong Un</b><br>
When satirical website The Onion named Kim Jong Un The Onion&#8217;s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012, the Chinese state-run paper the People&#8217;s Daily fell for it hook, line and sinker. The paper ran a 55-page photo spread dedicated to the North Korea dictator. &#8220;With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman&#8217;s dream come true,&#8221; the paper said, quoting The Onion.
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
There has been no comment from the People&#8217;s Daily.
<b>Justin Bieber 1</b><br>
There&#8217;s no shortage of hoaxes about Justin Bieber, and they tend to spread like wildfire via social media. The most recent one was started by the website 4chan.org, and it urged Bieber fans to cut themselves to help the pop star stop smoking pot. The hoax swept through Twitter with the hashtag #Cutting4Bieber, with some websites believing the story and reporting it.
<b>Justin Bieber 2</b><br>
An earlier hoax claimed Justin Bieber had been diagnosed with cancer, and urged his followers to shave their heads in support. This one had the hashtag #BaldForBieber, and spread even faster after it was tweeted by the official account of the TV program Entertainment Tonight.
<b>Morgan Freeman is dead</b><br>
&#8230; also known as Cher is dead, Adam Sandler is dead, Jim Carrey is dead &#8211; take your pick, really. It seems every so often someone gets bored on Twitter and starts an &#8220;RIP&#8221; tweet naming a celebrity. Morgan Freeman gets special mention, though, because he&#8217;s actually got his own RIP Facebook page, and it has close to one million &#8220;Likes.&#8221;
<b>The aftermath</b><br>
Morgan Freeman is still alive.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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