Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Great Moon Hoax

August 25, 1835 Great Moon Hoax a series of six articles that were published in the New York Sun. lithograph of "ruby amphitheater" for New York Sun, August 28, 1835 (4th article of 6). About the supposed discovery of life and even civilization on the Moon. The discoveries were falsely attributed to Sir John Herschel.



One of the most stupendous hoaxes, and one foisted on the credulity of the public with the most complete success, was the famous Moon Hoax which was published in the pages of the New York Sun in 1835. It purported to be an account of the great astronomical discoveries of Sir John Herschel at the Cape of Good Hope, through the medium of a mighty telescope, a single lens of which weighed nearly seven tons.



It was stated to be reproduced from the Supplement to the Edinburgh Journal of Science, though as a matter of fact, the Journal had then been defunct some years. In graphic language, and with a wealth of picturesque detail, the wonders of the Moon as revealed to the great astronomer and his assistants were set forth. A great inland sea was observed, and "fairer shores never angel coasted on a tour of pleasure." The beach was "of brilliant white sand, girt with wild castellated rocks apparently of green marble, varied at chasms, occurring every two hundred feet, with grotesque blocks of chalk or gypsum, and feathered and festooned at the summit with the clustering foliage of unknown trees."



There were hills of amethysts "of a diluted claret colour"; mountains fringed with virgin gold; herds of brown quadrupeds resembling diminutive bison fitted with a sort of "hairy veil" to protect their eyes from the extremes of light and darkness; strange monsters—a combination of unicorn and goat; pelicans, cranes, strange amphibious creatures, and a remarkable biped beaver. The last was said to resemble the beaver of the earth excepting that it had no tail and walked only upon its two feet.



It carried its young in its arms like a human-being, and its huts were constructed better and higher than those of many savage tribes; and, from the smoke, there was no doubt it was acquainted with the use of fire. Another remarkable animal observed, was described as having an amazingly long neck, a head like a sheep, bearing two spiral horns, a body like a deer, but with its fore-legs disproportionately long as also its tail which was very bushy and of a snowy whiteness, curling high over its rump and hanging two or three feet by its side.



The Great Moon Hoax


Description: Rough image of en:1835 en:lithograph of "ruby amphitheater" described in en:New York Sun newspaper issue of en:28 August en:1835: "Our plain was of course immediately covered with the ruby front of this mighty amphitheater, its tall figures, leaping cascades, and rugged caverns. As its almost interminable sweep was measured off on the canvass, we frequently saw long lines of some yellow metal hanging from the crevices of the horizontal strata in will net-work, or straight pendant branches. We of course concluded that this was virgin gold, and we had no assay-master to prove to the contrary."



The image is of an 1835 lithograph, over 170 years old, and is intended to describe the associated newspaper article.



This IMAGE (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 (in this case 1835) are now in the public domain.



This image is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris) and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from the last day of that year.



TEXT CREDIT: Famous impostors

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