The Most Deceitful Events that Played Out In History
The Most Deceitful Events that Played Out In History

The Most Deceitful Events that Played Out In History

Khalid Elhassan - March 27, 2022

The Most Deceitful Events that Played Out In History
Cover of a book about the ‘gentle Tasaday’. Live Science

1. A Deceit That Fooled the World

Overnight, the Tasaday went from unknown to globally famous. Their pictures appeared on the covers of magazines, including National Geographic. Clips of the tribe were featured on news programs, numerous documentaries were made about the stone age denizens of the jungle, and a bestselling book, The Gentle Tasaday, was written about them. Celebrities flocked to visit and be photographed with them. However, when professional anthropologists sought to study them, the Tasaday and their region were abruptly declared off limits by Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos. It was only after his overthrow in 1986 that the truth came out, and it was revealed that the story of the stone age Tasaday was a fraud.

The Most Deceitful Events that Played Out In History
Real Tasaday. Wikimedia

Once journalists and anthropologists gained access to the Tasaday, they discovered that, far from being primitive stone agers, they lived like modern people, not in caves, but in houses. They did not run around naked and barefoot, but wore shirts, jeans, flip flops and shoes. Interviews revealed that Elizalde had pressured them to pretend to be stone-age primitives. Elizalde profited greatly from that deceit. He had set up a charitable foundation which raised millions of dollars to protect the Tasaday, their “way of life”, and their jungle habitat from encroachment by the outside world. In 1983, he fled the Philippines, after he stole millions from the foundation.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

American Physical Society News, March 2011, Volume 20, Number 3 – This Month in Physics History, March 16, 1699: William Chaloner Hanged

Central European History Journal, Vol. 36, No. 1 (2003) – The ‘Captain of Kopenick’ and the Transformation of German Criminal Justice 1891-1914

Chaudhury, Sushil – The Prelude to Empire: Plassey Revolution of 1757 (2000)

Cracked – 4 Impressively Weird Pranks From Centuries Ago

Cracked – German ‘Robin Hood’ Once Got the Military to Help Him Rob a Mayor

Dictionary of Canadian Biography – Lord Gordon Gordon

Donaldson, William – Brewer’s Rogues, Villains, and Eccentrics: An A-Z of Roguish Britons Through the Ages (2004)

Dupuy, Trevor Nevitt – Elusive Victory: The Arab-Israeli Wars, 1947-1974 (1978)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Arminius, German Leader

Encyclopedia Britannica – Filippo Brunelleschi

Esquire, August 3rd, 2020 – Tasaday: The Stone Age Tribe That Never Was

Fuller, John Frederick Charles – The Generalship of Alexander the Great (1958)

Green, Peter – Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 BC: A Historical Biography (1974)

Guardian, The, December 11th, 2003 – Keely’s Trickster Engine

Head Stuff – William Chaloner, Master Counterfeiter

Herzog, Chaim – The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East From the 1948 War of Independence to the Present (2005)

History Collection – The Perfect Crime: 5 Criminals Who Disappeared Without a Trace

King, Ross – Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture (2013)

Le Fleming, H. M. – Warships of World War I (1961)

Levinson, Thomas – Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist (2010)

Live Science, June 25th, 2008 – A Savage Hoax: The Cave Men Who Never Existed

Lock Haven University – The Keely Motor Hoax

Murdoch, Adrian – Rome’s Greatest Defeat: Massacre at the Teutoburg Forrest (2008)

History Collection – Remarkable Fraudulent Discoveries and Inventions that Shook the World

Museum of Hoaxes – Keely Motor Company

Museum of Hoaxes – Lord Gordon-Gordon

Naval History Net – World War I at Sea: British Special Service or Q-Ships

National Geographic Magazine, February, 2014 – Brunelleschi’s Dome

Spear, Thomas George Percival – Master of Bengal: Clive and His India (1975)

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