During Jason Thibeault and JT Eberhard’s gameapalooza event, I logged on with them on Skype and we had an amusing conversation. I don’t remember how this came up, but I was recounting the story of the Onyate Man hoax, pulled off by my friends at New Mexicans for Science and Reason in 1999. You can read the original hoax here, which was first published at darwindisproved.com.
The hoax involved the “discovery” of an amazing paleontological find — a fossil showing a dinosaur eating a human, thus proving that the earth is young and that man and dinosaurs lived together. And to make sure they enticed the suckers to fall for it, they claimed that the scientific establishment and the government was trying to hide that evidence from the world:
Hello. My name is Stefan. My last name is not important, but my story it is. I have a incredible story to tell, which is being hushed up by scientists and goverments all over the world.
Darwin’s theory of the evolution of species has been disproved. But everyone is covering it up. I kept some photographs of this event, and now I am telling the world. An American friend is helping me post this story to the internet. It is the only way I could think of to get these amazing facts out before it is too late. I don’t know how long I can keep this web cite up. I use my own words so it is my story. Sorry about not perfect english.
What follows is a lurid tale of armed men from fake government agencies trying to prevent the truth from coming out, a story designed to feed into creationist beliefs and overcome whatever latent skepticism they might have about such a find. Even the fact that the professor in the story was named Heinschvagel and the government official was named Hochs didn’t give them much pause. Within 24 hours, Kent Hovind was citing this in his revival meetings as proof that evolution was a lie.
The hoax was revealed a short time later and you can read all the details here.