Would you have believed the Great Moon Hoax?

earthsky.org | 8/25/2019 | EarthSky
fofo (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2016/08/Great-Moon-Hoax-1835-New-York-Sun-lithograph-298px-300x150.jpg

The inhabitants of the moon (Vespertilio-homo or bat-men), via Wikimedia Commons.

August 25, 1835. On this date, a New York newspaper, The Sun, published the first article in what’s come to be called The Great Moon Hoax. It was a series of six articles alleging the discovery of life on the moon – including bat-men and unicorns – supposedly made by famous astronomer Sir John Herschel while on a trip to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Richard Adams Locke, a reporter for The Sun, is said to have written the article, although he never publicly admitted it.

Articles - Dr - Andrew - Grant - Herschel

According to the articles, a Dr. Andrew Grant, Herschel’s (fictitious) companion, was the author. The articles also referred to the Edinburgh Journal of Science, which had been out of commission for some years. Yet, for most readers, the author and the source made the articles seem credible.

The articles were reprinted in papers throughout Europe.

Article - Things - Telescope - Herschel

The first article described, among other things, a super-powerful telescope built by Herschel.

The weight of this ponderous lens was 14,826 pounds [6,700 kilograms] or nearly seven tons after being polished; and its estimated magnifying power 42,000 times. It was therefore presumed to be capable of representing objects in our lunar satellite of little more than eighteen inches [46 cm] in diameter, providing its focal image of them could be rendered distinct by the transfusion of article light.

Telescope - Herschel - Discoveries - Articles - Example

The huge telescope supposedly allowed Herschel to make his fantastic discoveries. One of the articles said, for example:

It was one of the noble valleys at the foot of this mountain that we found the very superior species of the Vespertilio-homo (bat-men) … They were of infinitely greater personal beauty, and appeared in our eyes scarcely less lovely than the general representations of angels by the more imaginative schools of painters.

Bat-women - Bat-men

Bat-women and bat-men (under...
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