Poe and the Balloon Boy

When it comes to hoaxes involving balloons, Edgar Allan Poe was way ahead of the Heene Family (in the news lately for claiming that their son had been accidentally carried away by a helium balloon).

From The Guardian (click on the excerpt to go to the full article):

In a precursor of the reality shows to which the Heenes apparently aspired, the Sun ran excerpts from the faked diary of the Victoria’s navigators, which ended just after their “sighting” off the coast of South Carolina. (In reality, the Atlantic would not be crossed by a balloon until 75 years later, when the rather less romantically named British dirigible R-34 landed in New York City after an 108-hour flight.) The account was cooked up by Edgar Allan Poe, a hoax-lover in an age of hoax-lovers.

For the full text of the story, click on the title: The Balloon Hoax (1850)


~ by Michael K. Johnson on October 21, 2009.

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