List of UFO-related hoaxes
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Many hoaxes related to the study of unidentified flying objects have been perpetrated.
- For April Fool's Day 1897, two practical jokers in Omaha, Nebraska set aloft a helium balloon with a burning wicker basket suspended beneath it.
- On April 17, 1897, The Dallas Morning News reported that the previous evening three boys hoaxed a mystery airship sighting by soaking a cotton ball in kerosene and tying it to the leg of a turkey vulture. When the bird was released, witnesses to its light shouted "Look, it's the airship!" The hoax was discovered when the bird landed on the roof of the local high school and the burning cotton ball set fire to the school.
- An account by Alexander Hamilton of Leroy, Kansas supposedly occurred about April 19, 1897, and was published in the Yates Center Farmer’s Advocate of April 23. Hamilton, his son, and a tenant witnessed an airship hovering over his cattle pen. Upon closer examination, the witnesses realized that a red “cable” from the airship had lassoed a heifer, but had also become entangled in the pen’s fence. After trying unsuccessfully to free the heifer, Hamilton cut loose a portion of the fence, then "stood in amazement to see the ship, cow and all rise slowly and sail off." 
Crashed UFO hoaxes
Beginning in 1993, Ray Santilli was either the victim or perpetrator of a hoax involving film footage that purported to show an autopsy being conducted in 1947 upon an alien related to the Roswell UFO incident. Santilli auctioned of the rights to be first to broadcast the film, which were won by the American Fox Broadcasting Company and presented in the 1995 show Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction and later in other programs. The footage had a deep impact through the media and all of the world televisions broadcast pictures representing what appear to be a corpse lying on a bed. It was revealed to be a hoax. The Project Mogul was the official explanation of the case
The French sociolog Pierre Lagrange explained his point of view about the case:
Santilli initially stated he bought the film of Jack Barnett, an American who claimed (though turned out not to be) the commander of the US army. Santilli gave cuttings of the film to experts. However, he didn't give them the photos they took. This is because the photos were in a much clearer quality than the footage, so people could easily see the latex dummies.
Photograph of "an alien" taken at Ilkley Moor (1987)
A photograph taken on Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire on December 1st, 1987, was alleged to be of an alien. The English newspaper the Daily Star exposed it as a hoax in its edition of July 2nd, 1989: the alien in the picture was in fact an insurance broker, unsuspecting he was being photographed, while he visited his clientele in the outskirts and cut through the hills. Belgian investigators analysing the case stated "mais comment imaginer que des enquêteurs expérimentés aient pu se laisser prendre à un aussi banal canular ou méprise" (But how can we imagine that experienced investigators could have been misled by such a casual hoax?).
- Denzler (2001), pages 5-6.
- Reece, Gregory L. (August 21, 2007). UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture. I. B. Tauris. p. 13. ISBN 1-84511-451-5.
- Jacobs, David Michael; The UFO Controversy In America; Indiana University Press, 1975, p. 15
- Picknett, Lynn (2012-03-01). The Mammoth Book of UFOs. Constable & Robinson Ltd. pp. 131–. ISBN 9781780337012. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- Science et Vie n°959,Août 1997,Roman Ikonicoff, Roswell Cinquante ans de délire
- Science et Vie n°935,août 1995,Pierre Lagrange,Extraterrestres La grande arnaque
- Vankin, Jonathan; Whalen, John (2004-01-01). The 80 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time: History's Biggest Mysteries, Coverups, and Cabals. Citadel Press. pp. 123–. ISBN 9780806525310. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- Science et Vie n°935, août 1995, Pierre Lagrange, Extraterrestres La grande arnaque
- Patrick Vidal, L'humanoïde d'Ilkley Moor, un agent d'assurance ?, Sobeps, flash n° 1, février 1990, p. 8.
- Denzler, Brenda (2003). The Lure of the edge: scientific passions, religious beliefs, and the pursuit of UFOs. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23905-9.
- Jacobs, David Michael; The UFO Controversy In America; Indiana University Press, 1975