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Book Review of Hoax

July 22, 2014

imageJoe Marino sent along an interesting review on Strategy Page by Albert A. Nofi of the book, Hoax: Hitler’s Diaries, Lincoln’s Assassins, and Other Famous Frauds by Edward J. Steers with a forward by Joe Nickell.

We previously discussed this book in May last year, Summer Reading: Tell Me What You Want to Believe and I Will Tell What You Will Believe, and so it was good to see this review. Here is what Nofi wrote:

This methodology applies equally to the several Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories Steers address.  For the Hitler diaries hoax, Steers not only points out flaws in the methodology used to authenticate the bogus documents, but also manages to trace the fate of Hitler’s actual papers.  A similar approache is used for the “Anthon Transcript” hoax.  While Steers marshals considerable scientific evidence that the Shroud of Turin is not what it purports to be (a conclusion reached by some churchmen nearly seven centuries ago), it still remains a curious mystery.  Of the cases, only Piltdown Man is without some degree of lingering controversy, having the least political or popular importance.

Joe also noticed an Amazon review by Michael P. Maslanka on Amazon:

That’s the formula for pulling off a hoax as we see time and again in this short and insightful book. We see these elements come together in the Hitler diary hoax. Time and again, when belief was about to be suspended, these elements re-ignited it. Best chapter in on the Shroud of Turin. The author is respectful of thos who believe it is the burial shroud of Christ, but is still devasting in his arguments that it is not:(a) why did the shroud pop up all of a sudden in the 1300’s?;(2) surely it should have been mentioned in the Bible but is not;(3) the type of weave pattern did not exist at the time of Christ’s death(the burial shrouds of the very rich had a simple weave pattern, not the more complex one on the shroud);(4)the Bible says that Christ was buried according to Jewish tradition which requires a washing away of all blood and the placement of a small cloth over the face of the deceased but the shroud shows Christ’s face and the blood. A well made(nice feel to holding it) and a well written book. Want insights into human nature? Give it a read.

Did Nickell write that piece about the shroud? Tired, old arguments. It will never cease.

  1. John Klotz
    July 22, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Doggone it, I just spent $14 on a hoax because when it comes to the Shroud of Turin, that’s what “Hoax” is, a hoax. It accepts whole cloth McCrone’s findings that it was a painting and berates STURP for rejecting his assertions.

    Actually, the $14 dollars is maybe well spent because now I have a ridiculous, ignorant finding by an “expert” which becomes a straw man for the windup which will include inter alia the challenge of the Shroud to skeptics.

    Maybe sometime later in the chapter the author will say something new and I am flying of “half-cocked” but I doubt it.

    By the way, Rene and I toured Gettysburg last week and at the B&B we stayed at there was an hour lecture before breakfast. It was also pet friendly so Bogie had a blast.

    “Half-cocked” I learned that in firing a civil war rifle, you pulled back on the firing pin half-way it locked as a safety procedure half-way back. Then you had to separately pull it back the rest of away.I actually got to fire one. It was Friday, our last day there.

    Maybe we should institute a “half-cocked award” for skeptics. After getting Hoax, I have two nominees.

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