Larry Schwartz has compiled a list of 10 golden oldies, hoaxes that took place some time ago. Some of them such as Piltdown Man and crop circles were known to me. Others such as Clever Hans I do not really consider hoaxes as much as misinterpretation, since I consider a hoax to be a deliberately created fraud. The famous War of the Worlds is listed, though other analysts have said that the stories of mass panic were highly overblown and that there was no mass rush of people into streets following the broadcast.
But the other six stories (alien autopsy, the Turk, the mermaid, the Tasaday tribe, the Cardiff Giant, beavers on the moon), were not known to me and make for interesting reading. While we may now marvel that people could be taken in by these hoaxes, we have to remind ourselves that we live in an era where false news stories seem to spread with extreme rapidity, due to the willingness of people to uncritically believe in even the most outlandish ones.
It seems like there has never been a shortage of people whose first reaction to hearing an incredible story is not to ask “Are you sure? What are your sources? What is the evidence?” but instead tell it to all their friends and relatives as soon as possible.