In 1883 for April Fools Day, George Reed reported that Noah’s Ark had been discovered intact in a glacier on Mt Ararat; the story was reprinted by papers throughout the world. This was a hoax and fake news.
From the (1887) booklet “Calamo Currente” by G.M. Reed:
Page 50: “..the date of its appearance was as near as was possible to All Fools Day.” “…It is needless to say that the copy of the Levant Herald was a myth, and that the story from first to last was imagined and framed within the city of Auckland.”
Page 56: “… and the curtain descends on the drama of All Fools Day 1883.”
Page 61: “… The report was commonly quoted as from the Levant Herald, but that paper had been suppressed for a year or two and its editor in a Turkish prison. Nothing could be learned about the celebrated “Captain Gascoyne.” Not a syllable could be found as to the alleged discovery in any paper of earlier date than the eve of last All Fools Day, on which date the full story appeared in the Auckland Herald. And now the sinful author of this wicked hoax – a contributer to that journal, who writes under the nom de plume of “Pollex” openly confesses that he concocted the whole affair as a piece of “humbug” for which proceeding he now expresses the most profound contrition.”
Page 48, 49: The Voyagings Of Noah’s Ark “The story about the discovery of Noah’s Ark, which originated in this column, under “Calamo Currente,” on the last day of the month of March last, has reached such a stage that the author of it feels it incumbent on him to explain. When “Pollex” framed the story, he had no anticipation that it would have received so much credence, and less still that it would have made the circuit of the world. Inserted as it was in a column that reflected only the passing fancies of the writer, and bearing in no manner the imprimatur of authority and authenticity, such as is given by the regular columns of the journal in which these lucubrations of “Pollex” were inserted, it was thought that few, if any, would give credence to the legend; and it was with the object of giving a hint of its character that Barnum was introduced at the end of it, as negotiating the purchase of the Ark from the Pasha of Van for exhibition in the United States. The hint appears, however, not to have told, and the story has had a world-wide currency. The author of it candidly admits that if he had the work to do yet, he would not do it and that playing with a sacred subject was not warranted. It is done now, and must stand; and “Pollex” will not shirk the censure or punishment it may bring on his head. He bows to the storm, accepts the sole responsibility for indulgence of his errant fancy, and, while baring his bosom to the weapons of indignation that may be flung at him, he proceeds to tell his story, penitently pleading mea culpa, mea culpa gravissima.”