6 Impostors Who Took Fraud To WTF New Levels
We've all lied before. Some of us have lied on our resumes, or about being sick, or about whether we have a healthcare plan for an entire country. A well-crafted lie can be a dangerous and effective thing, but it turns out that not every con requires a great con person. A few of the weirdest, laziest bullshitters out there have managed to get so far with such ridiculous lies that it makes us worry. For example ...
A Group Of Friends Met The Beatles By Posing As Their Opening Act
Among their many accolades, the Beatles were perhaps the first ever band that was both incredibly talented and a big hit with dumb teenagers. All those screaming nubile fans might have been great for their fame (though not so for their eardrums), but teenagers are also notorious for not knowing when they've crossed the line. So it was only a matter of time before a bunch of them would try whatever stupid lie could get them close to their idols. Even something silly like, we don't know, claiming that they, a bunch of pimpled brats, were opening for the greatest band in history.
Correction: the second-greatest band in history, as the Chainsmokers hadn't been invented yet.
It happened during what turned out to be the Beatles' last tour in August 1966. Their opening act was to be this up-and-coming local band called the Cyrkle, made up of recent college graduates. They were in that sweet spot of being well-known enough to open for a big band but not famous enough to get recognized on the street. They also looked like they couldn't grow mustaches to save their lives. This must have also been the realization of six D.C. teenagers who decided that this was the perfect setup to pull off a Ferris Buellerian prank.
According to the 15-year-olds, they (rightly) figured that they needed a limo and a police escort so that the stadium staff would be sold before they even stepped out of the car. They obtained the first part by hiring a limo (and bribing the driver to keep his mouth shut) for the cost of $25.50 (or roughly $190 in today's money, so still pretty cheap). One of them accomplished the second by calling up the D.C. police and saying that their band was opening for The Beatles (and leaving from his parents' driveway) and needed a police escort. One of them also had his sister and her friend start screaming "It's the Cyrkle!" on the (once again correct) assumption that every girl standing outside of a Beatles concert is looking for an excuse to start screaming.
These days, their fans only scream when they break a hip.
Through the screeching, the flashing lights, and sheer swagger, the group managed to get in, and two of them even got all the way into the Beatles' dressing room. According to them, Ringo and John thought it was hilarious, and Paul was busy being a nerd and begging the good Beatles to listen to his first riff on "Lovely Rita." They ended up meeting the Cyrkle, too, and kindly told them they had snuck in to see them. They were eventually escorted out of the backstage area -- at which point they confidently plopped themselves in the dugout around the stage for the best seats in the house. Not that they could really enjoy the concert, though, as there were still so many girls screaming at them. Ah, the double-edged sword of fame.
Someone Wrote A "Tell-All" Book About Being A White House Chef (Without Actually Being One)
There's an old saying: "You don't get to be the White House chef without breaking a few eggs." And while that is definitely true, it is possible to get a book deal about being the White House chef without breaking a single White House egg. Just ask Ronnie Seaton, a man who never saw the inside of a presidential fridge, but did write the book on it.
The editors should have known something was up when they read the chapter on the meal he served President Whitmore before his Independence Day speech.
Ronnie Seaton's book, Sir White House Chef (yeah, we'll get to that in a moment), reads like bad fanfiction, which is kind of impressive, given that he's writing about himself. Seaton claimed that he served as the White House chef starting in 1982, when he wowed a jelly-bean-loving Ronald Reagan with his culinary skills. You have to forgive the publishers for not catching his deception, because it's full of such believable stories as seeing George W. Bush (or rather, "George Bush Jr.") leave "marijuana butts" around the White House and sleeping with Condoleezza Rice. How could any agent say no to the reveal that Clinton's Secret Service agents happily admitted to Seaton that they're taking a suspiciously stained dress to the cleaner's? And of course, who doesn't want to sign an American chef with British knighthood?
After working a White House dinner the Queen attended with fellow super-chefs Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, and "Emma Lagasse" helping out in the kitchen, she asked him for his dessert recipe.
The Queen famously wanders around Windsor Castle baking pies in the middle of all that reigning.
He ended up cooking Christmas dinner for her in England. Here, nobody tells this better than Grand Knight Seaton of the Order of the Stuffed Goose himself:
"Well, yeah, England keeps all their knight records in Canada. You wouldn't have heard of the building."
In case you've noticed, there is indeed one tiny mistake in his retelling: Americans knighted by the Queen can't call themselves "Sir" or "Dame." Oh, another mistake: Americans don't get the sword -- nor do they kneel. And the description of the Queen's favorite knightin' sword is wrong. Also, the Queen doesn't knight people for cooking her one meal. Come to think of it, we guess it's all the same massive mistake.
When The New York Post called Seaton with the general question "So is this bullshit or horseshit?" he clarified that his title "really is sir doctor master chef." The "doctor" is because he has a PhD in Foodology from Cornell. What a joke. Really, Cornell? We all know that the good foodology colleges are on the West Coast.
A Fake Bishop Bluffed His Way Into A Meeting To Get A Peek At The Next Pope
We live in a fast-paced culture. Most people want to know things as quickly as someone can type 140 characters. But the Vatican moves at its own medieval pace. So for a while in 2013, there wasn't a more closely guarded secret than who was going to become the new pope. But while the rest of us had to wait patiently for the white smoke from the Vatican, an enterprising Christian decided to turn the question into a Mission: Impossible exercise, disguising himself as a bishop from the nonexistent order Corpus Dei and trying to bust through 20 rows of Swiss Guard into the most hallowed of chambers.
Worst Game Of Thrones house ever.
This is the story of "Bishop" Ralph Napierski -- sorry, Basilius -- who got very far with a very sparse WordPress page. When the new pope was being chosen, Napierski arrived in Rome with an entire entourage of fake clergy. With a lot of bluster, they managed to make it past at least one stage of security, but they were all stopped because someone noticed that Basilius' cassock and crucifix were "slightly too short." Quite the detective's eye for someone who didn't first notice that his sash was also a scarf and that he was a wearing a fedora like he had half-assed a last-minute Halloween costume. He also didn't manage to put one over on the guards by claiming that he was an envoy of the Italian Orthodox Church -- which is like claiming you're a member of the Federal Anarchist movement, or a New York deep-dish pizza lover.
"For the hat alone, you're going to Hell." -- God
So who is this mysterious rogue religious icon? According to his own website, Bishop Basilius is a proponent of "Jesus Yoga," and wants to put a relic in every poor Christian's home. So we know he's either a very committed prankster or a crazy hobo who mugged a bishop three inches shorter than him. One thing's for sure: Napierski will never become a real bishop. Not because he lacks the conviction, but because you need to be a much better dresser. C'mon Ralph, you should have known that Roman Catholic clergy are big fashionistas.
A Six-Time Felon Lived In Army Barracks For Months
There are certain things we need to believe are utterly secure, like Fort Knox, or an army base, or our browser history. Well, the good news is that our gold and our clown porn URLs are safe. Sadly, the place where our soldiers sleep? Not so much. In 2015, Fort Bragg officials discovered that some random asshole had been living in their barracks for months, eating their MREs and farting on all their well-made beds.
Their barely-better-than-a-prison-cell beds.
The civilian was posing as an explosive ordinance disposal specialist, which is perhaps the most worrisome detail you could add to the story, and had six prior felony charges from 2014 alone. But how did this happen? For one, the security system was broken, and no one seemed that concerned about getting it fixed. For another, people got used to him being there. He was seen giving orders to other soldiers and giving new recruits their room assignments, correctly employing the ancient military tradition of yelling at the right rank and shutting up when someone with bigger epaulets walks by.
In fact, security overall at the barracks was so lax that after he was discovered, they had to change the locks on 26 rooms because the keys couldn't be found, which is the kind of plot hook that was too wacky even for Hogan's Heroes or M*A*S*H -- not for our armed forces, though. But probably the main reason this not-so-dastardly infiltrator was able to move about freely for so long was because of kindheartedness. Military investigators believe that some of the soldiers felt sorry for him, because he was apparently homeless. It was only after he became a danger to others that his cover was blown. Oh, did we not mention that he was caught after being arrested for drunk driving?
Bombs and booze are always such a great mix.
After being caught, he was released on his own recognizance, and later failed to show up in court to answer some of those earlier charges. Although we can't rule out that he was there the whole time, posing as the judge, the prosecutor, and the stenographer all at the same time.
Way Too Many Adults Have Posed As High School Students
When you saw 21 Jump Street, you may have thought, "Yeah, Channing Tatum looks like he can have any teenager that he wants, but impersonate one? Not a chance." Surely, it's impossible for a grown-ass man or woman to possess the right look, the right vibe, the right ... what's the word we're looking for ... psychosis to successfully infiltrate a tenth-grade biology class. But it turns out that plenty of adults have tried to relive the past quite literally by going back to school.
The most extreme example is probably this 52-year-old man who enrolled in high school with the clever use of forged papers, an insultingly maudlin and unrealistic backstory (sexual abuse + abuser's suicide + throat cancer which prevented him from speaking), and, of course, sunglasses. Now, he didn't really last the day, but that he even sat down behind a school desk is kind of alarming.
Yeah, but he's a young 52.
Then there's this bored guy, who pretended to be Steven Spielberg's nephew for... whatever reason. He changed his name to Jonathan Taylor Spielberg, then attended a Fairfax, VA high school while claiming to be 14 years old and parking a BMW with a "SPLBERG" license plate in the principal's space. He was in his 20s when this happened, but we're willing to accept that he never truly matured past the age of ten.
This other guy tried with several aliases to return to return for no other reason than to play football, trying at least 14 different places. How did he not know that there's a perfectly legal way for quarterback has-beens to relive their high school glory? It's called fantasy football.
So if you're one of the many high school students who visit our puerile site from a school computer, look to your left, then your right. One of you is taking cholesterol medication.
These Knuckleheads Pretended To Survive The Holocaust To Sell Books
The Holocaust was, obviously, a historically tragic and monstrous event that most of us can't imagine suffering through. We can't, but a bunch of sad/psychotic people have given it a shot, pretending they were part of one of history's greatest tragedy as a way of getting attention. The following idiots are two such people.
For years, Joseph Hirt gave public speeches concerning his time spent in a concentration camp. Hirt's story started with seeing Hitler turn his back on Jesse Owens at the Olympics (which didn't happen), then segued into his arrest, after which he was placed in Auschwitz. There he met Mengele, the psychotic doctor who was obsessed with twins, before escaping under a fence. As a bizarre coda, after making his way to the United States, he ended up meeting Eleanor Roosevelt and Jesse Owens. When people set their forgiving sympathy aside to doubt this incredible bullshit, Hirst barely apologized, claiming that he did this to keep memories of the Holocaust alive -- despite the fact that his "memories" are, y'know, "lies."
"Would Jewish Santa lie to you? Really?
Then there's the famous memoir Fragments: Memories Of A Wartime Childhood by Binjamin Wilkomirski, which was hailed as "achingly beautiful" and "one of the great works about the Holocaust," delving into the true horror of the era, like babies devouring their own fingers. Except that it turned out that Binjamin Wilkomirski was really Bruno Dossekker, a man who had lived out the war in relative comfort in Switzerland. If it weren't for a journalist named Daniel Ganzfried, a Jewish journalist who has a reporter's instinct that Lois Lane would be proud of, people might still be hailing the book as a masterpiece of nonfiction instead of a schlocky lie about imagined human suffering.
Stop making children and people who know how to spell their name correctly look bad.
That's a bummer note to end this article on, so let's look at it from a much-needed optimistic angle: Stupid, greedy con men will always get caught. Smart people will always smell opportunistic bullshit from a mile away. And even now, when we're all drowning in low-rent, no-class Danny Oceans, it's the Ferris Buellers who always come out on top.
Nimby Smith would like to remind you that, for the love of God, anyone can get clergy clothing, so have some solid shibboleths ready.
For more incredible liars, read The 7 Most Heroic Con Artists Of All Time and 5 Badass Con Men Who Fooled The Experts There To Catch Them.
And be sure to check out 9 Types Of Coworkers To Make You Want Your Head To Explode, and let us know about other headsplosion-worthy employees we may have missed.
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