Debunking NYC’s best hoaxes

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(PIX11)-- The broadcast of "War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells in 1938 started as unintended hoax, but many people tuned into it late and didn't realize it Orson Welles dramatizing it over radio.

Enemy now turns east, Passaic River with the evident objective is New York City.

But this radio storytelling was so gripping and realistic, it caused panic across the United States.

Who doesn’t love a good hoax?

New York City fell for the Stuyvesant kid who said he made $72 million trading stocks while taking AP courses.

Michael Miscione, the official historian for Manhattan, shares the best hoaxes ever in New York.

Three stories under the Newtown Creek plant in Greenspoint, Brooklyn, PIX11 went to see if the urban legend of alligators in the sewer is true.

Is there any way a gator could survive in these literal bowels of new York?

"It’s true, we have documentary evidence in 1935 boys in Harlem were shoveling snow and saw it down there," Miscione said. "They got a clothesline and hauled it out."

"They were interviewed by the [NY] Times," he said.

Turning back the clock more than a century,  the Great Moon Hoax fooled people throughout the world.

In 1835, the NY Sun had reports of winged moon men and they ran it in the paper and people ate it up.

Nothing like could ever possibly happen again?

As early as 2009 a group of pranksters calling themselves the Yes Men put out a fake edition of the NY times. Saying the Iraq war had ended, but it hadn’t.

The best hoax of all-time belongs Dutch settlers who bought Manhattan for a measly $24!

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