A fun April 1 event scheduled for the Barnum Museum (UPDATE: Centaur)

I don’t know what it is but is sure sounds like a neat gaff. We’ll follow up with any updates.

‘Inexplicable’ item to be unveiled at Barnum Museum

The public demands to know: What’s in the giant crate that recently arrived at Bridgeport’s Barnum Museum? A major scientific discovery? Something that will elicit ohhs and ahhs from the crowds that mass for the public unveiling on April 1? Could it alter history?

But if you are now thinking this is some silly Barnum-esque stunt without merit, think again. The item was sent here by a retired University of Wisconsin professor and is being studied locally by Quinnipiac University.

So the public can at least be certain that the box is not empty, Maher pointed out.

Maher refuses to be specific, other than to say that the object is “an inexplicable specimen … a strange anthropomorphic figure.”

“In nearly 45 years of imaging research, this has been not only one of the most unique objects I have encountered, but also provided one of the most technically challenging experiences. To my knowledge, the resulting single image of the entire object will be the largest ever acquired by the method developed by myself and the faculty and students of the Diagnostic Imaging Program at Quinnipiac University,” according to [professor Jerry] Conlogue.

Photo credit: Brian A. Pounds

Photo credit: Brian A. Pounds

UPDATE (2-Apr-2014) We have the reveal.

The fossilized bones resemble a creature that is half human, half horse — a centaur, something considered a myth for eons — and now, it resides at the Barnum Museum for all to see.

The museum received the curious specimen with the following provenance:

“The Centaur of Tymfi is the best-preserved specimen of record due to preservation within a cool, dry cave at 1,900 meters elevation in the Tymfi Mountains of northwestern Greece. There were no other objects in the cave to indicate details of the creature’s history. The specimen was reported to the Archaeological Society of Argos Orestiko in 1998 and removed in 2003 to the Society’s laboratory in Volos where osteologists, under the direction of Achilles Mitropoulus, the Society’s director, assembled the specimen in the upright pose.”

P.T. Barnum,  a distant relative of the actual P.T. Barnum, poses in front of the Centaur of Tymfi Photo: Christian Abraham

P.T. Barnum, a distant relative of the actual P.T. Barnum, poses in front of the Centaur of Tymfi Photo: Christian Abraham

Pretty neat. But I sure hope they have a clear disclaimer because… people really believe this stuff.

Tip: Jeb Card

  4 comments for “A fun April 1 event scheduled for the Barnum Museum (UPDATE: Centaur)

  1. Gord Dempsey
    March 31, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    The Barnum Museum website gives a few clues to what it might be. From the site “The specimen was most recently at the University of Wisconsin, which acquired it in 2004 from the Archaeological Society of Argos Orestiko.”

    A quick google search comes up with this link.

    Looks like this might be a recycled hoax…

  2. eddi
    April 1, 2014 at 5:02 AM

    P.T. Barnum could outclass any modern hoaxer blindfolded, with one hand behind his back. God only knows what he could have done with the Internet.

  3. Lagaya1
    April 1, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Awww. I was afraid it was going to be something like that, since it was April 1.

    The best hoaxes always seem to include a university and a professor’s name that most of us will believe without checking.

    Thanks for the info, Gord Dempsey.

  4. eddi
    April 3, 2014 at 2:52 AM

    Give the man a cigar! I’ve seen that skeleton before, but I missed all the details. Maybe next year they’ll have a merman to go with it.

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