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Pat Shingleton: A Fresh Frozen Bogus Story

3 years 3 weeks 3 days ago June 02, 2014 Jun 2, 2014 Monday, June 02 2014 June 02, 2014 3:00 AM in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

Bogus stories lace the colorful history of Death Valley, CA. As noted in a previous column, in 1874, the Virginia Territorial Enterprise's editor was "filling space" and concocted a story about a scientist who invented a "solar armor" suit. The scientist covered himself with sponge-like material, saturated in water and set across the desert and was discovered perched on a rock, frozen solid. Rapid evaporation supposedly turned the sponge into ice and his beard was covered with frost and a foot-long icicle hung from his nose. The story had the trappings of scientific fact. The hoax was reprinted by newspapers world-wide. Perspiring does lower the body temperature, as more people have died of dehydration in Death Valley than heat stroke.

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