Synopsis by Nathan Southern
NOVA reconstructs and dissects a decades-old unsolved mystery in this 60-minute special from 2005. Proclaimed for years as the apotheosis of evolutionary theory and the final proof of a link between homo sapiens and primates, the "Piltdown Man" -- a series of bones excavated from Piltdown, England in 1913 -- was proven a hoax in 1953. But who could have perpetuated such a fraud? For years, researchers and historians have guessed about the red-handed party -- popular suspects including Sherlock Holmes godfather Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Martin Hinton of the Natural History Museum, and archaeologist Charles Dawson, each of whom is examined, in turn, by this film. In NOVA: The Boldest Hoax, we revisit Piltdown, review the available evidence, listen to interviews with authorities, and are asked to draw our own conclusions about the identity of the perpetrator.
deception, fraud, skull