Drake's Plate a Fake!

A brass plate, claiming northern California for England and thought to be left by Sir Francis Drake, has been proved a hoax. After years of research and testing, experts have proved that a brass plaque, covered in Elizabethan English writing and claiming part of California for England, is a hoax. The plaque has long been linked to Sir Francis Drake, who was supposed to have sailed to California in 1579.

Experts now believe that the hoax was perpetrated in the 1930's as a prank by students against their universiry professor. "There's no evidence that they intended to create a hoax that would last," said Ed Von der Porten, the article's lead author. "The evidence is clear that they intended it as a private joke."