A newly-erected memorial in lower Manhattan pays tribute to the greatest tragedy you’ve never heard of. That’s because The Staten Island Ferry Disaster, in which a giant octopus dragged the steam ferry Cornelius G. Kolff and its passengers to the depths of New York Harbor, never actually happened. The story is part of a tongue-in-cheek hoax concocted by artist Joe Reginella, This Is Colossal reports.
In addition to the bronze memorial depicting a sinking ship wrapped in the tentacles of a massive octopus, Reginella created a website commemorating the event. The page reads:
"On its way with nearly 400 hundred people, mostly on their way to work, the disappearance of the Cornelius G. Kolff remains both one of New York’s most horrific maritime tragedies and perhaps its most intriguing mystery. Eye witness accounts describe 'large tentacles' which 'pulled' the ferry beneath the surface only a short distance from its destination at Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. Nobody on board survived and only small pieces of wreckage have been found…strangely with large 'suction cup-shaped' marks on them."
The fictional event occurred on November 22, 1963, notable as the date of John F. Kennedy’s assassination (which would explain why the disaster didn’t gain more media coverage). Fliers handed out by Reginella’s team advertise a non-existent Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial Museum—the directions make it clear it’s only accessible by ferry. He even produced a brief “documentary” about the tragic day.
As photos on the memorial museum’s Facebook page show, not everyone gets the joke right away: Several somber passersby have been photographed paying their respects.
[h/t This Is Colossal]
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