NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If history is bunk, as Henry Ford suggested, then what would one call a new “ferry tale” from Staten Island?
As CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, a statue has appeared with a dedication to the passengers and crew of the Staten Island Ferry who were brought down by a giant octopus back in 1963, as a new mini-documentary claims.
“On board were nearly 400 New Yorkers making their daily commute into the Big Apple. They would never reach their destination,” the narration for the documentary read.
But of course, no such thing ever happened. So who on earth comes up with such a whopper? Joe Reginella said he did.
“Some people like to take vacations,” Reginella said. “I like to play a joke on the whole city.”
Reginella takes the credit and blame for the elaborate stunt, which even features a website that directs the unsuspecting to a Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial Museum that doesn’t exist.
“You’re going to find a bus stop,” Reginella said.
Reginella said he likes to take his fake statue to Battery Park, and then watch from a distance as his octopus-takes-down-ferry hoax gets its arms around believers.
“When they read the plaque, they put their hand over their mouth, and they look out into the water and just kind of walk away,” Reginella said.
It’s all part of some madcap multimedia misinformation merriment that includes T-shirts and flyers to attract more of the credulous.
Part of the prank is the date of the bogus disaster – Nov. 22, 1963, the date of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. That is why the perpetrators of the prank claim this fish tale has so long remained confined to history’s octopus’ garden in the shade — to paraphrase Ringo Starr.
Reginella said he has received a few complaints from the real Staten Island Museum, across the road from the address he lists as home to his make-believe museum.