Richard Meinertzhagen, British war hero, spy, naturalist … and fraud


Giant forest hogFrom Living the Scientific Life blog in the USA:

During [Richard] Meinertzhagen‘s colorful military and scientific careers he was decorated, married twice and fathered three children, he explored unknown lands, discovered new species, fought in wars, survived shipwrecks, plane crashes and ambushes, became the elder-statesman of espionage and ornithology and surprisingly, he even had a room named for him at the British Museum of Natural History.

But upon closer examination, it turns out that most of his exploits are fiction, based on an overactive imagination, deception and theft.

Basically, Meinertzhagen was a colossal — but convincing — fraud.

Meinertzhagen was influenced by Rightist philosopher Herbert Spencer.

Wikipedia, also mentioning many cases of fraud and theft, says:

Meinertzhagen did discover the Giant Forest Hog in Africa and is credited with the species being named Hylochoerus meinertzhageni.

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