Brooklyn Bridge for sale
I don’t know if anyone ever bought the bridge, but certainly conmen have sold national monuments. For example, Victor Lustig sold the Eiffel Tower.

The trick is, you don’t try to sell the bridge to any passing millionaire. You pose as a civil servant, make a story that the structure has to be demolished, or renovated, tell scrap metal dealers/ demolision firms/ builders that YOU, as senior civil servant will be the one to choose the firm to carry out the work. Then you allow them to bribe you.

Well, they did manage to sell London Bridge, but that was legit, although didn’t the people who bought it believe they were buying Tower Bridge, a far more distinctive landmark?

Since this is a comment on a Staff Report and not one of Cecil’s columns, I’ll move this thread to the appropriate forum.

moderator CCC

Funny name.

George Parker may have indeed sold the Brooklyn Bridge. Gfactor characterizes Mr. Parker as a, “professional BSer” (true) and notes that these claims, “involved events that had taken place long before”.

The Big Book of Hoaxes says otherwise. A contribution written by Carl Sifakis and illustrated by Fray Morrow states the following:

Now, that book relies entirely on secondary sources. A hunt through the NYT’s archives produces a 2 paragraph news item regarding Mr. Parker’s arrest in 1928. So far so good. Unfortunately, it does not mention any public landmarks:

The NYT’s search engine can be wonky at times. This site relates the following Dec 18, 1928 article:

Note the phrase “early exploits”. Still, I’d like to read the remainder of that article.

Everything I found, including the Big Book of Hoaxes relies primarily on the NYT stories, which in turn speak of what his “early exploits” are “said” to be. That’s just not much to go on. Definitely possible that McCloundy or Parker sold it; equally possible they didn’t. That’s why I said it depends who you ask.

I’ve read all of the NYT articles, btw, although it was a while back. There’s not much more to them. This artricle, from the references, is a good summary of the evidence:

Apparently that one might be an urban legend, if you believe the person who actually bought it - although that might be face-saving denial.