Liar, fraudster, deceiver… an impostor by any other name still means the same thing: someone who attempts to deceive by using an assumed name or identity (source: wikitionary)
Often times, sane people like you and me, wonder why one would resort to being an impostor. Are they ashamed of who they are? Are they having malicious intent? Are they cowards that need to hide behind someone else’s name? Are they gaining something? Notoriety perhaps? Or revenge? Wealth? A warped sense of satisfaction? An attention seeker? Publicity whore?
Nevertheless, to the impostor who sent a comment to my previous post using someone else’s name, whatever was the reason for it – well, congratulations. You join the ranks of these historical wannabes. And since wikipedia is a user-generated encyclopaedia, please help yourself and add your name in whatever category that fits.
And take my advice, it is NOT something to put on your resume or brag about. Get a life. Of your own, not of someone else’s.
By the way, how’s the weather in Klang?
- Frank Abagnale, who passed bad cheques as a fake pilot, doctor and lawyer.
- Cassie Chadwick, who pretended to be Andrew Carnegie‘s daughter.
- David Hampton, who pretended to be the son of Sidney Poitier.
- Frederick Emerson Peters, US celebrity impersonator and writer of bad checks.
- James Reavis, who claimed he owned Arizona.
- Christopher Rocancourt, a US fake Rockefeller.
- Tichborne Claimant, claimed to be the missing heir Sir Roger Tichborne.
- Wilhelm Voigt, the “Captain of Köpenick”.
- Lobsang Rampa, who claimed to be a deceased Tibetan Lama possessing the body of Cyril Hoskins and wrote a number of books based on that premise.
- Aleksey Vayner, star of the “Impossible Is Nothing” video résumé, who pretended to be the CEO of a capital management company and a charity in order to gain an entry level job at UBS.
- Michael Sabo, who was known as a “Great Impostor” with over 100 professional aliases listed with the FBI.
- Mary Baker, who pretended to be Princess Caraboo of Javasu.
- Youree Dell Harris, better known as Miss Cleo, claimed to be from Jamaica.
- Joseph Howard Lee, who claimed to be the African native Bata LoBagola.
- George Psalmanazar, who claimed to be from Formosa.
- Anna Anderson, who may have really believed she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
- Alexis Brimeyer, a Belgian who claimed connection to various European royal houses.
- Harry Domela, who pretended to be an heir to the German throne.
- Eugenio Lascorz who claimed connection to the royal house of the Byzantine Empire.
- Eugenia Smith, another woman who claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia.
- Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the throne of England.
- Pierre Plantard, the mastermind behind the Priory of Sion hoax who claimed to be Merovingian, a pretender to the throne of France.
- Charles Stopford, an American man who has claimed to be an English nobleman since 1983, using the name of a dead infant.
- Count Dante is the real name of John Keehan. Many don’t recognize his rationale for assuming the title, and allegedly rightful, name of Spanish nobility. In his campaign to promote his system of martial arts, he also claimed victories in various secret deathmatches in Asia, and mercenary activity in Cuba, none of which carried documented proof.
- Mary Carleton who was, amongst other things, a false princess and bigamist.
- Frederick Rolfe, who is better known as Baron Corvo.
- False Dmitriy I, False Dmitriy II and False Dmitriy III, who all impersonated the son of Ivan the Terrible.
- False Margaret, who impersonated the Maid of Norway.
- Terence Francis MacCarthy, an Irishman, who has claimed to be a Prince of Desmond
- Andrew Lee, an Australian who claimed to be Lord Leitrim, alternatively Lord Battenberg and has even claimed to be Prince Philip‘s love child.
- Dr Charlotte Bach, fringe evolutionary theorist, who was neither a doctor nor a woman.
- Marvin Hewitt, who became a university professor without real credentials.
- James Hogue, who most famously entered Princeton University by posing as a self-taught orphan.
- Marilee Jones, Dean of Admissions at MIT and a best selling author who claimed advanced degrees in science fields. After ten years in the post, she was revealed to have only a high school diploma.
- Brian MacKinnon, who went back to being a teenager in order to re-enter medical school.
- Azia Kim, who posed as a Stanford University student for eight months, before finally being caught.
People who “went native”
- Grey Owl, an Englishman who wanted to be Ojibwa.
- Chief Buffalo Child Long Lance, an African American who claimed to be a Native American.
- Iron Eyes Cody, an Italian American actor (the “crying Indian” in anti-litter commercials), who claimed to be a Native American.
- Two Moon Meridas, herbalist and faux Amerindian.
- Jamake Highwater (aka Gregory Markopoulos, Jay Marks), author.
- Forrest Carter, author of The Education of Little Tree.
- Carlos Castaneda, writer and self-styled anthropologist.
- Jerry Alan Whittredge, dubbed the “Great Astronaut Impersonator” pretended to be an Astronaut, CIA Regent for Life, Medal of Honor winner and Top Gun Trophy winner, according to the affidavit of the arresting agent Joseph Gutheinz. In 1998 he was arrested after talking his way into NASA’s Mission Control during a Space Mission, after being given VIP tours of two Navy bases and after receiving information about the space shuttle. He claimed his attorney was President Bill Clinton.   
- Ferdinand Waldo Demara, “The Great Impostor”.
- Stanley Clifford Weyman.
- Laurel Rose Willson, who has claimed to be victim of satanic ritual abuse “Lauren Stratford” and Holocaust survivor “Laura Grabowski” (see also Binjamin Wilkomirski).
- Frederic Bourdin, “the French Chameleon”.
- Barry Bremen has entered multiple sporting events pretending to be an MLB umpire, an NBA All-Star, and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader, among other things.
- Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, German who claimed to be a member of the Rockefeller family among other things.
Women who lived as men
- James Barry, who successfully lived as a “male” British military surgeon.
- Frances Clalin, who served in Missouri artillery during the United States Civil War.
- Catalina de Erauso, Basque nun-soldier under Spanish colonial army.
- Dorothy Lawrence, an English journalist who wore uniform during World War I.
- Deborah Sampson, a female soldier during the American War of Independence.
- Mary Anne Talbot, an Englishwoman who became a sailor during the Napoleonic wars.
- Billy Tipton, jazz musician.
- Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who supposedly was a Confederate soldier under the name Harry T. Buford.
- Nadezhda Durova, a woman who became a decorated soldier in the Russian cavalry during the Napoleonic wars.
- Hua Mulan, who disguised herself as a man to join the Chinese army, when her father was too old for it.
- Stanisława Walasiewicz, a Polish athlete who became an Olympic champion by competing among women, even though it was later learned that Walasiewicz had ambiguous genitalia and could not easily be identified as either biologically male or female.
Several people who have never served in the military have claimed service, often with decorations or membership in highly selective units. Others have actual military service, but either embellished or exaggerated their accomplishments.
- Joseph A. Cafasso, former Fox News military analyst who claimed to have been a highly-decorated Special Forces soldier and Vietnam War veteran. He actually served in the U.S. Army for only 44 days.
- Wes Cooley, a US Congressman who claimed to have fought in the Korean War. He served in the U.S. Army for two years, but was never in Korea.
- Brian Dennehy, a famous American actor who claimed to have fought in the Vietnam War; he served in the United States Marine Corps for four years, but never in Vietnam.
- George Dupre, who claimed that he had been working for the SOE and the French Resistance during World War II. Dupre served in World War II, but was never in France or with the SOE.
- Joseph Ellis, American professor and historian who claimed a tour of duty in the Vietnam War. He served in the military during the war, but never left the U.S.
- Jesse Macbeth, anti-war activist who claimed to be an Army Ranger ordered to execute innocent civilians in Iraq. He had been discharged from the Army as unfit for duty before completing basic training.
- Alan Mcilwraith, a call centre worker from Glasgow who, among other things, claimed that he was a decorated captain in the British Army. An investigation proved that he had no military service.
- Micah Wright, an anti-war activist who claimed to be an Army Ranger involved in the United States invasion of Panama, and several other covert operations. He was an ROTC student in college, but never took a commission and did not serve in the military.
- James Shortt, (born 1953), British, SAS/Para impostor, Baron of Castleshort, DG International Bodyguard Association. His only military service was a few months as a medic with theTerritorial Army (the British Army reserves).
- Bampfylde Moore Carew, a Devonshire man whose popular Life and Adventures included picaresque episodes of vagabond life, including his claim to have been elected King of the Beggars.
- Chevalier d’Eon, who lived the second half of his life as a woman.
- Robert Hendy-Freegard, bogus MI5 officer.
- John Howard Griffin, who darkened his skin and travelled in the American South as a black man in 1959, to write Black Like Me.
- Pavel Jerdanowitch, father of the Disumbrationist movement.
- Ashida Kim, believed by many to be Caucasian author and self proclaimed ninja Radford Davis (alternate pen name Christopher Hunter), who wrote numerous books on ninjutsu during the ’70s and ’80s, noted for refusing to provide details about his teachers, or the lineage of the martial art in which he claims expertise.
- Louis de Rougemont, who claimed to be an explorer.
- Steven Jay Russell, who has impersonated judges.
- Treva Throneberry, who became a younger Brianna Stewart.
- Arnaud du Tilh, who took the place of Martin Guerre.
- Binjamin Wilkomirski, a fake Holocaust survivor.
- Enric Marco, who presided over an association of Spanish survivors of the Nazi camps, when in fact he went to Germany to work in the Nazi war industry.
- Alan Conway, who impersonated Stanley Kubrick during the early 1990s.
- Graham Tumber, who (despite looking nothing at all like him) impersonated Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi for a whole year, duping Dover council into providing free hospitality and transport services after promising to appear at a charity concert in the town.