The Kentucky Miner Who Scammed Americans by Claiming He Was Hitler and Plotting a ‘Revolt’ With ‘Spaceships’

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In mid-1945, just months after Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his bunker, rumors emerged that the German dictator had survived with his mistress, Eva Braun, escaped the country, and was hunkered down somewhere. Where exactly was unclear. Stalin claimed he was living “in Spain or Argentina.” Others spotted him at neo-Nazi gatherings in Colombia, on a U-boat in Argentina, or with a barely-legal girlfriend in Brazil. Some American papers cited rumors that he had taken to digging tunnels in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. The evidence of survival was weak to non-existent. But by 1947, a Gallup poll found 45 percent of Americans believed Hitler had survived—among them, a group of disgruntled German descendants scattered across the country who, for several months, had been corresponding with a man who called himself “Furrier No. 1.”

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