The Hopkins Hoax
Disney versus The World
"I've been researching Hopkins life for more than 12 years now and compiled research from more than 15 well-respected historians that verify this story."
John Fusco, screenwriter of "Hidalgo," the Hollywood Reporter, March 13th 2003.
"No one here really cares about the historical aspects. Once a picture has been shot, people move on to others. We're like a factory. Its like making dolls. Once the latest doll is out we go onto the next one. If it transpires that the historical aspects are in question I don't think people would care that much. Hidalgo is a family film. It has little to do with reality."
Nina Heyn, Disney's Executive Director of International Publicity, the Saudi Gazette, May 13th 2003.
THE EXPERTS' VIEW
"There is absolutely no record of any horse race in
the past staged from Aden!"
Ghalib Al-Quaiti, the last ruling Sultan of Yemen.
"The only endurance Hopkins ever did was with his
James Davidson, Vermont Historical Society
"Hopkins' claims are so outrageously false that one
wonders why the Disney people were attracted to this material at all - except of
course the constant propensity to make money under any conditions available. One
need only peruse the mass of material purporting to deal with the Oglala Sioux
and Hopkins' claims regarding them to see that almost anything can be acceptable
to the money-mad titans of Hollywood. .Hopkins should have been awarded the
World's Greatest Liar award."
Dr. Vine Deloria, Jr., leading Native American scholar, retired professor emeritus of history at the University of Colorado and author of many acclaimed books.
"Yes, the Hopkins story is exciting. It has all of
the ingredients that make a good story and in turn a good motion picture. But to
misrepresent to the motion picture viewing public that the upcoming film is a
"true story" is not only misleading but it raises a serious question about the
credibility of the Disney organization....Hopkins so-called 'true story' may be
the first major hoax of the 21st century perpetuated on the US public and motion
picture public. For the scriptwriter and Disney to call it "true" is not only
inaccurate but misleading. The Disney company has been built on public trust. To
claim that something is true when it is not breaks that trust. So long as they
ignore the truth, it is irresponsible. The company is not performing in a
Professor David Dary, emeritus professor and former head of the Gaylord College of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma.
"No one named Frank Hopkins had any role in any of
these events.... So add this to his list of hoaxes."
Jim Dullenty, author of "Harry Tracy, The Last Desperado" and "The Butch Cassidy Collection."
"Did this man Hopkins say anything true?"
Dr. John Gable, Executive Director, Theodore Roosevelt Association.
"This scandalous behavior on the part of the Disney
corporation does not surprise me at all. Truth telling is not one of their
Professor Henry Giroux, Waterbury Chair Professor of Education at Penn State University and author of dozens of books including "The Mouse that Roared - Disney and the End of Innocence."
"It is a source of constant amazement and
discouragement to all of us in the historical professions how casually many US
businesses treat historical 'truth'."
Mark Greene, Director of the American Heritage Center of the University of Wyoming.
"I have never heard of Frank Hopkins !"
Kathleen Henkel, Executive Director of the American Endurance Ride Conference.
"What Hopkins claims to have done on horseback is
all very interesting, but where is the evidence?"
Jeremy James, international expert on equestrian travel and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
"It is so obvious that Hopkins is a fraud - I cannot
see how he could have fooled people for so many years."
Gregory Michno, author of "Lakota Noon" and "The Encyclopedia of Indian Wars"
"On my 20,000 kilometre long equestrian journey from
South Africa to Austria, I rode through the same area that Hopkins claims to
have crossed on horseback. I never discovered a single oral tradition which
would suggest such an endurance race had been run at any time in Arabian
Gordon Naysmith, equestrian explorer and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
"Hopkins is a phony ! He was obviously just
repeating stories he had read. We don't know of any contemporary sources that
even mention him."
Leo Remiger, expert on the history of 19th century buffalo hunting and co-author of the "Encyclopedia of Buffalo Hunters & Skinners."
"Who are the 15 'historical experts' that have
fashioned this hoax for Disney Pictures?"
Brian Shovers, Research Librarian, Montana Historical Society.
"I have determined Hopkins to be a narcissist with
sociopathic tendencies.... Hopkins seems to have an underlying anger about his
life and this would also be a contributing factor in his lies."
Dale Yeager, criminal psychologist who worked on the Jon Benet Ramsay case, and President of Seraph Security.
"I find Frank Hopkins suspiciously absent from any
authentic historical events."
Dr. Juti Winchester, Curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum.
"If the Walt Disney studio does not admit that the
movie "Hidalgo" is fiction, then years from now people will be misled into
believing that it is a true story."
Dr. Donald Worcester, an Ida and Cecil Green Distinguished Emeritus at Texas Christian University and author of many books, including "The Spanish Mustang."