An article about an obscure 17th Century war in India has been deleted from Wikipedia — after an enterprising editor discovered that despite being on the site for 5 years, it had never actually occurred. Started in 2007, the Bicholim Conflict article described a "period of armed conflict between the Portuguese rulers of Goa and the Maratha Empire" that ended in a peace treaty, as well as its effect on later regional politics and popular culture. When Wikipedia user ShelfSkewed looked for the sources cited, however, he found that they either didn't exist or made no mention of the conflict. "An online search for 'Bicholim conflict' or for many of the article's purported sources," likewise, produced "only results that can be traced back to the article itself."
The Bicholim Conflict isn't the longest-running Wikipedia hoax, as The Daily Dot notes, but it still makes the top ten list. It was narrowly beat by "Unit 773," a fictitious counterpart to Japan's infamous World War II research facility Unit 731, and it's well behind the record-setting page of "Gaius Flavius Antoninus," an alleged assassin of Julius Caesar who was then "killed by a male prostitute hired by Mark Antony" and existed on Wikipedia for 8 years. Like these, the Bicholim Conflict managed to fly under the radar for years, and it had been listed as a Good Article — though its sketchy sourcing stopped it from gaining the distinction of Featured Article in 2007.
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