In the 1960s, Father Pellegrino Ernetti, an exorcist from Venice, claimed that he was part of a group that supposedly included Nobel Laureate Enrico Fermi and Wernher von Braun which invented a ‘time viewer’ before WWII. The machine was called the Chronovisor, and could allegedly see and hear events of the past; the device supposedly could reconstruct images and sounds of the past using their resultant waves present currently in our environment.
Using the chronovisor, Father Ernetti claimed to have witnessed a performance in Rome in 169 BC of the now-lost tragedy, Thyestes, by the father of Latin poetry, Quintus Ennius. He also claimed to have witnessed Christ dying on the cross, and photographed it. This photo (above) appeared in the May 2, 1972 issue of La Domenica del Corriere. However, a near-identical (though mirrored left to right) photograph of a wood carving by the sculptor Cullot Valera, turned up, casting doubt upon Ernetti’s statement. His defenders insisted that the machine couldn’t take close-ups photos, but only general ones and that it wasn’t possible to obtain an image that was so precise.
On his deathbed had Ernetti confessed that he had written the text of the play himself, and that the “photo” of Christ was indeed a “lie”. However, Ernetti maintained that the machine was workable.