It would be great if Yang Kyoungjong was real since he was said to have fought on three different sides of World War II, but it isn’t to be. From conscription in the Imperial Japanese Army to fighting against Nazi Germany with the Russians to defending Normandy on the side of the Wehrmacht during D-Day, the man did it all.
Except, of course, he didn’t – there’s no evidence that Kyoungjong actually existed other than word-of-mouth stories. A Korean company attempted to film a documentary about the story, finding no public records of any sort. Even his famous picture was just labeled “Japanese man.”
Guru Nanak is well known as the founder of the Sikh religion, but not as much is known about his apparent lifelong friend and travel partner Bhai Bala. Nanak went on a life-changing journey, taking Bala with him – who would become a revered disciple of Nanak, and pass the wisdom down to the next generation of gurus.
However, many people question his existence and rightly point out that he is not listed as one of Nanak's disciples in several historical lists. There are numerous other irregularities in his life story in a number of different works that date back from the era.
In the early 1810s England, wool and cotton industries came under attack from a group known as the Luddites, who protested new machines that put hand weavers and other tradespeople out of work. The leader of these riots was said to be General Ned Ludd who, just like Robin Hood, was said to work out of Sherwood Forest.
Also just like Robin Hood, it's very likely that Ludd didn't really exist. Seventeen men were executed as part of these riots, but the famous Ludd himself was never caught. Later it was accepted that the name was simply mythical in order to ensure anonymity. The name continues as a name for those who deride certain tech advances.
As one of the world's largest and oldest religions, Buddhism still has plenty of questions about the founder, Siddhartha Gautama – more commonly known as the Buddha.
Unfortunately, this is literally ancient history. The events of his life are said to have happened more than twenty-five hundred years ago, and many, many of the details of his life have been yet to be found, or have been lost entirely. He wasn't known as the Buddha (One who has achieved perfect spiritual enlightenment) until centuries after his death.
Franklin W. Dixon
Mystery-loving boys might not have read the Nancy Drew books, but there were plenty of Hardy Boys mysteries for them to page through. However, Franklin W. Dixon wasn't a real person – he was the name that every book bore. Edward Stratemeyer was the genius behind this, and he collected a group of ghostwriters to keep the books coming out at a steady pace.
All in all, this tactic worked gangbusters, since the Hardy Boys have achieved enduring popularity, spanning nearly nine decades through various re-images.