A man has admitted to lying for more than 30 years about the true authenticity of a Civil War photo. 

The photograph, which surfaced in 1986, shows a figure in a coat and hat and what appears to be the blurred image of a warship.

Historians believed that the warship in the photo was the CSS Georgia, a Confederate ironclad that sank 150 years ago in Georgia as Union troops captured Savannah, the Associated Press reported. 

John Potter said that he found the original photo at a yard sale, but couldn't afford to buy it.

He recently told the Associated Press that "the photo is a fake he made as a teenager using a 2-foot model of the ship and his brother in costume standing in a marsh."


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