Filled with practical jokes and hoaxes, April 1 is a day we all like to watch our back to avoid being the target of a prankster. Over the years, we were amused by many pranks, some of which made it to the international headlines.
One such prank was played by Porky Bickar in 1974, which involved a volcano and 4 years of planning!
Residents of Sitka, Alaska woke up on a clear morning of April 1, 1974, shocked to see the Mount Edgecumbe ready to erupt. They saw smoke rising from the crater of a volcano that has stayed dormant for over hundreds of years.
The concerned citizens rushed out onto the streets to understand the situation. Needless to say, calls started pouring into offices of local authorities. The Coast Guard dispatched a pilot to enquire. When the pilot peered down into the crater, then he was in for a surprise. The smoke was caused by a pile of burning tyres with a note made on snow using spray paint that read “APRIL FOOL.”
Soon, the culprit of this mischief was identified. 50-year-old Oliver “Porky” Bickar was behind this practical joke. He formulated this idea in 1971 but waited years before implementing to make sure that the visibility was appropriate.
The prankster, before pulling it off, has informed local police and FAA controller but forgot to inform the Coast Guard. Soon, the news was picked by media worldwide making it one of the classic pranks in history.
A genius prank or one pushed too far? Share your thoughts in the comments.