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Barnes Wallis Moth Machine -- April Fool's Day, 1993
London's Daily Telegraph ran an article about a curious new device called the "Barnes Wallis Moth Machine," which was a microlight airplane that could skim over the Indonesian rainforest canopy at speeds up to 50 mph, scooping up moths as it went. It attracted the moths by means of powerful ultraviolet lights mounted on its front. The machine was said to have been given its name because it used the same technology as the 617 Squadron which released Barnes Wallis's bouncing bombs during the Dambuster raids of 1943. There were plans to use the machine on a scientific expedition to the Bengkulu region of the island of Sumatra — the first such expedition since Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles's expedition there in 1820.
The Guardian subsequently identified this story as an April Fool's Day joke. However, the joke was on the Guardian, because the Barnes Wallis Moth Machine was quite real. As the Daily Telegraph later gloated, "our science editor's lepidopterous scoop was genuine."
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