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UFO Lands Near London -- April Fool's Day, 1989
On March 31, British policemen were sent to investigate a glowing flying saucer that had settled down in a field in Surrey. As the policemen approached the craft with their truncheons held out, a door opened in the bottom of the ship and a small figure wearing a silver space suit walked out. The policemen immediately took off in the opposite direction. The alien turned out to be a midget, and the flying saucer was a hot air balloon that had been specially built to look like a UFO by Richard Branson, the 36-year-old chairman of Virgin Records.

Branson had taken off in the balloon the day before, planning to land in London's Hyde Park on April 1. However, a wind change had blown him down a day early in the Surrey field. The police had received a flood of phonecalls from scared motorists using roadside emergency phones as the balloon passed over the highway. One lady reportedly called a radio station to describe the UFO that she was looking at, not realizing that she was standing in front of her window stark naked. One of the policemen who had to approach the craft later admitted, "I have never been so scared in 20 years of being a policeman."

UFO Lands Near London Haiku (submitted by Hoax Museum readers)
Branson now reveals
Alien technology
Just so much hot air
(by Paul)
So the policeman ran in the opposite direction - bet he copped for it.
Posted by Linda  in  Hull  on  Tue Mar 30, 2004  at  12:18 PM
Remember well the interview with Richard Branson a week or three later. He said that he had never laughed so hard while watching the policemans arse rapidly dissapearing over younder fields. "Well worth the fine I incured" said Richard.....
Posted by Colin  in  Spain  on  Thu Apr 01, 2004  at  01:31 PM
He's lucky he didn't get shot! Still funny though.
Posted by Yuriy  on  Fri Apr 02, 2004  at  02:26 PM
Shawn, it was the man piloting the hot air balloon, obviously.

Yuriy, he could not have been shot, he was in England. Firearms are outlawed, and the police to not carry them.
Posted by Kyle Lees  in  United States of Advertising  on  Sun Apr 04, 2004  at  04:57 AM
That was the last time anything of Branson's turned up early
Posted by Ian  in  uk  on  Mon Oct 11, 2004  at  05:12 PM
Haha if that happened in america they would've suspected a terrorist attack and blown his balloon to pieces!
Posted by R  in  UK  on  Fri Apr 01, 2005  at  01:30 AM
Hang on! It says that a small silver-suited man came out. How did he make himself 'small'?
Posted by w  in  Pakistan  on  Sun Apr 03, 2005  at  03:34 AM
He had with him a midget dressed in space suit. He himself was in a E.T. costume.
Posted by Zeiar  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  02:51 PM
This sounds to me like War of The Worlds when it first came out and everyone thought we were being invaded by aliens. I wonder if Orson Wells had anything to do with this?
Posted by Sherie  on  Sat Apr 01, 2006  at  01:42 PM
I was 12 at the time and waiting at a bus stop, waiting with a crowd of people when we saw it coming slowly and silenty over the railway bridge on Leytonstone High Street. Nobody said a word as we all watched this spectre creep acroos the sky.

Honestly, this was so beliveable that my mum brought it up in front of my girlfriend a few months back.. now she thinks my mum is a bit nuts!
Posted by Chris Lartey  in  Edinburgh  on  Sun Apr 01, 2007  at  07:02 PM
This one makes more sense. I probably would have for this one because I'm a freak on the paranormal and yes, I would have felt sort of foolish after finding out it was a prank. That aircraft in the picture looks bigtime like a hot air balloon. Anyone who believes in the paranormal would probably fall for it.
Posted by Smiley  in  On Earth  on  Fri Aug 17, 2007  at  10:48 PM
"What was the figure that came out?"

It was a monkey, shaved ne'kid, dyed with green food coloring, and all covered in tin foil.

Doing something that weird to his poor monkey - it's no wonder that Richard Branson was a 36-year-old "VIRGIN" excaim tongue wink
Posted by Anony Ent  on  Mon Dec 24, 2007  at  11:51 AM
It's good to see that RB hasn't lost his touch in 2008...what no little green men from mars?
Posted by Paul Millett  in  Redding CA  on  Tue Apr 01, 2008  at  03:10 PM
Imagine if the Policeman had fired at the "Alien"? He would not have been charged for anything since there are no laws stating you can't shoot an Alien.
Posted by MAZ  in  London  on  Thu Apr 03, 2008  at  04:55 PM
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