April Fool's Day history: five best-ever pranks

4. Virgin Galactic invasion

Mike Segar / Reuters
Virgin Group head Richard Branson holds an Apple iPad as he stands outside New York City's flagship Apple store dressed in a newspaper suit November 30, 2010.

Billionaire Richard Branson has a thing for spaceships. He’s spearheading commercial spaceflight with his company Virgin Galactic, and back in 1989, he faked a UFO landing outside of London.

Sir Richard painted a hot air balloon to look like a flying saucer, donned a silver jumpsuit, and set sail. He had planned on landing on April 1 in Hyde Park, but poor wind conditions forced him to land a day earlier, making it a not-quite April Fool's prank. Upon seeing the saucer, concerned motorists informed the police, who arrived in time to see Branson step out of the craft dressed as an alien.

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