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  • Writer's pictureLynn Lovegreen

Sitka's April Fool Prank

The best April Fool’s Day prank I know took place in Sitka in 1974. Here’s the story:


Sitka is a beautiful small town in Southeast Alaska. Mt. Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano, lies nearby. Early on April 1st, 1974, Porky Oliver Bickar hired a charter helicopter and snuck up the mountain with old car tires, rags, flammable fuel, smoke bombs, and spray paint. With some help, he spray-painted APRIL FOOL in the snow, and set the other supplies to burn in the crater.

Old color photo of Mt. Edgecumbe with black smoke drifting up
Photo credit: Charcoal Island Photography

Sitka awoke to an erupting volcano. The Coast Guard went to investigate and found the hoax and message. The AP picked up the story and it made the national news!


See the details and more photos at

Happy April Fools Day!

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