World War I photo hoax the very model of mischief

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tags: World War I, aviation, dogfighting

A biplane pivots out of control with smoke billowing from the fuselage. The World War I pilot, who has evidently bailed out, can be seen hurtling towards the ground.

Another black and white photo of a dogfight shows British and German aircraft twisting to avoid an almost inevitable midair collision....

The photos attracted enormous interest as there were very few images of aerial combat at the time.

But it was not until 1984 that they were definitively debunked by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington when archivists realised Mrs Cockburn-Lange was actually Betty Archer, wife of Wesley David Archer, a model maker in the film industry. He had painstakingly made models of all the aircraft and superimposed them on aerial backgrounds....

Read entire article at The Age (AU)

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