A Billionaire Terrifies London With an Inflatable UFO
Shopping for wallets big enough to hold his obscene wads of cash (and pants big enough to hold the obscenely bulging wallets) apparently gets boring for Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Everything. So he combats that boredom by tormenting the people around him with a never-ending series of pranks. Usually it's low-level stuff, like calling Virgin customer service and demanding to speak to Richard Branson. On one such call, his own assistant put him on hold for an amount of time that would turn Comcast green with envy before coming back to say, "Sorry, Richard, but you appear to be out of the office at the moment; can someone else help you?"
Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images "Only if they work for New Fucking Assistants, Inc."
Then there's the time he invited his business partner to dinner and staged a fake burglary of said partner's house, only to earn himself an overnight stay in the slammer when his guest left the dinner early and called the police before Branson had time to come clean. But the top spot on his list of achievements goes hands-down to the time he convinced London that it was being visited by aliens.
Virgin GroupHordes of Englishmen immediately ran outside in their bathrobes to lie down in front of bulldozers.
On March 31, 1989, the space-obsessed Branson and a co-pilot took off in a hot air balloon designed to look like a flying saucer, otherworldly flashing lights and all. Their plan was to take a short flight and land in Hyde Park as a promotional stunt, but uncooperative winds transformed their short flight into a War of the Worlds-style public panic. As they hovered over highway M25 the traffic stopped cold, with scores of panicked motorists bailing from their cars to ring the local constabulary from emergency roadside phones. One woman was so taken aback by the "invasion" that she stood in front of the window of her apartment describing the slow-moving craft to a radio station while completely forgetting that she was nude.
via disclose.tv "Wow, Earth girls really are easy."