This column was originally published April 1, 1986
In an unprecedented statement, leading astronomers from around the world admitted today they had misjudged the location of Halley's comet, which they now say will not arrive in the solar system for another six years.
"As far as we have been able to determine, " explained Britain's Royal Astronomer, Sir Nigel Wraith-Vestibule IV, "everybody assumed that everybody else had done the actual calculations, when in fact nobody had."
The notion that the comet would be here this year, he said, "appears to be based entirely on an article from a 1981 issue of a supermarket tabloid called The Sun, which also had a story claiming Cher had married Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger on the Lost Continent of Atlantis."
Wraith-Vestibule added that the many reported "sightings" of the comet probably had some other simple explanation, such as people were seeing "swamp gas, weather balloons or space vehicles from other galaxies."
Reagan administration officials, contacted about the astronomers' shocking admission, refused to comment on the grounds that The Miami Herald made this whole thing up. April Fool.