Wesley Archer (Cockburn-Lange Hoax) Collection

In 1933 the anonymous "Death in the Air: The War Diary and Photographs of a Flying Corps Pilot" purported to be the record of a Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilot during World War I, and included photos allegedly taken by the pilot during aerial combat. The photos were supposedly owned by a Mrs. Gladys Maud Cockburn-Lange, but had actually been faked by Wesley David Archer, an American pilot who had served in the RFC. The Cockburn-Lange hoax persisted until it was exposed by Peter M. Grosz, a German aviation author (Princeton, NJ), and Karl S. Schneide, from the Aeronautics Department of the National Air and Space Museum, in the early 1980s.