Bikini-clad members of a group calling themselves the "Cannon College CoEds" gather around a cannon stolen from Caltech's campus.
Bikini-clad members of a group calling themselves the "Cannon College CoEds" gather around a cannon stolen from Caltech's campus. Reuters
Oh those wacky college kids. The nerds at MIT have managed to steal a giant cannon from the campus of Caltech. On Thursday, the cannon was discovered thousands of miles from Pasadena on the MIT campus with a plaque referring to Caltech as the "previous owners."
But the amazing thing about this story is that it happened once before. Twenty years ago, a group of Harvey Mudd students pulled the same prank and moved the cannon to their campus. Tonight, NPR's Melissa Block speaks with David Somers, who planned the original heist.
"It's not just like stealing a goat," he says. "This is an antique more than 100 years old. It weighs two tons. It's an engineering project unto itself just to move this thing without breaking it."
Somers says that back in the day, the Harvey Mudd students came prepared with fake work orders and decoy students to throw off security. It appears that the modern day pranksters used the same techniques to steal the cannon again, twenty years to the day later.
Somers says "repeating a prank has that extra slap in the face appeal that's always good in a college rivalry."
Whoever transplanted the cannon this time is lying low. Caltech has filed grand-theft charges and demanded the cannon back. I think it's safe to say that Caltech students will be planning a sweeter revenge. Check out the top ten college pranks of all time.