Submitted by Dick Martin
Robert Preiskel, Bucknell class of 1915, was killed on March 26, 1919 in Europe during WWI. His mother, back in the United States, was an invalid, and it was thought would succumb if told of the death of her son. Consequently, her family conspired to devise a plan to make it look like her son was still alive and working in Europe.
The plan consisted of her family writing a number of fictitious letters to her, allegedly from her deceased son. When her son-in-law periodically made trips to Europe, he would drop the letters off with an acquaintance who would then periodically mail the letters to the mother, allowing her to continue to think her son was still alive. This hoax continued for ten years until 1929 when Robert’s mother died of other causes, content that her son would soon return to the United States and take a government job.
See the winter issue of the Bucknell Magazine for the entire story.