A monster fly three feet in length and with an 18 inch dagger like tongue caused mayhem when it escaped from a laboratory and went on the rampage in Yorkshire in February, 1932. This is according to a contemporary Bulgarian newspaper and reported by Reuters in several British papers several months later when it created quite a buzz. It was not reported immediately, as it was feared the killer fly would cause panic in London if the populace knew.[i] Or so we are told…
The story begins in Tanganyika, modern day Tanzania. An investigator from a British expedition into the jungle found three 26 inch long eggs that were unknown to science. The eggs were put in an incubator and shipped back to England where they were taken to the laboratory of a ‘learned Society’.
One night, the laboratory caretaker was woken from his sleep by a loud roar that sounded like an aeroplane taking off. This noise was followed by the barking of his dog, and then silence.
The caretaker rushed to the laboratory to find his dog was dead – ‘pierced as if by a rapier’. Two of the mysterious eggs were on the floor, while the third had apparently hatched judging by the fragments of shell it had left. Furthermore, the laboratory window was smashed and the monster – whatever it was – had escaped.
A professor was sent for and examined the remaining eggs and pronounced they were from a large bird. However, when one of these eggs was smashed open, it revealed a huge fly that was three feet long with an 18 inch dagger like tongue. The professor duly reported this to the Home Office and the police were instructed to hunt down the monster insect.
The fly then made its way to Yorkshire, where by day it hid in the trees but at night feasted on several hapless sheep, killing many before it was eventually traced.
As police approached the monster in armoured cars, it flew up in the air with a deafening roar and then escaped out to sea. However, the British Navy were called and after pursuing the fly managed to shoot it down.
The Bulgarian source (according to Reuters) said the story originally came from the British newspaper Daily Step, though I can find no reference to this publication, and it seems an unusual name for an English language paper. One can only assume it was a giant hoax by Bulgarian newspapers (or Reuter’s Sofia office).
Let’s hope so, because if not, then one of those monster eggs is still unaccounted for and may be frozen somewhere in a London laboratory waiting to be thawed, hatched and unleashed on an unsuspecting population. Perhaps the boffins should prepare for this eventuality with some gain of function research – genetically engineering a giant spider to catch the giant fly…
But of course, nasty things like that would never escape from a modern laboratory…
[i] Sheffield Daily Telegraph 12 December 1932; Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer 12 December 1932
2 thoughts on “Monster Fly Attacks Yorkshire!”
How did you find about this, Paul? No, never heard of the Daily Step. Fake News back in 1932?? How long has fake news been going on? I thought it was a relatively modern phenomenon.
I came across it in the newspaper archive while looking for something else. I wonder if it’s a Bulgarian April Fools joke that got translated a few months after the fact?