*                                                             *
*    WPA - New York        April 1, 1996                      *
*                                                             *

Czech officials confirmed yesterday that the male body found a week ago in East Siberia belonged to the long lost Czech genius Jara da Cimrman. Cimrman was positively identified by prof. Jan Ceplecha (born 1906) who was one of Cimrman's last pupils in the North Bohemian village Liptakov shortly before his mysterious disappearance in 1914. No one is sure yet what exactly brought Cimrman to Siberia, but some sources indicate that he might have been dragged there by the Bolshevik Secret Police. Any conclusions in this matter, however, would be premature at this time.

As we have already informed you, the appearance of the body itself has caused a great deal of excitement throughout the world, since according to Russian health authorities the body is in a state of suspended animation and there is an 89.3% chance that he can be brought back to life. Since a little notebook written in Czech was discovered in his pocket, the body was promptly flown to Prague, where it now resides in the "Bulovka" hospital. From then on, the eyes of the world's media have been riveted to Cimrman's fate and all the major networks are already negotiating with the Czech government for the price of the "interview of the century". So far it seems that the man who lay frozen for more than 80 years will appear on a Larry King Live special, broadcast from Prague.

As a gesture of solidarity, Japanese electronic firm Panasonic shipped to Prague its giant microwave oven with a specially designed slow defrosting regime, while most of world's medical schools are sending their best experts there to assist their Czech colleagues in what is supposed to be one of the most difficult tasks of modern medicine. Among the first to arrive in "Bulovka" were representants of Kansas University Medical Center, Miyazaki Medical College, Yale Medical School and the Rheumatology Department of the University of Florida. The already huge interest in this miracle of modern medicine was greatly amplified after it was disclosed that the body belongs to Jara Cimrman, who is thought to have taken many revolutionary inventions with him to his grave.

As a result of this dislosure, the stock market is now in its most unstable position since the 1930s, since nobody is sure which technologies will be deemed by Cimrman as viable for the next century. Bill Gates is calling Cimrman's personal physician Dr. Vrbsky every 5 minutes to inquire about the progress of Cimrman's healing. Industry forecasters projected that phone calls to Prague will be the biggest item on MicroSoft's budget this year. Gates is primarily interested in Cimrman's operating system "Appendix '98", which Cimrman devised in 1898 during his internship in Tanvald Municipal Hospital. Cimrman's system was one of the fastest at the time, allowing doctors to perform up to 5 operations per minute. At such a speed, of course, not all of the operations were succesful, which is probably the reason why Cimrman's system was later renamed to "Widows '99".

But other companies are taking notice too. All the major corporations from Silicon Valley are moving their research facilities to the Liptakov area, which is supposed to become the future hub of the semiconductor industry. Representatives of IBM, HP and Novell Inc. are trying to locate sites in the area suitable for construction, while Silicon Graphics Inc. has already started building its headquarters in nearby Tanvald. It is no wonder, because semiconductors were Cimrman's favorite toy (before he invented the squirt gun).

The officials of the University of California decided today to set up another campus of the UC system, this time outside California in Liptakov, where Cimrman is supposed to reside. It is well known that Cimrman is an ardent patriot and it is thus very unlikely that he'd accept a position at Berkeley, Los Angeles or Santa Barbara. As the spokesman of the University told the press today:" Since Cimrman won't come to the UC, the UC has to come to him". Because Cimrman's reputation is expected to attract high quality research it is possible, that in the future the University of California at Liptakov will become one of the top ranked US schools.

The chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nobel Foundation, Mr. Bengt Samuelsson, proposed yesterday that all the capital of the Foundation be transferred to Cimrman's personal account at "Zivnostenska Banka" in Prague. According to his report, all the Nobel prizes from now on would go to Cimrman anyway, and therefore it would be technically much easier to just give him the whole amount, rather than make complicated annual transactions. "With Cimrman alive, it would be a farce to give the same man all the prizes every year" he concluded. Other members of the Board pointed out, however, that Cimrman might perhaps choose to give some pocket money to the outstanding researchers of his choice. Mr. Samuelsson expressed hope, that this allowance, tentatively called "The Cimrman-Nobel Award" will continue the spirit of Alfred Nobel's will.

An emergency meeting of OPEC was held yesterday in Kuwait. The leaders of oil-producing countries were trying to evaluate exactly how much Cimrman might remember about his revolutionary engine fueled by salt water. Although Cimrman initially experimented with the ordinary gasoline engine, after unleashing the power of salt water, he regarded the combustion engine as one of his famous blind alleys of science. It is clear that if he can fully reconstruct his salt water engine, major changes in the car industry and an inevitable drop in oil prices will follow. After pondering all the consequences for OPEC, the delegates finally decided to bribe Cimrman by an undisclosed nine digit figure to help him forget about this particular invention. The only party who didn't sign the resulting agreement was a delegation from Venezuela, whose members were last seen at the Kuwait City Airport boarding a plane to Prague and murmuring "Caramba, Caramba...".

The story unfolds as we print, so stay tuned...