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Col. Richard Meinertzhagen (1878-1967) was an acclaimed British war hero, a secret agent, and a dean of international ornithology. Many of the adventures recorded in his celebrated diaries were imaginary; he committed a half-century of major and costly scientific fraud, which was discovered in the 1990s - he had stolen bird specimens of major collections such as the Natural History Museum in London, and fabricated data to go with them.