February 1967: Munich resident Helmut G. Winter was sick and tired of the noise of military aircraft flying low over his house. So he built a catapult and started launching Bavarian potato dumplings at the planes.
In one week he launched 120 dumplings. He never managed to score a direct hit. But eventually both the West German Luftwaffe and American pilots conceded defeat and agreed to a flight path that avoided his house.
Reportedly, he gave the Americans a model of his dumpling cannon as a gesture of thanks, inscribed "As a souvenir and a warning — Helmut G. Winter, The Bavarian Dumpling Shot." I bet this model has now been lost or thrown away, instead of being in a museum where it belongs.
Army researchers are conducting a study to try to improve the healthfulness of MREs (meals, ready-to-eat), and they're looking for volunteers.
To qualify to participate, you need to live near Natick, Massachusetts and be willing to eat MREs (and nothing but MREs) for 21 days.
But the researchers say the lack of variety won't really be that bad because they've managed to come up with a book of recipes using only MRE ingredients. Recipes include "everything from specialty beverages ('Canteen Irish Cream Latte') to main dishes ('Bunker Hill Burritos') to desserts ('Fort Bliss-ful Pudding Cake')."
Somebody in ordering is in trouble! The Air Force has recalled lip balm that contains THC due to the use of hemp oil in it. Its too low a dose to show up on a drug screen but, you know, zero tolerance and all that.
ARMY ORIGINALITY — To boost morale, the Army Materiel Command recently held a contest to name its new national headquarters. More than 524 names were suggested, and the AMC's official Contest Committee to Name the New Building solemnly studied the offerings. At last, Maj. Gen. Charles T. Horner, the AMC chief of staff, announced with pride: "The name of the new AMC building is the AMC BUILDING." The lucky winner, Francis Sikorski, received $100 in appropriated monies for his shrewd suggestion.
The AMC Building - 5001 Eisenhower Ave. via Flickr.
I first encountered the story of how the AMC Building got its name in Chuck's 1989 News of the Weird book. Later, I also noticed it in National Lampoon's True Facts. So because I'm amusing myself over at about.com by telling the story of some classic weird news stories in more depth, I recently decided to try to find out if there were any more details to the AMC story. For instance, what other names were submitted in the contest? Were all the other entries so bad that the committee decided it had to choose the most obvious name possible? Or was this really just "army originality" at work.
But after a lot of digging, I've come up empty.
The story of the name-choosing contest is mentioned in the Army Materiel Command's own official history (pdf), published in 2013. So I contacted the AMC and asked them if they knew of any more details to the story. Their pr rep contacted the historians, who returned the answer that, no, that's all there is to the story. No other details survive. So we'll never know exactly why the "AMC Building" was the winning entry in the "Name the new AMC Building" contest.
But I can report that the AMC Building no longer houses the headquarters of the AMC. The AMC moved out of the Eisenhower Ave. building in 2002, relocating its headquarters first to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and later to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where it currently can be found.
Back in 1951, the U.S. Army was told it needed to cut costs, so it initiated the "cost-consciousness" program. This involved putting price tags on all the equipment, so that the soldiers could see how much everything cost. The theory was that this would make them use the equipment more "wisely and well."
After the program was implemented, one Army Reserve staffer said, "It looks just like a department store here."
This post is a bit early, but for good reason. This year on Veterans Day Bob Evans is honoring all military personnel, past and present, by offering free breakfast to all of you on Veterans Day. So, I am doing my Veterans Day post early to inform all of our esteemed veterans and active duty WUVians so that you have a chance to enjoy a free breakfast. Thank you all for your service.
What do you suppose would be the most inappropriate Halloween costume to wear to any military base, especially Ft. Bragg? Yep, emergency response was initiated and a gate was shut down over some idiot showing up to the base in a suicide bomber costume.
If sailors in the Norwegian Navy want to grow a beard, they must submit a form requesting permission to do so. This form should include a drawing of what their beard will look like. Redditor "aellgutta" recently shared a photo of such a form that he submitted, along with a translation:
On the top it says "BEARD APPLICATION", then it's rank/ military ID-number, full name and platoon/ division. Then it says "Reason:" to which I wrote "I get irritated skin from daily shaving and it's starting to get cold outside." Under the sketch I drew, it says "DRAW HERE!" and at the bottom the Lieutenant has written that he will inspect it after the next excercise (which gave me about 2,5 weeks) followed by a stamp to show my application was accepted.
Books Selected and endorsed for Pure Weirdness by Your WU Team
Who We Are
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.