Category:
Weapons

Remco Monkey Gun

Nerf missiles? For wimps!



Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 15, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Destruction, Toys, 1960s, Weapons

Project Capricious

During World War II, the OSS (precursor to the CIA) hatched a plan to defeat General Rommel's Afrika Korps by using synthetic goat poop. The idea was to drop huge amounts of pathogen-laced pseudo-poop over African towns. Local insects would be attracted to the stuff and would then carry the pathogens to Rommel's troops. However, before the plan could be carried out, Rommel's troops were withdrawn from the area and sent to Russia.

Jeffrey Lockwood tells the story in more detail in his book Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War.

In February 1942, General Rommel's Afrika Korps pummeled U.S. forces in North Africa, and the Americans became worried that their defeat would encourage fascist Spain to join the Axis alliance. Moreover, the Germans were amassing troops in Morocco, in preparation for cutting off the railroad from Casablance to Algiers — the sole supply line for Allied forces. A covert operation was needed to debilitate the German troops, break the momentum of the Axis, and save the Allied lifeline... This called for flies.

The plan was to weaken the enemy forces by using flies to spread a witch's brew of pathogens. Given the agency's inability to rear an army of flies, [OSS Research Director] Lovell decided to conscript the local vectors...

Lovell was a chemist, but he'd been out of the laboratory often enough to know that flies love dung. And with a bit of research, he discovered a key demographic fact: There were more goats than people in Morocco — and goat are prolific producers of poop. Lovell now had the secret formula: microbes + feces + flies = sick Germans. Now all he needed was a few tons of goat droppings as a carrier for laboratory-cultured pathogens.

The OSS collaborated closely with the Canadian entomological warfare experts to launch one of the more preposterous innovations in the history of clandestine weaponry: synthetic goat dung. Of course flies are no fools; they won't be taken in by any old brown lump. So the OSS team added a chemical attractant. The nature of this lure is not clear, but a bit of sleuthing provides some clues.

Allied scientists might have crafted a chemical dinner bell by collecting and concentrating the stinky chemicals that we associate with human feces (indole and the appropriately named skatole). While these extracts would have worked, the more likely attractant was a blend of organic acids, some of which had been known for 150 years. Two of the smelliest of these are caproic and caprylic acids, which, by no coincidence, derive their names from caprinus, meaning "goat." Etymologically as well as entomologically astute, Lovell named the operation Project Capricious. So with a scent to entice the flies, Lovell's team then coated the rubbery pellets in bacteria to complete the lures.

All the Americans had to do was drop loads of pathogenic pseudo-poop over towns and villages where the Germans were garrisoned, and millions of local flies would be drawn to the bait, pick up a dose of microbes, and then dutifully deliver the bacteria to the enemy. Lovell worried about keeping the operation clandestine. The Moroccans had to be persuaded that finding goat droppings on their roofs the morning after Allied aircraft flew over was a sheer coincidence. Presumably a good disinformation campaign can dispel almost any suspicion, or, as Lovell intimated, if the plan succeeded there would be very few people in any condition to raise annoying questions about fecal pellets on rooftops...

In the end, however, Lovell didn't have to worry about getting caught by either friends or foes, as the secret weapon was never deployed. Just as the OSS was gearing up to launch the sneak attack, the German troops were withdrawn from Spanish Morocco. They might well have preferred to take their chances with pathogen-laden flies, given that Hitler was sending them to the bloody siege of Stalingrad.


Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 20, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Insects, Military, War, Weapons, Excrement, 1940s

Killer Rat



Our beloved Chuck Shepherd had a category in NOTW that might even have been finally considered "no longer weird." DOG SHOOTS OWNER.

But so far as I know, he never had a rat pulling the trigger.

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 19, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Death, Children, 1920s, Weapons

Follies of the Madmen #400



And just as lethal!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Dec 10, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Business, Advertising, Death, Tools, 1920s, Weapons

Mouth Gun



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 08, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Chindogu, 1910s, Weapons

Bugsy Siegel and Atomite

One of the mobster's lesser-known rackets.

Source of text.

Di Frasso and Siegel pictured below the text.



Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 01, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Frauds, Cons and Scams, 1930s, Europe, Weapons

The Seamaster Airplane

A jet that takes off and lands from water? Filled with nuclear bombs? What could go wrong?

Wikipedia page.





Source of foto.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 25, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Technology, War, Weapons, Air Travel and Airlines, 1950s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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.

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