Category:
Military

GI Joe Trouble Shooter

The video is a hoot, what with a deranged bird and the famous "Kung Fu Grip." But I am also intrigued by the descriptions of the control panel buttons. Did the set come with labels so you could change the button names? I suspect not. So..."Washington" is a given. Stay in touch with HQ. "Code X7" is suitably mysterious. But "Jungle" and "Arctic" are ultra-generic, whereas "Burma" and "Tibet" are ultra-specific. Why those two countries anyhow? Commie (Cobra) hotspots?

A page devoted to the toy.







Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 24, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Animals, Military, Motor Vehicles, Toys, 1970s

Armored Shorts

According to info on quora.com, there's been a long, ongoing effort to develop armored shorts. However, soldiers inevitably find them uncomfortable, even though they appreciate the effort to protect their private parts.

Such shorts are sometimes referred to as 'tactical diapers' or 'battle nappies'.

I like the detail that the armored shorts (below) developed during the Korean War were "capable of deflecting about 65 per cent of all missiles."



Louisville Courier-Journal - Dec 11, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 20, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Fashion, Military, 1950s

Asleep in the deep with a jeep

A 1943 AP story about a jeep that traveled around the Pacific tied to a submarine became the centerpiece of an ad for ice cream the following year. The somewhat tenuous connection between the two was that the submarine crew eventually sold the jeep to a warship in exchange for three gallons of ice cream.

Nebraska State Journal - Aug 6, 1943



National Geographic - July 1944



Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 16, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Military, Advertising, 1940s, Cars

Personal Cleanliness

NOTE: stereotypical African cannibal imagery at end of film.



Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 20, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Hygiene, Military, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1940s

Braless at the asparagus banquet

1978: Hannelore Nelson was fired from her job as a translator with the U.S. Army in Germany for not wearing a bra while attending an asparagus banquet in Mainz, where she was translating for Gen. David Martin. At least, the General thought she wasn't wearing a bra. Nelson protested that she definitely had been wearing one, and she got the Mayor and Police Chief of Mainz to back her up ("Both said they saw nothing"). She eventually received $20,000 in compensation for wrongful termination.

Oakland Tribune - May 31, 1978



Red Deer Advocate - June 16, 1978



And in other Army brassiere news, the U.S. Army has recently developed a "tactical brassiere" which will be the first official uniform bra the Army has offered its female soldiers.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Aug 09, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Military, Underwear, 1970s

Smelling the Enemy: The Odortype Detection Program

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched the "Odortype Detection Program" in 2002. It had two goals:

The goal of Phase 1 will be to determine whether an exploitable, robust signature corresponding to individual human odortype exists...

The goal of Phase 2 will be to build a detector that can reliably detect the signature identified in phase 1 with high sensitivity and specificity.

By 2007, DARPA had changed the name of the program to the "Unique Signature Detection Program," but its goals remained essentially the same:

to determine, by means of a well-developed scientific methodology, whether there are unique signatures in emanations that can be used to identify and distinguish specific high-level-of-interest individuals within groups of enemy troops or combatants, and if so, to develop enabling technology for detecting and identifying those specific signatures. The program consists of an interdisciplinary team of performers using state-of-the-art techniques to evaluate the statistical, biological and chemical nature of individual emanations. Once the nature of the chemosignal has been characterized, performers will determine the impact of non-genetic factors (e.g., diet, stress, health, age) on the signal in order to determine whether the signal can be robustly extracted from a complex and varied chemical background. If an exploitable robust signature is identified, the program will then pursue detector development.

I haven't been able to find out what's become of the program since 2007. Though I'd wager that the U.S. government hasn't completely abandoned the idea since being able to identify people by their smell would be a hard-to-defeat surveillance technology. (Assuming that we all really do have a unique 'odortype' that can't be camouflaged with fragrance or by eating stinky food).

However, I did find a report on the program from 2005 that included the interesting detail that they field-tested the technology on seven sets of twins at Williamsburg, VA and Research Triangle Park, NC:

a field study was planned and conducted by RTI. In this study, identical twins and a family member (sibling or parent) were recruited. Each group went to either Williamsburg, VA, or Research Triangle Park, NC, for a four-day stay at a hotel. During this stay, daily sweat samples were collected onto polydimethylsiloxane membranes, as described in earlier reports to DARPA/ARO. A total of seven sets of twins were recruited. The goal was 30 twin pairs. Given the relatively poor response rate and the need for project resources to adequately address the data processing and statistical analysis needs of the overall USD program, the field study was terminated.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 12, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Military, Spies and Intelligence Services, Smells and Odors

Army Basic Training in Sound

Want to pretend at home that you've been drafted? Here you go!



Posted By: Paul - Wed May 25, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Military, Vinyl Albums and Other Media Recordings, Simulations, Make-Believe, Cosplay and other Pretend Situations, 1950s

Tank Pigeons

Tanks were first used in combat during World War I, but they often relied on a very old-fashioned form of communication: pigeons.

From military-history.org:

Where cumbersome, insecure, and unreliable wireless sets, along with telephones, signal lights, and flares failed, pigeons succeeded. When human runners could not pass through walls of barrage fire, pigeons rose above the explosions and the gas and flew swiftly to their lofts, bearing dispatches in tiny cylinders attached to their legs.

A pigeon about to be thrown from a tank during World War I

Posted By: Alex - Sun May 01, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Military, War, 1910s

Anti-Submarine Seagulls

During World War I the British Navy attempted to train seagulls to reveal the presence of German submarines. The idea was to use a dummy periscope "from which at intervals food would be discharged like sausage-meat from a machine." The birds would, hopefully, learn to associate periscopes with food and would then fly around approaching German submarines, revealing where they were.

Initial tests were conducted by Admiral Sir Frederick Inglefield in Poole harbour in Dorset. Inglefield tried to train the birds not only to fly around periscopes, but also to poop on them.

Subsequent tests were briefly conducted in 1917, but then the Navy abandoned the idea.

One private inventor, Thomas Mills, refused to give up on the idea. In 1918 he patented what he called an "apparatus for use in connection with the location of submarines" (Patent GB116,976). It was basically a dummy periscope that disgorged ribbons of food.

Unfortunately for Mills, the development of sonar then made submarine-detecting seagulls unnecessary.

More info: "Avian Anti-Submarine Warfare Proposals In Britain, 1915-18: The Admiralty And Thomas Mills," by David A.H. Wilson in the International Journal of Naval History - Apr 2006, 5(1).

Thomas Mills' seagull-training device



Mills and his invention

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 27, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Military, Patents, 1910s

“Next” by Scott Walker



Although not the writer of the tune, Scott Walker really sells this tale of soldiers and hookers.

His Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 01, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Military, Music, Sexuality, 1970s

Page 1 of 6 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›




weird universe thumbnail
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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
September 2022 •  August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •