In Search of Better Stories

Nuking the Moon

      Desperate times call for desperate measures. This book details some serious eyebrow-raising measures undertaken by the U.S. government and its allies to beat back its mortal enemies: The Germans, the Japanese, and the Communists. None of these bizarre, if not creative, ideas ever made beyond the research and development stage, but even still, as the pages flew by, I found myself saying, “No way!” followed by, “What? That’s crazy!” and then, “Wait a minute, that might work.” Whatever you think of these ideas, the book is super interesting. Here are a couple to give you a taste of the crazy creativity found in this book:

  • Bat Bombs: Capture thousands of bats from Mexico, and refrigerate them so they go into hibernation mode. Militarize the bats by zap-strapping napalm to their legs, load them into big airplanes, fly to Japan and drop the bats over Japanese cities. The winged warriors will reawaken as they fall and instinctually find refuge in the largely wood-framed buildings below. Once the bats nestle into all the nooks and crannies, a timer will set off the napalm. Bye, bye bats, but also goodbye, city, because the first-ever precision-guided missile strike in human history will have just happened. They practiced this in Arizona, the mock town they built was set ablaze, and a nearby airbase was burned to the ground. If it had not been for the development of the Atom bomb, a lot of bats would have made the trip to Japan and given up their lives for freedoms cause.


  • Iceberg Air Craft Carriers: WW2 required these huge water-based airfields, but they were crazy expensive and very vulnerable to attack. What is huge, floats and is largely unsinkable? Why not turn icebergs into aircraft carriers? Brilliant? First, they learned that an actual iceberg wouldn’t work, then as they figured out how to make their own big blocks of ice, these creative war scientists discovered that if they mixed wood pulp with it, it became 100x more indestructible. Lake Louise Alberta was the testing site, and in the 1940s, if you just happened to be backpacking by this iconic Western Canadian lake, you could witness U.S. special forces trying to blow massive chunks of ice and wood pulp out of the water without success. Eventually, the plan was scrapped; the ice needed was too great for realistic production.


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