Uncle Sam wants you. You already knew that. But for a brief time, he also wanted your favorite flying Austin, Texas, mascot.
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. military once recruited hundreds of Mexican free-tailed bats in a plot to blow up Japanese cities during World War II. These bats (the largest urban colony of which famously lives in present-day Austin) were meant to carry bombs and roost in Japanese buildings, where they would, well ... explode.
This is the part where you take a breath and collect yourself. You will need the oxygen for your brain. Go for a walk. Text your friend back. Things are about to get wild. Best to get your affairs in order. Because here are some of the other batty details about Project X-Ray (I know, right?) in the Post’s story:
The plan got rubber-stamped by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The whole scheme was cooked up by a Pennsylvania dentist.
Special bat-sized bombs had to be invented, using parts from a factory owned by Bing Crosby.
Finding it difficult to control the winged wonders, the military tried refrigerating them to make them sleepy; they either woke too late and fell to earth like bat-bricks, or woke too soon and escaped.
The whole scheme ended with the bats and their bombs set most of a New Mexico military base on fire, including making a general’s car go “boom.”
The Post’s whole tale is worth examining in detail. And since time is a big ol’ loop, the newspaper also reported that the U.S. military is once again interested in the military application of bats. Their present-day target? Russian bioweapons.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Airman 1st Class Isaiah Edwards has been sentenced to 35 years in prison after a military jury found him guilty of murder in connection with the death of a fellow airman in Guam, Air Force officials announced on Tuesday.
A Russian man got drunk as all hell and tried to hijack an airplane on Tuesday, according to Russian news agencies.
So, pretty much your typical day in Siberia. No seriously: As Reuters notes, "drunken incidents involving passengers on commercial flights in Russia are fairly common, though it is unusual for them to result in flights being diverted."