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The CIA Had A Top-Secret Manual To Help U-2 Pilots Avoid Crapping Their Pants At 70,000 Feet
How exactly do the pilots of one of the world's most sophisticated spy plane take a dump during flights of between 8 and 12 hours at twice the altitude of commercial airliners?
The answer is simple, according to the CIA: They don't.
Back in 1962, the CIA put out a top-secret manual explaining the ins and outs of why and how U-2 pilots could go through a long surveillance flight while, well, keeping their own waste in.
While operating at an altitude of 70,000 feet, the U-2 reconnaissance plane's low pressure required pilots take special precautions to avoid a grisly end, from a pre-flight diet of pure oxygen to a pressurized flight suit.
"If nitrogen remains even after pre-breathing and the pilot goes up," as Air & Space explained, "the thin atmosphere will cause the nitrogen dissolved in the body’s blood and tissue to essentially boil." That the U-2 even manages to operate at all without liquifying its pilots is something of a minor miracle.
Flight suits came with a special contraption to handle urine, but defecating was simply a no-go at cruising altitudes. “We’d ruin the suit,” as U-2 pilot Capt. Michael Opresko told Stars & Stripes. “So for that reason, we eat a high-protein, low-residue diet.”
Ironically, the Central Intelligence Agency's guide to feces-free spy plane operations has remained classified for decades — until now. Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, the folks at MuckRock managed to surface the agency's 1962 manual for "physical maintenance control," including the controlled pre-flight diet and regimen of pilots.
U-2 pilots need a "high protein, low residue diet ... to provide foods which can be almost completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract" for at least 24 hours prior to a mission, "thereby leaving a minimum of residue for the formation of feces and intestinal gases," according to the CIA manual.
"This obviates the need for frequent defecation and decreases the likelihood of significant gaseous expansion in the intestinal tract."
The bottom line: Less need to shit means less chance of your shit exploding in your gut. Gross.
That core U-2 pilot diet consists of "meat, rice, eggs, sugar" and "small amounts of fruit juices, tea, and coffee," per the CIA:
Banned foods, on the other hand, include everything good in this world:
No word yet on whether the U-2 diet pairs with any other military-related activities, but if you do choose to give it a shot, send us a status report.
You can read the entire handbook at MuckRock.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.