Ghost Army

Inflatable Tank
Inflatable Tank

THE 23RD WAS OFFICIALLY ACTIVATED on January 20, 1944, and the bulk of the unit Headquarters Special Troops arrived in England in May, shortly before D-Day. Led by regular army veteran Colonel Harry L. Reeder, this highly irregular unit would go to war with three types of tools: visual, sonic, and radio. Visual deception was handled by the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. Many of this battalion’s men were artists recruited from New York and Philadelphia art schools. (The outfit was said to have the highest IQ in the army.) In stolen moments of spare time they painted and sketched everything they saw, creating a unique visual record of the war. “We were sleeping in hedgerows and foxholes,” says John Jarvie, “but nothing ever kept us from going someplace to do a watercolor.” One of the artists was a 21-year-old from Indiana named Bill Blass. Fellow veterans recall that the future fashion designer read Vogue magazine in his foxhole, and his wartime notebooks are filled with sketches of women’s fashions. He was one of many Ghost Army soldiers who went on to prominent postwar art careers.

Ellsworth Kelly would become one of the nation’s foremost painters and sculptors. Arthur Singer’s drawings of birds would eventually illustrate dozens of books and a series of US postage stamps. Art Kane’s photograph of 57 musicians on a stoop in Harlem would become a jazz art icon. And Ed Haas would be credited as one of the creators of the 1960s television show The Munsters. To pull off its visual trickery, the 603rd was equipped with truckloads of inflatable tanks, cannons, jeeps, trucks, and even airplanes. With these they created dummy armored formations, motor pools, and artillery batteries that looked like the real thing from the air. Attention to detail was critical in concocting convincing illusions. Bulldozers even scraped fake tread-tracks in the ground leading up to 93-pound, inflatable Sherman tanks. Working with these faux tanks had its lighter moments. Corporal Arthur Shilstone was on guard duty one day when he halted two Frenchmen on bicycles who accidentally wandered past his post. “They weren’t looking at me,” he says. “They were looking over my shoulder. And what they thought they saw was four GIs picking up what was a 40-ton Sherman tank and turning it around.” As they searched for an explanation, Shilstone finally told them “The Americans are very strong.”

Ghost Army Bill HR2170

Ghost Army Feature June 2013

Technetronic Revolution

Human Brain Chips

The paradox of our time is that humanity is becoming simultaneously more unified and more fragmented. That is the principal thrust of contemporary change. Time and space have become so compressed that global politics manifest a tendency toward larger, more interwoven forms of cooperation as well as toward the dissolution of established institutional and ideological loyalties. Humanity is becoming more integral and intimate even as the differences in the condition of the separate societies are widening. Under these circumstances proximity, instead of promoting unity, gives rise to tensions prompted by a new sense of global congestion. A new pattern of international politics is emerging.

The world is ceasing to be an arena in which relatively self contained, “sovereign,” and homogeneous nations interact, collaborate, clash, or make war. International politics, in the original sense of the term, were born when groups of people began to identify themselves— and others—in mutually exclusive terms (territory, language, symbols, beliefs), and when that identification became in turn the dominant factor in relations between these groups. The concept of national interest—based on geographical factors, traditional animosities or friendships, economics, and security considerations— implied a degree of autonomy and specificity that was possible only so long as nations were sufficiently separated in time and space to have both the room to maneuver and the distance needed to maintain separate identity.

Between Two Ages

Trilateral Commission

Climate Change

Climate Change

1 There must be a climate for change in order for the restructuring of local government to occur, whether this restructuring involves drastic reform, reorganization, modernization, or a minor administrative realignment. While the following does not represent an exclusive 1 st, the factors mentioned here are those which most often create such a climate:

a. a Collapse of government’s ability to provide needed services;
b. a Crisis of major magnitude;
c. a Catastrophe that has a physical effect on the community;
d. the Corruption of local officials and
e. the hi g h Cost of Government and the desire for a higher level of services.

2. Some change will occur, in one form or another, if any of the first four factors (Collapse, Crisis, Catastrophe or Corruption) are present, especially when they are of major dimension. It is up to governmental leaders who are directly affected to employ the available alternatives. However, information obtained during the research study does not indicate that any of these four factors are currently generating a climate for change in California.

The Plan to Collapse the Government