The upcoming movie The Men Who Stare at Goats tells the story of a military operation that attempted to create Jedi warriors who could teleport through walls and kill goats by staring at them. It all sounds pretty far-fetched ... until you realize that it's based on a true story, and it's just one of many bizarre operations Cold War-era militaries pursued seriously.
See, the Cold War was never really about physical combat. It was more like telling stories around a campfire: Whoever had the scariest idea, wins. And killing goats with your eyes was just the tip of the pant-crappingly crazy iceberg.
In the years before the first lunar landing, the United States was lagging behind a bit in the space race. The Soviets had both the first satellite and the first human being in space, while the United States had two thumbs and an asshole and that was about it. The U.S. realized that it would need something truly grand to one-up Captain Pinko and his Kosmonaut Armada, and that turned out to be the moon landing. But the lunar landing was the second draft of the plan; the first draft, as usual, was a bit nukier.
A whole lot nukier, actually.
Project A119 was a plan to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile at the Terminator, which is what John Connor would have done if "teaching it how to love" didn't play out in T2. Wait, sorry--the "Terminator" in this case refers to the dividing line between the dark and light side of the moon.
A large explosion on the Terminator line would put the sun behind the mushroom cloud, making the explosion visible with the naked eye from Earth. Presumably this is because the scientists in question were using prison logic: If you don't want to end up somebody's man-wife, you gotta kill the first random guy you see and make everybody else think you're crazy.
"You wanna survive in space? You gotta nuke something on the first day or else become Saturn's bitch."
The entire project was classified, of course, so it was given a slightly more innocuous sounding name than Project Nuke-A-Moon. They decided to call it "A Study of Lunar Research Flights," which may have been going a bit too far; that's like calling a serial rapist a "Can-do Casanova."
Fortunately, the United States came down off their explosion high and realized that nuking an orbiting planetary body for no particular reason might cross the line between "illustrating our technical prowess" and "cartoonish supervillainy," so they scrapped the plan and sent Armstrong up to land on the bastard instead. Think about that for a second: Neil Armstrong is considered a valid replacement for a nuclear missile.
"The name's Armstrong, but friends call me A-Bomb."
The Americans didn't have the market cornered on psychotic R and D. On the other side of the Atlantic, the British had just put the finishing touches on their new nuclear bomb. Weighing in at seven tons, the Blue Peacock was a tactical nuclear device capable of a 10-kiloton explosion--just slightly less than that of Little Boy, the first nuke ever detonated.
So why the downgrade? Isn't the point of explosions to make them bigger and bigger until everybody forgets how small your penis is?
"Who's impotent now, car?!"
Well, the British needed a new and novel defense in case the Soviets came over the border of East Germany and so, instead of dropping the bomb from a plane, they decided to put the nukes in the ground. Nuclear landmines!
For safety's sake, each bomb came with a 10-second fuse, and while that's not long enough to disarm the bomb or get away to safety, it is probably long enough for the victim to repent a life's worth of regrets, chief amongst them being their tendency to frolic in German fields.
"The hiiills are alllliiiive with the sound o- AAUUGH OH GOD WHAT'S THAT LIGHT?! WHY HAVE MY HANDS FUSED TOGETHER!?"
The bombs did have one major flaw, however: Burying anything in the ground during the winter would make it susceptible to intense cold, which could possibly affect the electronics. So the folks back in research and development started brainstorming:
"We could wrap it in blankets!" said one brilliant scientist.
"How about fiberglass insulation?" offered another.
"Why not just install a heater?" asked one sane and competent man.
"I like chicken!" screamed a random passing retard, completely unrelated to the science division in any way.
Guess which one they went with?
The chickens. The idea was they would be given enough food and water to stay alive for about a week, and the then their body heat would (somehow) keep the bomb's electronics defrosted enough to function.
In the long run, the project was canceled because the top brass thought that it wasn't politically savvy to plant nukes in Allied territory, or at least that was the official story.
But we all know it was probably those pussies at PETA again, having some sort of "moral objection" to underground nuclear-armed chicken prisons.