#2. Operation Northwoods
The United States just plain doesn't like Cuba. And it's easy to see why: It just hangs out down there, suspiciously close to Florida's personal space, looking like it's about to reach out and touch America's Dong at any minute. That just doesn't sit right with us, man.
From 1962 to 1964, the CIA compiled an exhaustive collection of plans to help topple Cuba. Aside from the obvious "country-wide wedgies" and the sinister "tell South America they've been talkin' shit," there were far more disturbing ideas under consideration.
One of the most prominent plans was Operation Northwoods, a proposal to create terrorism on American soil, blame it on Cuba and thus give the U.S. a reason to bomb the living shit out of Castro.
There are nine separate, documented suggestions for home-grown terrorism plots, and they range from blowing up an American ship in Guantanamo Bay, to sinking a boatload of Cuban immigrants en route to Florida. One instance even proposed that John Glenn's rocket should "mysteriously" explode shortly after launch, and that the entire incident be blamed on Cuba. This was probably scrapped when they remembered the memo from Project A119 that implied all astronauts were walking atomic weapons.
"Them cats we fuckin' with put bombs in your mom's gas tank" - Official report advising against attacking Glenn by the esteemed Professor B.I.G.
We should also reiterate at this point that these were not fringe groups we're talking about: The entire operation was approved by all the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Nobody saw a problem with it--except President Kennedy, who thankfully realized the implications of Northwood (i.e. that punching yourself in the face as an excuse to punch somebody else in the face was not a valid military strategy) and ultimately rejected it. Most of the documents involving Operation Northwoods were de-classified in 1997, and are now serving out their life-sentences as conspiracy theorist porn all across the Internet.
#1. Project Horizon
In 1959, the U.S. Army began looking into the possibility of putting a military base on the Moon. And hey, that's not too crazy, right? We're still trying to do that now, aren't we? It sounds perfectly reasonable... until you realize that this was 10 years before we even landed on the Moon.
That's not just putting the cart before the horse; that's putting the cart before the horse, executing the horse, then launching the cart into space so that no future horse will ever hope to see it again.
Pictured: The actual report's depiction of the $6-million base. Not pictured: Any feasible way of accomplishing this.
And the base wasn't even meant for scientific advancement or as a launching point to further explore space: It was specifically and solely to prove that we were the rightful owners of the Moon. That's right: In the year 1959, the United States of America nearly sunk $6-million dollars trying to steal the Moon itself.
But as an even further "fuck you" to a world that probably already got the point (about the fucking) the base itself would also house portable nukes and be surrounded by landmines. What, exactly, was that going to prevent? Was there a serious danger that other countries--who had also never set foot on the planetoid--suddenly just would decide to "go to the Moon" and, once there, "run really fast at the Moon base" so that they might be stopped by landmines?
The brilliant masterminds behind Project Horizon.
Finally, the entire project was supposed to be constructed by exactly two--count them, TWO men--who would assemble the 220 tons of equipment that would be needed for the project.
It takes an average of eight dudes a solid calendar year to build one shelving unit from IKEA, and we were expecting two guys to hand-assemble a giant functioning nuclear base in 1/4 Earth's gravity on a celestial body which no human being had ever previously set foot on?
If the men in question weren't astronauts, we would question the feasibility of that situation. But we all know that if you can't afford millions of dollars of advanced technology, you can always just sub one astronaut and wait for the success to roll in.
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For more military insanity, check out 7 WTF Military Weapons You Won't Believe They Actually Built and The 10 Most Bizarre Military Experiments.
And stop by our Top Picks to see the office building's Project Horizon defense set-up.