The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History

You've heard the phrase 'desperate times call for desperate measures.' These measures must've been drug-induced.
The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History

You've heard the phrase "desperate times call for desperate measures." Or, to put it another way: "You gotta fight crazy with crazy." We've told you about the times when pigeon-guided missiles, fake oceans of fire, and deranged magicians ended up being deployed against the Nazis, but those were, if anything, the tamer plans -- the wacky ideas thrown out at the start of the brainstorm, before shit got desperate and weird. These schemes? These are the later ones from the tail end of the meeting, when Lucy from HR started drawing dicks on the notes and Ted from accounting wouldn't stop screaming.

Secretly Dosing Hitler With Estrogen to Make Him More Girlish

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
German Federal Archive

Say it's World War II, you are the British secret service, and you've made contact with one of the gardeners who tends Adolf Hitler's personal vegetable patch. Not only that, but the gardener is willing to give you access to the Fuhrer's food supply. What do you do with this information? If you said "turn Hitler into a woman," then you're corr- wait, that can't be right.

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Finally, the /r/titler section of Reddit justifies its existence.

Yep, the Allies hatched a plan to inject estrogen into Hitler's food and turn him from a devilish fuhrer into a delicate flower. To be fair, poisoning the food of a paranoid dictator with a legion of tasters would have been a waste of some perfectly good cyanide, plus quite a few Allied leaders thought that whacking Adolf would actually help the Germans, since his "strategic blundering made him more of an asset to the Allies alive than dead." And so the British and American agencies settled for a substance that wouldn't be detected right away, but would have devastating long-term effects: namely, female sex hormones. The idea was to make Hitler less aggressive and more like his timid younger sister Paula, because this was the 1940s: before we'd really cornered the market on genetics, but well after we'd mastered misogyny.

According to their intelligence, Hitler's sexual alignment was already pretty dubious, so the Allies felt he just needed a gentle nudge to embrace full womanhood. As an added bonus, the chemicals would cause Hitler's hair to fall out and make his voice go all high-pitched and feminine, thereby ruining all of his dramatic, screamo speeches.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
 German Federal Archive

His 'stache would vanish, rendering him cute but unrecognizable.

Unfortunately, it seemed like the plan never had any visible effects, and the OSS agent in charge later came to believe that their mole had been ripping them off. It was probably for the best -- who can say how the war would have turned out had the Allied troops been forced to fight both the Wermacht and the sexy, forbidden thoughts instilled in them by the Fuhrer's new knockers?

Unleashing Glowing Foxes to Make Japan Think They're Ghosts

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was less like an espionage agency and more like a crazy frat house constantly cooking up ridiculous schemes to mess with the Axis forces as one would mess with a stodgy old dean. Like that time they dropped a nuke on Berlin that turned out to be full of used panties, or when they convinced Mussolini his wife was secretly a dude, or, hey, remember when the OSS accidentally drowned a bunch of phosphorescent foxes while trying to spook the Japanese?

Unfortunately, only one of those anecdotes was real. Fortunately, it's the weirdest one.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
Daniel Stein /

If you think luminous drowned ghost dogs aren't weird, you must be from the "fun" part of Japan.

It all began when OSS agents heard of a Japanese superstition surrounding fox spirits with shape-shifting abilities and assumed that this was, like, the most terrifying thing to the Japanese this side of upright chopsticks. This assumption would actually turn out to be incorrect, but obviously "faulty folklore" was not the biggest issue with Operation Drowned FoxGhost. The idea was that actual foxes, painted to glow in the dark, would be allowed to swim ashore right before U.S. landing forces made the Pacific, thus spreading panic among the Japanese defenders.

The OSS actually got as far as testing this off the coast of New York by releasing a bunch of foxes that had been dipped in phosphorous into the water -- where they all promptly swam in the wrong direction and drowned.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History

When in doubt, swim away from the country shooting you with glow juice.

The project was scrapped. However, at least one more test may have taken place, according to the New York Tribune, which later reported couples seeing glowing foxes in Central Park. Either it was another botched test or the vengeful spirits of some unjustly drowned foxes got their revenge on America by cockblocking our youth. We'll leave that up to history to decide.

Dyeing One of the Largest Rivers in the World Yellow to Fulfill a Prophecy

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History

While hanging out in Japanese-occupied Burma during World War II, legendary anthropologist Gregory Bateson learned of a prophecy that stated that when the waters of the country's largest river ran yellow, a foreign invader would be kicked out. Japan was a foreign invader. The OSS had a habitual drinking problem and issues with poor impulse control. You see where this is going.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History

A daring plot to drown the sun?

Bateson and his wife, Margaret Mead, were part of a ragtag team of OSS agents that included future celebrity chef Julia Child and alleged Soviet spy Jane Foster. They were one jive-talkin' black guy short of an A-Team and had a reputation for unorthodox schemes, such as Foster's former operation that placed propaganda messages inside thousands of inflated condoms and floated them onto the coast of Indonesia. So when Bateson suggested dyeing the Irrawaddy River bright yellow to make the Burmese think that they should rise up against Japan in support of the Allies, naturally the OSS jumped all over it.

They actually got as far as shipping barrels of yellow dye into the area, with planes ready to drop them into the headwaters ... until Bateson had the bright idea to test the dye in his bath and found out that it didn't work.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
Hemera Technologies/ Images

He tried again, this time plugging the drain first. Still no luck.

We're not sure why "testing the dye" was last on the list of prep work to do for Operation Piss Prophecy, but we have to assume Bateson, Mead, Child, and Foster were a bit distracted -- perhaps with saving a Burmese rec center from evil Japanese land developers.

Intimidating the Soviet Union With Enormous American Dicks

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History

In the early 1950s, the CIA used weather balloons to smuggle propaganda past the Iron Curtain. Thousands and thousands of weather balloons stuffed with "communism blows" leaflets and forged currency drifted over the border into Eastern Europe. Over 500,000 in total, containing 300 million leaflets -- but for one CIA agent, that wasn't quite enough. One man dared to dream bigger ... about 8 inches bigger. His name was Frank Wisner, and he hatched a plan to convince the Soviet Union that all Americans have giant dicks.

Which, for our foreign readers, we should explain is absolutely and unquestionably true. But that's beside the point.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

We cultivate large bellies in a futile attempt to shield our own eyes from the organ's staggering mass.

Wisner wanted to escalate the balloon campaign to include small baskets of "Made in the USA" goods. These would ostensibly be humanitarian aid, or serve as examples of the miracle of capitalism, but their true purpose was more sinister -- among the goods would be packets of jumbo extra-large condoms labeled "small" or "medium." The goal was to intimidate the Soviets by convincing them that all Americans had huge dongs (or possibly to reduce morale by convincing the Soviets that their li'l Reds were not so menacing after all).

Imagine the looks of terror among the peasants as they slid their floppy raincoats on and found them ill fitting, like the shed skin of some enormous red, white, and blue python. Put yourself in the shoes of the terrified East German border guard staring across the Berlin Wall, wondering if tonight was the night the enormously donged Yankees came to doodle his dandy. Picture the women, equal parts intrigued and frightened, knowing they should flee the inevitable fleshy tsunami, but too transfixed by the spectacle to do so.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
Radio Free Europe

"If those are 'small,' what are large condoms? Perhaps the very balloons that brought the supplies?"

Thankfully, such a horrifying psychological H-bomb was never deployed. The idea never got past the planning stage, and the CIA obviously let Wisner go ...

Wait, no, they actually promoted him to a position where he controlled 75 percent of the agency's budget and was free to manipulate the U.S. media. You have to wonder: When, exactly, did this modern mass penile insecurity start? And was it suspiciously close to Wisner's hire date?

Not, uh ... not that we would know anything about that.

Convincing Everyone That Richard Nixon Is Crazy (a Plan by Richard Nixon)

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
Oliver F. Atkins

During the 1968 presidential election, Richard Nixon frequently hinted that he had a secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. He refused to release any details until he won office, when he gathered together his closest aides and began the lengthy process of unveiling his complex political strategy: He was going to pretend to be crazy.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
White House


Presumably at this point his excited aides asked "Great! What's next?" to which he replied, "Your mom." Because there wasn't a next step. That was it.

The so-called "madman theory" argued that if the enemy thought that Nixon was a dangerously unstable raving lunatic who might launch an unstoppable barrage of nukes if someone so much as farted in his general direction, the war would be over right away. According to Nixon himself:

We'll just slip them the word that, "For God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can't restrain him when he's angry -- and he has his hand on the nuclear button" -- and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.

The 5 Most Hilariously Insane Secret Plots from History
 Iraqi News Agency, Joseph Ferris III, U.S. Navy

Others tried versions of this plan, with questionable success.

Henry Kissinger was extremely enthusiastic about the scheme, and the State Department quickly began putting out a ton of "Nixon is nuts" disinformation. Nixon even ordered the U.S. military onto a state of full nuclear alert -- which the U.S. people never noticed, but the Soviets sure did. The whole thing culminated in the Freudian nightmare subtly named Operation Giant Lance, which saw 18 B-52 bombers loaded with fully armed thermonuclear weapons take off and fly full-tilt toward the Soviet Union, then turn back ... and then go at it again. It was the paramilitary equivalent of pretending to punch someone, then laughing and giving them two for flinching. Only, you know, with the fate of the unburned world hanging on whether the Soviets flinched.

Related Reading: For a look at some insane conspiracies that actually happened, click here. You'll learn about the corporate plot to overthrow FDR during World War 2. If you still haven't had enough, why not check out the real conspiracies our forum members managed to dig up? If you're tired of reading, just ease back, click this link and learn about the deadliest conspiracy in history.

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