I think they got their first taste of how strong public opinion could affect politics. In certain cases, trying to fool the public can backfire.
The Wild Crop Circle Paranoia Of World War II
By Debra Kelly on Wednesday, March 18, 2015
In 1942, major outlets of the United States press released some terrifying news: All along the eastern seaboard, farmers’ crops were being plowed and harvested in such a way that they were leaving coded messages that could be seen from the air and were in complete preparation for a German invasion.
And they had the pictures to prove it.
The papers ran photos of what seemed to be arrows plowed into fields, and hay bales arranged in some suspicious patterns. It was said that sacks of grain left out in a field, lying in the shape of a “9” were, like other markers, pointing toward high-value military targets.
It wasn’t just the United States, either—the same thing was happening in Britain, but there, the government was keeping it quieter. According to the memoirs of Western Command counterintelligence agent Major H.R.V. Jordan, RAF pilots began reporting seeing strange crop formations about the same time the story was hitting the American papers. These formations were very, very similar to those that would later create such a UFO panic in the 1990s, and for a time, it was thought that they might be created by Nazi sympathizers.
MI5 investigated a lot of the claims, and found that they were pretty innocent occurrences, except, perhaps, the pretty clueless farmer who thought that plowing a hammer and sickle pattern into his field would be funny.
Other so-called signs were nothing more than roads being constructed, or the gradual use of leftover seed in a time when nothing was left to waste.
Eventually, it was found that the so-called coded messages on the American side were pretty innocent, too. More than that, the government had even had a hand in creating some of them. One of the arrows that was supposedly pointing directly at a military base had been created by the state’s Fish and Game Warden as a feeding ground for native birds.
Others, like the grain sacks, were complete accidents. That one was made by farmers throwing the sacks off the back of a truck, leaving them to dry in the sun. Papers, including The Milwaukee Sentinel, reported that the farmer who owned the field in question wasn’t just interviewed by military personnel, but that he was a well-known, upstanding citizen of the town whom no one had any real cause to doubt in the first place.
The whole thing got even less popular when it was discovered that the photos that ran in the papers were months old.
The backlash was fast and it was hard. Papers claimed they had been misled by the government, and they were victims just like their readers. The public claimed that the government was guilty of nothing less than a black propaganda campaign that the Nazis themselves would have been proud of, getting neighbors to look at each other with suspicion and contempt. Papers began calling for a full investigation and a court martial of those that were responsible for the information.
The US military apologized, saying that they had been mistaken.
This is just another case of the PTB thinking the general public would get totally caught up in a made-up hoax, for whatever reason. I can't imagine what they expected to accomplish by their actions, but the thinking of most politicians is a complete mystery to most of us. It must be something in the water, I reckon!
Coffee out on the patio again today. Gotta love this weather!