THE BATS WOULD CARRY BOMBS
Things from history class I had forgotten for a while.
- •It was just after the attack on Pearl Harbor, prompting our entry into WWII. We needed a weapon, and a dentist from Pennsylvania had an idea.His name was Lytle Adams. He was a friend of Eleanor Roosevelt.
- •Just before hearing the news of the Day That Will Live in Infamy, Adams stood with other tourists at dusk at the mouth of Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, as millions of bats emerged at once.All these bats! All these little creatures, low maintenance and hardworking. Itsy nocturnal critters that can carry more than their own weight in flight.
- •He recognized that many Japanese structures were made with flammable materials, namely bamboo and paper. What if the U.S. could manage to plant pint sized timed explosive devices all over the major cities? The bombs would go off one by one, torching the country because it was so susceptible to fire.How do we get these tiny devices inside homes and buildings?
- •All those New Mexican bats! The bats would carry bombs.Louis Fieser - he invented napalm, too - created mini "incendiary devices" to strap to the Mexican free-tailed bats. A canister in the shape of a bomb was designed to hold the hibernating creatures. A bomber would fly over Japan at dawn. Released from a high enough attitude, they'd emerge from the canisters as they parachuted down, opening mid-descent. Some would explode right there in the sky. The rest, unaware of their suicide mission, would settle undetected in the attics and eaves below.
- •The U.S. military built replicas of Japanese cities in Utah, and burned them all down.By all accounts, this plan was going to work.
- •Then, the program was cancelled the summer of 1944 - this is two years and two million dollars later - when it was agreed that the bat bombs would not be ready for another year.By then, the U.S. had an idea for a different kind of bomb.