Never believe what you see on screens without critically thinking about exactly what you are seeing.
"They say that the first casualty of war is the truth."
"A number of famous faked wartime photographs certainly support this old adage. Case in point: Experts believe that the Civil War battlefield photographer Alexander Gardner physically arranged the corpses in this famous photo taken after the 1862 battle of Antietam. Below are some other examples of similar trickery."
"One of the first battlefield photographs ever taken is now widely believed to be a sham. Crimean War correspondent Roger Fenton’s acclaimed shot entitled “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” was snapped in 1855 after heavy fighting around Sevastopol. The image, which depicts an unpaved road strewn with spent cannonballs, was heralded at the time as testimony to the withering fire endured by British troops. Yet in 2007, the American documentary filmmaker Errol Morris unearthed another Fenton picture taken on the very same spot in which the rounds appear only in the ditches — not on the road itself. Morris asserts that the photographer scattered nearly two-dozen of the projectiles into the roadway himself for dramatic effect."
"... the President's war aims onto the silver screen in order to make the motion picture an indispensable weapon of democracy."
"In times of war, the manipulation of thought and emotion is considered essential to generate a high level of morale, commitment, unity, and focus within soldiers, their families, and the “home front” in general. About a month after World War II started, President Franklin D. Roosevelt articulated the need to convey to the American populace a more accurate understanding of six crucial aspects of the conflict: the issues of the war, the enemy’s goals and characteristics, the concept of the Allied coalition, the importance of domestic production, the role of civilians on the home front, and the realities faced by the fighting men. To make this happen, Roosevelt established the Office of War Information (OWI) by Executive Order 9182 on June 13, 1942. This order consolidated the functions of the Office of Facts and Figures, the Office of Government Reports, and the Division of Information of the Office for Emergency Management. The Foreign Intelligence Service, Outpost, Publication, and Pictorial branches of the Office of the Coordinator of Information were also transferred to OWI. In other words, OWI became the official arm of government propaganda. All of the activities previously covered by the above-mentioned offices, as well as over 3,000 employees, were placed under the direction of Elmer Davis, formerly a prominent CBS radio newscaster. Davis was keenly aware of the need to interpret the President's war aims onto the silver screen in order to make the motion picture an indispensable weapon of democracy."
The War Propaganda Targets The Tax Paying Public
War is used to create the belief in the need for all the tax burdensome government we do not need. War is, in many ways, the ultimate psychological operation, with the target being the unsuspecting public.
Would filming scenes of war really be a logical concern during a real war?
Cameras were bigger and bulky and the film production process requires a controlled environment. Why worry about civilian film crews during real battles?
"Each newsreel company, with War Department approval, was permitted to send two civilian camera crews to the major fighting fronts."
"The OWI's Domestic Branch coordinated the release of war news for distribution on the home front via its Radio Bureau. It also managed two photographic units that documented the country’s mobilization, war plant production, and women in the workforce. The branch's Bureau of Motion Pictures, through its Hollywood Office, provided a liaison with the American motion picture industry. Its job was to help coordinate the production, distribution, and exhibition of theatrical films that advanced the government's war aims. Through its Overseas Branch, OWI launched a huge information and propaganda campaign abroad. Part of this vast effort was the production and distribution of the United News newsreel designed primarily to counter enemy propaganda and advance the Allied cause. Under the direction of the Overseas Motion Picture Division, United News was produced cooperatively by five major American newsreel firms, reportedly in 16 languages. It was not only distributed to Allied, neutral, and not-so-friendly nations scattered all over the globe, but also parachuted behind enemy lines in a German-language version. It also found its way to American audiences through non-theatrical distribution to groups like community organizations, libraries, and educational institutions."
"The exact roles, arrangements, and agreements that produced the United News newsreel seem lost in the fog of history, but snippets of anecdotal evidence and some applied logic would suggest the following scenario. In mid-1942, and at OWI's request, Paramount Pictures (Paramount News), RKO Radio Pictures (Pathé News), 20th Century-Fox (Movietone News), Universal Studios (Universal Newsreel), and the Hearst Corporation (News of the Day) voluntarily formed a private, nonprofit, fully government-funded organization, named the United Newsreel Corporation. Each newsreel company, with War Department approval, was permitted to send two civilian camera crews to the major fighting fronts. Once the 35mm film was exposed, the original footage was gathered and combined with motion pictures filmed by military combat cameramen. All of these reels were sent to the War Department for evaluation and to be censored, as necessary."
There's a long history of crafting war imagery, that predates the motion picture by centuries.
"A war artist is an artist that depicts scenes or aspects of war through their art. The art might be a pictorial record, or it might commemorate how war shapes lives. War artists explore the visual and sensory dimensions of war, often absent in written histories or other accounts of warfare."
source: War artist - Wikipedia
"The first modern war correspondent is said to be Dutch painter Willem van de Velde, who in 1653 took to sea in a small boat to observe a naval battle between the Dutch and the English, of which he made many sketches on the spot, which he later developed into one big drawing that he added to a report he wrote to the States General. A further modernization came with the development of newspapers and magazines. One of the earliest war correspondents was Henry Crabb Robinson, who covered Napoleon's campaigns in Spain and Germany for The Times of London. Another early correspondent was William Hicks who letters describing the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) were also published in The Times."
source: War correspondent - Wikipedia
"The genre of military art is art with a military subject matter, regardless of its style or medium. The battle scene is one of the oldest types of art in developed civilizations, as rulers have always been keen to celebrate their victories and intimidate potential opponents. The depiction of other aspects of warfare, especially the suffering of casualties and civilians, has taken much longer to develop. As well as portraits of military figures, depictions of anonymous soldiers away from the battlefield have been very common; since the introduction of military uniforms such works often concentrate on showing the variety of these. Naval scenes are very common, and battle scenes and "ship portraits" are mostly considered as a branch of marine art; the development of other large types of military equipment such as warplanes and tanks has led to new types of work portraying these, either in action or at rest. In 20th century wars official war artists were retained to depict the military in action; despite artists now being very close to the action the battle scene is mostly left to popular graphic media and the cinema. The term war art is sometimes used, mostly in relation to 20th century military art made during wartime."
source: Military art
Glorification of War for Propaganda Purposes
Governments need to justify taxes and cancerous governmental growth.
"World War I very largely confirmed the end of the glorification of war in art, which had been in decline since the end of the previous century. In general, and despite the establishment of large schemes employing official war artists, the most striking art depicting the war is that emphasizing its horror. Official war artists were appointed by governments for information or propaganda purposes and to record events on the battlefield; but many artists fought as normal soldiers and recorded their experiences at the time and later, including the Germans George Grosz and Otto Dix, who had both fought on the Western Front, and continued to depict the subject for the rest of their careers. Dix's The Trench (1923), showing the dismembered bodies of the dead after an assault, caused a scandal, and was first displayed behind a curtain, before causing the dismissal of the museum director who had planned to buy it. Later, after exhibiting it in their 1937 travelling exhibition of "Degenerate art", the Nazi government burnt it. He produced a set of fifty prints in 1924 on Der Krieg ("The War"). The English artist Paul Nash began to make drawings of the war while fighting on the Western Front in the Artists Rifles. After recovering from a wound he was recruited as an official war artist and produced many of the most memorable images from the British side of both World Wars. After the war, the huge demand for war memorials caused a boom for sculptors, covered below, and makers of stained-glass."
"U.S. Civil War photographers like Matthew Brady famously snapped hundreds of haunting images of the aftermath of the conflict’s many battles. Yet in a number of cases, such scenes were manipulated, with cameramen often physically arranging objects, debris and even dead bodies within the frame to add to the scenes of devastation."
"One of the most stirring images of British soldiers in action during the First World War wasn’t captured in No Man’s Land at all, but far behind the lines where it was safe. The legendary still, which depicts Tommies advancing through a field of barbed wire into the smoke of battle, was clipped from newsreel footage shot for the 1916 British documentary The Battle of the Somme (you can watch the full sequence here). While much of what appears in rest of the 77-minute film was indeed recorded at the front, the segment in question, which shows a number of the soldiers being mowed down as their comrades press the attack, was actually staged 65 km from the action two weeks after the battle was already underway."
"First World War dogfights"
"It wasn’t until the 1980s that an investigator with the Smithsonian Institute concluded that the pictures were faked using models, likely manufactured and photographed by early Hollywood special effects artist Wesley David Archer."
"It took more than 50 years before a series of spectacular pictures of First World War dogfights were revealed to be make-believe. Gladys Cockburn-Lange, the supposed widow of a deceased British photographer and flier, made the eye-popping images of the air war public in 1933. In one of the shots supposedly taken over the Western Front, a German plane can be seen breaking apart in mid-air, while another photo shows an enemy pilot leaping to certain death from his flaming fighter. It wasn’t until the 1980s that an investigator with the Smithsonian Institute concluded that the pictures were faked using models, likely manufactured and photographed by early Hollywood special effects artist Wesley David Archer."
see also: War photography
image source: File:Battle of Gettysburg.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
"The lesson here, surely, is not that the camera can, and often does, lie, but that it has lied ever since it was invented."
" “Reconstruction” of battle scenes was born with battlefield photography. Matthew Brady did it during the Civil War. And, even earlier, in 1858, during the aftermath of the Indian Mutiny, or rebellion, or war of independence, the pioneer photographer Felice Beato created dramatized reconstructions, and notoriously scattered the skeletal remains of Indians in the foreground of his photograph of the Sikander Bagh in order to enhance the image."
"Georges Méliès, the pioneer filmmaker, shot faked footage of the war of 1897— including the earliest shots of what was claimed to be naval ..."
quote source: The Early History of Faking War on Film | History | Smithsonian • image source: File:Georges Méliès.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
"The Early History of Faking War on Film"
"Early filmmakers faced a dilemma: how to capture the drama of war without getting themselves killed in the process. Their solution: fake the footage."
By Mike Dash smithsonian.com November 19, 2012
"I tried to show in last week’s essay how newsreel cameramen took on the challenge of filming the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20—a challenge they met, at one point, by signing the celebrated rebel leader Pancho Villa to an exclusive contract. What I did not explain, for lack of space, was that the Mutual Film teams embedded with Villa were not the first cinematographers to tussle with the problems of capturing live action with bulky cameras in dangerous situations. Nor were they the first to conclude that it was easier and safer to fake their footage—and that fraud in any case produced far more saleable results. Indeed, the early history of newsreel cinema is replete with examples of cameramen responding in precisely the same way to the same set of challenges. Pretty much the earliest “war” footage ever shot, in fact, was created in circumstances that broadly mirror those prevailing in Mexico."
"Georges Méliès, the pioneer filmmaker, shot faked footage of the war of 1897—including the earliest shots of what was claimed to be naval warfare, and some horrific scenes of atrocities in Crete. All were created in his studio or his back yard in Paris."
"...Georges Méliès, a Frenchman best remembered today for his special-effects-laden 1902 short “Le voyage dans la lune.”
"Five years before that triumph, Méliès had, like Villiers, been inspired by the commercial potential of a real war in Europe. Unlike Villiers, he had traveled no closer to the front than his back yard in Paris—but, with his showman’s instinct, the Frenchman triumphed nonetheless over his rival on the spot, even shooting some elaborate footage that purported to show close ups of a dramatic naval battle. The latter scenes, recovered a few years ago by the film historian John Barnes, are especially notable for the innovation of an “articulated set”—a pivoted section of deck designed to make it appear that Méliès’s ship was being tossed about in a rough sea, and which is still in use, barely modified, on film sets today."
"The film lenses of that day were imperfect enough to conceal the crudities of our miniature, and as the picture ran only two minutes there was no time for anyone to study it critically…."
"Once again, the “reconstructed” footage that appeared during this conflict was less a deliberate, malicious fake than it was an imaginative response to the frustration of being unable to secure genuine film of real battles—or, in the case of the crudest but most charming of the two known solutions produced at the time, get closer to the action than a New York tub. This notoriously inadequate short film was produced by a New York film man named Albert Smith, founder of the prolific American Vitagraph studio in Brooklyn—who, according to his own account, did make it to Cuba, only to find his clumsy cameras were not up to the task of securing usable footage at long distance. He returned to the U.S. with little more than background shots to mull over the problem. Soon afterward came news of a great American naval victory over the outmatched Spanish fleet far away in the Philippines. It was the first time an American squadron had fought a significant battle since the Civil War, and Smith and his partner, James Stuart Blackton, realized that there would be huge demand for footage showing the Spaniards’ destruction. Their solution, Smith wrote in his memoirs, was low-tech but ingenious: At this time, vendors were selling large sturdy photographs of ships of the American and Spanish fleets. We bought a sheet of each and cut out the battleships. On a table, topside down, we placed one of Blackton’s large canvas-covered frames and filled it with water an inch deep. In order to stand the cutouts of the ships in the water, we nailed them to lengths of wood about an inch square. In this way a little ‘shelf’ was provided behind each ship, and on this ship we placed pinches of gunpowder–three pinches for each ship–not too many, we felt, for a major sea engagement of this sort…."
"For a background, Blackton daubed a few white clouds on a blue-tinted cardboard. To each of the ships, now sitting placidly in our shallow ‘bay,’ we attached a fine thread to enable us to pull the ships past the camera at the proper moment and in the correct order. We needed someone to blow smoke into the scene, but we couldn’t go too far outside our circle if the secret was to be kept. Mrs. Blackton was called in and she volunteered, in this day of non-smoking womanhood, to smoke a cigarette. A friendly office boy said he would try a cigar. This was fine, as we needed the volume. A piece of cotton was dipped in alcohol and attached to a wire slender enough to escape the eye of the camera. Blackton, concealed behind the side of the table farthermost from the camera, touched off the mounds of gunpowder with his wire taper—and the battle was on. Mrs. Blackton, smoking and coughing, delivered a fine haze. Jim had worked out a timing arrangement with her so that she blew the smoke into the scene at approximately the moment of the explosion… The film lenses of that day were imperfect enough to conceal the crudities of our miniature, and as the picture ran only two minutes there was no time for anyone to study it critically…. Pastor’s and both Proctor houses played to capacity audiences for several weeks. Jim and I felt less remorse of conscience when we saw how much excitement and enthusiasm was aroused by The Battle of Santiago Bay."
"Amet’s shoot was meticulously planned, and his models were vastly more realistic; they were carefully based on photographs and plans of the real ships, and each was equipped with working smokestacks and guns containing remotely ignited blasting caps, all controlled from an electrical switchboard."
"Perhaps surprisingly, Smith’s film (which has apparently been lost) does seem to have fooled the not-terribly-experienced early cinemagoers who viewed it—or perhaps they were simply too polite to mention its obvious shortcomings. Some rather more convincing scenes of a second battle, however, were faked by a rival filmmaker, Edward Hill Amet of Waukegan, Illinois, who—denied permission to travel to Cuba—built a set of detailed, 1:70 scale metal models of the combatants and floated them on a 24-foot-long outdoor tank in his yard in Lake County. Unlike Smith’s hurried effort, Amet’s shoot was meticulously planned, and his models were vastly more realistic; they were carefully based on photographs and plans of the real ships, and each was equipped with working smokestacks and guns containing remotely ignited blasting caps, all controlled from an electrical switchboard. The resulting film, which looks unquestionably amateurish to modern eyes, was nonetheless realistic by the standards of the day, and “according to film-history books,” Margarita De Orellana observes, “the Spanish government bought a copy of Amet’s film for the military archives in Madrid, apparently convinced of its authenticity.” "
"I tried to show in last week’s essay how newsreel cameramen took on the challenge of filming the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20—a challenge they met, at one point, by signing the celebrated rebel leader Pancho Villa to an exclusive contract."
"Revealed: Remarkable footage of D-Day filmed on the orders of Eisenhower to show the world the horrors Allied troops faced"
"The footage was filmed by professional directors who usually carried 35mm motion picture film cameras which were bulky and heavy, making the brave cameramen stand out as targets on the beaches."
"The extraordinary clip, branded the first D-Day documentary, was filmed by the Public Relations Division of Supreme Headquarter Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF), which was headed by General Eisenhower."
"It was then hastily put together in London before copies were sent to Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin."
"The reels shifted perspective from the sea to the air to the beaches and were described on a shot card as 'a compilation of some of the action that took place from D Day to Day Plus 3, 6-9 June 1944.'"
The Actual Art of War: The True "Spooky Action At A Distance"
"From a few weeks before D-Day, when they landed in France, until the end of the war, they put on a "traveling road show" utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts and pretence. They staged more than 20 battlefield deceptions, often operating very close to the front lines. Their story was kept secret for more than 40 years after the war, and elements of it remain classified."
source: Ghost Army - Wikipedia
via: The Ghost Army
The Ghost Army:
"Their story was kept secret for more than 40 years after the war, and elements of it remain classified."
"From a few weeks before D-Day, when they landed in France, until the end of the war, they put on a "traveling road show" utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts and pretence."
"The Ghost Army was an Allied Army tactical deception unit during World War II officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops (Operation Quicksilver). The 1,100-man unit was given a unique mission within the Allied Army: to impersonate other Allied Army units to deceive the enemy. From a few weeks before D-Day, when they landed in France, until the end of the war, they put on a "traveling road show" utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions, scripts and pretence. They staged more than 20 battlefield deceptions, often operating very close to the front lines. Their story was kept secret for more than 40 years after the war, and elements of it remain classified. The unit was the subject of a PBS documentary The Ghost Army in 2013."
"Inspiration for the unit came from the British units who had honed the deception technique for the battle of El Alamein in late 1942, as Operation Bertram. The unit had its beginnings at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, and was fully formed at Pine Camp, New York (now Fort Drum), before sailing for the United Kingdom in early May 1944. In Britain they were based near Stratford upon Avon, and troops participated in Operation Fortitude, the British-designed and led D-Day deceptions of a landing force designated for the Pas-de-Calais. Some troops went to Normandy two weeks after D-Day, where they simulated a fake Mulberry harbour at night with lights which attempted to draw German artillery from the real ones. After this the entire unit assisted in tying up the German defenders of Brest by simulating a larger force than was actually encircling them. As the Allied armies moved east, so did the 23rd, and it eventually was based within Luxembourg, from where it engaged in deceptions of crossings of the Ruhr river, positions along the Maginot Line, Hürtgen Forest, and finally a major crossing of the Rhine to draw German troops away from the actual sites."
"Ghost soldiers were encouraged to use their brains and talent to mislead, deceive, and befuddle the German Army. Many were recruited from art schools, advertising agencies and other occupations that encouraged creative thinking. In civilian life, ghost soldiers had been artists, architects, actors, set designers, and engineers."
"Although the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops consisted of only 1,100 soldiers, the contingent used equipment pioneered by British forces such as dummy tanks and artillery, fake aircraft, and giant speakers broadcasting the sounds of men and artillery to make the Germans think it was upwards of a two-division 30,000-man force. The unit's elaborate ruses helped deflect German units from the locations of larger allied combat units. The unit consisted of the 406th Combat Engineers (which handled security), the 603rd Camouflage Engineers, the 3132 Signal Service Company Special, and the Signal Company Special."
"To complement existing techniques, the unit often employed theatrical effects to supplement the other deceptions. Collectively called "atmosphere", these included simulating actual units deployed elsewhere by the application of their divisional insignia, painting appropriate unit insignia on vehicles and having the individual companies deployed as if they were regimental headquarters units. Trucks/Lorries would be driven in looping convoys with just two troops in the seats near the rear, to simulate a truck full of infantry under the canvas cover. "MPs" (military police) would be deployed at cross roads wearing appropriate divisional insignia and some officers would simulate divisional generals and staff officers visiting towns where enemy agents were likely to see them. A few actual tanks and artillery pieces were occasionally assigned to the unit to make the "dummies" in the distance appear more realistic."
"Inspiration for the unit came from the British units who had honed the deception technique for the battle of El Alamein in late 1942, as Operation Bertram."
"The unit had its beginnings at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, and was fully formed at Pine Camp, New York (now Fort Drum), before sailing for the United Kingdom in early May 1944. In Britain they were based near Stratford upon Avon, and troops participated in Operation Fortitude, the British-designed and led D-Day deceptions of a landing force designated for the Pas-de-Calais. Some troops went to Normandy two weeks after D-Day, where they simulated a fake Mulberry harbour at night with lights which attempted to draw German artillery from the real ones. After this the entire unit assisted in tying up the German defenders of Brest by simulating a larger force than was actually encircling them. As the Allied armies moved east, so did the 23rd, and it eventually was based within Luxembourg, from where it engaged in deceptions of crossings of the Ruhr river, positions along the Maginot Line, Hürtgen Forest, and finally a major crossing of the Rhine to draw German troops away from the actual sites."
image source: Jasper Maskelyne - Wikipedia
The Revelation of The War Magician:
"Jasper Maskelyne (1902–1973) was a British stage magician in the 1930s and 1940s. He was one of an established family of stage magicians, the son of Nevil Maskelyne and a grandson of John Nevil Maskelyne. He is most remembered, however, for his entertaining accounts of his work for British military intelligence during the Second World War, in which he claims that he created large-scale ruses, deception and camouflage."
source: Jasper Maskelyne - Wikipedia
image source: Five Came Back - Wikipedia
"Five Came Back: How Oscar-winning directors faked WWII combat footage"
"Five legendary, Oscar-winning movie directors abandoned their lucrative Hollywood lifestyles to volunteer for often-grueling military service during World War II as part of a corps of hundreds of filmmakers who recorded the Allied advance across occupied Europe and in the Pacific."
“Five Came Back,’’ a new book out Monday by film historian Mark Harris, recounts their adventures — sometimes under enemy fire — and details how they sometimes secretly faked combat footage that has been passed off as the real thing for decades in documentaries. “They all could have gotten out of service because they were too old and/or their work as civilians was so important to American morale,’’ says Harris. “But they all wanted to be in the thick of it and served for at least three years.’’ John Ford, who had already won three of his unmatched-to-date four Oscars and received a Purple Heart for wounds received while shooting the Academy Award-winning feature documentary “The Battle of Midway,’’ also co-directed “December 7,’’ which won the 1944 Oscar for Best Short Documentary. Less than four minutes of film records the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, so Ford and co-director Gregg Toland (who photographed “Citizen Kane’’) staged footage using miniature battleships and airplanes on the Fox lot in Hollywood. This was embellished with entirely staged shots taken in Hawaii of sailors manning surface-to-air guns “in time to perfectly frame our response to a surprise attack,’’ Harris says. “Even 70 years after Pearl Harbor, we still so want that to be true.’’
"Once America entered the war, logistical problems and bureaucratic snafus sometimes made it difficult to get film crews to the front lines in time. This was especially true in Africa, where British army crews recorded lots of impressive footage, but most of the few combat scenes photographed by Americans during the invasion of Casablanca went down with a sunken ship."
"So Frank Capra (whose three Oscars included “It Happened One Night’’ and who oversaw an ambitious series of army training films) assigned George Stevens (whose two Oscars after the war included “Giant’’) to spend two weeks in Algiers staging re-creations (that Harris says were obviously faked) using tanks and soldiers assigned to him. Besides capturing “already blown-up cities being blown up some more,’’ as Stevens described it, “We took tanks and ran them through the water like they did when the British Seventh Army cut off the Germans by taking their tanks out into the water.’’
"Personally supervised by Capra, director John Huston staged additional “African’’ footage in California’s Mojave Desert with dummy tanks being bombed from the air, as well as additional recreations of dogfights between Allied and (fake) German fighters that were shot in Orlando, Fla."
"Decades later, Huston labeled the faked footage, which turned up in an Anglo-American documentary called “Tunisian Victory,’’ as “disgraceful.’’
"But Harris says Huston — Oscar winner for “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’’ and father of actors Anjelica and Danny Huston — was less frank about the authenticity of “The Battle of San Pietro,’’ his critically acclaimed documentary about an Italian battle that was selected in 1991 for the Library of Congress’ prestigious National Film Registry. Harris’ research reveals that Huston arrived at the very end of the battle, which took the lives of more than 1,000 Allied soliders. But with encouragement of his superiors, who provided equipment and hundreds of GI extras, he shot what Harris regards as the most convincingly faked footage of a World War II battle — shot on the actual locations with real participants. “When you take away the whole question of fakery,’’ Harris says, “it makes the combat look rough and frightening and punishing, and makes the advance of a line of soldiers look slow and hesitant in ways that set it apart from Hollywood war movies and even from a lot of other documentaries. This was a new look at what the war felt like.’’"
Back in Hollywood, During World War Two:
"Back in Hollywood, First Lieutenant Ronald Reagan was taking part in what he refers to in his autobiography as one of the major "secrets of war, ranking up with the atom bomb project": creating a complete miniature of Tokyo, so authentic in detail that even top Air Corps generals could not distinguish it from reality."
War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination
"Back in Hollywood, First Lieutenant Ronald Reagan was taking part in what he refers to in his autobiography as one of the major "secrets of war, ranking up with the atom bomb project": creating a complete miniature of Tokyo, so authentic in detail that even top Air Corps generals could not distinguish it from reality. Footage of fake bomb runs on the toy city were then used to brief bombing crews, who were taken by Reagnan’s voice over narrative all the way to his dramatic “Bombs away.” As areas of Tokyo were burned out, Reagan tells how the Hollywood team would “burn out” their counterparts in “our target scene,” obliterating along with the city, the boundaries between illusion and reality.”
"One of the war's best-kept secrets was a film called "Target Tokyo," which Reagan narrated. It simulated an actual air raid on Japan. Special-effects men were flown to Washington for briefings on every known landmark--cemeteries, rice paddies, factories, geisha joints."
"The first fire-bomb target simulated was Ota, where Nakajima was mass-producing the deadly new fighter plane, Ki-84. From match sticks, piano wire, plaster and cheesecloth, the FMPU's model makers replicated the entire route to Ota."
"Above the 90-by-90-foot scale model swung a camera crane with a clever synchronous interlock drive designed by Sgt. Don Klopfel. Cotton clouds were added for further realism."
"Reagan tells how the Hollywood team would “burn out” their counterparts in “our target scene,” obliterating along with the city, the boundaries between illusion and reality.”
image source: Lookout Mountain Air Force Station - Wikipedia
Lookout Mountain Air Force Film Studios
"Los Angeles, California is the epicenter of the movie-making industry, so it should come as no surprise that the US military had its own studio in LA. Known as Lookout Mountain Air Force Station, or Lookout Mountain Laboratory, what made this studio special is that the films produced there were all classified."
"The studio was secretly established in 1947, though the Air Force has since stressed that the facility was used solely for the Atomic Energy Commission. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as “atomic” cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific. While the Air Force contends that these atomic features were the only movies made, it is believed that some 19,000 “films” were produced on Lookout Mountain between 1947-1969. That’s 500 more films than Hollywood produced during the same period, and only a few dozen of them have been declassified."
"Less scandalous, there is evidence that the military conducted many advanced research experiments for Hollywood studios, such as developing 3-D techniques and Vista Vision. Employees from big studios, such as Warner Brothers and MGM, were also known to frequent the lot."
"Additionally, Hollywood stars like Walt Disney, Marilyn Monroe, and even Ronald Reagan were given special clearance to use Lookout Mountain’s facilities, though the reason for their visits remain undisclosed."
"Though the studio employed over 250 people, its existence remained unknown to the general public until the 1990s. The studio was decommissioned in 1969. Today the 2.5-acre studio is a private residence and belongs to actor/musician Jared Leto, who is known for throwing parties in the area that echo the 1960s Laurel Canyon vibe."
TSM3K: The Military's Top Secret Hollywood Film Studio
A look at Lookout Mountain Air Force Film Studios.
via: Truthstream Media
A Zeppelin Propaganda History: A Whole Lotta Love For Hot Air
"Zepped is a 1916 propaganda comedy short film about a German Zeppelin attack on London during the First World War. Charlie Chaplinappears in the film, although it is unlikely he himself was involved in the production. Making use of stop-motion animation, Zepped uses possibly previously unknown outtakes of three or four earlier Chaplin films: His New Profession (1914), A Jitney Elopement (1915) and The Tramp (1915), and according to Bonhams, By the Sea (1915)."
source: Zepped - Wikipedia
"For realism, “Hell’s Angels” stands out alone in its class."
"To produce the Zeppelin scenes, Mr. (Howard) Hughes gathered about him a staff of the cleverest technicians in the United States. A model Zeppelin was built—an exact replica of a German, wartime dirigible. This was built to a scale of one foot equals one inch. So the model was approximately 60 feet long and 6 feet in diameter. Quite a sizeable “miniature”! Even the framework followed closely the true Zeppelin design. The huge dirigible hangar at Arcadia—-adjacent to Los Angeles—was leased from the government, and in this building all the scenes of the Zeppelin were shot. Lights giving millions of candle-power were installed. Miniature sets were laid out on the floor to give suitable back-ground for vertical shots of the “Zep.” Chemical apparatus was installed to create clouds. A steel cable was stretched from one corner post to the middle of the opposite wall. The Zeppelin was suspended from a trolley which traveled on the cable. It could move along the cable about four times its length. Other cables permitted the Zeppelin to be raised or lowered at the will of an operator at an electric winch. Runways—or balconies—completely around the inside walls of the hangar, were vantage points for the numerous cameras. In addition, portable, parallel platforms could be moved anywhere on the floor. A cat-walk near the roof of the hangar was utilized for vertical shots. In presenting the picture on the screen, the Zeppelin makes its first spectacular appearance emerging from a fleecy, cumulus cloud. The clouds are seen to roll back as the nose of the airship pushes through. This is a close-up shot, and so real that it seems the Zeppelin must leave the screen and soar into the auditorium of the theater."
"How was it done? The Zeppelin is at the end of the cable farthest from the camera. Immediately in front of the airship a dense cloud of “liquid smoke” is released. This is the chemical used for laying down a smoke screen or for “sky-writing.” This gas remains as a gaseous mass for some time before diffusing into the air. The Zeppelin is slowly drawn through this “smoke.” Vivid lighting effects reproduce the smoke as a cumulus cloud. Next, the spectator is permitted to ride in the “Zep” and see its inside workings; the skeleton framework; the gas bag; the power gondolas. The motors are running—real motors. One sees the rocker-arms rock, and hears the clicking tappets. On the model Zeppelin, the propellers are turned with quarter H.P. motors. The interior sets of the Zeppelin were built full size. The “Zep” cruises on its way. London is its objective. A member of the crew is lowered thousands of feet in a gondola suspended by a slender cable to get their bearings. The object is to drop bombs on Trafalgar Square. The observer revolts at bombing a sleeping city. He telephones misinformation to the Zeppelin, and the bombs drop and explode harmlessly in a lake. But the Allied flyers are aroused. They take to the air in their fighting planes to battle the Zeppelin. A terrific aerial battle rages. The “Zep” fights off all planes — but one. This one climbs high above the Zeppelin. The pilot’s machine-gun jams. In heroic desperation, he dives his plane into the vitals of the Zeppelin. The giant dirigible buckles up with a broken back and bursts into flames."
"How was it done? Part of this scene is a sample of exceptionally clever double exposure. A drawing explains. First, a miniature airplane is swung from a wire against a flat black back-ground. This is shot with a high-speed camera—about ten times normal. When reproduced at normal speed, this would represent a full-sized plane in the distance taking a power dive of several thousand feet. The undeveloped negative of the miniature plane is rewound into the camera magazine, and a shot of the Zeppelin, moving slowly, is recorded on the same film. The composite picture is shown in the enlarged frame. The moment the airplane hits the Zeppelin the film is “cut,” and the sequence of the picture is resumed when the Zeppelin is fired. During part of the heroic dive toward the Zeppelin, seemingly the spectator is riding in the plane. This illusion was created in the hangar. The Zeppelin was suspended about half way between the roof and the floor, and the camera-man was lowered toward it. A miniature, pictorial set on the floor gave a suitable back-ground; the high-speed camera did the rest. Now comes the big, breath-taking scene— the fall of the flaming Zeppelin. To make sure of suitable film, fourteen cameras shot the scene."
"The covering of the gas bag is sprayed with kerosene. Everything is ready. Comes the director’s cry: “Camera!” A special prop in the “in’ards” of the “Zep” is jerked out. The dirigible sags in the middle, and then bursts into flames. All the cameras are in action. The man at the electric winch slowly lowers the flaming hulk. It passes into and out of the range of the cameras. When the flaming wreck is about eight feet from the floor, it is dropped with a crash. To make the falling act very vivid, a pair of cameras are in a pit in the floor covered with plate glass, and shoot the vertical fall. And the fall of a burning Zeppelin from the skies is a celluloid record. In the cutting room, the best of the shots are compiled into the finished film which the spectator sees on the screen. Be it said that all those in the hangar during the “fire” were not sorry when it was all over. The camera-men up on the cat-walk had no occasion to take a Turkish bath for six months. “Hell’s Angels” is an outstanding example of the far-reaching possibilities of the model technician’s art. Because a real Zeppelin was not used, and the crew not incinerated in the fire, should not detract the spectator’s interest in the picture. In the wild and wooly “westerners,” one knows that the Indians are not really shot off their mustangs. But if they tumble off and “bite the dust” in realistic fashion, the spectators howl their delight."
image source: File:BuyWarBonds.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
"A Liberty bond (or liberty loan) was a war bond that was sold in the United States to support the allied cause in World War I. Subscribing to the bondsbecame a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States and introduced the idea of financial securities to many citizens for the first time."
"Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo reacted to the sales problems by creating an aggressive campaign to popularize the bonds. The government used a division of the Committee on Public Information called the Four Minute Mento help sell Liberty Bonds and Thrift Stamps. Famous artists helped to make posters and movie stars hosted bond rallies. Al Jolson, Elsie Janis, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin were among the celebrities that made public appearances promoting the idea that purchasing a liberty bond was "the patriotic thing to do" during the era. Chaplin also made a short film, The Bond, at his own expense for the drive."
"A Liberty bond (or liberty loan) was a war bond that was sold in the United States to support the allied cause in World War I. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States and introduced the idea of financial securities to many citizens for the first time. The Act of Congress which authorized the Liberty Bonds is still used today as the authority under which all U.S. Treasury bonds are issued."
"Securities, also known as Liberty Bonds, were issued in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to finance the rebuilding of the areas affected."
Hollywood - Ep 4 : Hollywood goes to War
NEVER FORGET ME NOT: 911
image source: File:Bush phone 9-11.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
"While campaigning as a “wartime president” in 2004, George W. Bush appeared in a photo surrounded by legions of U.S. troops. Days after the image was made public, bloggers noted that some of the faces of the soldiers behind the Commander-in-Chief appeared to have been duplicated using a copy and paste Photoshop tool known as “clone stamp.” The White House yanked the image and apologized."
2001 + 911 = Black Propaganda Lies
"Following the September 11 attacks against the United States, the Pentagon organized and implemented the Office of Strategic Influence in an effort to improve public support abroad, mainly in Islamic countries. The head of OSI was an appointed general, Pete Worden who maintained the mission of "circulating classified proposals calling for aggressive campaigns that use[d] not only the foreign media and the Internet, but also covert operations." Worden, as well as then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld planned for what they called "a broad mission ranging from 'black' campaigns that use[d] disinformation and other covert activities to 'white' public affairs that rely on truthful news releases." Therefore, OSI's operations could include black activities. OSI's operations were to do more than public relations work, but included contacting and emailing media, journalist, and foreign community leaders with information that would counter foreign governments and organizations that are hostile to the United States. In doing so, the emails would be masked by using addresses ending with .com as opposed to using the standard Pentagon address of .mil. and hide any involvement of the US government and the Pentagon. The Pentagon is forbidden to conduct black propaganda operations within the American media, but is not prohibited for conducting these operations against foreign media outlets. The thought of conducting black propaganda operations and utilizing disinformation resulted in harsh criticism for the program that resulted in its closure in 2002."
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"A civic group opposed to the building of the World Trade Center publishes a nearly full-page advertisement in the New York Times, warning that the new buildings will be so tall that a commercial airliner might crash into them. The group, called the Committee for a Reasonable World Trade Center, is mainly composed of New York real estate developers who are worried that the huge construction project will glut the market. Its leader is Lawrence A. Wien, a real estate mogul who is an owner of the Empire State Building in New York. [NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, 9/8/2002; NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, 9/8/2002]"
image and quote source: http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a050268wienadvert