From Greg Ross' blog, FUTILITY CLOSET, comes this fascinating history lesson about a U.S. psychological warfare plot intended to be employed against the Japanese during WWII:
"In 1943, seeking to use psychological warfare to prevail in its efforts against the Japanese, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services hit on a strange plan. Noting that Shintoists might view the image of an illuminated fox as a harbinger of bad times, the agency’s experts suggested that 'under extremely trying conditions' the Japanese 'would be adversely affected by what they might consider an evil omen' and succumb to 'fear, terror, and despair.'
"How does one make a glowing fox? Planners started by experimenting with fox-shaped balloons covered in luminous paint and dangled by fishing line, but by the end of 1944 they’d shelved that idea and begun spraying live foxes with luminous paint, hoping to release them across the 'entire field of combat,' calling this America’s 'most potent' psychological tool against the Japanese."
(When you read the rest of this piece, note that this particular psychological warfare plan was tested first on Americans, a tried-and-true tradition that continues to this day with other--even more outrageous--psychological warfare operations.)