Bat-bombs, mind control and umbrella guns: This over-the-top spy agency was the forerunner of the CIA

As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sat in his wheelchair in the Oval Office, dictating a letter to his secretary, in sneaked William Donovan, the head of the Office of Strategic Services, armed with a loaded pistol.

At Donovan’s feet was a bag of sand.

As the president continued working, oblivious to Donovan’s presence, the OSS chief quickly fired 10 bullets into the sand — and still Roosevelt knew nothing, only turning round when he could smell burnt gun powder in the air.

“He looked up with wide eyes and saw Donovan standing behind him with a smoking gun in his hand,” writes John Lisle in “The Dirty Tricks Department: Stanley Lovell, the OSS and the Masterminds of World War II Secret Warfare” (St. Martin’s Press).

Donovan wrapped the pistol in a handkerchief and gave it to the president, introducing it as the OSS’s new firearm, silent and flashless.

A forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency, the OSS was formed in June 1942 to coordinate the espionage activities of the country’s armed forces during World War II.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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