Better check that Piggy Bank!

Thanks to ixixlix to bringing this to my attention.

It appears that FUD is alive and kicking in the Dept. of Defense. So what strikes fear into the heart of the DoD? What is so scary that children in the street will keel over, and will win the war for our enemies.

A Canadian quarter.

Specifically, the Canadian Poppy Quarter. According to the AP, this coin was the culprit behind a U.S. Defense Department false espionage warning earlier this year about mysterious coin-like objects with radio frequency transmitters. This silver-coloured quarter features the red image of a poppy — Canada’s flower of remembrance — inlaid over a maple leaf. The coin has a conventional protective coating the Royal Canadian Mint applied to prevent the poppy’s red color from rubbing off. The mint produced nearly 30 million such quarters in 2004 commemorating Canada’s 117,000 war dead.

So what did some DoD contractors think when they found these coins left in a rental car?

“It did not appear to be electronic (analog) in nature or have a power source,” wrote one U.S. contractor, who discovered the coin in the cup holder of a rental car. “Under high power microscope, it appeared to be complex consisting of several layers of clear, but different material, with a wire like mesh suspended on top.”

This led to a sensational warning from the Defense Security Service, an agency of the Defense Department, that mysterious coins with radio frequency transmitters were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.

The DoD subsequently acknowledged that it could never substantiate the espionage alarm that it had put out. In Canada, senior intelligence officials speaking in French expressed annoyance with the American spy-coin warnings as they tried to learn more about the oddball claims.

So who has got the Loonie? The DoD Contractors or the Canucks. I think we all know the answer 🙂