Sunday, April 20, 2014

Camouflage Is Criminal

Laurel and Hardy in bungled prison escape
From Solomon J. Solomon, Strategic Camouflage. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1920—

When a man would commit a crime in a room overlooked from another the first thing he does is to pull down the blind; and, if he is using a light, he closes the shutters too.

War is a crime, and this war [WW1] was, and henceforth every other war will be overlooked, and the first the participants meed to do is to devise and prepare their blinds.


From "Camouflage" in the Encyclopedia Britannica (1922), p. 543—

The processes of successful camouflage are closely analogous to those of successful crime—namely, preliminary reconnaissance, suppression of clues, provision of false clues, variety of method and concealment of the crime itself.


From Anon, CONVICT PAINTS WAY INTO MILITARY SERVICE in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle (March 15, 1943), p. 9—

Richard R. Colyar, who knows how to make things invisible, painted himself out of San Quentin prison and into the army when army officers learned that the 52-year-old lifer had devised a new camouflage technique.

Colyar, a former commercial artist, was paroled to army authorities to explain and develop his process.


From BOARD PAROLES SLAYER TO ARMY in The Modesto Bee and News-Herald (March 15, 1943), p. 3—

Richard R. Colyar, 52, former cartoonist and commercial artist, has been paroled to the army to explain and develop further a new camouflage technique, it was announced today.

Colyar, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1933 for killing his wife and sister-in-law in Los Angeles during a family quarrel, is the first California prisoner to be paroled directly to the army…

In prison Colyar continued painting. He did murals in the prison hospital and attracted wide attention. When the war started he developed a new type of military camouflage.

Army official learned of his work and investigated. His process had merit, the army said, and his parole was requested. Governor Earl Warren approved releasing Colyar to the army, and the board of pardons and paroles granted his release.

Colyar's whereabouts and details of his camouflage technique are secret.

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