Well now, isn’t this just tooooo cute? Anybody else out there remember all the hubbub and hullabaloo over those Canadian “spy coins” a few months ago? The ones that were supposed to be being used to track the movements, conversations, sexual preferences and video rental habits of American defence contractors.
Yeah, those coins.
Turns out that the explanation for that sturm und drang is a little — how can I put this diplomatically? — anticlimactic:
WASHINGTON — The surprise explanation behind the U.S. government’s sensational but false warnings about mysterious Canadian spy coins is the harmless poppy quarter, the world’s first colourized coin.
They were so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. army contractors travelling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them.
The worried contractors described the coins as “anomalous” and “filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology,” said once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails.
The 25-cent piece features the red image of a poppy inlaid over a maple leaf. The quarter is identical to coins described as suspicious by the contractors.
The supposed nano-technology actually was a conventional protective coating the Royal Canadian Mint applied to prevent the colour from rubbing off. The mint produced nearly 30 million such quarters in 2004 to commemorate Canada’s 117,000 war dead.
“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.”
The accounts led to a sensational warning from the U.S. Defence Security Service, an agency of the Defence Department.
Meanwhile, in Canada, senior intelligence officials expressed annoyance with the U.S. spy-coin warnings as they tried to learn more about the oddball claims.
Seriously, guys, just what the hell were ya thinking??? Â