Page 3 - History Facts

The United States military once executed a plan called 'Operation Moolah'! What was it?

During the Korean War, United States Air Force pilots reported that the Soviets' new MiG-15 jet fighter was superior to all United Nations aircrafts. The US was desperate to get its hands on one and so secretly designed what they would call 'Operation Moolah'. The operation was an effort to get a Communist pilot to defect and fly his MiG-15 to South Korea, undamaged.

Operation Moolah was approved on March 20th, 1953 and offered $50,000 to any Communist pilot who defected, with an additional $50,000 to the first to do so. The plan also guaranteed political asylum, resettlement in a non-Communist country, and anonymity if desired.

In September of the same year, Lt. No Kum-Sok of the 2nd Regiment, Korean People's Air Force, flew a MiG-15bis to South Korea and gave it up. He was unaware of the operation, however, and later stated that he didn't think money would motivate any North Korean Pilot to defect. No was urged by the CIA to take a free education at an American institution of his choosing instead of the $100,000 reward.

The aircraft, as well as the information No provided, proved very helpful to the United States and their allies. No was questioned numerous times over the course of months after his defection.

Nobody's certain where the idea for Operation Moolah came from. One story is that it originated in the Army's Psychological Warfare Branch, while another is that the idea was thought up by an unidentified war correspondent. One thing both versions of the story agree on is that the idea was first circulated as a rumor.

Although there was a defection, it's hard to say that the operation was successful. Similar operations have been carried out by various nations since, only one of which—Operation Diamond—was undoubtedly successful.


In the Ottoman Empire, condemned high government officials had the right to have a foot race for their lives.

The Ottoman Empire was one of the longest lasting empires in history. It spanned the years between 1299 to 1922 and through its duration covered much of south eastern Europe and parts of northern Africa.


If the official was high up enough in the government, he could challenge the head gardener (his executioner) to a foot race for his life. To this date, its exact origins remain unknown. When the death sentence was passed, the condemned man would be legally allowed to run as fast possible from the palace, through the gardens, and down to the Fish Market Gate on the southern side of the palace complex (the place of execution). The run was about 300 yards. If he had reached the Fish Market Gate before the gardener, he would be banished instead of executed. Interestingly, this custom lasted well into the 19th century.



The Library of Alexandria held nearly all the knowledge in the ancient world, but did you ever wonder how they got all of it?

The Library of Alexandria is, even to this day, one of the most well-known libraries in the world. It's most famous for having been burned down, resulting in the loss of nearly all the world's knowledge at the time.

How did they acquire so much of this knowledge? One way was through incoming ships. Any books that were found were copied onto scrolls. The original manuscript was then kept in the library, and the scroll given to the owner!

Just how much was lost during the fire? Historians say it's impossible to tell, since no documentation from the library has survived. However, some estimate that more than 500,000 scrolls were lost forever to history.


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A strange woman showed up in a strange boat on a Japanese shore in 1803. Some believe she may have been an alien!

Folklore rarely recounts anything that really happened, but when a story is told through three different texts, it's hard to dispute some fantastical, mysterious events. Such is the case with the "Utsuro-bune" that showed up in Japan in 1803. The tale provides more questions than answers.

According to the legend, a hollow ship reached the shores in the Hitatchi province with a beautiful young woman inside, along with many texts written in an unknown language. The woman had red hair and eyebrows and was elongated by artificial white extensions, which could have been made by white fur or white-powdered textile streaks. The mentioned hairstyle could never be found in any literature.

The woman was friendly, though off, and held onto a quadratic box made of a pale material that nobody was allowed to touch. She didn't speak a lick of Japanese and couldn't communicate with the fishermen that found her. Eventually the fishermen returned her to the Utsuro-bune and sent it back into the sea, since they believed it was her predetermined destiny.

Ufologists claim that this story represents solid evidence for an alien visit to the small Japanese town. Drawings depicting the woman and Utsuro-bune even have a very saucer-like appearance.


Why did the man who assassinated President Garfield choose a revolver with an Ivory Grip?

President James Garfield was shot in Washington DC on July 2, 1881 at 9:30 AM, less than 4 months into Garfield's term as the 20th president of the US. Although he did not die immediately, he died 11 weeks later of complications resulting from the wound. He was the second of 4 US Presidents to be assassinated, and lived the longest after the shooter, compared to the others.

The culprit was Charles J. Guiteau or Freeport, Illinois. He practiced law in Chicago and started an unsuccessful law firm. He briefly became a preacher before he turned to politics. He wrote a speech in support of candidate Garfield. The speech was delivered at most twice, but Guiteau believed he was responsible for Garfield's victory. He demanded to be made an ambassador, but his requests were rebuffed and eventually told to never return to the Secretary of State.

Angry, he bought a gun. He had the choice between a revolver with a wooden grip or one with an ivory grip. He chose the ivory grip because he wanted it to look nice when it was eventually displayed in a museum.

He then stalked President Garfield until he had a chance one day at a railroad station. Guiteau shot Garfield in the back twice before handing himself to the authorities. He was later executed by hanging.



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