Back to Veterans Day

Veterans Day true or false

Are you an ace myth-recon person?

Don Adams, who played Agent 86 in the classic Cold War-era TV satire Get Smart, fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal in WWII. True or false? Photo courtesy of Everett Collection

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

We'll take Military Rumors for $200, Alex.

During the past few years, the Internet has been buried in a blizzard of myths, legends and bizarre rumors about the U.S. military.  Some of these even turn out to be true. How good are you at separating the real from the hoax?  Here are eight recently circulated "news" stories.  True or False?  The answers are at the bottom.  If you get 6 of 8 correct, consider yourself an ace myth-recon person.

Rumor 1 - They couldn't "Get" Smart.  Don Adams, who played "Agent 86," was one of the few members of his U.S. Marine platoon to come home from the horrific Battle of Guadalcanal in WWII.  He prayed for survival, and did come home alive.  As a result, he converted from atheist to Christian.

Rumor 2 - Better make sure you have a "cool" gun at home.  During a gun confiscation in Massachusetts, 72 people were killed resisting the government.  More than 200 others were injured.  The governor had learned of an "extremist" anti-tax faction with a cache of weapons and ordered the invasion.  After the military raid, and the deaths, one government official remarked coldly that "None of these people would have been killed had the extremists obeyed the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily."

Rumor 3 - High School Has No Gun (or Soldier) Zone.  Lt. Col. Sherwood Baker visited Rochester Adams High School for a matter involving his daughter, who was a student at the school.  He was not allowed to step onto the property because he was wearing a U.S. Army uniform.  He was told that some students might be "offended."

Rumor 4 - James Garner Sniffed Out the Enemy.  Actor Garner, famous for the Rockford Files and many movies, was on a ridge in Korea when he told his Army commander that there were North Koreans below them.  When asked how he knew, he said that he smelled garlic on them.

Rumor 5 - The U.S. Military is Developing Insect Drones.  "Project Anubis" is building machines the size and shape of mosquitoes that are capable of buzzing around undetected and landing with a sufficient munitions payload to terminate "high-value targets."

Rumor 6 - Vigil Over the Unknown Soldiers.  In 2003, Hurricane Isabel reached peak winds of 165 MPH and caused almost $2 billion in damage in Virginia alone.  At the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, elite soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment were permitted to take cover during the incoming storm.  However, they chose to remain at their posts and keep vigil over the "American Soldier Known But To God" during the storm.

Rumor 7 - Buried Treasure!  In 2003, an intact Russian MIG-25 Foxbat was discovered buried in the sand in Iraq.  All systems aboard the plane were subject to reverse engineering by U.S. intelligence.

Rumor 8 - Standing Ovation for U.S. Troops at Hectic Airport.  DoD Judge William Ross reported a dramatic scene he saw in a Baltimore airport.  Many U.S. troops were there, waiting for their connecting flights and clad in their camouflage uniforms.  However, flights were being canceled, and most frustrated travelers were having trouble getting their connections.

"By the afternoon, one plane to Denver had been delayed several hours," Ross said. "United personnel kept asking for volunteers to give up their seats and take another flight. They weren't getting many takers. Finally, a United spokeswoman got on the PA and said this, ‘Folks. As you can see, there are a lot of soldiers in the waiting area. They only have 14 days of leave and we're trying to get them where they need to go without spending any more time in an airport than they have to. We sold them all tickets knowing we would oversell the flight. If we can, we want to get them all on this flight. We want all the soldiers to know that we respect what you're doing, we are here for you and we love you.'

At that, the entire terminal of cranky, tired, travel-weary people - a cross-section of America, broke into sustained and heartfelt applause. The soldiers looked surprised and very modest. Most of them just looked at their boots. Many of us were wiping away tears. And, yes, people lined up to take the later flight, and all the soldiers went to Denver on that flight."

ANSWERS - All true.  Score yourself 8 of 8 if you bought every one of them.  Independent fact-checking sources such as and are agreed as to the soundness of the information.

Well, the gun confiscation episode did occur ... but that one was in the year 1775. (Gotcha!)  Otherwise, each of the above "rumors" are recent factual incidents.

Read next close

Veterans Day

Veteran Mel Wilson invents Outdoor Sleeves

comments powered by Disqus