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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Peanuts or just plain Nuts?

During the Cold War, Russian intelligence personnel mistakenly believed that Charles Schultz' Peanuts comic strip was actually being used as a communication medium with undercover U.S. agents operating in Europe. An entire department was created within the KGB to analyse the antics of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Co. and several complex theories were developed regarding the coding methods thought to be employed.

Agents believed that the central character, Charlie Brown, signified the American nation, Snoopy the U.S. space program, Lucy van Pelt the pro-Communist movement in Cuba, Woodstock the American nuclear arsenal and Peppermint Patty was the Soviet Union itself.

The erroneous beliefs were the subject of much heated debate within the dedicated department throughout the 1950s and 60s until it was disbanded in 1974. However, it has been reported that rogue operatives who disagreed with closure of the unit continued studying the work of Schultz and ultimately attempted to communicate with the cartoonist himself, who, one particular day in the 1980s, was somewhat baffled to receive a crude drawing of a mouse wearing a ballgown in the mail.

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