Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Spy's Guide to Halloween - Deep Cover, Pocket Litter, and a Marble in My Shoe.

Halloween. Best holiday of the year, bar none. Several reasons for this. First, everyone gets candy. Second, everybody gets to go in disguise, costume, as someone or something else. Finally, Halloween is the birthday of [FIND] Investigations Lead Investigator, Thomas H. Humphreys.

To go into deep cover, you'll need a good disguise. A proper disguise is not just spirit gum and fake mustaches. You'll need to build a legend, a fake background story. You'll need paperwork, credit cards, diplomas, etc. to support the legend. These items are what spies call "pocket litter." For a simple Halloween costume you can probably skip this part.

Jack Platt is somewhat of a CIA legend himself. He was the master at operating in denied areas, countries where he was not allowed to travel. Platt says, in the Handbook of Practical Spying, that he used to, "...put a marble in one shoe - man, am I going to walk Different." Platt goes on to say, "...take the marble out, 'the guy with the limp' has disappeared forever." You could actually give this one a try. It's the perfect way to disguise your usual gait.

[FIND] Investigations', Lead Investigator, Thomas H. Humphreys often wears a full beard. While this is a distinguishing feature, it's easily removed. In parts even. Somewhere out on the interwebs for computers, there is a set of photos of Mr. Humphreys in various states of facial hair. Shaving parts of a beard can change the shape and profile of the face. Slap on a different outfit, and're someone else.

This Halloween, give a little bit of thought to your disguise. Go to a party and see if you can avoid being identified by your friends. Better yet, crash another party, one where you don't know anyone. Go ahead, make some new friends. For that matter, if you feel up to it, drop by Rumours Wine Bar on 12th South in Nashville, TN this Sunday. It's the annual hal-o-birth-ween-day party. Disguise is encouraged. The password phrase to gain access is:

Life, The Universe, and Everything

Drop by any time.

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