Monday, May 07, 2007

Spy Coin Culprits Caught Red Handed

Numismatic nanotechnology is crossing our border. Spy coins are sneaking their way into our pockets, rental cars, and piggy banks thereby threatening our national security by tracking our movements and sending our conversations to their shadowy creators....or not.

'Poppy Quarter' Behind Spy Coin Alert

The Associated Press
Monday, May 7, 2007; 3:56 PM

WASHINGTON -- An odd-looking Canadian quarter with a bright red flower was the culprit behind a false espionage warning from the Defense Department about mysterious coins with radio frequency transmitters, The Associated Press has learned.

The harmless "poppy quarter" was so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. Army contractors traveling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them. The worried contractors described the coins as "filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology," according to once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails obtained by the AP.

The silver-colored 25-cent piece features the red image of a poppy _ Canada's flower of remembrance _ inlaid over a maple leaf. The unorthodox quarter is identical to the coins pictured and described as suspicious in the contractors' accounts.

The supposed nano-technology on the coin actually was a protective coating the Royal Canadian Mint applied to prevent the poppy's red color from rubbing off. The mint produced nearly 30 million such quarters in 2004 commemorating Canada's 117,000 war dead. more