THE DECOY PARATROOPER DUMMY HISTORY SITE !

A Web Site Dedicated To Documenting The Known Factual History Of Military Decoy Paratrooper Dummies. This site is an ongoing labor of love and a true "work in progress." The site expands and/or changes whenever more material is found and added.

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(SEE LINKS AT BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR DETAILED PHOTOS OF EACH TYPE OF DECOY PARATROOPER DUMMY)

Welcome to The Decoy Paratrooper Dummy Web Site!

PURPOSE:

This site was developed to help researchers find historically accurate information about the relatively obscure, yet fascinating, subject of Military Decoy Paratrooper Dummies (a.k.a. "Paradummies.")

There is currently very little information on the web about this subject and most of what does exist is often inaccurate. This web site will attempt to fill that gap with accurate, properly researched facts.

The Paradummy site grows and changes whenever more information is documented. New information from any source is always welcome. All information posted here is currently believed to be true, accurate and verifiable via legitimate documentation. However, as with all subjects in history, things can and do change on occasion as new details emerge - so all information posted here will remain open to change and new interpretation at all times.

UPDATE 4-28-05. A very interesting research document was just located which seems to answer many questions about the early development and manufacture of paratrooper dummies in WWII. The 144 page document is an Oral History Interview of Mr. George Freedman, which was conducted in January 1986 by the USAF Historical Research Center. George Freedman was evidently directly involved with paradummy manufacture and appears (claims) to have been the man who actually designed the original straw-filled burlap "Rupert" paradummy as well as the rubber inflatable "Oscar" paradummy.

For those interested in reading this document, the Freedman Interview is filed as #K239.0512-1693. It should be on file with the Office of Air Force History, Headquarters, USAF (USAF Historial Research Center.)

This site will be updated shortly to reflect this new information. For now, a nutshell version of events: According to Freedman, the paradummy idea was conceived by the British in 1938. He was contacted at that time by a British agent, who said he was with the British Trade Commission, covertly visiting the USA to find American manufacturers, who asked him to design a Dummy Paratrooper for a top secret military project (Freedman was not told what the dummies would be used for - he assumed for training or target practice.) Freedman came up with several designs and his company, Interstate Manufacturing Company, was soon contracted to produce 3,800 dummies which were secretly sent to Canada and then on to Britain. The dummies we now know as "British/Rupert" type paradummies (straw-filled burlap design) are now believed to have possibly been Freedman's original paradummies which were manufactured in the USA and shipped to Britain starting as early as 1938. These dummies were then possibly used in various operations by the British including Operation Titanic which occurred on D-Day June 5/6, 1944.

George Freedman is also believed (claims) to be the man who originally designed the rubber American paradummy Oscar/PD Pack. After he sent samples of these later dummies to the military, his company was contracted to produce the 4' rubber paradummies. The dummies were then shipped to Switlik Parachute Company who assembled them with Switlik scale sized parachutes and CO2 inflation bottles provided by the Walter Kidde Company. More to come soon...

GERMAN PARADUMMIES 1940:

The first known use of the Paratrooper Dummy occurred in May 1940, during WW II, when the German Airborne used "straw-filled" paradummies to make their invasion of the Low Countries/Belgium look larger than it actually was. (Mike Detrez believes the very first use of German paradummies may have been on May 10th, 1940 in Belgium.)

The paradummies did in fact help cause panic and fear in the successful invasion. No surviving examples of these paradummies have yet been found so details about them are scarce. It is known however that the German Airborne also utilized straw-filled paradummies at various points later in the war - including against the Americans in the Ardennes (Battle Of The Bulge.) The Americans went off on wild goose chases due to this successful deception, finding only dummies and a few German prisoners.

The Germans are reported to have experimented with attaching "smoke pots" to paradummies to help the deception appear more real once they hit the ground, but it is believed this idea never went beyond the testing phase.

On the night of August 13-14, 1940, the Germans dropped decoy paratroopers over Scotland in an operation "Abwurf Aktion". (Thanks to Mike Detrez for this info.)

BRITISH PARADUMMIES 1940-1942 (probably manufactured in USA by George Freedman and shipped to Britain):

The first known use of the Para Dummies by the Allies occurred in 1940. The British dropped Paratrooper Decoys over Siwa, North Africa, against Italian troops. (Thanks Mike D. for this.)

On June 1st 1940 the Brits dropped fake paras over Italy, "code name: Operation Hasty". (Mike D.)

The British again used Paradummies during the British invasion of the Vichy French in 1942 at Madagascar. The invasion was called "Operation Ironclad."

During Ironclad, the British used paradummies as a decoy deception while they conducted amphibious assaults in another location (very similar to what would be done two years later on D-Day 1944.)

No known examples of these 1942 paradummies are known to exist so detailed information about them is scarce. It is assumed that they were probably similar to the small "Rupert" stuffed-burlap paradummies the British later used to great effect on D-Day June 6th, 1944, during Operation Titanic.

AMERICAN "TEST" PARADUMMIES, MARCH 7-10, 1943:

The first American paradummies seem to have been a "test" version developed in 1943. At the time, the U.S. Navy was in charge of deception operations so they developed and tested a small 18" paradummy made of solid cast metal (seemingly of lead or aluminum or perhaps a fairly heavy alloy "pot metal" - magnets do not stick to these dummies.) It is believed that actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who was assigned as a Lt. while in a Naval group in charge of deception operations, was directly involved in the design of the original metal paradummies. He has in fact been quoted as taking credit for the idea, but it is also believed the concept originated in Britain (where Fairbanks had been stationed for a time, so he may have brought the idea back with him for further development?)

According to the late researcher R.W. Koch, only a few of these little paradummies were made for the Navy test, which was carried out at Chesapeake Bay in 1943 at an Air Field by the shore. The exact number made in currently unknown (only 12 are known to exist today). Additional information has been found in a declassified document written on March 10th 1943, by the commander of Composite Squadron Twenty-Two (the air squadron who dropped them during testing), and sent to Lt. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The document, a report on "Dummy Paratroop Experiments", states that the testing occurred on March 7th, 8th and 10, 1943.

During testing, a Navy TBF torpedo bomber, sometimes hidden behind a smoke screen, was used to drop the little metal paradummies, using small scale-sized parachutes, from various altitudes and at various distances from observers. The observers were stationed on the ground in three groups onshore, about a half mile apart, and told to write up reports about what they saw. Some were not told at all what the test was about. Others were told the details and asked to write up reports regarding how realistic these little paradummies appeared while airborne. Some drops were done offshore over water, others over the Air Field.

On March 7th, the drops were carried out about 2 miles offshore, at late dusk, from an altitude of 500 feet over Chesapeake Bay. The TBF bomber was also hidden by smoke screen. Observers had difficulty seeing the small paradummies at this distance, so the next day they brought the test in closer to shore and dropped them from lower altitude.

On March 8th, the test was repeated, at sunset, and two dummies were dropped directly on the field from only 400 feet, about 1/4 mile from observers, with no smoke screen. This time the observers felt the dummies could be seen well but the illusion was marred because the dummies looked too rigid to appear realistic, and were obviously too small to look real when compared to the TBF plane. It was felt that since the dummies had no "dangling parts" to simulate real arms and legs, that their effectiveness was poor. On the next pass, the TBF dropped the paradummies from about one mile offshore, behind a smoke screen. As on the 7th, the dummies were too small to be observed effectively at that distance.

On March 10th, the test was repeated again. However, this time it was done in bright daylight at 1:30pm. The drops occurred about 1/4 mile from observers, with the plane hidden completely by smoke screen. Approx half a dozen dummies were dropped. Two of them "burned in" when their chutes failed to open. The TBF then dropped four more little paradummies directly onto the airfield at about 1/4 mile, with smoke screen. Two more dummies "burned in", one with a chute that failed to open, another that became detached from the chute while airborne. One observer, who was not told the nature of the test in advance, remarked "I saw them drop, but they didn't explode." He evidently thought he was watching small bombs being dropped! Those poor little paradummies must have hit hard! Of the dummies dropped over water on this occasion, it was agreed that they looked most realistic when their little parachute packs "flapped" in the breeze during descent to at least give the illusion of some small amount of motion while airborne.

So unfortunately, the 18" Metal Paradummy was deemed an overall failure, but one that had great potential if redesigned. Observer reports stated that the little dummies appeared too small to be seen easily, they descended too fast in their small white parachutes, they did not "swing" or move realistically when airborne, they looked too rigid to appear real in the air, they were too small compared to the plane dropping them, and they had obvious issues with malfunctioning parachutes. Conclusions were that the paradummy idea was very feasible and still had a good chance of working, but perhaps a flexible dummy of a larger size, weighted at the feet to enhance swinging motion, maybe about 4 feet tall, might work better.

It is interesting to note that George Freedman says he was one of only two civilians present during the tests done on March 10th with the 18" Metal Paradummies. He stated that the little paradummy "looked lousy" and he "didn't think it could fool anybody." He says he believes the small rigid design was possibly copied from a British idea because after the war he'd later found a British document at the Imperial War Museum which stated that before the US entered the war, the British had already made a small paradummy about 18" to 2 feet tall. It was considered too small and had no natural movement.

Freedman said he never found out who exactly made/designed these 18" American Test Paradummies. It is still a mystery indeed.

Bob Rainie, a former member of the Beach Jumper Unit in WWII, saw several of the 18" paradummies stored in a boathouse during his tour. He has said he felt the 18" paradummies came from outside the BJU and were brought in for testing, as opposed to being designed/manufactured by the BJU itself.

After the 18" paradummies failed their testing, the Navy went back to the drawing board at the Naval Aircraft Factory in Lakehurst New Jersey and designed a large four-foot tall inflatable rubber paradummy. This dummy, called the "PD Pack", tested much better (this time witnesses were completely fooled and thought they were witnessing actual paratroopers.) The PD Pack was eventually used in combat zones in France and the Philippines, and possibly other areas as yet unknown.

Twelve of the original 18" Test Paradummies have been located thus far (one was still in the Chesapeake Bay area) so very accurate physical details about them are known. These may well be the only ones that exist in the world. Please get in touch if you have ever seen one of these or if you have one that is not noted in the photos at this web site. See photo links at bottom of this page for detailed photos.

These 18" U.S. test dummies were molded with the appearance of tiny pilots (as opposed to looking like regular paratroopers.) Their nicely molded features included a pilot-style helmet, heavy jacket with thick collar and two large front pockets, short neck scarf, thick gloves, heavy pants tucked into tall boots, and arms folded up against the chest as if gripping a parachute harness.

The overall effect appears to resemble an old-fashioned pilot, in heavy flight garb, who has "bailed out." These dummies also have a slight resemblance to the famous Hollywood "Oscar" statuette which is given out at the Academy Awards. It is possible that this is why the paradummy first got it's nickname "Oscar."

The Test Paradummies had circular wire "rings" on each shoulder which is where their parachute shroud lines were attached by metal clips.

The Test Paradummies also had a small vertical wire at the front waist which was used to secure a small canvas belt which was attached to the perfectly scaled parachute pack on their backs.

Their parachutes were only 6-feet across, which is perhaps why the heavy lead dummies descended a bit too fast during their testing. With chutes fully open, as during an actual jump, the Test Dummies measured about 8 feet from the top of their parachute canopy, to the bottom of their boots.

It appears that the original paint job of these Test Paradummies was Olive Drab. Of the 12 known to exist, 6 seem to be painted in Olive Drab, one is painted in lighter army green - the others have been painted, or possibly repainted, in various ways which do not appear to be original military colors (but it is impossible to know for sure - it is certainly possible that some were painted in these other colors from the beginning.)

Of the ones that do not seem to have original military paint, one is painted gold with black boots and helmet, another was painted mostly green with neat Army "rank stripes" applied to its shoulder, another was found painted like a pilot with blue helmet and gloves, black jacket, brown pants, white boots and even a flesh tone face with black mustache! Another was found partially damaged, with it's paint partially stripped away. There seems to be bits of dark OD paint (or black or dark brown) and bits of lighter green paint left on it. The damage appears to suggest it had been out in the elements for many years or perhaps even under water a while, then perhaps cleaned off with a wire brush. It is also possible this damage was simply a mold flaw from the original casting of these dummies. The last has bits of OD paint left and some blue, but is mostly covered in white paint.

Only 12 original 18" test paradummies are known to have survived the war era to present day - all are in the hands of private collectors around the USA. If any others exist, we are not yet aware of them.

If you have ever see one of these paradummies anywhere, or if you actually own one, please get in touch and let us know by email at paratoys@yahoo.com

AMERICAN PARADUMMY DROP SEPTEMBER 5, 1943, NEW GUINEA:

On the 5th of September, 1943, preceded by heavy bombing and strafing and screened by smoke, the 503rd U.S. Paratroop Infantry Regiment, followed by Australian Paratroop gunners with their 25-pounders, landed in the tall kunai in the vicinity of the Nadzab airstrip. Defensive positions were quickly consolidated without opposition. Dummy paratroopers, accompanied by bombing and strafing, had been landed between Nadzab and Lae as a deception. It is not clear which type of paradummy was used on this mission. George Freedman has stated that he began production of the rubber dummies "around September" 1943. Therefore it is possible the dummies used in New Guinea in 1943 were the rubber type. However, it is also possible that they were the earlier models made of burlap.

BRITISH PARADUMMIES D-DAY JUNE 6, 1944:

The British carried out the most famous of all paradummy missions during the early hours of D-Day June 5/6th, 1944. The paradummy operation was code-named "Titanic" and involved dropping hundreds of paradummies along the French coast to confuse and deceive the Germans as to where the actual Allied Airborne drops would occur.

Six brave SAS men jumped along with the paradummies to make a lot of noise on the ground, play combat recordings, make small attacks on German troops (like couriers) and generally help make the landings appear real to the Germans. The SAS men were Lt. Fowles, TPR. Hurst, TPR. Merryweather, Lt. Poole, TPR. Dawson, and TPR. Saunders. Days after the operation only two of these six men had returned to friendly lines. The other four were likely killed or captured but it is possible some survived so this web site is still trying to research their exact fate. Titanic is surely one of the best kept secrets of WWII involving sheer bravery amongst Allied Special Operations soldiers, out there on their own behind enemy lines.

The Titanic operation worked well and actually caused a good number of German troops to spread out away from the real landing areas, and also caused much confusion and doubt amongst German commanders who were then completely unsure if there was in fact an attack happening or not. Titanic is credited with surely reducing many Allied casualties as a result.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:

There are many surviving examples of original British D-Day paradummies so physical details are available. These dummies, which have come to be known as "Ruperts" (as opposed to the American "Oscars") were made of simple stuffed burlap sack cloth. They were filled with sand, straw, or wood shavings and were attached to small scale sized parachutes. They were small, only about 3 feet tall, and could be dressed in actual small uniforms.

A few original D-Day Ruperts, which were actually dropped during Operation Titanic, can be found these days in war museums in the U.S. and in Europe and in the hands of a few lucky private collectors. There was also several left over vintage crates of these paradummies found in storage at an old English airfield in the 1980's. These unissued, mint condition original Rupert paradummies, are often found at collector's shows and auction web sites. They are originals from the era, but were never actually dropped during the war.

AMERICAN PARADUMMIES 1944:

After the 1943 failure of the ten little 18" American Test Paradummies, the Navy went back to the drawing board to come up with a better design. The result was a rather high-tech, four-foot tall inflatable rubber paradummy called the "PD Pack." The PD Pack dummy (a simple codename meaning "Paratrooper Dummy Pack") is the first and only known American paradummy used in WW II combat zones.

The PD Pack, also called "Oscar" on occasion, was made to inflate via attached CO2 bottle after being pitched from the plane. It was also rigged with a sound device that simulated small arms fire. Finally, it carried a block of TNT so that when it landed it would explode, thus leaving an empty parachute for the enemy to assume was actually used by a live paratrooper. The TNT blocks also doubled as "booby traps" for any Germans who found the dummies.

The PD Pack dummy was actually manufactured with the intent to use them for the D-Day operations of June 1944; however, historical records suggest they may never have actually been utilized as planned on D-Day June 6th, 1944. Instead they were used later in August, 1944 during Operation Anvil/Dragoon in Southern France. Records suggest the PD Pack was also used later in the Philippines against the Japanese.

The precise reason the rubber dummies may not have been used on D-Day is unknown, but it may be as simple as the fact that the British already had the burlap dummies (Ruperts) for Operation Titanic - so they simply decided to use the Ruperts instead of the American PD Pack dummies.

The "PD Pack" rubber paradummies were made in a rubber factory in Massachusetts, owned by George Freedman. Then they were transported to Switlik Parachute Company in New Jersey, the lead contractor for the paradummy project in the U.S., where they were assembled with scale sized 12-foot diameter Switlik parachutes, and packed with CO2 Inflation Bottles from the Walter Kidde Company.

The dummies were folded into "chest parachute packs" along with their CO2 bottles and scale sized parachutes, then they were shipped to the Navy where they were rigged with their sound devices and TNT blocks, then shipped overseas as needed. When pitched from the plane, a static line would yank open the parachute pack, deploy the dummy & chute, and trigger the CO2 inflation bottle.

Unfortunately, there are no known surviving examples of the original PD Pack paradummy in the private sector. In fact, Dick Switlik and George Freedman both searched the world for decades after the war trying to find even one single original rubber dummy they had helped manufacture, but neither ever found one. It is assumed that the PD Pack paradummies were either all lost during the war, scavenged for their useable parts, or burned/buried/hidden by the Germans and/or the locals who found them at the time. It is also possible that if there were any left in storage after the war, perhaps they were simply destroyed by the U.S. military when the PD Pack dummy was replaced by a newer model paradummy in the late 1940's/1950's.

All but one of the known examples of this paradummy, which are now found in several war museums of the world, are "reproductions" based on original designs which were made and donated by George Freedman and/or Dick Switlik decades after the war. The one exception to this, according to George Freedman who checked it out personally, is in the Airborne Museum in Aldershot, UK. They have the only known original rubber paradummy left in the world.

Dick Switlik and George Freedman still swear that their rubber paradummies were used on D-Day June 6th, 1944. Some of the museums, which Switlik/Freedman donated reproduction PD Packs to, still embrace this story and post it with their donated displays. However, all known historical records show that only the burlap Ruperts were actually dropped for D-Day. The PD Packs were first officially used later in August, 1944. So far, the best evidence of this is from the military itself. For example, one declassified document, an Operations Division Information Bulletin (Vol III., No. 8) dated December 1944, offers a detailed description of the rubber PD Pack Paradummy. The bulletin states clearly that the rubber dummy was used "...in conjunction with Seventh Army amphibious landings in Southern France." This was obviously operation Anvil/Dragoon in August 1944. The bulletin states nothing about the rubber dummies being used for D-Day June 6, 1944.

It would seem that if these rubber dummies had been used in both places, the report would have said so. But D-Day is NOT mentioned, only Dragoon is mentioned. Also, there have been other declassified documents found that discuss paradummy operations on D-Day June 6th which mention the "dummy paratroops" as being "model men made of sandbags, approximately one third the size of a nromal man." These were obviously the burlap Ruperts.

It remains an interesting mystery that plenty of original burlap Rupert dummies can be found, but only one of the original American PD Pack rubber dummies has been located. We certainly hope that more are still out there somewhere waiting to be found.

MARKET-GARDEN PARADUMMIES 1944:

Several accounts by British pilots indicate that paradummies were dropped by British planes during Operation Market Garden (large Allied Airborne invasion of Holland.) However, it is not known for sure which type of dummy was dropped. Since the British handled the paradummy mission, they probably used their stuffed burlap Rupert dummies, as opposed to American rubber dummies, but no specific documentation has yet been located to find out for certain.

POST-WAR AMERICAN PLASTER/FOLDABLE PARADUMMY (1950'S/1960's):

After WW II, the American military realized that the PD Pack needed design improvements. The PD Pack often failed to deploy properly due to the complex CO2 bottle inflation, and it required night use because it did not look real enough. To resolve these issues, the Army Corps of Engineers took over for the U.S. Navy and began developing a brand new Oscar. They came up with a very realistic looking paradummy made of muslin cloth, plastic-ring inner frame, with almost life sized plaster molded head (complete with helmet) and plaster molded combat boots. The collapsable body simply folded in half for easy transport and deployment. The cloth of the muslin body was colored olive drab to resemble a basic paratrooper uniform.

These dummies were utilized in Korea by Airborne units. It is also believed that the CIA used them in Guatemala during anti-communist operations there (the CIA evidently attempted to deceive certain groups into thinking a large Airborne force was dropping in.) It is believed that some of these foldable plaster dummies, now relics left over from the 50's, were also used in the 1960's against the Viet Cong during Viet Nam deception missions (by Special Operations units like SOG and Navy Beach Jumpers.) In Viet Nam it seems the dummies were mostly utilized for ambush purposes to lure the enemy into a specific place where they could be readily attacked.

�THE LONGEST DAY� MOVIE PROP PARADUMMY 1962:

No single factor in history has served to confuse the facts about the use of paradummies in WWII more than the 1962 Hollywood movie called �The Longest Day.� This classic war film about D-Day, though generally well done, and perhaps the only film to ever bring the paradummy into the public eye, mixed up the basic history of the paradummy so badly that it has taken many years since then to undue the damage it caused.

To this day, there is still a great amount of misinformation out there, accepted as gospel, all caused directly or indirectly by unknowing folks watching this film.

Here is the real story of the Longest Day Paradummies:

In the early 1960�s, when the film was being researched, the writers evidently grabbed bits and pieces of various factual paradummy details and tossed them all together into what was eventually shown in the film. So though based on some factual information, the story that ends up being shown in the film is quite historically inaccurate.

The Longest Day filmmakers created a bunch of molded rubber �prop dummies� for the film which were to be used as special visual effects to �fill out� the large Airborne Landing scenes in the film. They filmed a bunch of the dummies coming down in their parachutes amidst real human paratroopers (the dummies can be easily spotted in these scenes upon close examination of the film.) The dummies helped to make the big action sequences look larger than was possible to portray with real paratroopers. For this reason the dummies were made to look highly realistic.

The film crew also used these same dummies for a second purpose: They served as �props� to represent the British �Rupert� paradummies in several scenes. This is where the confusion sets in and the historical accuracy goes out the window.

First of all, the movie prop dummies were far more detailed than any real WWII paradummies ever were. Secondly, the paradummies were called �rubber dummies� by the characters in the film. In reality, only the British �Rupert� stuffed-burlap paradummies have been positively verified as being used on D-Day.

Historical records suggest that the American rubber inflatable �PD Pack� paradummies were not used until the invasion of Southern France in August of 1944 (during Operation Anvil/Dragoon), and they were used again later in the Philippines against the Japanese. But every character in the movie who deals with the Longest Day dummies insists on calling the Rupert dummies �rubber dummies� instead of burlap dummies.

Another problem with the paradummy portrayal in the film is the idea that these dummies were dropped into action all by themselves. In fact, six very brave British SAS troopers jumped along with the paradummies to help make noise on the ground. The SAS men played combat recordings, set off smoke and gunpowder odor effects, fired their own weapons, and harassed the Germans wherever possible in order to make the dummy drop deception more effective.

These few SAS men completed an extremely dangerous and vital mission all alone, well behind enemy lines, yet they were completely omitted from the paradummy scenes in the film! Also, two of the several planes used during the Titanic paradummy missions were lost to enemy fire and this was not in the film.

The film made the paradummy mission look like a simple risk-free tossing of dummies out the door. The opposite was true. Titanic was a dangerous and deadly, yet vitally important secret mission. The men who fought and died in the air and on the ground in support of Operation Titanic directly prevented countless other Allied casualties by their brave actions. The Longest Day ignores these men.

Finally, after the filming was completed in 1962, most of the prop dummies were left in French film studios and storage facilities. Over the years, a few of these rare prop dummies found their way into the collector�s market and even into war museums in Europe and the U.S. As a result, these rubber prop paradummies are still often mistaken for the real WWII paradummies despite the fact that they look nothing like the originals!

But despite all the negatives, The Longest Day did one huge favor for all paradummies - it got them recognized by the general public! Until that time, paradummies were just an obscure footnote of WWII, a fascinating yet vital deception tactic that only a handful of veterans truly appreciated - and perhaps owed their very lives too. After 1962, paradummies finally started to get some historical recognition. In fact, I myself first became aware of the paradummy as a child when I first saw The Longest Day - I have been captivated by them ever since and eventually decided to fully document their entire accurate story for the modern world to appreciate. The Internet has been an amazing research tool in this effort.

MODERN AMERICAN PARADUMMIES 1960's-2002:

Over the years, the military has improved the Oscar paradummy a great deal. They are now reportedly made of PVC plastic and look like "huge GI Joe dolls", very life-like in form and larger size, still foldable evidently. However, none are known to exist outside the military due to their highly classified nature.

These newer dummies were used in the Gulf War by Special Forces to lure Iraqis out into the open where they were ambushed by air strike. They are likely being used in Afghanistan currently for the same purpose. They are also used during large "war game" training when various friendly military units practice against each other.

The paratrooper riggers who are in charge of "care and feeding of Oscars" are evidently sworn to secrecy due to the highly classified nature of their work. Would love to see a photo of these new Oscars some day.

FOREIGN ARMY PARADUMMIES:

Paradummies seem to have become standard deception equipment in most modern armies of the world. Research indicates they were used by the Russians in the 1980's in Afghanistan; and by the Ethiopian Air Force as recently as 2000. No information has currently been found as to what these paradummies may look like.

A WORD ABOUT MILITARY "ANTHROPOMORPHIC" PARADUMMIES:

As early as the late 1940's, the military began testing parachute systems using anthropomorphic test dummies. These highly advanced paradummies simulated human beings just as "crash test dummies" are used in auto, plane and ejection seat testing.

They are shown and mentioned on this web site only because they are sometimes confused with Military Decoy Paratrooper Dummies. However, "anthro test dummies" are a totally different type of dummy used for a totally different purpose. They are for safety testing only - not for deception. They simply stand in for humans until the systems they utilize are deemed safe enough for humans to use.

PARADUMMY PHOTOS:

Follow links below to view some interesting photos of various paradummy types.

email: paratoys@yahoo.com