The threat of the spying quarter

In Spain, whenever we got into political discussions, Alan and I would always mention the US. Our friend Jackie used to get annoyed and ask “why do we have to always refer to the United States?” Living in Canada, it’s hard not to know what goes on in the US. It’s like living in a building with thin walls – you can’t help but know when the neighbour has a party. When 9-11 happened, many in the US were quick to point their fingers at Canada and its open immigration policies. Many still believe that the hijackers came into the US from Canada.

Now the latest threat from Canada comes in the form of… Canadian coins!! More specifically, 25-cents coins.

For the past few months US Defense Security Service warned that mysterious coins with radio transmitters had been planted on American army contractors who had been to Canada in 2005 and 2006.

It turns out that the mysterious coins were the special  coin released by the Canadian mint in 2004  commemorating Canada’s war veterans. The quarter has a red poppy in the centre and a protective coating to keep it from smudging. As the Toronto Star pointed out today:

<>One contractor marvelled that the coin didn’t seem to have a power source, but was filled with some sort of “nano-technology.”

Another wondered how those things got into his pockets after he had put his loose change in a secure plastic bag.

“And you wonder why our war effort isn’t going too well,” said John Pike, a security and military analyst at GlobalSecurity.org.

The Canadian embassy tried to remain diplomatic.

“We knew loose lips sink ships, but loose change … ?” said spokesperson Bernard Etzinger.

The mystery of the Canadian coins with the radio transmitters had haunted cyberspace for four months until it was resolved by the Associated Press yesterday.

Canadian commemorative quarter

Now it’s part of urban legend… No matter what anybody says, there will be people out there believing Canada infiltrated coins into the US with radio transmitters implanted…  Click here for the full article.  

Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

3 thoughts on “The threat of the spying quarter”

  1. Very silly, although it upsets me that this story will be used to demonstrate yet again how stupid and paranoid “Americans” (because they are apparently all the same y’know) are these days.

  2. I think the American people are the biggest victims of the culture of fear that has been brewing in the US… I honestly feel very sorry for them and always get defensive when someone says “stupid Americans”. I don’t like people assuming I have a particular personality for being Brazilian and don’t do that to other people… But that their government is paranoid, that I have no doubt.

  3. Well I think aspects of the government are these days. It is going to be interesting to see what will happen with the Democrat Congress and Senate and the Republican president. We’re already seeing all the tension that has developed between them. People here are sick of the war in Iraq and sick of the culture of fear. They want to hear about something positive for a change!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s