Could Airborne, Parachuting Bears Catch Bin Laden



Could parachute-wearing bears sniff out Osama bin Laden?

That’s one suggestion the Pentagon has received from someone who noted, quite correctly, that a bear’s sense of smell is much more powerful than a bloodhound’s.

“Overnight, Parachute some bears into areas [bin Laden] might be,” the innovator wrote. “Attempt to train bears to take off parachutes after landing, or use parachutes that self-destruct after landing.”

The bears-in-the-air idea, and scores of others, came from people who clicked on the “contact us” button on the Defense Department’s Web site, which allows the general public to ask questions or make suggestions.

Not that the Pentagon needs any particular help in the idea department. Not long ago, for example, the agency spent $2 million to find out whether honey bees could be relied upon to sniff out roadside bombs.

The Defense Department provided Stars and Stripes a sampling of some of the more bizarre feedback it gets through its Web site, www.defense.gov. The authors’ names were withheld, but all spelling, grammar and paranoia are authentic.

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