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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 19, May 13, 2007, Article 4

CANADIAN "SPY COINS" UNMASKED - POPPY QUARTERS CAUSED THE STIR

Katie Jaeger, Bill Rosenblum, Nick Graver, John Nebel and others
forwarded copies of a hilarious Associate Press article exposing
the incident behind the recent Canadian "spy coin" hullabaloo.
This has NLG Bash / Saturday Night Live skit written all over it.

"An odd-looking Canadian coin with a bright red flower was the
culprit behind the U.S. Defense Department's false espionage
warning earlier this year, The Associated Press has learned.

"The odd-looking  but harmless  "poppy coin" 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 "anomalous" and "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 actually was a conventional 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."

"A numismatist consulted by the AP, Dennis Pike of Canadian Coin &
Currency near Toronto, quickly matched a grainy image and physical
descriptions of the suspect coins in the contractors' confidential
accounts to the 25-cent poppy piece.

"'It's not uncommon at all,' Pike said. He added that the coin's
protective coating glows peculiarly under ultraviolet light. "That
may have been a little bit suspicious,' he said.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

On May 8th The Toronto Star commented on the affair. -Editor]

"It turns out that the strange coin found in the cup holder of the
Canadian car a U.S. defence contractor rented was, well, a quarter
 with a red poppy inlay and a minting date of 2004.

"Turns out the American officials were befuddled by protective coatings
on the coin, which had been put in place to try to keep the red colour
from smudging, something that marred the early 2004 printings of the
coin, leaving on some a red blotch on the face of the Queen on the
reverse side.

"One contractor marvelled that the coin didn't seem to have a power
source, but was filled with some sort of "nano-technology."

"'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."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
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