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Douglas Airbase disguised as a hill with trees and a few houses.
Could you imagine trying to fabricate the illusion of a regular suburb on huge complexes? Back in WWII, they did go to such extremes and a fascinating example is Camouflage California. At the threat of Japanese bombings, key warring infrastructure such as air bases, oil plants and factories were put under wraps with camouflage netting.

Colonel John F. Ohmer camouflage suburb

A hidden Boeing plant.
The mastermind behind this is Colonel John F. Ohmer, the head of a camouflage training centre who pioneered in camouflage, deception and misdirection techniques, put stealth on with style. An attention to detail to the task meant that the camouflage even had people walk around the streets of the 'suburb' and cars shift around.

The photos show this strange double world at a time when vulnerabilities and national security was such a key issue, dealt with in this very low tech kind of way.

For a wonderful article about this Camouflage California visit the Twisted Sifter.

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