Something slightly different – and frankly bizarre! – obscure US Military Patch graphics. I first tagged this set a while back (2008) but only just rediscovered whilst mining through the ever increasing stack of Sci-Fi-O-Rama resource bookmarks!
What we have here then are six samples or military shoulder/pocket patches taken from “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World” (published Melville House Dec 2007) a compendium of rarely seen “Black Ops” Military Unit/Projects memorabilia researched and compiled by American Artist’s Trevor Paglen. What constitutes a Black Ops Project then? well basically it’s any classified US military research project veiled in secrecy that quietly guzzle funds from the federal budget. Examples of Black Ops which have trans-located into the public domain include the F-117 Stealth Fighter or the B2 Stealth Bomber and those projects that don’t and remain forever shrouded? well it’s a conspiracy theorists wet dream isn’t it…
I’ve always been a fan of embroidered sew on patches be they Military, Space, Movie or otherwise (having assembled small collection via ebay) anyway this set with it’s extremely weird mix of cartoon visuals, Sci-Fi, the Occult and sinister cryptic slogans pretty much blows any other patch art into oblivion…
Here’s the notes then for the chosen images:
Top: National Reconnaissance Office Dragon Path – This patch is one of Trevor Paglen’s absolute favourites, and it’s not hard to see why! The whole visual concept – the green dragon holding the world in its clutches, American flag wings, and its tail wrapped around a diamond – is extremely sinister, and screams “Imperialism/New World Order/Illuminati” well at least that’s my half-baked conjecture!. The actual source of the patch apparently has something to do with a classified Satellite (probably signals-intelligence) launched into a geosynchronous orbit in 2003…
2nd Top: This one’s definitely my favourite – wicked design – Minotaur is a still-classified program undertaken by Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs division, the Skunk Works.
3rd Top:“We Own The Night” – This patch commemorates the August 17, 2000, launch of a “classified National Reconnaissance Office payload” atop a Titan IV rocket.
4th Top: The Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile was a classified cruise missile symbolized by the Tasmanian Devil. The acronym Tssam recalled the cartoon character.
5th Top: The classic ‘Grey’ alien with a B-2 bomber in it’s clutches, the slogan “To Serve Man” apparently a reference to a classic Twilight Zone episode… The 509th Bomb Wing flew B-2 stealth bomber test flights, and used to be based at Roswell, N.M., home of the notorious ‘Roswell Incident‘.
Bottom: This one with it’s glowing eyed green wizard creature remains something of an enigma, Trevor notes: The origins of this patch remain unknown. The red star is in Southwest, which is many secret units’ home, while military intelligence typically uses green vaults.
For further reading and imagery check this New York Times article and interview with Trevor Paglin http://is.gd/eMcOz or visit Trevor’s home site: http://www.paglen.com/
Also you can buy a copy of “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World” starting from via Amazon, here’s a link: http://is.gd/eMdbl
And finally for more Secretive Military patch design inspiration check out this site: http://www.u2sr71patches.co.uk/area51.htm