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We have all seen that person on the street that strikes an eerie resemblance to someone we know. Wondrous appearance similarities have dazzled many minds throughout time, and the phenomenon has even coined its own phrase, doppelgänger; a German phrase that translates to “double goer.”
The doppelgänger first arose in German folklore in the late 18th century, and was described to illuminate a double being. It can be noted that the doppelgänger was not a ghost, but a second self, one that existed on another plain of existence, or another dimension. The doppelgänger has entertained our minds and curiosities for centuries. Most people find it humorous, and entertaining, to see someone who strikes an almost twin-like resemblance to themselves or a friend. Perhaps because of this, the doppelgänger has found its way into various nations’ governments, and many scholars and historians have suspected that it has been used as a political strategy.
In some cases, the doppelgänger has allegedly been used to protect a nation’s leader, or to confuse the enemy in warfare. However, the creature from German folklore has also found its way into elaborate cover-ups, and riddles itself through many conspiracy cases, leading to the creation of some of the most mysterious political decoy cases in history.
Harry S. Truman
According to Edwin Wright, General staff G-2 and Middle East specialist under President Harry S. Truman, an unknown individual impersonated Truman's voice on the phone. This impersonation swayed foreign leaders into voting in certain ways at the United Nations, possibly altering world history.
Two documents written by Truman himself are currently housed at the Truman Presidential Library.
In the first, Truman wrote:
"Something's going on and I don't know what it is. Somebody called up the President of Haiti and he said that it was I.... He said, 'We want you to vote for the Zionist program.' As a result the President of Haiti changed his vote to satisfy what he thought was me. I don't know who this fellow was that called him up."
"In other words, somebody impersonated President Truman and threatened the President of Haiti. There were people who used President Truman's voice and name and he didn't know who they were."
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush served as our 43rd president for two terms. His family life was deeply rooted in the American political system, as G.W. Bush was the oldest son of former president, George Bush Senior.
G.W. Bush upset many nations while he was in presidency, with his eagerness to enter war and with his direct reluctance to carry out requests from the United Nations. Anger rose amongst American citizens when legal documents such as The Patriot Act were implemented during his time in office. In short, George W. Bush was not an adored man by the end of his presidency.
Many believe that George W. Bush used many doppelgängers to his advantage as a protective strategy. Bush’s administration had a knack for keeping information sealed tight, so it is hard to verify this mysterious political decoy case. However, the then-president is alleged to have had decoys travel at the same time as him to distract potential threats.
The ruthless genius of Henry Alfred Kissinger was perceived as national treasure in the early 70s, and his role as a top National Security Advisor, without question, put a price on this man’s life. To kill Kissinger, to rival nations, was to snip a dire piece off of the mechanical brain power of America.
In 1971, Kissinger had “attended” a meeting in China, one that was so top secret that the nature of this meeting was to be sheathed from the public. However, as it does, word quickly got out, and before long, it was known to the masses that Kissinger had attended this meeting. Or did he?
It has been documented that no one could approach Kissinger during his stay in China, as security would not let anyone within his diameter. It has also been rumored that one of Kissinger’s top aides claimed that Kissinger used a double for the visit to China, presumably explaining why no one could get near him. This behavior, viewed as suspicious to many, has kept this case alive as one of the most mysterious political decoy cases in American history.
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald Kennedy gave the nation hope when he was elected in 1960 as the 35th president. The citizens of America adored the new face of hope. However, behind closed doors in Washington, Kennedy had disrupted the patience of many powerful organizations; the military being one of them. The disaster in Cuba during the Bay of Pigs infiltration, amongst rumors of Kennedy wanting to pull out of Vietnam, essentially put this man’s life in danger. This danger became internationally prevalent in 1963, as our nation watched in horror as their face of hope was publicly murdered in Dallas, Texas.
An interesting interview with Howard Brennan, a witness to the murder of former president Kennedy, said something very strange to news reporters. Brennan explained that “The man standing there was the exact double of the late president,” as he recalled an encounter that he had with an agent who “allegedly” acted as Kennedy’s double. Facts have not yet solidified this mysterious political decoy case, as over time, the account has drifted from report to legend.
Lee Harvey Oswald
To further the Kennedy assassination discussion, Lee Harvey Oswald’s role in the tragedy remains in question to this very day, and some have questioned if Oswald was the one who pulled the trigger.
Many stories have circulated about the Kennedy assassination. This historical tragedy for our nation is riddled with alleged accounts and conspiracy theories. One story is that Oswald was unsuspecting of what lay in the future for him. Oswald claimed that he was just watching a movie, and when he came out of the theatre, police swarmed him. It is very possible that Oswald had been set up, and that the true killer was an agent of some kind. Conspiracy theorists still cannot place the source of the agent, as some have alleged that the Mafia was responsible, while others say it was the Russians. Tales have been told that the military was the culprit, or that the CIA played out the assassination for political interests. Stories aside, Lee Harvey Oswald is by far one of the most controversial and mysterious political decoy cases known to America history.
Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany during the year of 1933. Hitler led the Nazi party, which overcame Germany’s government shortly after World War I. The country was devastated by destruction during World War I, and Hitler used this national depression to his advantage. By preaching power to the Germans, few citizens truly knew what the Nazi party represented to the rest of the world. The coming of Adolf Hitler brought with it World War II, when the world joined forces to stop the immensely growing force of the Nazi party.
One thing is for certain: Hitler was very paranoid. It has been rumored that he had up to six doubles, but fear governed the people’s inquiry into this fact. However, the assassination of Gustav Weler brought this political myth to life. When military ally forces found the body of Weler, they were certain that it belonged to Hitler himself. The uncertainty of this feeble documentation continues to make Hitler’s doppelgänger(s) one of the most mysterious political decoy cases.
Joseph Stalin arose as the leader of the Soviet Union. The security of this man exceeded most other politicians in the world, and as Stalin was a political target for many countries, going incognito a was game that Stalin played all too well. History has suggested that this political leader had two political decoys.
In 1953, following Stalin’s death, one of these doppelgängers came out into the public’s view as the man, who was only addressed as “Rashid,” had been spotted and identified by KGB officials.
However, Felix Dadaev was given the green light to share his tale by the Putin administration, and, in 2008, wrote a most peculiar book. His work illuminated his time spent as a political decoy for Stalin in the 20s, and corresponded with the story that Stalin used a double; possibly two.
The fifth president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, was known to be very keen and careful with his daily operations. Hussein evaded US forces for nearly five years, but then was captured and executed in 2006. To the dismay of the US military, during a past conflict with Iran, American CIA had trained Saddam to fight as an ally.
With many tricks up his sleeve, Hussein was called out internationally by a German television network, ZDF Broadcast, for one of the oldest political tricks known to man. They claimed that many of his television debuts were not of him, but of various doppelgängers. Curious minds continued to investigate these allegations, and many of them became convinced that the allegations were true.
Fidel Castro rose to power in 1956, having formerly acted as a communist revolutionary. He maintained his role as Cuba’s Prime Minister until 1976, where he switched roles to become the nation’s president. America and Cuba have always been in conflict, up until recently, as the Cuban government was always backed by America’s enemy Russia. It is no secret that many attempts were made on Castro's life during the Cold War, a grueling window in history that had the entire world on the edge of their seats, or under their table.
Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, Castro’s personal bodyguard of 17 years, came out to the public and revealed many dark secrets of Castro’s regime. One secret was that Castro did, indeed, use decoys to avoid assassination. Today, although widely accepted as truth, the story still maintains its label of alleged, as it has yet to be proved 100 percent.