The Boy Scouts Came From a Spy Who Hid Maps in Bugs

Submitted by: lalapancakes 1 year ago in Funny


So apparently the guy who founded the Boy Scouts was a super spy, book writing author, manly gentlemanly bad ass with a soft creative side? In his days post-spying, Robert Baden-Powell wrote books showing some of the intricate insect drawings he made to communicate enemy lines to his fellow agent provocateurs.



Before his time as a spy author, the dude sent military secrets through insect drawings and served the U.K. Army against South Africa… which is kind of depressing because he was serving for apartheid.

Atlas Obscura: “Baden-Powell had one last tip for would-be spies: disguise themselves as entomologists. It was a trick, he said, that had worked when he conducted secret missions. He wrote: 'Carrying this book and a colour-box and a butterfly net in my hand, I was above all suspicion to anyone who met me on the lonely mountain side, even in the neighbourhood of the forts.' Out in enemy territory, who would notice a insect researcher, notebook, pen, and butterfly net in hand?"

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