Asides from Hussein’s purported body doubles, the news is also discussing how Mao Tse Tung had them.
Does anyone know how these doubles are created? Do they just find people with striking similarities and then dress them up? Do they go through a ton f plastic surgery?
What are the modern limilts of facial reconstruction? I would have thought the amount of surgery needed to provide a double that could withstand such close scrutiny would leave one looking like Michael Jackson.
I’m not sure this is a G.Q. since hard proof may be tough to come by, but I’ll toss out a WAG here
The body double situations are’t usually documented with high quality video or film images. The image is blurry enough to make the dodge workable. In a large enough country you surely could find people who look like you, especially if you are the dictator and have the run of the population to chose from.
It’s probably less plastic surgery than you’d think. We all have a twin out there somewhere ( shudder )
Body doubles are often used for confusing surveillance, which is done from afar, generally. Monitoring a group of leaders who are seen with Saddam is quite confusing when he splits the leaders up with some ‘doubles’.
When it comes to power positions and maniacal leaders, you cannot rule out plastic surgery and/or extreme coercion.
The question is mainly prompted by the speech given by Hussein last night right after the U.S. began their “decapitation” phase of attack.
I had always understood the body double situation to be as already described: used to throw off surveillance by approximating the looks of a given human target. What threw me off was the speculation (granted, only speculation) that the speech maker last night might be a stand-in, which is much more open to close scrutiny than a spy image taken from a passing plane.
I guess being dictator has some benefits after all- I just find the wholle thing fascinating, and I’d love to someday hear the story of one of these stooges and what he went through to become a certified Saddam impersonator. Maybe one of them will book a Vegas gig someday.
Didn’t anyone ever watch “Mission: Impossible”.
They just use high quality rubber masks. Personally, I think the U.S. government should keep an eye on Martin Landau.
More seriously though, in a later year episode of that series, the plan involved hiring an actor. Jim Phelps said, “Here’s our (NAME). We think he’s a good double.”
And that’s all they did. They just used two actors who sort of looked alike. It’s probably not that hard to do.
I have even read a speculation that some dictators affect distinctive moustaches or beards to make it easier to arrange for passable doubles.